Venice
March 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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252-271

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'Venice: March 1661', Calendar of State Papers Relating to English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 32: 1659-1661 (1931), pp. 252-271. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=90066 Date accessed: 02 September 2014.


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March 1661

March 1.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
288. Alvise Grimani, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
Mazarini has left the king all his most precious jewels, including diamonds of inestimable value, and notably the one sold by the king of England in the time of his misfortunes, to support himself.
Paris, the 1st March, 1661.
[Italian.]
March 1.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
Alvise Grimani, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
Two couriers have been sent to Rome, one of them for the dispensation for the marriage of Monsieur to the Princess of England. The marriage articles are being discussed. In the first place the king of England desires an appanage to be assigned to the bridegroom, as is fitting. For the dowry King Charles offers such exiguous sums, following the precedent of the Princess of Orange and the Princess Palatine, that the ministers here have told Lord Germen that these could not be compared with his Majesty; that times are changed and they cannot serve as examples; that they must have regard for Monsieur as the king's brother, and make a distinction for his rank, as Louis XIII had done when he married his sisters. However, they will come to an arrangement about the amount, since Germen has said so. That minister will make his state entry into this city next week. In my relations with him I will follow the example of the Spanish ambassador.
Paris, the 1st March, 1661.
[Italian.]
March 2.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Spagna.
Venetian
Archives.
289. Giacomo Quirini, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.
Three days ago another gentleman arrived in this city sent from London by the Ambassador Batteville. This is known to all the foreign ministers, though they have tried to keep it secret. I am informed by a great personage who frequents the king's apartments that his Majesty remarked that Braganza offered to the king of England his sister with a dowry of all the East Indies and the fortress of Tangier; and further to consign the position and two castles of Setubal in Portugal, with the obligation to defend that port against any attacks that might be made upon it by the Castilians. The king subsequently added: I know that the prudence and generosity of my nephew will not consent to this, although his councillors are all in the pay of the rebel who is threatened at any moment with the loss of his life as well as of the kingdom.
If this be true and if the Portuguese can manage it, it will mean serious disturbance and trouble to this side, because with the handing over of Setubal to the English, the only port between Cape St. Vincent and Lisbon, and that nation being always stronger at sea than the Spaniards and more fit for war, it will render impossible any attempt to reconquer Portugal; because all the efforts which the Catholic might make on the land side would incommode but would not involve the loss of that kingdom, since it certainly cannot be reduced to obedience without communication with the naval forces. Yet they are not without a reasonable suspicion that the ministers there, who wish to take every imaginable advantage and to rake in money, have imparted the information to the Ambassador Batteville to the end that the Spaniards may contribute a certain amount of cash daily; but here there is such an extraordinary scarcity that they cannot at present see any way of satisfying them.
Madrid, the 2nd March, 1661.
[Italian.]
March 2.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Spagna.
Venetian
Archives.
290. Giacomo Quirini, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.
News comes from Lisbon of all the proposals made by Braganza to the king of England for the marriage of his sister. We hear that in exchange for the East Indies the English claim a part of Brazil and the Tercere Islands with two million ducats for the dowry, or at least that it be advanced as a loan for the current needs. The Portuguese have replied that all East India will be yielded to England, handing over indifferently all the fortresses exactly as they are at the present moment, and claiming no more than the trade of two ships a year and the sojourn of their nationals in those parts. With regard to the money they would immediately pay down half a million in cash, for which they would appoint the exaction of duties to such an amount that the sum in question could be raised in a short time. This business has advanced so far that in Lisbon they have had illuminations, processions and public games, the people being pleased and the whole country rejoicing. They have also begun to give the Princess Caterina the title of Majesty.
The Duke of Medina Celi has sent hither an opinion of great weight. It is that if the English and Portuguese join together in close relationship and friendliness, it is not advisable for the Catholic king to recommence the war with the kingdom of England, but by a cessation of arms to endeavour to postpone and prevent a rupture between the Castilians and Portuguese, which is equivalent to saying “Make peace with Braganza.” Any one with experience of the principles and conduct of the House of Austria may easily confirm this and deduce the consequences, because with all its rebels it has, on previous occasions, granted first a cessation of arms and then declared them free, as in the case of the Swiss and the Dutch, and as will certainly happen now with the Portuguese as well. So that if this great affair takes the form of a convention or agreement, I should be hopeful of its turning out to the advantage of the republic, because the Spaniards, disembarassed of this punctilious war, would be able easily to fulfil what they have so often promised.

Madrid, the 2nd March, 1661.
[Italian; deciphered.]
March 4. Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
291. Francesco Giavarina, Venetian Resident in England, to the Doge and Senate.
Being attacked last week by most severe pains, caused by the exceptional weather this winter which has generally affected everyone, and suffering more especially in the right arm, which has been paralysed for several days, I was unable to perform my usual service, for which I implore the Senate's pardon. Being now partially recovered, though not entirely, I resume the account of what I have been able to learn in the days while I have been suffering in bed and confined to the house, which I have not so far been able to leave.
The earl of Bristol left here last week for Flanders upon the pretexts recorded, to conceal as far as possible the true reasons for his journey given a fortnight ago. The affair seems to be progressing favourably and this most vigilant Spanish ambassador here, Batteville, labours incessantly to bring it to a successful issue and neglects nothing that will serve to unite this crown with the Catholic by indissoluble bonds and to see that England is completely separated from Portugal.
