Venice
May 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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285-295

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'Venice: May 1661', Calendar of State Papers Relating to English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 32: 1659-1661 (1931), pp. 285-295. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=90068 Date accessed: 23 October 2014.


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May 1661

May 3.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
339. Alvise Grimani, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
The English ambassador called upon me the other day. He said that although there was much talk about the marriage with Portugal, it was certain that nothing had been settled, and for his own part he did not believe that it would come to pass. He went on to speak of what had happened to the English consul at Aleppo. He said he thought his king would show his resentment. I encouraged this idea on the ground of reputation and interest, saying that the Turks and the corsairs were one, so strongly united that to do any good it was necessary to give them both a thrashing. He replied that the king regretted that he was not in a position to do what he would wish, but he will do all that his power admits.
Paris, the 3rd May, 1661.
[Italian.]
May 6.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
340. Francesco Giavarina, Venetian Resident in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The ceremonies reported having been performed last week, his Majesty's coronation has been accomplished this week, so desired by his subjects, with all possible splendour and decorum, no one sparing his money to make it exceptional and memorable for ages to come, and it was certainly the most conspicuous solemnity that has ever been seen in this realm. On Sunday evening the earl of Clarendon proceeded from the palace to the Tower to order all the things necessary for the reception of the king, who was to move thither on the following day, as he did, going early incognito, by the river. After staying there a space he proceeded in solemn cavalcade to Whitehall, attended by all the peers, grandees and officials of the realm, richly attired, traversing the whole city, which was decorated in the most delightful manner, a number of triumphal arches being set up in the streets at which they have laboured for many months, and in which his Majesty was entertained on his passage by music, discourses and other recreations at the cost of the companies of London and of private individuals who have left nothing undone to show their zeal and love for their sovereign. The day ended with bonfires in every corner of the city and the most abundant evidence of rejoicing and consolation.
The next day, Tuesday, the king proceeded in solemn procession from the palace to the church of Westminster, where in the presence of the peers of the realm, in parliamentary dress, the judges and other magistrates, he was consecrated and crowned with the customary formalities by the archbishop of Canterbury, assisted by other leading bishops, who performed the function with all punctuality and diligence. The foreign ministers were present, except the ambassadors of Portugal and Holland; the former because of the Spanish minister, and the others because of the extraordinaries of Brandenburg. The ceremony ended with the firing of all the guns and the scattering of much gold and silver money, and with great satisfaction to the people. There were more bonfires which were repeated on Wednesday, all men vieing with each other to express their satisfaction with the solemnity, which passed without the slightest disorder and amid universal admiration, both of the natives and of foreigners, who were present in great numbers.
His Majesty rested all day Wednesday being very tired by the efforts of the preceding days. Yesterday morning, in the park adjoining this metropolis (fn. 1) he held a general review of all his guards and after dinner he received the congratulations of the foreign ministers, among whom, at a special public audience I performed my part with remarks suitable to the occasion, at which his Majesty seemed pleased, thanking me with repeated assurances of his regard for the republic and his desire for the continuance of friendship and correspondence.
In these festivities there has been a general display of the most magnificent liveries and of rich and sumptuous clothing as can be imagined, some covered with pearls, diamonds and other precious stones. The foreign ministers have also consumed a quantity of gold, especially the Spanish ambassador who must have spent over 3000l. sterling. I also have had to make an appearance and spend, and with the utmost care, with coaches, liveries, clothes, gratuities and bonfires for three nights I have expended 215l. sterling, a trifle in comparison with the others, especially Denmark and Sweden, who are equal to me in character, it being my aim to do all with decorum but as moderately as possible. I report this in accordance with the Senate's instructions of the 31st December, hoping that the burden will not be allowed to fall upon me and that I may enjoy the usual liberality of your Excellencies. Sig. Lorenzo Tiepolo, who has seen what I have done for the public decorum, added greater lustre to the greatness of the Senate by an appearance worthy of his nobility and his house which has always spent lavishly in the public service. Count Gio. Vidman also honoured me with his presence and rendered the representation more noteworthy.
Having pressed for the king's orders about the ships serving the Turks, considering this better than waiting for the secretary to write, which might easily be forgotten amid more important affairs, I have just obtained the attached letter for the earl of Winchelsea, which I hope will produce the desired effect. To get it from the secretariat I had to pay 10l. sterling, which is the usual fee for the royal seal in matters of this character, prescribed in a public tariff for all to see, which serves to enrich the secretaries in a short space. As the expense is extraordinary I ask permission to enter it in my accounts.
