Venice
February 1661

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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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244-252

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'Venice: February 1661', Calendar of State Papers Relating to English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 32: 1659-1661 (1931), pp. 244-252. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=90065 Date accessed: 30 July 2014.


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February 1661

1661.
Feb. 4.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
277. Francesco Giavarina, Venetian Resident in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The judges sentenced to death 17 of the rebels recently taken, and they have been executed these last days, their quarters being set on the city gates. One or two repented their wickedness and confessed the king for their sovereign, but the others remained obstinate and were sorry for the miscarriage of their abominable designs, confessing that if they were not to die they would try again, and blaspheming Heaven for not helping them, denying absolutely any worldly authority, and so they have gone to the Devil.
Despite these punishments which should have checked those who hold such ridiculous beliefs it is discovered that some of them were devising fresh insurrections, so vigilance is redoubled and in searching suspect houses they have found arms, powder and other munitions of war which these ruffians kept hidden to use at a suitable moment. With the seizure of these and the arrest of other persons this danger has been averted, and by close watch in the capital and elsewhere on the behaviour of the sectaries one may feel confident that any hope left them of realising their flimsy pretensions have altogether vanished.
As during these suspicions it was lawful for soldiers to enter the houses of fanatics to take away arms and anything else of military character, many persons not disaffected had their houses searched at the caprice of the soldiers, who took away arms intended for the king's service and many other things of value having no connection with war. Complaints about this reached the king's ears and to prevent such abuses his Majesty at once issued a severe proclamation forbidding the search of houses under any pretext unless by a written order signed by a member of the privy council or a lord lieutenant and directed to the ordinary constables and other law officers, in accordance with the ancient constitutions of the realm. (fn. 1)
The queen with the Princess Henrietta, who has almost entirely recovered remains stranded at Portsmouth because of the wind, but it seemed to have turned yesterday and they hope to hear soon that she has crossed the water safely.
Some time ago a dispute arose between the duke of Richmont and Sir Convalles, treasurer of the king's household, and some time after the duke struck the treasurer in the king's own chamber. For this Richemont was immediately confined to his house by the king's order, where he remains and no one knows what the issue of the affair may be. It is ugly because the deed was deliberate since the duke did not strike in the heat of the quarrel but many hours later, and it was against one in actual service in contempt of the king's apartment, which is sacrosanct.
The king being in deep mourning for the princess of Orange and it being impossible to have everything ready for the coronation by the 16th February, they have decided to have it on the 23rd April, old style. As that is the usual day for the king to go to Windsor to instal the knights of St. George, they have decided to anticipate that ceremony by some weeks, to have the place free and available for the coronation. So in a few days will take place two of the most splendid functions which are performed in this country, when there will be inexpressible pomp and a heavy expenditure.
The ambassadors of Spain, Denmark and Holland are working with the deputies appointed for them by the government, but in spite of frequent conferences they cannot arrive at any conclusion in their negotiations as everything proceeds here with incredible and most tiresome slowness.
Prince Maurice of Nassau is expected at Court soon in the capacity of ambassador extraordinary for the elector of Brandenburg, and for the Grand Duke of Tuscany the Marquis Salviati is coming with great pomp and a numerous suite, from what they say, bills having reached here already in the hands of the merchants Mico for many thousands of pounds sterling. Old Galileo here finding that he has not yet been able to get anything in spite of the efforts of his agents with the Savio of the Exchequer for his debts and with the General of the Fleet for the ransom of his son, in spite of many promises from your Serenity, has again petitioned the king, showing how little his royal interposition has effected and asking for it again. A secretary of the palace has been to see me to-day and urged me again in the king's name to write on the subject to your Excellencies and ask for the payment of some portion of this debt, after so many promises and delays and to direct the General, before he sails for the Levant, to ransom the slave Galileo. I submit this to the Senate having enlarged to the messenger upon the good will of the state.
London, the 4th February, 1661.
[Italian.]
Feb. 5.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Corti.
Venetian
Archives.
278. To the Resident in England.
Approval of his office with the king about the Princess of Orange and the appointment of the new ambassador in ordinary. He is to try and find out if the king really contemplates the appointment of an ambassador in response to one sent by the republic. The Senate hears from Germany that Count Collalto is to go to the English Court. The Count is very friendly to the republic, and he must cultivate his good will.
Ayes, 138. Noes, 1. Neutral, 1.
[Italian.]