These last days his Excellency received from Madrid an express who was immediately sent back to Spain. Although his message cannot be certainly discovered it is conjectured that it must refer to the marriage with Parma, and I have heard from a confidant that Batteville has, on this occasion, received notes of exchange for 5 to 600,000 crowns, for the use of the king here, to constrain him, by every way, to join with Spain against the Portuguese.
On the other hand the minister of Braganza, recently returned to Court, although he has not yet had public audience, for which it is believed he has not even asked, so as not to force the Spanish ambassador to get him a refusal, as he has laboured to do, is at work privately to try and forward his business. Many of the Council, who are Presbyterians, which means irreconcileable enemies of the Spanish monarchy, favour him, forwarding and pushing his proposals. He keeps on enlarging these the more he observes signs of diminishing chances for his interests, behaving exactly like a desperate man, offering all that he is able to give and even more, to charm with blandishment and lures and thus attain his ends. Those who do not reflect and hear his handsome offers, would like to accept them right away and join with Braganza in interests and alliance, but those who consider the future consequences and the war in which it would involve them with Spain, weigh the matter with more prudence and advise the abandonment of Portugal rather than a rupture with the Catholic. So the minister of Braganza is beginning to realise that he can achieve nothing and accordingly gives out that he has been deceived and betrayed. Time will disclose the results which shall be duly reported to the Senate.
The work of disbanding the forces on foot in this country has only been ended these last days. The last was the regiment of General Monch, which after laying down its arms was immediately re-engaged with new commissions at the king's charges as a guard for his royal person and the Court. (fn. 1) As these are infantry it has been found advisable to form another of horse and this has been done recently under the command of the earl of Oxford, composed of disbanded officers, all fine veteran troops who have always been on the royal side and promising the best results in any emergency soever.
As his Majesty's coronation is to take place on the 23rd April by this style, as recently arranged, every one is making preparations for this solemnity and the people, from the smallest to the greatest, will vie with each other to make it the most splendid possible, all men doing their utmost to show their affection and zeal for their sovereign on such an occasion.
When this function has been performed they will summon a new parliament and his Majesty's Council is contemplating the issue of the writs shortly to the counties and boroughs for nominating the members. Meanwhile the parliament which has already met in Scotland is proceeding with sentences against rebels and those who caused the death of the marquis of Montrose and others who fought for the royal side. They have accordingly begun the trial of the marquis of Argyle and of some other leaders of the Presbyterian faith, authors and accomplices in the past conflagration and they hope soon to hear of the punishment of these in the same way as was used with the regicides in England, in recompense for their impious and wicked deeds.
London, the 4th March, 1661.
[Italian.]
March 5.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Corti.
Venetian
Archives.
292. To the Resident in England.
Acknowledge his letters, No. 276. Commend his diligence. Note the sailing of 32 ships for the Mediterranean. Have heard from Germany of the arrival of the Ambassador Winchelse at Constantinople.
Ayes, 109. Noes, 1. Neutral, 4.
[Italian.]
March 6.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Costantinopoli.
Venetian
Archives.
293. Giovanni Battista Ballarino, Venetian Secretary at the Porte, to the Doge and Senate.
The English ship which brought the ambassador of that country, is leaving for London with his predecessor, (fn. 2) who has some misgivings, because he supported the parliamentary party against the interests of his Majesty, while he was ambassador here. I sent Padavino to him to pay my respects and to thank him for the favours received while he was minister here, when he always displayed the most friendly disposition towards the most serene republic. I am engaged in winning the confidence of the new ambassador. Already I have obtained the favour of an express charge to the captain of the ship in question to touch at Zante and take this despatch.
There is little sign here of any generous resolution on the part of the Christian powers. England promises steadfastness and sincerity in the friendship with the Porte, there is no misgiving about France, with the emperor they enjoy most confidential relations.

Pera of Constantinople, the 6th March, 1661.
[Italian; deciphered.]
March 9.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Costantinopoli.
Venetian
Archives.
294. Giovanni Battista Ballarino, Venetian Secretary at the Porte, to the Doge and Senate.
The English ambassador went to audience of the king the day before yesterday and everything passed off to his entire satisfaction. He gave me a sheet (enclosed) with the report of a conspiracy against the king. It serves as a sign of continued confidence, which is progressing, since he expresses the utmost readiness to offer his interposition with the Turks for peace with your Serenity. His secretary said to me that England will not deceive, as others have done.
I am aware of the tremendous importance of the matter owing to the offence that would be given to the French ambassador, and will proceed with the utmost caution, taking care not to commit myself in my answers. For the rest I do not see how the interposition of his Excellency in this affair can generate anything but confusion, since he is not informed of the precise commissions and intentions of your Serenity, while I have no instructions to go to such lengths, with the obvious risk of a rebuff by a public refusal. In the end I was constrained by the ambassador's importunity to say that for more than ten years, in the absence of a public representative, the interests of the most serene republic had been entrusted to his Excellency of France, and I was not aware that my masters had ever been deceived in the handling of this affair, but they had thought fit to send their own minister for the advancement and conclusion of the same. For the rest any favours will always be grateful to your Excellencies, if they should be required. In this way I got out of it, but I am afraid that he may write something to his king, to offer and commit himself, as moreover he is trying to commit me in giving him a passport for the safety of his ship, which is taking Turks and military supplies to Candia, against your Serenity.

