The present instalment of this Calendar comprises a period of two years and nine months, from July, 1661, to March, 1664, inclusive. As in the two volumes immediately preceding, Giavarina remains the principal authority until his long service in England was brought to a somewhat abrupt close in January, 1663. Up to that date the series of his despatches continues uninterrupted except for a few weeks in July and August, 1661, when the tale is taken up by the ambassadors extraordinary, Angelo Correr and Michiel Morosini.
In the introduction to the preceding Volume it has already been stated that the original despatches of these ambassadors extraordinary have disappeared from their place in the series “Dispacci Inghilterra” in the state archives at Venice. (fn. 1) Fortunately their letter book has been preserved among the Correr collection, now in the Museo Civico at Venice, and with it the description of England just after the Restoration, which was presumably read to the Senate on their return, although no copy of it is to be found among the official “Relazioni.” The Public Record Office possesses early copies of both these MSS. among the papers of the late Mr. Rawdon Brown, (fn. 2) as well as transcripts of the despatches of Giavarina, down to the end of his mission. (fn. 3)
Before Giavarina left London he received instructions to find some one who would keep the Senate supplied with the news of England. He picked out for this task one Riccardi, who signs himself Piedra Riccardi Neostad, who had served the Ambassador Giustinian in France and Spain and the Ambassador Nani at Vienna (No. 292). He was to send his communications to the republic's ambassador in France. Riccardi began almost at once; his first letter being dated 1st February. His communications seem to have met with a qualified approval, though the Senate was not prepared to pay him a regular salary for his pains, and the question of his continued employment was left to the discretion of the Ambassador Sagredo at Paris, who also had leave to supply him with some modest recognition in the shape of a donation (No. 321). Sagredo evidently did not consider the arrangement satisfactory, as the stream of Riccardi's letters ceases almost at once, his last, of the 10th May, being the tenth of the series. Thereafter Sagredo found some other way of obtaining English news, though he gives no clue to the sources of his information, writing it up in his own despatches. In the present volume only one news letter from England appears as such (No. 365).
The absence of a minister or any regular correspondent in England naturally reduces the material for 1663 and the portion of 1664 very considerably. What English news there is comes from the despatches from other Courts. Of these the despatches from Madrid are in a very bad state for most of the period, the paper being so rotted that it cannot be handled with safety. Fortunately the ambassador's letter book has been preserved in St. Mark's Library, and from this a good number of the extracts here given have been taken, though they have been collated with the original despatches whenever it was possible.
Both in domestic and foreign affairs the first years of Charles's reign were spent by him in cautiously feeling his footing. Though he gave no outward sign and displayed a notable carelessness of manner, the king was not free from apprehension as to the security of his position (No. 24). He knew that large sections of his subjects were not reconciled to his rule and that his old friends and supporters felt aggrieved and disappointed that their loyalty and devotion had not received a better recognition, while many of those who had been in open rebellion still held positions of trust and honour. More than a year after his return he admitted the comparative insecurity of his position to the Venetian ambassadors, with engaging frankness. You see, said he, that I am not yet well re-established (No. 33).
For the government of the country the king relied exclusively upon the chancellor (No. 23), to whose application he was indebted for the good order that was maintained over a restless people (No. 24). Clarendon's energies were absorbed almost entirely by internal affairs, in the effort to maintain and consolidate the restored monarchy. For this task and for all other matters the government was hampered by the extreme shortage of money, which could hardly be found even for the most necessary operations.
Clarendon was above everything a constitutionalist, and abundant deference was paid to parliament. Although the Presbyterians were still strongly represented in that body it was, in the main, intensely loyal. There was much for it to do and it sat far into the summer of 1661. But it was more inclined to take vengeance on the Cromwellians than to attend to matters of greater urgency. It proceeded with reluctance in the matter of the indemnity. Some of those whose lives had been spared in accordance with an explicit promise, were treated with ignominy, while Vane and Lambert were expressly excluded from its benefits (No. 13). Three regicides found in Holland were surrendered by the Dutch and dragged home to suffer as traitors. The king allowed the law to take its course but as one of them, Okey, when on the scaffold, exhorted the people to be loyal and to pray for the king, Charles allowed his body to be buried (No. 178). Similarly Lambert, although condemned, was reprieved because he made no attempt to excuse his fault but simply threw himself on the king's mercy (No. 204), while Vane, who justified his past actions, suffered death.
This harping upon the past was not at all to the king's mind as he wished to pursue the path of reconciliation. In his speech to parliament before the adjournment he told them that his sole object was the welfare and safety of his people. He hoped that those who had not yet become his sincere friends would come to acknowledge their duty and allow him to count them as such, and so facilitate the consolidation of a tranquil and durable government to the advantage of the whole country (No. 24).
Although he found it dilatory in its proceedings, the king was upon the whole well satisfied with his parliament. There seems to have been some impatience in the Lords with the proceedings of the Lower Chamber. In a dispute between the Houses over the right to search the houses of peers for delinquents, some courtiers suggested that the king should get rid of the Commons, but Charles replied that it was necessary to give them time for their beards to grow (No. 36). Another proposal in the Lords that the king should nominate the members of the Lower House is unlikely to have been seriously considered (No. 30).