London, the 6th May, 1661.
[Italian.]
Enclosure.341. Charles R. (fn. 2)
Right trusty and well beloved cousin: We greet you well. Being given to understand by a late complaint from the Resident of Venice that two ships belonging to certain of our subjects and lying in the ports of the Grand Seigneur have been gained and won upon by the Turks to transport men and ammunition for the supply and recruit of their army in Candia, and considering of what dangerous consequence such disorders might prove, not only to the state of Venice, our good ally, but to all Christendom if not timely redressed, we have thought good by these our letters to signify our royal pleasure in that part unto you, willing you upon receipt hereof to use your best endeavour that the two ships may be, if possible, obliged to return and quit the said lading of men and ammunition, and that all due care be for the future taken to prevent inconveniences of that nature. And hereof you are not to fail. And so we bid you heartily farewell. Given at our Court at Whitehall the 26th day of April in the 13th year of our reign, 1661.
[Copy; English, with an Italian translation.]
May 7.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Corti.
Venetian
Archives.
342. To the Resident in England.
Hear of the arrival at that Court of Lorenzo Thiepolo and Count Giovanni Vidman. With the occasion of a Dutch ship which is sailing from this port in a few days' time, are despatching to Amsterdam the two gondolas for the king of England, with two of the gondoliers who are to remain with them in that city to wait for the other furnishings which will be sent at some other opportunity, as they are not yet ready, so that all may subsequently be transported together.
Learn from Genoa that the earl of Bristol, being summoned to England, immediately asked the government there for a galley to take him to Provence, which was granted; leaving a report that he had to be in London for the nomination of the new parliament.
Ayes, 122. Noes, 2. Neutral, 0.
[Italian.]
May 7.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Corti.
Venetian
Archives.
343. The Senate has learned from the papers of the Rason Vecchie what has been done about the building of two gondolas for the king of England, and about engaging gondoliers. As a Dutch ship is about to set sail for Amsterdam, that the said ministry be directed to arrange for that ship to take the gondolas, to wait for the rest of the equipment and to send two of the gondoliers with 150 ducats each, to remain with the gondolas at Amsterdam until the rest of the goods arrive, with assurance of the public munificence, in case of servitude. The Proveditori shall have liveries made for them as they see fit, with due consideration for the climate and the difference between first and second gondoliers.
That the Conservatore del deposito in the Mint pay 300 ducats to the magistracy of the Rason Vecchie, to pay to the said gondoliers.
Ayes, 122. Noes, 2. Neutral, 1.
[Italian.]
May 7.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Firenze.
Venetian
Archives.
344. Domenico Vico, Venetian Resident at Florence, to the Doge and Senate.
Upon the news of the embarcation of the earl of Bristol on a galley of Genoa, recalled with all speed by his king, it is said that although he left a report among the Genoese that he had to be in London in time for the nomination of parliament, this is all a pretence and as a matter of fact Bristol was ordered to return speedily for the advancement of the affair of the marriage with the Infanta of Portugal. They have learned here chiefly from a confidant of Bristol himself, that he said that having treated on slender foundations for the marriage between the princess of Parma and his king, the latter in the end cannot turn to any other party than Portugal. The Grand Duke and his Court however maintain that this cannot happen so easily, and they are waiting to see what time will bring.
They are expecting the return of the Marquis Salviati, their ambassador. They speak of the great honours accorded to him, but my confidant assures me secretly that they cannot actually be considered such, since it appears that the king there is not too well pleased with them here, because in the interests of the trade between England and the port of Leghorn in the time of Cromwell they cultivated an intimate friendship with him, beyond what they should.
Florence, the 7th May, 1661.
[Italian.]
May 13.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
345. Francesco Giavarina, Venetian Resident in England, to the Doge and Senate.
All business having slept for several weeks because of the functions reported, the consideration of the most important question has been resumed this week namely the marriage of his Majesty which is desired by his subjects as eagerly as the day of his coronation was awaited. At the beginning of the week the king notified all the privy councillors to proceed to the council the day before yesterday, and no one was absent. At that meeting were communicated all the proposals made to his Majesty by Spain and Portugal in the matter of the marriage. Many hours were spent in discussion and argument, but nothing was decided, the question being referred to a more opportune moment, it being the general opinion that nothing should be decided before the meeting of parliament, which is to begin next Wednesday the 8th May, English style. In the mean time while the minister of Braganza hopes and boasts publicly that he will surmount all difficulties and attain his end, the baron de Batteville shows corresponding wisdom cultivating his interests with those whom he considers the most difficult, chiefly the Presbyterians, and neglects no means to win them and get them for his side, so it seems likely that we shall soon see the end of the affair.