Pera of Constantinople, the 9th March, 1661.
[Italian; deciphered.]
March 9.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Spagna.
Venetian
Archives.
295. Giacomo Quirini, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.
The ambassador Fuendalsagna has also received instructions to keep a sharp look out for all negotiations which may pass between France and England by means of this marriage of Monsieur, as they are consumed here with extraordinary suspicion of the procedure of King Charles, since, in addition to the public announcements of the transactions with Portugal significant advices arrive from every quarter which may easily upset the good relations between these two kings. Thus Caracena has sent a courier with the news that the garrison of Dunkirk has by armed force destroyed a bridge which had been thrown over on the Nieuport side with the consent of the English themselves. The latter say that they do not want so much friendliness or so much communication with the Spanish soldiers.
In London also the merchants of the Levant Company have been very importunate with the king to procure the restitution of those two ships which were taken by the Majorcans and Biscayans last year, (fn. 3) claiming that they should be comprised in the peace, although several sentences have been delivered in Spain to the contrary, and the cargoes divided among many and dispersed, so that the business will prove a very thorny one, the more so because the value is appraised and increased to a million and a half of pieces of eight.
In the midst of these crises and accidents Sir [Henry] Benet, the Resident of England, has taken leave of the Court. This step, at short notice, though long foreseen, has not created a good impression and does not serve to still talk and reflections on such an occasion, despite the assurances from King Charles of his constancy and goodwill towards the Catholic crown. He has gone so far as personally to ask money of the Ambassador Batteville (arrivato lui stesso a dimandare denaro all' ambasciatore Battevilla). But the Council of Spain resolves nothing and everything is held up in its execution. Nevertheless, with some wisdom, they have refused the command of the sea to Prince Rupert, the tribunal of the Inquisition having opposed it strongly with papers and with counsel.
Madrid, the 9th March.
[Italian.]
March 11.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
296. Francesco Giavarina, Venetian Resident in England, to the Doge and Senate.
Every one is most eager to see the issue of the negotiations of the ministers of Spain and Portugal here, which keep the whole Court agog and which do not admit the interference of any other. The Portuguese has not as yet performed his public entry for the reasons given already, and for these he will always let such formalities go, the more so because he has known how to insinuate himself, by cash or otherwise, with the leading ministers, who if not openly Presbyterians lean most to that party, and has so far succeeded that he sees the king privately whenever he wishes, either at the palace or at the chancellor's house. Last Sunday he had a conference there with his Majesty and that wise and astute minister, of several hours, of which one cannot learn the issue. In addition to his business of engaging this crown to maintain and support his master Braganza, chiefly by the marriage with the Infanta, it seems that he has endeavoured to induce the king to offer his mediation for the differences between the Portuguese and the Dutch. It is stated that he has gained this point and they say that his Majesty has notified the ambassadors of the States here of his intention and charged them to inform their masters. From this announcement the vulgar venture to augur a happy issue to the negotiations of the Portuguese. But no one can say that it has gone so far or assert anything positively at this Court where the inclement weather renders all men inconstant and wavering, and everything is subject to change even after a decision, and nothing can be considered as established even after ratification.
The Catholic ambassador Batteville grieves to see the Portuguese have such easy access to the king's presence, and the king himself relishes it but slightly, but as he is not absolute, depending entirely on the ministers, he can do no other but oblige them, at least by hearing the proposals of Portugal. His Majesty's own disposition towards Spain could not be better, but the considerations of the ministers supported by the interests of state, which do not want a Spain restored to her former power by the consequences that might ensue therefrom, leave every resolution in the balance so that no one knows what to predict.
Added to this are the private interests of the chancellor; seeing that Bristol, a man of wit and finesse, has gone to Parma with the objects indicated, from a suspicion that he may ingratiate himself with the future queen to unseat him, more especially as Bristol is a Catholic. He fears and foresees his fall and in spite of the fact that he showed himself to be for Parma after many discussions on the matter, he has now changed his mind and supports the other to confuse the business and drag it out, not because he wishes either that the king should marry her, on the score of religion but because he would like to see his Majesty wifeless or cause him to marry a subject, believing that in this way his own position will be more firm and stable. Some moreover assert that the report of the mediation of England between Holland and Portugal is an invention of the chancellor to alarm the Catholic minister, who believes it false, especially as it would be an infraction of the present peace between this country and Spain, in which there is an article stating clearly that the enemies of either party shall not be supported in any manner whatsoever by either of them.
Meanwhile Batteville labours with the king and the ministers to disappoint Braganza and his holding before their eyes the rupture that would ensue with the Spaniards if England should unite with Portugal and espouse her interests against those of his master, serves as a drag and delay to the accomplishment of these curious and important negotiations, which merit the attention of all.
The earl of Bristol's arrival at Brussels is known and he will have left by now to continue his journey to Parma, where it will be easier for your Serenity to discover the kernel of his transactions which are guarded here with the most severe secrecy. Nevertheless on his arrival in Italy everything will come out and if the marriage with Parma takes place, as seems likely, it looks as if the projects and negotiations of Portugual would fall through.
The Baron d'Alefeldt, ambassador extraordinary of Denmark, having terminated successfully his negotiations at this Court, touching maritime affairs and confirming the alliance between the two crowns, he recently took leave of the king and the Court and left these last days for the Low Countries, on his way back to his master to give him an account of his transactions. I saw him before he started, for the usual courtesies, and asked him to support your Serenity's instances at his Court when he got back. He promised to do so, professing the best intentions for the interests of Christendom and a peculiar respect for the republic.