Parliament, in fact, showed an intense desire to serve the king and protect him from all peril (No. 97). They left him nothing to desire in the way of his convenience and satisfaction, and when, towards the close of the year, there was talk of their weakness, the king openly showed his annoyance and stated publicly that for the moment he did not desire any change (No. 106). In the all important matter of the control of the army, they gave him extensive powers, including the appointment of officers and the right to increase or diminish the numbers of the rank and file (No. 36). One considerable army decision he took independently of them. At the instance of the parliament of Scotland he withdrew the English garrison from that country, without waiting for the decision of the English parliament, although he had consulted them about it (No. 30).
The inadequacy of the crown revenues left the king entirely dependent upon parliament for supplies of money. The Commons were perfectly ready to oblige him, but the revenues which they had already granted proved utterly insufficient to meet the cost of government, including the heavy outlay on the fleet and on Dunkirk, and at the end of the first year the treasurer reported a deficit of three millions (No. 36). To some extent this was due to irregularities in collection and distribution, which parliament had made some effort to correct (No. 24). To fill up the gap it was decided once more to have recourse to a benevolence, with fixed maxima (No. 36). This was paid without difficulty, but the shortage of money still continued to hold everything up.
When parliament reassembled at the end of the year the question of supply came forward as the one most urgently requiring attention. The Commons forthwith voted the sum of 1,200,000l., and set to work to see how this amount, the largest that had ever been granted to any sovereign, could be raised (No. 97). So little progress was made that in March the king sent for the Commons to Whitehall. After pointing out that all their time was spent on private business he proceeded to urge them to devote their attention to pressing matters of state, first of all coming to some decision about the yearly revenues of the crown and the settlement of the country, so that they might be able to adjourn before Easter. In response to this appeal the Commons voted a tax of two shillings on every hearth to be paid yearly, soon after which they adjourned (No. 150).
In the spring session of 1663, parliament began, at the king's special request, a comprehensive review of the financial situation, making a careful inquiry into both revenue and expenditure, with a view to the reduction of both (No. 318). This did not prove an easy task, and a few weeks later the king sent for the members to point out the need for prompt financial assistance (No. 334). It was accordingly decided to increase the royal revenues (No. 339), though the first step to be taken was the repeal of the hearth tax, which had proved exceedingly unpopular (No. 344). In the interest of economy expenses in the royal household were cut down and all pensions suspended for the current year, causing a great outcry among the courtiers (No. 347).
That the good will of parliament to provide for the needs of the king did not produce better results seems to have been chiefly due to the economic condition of the country. Since the restoration there had been an exorbitant rise in prices, and house rents had doubled (No. 23). The Venetian ambassadors extraordinary complained that living in England had become so dear as to be impossible for private purses (No. 33). A few months later Giavarina wrote that there was a shortage of everything, including food; the price of bread had doubled in a few weeks and was still rising. Money itself was scarce, although Cromwell's coinage had been called in and reissued in a debased form. The customs revenue suffered severely owing to the depredations of the Barbary corsairs.
A great storm in the summer had completed the ruin of some of the merchants and the failure of others among the leading men was thought to be imminent (No. 222). Earlier in the year a Jew merchant, named Coronel, who acted as agent for Portugal, decamped, leaving liabilities for thousands of pounds, causing the failure of many of the leading traders (No. 150). The king himself was involved, and as other Portuguese Jews had also failed for large sums he declared that if the bankrupts did not pay up in full, he would have no more Jews in England (No. 153). The prosperity recorded by a recent historian was evidently a growth of later date. (fn. 4)
As a general consequence of the economic situation in the country, the taxes imposed by parliament did not produce the results expected (No. 137). In July, 1662, Giavarina wrote that the taxes imposed only served to increase discontent and they brought nothing into the exchequer. The hearth tax was particularly obnoxious and the outcry against it so general that it was thought the king might have to recall parliament before Christmas in order to repeal it (No. 233).
Before the end of the year discontent had become general. Men were declaring openly that they would not pay the taxes. They had paid so much at the king's return and could not understand where it had gone, except to favour some who were the worst enemies of the crown, and to minister to the vices of the Court (No. 269).
The general obsequiousness of parliament to the king's wishes did not extend to the matter of religion. The desire to be avenged for past wrongs which had delayed the act of indemnity dominated the minds of the majority in making the religious settlement. In the winter session of 1661 the bishops resumed their seats in parliament for the first time since the revolution (No. 95). In the midst of the general scarcity they contrived to flourish exceedingly and in two years from the restoration they are said to have got into their hands all the gold in the country, thereby causing a certain amount of scandal. The king suggested that out of their abundance they might help to redeem English slaves in the hands of the Barbary corsairs; and by taxing themselves at so much a head they raised the sum of 10,000l. (No. 211).