They have had news of the earl of Bristol from Milan, that he is returning to England, but nothing has come since and nothing can be learned of his negotiations with the duke of Parma. When he arrives at Court we shall learn more and I will inform the Senate.
Sir [Henry] Bennet who for several years has lived in Spain with the character of resident for the king of England, has recently returned to London, not only with the usual present from the Catholic, but with substantial help from thence. He brings no more than the hopes cherished by the Court of Madrid of the most perfect correspondence with that of London, of which we shall learn more shortly.
The Dutch continue suspicious of the arming of ships here, being unable to learn the real motive. There are various opinions about its destination, and although there can be no certainty, there are strong indications that a good part, if not the whole, will be sent to the Mediterranean, to protect the nation's merchantmen against the piracy of the Barbary corsairs by whose insolencies they are daily harassed. As the confirmation of the peace with Algiers has not taken place up to the moment, since the king here will not agree to the articles claimed by the Divan and as the limit of time expires in a few days it may be hoped that there will be a rupture with those infidels, which also will appear soon. Meanwhile I take every opportunity to incite them against those insolent and perfidious peoples.
From the ducali which reach me this week I see that the emperor is going to nominate another for this Court in place of Count Collalto. When he comes I will act as instructed. I also note the instructions with regard to the ambassador extraordinary of Genoa to this Court.
London, the 13th May, 1661.
[Italian.
May 14.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Corti.
Venetian
Archives.
346. To the Resident in England.
Very pleased to learn that he has carried out the order about ships being forced to serve the Turks, and of the king's promise to write to his ambassador at Constantinople. Enclose report received from the Grand Chancellor. Feel sure that he will have redoubled his offices not only with the king but with the secretary of state for the execution of the orders, being well aware of the importance of the matter in question. This is what they have to say in reply to his despatch. Acknowledge his letters of the 9th ult. just received.
Ayes, 112. Noes, 2. Neutral, 1.
[Italian.]
May 14.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Corti.
Venetian
Archives.
347. To the Resident at Florence.
As there are some goods and furnishings to be transmitted for the two gondolas already sent for the king of England, which are to be sent to Leghorn to be shipped there, he is to procure a passport from the Grand Duke for the free passage of the same, and forward it as soon as possible.
Ayes, 112. Noes, 2. Neutral, 1.
[Italian.]
May 18.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Milano.
Venetian
Archives.
348. Thadio Vico, Venetian Resident at Milan, to the Doge and Senate.
With respect to the marriage between England and Portugal the governor told me that as yet there is no certainty about breaking it off, but they are hopeful about it. It was necessary to wait to hear what happened after the arrival of the earl of Bristol at that Court and after the meeting of the new parliament. Meanwhile the one proposed with the empress only moves with laggard steps and it seems now that the one instituted by the Dutch for the princess of Nassau is making progress. The States at present are exerting themselves quite as much as the Spaniards to upset the affair with the Portuguese and the States have even arrived at making an advance on the 400,000 florins originally offered to an offer of 400,000l. sterling with the other closer connections with England of which I wrote. The governor ended by repeating that they would prefer an alliance with the Dutch to one with Portugal. Of the treaty with Saxony he said that England thought no more about it, but that the Elector there was inclined to ally himself with Savoy.
Milan, the 18th May, 1661.
[Italian.]
May 20.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
349. Francesco Giavarina, Venetian Resident in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The gold of Portugal has had such power at this Court over the most influential ministers that it has prevailed over that of Spain and secured for the duke of Braganza what he desired from this crown because at a fresh conference at the Council of State they decided on the marriage between his Majesty and the Infanta, the duke's sister, and have put the final touches to the other points which have been for a long while in negotiation by the Ambassador Mello.