Prince Maurice of Nassau, ambassador extraordinary of Brandenburg, accompanied by Weisman, the Elector's chancellor, who forms part of that embassy, has recently arrived in England and this evening the king sent to Gravesend to fetch him; to-morrow he will enter London. (fn. 4) After performing the duties for which he comes they say he will go, leaving here the said chancellor as ambassador to negotiate an alliance and many other affairs with this crown, on which I will keep a close watch, to inform the Senate.
The ambassador extraordinary of Florence, the Marchese Salviati will also soon be in England as he is now at Amsterdam, and a ship of war is leaving here to-day to fetch him from those shores. Besides compliments on his Majesty's return we do not hear that his coming has any other objects. Count Collalto, the emperor's envoy, will also appear in London soon as we hear that he was in Flanders on the point of embarking. At his arrival I shall call upon him and will proceed jointly with the offices, as instructed. The Senate will be informed in detail of all that happens.
London, the 11th March, 1661.
[Italian.]
March 12.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Corti.
Venetian
Archives.
297. To the Ambassador in France.
Learn of the arrival in France of the Queen of England with the princess, her daughter. He is to visit the queen and to wish her a pleasant journey and arrival at that Court.
Ayes, 109. Noes, 1. Neutral, 4.
[Italian.]
March 12.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Corti.
Venetian
Archives.
298. To the Ambassador extraordinary, Quirini, in Spain.
You will take note of opinions concerning the affairs of Portugal, that it would be better for Christendom to postpone that enterprise to some other and better occasion, employing for the moment all their forces against the common enemy.
Ayes, 109. Noes, 1. Neutral, 4.
[Italian.]
March 12.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Corti.
Venetian
Archives.
299. To the Resident in England.
Acknowledge his letters, No. 277. Are sure that on the arrival of Count Collalto he will cooperate with him. With regard to the request of the Resident of Denmark for Gilbert Kuffler, the matter is referred to the Proveditori di Commun. In the mean time he is to inform the Resident of the state's desire to give him every satisfaction.
That the matter touching the request of Gilbert Kuffler be referred to the Proveditori di Commun, to report thereupon in accordance with the laws.
Ayes, 114. Noes, 1. Neutral, 4.
[Italian.]
March 16.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Spagna.
Venetian
Archives.
300. Giacomo Quirini, Venetian Ambassador extraordinary in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.
The behaviour of the English is so inconstant and variable that their lordships here are unable to touch bottom, or find out what can be the end of their negotiations begun in so many parts. In the present week letters have arrived from that monarch in which he pledges himself clearly not to consent to the marriage with Braganza or to the offers of the Portuguese, as he desires nothing better than good friendship and perfect correspondence between the kingdoms of Spain and England. On the strength of these royal assurances they decided in the Council of State to send letters of credit to London for 200,000 pieces of eight, for the purpose of buying the greedy ministers there and also to make some attempt for the restitution of the fortresses, which matter so greatly to this crown. Accordingly they applied themselves to make the necessary assignment to merchants for the amount in question, but no one is willing to contract still less to answer to the proposals which affect money.
On the other hand the Ambassador Batteville reports that one of the commissioners deputed for him by the government, rendered cheerful or heated by wine at one of the frequent banquets which are held with magnificence at his house, said that the English could take advantage in every possible way with Spain since King Charles felt certain that they would not lose the trade with the dominions of the Catholic, this point being so well adjusted that the Spaniards would not alter what had been settled in the very articles of the peace.
Don Luigi resents this excessive confidence and is looking for a way out. He introduces negotiation but so far without profit, unless gold overcomes all the difficulties in a single day.
The Resident of England has not yet left. The delay is due to dispatches of the secretariat of State which are being held up designedly, to get better resolutions and reap the benefit of time.
Yet from Lisbon public reports of the correspondence with England still persist and to this is added the news of a forced march of the Portuguese army to the frontier.
Madrid, the 16th March, 1661.
[Italian.]
March 16.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Milano.
Venetian
Archives.
301. Thadio Vico, Venetian secretary at Milan, to the Doge and Senate.
Delay in the remittances from Naples for the embarking of the troops for Spain. In this connection pressure has been renewed by the king upon the Viceroy of Naples to have these troops available before the Portuguese are more strongly reinforced, as they have serious misgivings that if the marriage between a sister of Braganza and the king of England should be arranged, the latter might give the former considerable help by sea, and this with the assistance which the Moors and France render them secretly, would render the reconquest of that country more difficult for the Spaniards.
Milan, the 16th March, 1661.
[Italian.]
March 18.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
302. Francesco Giavarina, Venetian Resident in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The affair of the marriage of the king here to one of the sisters of the duke of Parma, in spite of all the caution and circumspection with which it has been projected and conducted by the Spanish ambassador Batteville, who for many weeks has kept it secret, solely to oblige the king, who bound him to it, when for the rest it was to his advantage that it should be published, with corresponding lack of consideration has been revealed to all in the present week, and now one hears nothing else discussed in all the city. The revelation originated with the chancellor who, moved by the reasons reported, has by his importunity with the king succeeded in getting the earl of Bristol recalled, pointing out that this is not a business to enter upon in such haste, and thus while making a show of advancing the interests of his master, he studies to secure his own and to render his present authority, which is absolute and despotic, as durable as possible.