The presence and influence of the bishops no doubt fortified parliament in its determination to establish in the country the Anglican system, as set forth in the 39 Articles, excluding the Catholics on the one side and the Presbyterians on the other. The Presbyterians were, on the whole, a wealthy class, they were still strong in the country and were well represented in parliament and even in the Privy Council (No. 97). But the majority in parliament were very hostile to them (No. 155), and for the most part they remained cowed and submissive. It is significant that the once fiery Prynne was forced to make an abject apology for a pamphlet he had written against the Corporation Bill (No. 30). When one of them took courage in April, 1662, to propose that the solemn league and covenant should be renewed, the motion was not only rejected but it was decided that all the papers on the subject in the public archives should be burned by the public hangman in Palace Yard (No. 168).
The Presbyterian party had originally led the opposition against Charles I and the royalists still looked upon them as the enemies of the throne. Their continued presence in places of trust and consequence was a standing offence to those who had always remained loyal. It was no doubt intended to reduce their power gradually and above all to purge the Council of them (No. 97). But the king did not wish to drive them to extremity by harsh treatment, as many of them were very wealthy and if they were not tolerated they might not pay their taxes (No. 242).
Clarendon, who was unpopular in parliament, wished to conciliate the Presbyterians in order to have their support. Early in the session of 1662 he had a heated altercation with Bristol about some concessions in the matter of ceremonial, which he said the king wished to make by virtue of his dispensing power (No. 155). In the following year a more determined attempt was made to use the dispensing power in order to extend toleration to those who held different opinions, the Presbyterians being specifically mentioned (No. 302). This met with such determined resistance from parliament that the king thought it wise to abandon the attempt, though it was believed that he would find other ways to soothe the Presbyterians and secure their good will (No. 306). A great deal was actually done in order to make things easy for them, and it was believed that if they would attend the parish church on feast days, they would not be further constrained (No. 309).
In dealing with the Catholics parliament showed itself equally uncompromising. The king was known to have leanings that way and had clearly shown his inclination when in Flanders (p. 86). In the time of his misfortunes they had been among the most faithful of his subjects, and he particularly remembered that when he was in Flanders a convent of Benedictines had supplied him with considerable sums of money for his personal needs (No. 312). He considered that the least he could do in return was to allow them to practise their religion in peace. It was generally expected, therefore, that once the government became settled the Catholics would enjoy great advantages. In the meantime the execution of the penal laws had been greatly relaxed and at Easter in the year 1662 Catholic rites were celebrated with much more freedom than in the past, great crowds frequenting the Venetian embassy among other places (No. 165). Nevertheless the king hesitated about restoring the office of Earl Marshal to the Catholic family of the Howards, though many of his guards were professed Catholics and almost all of the attendants of the duke of York (No. 23).
By parliament the spread of Catholicism was viewed with apprehension and dislike, and the cry arose for the renewal of the penal laws of Elizabeth and James. Not only did parliament offer a determined resistance to the king's claim to dispense with the laws, but they demanded the expulsion of priests and religious from the country (No. 308). It was in vain that Clarendon, in a conciliatory speech, tried to move them to agree to some relaxation of the laws, by representing how much the king was indebted to the Catholics. Parliament replied that this was a private obligation and offered to repay the sums which had been advanced (No. 312). In the end the king felt compelled to yield and he agreed to the expulsion of the priests as the price of supplies voted to him. Foreign priests who served the queen consort and the queen mother were exempted by this ordinance, as well as the Englishmen Aubigny and Walter Montagu, although in their case the exemption occasioned some surprise (Nos. 318, 334).
In these early years after the restoration the general impression gathered from these papers is one of seething discontent under the surface which from time to time breaks through. This appears in a series of conspiracies and actual risings which occur in rapid succession. The first to be mentioned is a conspiracy timed to break out late in the summer of 1661 when the king was expected to be absent from London. Many arrests were made and stores of arms and munitions of war were found, not only in London but in several parts of the country. The matter was considered serious enough for the king to postpone the progress which he had intended to make (No. 46). The arrest of leading sectaries continued to be made in the succeeding weeks as well as the seizure of a number of horses which belonged to them (No. 62). In November, as a measure of precaution, a proclamation was issued banishing from London all who had borne arms for the late revolutionary government, all disbanded officers and other suspected persons (No. 101). Such measures closely resembled those taken against royalists in the days of the Commonwealth, and Mr. Pepys suspected that they were rather acts of revenge than of necessity and that the alleged plot was merely a pretence. (fn. 5) There is no doubt that Giavarina believed in the genuineness of the danger. The government acted with severity. By a stretch of the law a preacher was executed for a seditious sermon, and a number of seditious books were burned by the hangman (No. 97).
Not long after this another and more serious plot was discovered, in Monk's army, for starting another civil war, and several officers were arrested (No. 79). Even a year later, in spite of all the weeding out, the government could not feel altogether confident about the army because of the number of different creeds represented in it (No. 244). The fact that pay was months in arrear naturally did not help matters (No. 279).
The government betrayed its continued uneasiness by the renewal in June, 1662, of the proclamation banishing from London all former supporters of the Commonwealth for another six months. This was followed by orders for the demolition of the fortifications at Northampton, Gloucester and Coventry, as places likely to become centres of disaffection (No. 219); and similar orders were issued later for other fortified towns (No. 233).