On Wednesday the 8th May, the anniversary of his Majesty's proclamation on his return to London the new parliament assembled. The king with all the peers of the realm proceeded in a solemn cavalcade, after the manner of his ancestors from Whitehall to Westminster. Dismounting at the chapel after hearing a sermon and performing other religious rites according to the Anglican Church, he went up to the Upper House where he had the members of the Lower sent for and introduced. He made them a speech, not very long, but learned and prudent, explaining the reasons which had constrained him to this new assembly. He recommended some acts which he wished to be passed, especially one to confirm what was decided in the last parliament, the authority of which is doubtful, and finally informing them from his own mouth of the conclusion of the said marriage, adding that he imparted this to parliament, not to ask advice, but only as a thing decided and fully established. He further added that all the articles are agreed and signed and that the Portuguese minister will soon be leaving with them for the ratification and to fetch the bride as he desired nothing more eagerly than to accomplish this solemnity also with the utmost despatch.
When the king had finished the chancellor narrated more fully the things mentioned by his Majesty, representing the marriage as suiting the interests of England from the numerous advantages which Portugal offers, of which, however, neither he nor the king specified a single one. As he remarked that the closeness of interests would be advantageous to the kingdom, to the crown, to the king personally and also to religion, this serves to confirm the popular belief in certain reports spread during the negotiations, that the Portuguese would offer the Infanta and leave her to the king's disposition in the matter of religion, caring little, provided the marriage took place, whether she continued in the Roman Catholic faith, in which she was born and lived, or changed to another, although false, which besides being a scandal to the whole world would result in notable prejudice to the Catholics of this country, who are very numerous.
In spite of all the things aforesaid there are many who believe that the marriage and all the other agreements concluded with Braganza will fall through and this because no one imagines that the Portuguese are in a position to keep the enormous offers made to England. These consist, so far as one can penetrate the secrecy observed, besides fortified towns and great advantages in the Indies, Portugal and other parts of Braganza's dominion, of the prompt payment of 500,000l. sterling, a great sum which it is believed to be impossible for Portugal to get together in her present circumstances. It is necessary to wait for time to show the certainty.
The Ambassador Batteville has left nothing undone to thwart and destroy all these negotiations, acting as a prudent minister and a devoted servant of the Catholic king. But he has thrown away his labour, his money and everything in this unfortunate business. After having offered the princesses of Denmark, Saxony, Parma and others as brides for the king, with dowries and as if they were daughters of Spain, all in vain, he recently proposed the princess of Orange, sister of the late prince of that name and the king's brother-in-law, with the same dowry that the Infanta of Spain had with the Most Christian, and with every other reasonable advantage that could be desired by England, holding out an inevitable rupture between the two crowns in the event of the marriage with Portugal and the prejudice that would result to all his Majesty's subjects therefrom. But no consideration sufficed to check or delay the decision. Last Friday Batteville presented this offer to the king with all the other reasons in a sheet of which he gave a copy to each of the Council, but as everything was arranged beforehand he could do no good. To make public all the offers of Spain and to stamp out some reports that the marriage with Portugal will be arranged with the Catholic's assent he considered it advisable to have these sheets printed and circulated to inform the people of the advantages they would have gained by closing with Spain and of the disadvantages that the union with Portugal will produce, to display the good intentions of the Catholic and make known to the world what has passed in this affair, relating modestly the whole truth, and thereby satisfy himself, who certainly could not have done more to secure his end.
The printing and publication of these sheets was taken ill by the king and ministers because they did not wish these things to be made public, and for this reason, in his speech to parliament on Wednesday the chancellor spoke very sharply of the king of Spain to disenchant those who are well disposed to him and to incense those who are ill disposed. It will be interesting to see what will happen and if the rupture with Spain will actually follow, which in any case will be of most serious prejudice to the traders here.
In the mean time while the Portuguese ambassador is jubilant and celebrates the publication of the marriage with bonfires, scattering money and manifesting other signs of exceeding joy. Batteville, satisfied with having done what he could for his prince but mortified at his ill success, keeps to his house and is preparing to leave, saying that he cannot remain at the Court any longer. He has already begun to remove his furnishings and to pack his moveables, from which one may conclude that the rupture will be irreparable.
On this very Wednesday the earl of Bristol arrived in London from Italy. He reports that he has been at Parma and did not find the princesses beautiful. But nothing more is said about his journey as it all falls through with the conclusion of the Portuguese marriage, to which the king has consented to please the ministers. They are, for the most part Presbyterians, that is not good friends of his Majesty and anxious that he shall not have absolute authority; so they have dragged him into this alliance to involve him in a war so that they may govern him after their fashion. This will happen, because he will need them for money and other things to maintain the war, and will not risk offending them, and so they will make their game, which will certainly be prejudicial to the crown and the royal House.