At the same time as he delays this of Parma he seems to support the other of Portugal, especially as the offers of the minister of Braganza increase every day, holding out to this nation great advantages in the Indies. But if he succeeds in breaking off the first entirely, he will without difficulty bring to nought the other as well, as he cannot benefit except by keeping the king as long as possible without a wife, bemusing him the while with considerations of scant depth and substance merely to divert him and make him think of other things than marriage. The marriage which he has made for his daughter with the duke of York and the son they already have are sufficient motives to make it quite clear how far he may desire and facilitate his Majesty's marriage, without adding any further reasons.
The Catholic ambassador is distressed at seeing the cards so mixed up and whereas at first he hoped for a good issue to his negotiations, he does not now know what to expect. He also makes public the affair of Parma and Bristol's mission, adding that it happened with the chancellor's consent. He protests openly that if they do not abandon Portugal and send away Mello, the minister of Braganza, by virtue of the articles of the peace between this country and his master, he will withdraw from the Court and will declare war. Under their breath all cry out against the chancellor, and all, desiring the continuance of the friendship with Spain, seem anxious to see the king married to the princess of Parma, especially as the Catholic adopts her as his own daughter, with a dowry equivalent to what the king of France had, the cash being already at Paris in the hands of merchants, who can, at a moment's notice, have it sent to London in notes of exchange. So all agree that it would be better for his Majesty to receive effective money here in his own house from the hands of his subjects than to trust to the immense offers of Portugal, when it is doubtful in any case if he can fulfil his promises and whether he will pay in cash or in spices and other commodities of the Indies. No one can discover what will happen, so it must be left to time to ripen this great fruit which is so universally desired.
Meanwhile the Spanish ambassador has despatched a courier to Madrid with a full account of all the alterations, which will doubtless appear very strange to that Court, especially as the king here had given Batteville his word for the marriage of Parma and for everything that could be wished to the advantage of his master, to which end Bristol was sent off, charged by his Majesty to pursue his journey with all diligence, so it is believed that by now he will have reached Parma. Those who desire that marriage hope that the person sent after him to prevent his starting from Brussels will not have reached him. More will be known soon. I will keep the Senate informed.
A courier who arrived on Sunday night from Paris brought word of the death of cardinal Mazarini, generally regretted by all. (fn. 5) To offer condolences to the Most Christian king they are about to despatch a gentleman express from London, who will proceed post to Paris. Another has been despatched recently to Princess Henrietta with some jewels which her brother the king here is sending as a present to her Highness, with the intention that they shall arrive in time for the celebration of her nuptials with the Most Christian's brother, which is understood to be fixed for St. Joseph's day, so the consummation will soon be announced.
The ambassadors extraordinary of Brandenburg entered London on Saturday. They had their first audience on Tuesday and are now engaged in receiving and paying visits. Very soon they will apply themselves to the business for which they have come, which they will not be able to accomplish with speed at this Court, which is the most tedious and tiresome in the world.
London, the 18th March, 1661.
[Italian.]
March 19.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Genova.
Venetian
Archives.
303. Paris Tasca, Venetian Consul at Genoa, to the Doge and Senate.
The Genoese convoy arrived in port yesterday. We learn that the Barbary corsairs had taken, outside the Strait of Gibraltar a ship with wheat for the service of Spain, and another of Lisbon was chased and had to run itself aground. From the rich English ship Rainbow they took all its goods, treating the crew roughly, and afterwards let it go free.
Genoa, the 19th March, 1661.
[Italian.]
March 22.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
304. Alvise Grimani, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
The 16th having been fixed for the public entry of Lord Germen, the ambassador extraordinary of England, I sent to Count Fuendalsagna to say that I proposed to send my coaches, as it would seem strange not to do so and asked that there should be some royal decree to prevent disorder. He agreed as to the necessity of sending coaches and imagined that it would not lead to any disturbance. Accordingly I sent my coach on the day in question, ordering my esquire not to give place to the Spanish ambassador. Brawls followed about the coaches of the duchess of Nemours, of Savoy and others, so the coaches of the Spanish ambassador and mine returned to the city by another way. Next morning I sent to the English ambassador to explain. He sent word back that as a lady was concerned it would be as well to proceed somewhat mildly. He declared that he would never appear here again in public functions, and His Majesty's ambassadors in other Courts might encourage similar incidents. He said that he would follow my advice, so that we might act together and enquired whether we should give his Majesty an account of the matter and ask for a ruling. I said I thought some opportunity should be taken to speak to the king.
The Count himself came to tell me that the king had expressed regret at the disorder and had sent to tell the duchess not to take part any more with the coaches of princes, and that, in any case, the coaches of ambassadors should have precedence. I thanked him and commended his Majesty's admirable justice. I rejoiced at the good work thus performed by him, which would draw down on his head the blessings of all his successors, and which would secure quiet for all the ambassadors in such functions for the future, to the eternal glory of his name. I did not forget to suggest to him that if this decree could be issued in writing, it would be the better established and obeyed for ever. The suggestion of mine pleased him and he said he would get it done.
Paris, the 22nd March, 1661.
[Italian.]
March 23.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Spagna.
Venetian
Archives.