Feb. 11.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
279. Francesco Giavarina, Venetian President in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The day before yesterday was the 30th January by this style and by the king's command by proclamation was observed as a fast throughout England, Scotland and Ireland in commemoration of the death of Charles I 12 years ago, and to implore the Divine blessing on this nation to prevent similar horrid spectacles, and the day was kept in all three kingdoms in an exemplary manner. Parliament having decreed that the bodies of Cromwell, Brascio, Ireton and Pride should be disinterred, hanged and buried under the gallows, this was carried out on that same day before a great crowd amid the universal approval of the city and of all the people.
In accordance with his Majesty's direction parliament has since been opened in Scotland. Up to now they have spent their time in appointing committees and other bodies to find out the authors of the late revolutions in that country, and punish them in the same way as in England. There is no doubt that this body will also devote itself to the firmer establishment of the king and the repose of the nation, thus gradually putting straight what has continued in confusion for so many years, and preparing a future for all these realms with their former tranquillity and splendour.
The queen left Portsmouth in the evening a week to-day with the princess and all her Court, and the wind having proved favourable she no doubt crossed safely, news of her arrival being eagerly awaited.
A council for trade having been set up, as reported, it is attending to all that is necessary for the durable and permanent establishment of commerce. To secure this the council has decided to arm 32 ships of war, some to be sent to the Mediterranean, some to the Baltic, some to the Indies and some to other places to convoy merchantmen and defend them from pirates who infest the seas. Of these 32 ships eight are to be equipped in the port of London, and the others in proportion in the other trading ports of the realm, at the king's expense and for the benefit and profit of the traders.
On his passage to Constantinople the earl of Winchelsea landed at Algiers to confirm the peace between this country and that Divan. When he made the proposal it seems that the Turks refused confirmation except on the condition of searching, after the example of Tunis and Tripoli, all English ships, to take off all goods and passengers not of the nation. The ambassador would not admit this claim and as friendship with this crown is of great advantage to those barbarians it is said that they have given up the idea and ratified the peace, as it was before the revolutions here, without such a clause.
We hear that Melo, the Portuguese ambassador, has landed on these shores and is shortly expected in London. (fn. 2) They say he brings vast offers to involve his Majesty in the interests of Braganza, and especially for the marriage of the Infanta to the king, but we cannot say whether he will succeed in that to which he aspires. Meanwhile the baron di Batteville is labouring to thwart him, putting aside the question of Dunkirk and Jamaica and attending only to Portugal, which is so important, in the hope of achieving his object, which is to separate this crown entirely from the interests of Braganza. I will keep the Senate well informed.
London, the 11th February, 1661.
[Italian.]
1661.
Feb. 12.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Genoa.
Venetian
Archives.
280. Paris Tasca, Venetian Consul at Genoa, to the Doge and Senate.
A ship from Smyrna reports that the English nation dwelling at that place, by means of great presents to the Pasha commanding there, has obtained a strict order there for the exclusion of the silver louis, which are in the form of bars (che sono a guisa di palari.) There are millions of these in the Levant, so it is thought that the prohibition will prove ineffective.
Genoa, the 12th February, 1661.
[Italian.]
Feb. 16.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Spagna.
Venetian
Archives.
281. Giacomo Quirini, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.
Serious thoughts disturb the spirits of their lordships here when they see what a thing Majesty is when deprived of arms, of means and of reputation. Such is the case with the king of England, and lacking friends and money as he does, they are greatly afraid that compelled by desperation he may finally yield to the wishes of France or bind himself in a union with the Provinces of Holland. Both would be serious steps for the crown of Spain. The Ambassador Batteville writes that King Charles preserves the most friendly feelings, but he is straitened by his own ministers and dare not express openly his own sentiments, or take independent action, and would risk his kingdom and his life if he should try to make fresh attempts. His Majesty had confided to him (the ambassador) that he had no other sure support in England than the party of the Catholics. The whole Council of State was opposed to them, owing to interest, repugnance and the different rites which were observed among them. However, in Dunkirk he had 2500 Irish as a Catholic garrison. He was considering how he might secretly increase it and if the Spaniards would lend him a hand with money and troops, he might be able with greater safety to give himself rein (aprirsi) and forward the things which pleased himself (le proprie convenienze).