The duke of Cambridge, son of the duke of York, a babe of five or six months, passed away on Sunday evening, lamented by his parents and all the Court, but no one has gone into mourning for him, as it is not the custom at this Court for princes of such tender years.
In his Majesty's presence there was a review in the Park on Tuesday of all the ordinary and auxiliary forces of the city of London, over 20,000 men, horse and foot, all fine fellows of good appearance, promising the best service for all eventualities. They afforded the king the greatest satisfaction by the military exercises performed at that rendezvous, in the presence of an enormous crowd, affording a very fine spectacle.
After a stay of a few weeks during which they have seen the most interesting things and observed the customs of the country, winning the favour of the king and all the Court by their modesty and other qualities, Sig. Lorenzo Tiepolo and Count Gio. Vidman left London yesterday to return home by way of Flanders and Holland.
London, the 20th May, 1661.
[Italian.]
May 23.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Spagna.
Venetian
Archives.
350. Pietro Giavarina, Venetian Secretary in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.
The jealousy at this Court over the affairs of England still continues and indeed is constantly on the increase. Thus when news came from Badajos that a general salvo of artillery and musketry had been heard from the Portuguese fortresses, it was announced that they were signs of rejoicing over the conclusion of the marriage and I know that the Dutch ambassadors here have said that they have letters from their colleagues in London reporting the certainty of this marriage. In spite of all this they do not place implicit confidence in the report. The ministers say that if it were so the Baron de Batteville would have sent a courier in diligence and in his last letters he also promised to negotiate actively with the 100,000 crowns sent to him. He adds that until the meeting of the new parliament nothing will be known for certain about the decisions of the king there.
Madrid, the 23rd May, 1661.
[Italian.]
May 28.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Corti.
Venetian
Archives.
351. To the Resident in England.
Satisfaction at the news about the coronation. It has consoled them greatly as they wish for his Majesty with the most affectionate and sincere heart the most desirable prosperity and content.
To relieve him of the expenses in connection with this ceremony they have decided to give him a present of 500 ducats. Commend the patriotism of Sig. Thiepolo and Count Vidman in making a suitable appearance.
Acknowledge receipt of the king's letter to his ambassador at Constantinople about the ships. It will be forwarded in the confidence that the minister will devote himself with ardour to the Signory's advantage, with whom also the Grand Chancellor Ballarino cultivates the best correspondence.
Approval of his offices and of his outlay of 10 lire, which shall be allowed to him. Forward what the Ambassador Quirini writes from Spain about the marriage negotiations with Portugal.
That 500 ducats be paid by the Camerlenghi di Comun to the agents of Francesco Giavarina for his expenses over the king's coronation. That the magistracy of the Savii sopra i Conti allow him 10l. sterling for his expenses in England.
Ayes, 96. Noes, 6. Neutral, 9. It requires 4/5ths.
In the Collegio:
Ayes, 20. Noes, 0. Neutral, 0. It requires 4 /5ths. [Italian.]
May 31.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
352. Alvise Grimani, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
Lord Germen, the English ambassador has not followed the Court, but has remained to attend the queen of England at her place of Colomba. He is now expected at Fontainebleau, it is believed in order to impart the death of the Duke of York's son, and to acquaint their Majesties with the marriage arranged between King Charles and the Infanta of Portugal. Upon this they do not express an opinion at this Court, because while on the one hand they wish Portugal to subsist, on the other they do not rejoice to see any increase in the power and forces of England. One of the ministers here remarked that instead of kindling greater conflagrations this marriage might produce peace. He believed that the Spaniards will proceed so much the more deliberately in their actions and that neither the Portuguese nor the English for good reason, will do anything, and in the meantime it will be possible, instead of an appeal to arms, to conduct negotiations, which may easily lead to the quiet, which would be so much the more desirable in that it might facilitate a powerful union of all Christendom, so greatly desired and so necessary in order to abate the Ottoman power.
Moret, the 31st May, 1661.
[Italian.]

Footnotes

1 Hyde Park. Evelyn. Diary, ed. Bray, page 275.
2 There is a draft for this letter in S.P. Dom. Turkey Vol. xvii.


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April 1661