305. Giacomo Quirini, Venetian Ambassador extraordinary in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.
Fear of Mazarin's death. Such an accident upsets the arrangements for the war of Portugal, there being a party among the councillors of state who are not disposed to disarm Flanders, since it would always prove fatal to the interests of the crown of Spain, the more so because permission was given to the six Irish regiments and to the company of guard of the duke of York, of 150 horse, who used to serve the king of England, to proceed to Dunkirk, where the garrison was increased in this way by over 4000 men. The Marquis of Caracena says that he has punctually obeyed orders in this matter but adds a report that they are adding to the fortifications at that place, and are erecting fresh magazines for munitions of war. Matters may turn out eventually in accordance with the treaties, but appearances indicate the contrary to all the hopes that have been conceived.
Nevertheless the resident of England, in these last days before his departure, protests and promises that his king will make no change in the friendship and good correspondence that exist between the two countries and if the fortress of Dunkirk is carefully defended it is all in respect of the greater security and reputation of King Charles, because extravagance in the matter of religion, whether true or false, is on the increase in England, being swollen with blood.
Accordingly they are waiting with impatience to hear what positive reply the ambassador of Braganza will have received from the king of England about the marriage with the Infanta of Portugal, the Catholic ambassador writing that up to that day by means of his offices he had delayed and obstructed a date for his first public audience, but he could not promise himself to put off for very much longer seeing that Melo has sufficient backing at Court to achieve so reasonable an accommodation.
Madrid, the 23rd March, 1661.
Postscript: a courier from Paris has arrived with news of the death of Cardinal Mazarin.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
March 25.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
306. Francesco Giavarina, Venetian Resident in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The Spanish ambassador Batteville made such vigorous and searching remonstrances that the ministers here were alarmed and the affair is now so well in train, thanks to the manipulation of his excellency, that whereas it recently seemed doubtful and shaky there is now good reason to hope for a fortunate issue conformable to the wishes of the promoter. The announcement of an inevitable rupture with Spain if England espoused the interests of Portugal to her disadvantage has opened the eyes of the ministers here so effectively that reflecting on the irreparable mischief that would result to the nation with the total destruction of that trade which serves to nourish the people and to render the crown strong and formidable they have moderated their first ardour and at present seem more mild and affable.
The king insisted on a reconciliation between Batteville and the chancellor, who was the one to make the most fuss and displayed the greatest rancour and animosity against the ambassador, declaring that there would be no breach with Spain even if they assisted Portugal openly, all to discredit the baron's statements. The chancellor being at the moment confined to his house, suffering from the gout, the king went there on Sunday accompanied by the duke of York and the ambassador. There a long conference was held between them. The baron made known the truth of all that had passed about the marriage with Parma, pointing out, to the chancellor's face, the reasons for his present opposition after he had agreed to Bristol's journey and to every other step in the matter. He also touched on many other points which the chancellor did not wish to be made known.
This has served to make them friends and to render this influential minister more favourable towards the Catholic, the more so because he observes the merchants and all the people inclined to Spain and entirely opposed to his inventions as they all see clearly that these tend only to his private satisfaction and to the prejudice not only of the crown but of the whole kingdom; so that with good relations between them business runs smoothly and it is hoped that the issue will be in accordance with the Catholic's desires, particularly as the ambassador, seeing that no progress can be made without money, pours it out on those who seem most greedy of it, and by every means studies to carry his point.
It is known that the orders sent to the earl of Bristol at Brussels, to make him stay in Flanders until further instructions, which went by the ordinary and not by an express, did not arrive in time, as he reached Brussels on the 4th and proceeded on the 5th on his journey to Parma with all speed, so it is believed that by now he will have been there some days and everyone is eagerly awaiting news of his negotiations, which cannot be long delayed.
Ten powerful ships of war are being prepared here with great energy to put to sea as soon as possible, though their destination is so far hidden from all. Some say they are to be sent to the Mediterranean to abate the pride of the Barbary corsairs and especially those of Algiers as they have not been able to confirm the peace made with the Divan by the Ambassador Winchelsea when he landed there on his way to Constantinople. The infidels protest that if his Majesty here does not, within six months, accord them the peace with the clause which they desire, to wit, the right to search English ships and remove any goods or other things which they find belonging to foreigners, they will make war on England and engage in hostilities against English subjects. As the six months expire next May and his Majesty is determined not to consent to such indecent and ignominious terms there is good reason to hope that a quarrel will break out between this country and those barbarians and the fire may then spread, to the benefit of the interests of Christendom which the most serene republic has supported for so many years. Merchants who foresee how easily this may happen are cast down, and thinking only of their private gain would grant the Turks what they ask, as was done shamefully in Cromwell's time with Tunis and Tripoli. God grant that they be disappointed and I will do my best with the ministers, pointing out the advantage of abasing the pride of those barbarians who pretend to dominate the whole world.
Others think that the squadron is destined for the East Indies, to hold the balance between Portugal and the Dutch, for as the chancellor has received great presents from the minister of Braganza, he is bound to respond in some way, and after getting the king to offer mediation, which has undoubtedly been done, he wishes to make a show of supporting their interests in some way. So if the squadron is really intended for the Indies it will only be to bridle the Dutch. The Catholic ambassador by no means regrets this, his only care being that the interests of Braganza shall not be assisted in Portugal, for once that country has been regained by his master the Indies also would fall in time, no matter in whose hands they might be. The true plan for this armament will soon be divulged and shall be duly reported to the Senate.