The ambassador proceeded to encourage these spirited ideas in the king's mind and here they would not be averse from allowing a certain number of the oldest and most trusted soldiers to enter Dunkirk a la file and without observation, but when it comes to the question of money, their heart fails them, the affair is upset and no resolution is taken although they see clearly that with the friendship of the king they lose the good correspondence with the country.
The English ambassador, after treating for several days at Lisbon with Braganza, sailed for Algiers to renew the treaty with the Basha. But the Basha refused to do so, asserting the right to search English ships for the men and goods of other nations. Since then the Barbary corsairs have taken the Rainbow, an English ship, off Malaga, but they let the ship go after plundering it.
Madrid, the 16th February, 1661.
[Italian.]
Feb. 18.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
282. Francesco Giavarina, Venetian Resident in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The most interesting question at this Court at present is that of Portugal, but what they will decide remains impenetrable. The ambassador has arrived in London and seen the king in private. His offers are certainly large and possibly more than they can perform, and the wisest think that he will not achieve his purpose as they cannot believe that the king would espouse with Portugal a perpetual war with the House of Austria, especially as it is not clear what profit England can derive therefrom.
Whatever Braganza might give would be repaid thrice over in supplies of men, ships and munitions of war from this country, so it would be exchanging the certain for the uncertain. Time will show, but in my opinion I do not believe that the marriage will ever take place, for reasons already given, and this is confirmed by the progress of the negotiations for Parma, which proceed with extreme secrecy between a few of the king's greatest intimates. No one would venture to assert that this either will come about, but it is beyond question that immediately it was suggested the Abbot Obigni sent an express to Italy to his friend the Cardinal de Retz, the first to suggest the idea, to report that his Majesty welcomed the proposal and his Eminence might inform the duke of Parma, adding that his Majesty will ask him for one of the two princesses. (fn. 3) Baron di Batteville has also sent expresses to Madrid on the subject, and in the mean time promises every assistance from the Catholic for what may be wanting on the part of Parma, to the end that this crown may abandon Braganza and leave the Catholic free to make himself master of Portugal and all that belongs to it.
I am further confirmed in my belief because they are about to send the earl of Bristol to Italy to see the princesses of Parma and choose the one he thinks most suitable in beauty and other gifts of nature for his Majesty. He will go very secretly, proceeding first to Flanders on the pretext of seeing a daughter there, (fn. 4) and thence on the pretext of visiting the Holy House of Loreto, he being a Roman Catholic, he will go to Parma to carry out his commissions. Although this journey of Bristol is supposed to be sudden and secret, it is nevertheless known to all. So it is the occasion of much talk among the vulgar, everyone concluding that he is going to take a wife for the king, but no one can imagine who it will be. Some go so far as to say that his Majesty had done this three years ago with the sister of the prince de Ligne, (fn. 5) the marriage being kept secret until now and that Bristol is going to fetch her, with similar reports equally false and baseless.
The Court heard at the end of last week of the safe arrival in France of the queen, and. they will now wish to hear what happens about the marriage of the princess of England to the duke of Anjou. Men still say that Cardinal Mazarini will raise difficulties if he cannot secure the marriage of his niece.
M. de Noian (fn. 6) has come from Paris to offer condolences in the name of the Most Christian on the death of the princess of Orange and with congratulations on the marriage of the duke of York to the chancellor's daughter. It is not known that he has any other business so after performing his offices he will go straight back. The ordinary Ambassador d'Estrade has not yet come, who has been expected so long.
The parliament of Scotland continues to meet and act in accordance with the wishes of the Court and for the good of the country.
Owing to the bad weather several state despatches have reached me these last days, those of the 31st December, the 8th and 15th January, and a few hours ago those of the 22nd and 28th. I note the decision of the Senate to write to Sweden and Denmark for help. I at once went to see the Danish ambassador and Resident and told them what your Excellencies have imparted, asking them to support this in the despatches they are sending to their master to-day by Count Galeazzo Gualdo Priorato. The both promised to do so and the ambassador said he would use his personal influence when he returns to Denmark, which will be soon as he has finished his business about an alliance and maritime affairs. When the imperial envoy arrives I will second his instances and try to get some profit out of the present crisis with the Turk, as I am constantly doing when an opportunity occurs, but so far I only get words.
I will inform the king and old Galileo what your Excellencies commit to me and have no doubt that they will appreciate all that the Captain General is doing to ransom the prisoner.