The reduction to subjection of the old parliamentary party did not proceed without friction. The Corporation Act, devised for weeding out the mayors and councillors of Cromwell's time from the corporate towns, encountered serious difficulties in some places; but it was rigorously enforced. In London seven aldermen were expelled under it, besides officials of lower rank (No. 79). The enforcement of the Act of Uniformity also caused a considerable stir and added sensibly to the number of malcontents (No. 211). On St. Bartholomew's day, when those who refused to subscribe were expelled from their livings, the congregations of some of the London churches rose up against the newly installed preachers, dragged them from their pulpits, tore up the prayer books and sang ribald songs. Thereafter it became necessary to patrol the city nightly in order to prevent further disorder (No. 242).
The government succeeded in maintaining order and the Act was duly and even severely enforced, but unrest found expression in a series of seditious libels against the king and government. The writers called for the due observance of the solemn league and covenant. They called attention to grievances and the heavy taxes, to the shrinkage of trade and the many other miseries from which the country had suffered since the king's return (No. 249). Libels of this character appeared every day and night and were found in the palace of Whitehall itself. Discontent had become general. Every one complained that the king left everything to his ministers, while he only cared to amuse himself with hunting and his amours (No. 269).
The sale of Dunkirk added its quota to the number of malcontents. It was very unpopular, especially in the city, where the merchants expected to suffer severely from the consequent loss of trade.
In this autumn of 1662 London was full of alarms. The city trained bands were not above suspicion, and report said that Edmund Ludlow was about, busy stirring up sedition and ready to head a revolt (No. 269). The government sought to maintain order by numerous arrests, forty-six persons being taken in a single night, at a secret meeting where they were devising their nefarious plans (No. 267). An elaborate plot or rather plots were then brought to light. The king and queen with various notabilities were to be assassinated when on their way to attend the inauguration of the new mayor. The royal palace and several parts of the city were to be set on fire to add to the general horror and confusion. If this did not succeed twelve desperadoes were sworn to kill the king at some favourable opportunity (No. 276).
The king himself took an active part in the efforts to probe into this matter. Bennet and Lauderdale were appointed to make a special inquiry. Ludlow's secretary fell into the government's hands and supplied not a little information (No. 272). Very numerous arrests followed, but no information could be extracted from the prisoners to inculpate themselves. The government relied chiefly on the evidence of a clergyman. To penetrate the secrets of the conspirators he had disguised himself as a soldier and as such was admitted to their secret counsels. For this service he was rewarded by high preferment in his true profession (No. 276).
Perhaps the king was not altogether satisfied with this dubious method of obtaining convictions, for a few months later he caused the Anabaptists, who had been in confinement, to be released from prison, and he did not seem excessively anxious to learn further particulars, although another informant was ready to supply them (No. 302). Nevertheless the danger had been considered sufficiently great to have the troops quartered about London drawn nearer to the city, while a veteran regiment of horse from Dunkirk was kept in readiness near the gates (No. 276).
Owing to the prudent measures taken by Bennet, order was restored throughout the country by the end of the year (No. 287); but it was not long before other signs of unrest began to appear. In August Buckingham was despatched to Yorkshire to put a stop to conventicles, lest they should lead to a new conspiracy (No. 347). In this case the mere report of his coming proved sufficient (No. 350); but the situation was not considered wholly satisfactory and early in 1664 a regiment was formed in that county, composed entirely of gentlemen volunteers, who served at their own cost, for the purpose of upholding the king's authority and to put down conspiracies (No. 394). An outbreak in Lancashire a few weeks before had been quashed by the prompt action of the military authorities on the spot (No. 374).
In the south of England there had been an outbreak at Chichester, which took the form of outrages in the churches (No. 355). In London, about this same time it had been thought necessary to keep the troops under arms for three nights running. The North was again astir and two colonels were arrested in Cheshire (No. 362). The chief fear was from the disbanded soldiery of Cromwell's time, who had no occupation, because the king did not trust them (No. 359). In November, 1663, reports came from the North of a definite plan for a rising, mainly of the sectaries, with the watchwords Religion, Providence, Jehovah and Liberty, while Ludlow was again reported to be in England. More officers were arrested, but this did not prevent the circulation of seditious papers (No. 365). Early in the following year a serious rising occurred at Colchester, which was repressed with some difficulty. The anniversary of King Charles the Martyr, though celebrated with all solemnity, provided the occasion for the dissemination of more seditious papers. A libeller, though apparently he was only the printer and not the author, suffered the penalty of high treason at this time, showing the importance attached by the government to these manifestations (No. 402).
Quite apart from political unrest the disturbed state of the country is indicated by the prevalence of robbery. Since the restoration London had become most insecure owing to the large number of thieves who had entered it. Not a night passed but some house was broken into. In an attempt to abate this nuisance orders were issued for enforcing the observance of the statute of Winchester, and the king showed a disposition to allow the law to take its course in a notorious case in which some gentlemen of quality were involved (No. 143). At a later date he refused to intervene in favour of an Irish gentleman, condemned for robbery, although the queen had interceded on his behalf (No. 306).