In Holland the States also are arming two numerous and powerful squadrons of warships, one for the Ocean, the other for the Mediterranean; the first to assist and watch events, the second to protect merchantmen from the piracies of the Turks by whom they are daily molested. Thus only recently the Barbary corsairs have taken 6 or 7 Dutch sail proceeding to the coasts of Portugal to lade salt. So it is to be hoped that the intolerable pride of the infidels may one day exhaust the patience of all the Christian powers of Europe and that they will unite to extirpate these inhuman enemies of Christendom, to the relief of my poor country.
For his Majesty's coronation, the day for which has been confirmed by public proclamation this week, they are hastening the necessary preparations, which will certainly be the richest and most stately possible. Eight days before there will take place at Windsor the installation of the knights of the Order of St. George, which will also be magnificent. After all these ceremonies a new parliament will be summoned, appointed for the 8th May and then it is believed that the king will think about despatching ambassadors and other ministers to foreign princes, to correspond to the missions sent here. Before that time there is no sign of any one being appointed for any Court, especially as cash is not superabundant.
As opportunities present themselves I do not fail to keep alive the question of help for your Serenity, but I see and hear nothing but words, the usual expressions of good will entirely destitute of effect. On the arrival of Count Collalto I will not fail to press the matter, but it is much to be feared that he will not now come to England since we hear that he is in a high fever in Flanders with little hope of his life. After all his stay in that province waiting an opportunity to cross the Ocean, everyone was eager to see him arrive, but yesterday the English Resident at Brussels reached the Court bringing the news just mentioned, which causes general sorrow.
In obedience to the ducali of the 26th February I have told the ministers and Galileo about the ransom of his son and the payment of his credits. But Galileo shows letters from his agent at Venice saying that he has made every effort to get a sum together, but in vain, and sees no hope of a happy issue, so the poor old man implores relief from your Serenity, so frequently promised, and he has then been put off with words with which he cannot satisfy the heavy debts he has incurred through his son's misfortune, suffered in the public service.
London, the 25th March, 1661.
[Italian.]
March 26.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Corti.
Venetian
Archives.
307. To the Ambassador extraordinary in Spain.
The advanced negotiations with respect to the marriage of Braganza's sister with the king of England call for the closest attention, because the opinion sent to the Court by Medina Celi might serve as a great stimulus to the king's Council to take up the point and afford you an opportunity to insinuate, if it is adopted, how great an advantage it would be to the common cause, as indeed has been frequently represented to the ministers, for with the commitments of Portugal at an end, the Catholic could devote himself to it with all his might. The question is important and delicate, worthy of your closest attention both for itself and for the consequences.
Ayes, 121. Noes, 1. Neutral, 6.
[Italian.]
March 26.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Corti.
Venetian
Archives.
308. To the Resident in England.
Regret his indisposition and are glad that he is better. Have received news of the good reception of the English ambassador at Constantinople by the Grand Vizier. For the transport of troops to Candia the Turks have laid violent hands on two English merchantmen, which with others and some galleys are to conduct to that kingdom the aforesaid troops and munitions. If such abuses should continue great mischief will be done not only to the republic but to all Christendom, so it will be his duty to represent in a suitable manner how prejudicial this is and to endeavour to move the king's piety to give such orders to his minister as may be considered necessary in order to prevent so great a scandal.
Ayes, 121. Noes, 1. Neutral, 6.
[Italian.]
March 28.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Costantinopoli.
Venetian
Archives.
309. Giovanni Battista Ballarino, Venetian Secretary to the Porte, to the Doge and Senate.
The English ambassador having got through his complimentary visits has started on his business with the Vizier. This consists in demands for the release of English slaves detained in Barbary. He protests loudly against those corsairs and declares that the disturbance and injury caused to England by their insolence cannot be endured any longer. The Vizier told him that this contumacious and licentious people pays no attention and does not obey even the Porte itself. Then, rejoined the ambassador, leave my king free with his plan to rid himself of this plague. No reply was given to this, but on the following day a chiaus was sent to the house of his Excellency and left word that the Vizier wished him not to write a word to London about the matter of the Barbareschi, because he promised to have all the captains of the ships of Algiers, Tunis and Biserta which come here put in chains, and he will not let them go until the crown of England is satisfied in this respect. The ambassador accepted this. He told it to me himself and said he had confirmation from the Mufti.
His Excellency asked for the release of five Englishmen who have been made slaves in this war with your Serenity, one of them a captain. The reply was very long in coming and the ambassador made sure that he would not get satisfaction. But yesterday an olacco arrived from Smyrna bringing word that the English ship sent from here with men and munitions for Canea had punctually carried out its obligations. The Vizier sent at once for the Dragoman Draperis and expressing his appreciation of the ambassador's sincerity, granted him the liberty of two of these slaves, one of whom is the captain in question, (fn. 6) promising every other reasonable favour if they promptly respond to the wishes of the Porte in any future occasion when they wish to make use of ships of that nation. The ambassador was silent with me upon this last point, but he kindly communicated to me all the rest. I have also heard on excellent authority that two chiaus who left here for Barbary with orders to have galleys and ships sent to these waters, have embarked at Smyrna on an English frigate with a special commission from his lordship.