Petkum, the Resident of Denmark here has recently written me the enclosed letter and asked me orally to beg your Serenity to allow this Ruffler to practise the invention referred to, at Venice and in the dominions of the republic. England has granted this permission to him for 15 years. I do so to oblige him and consider the request more reasonable because it will not involve any charge to the state or constitute a burden on the people, as he only wishes to sell his instruments to those who wish to buy.
London, the 18th February, 1661.
[Italian.]
Enclosure283. Simon de Prethem to Francesco Glavarina.
John Libertus Ruffler has two inventions, one a portable oven for baking bread with scarcely half the usual amount of fuel, capable of cooking 1000 loaves in 24 hours; the other for extracting the salt from sea water producing enough drinking water for hundreds of men in a short time. He only desires leave to practise these inventions for some period of time and asks no other privilege.
London, the 23rd January, 1661.
[Latin.]
Feb. 19.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Corti.
Venetian
Archives.
284. To the Resident in England.
We have letters from Naples that news had arrived from Messina how the English ambassador, on his way to the Porte had arrived at Tunis, where he made request for the release of the slaves of his nation. They refused to treat with him without the payment of money for the ransom, and so he departed, ill satisfied, to proceed to his destination.
Ayes, 124. Noes, 1. Neutral, 0.
[Italian.]
Feb. 22.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Spagna.
Venetian
Archives.
285. Giacomo Quirini, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.
A gentleman has come from the Ambassador Batteville reporting a plot against the king. He adds that the venality of the ministers of state there has reached such an insufferable pitch of baseness that they were bare facedly demanding money to sell their votes and support for the restitution of the two places usurped by Cromwell, and from this (dal che) Caracena has introduced the permission for certain quarters in Flanders for the garrison of Dunkirk itself. But in spite of all this correspondence and apparent demonstrations of affection the Spaniards are beginning to mistrust the word and promises of King Charles, since nothing is put into execution of what was agreed and settled. Indeed it has been found out that the king persuaded the Ambassador Batteville to move certain practices for the advantage of his negotiations, but at the same time vessels were sent to the Indies with materials and provisions to maintain and fortify the island of Jamaica, upon which the king was certainly consulted and his consent obtained; but in fine hidden malignities are not subject to punishment.
On an English frigate which put in at Cadiz were seen two most handsome feluccas, richly decorated, which were being sent from Naples to London for the amusement and service of the king there.
Madrid, the 22nd February, 1661.
[Italian.]
Feb. 24.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Costantinopoli.
Venetian
Archives.
286. Giovanni Battista Ballarino, Venetian Secretary at the Porte, to the Doge and Senate.
The efforts and representations which I considered necessary to prevent the mischief of the connivance of the new ambassador of England at their release for the service of the Turks against your Serenity of the four ships of his nation now in the channel here have borne same fruit, though not entirely as I wished it. Thus when at the first audience which the Grand Vizier gave to his Excellency, the Turk asked him immediately to direct his captains to make ready to proceed with their ships to the Arsenal to lade there bales, spades, shovels and powder and afterwards to take on board gunners and other troops, the ambassador replied that he had not such orders from his king and accordingly he was not in a position to gratify the Vizier.
I received word of this refusal from Draperis which afforded me an opportunity to send Padavino to thank his Excellency and to ask him to persevere in that course. The ambassador promised to offer the most sturdy resistance to the attempts of these barbarians. But in the end, when Draperis went to the Vizier with various excuses and to tell him, in the first place that as the fleet of your Serenity was not far off and would certainly fall in with them and capture both ships and cargo, the Vizier would not listen to reason. The Reischitap, who was present at the interview, said that all this talk and disputing was superfluous as well as the labour to get them to agree. If the ambassador would not grant the ships, they would take them. Two galleys would suffice to tow them and take them to the place of lading.
When the English dragoman heard this firm decision, he departed from the complete objection which he had shown at the beginning. He had said that the largest ship, of 64 guns, belongs to the king, (fn. 7) who had ordered them to take on board the ambassador's predecessor for his return to London, so that this would be burned sooner than they would give it up. He added that of the other three one is smaller than a saettia and of no use for the purpose. The others are merchantmen and to take them away would prejudice his Majesty's customs duties. That one half would suffice abundantly; he would speak to the ambassador and try to induce him to afford this satisfaction. The Vizier replied that one who means to be obeyed makes little account of duties, and for the rest he would know what he had to do.