Amid so much unrest and with revolts constantly breaking out or threatening, the character and control of the armed forces of the country were of the first consequence. As the old army contained many elements which rendered it suspect, there was a proposal at the end of 1661 for raising a new one under the duke of York, for the double purpose of maintaining order and of giving employment to many who were out of work (No. 108). But this proposal did not find favour with parliament, and it was consequently held up (No. 130). In spite of this a decision was arrived at in the following year that in addition to the regular army of 10,000 men and the local militias, three regiments of horse should be formed, under the command of the earls of Northampton, Cleveland and Stafford, to be entirely composed of loyal veteran officers. This step was considered necessary because they could not place entire confidence in the regular army of which Monk was the head (No. 244).
In the alarm caused by the conspiracy of 1662 it was proposed to raise five new regiments (No. 272), but eventually, owing to the expense and because, after all, the existing forces were considered to be sufficient, the project was dropped for the time being (No. 309).
In the middle of the year 1663 parliament was considering the establishment of a perpetual militia, to be at the king's disposal when the houses were not sitting (No. 339). But the Commons were extremely reluctant to put this power into the king's hands, and it seemed certain that they would not consent to do so, upon any account (No. 329).
Through all this critical period Clarendon guided the ship of state, almost single handed. The king held his Council twice a week, attended by various distinguished persons, but it was usually Clarendon's opinion that prevailed, and it was he who saw that the decisions were carried out (No. 106). So much power and probably his frequent attacks of gout seem to have soured his temper. Unreasonable irritability is shown in his petulant reply to Gascoigne about the reception of the Genoese envoy Durazzo (No. 116), and in his eventual treatment of Giavarina. He became very arbitrary; no one would venture to contradict him and the king himself was afraid of him (No. 261).
Clarendon's temper and favour rendered him generally unpopular and men were naturally inclined to speculate whether the extraordinary ascendancy which he enjoyed would continue. At first he seemed to have no competitor. Monk also stood high in the king's regard, and his service had been immense, but the general had little political ambition and confined himself to his duties as commander in chief (Nos. 33, 106). But ere long a really dangerous rival appeared on the scene. In the summer of 1661 Sir Henry Bennet returned from Spain, and seemed at once to be marked out for special favour. Almost immediately the king appointed him keeper of the privy purse (No. 13). Before a year had passed Clarendon's position seemed to be seriously shaken, and the steady rise of Bennet in the royal favour gave him constant cause for uneasiness (No. 214). He tried various devices to hinder this advancement. Among these was the sending to Bennet of a letter in cipher with a Spanish signature in the hope of rendering him suspect of secret correspondence with Spain. But Bennet was too shrewd to be caught in this way. He promptly made the matter public and brought the letter straight to the chancellor himself (No. 267).
It looked as if the moment of the chancellor's overthrow had arrived. In October, 1662, the king suddenly dismissed the old secretary, Nicholas, and installed Bennet in his place. Everything was done to soften the stroke. It was given out that Nicholas had resigned on account of his advanced years, and he was offered a peerage for his long service. But the significance of the step could not be disguised, for Nicholas was the faithful henchman of Clarendon. Giavarina felt convinced that Bennet had been appointed in order to help the king to get rid of the chancellor (No. 269). The Court already began to count upon his speedy overthrow and noticed little signs of his decline from favour. The chancellor seemed conscious of the threatened change of fortune and showed himself much more humble and modest than of yore, and when he took to his bed, it was supposed to be from chagrin (No. 283). His desperate case is indicated in his looking for support to the queen mother, on her approaching return to England (No. 214), in spite of her notorious aversion for him and all his family. (fn. 6)
With feeling running high against the chancellor there was talk of his impeachment (No. 269), but when Clarendon resumed his place in parliament early in the year 1663 he seemed to have regained all his old ascendancy and those who had counted on his overthrow felt much less confident (No. 309). The impeachment, however, was not allowed to drop, and a few weeks later Bristol came forward with a charge of high treason, set out in 15 articles. But Bristol was so obviously moved by private malice that his action did more harm to himself than to the chancellor, and parliament declared that his articles did not amount to high treason. The king, so far from welcoming the turn of affairs, intervened in defence of his minister and ordered Bristol to take himself off (No. 344), followed soon after by another order for his imprisonment in the Tower (No. 347). But Bristol had powerful friends as well as the protection of the queen mother (No. 350) and for the time he vanished and could not be found anywhere. He had not left the country and at a parish church in Essex he declared himself a Protestant. He thus rendered himself capable of taking his seat in parliament and of pursuing his charges there against the chancellor (No. 372).
The king, sensible, of the danger of these dissensions, tried to bring about a reconciliation by a marriage between Clarendon's son and Bristol's daughter (No. 394). He also considered the creation of four dukes, of whom Clarendon would be one, and thus render him immune from any charge except that of high treason (No. 397). But Bristol was not to be appeased and just before parliament reassembled in 1664 he had been admitted by the court of the exchequer to prove the charges he had previously brought as well as some additional ones, so that the outlook for the future did not promise that tranquillity which the country required (No. 402).