The ambassador told me that he was attached
(molto tenuto) to the Most Excellent Procurator Corner, (fn. 7) who lived in a palace of his when he was ambassador in London. He said he was doing his best to prevent the coming here of a new ambassador or other minister of his Most Christian Majesty. He had placed so many obstacles in the way and put forward such strong representations that he hoped he had achieved his intent. This is a matter that also concerns his own interests as in this way he would arrive at constituting himself the patron and director of the affairs of Christendom, of mercantile business at the marts, and in accrediting himself with the Turks, obtaining advantages, disposing of the Holy places of Jerusalem, of which he announces that he wishes to be the particular protector, and in the end to bring about after his own fashion the peace with the most serene republic, in the way that best suits himself.
Pera of Constantinople, the 28th March, 1661.
[Italian; deciphered.]
March 29.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
310. Alvise Grimani, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
After the return of the Queen of England I thought it proper to ask for an audience. I was received the day before yesterday, as well as the other foreign ministers. I offered condolences on the loss of the Princess Royal and congratulations on the recovery of the other princess, as well as upon the king's return amid universal acclamations. This had been brought about by God for the advantage of Christendom, so that he should afford help against the Turk, who was making great efforts for the next campaign against the most serene republic.
The queen replied that it had pleased God to deal her heavy blows, as after the loss of the duke of Gloucester one daughter had been snatched away and the other dangerously ill and she was disturbed by her strong feelings over a marriage that was neither of sufficient rank nor suitable, although she ought not to complain about this. She spoke of the king's affection for the most serene republic and said that he would show it by deeds when the state of affairs allowed. I thanked her Majesty and spoke of the ambassadors extraordinary who were going to renew the ancient friendship enjoyed with his Majesty's predecessors.
After the English ambassador had left the palace of the ambassadors extraordinary, he went to that of the Cardinal, where the queen of England is now dwelling. I went to pay him my respects. He seemed very pleased because I was the first of the ambassadors to call. He assured me of the king's good intentions. He had sent an ambassador to the Porte because he could not permit or suffer one who had been sent by his rebels. He had a great aversion for the Turks, but from many respects he was obliged not to show it. Although Cromwell was a great hell cat (helecato) he had, at all events, made treaties with the Barbareschi very advantageous for the English and the king would wish to obtain better or at least that what had been granted should be maintained and conserved. But if after some time his Majesty should really find himself in the quiet and peaceful possession of his realms and with an absolute certainty of the loyalty of all his subjects, he might do much for the service of your Excellencies.
I told him that the king was already firmly established and the rebels punished and he could not perform an action more great and glorious than that of succouring the most serene republic, which relied on him more than anyone else. He could do it in a thousand ways, openly or covertly, whichever pleased him best, knowing well as he does what a misfortune it is for a prince to see himself despoiled by force and tyranny of his own dominions.
He promised every good office and went on to speak of Portugal, of which he said the reports circulated were false, and he did not believe that his king would ever unite himself with the Portuguese in an alliance, which would mean involving himself in a great war of enormous consequences with the Spaniards, although here much is said on the subject.
Paris, the 29th March, 1661.
[Italian.]
March 29.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
311. Alvise Grimani, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
Last Saturday a courier arrived from England with the latest terms for the dowry and for the marriage articles of the princess with Monsieur and soon afterwards came the one back from Rome with the dispensation, so with everything settled the same courier has been sent back to London with this report, to obtain powers for signing the treaty, it having been discovered that the ambassador's powers were not sufficient. However, the queen has promised that if the courier is not back before Thursday she herself will sign the paper and promise that the king, her son, will ratify it. The dowry was of 500,000 francs, and with an augmentation of a further 250,000 it will amount to 750,000.
Paris, the 29th March, 1661.
[Italian.]
March 30.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Spagna.
Venetian
Archives.
312. Giacomo Quirini, Venetian Ambassador extraordinary in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.
In the course of a conversation with Don Luis the minister said to me: The present war diverts our attention from everything … The conquest of Portugal has already been published a war of religion and not of state because the tyrant Braganza, in addition to all the shameful proposals which they offer to the king of England for the marriage, has bound himself for the House of Braganza not to marry, so that, leaving no posterity, Portugal may be united to England, and one of Spain's own limbs torn away from her and those people for ever separated from the bosom of the Church after being conquered with the blood of the Spaniards and upheld for so many years.
Madrid, the 30th March, 1661.
[Italian.]

Footnotes

1 On 14–24 February Monk's regiment of foot mustered at Tower Hill, where they laid down their arms, and at once took them up again, forming the Coldstream Guards. Fortescue: History of the British Army Vol. i, page 290.
2 Winchelsea sailed in the Plymouth. Bendish embarked for England on 10–20 March.
3 The Reformation and Free Trade. At the Court of the Levant Co. on 20 February, note was taken of a demand by Bennet for 100l. for his charges in connection with those ships. Levant Co. Court Book, S.P. For. Archives Vol. 152 f. 15.
4 John Maurice, Prince of Nassau Siegen and Daniel Weiman. Their letters of credence dated at Cleves 10 February, 1661. S.P. For. Germany, States.
5 He died on 9 March, at Vincennes.
6 This must be Thomas Galilee, captain of the Relief. In a letter of 6–16 April Winchelsea says he has obtained the release of three slaves, but gives no names. Hist. MSS. Comm. Finch Papers Vol. i, page 110.
7 Presumably he means Anzolo Correr, ambassador in England 1634–7. No member of the Cornaro family had ever been ambassador to England up to this time.