Draperis reported these particulars to his master and by his direction was so good as to communicate them to me also. I ventured to point out that to give only one or two would afford the worst example and begged his Excellency to refuse utterly such unjust demands, which would only be the prelude to further pressure. I also sent the dragoman Grillo to the Elemino Grande to represent that if English merchantmen are employed for war service, no more goods will come to Constantinople, because no one will run the risks, causing very great loss, so that he should try to dissuade the Grand Vizier. He did so suggesting that he should employ for the purpose a Barbary ship, now here, and another galleon which can easily be repaired, and urging him not to take the large English ship. But the Vizier, unwilling to listen to any more arguments, at once sent two galleys to fetch it to the wharves of the Arsenal, where it now lies, towards the Seraglio, having laded divers goods.
The ambassador sent his secretary (fn. 8) to tell me of this violence, expressing his irritation at being compelled to yield an apparent consent, seeing that in this country it is impossible to contend with the forces of others. He pressed me earnestly for a passport for the security of his ship in this voyage to Candia for the Turks. I thought the demand a strange one and tried to evade it with strong reasons, of which there is no lack in such an affair. The ambassador admitted the force of these, but made a fresh and pressing request that I would make known to the Signory the insolence used so that your Excellencies might be pleased to make manifest to his king your satisfaction at the stout resistance which he had made. I thought it necessary to promise this in order to have a better hold upon him on other occasions, as I believe that he really means well.
When I thought that everything was settled Chiaia Bey sent in the name of the Grand Vizier to demand a passport for the safety of the English ship with the goods of the Sultan on board. I should have thought that this was done by arrangement with the English ambassador, but I have learned since that the Turks had in some sense given an undertaking to his Excellency that the ship should go safely. I sent back word firmly refusing to issue so scandalous a paper. Finally Chiaia Bey confined himself to the demand for indemnity for the English alone and for their ship, if they should meet with the fleet of the most serene republic. The Turks desire this not so much from zeal as for a precedent, to facilitate the concurrence and forwardness of that nation in affording them such accommodation and of many others besides. I have steadily refused to give this either.
I informed the French ambassador of what I had done and he approved of my reply, but added that when a ship was in the port of a sovereign prince, that prince had the right to demand the use of it, on paying for the hire. I have heard no more from Chiaia Bey and hope that further trouble will be prevented.
The ships will leave next month. I have sent word to the Captain General of the Galleons.

Pera of Constantinople, the 24th February, 1660. [M.V.]
[Italian; deciphered.]
Feb. 26.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Corti.
Venetian
Archives.
287. To the Resident in England.
We note the renewal of Galileo's petition for the release of his son and the payment of the money due to him. You will inform the king of what has been done and convince him of the republic's goodwill in the matter.
That Zorzi Morosini, Capitano General da Mar, be directed, on his arrival with the fleet to obtain the release of Galileo in exchange for some Turk, taking information from his predecessor.
Ayes, 90. Noes, 0. Neutral, 3.
[Italian.]

Footnotes

1 Proclamation of Thursday, 17–27 January. Kingdom's Intelligencer Jan. 21–8. Cal. S.P. Dom. 1660–1, page 475.
2 Salvetti writing on 10 Feb. says that Melo arrived back last Wednesday, i.e. 9th February. Brit. Mus. Add. MSS. 27962Q, f. 22d.
3 The two sisters of the reigning duke, Ranuccio II; Maria Magdalena and Caterina. They both died unmarried.
4 No doubt his daughter Diana who married a Baron Moll in Flanders.
5 Claude Lamoral, Prince de Ligne, had two sisters, Clare Louise and Marie Louise. Pepys, in mentioning this rumour, says niece of the Prince de Ligne. Diary Vol. i, pp. 387–8. Salvetti says the rumour had been circulating for some days and was “confirmata da molti grandi de questa Corte.” Brit. Mus. Add, MSS. 27962Q, f. 26.
6 The envoy was Armand Bautru, comte de Nogent. Bartet to Mazarin, 14 February, 1661. P.R.O. Paris Transcripts.
7 The Plymouth. Winchelsea said that he was obliged to sacrifice the Smyrna Factor, Capt. Robert Hudson, which was seized by the Vizier's command and employed to take troops to Candia. See his letter of 4 March. S.P. For. Turkey Vol. xvii.; Hist. MSS. Comm. Finch Papers Vol. i, page 90.
8 Anthony Isaacson. Hist. MSS. Comm. Finch Papers Vol. i, page 114.