With affairs so unstable at home and a depleted exchequer, Clarendon did not at all wish the king to undertake any foreign engagements (No. 29). There was, indeed, no need for any but a passive policy. The country was threatened by no enemy; foreign powers were eager for its friendship, the mighty weapons forged by Cromwell were still in existence and a reunited country under a popular sovereign might be supposed to be even more powerful than before.
Two circumstances rendered impossible a complete withdrawal from continental affairs: the possession of Dunkirk and the Portuguese marriage. The latter had been mainly the work of Clarendon, who was tempted by the liberal offers which Portugal made in order to obtain the connection, and convinced that it could be made without breaking with Spain (No. 7) and in particular he looked for great advantage from the possession of Tangier (No. 214).
In the country at large opinion was mainly against the match, the mercantile community in particular fearing that Spain might not take the affront quite so tamely as the chancellor expected. In their fear of confiscation and reprisals the merchants made haste to clear their goods from Spain at almost any sacrifice, and ships chartered with goods for Spain were called back home. To prevent the dislocation of trade the Court of Madrid thought proper to send them assurances and to issue orders that the English should be permitted to enjoy their usual privileges (No. 1).
In spite of the popular feeling, the marriage contract was solemnly ratified at the chancellor's house and the king subsequently entertained the Ambassador Mello at the palace and drank to the health of the king of Portugal and his sister (No. 7). The ambassador then left for Lisbon, with letters and presents for the bride, the greatest secrecy being observed about the whole transaction (No. 13).
Any opposition to the marriage seems to have faded away. The country promptly accepted the situation. The Infanta was styled queen almost at once and prints of her portrait appeared for sale in London (No. 23).
On the Portuguese side things were not going so smoothly. There seemed to be a strange hesitation to ratify the bargain, so that the Spaniards put about reports that the match had been broken off. It was found very difficult to raise the money required for the dowry, and disturbances occurred at Lisbon, over the collection (No. 92). At Tangier, the chief prize, the governor displayed a reluctance to hand over the place to its new masters (No. 56).
It was not until nearly three months had passed that Mello's interpreter, Dr. Richard Russel, arrived from Lisbon with satisfaction upon all points of the treaty (No. 62). The dowry amounted to 400,000l. instead of the six millions that had been reported. It was paid mostly in kind, in jewels, gold ingots, sugar and spices; a Jew named Duarte Sylva undertook to make the payment (No. 198). This did not settle the matter, for after an interval the king refused the jewels, which the Portuguese had estimated at twice their value, and declared that he would have the whole amount in cash (No. 233).
The treaty being ratified and the financial arrangements agreed it only remained to fetch the queen to her new country, and for this purpose a special squadron was prepared. The people at large were eager to see the king's bride, prayers were offered for her in the churches, and the rich vied with each other to give her a noble and stately reception. The king, indeed, thought it necessary to put a stop to extravagance, and issued a proclamation forbidding the gilding of coaches and the purchase of foreign embroidery, lace, etc. (No. 101).
Bad weather delayed the start of the special squadron, much to the concern of the chancellor, who saw the expenses mounting up (No. 113). The queen herself was eager to start and asked Montagu to let her have a ship from those already out there, without waiting for the squadron (No. 116). But Montagu told her that he could not do this without definite instructions, and those which he actually held required him, before he brought the queen, to make sure of the possession of Tangier and to see on board all the money of the dowry (No. 108). When the special envoys from England reached Lisbon, they were received with great demonstrations of joy (No. 148). But the queen did not start at once, as Montagu was delayed at Tangier and she thought it would be more seemly to celebrate Easter in her own country (No. 102).
The king's proceedings suggest that he attached more importance to the dowry than to the bride. He displayed his cynical humour and perhaps his true feeling about the marriage by appointing as ladies of the bedchamber, among others, the countess of Castlemaine, the duchess of Buckingham and the countess of Shrewsbury (No. 148). (fn. 7) He had originally intended to go to Portsmouth to meet his bride, but as she intimated to him that she would like to have time to rest and recover after the voyage, he left that duty to his brother, the duke of York (No. 174).
The queen's voyage proved a long one, taking a whole month (No. 188). As soon as the king heard of her arrival he hastened to wind up the business of parliament and set off post haste for Portsmouth (No. 193). The wedding ceremony was performed privately by Aubigny, according to the Catholic rite, and Bishop Sheldon merely declared to the peers and others assembled for the purpose that the marriage was valid and lawful (No. 198).
The king and queen journeyed to London by easy stages, spending some time at Hampton Court and they did not reach London until the beginning of September. They entered the city by water and had a most enthusiastic reception (No. 242). The queen was of delicate constitution and found it difficult to adapt herself to the damp climate of her adopted country. She could not eat and drank nothing but water which, says Giavarna, in England is so much poison. Caring little for diversion and disposed to melancholy she was jarred by the thronging crowd at Court and bewildered by the constant stream of unfamiliar faces, and for a while she sought retirement to recover from the strain (No. 204).
She had come into an environment utterly foreign and unsympathetic. It was not long before she learned of the relations between the king and lady Castlemaine. She declared that she would never see the countess again or any of her relations or dependants. Clarendon alone seems to have taken the queen's part. Bristol, Bennet and other influential courtiers sided with the countess and the king, for his part, refused to forbid her the Court. It was hoped that the queen mother, on her arrival, might use her influence to compose the difference (No. 222).
Many of her compatriots had accompanied the queen to England; but they were as much out of place as their mistress. The king was eager to get rid of them, as they only caused confusion at Court and amusement because of their fantastic costumes. Seeing how the land lay they themselves presented a petition to be sent home, and by the time the king and queen reached London two ships were ready to take them to Lisbon. Only the queen's nurse remained behind with another lady, and some native musicians, without whom the queen might not be pacified. The English and French musicians of the Court were not to her taste, while the discordant concerts of the Portuguese artists offended the ears of the king and courtiers (Nos. 214, 242).
As time went on and it became clear that the queen could expect no heir of her body, she seemed condemned to a life of loneliness. In the autumn of 1663 she fell seriously ill, causing great concern because of the political consequences that would result from her death (No. 359). To the relief of all those concerned in the upholding of Portugal, she made an excellent recovery and at the beginning of the new year she was reported to be in perfect health (No. 379).
Clarendon judged rightly when he declared that Spain would not make a casus belli of the Portuguese match. After the losses in Flanders and the reverses at sea of the last campaign she was in no case to begin another serious war, as she had no fleet and the exchequer was empty. The implications of an alliance between Charles and the House of Braganza were serious enough but they did not necessarily involve the much more serious complications of open war with England. The Spaniards tried at first to console themselves with the assurance that the marriage could never take place. They flattered themselves that the English and Dutch would be certain to fall out over the concessions made to them severally by the Portuguese (No. 48), and they continued up to the last moment to count on disunion in Portugal and risings in England (No. 147).
The need for good relations with England was so great that, in spite of all his threats and bluster, Batteville refurnished his house, which had been dismantled, and prepared to stay on in London. He saw the king from time to time, though he no longer frequented the Court (No. 7). Although de Haro spoke bitterly of the ingratitude of Charles, the policy of the government was to conciliate the goodwill of England as much as possible. Orders were issued that English merchants should be well treated (No. 18) and that they should be allowed to trade freely in Brabant and Flanders (No. 14). The English merchants were equally delighted that peace would be maintained (No. 1). Charles, for his part, wrote to King Philip and de Haro protesting the constancy of his friendship and perfect correspondence (No. 51).
In spite of friendly appearances the Spaniards, none the less, felt anxious for the safety of their treasure fleets, and to protect them and the coasts of Spain the dockyards were stirred to activity in order to get ships ready for sea (No. 19). But the effort only served to show their impotence. They had no means for doing any harm to England and they were unable to get together a fleet of any consequence. They had to rest content with congratulating themselves that the fleet sent from England to the Mediterranean was not strong enough to undertake any serious enterprise (No. 27).
In England there was some speculation as to what would be the attitude of Batteville when the new queen arrived (No. 69), but as it happened, the situation never arose. Batteville became the hero of an incident which had nothing to do with Anglo Spanish relations, but which, incidentally, served to bring his mission to a premature close. The noise of the encounter between the followers of the French and Spanish ambassadors in London at the entry of the Swedish minister filled all Europe. The sympathies of the English in this affray were entirely on the side of the Spaniards. The French followers of d'Estrades had already made themselves odious by their insolence. They had been worsted in fair fight, although they were much more numerous and although they had used firearms, contrary to an injunction of the king, which the Spaniards had respected. The king seemed to share the view of his people and in discussing the affair remarked to Turenne's nephew that d'Estrades, as a good soldier, should have gone to see the site before the action, as Batteville had done (No. 66).
Estrades, to whose persistence against the king's express wishes the whole incident had been due, raised a great outcry about the way he had been treated and complained as much of the English as of the Spaniards. King Louis was greatly stirred and threatened Spain with war if satisfaction was not given (No. 68).
All this commotion appeared to excite very little concern in England when, seven weeks after the incident, Nicholas appeared suddenly at the Spanish embassy and told Batteville that the king would no longer receive him, being displeased with him on several counts. When Batteville asked for particulars to justify such strange procedure, the secretary replied that the king had learned that he had bribed many English to take part in the affair of the coaches, and also that he was intriguing against the government, intimating that he had a hand in the recent conspiracy. On the matter of the affray Batteville said that he thought there was nothing more to be said, since the king had approved of what he had done. As for the other particulars, the information was false and he begged for an audience of the king so that he might clear up the many things that were maliciously alleged against him. This satisfaction was denied him, and as Batteville steadily refused to deal through any intermediary, he at once began to prepare for his departure seeing that it would be useless for him to remain any longer. In the mean time the guards which had been set at the Spanish embassy since the affray with the French, and for which Batteville had himself paid, were withdrawn by the king's express order (No. 95).
Batteville did not actually leave England until several weeks later, at the end of January. In the interval he maintained a stiff attitude, in spite of some tentative advances from the other side. It was freely stated and admitted at Court, that the action taken against him had been merely in order to curry favour with the French (No. 120). When at length he departed, though he did not see the king or take formal leave, he was accorded exceptional honours. The king would certainly have called him to audience as easily as he accorded the honours, but Clarendon ignored the latter and prevented the former (No. 126).
Batteville's departure was generally regretted, as his high character and great liberality had rendered him popular. (fn. 8) To have got rid of him in this way amounted to a diplomatic victory of the first importance for France. The manner of his going rendered it practically impossible for the Court of Madrid to fill his place in London for some time, and so the French were left there with the field all to themselves.
In August, 1661, the Venetian ambassadors observed that the Portuguese enjoyed no advantage when they wished to levy troops (No. 30), but Batteville had scarcely turned his back when it was decided to send a force of 4000 veteran troops under Lord Inchiquin to succour Portugal (No. 143). The cost of these troops was to be borne by Charles for three months, after which they passed into Portuguese pay. Enlistment proved slow for lack of ready money. It was not until the end of June that 3000 of them sailed, some from Plymouth and some from Scotland. Further embarcations followed in due course, to make up the numbers to 5000 (No. 219). But enthusiasm for the cause quickly died down and the government showed no disposition to engage further in the enterprise (No. 249). Towards the end of the year Lord Inchiquin came back to England, bringing a most discouraging report of the state of affairs. He declared that the English troops had been so barbarously treated by the Portuguese that they had nearly all died of hunger (No. 279). Previous reports had come to hand of frequent desertions and of a serious affray between the English and the Portuguese, in which lives had been lost on both sides (No. 257). The military outlook also seemed black for the Portuguese as the campaign of the year 1662 had gone seriously against them.
If the matter had rested with England alone Portugal might easily have been left to her fate. But if England was lukewarm, France was actively interested, for the support of Portugal was thought to be a question of national concern (No. 294). Since the departure of Batteville French diplomacy had been busily forwarding French interests at the English Court. For the support of Portugal England served their turn admirably. By the treaty of the Pyrenees France was debarred from giving active assistance to the Portuguese, and she proposed to evade the obligation by assisting indirectly through England (No. 230).
In the summer of 1662 one Colbert Taron (fn. 9) came to England, ostensibly to take charge of the embassy, after the departure of Estrades, until the new ambassador Comminges should arrive (No. 241). This was merely a pretext, as after a short stay he left London for Portugal, returning thence to France (No. 294). Things were not going well for Portugal at the time and their foreign auxiliaries, disgusted with the treatment they were receiving, were inclined to throw up the task and return home. By his persuasions Colbert induced Schomberg, their commander, and other officers to stay on (No. 297). It may be presumed that Colbert won their consent by the promise of additional support from France and England. In June 1663 the marquis Ruvigny came over to England from France to devise measures in concert for the succour of Portugal, whose case was then considered desperate (No. 331). 1400 French and 3000 English troops left England in that month for Portugal, escorted by nine English ships of war (No. 330). A month earlier an English frigate had entered Lisbon bringing two million francs sent by King Charles to his brother in law, most, if not all of which was supplied by France (No. 334).
Before these additional succours arrived the tide had already turned. With the help of previous reinforcements from England and France Schomberg declared that he had no fear of the Castilian forces (No. 326). He thought nothing of the enemy, although they were in superior force (No. 328). His confidence was justified by a complete victory won against Don John at Estremos, where 5000 English took a decisive part (No. 333); and they were equally prominent at the recapture of Evora, which took place soon after. Holles could justly boast that English troops did not shrink from a fight, either by sea or land (No. 379). France continued to send more troops (No. 336), yet the Portuguese kept pressing both England and France for assistance with extraordinary importunity.
The failure of the war with Portugal to which Spain had devoted all her remaining energies had reduced her almost to the last extremity. At the end of the year Cornaro wrote that there was no sign of sufficient apparatus for any enterprise in Portugal in the coming campaign (No. 368). In the New World also her impotence at sea exposed her to severe buffetings. Provoked by frequent raids, in which the Spaniards had carried off men, animals and goods, the governor of Jamaica organised a counter demonstration against Cuba. There he landed and took the fort of Sant' Iago with little trouble, demolishing the works, and returned home with a number of captured ships and considerable booty (Nos. 302, 307). A few months later another English expedition landed a force in the bay of Campeche, took the place, razed the forts and carried off ships and guns (No. 324). Such exploits threatened to cut off Spanish supplies of treasure at their source.
The French looked on and wondered, as well they might, how long the Spaniards would put up with the injuries which they were constantly receiving from the English (No. 328). War would have been the inevitable consequence had not the condition of the country rendered it impracticable. Spanish resources were unequal to providing an army to fight Portugal on land as well as a fleet to defend themselves against the English (No. 181). In the summer of 1662 the Spanish government seemed to have nerved themselves to take the decisive step. The chargé d'affaires was withdrawn from London, though on the pretext of attending to his private affairs. The merchants fully expected a declaration and trembled for the seizure of their goods (No. 204). Lawson with his squadron remained inside the Strait in order to protect trade in the event of hostilities (No. 221). But when they came to measure their resources the Spanish government found that war would only mean looking to the defences of their coasts and constant anxiety for the safety of the treasure fleets (No. 203). So when Caracena, the governor in the Spanish Netherlands, complained of the aggressive behaviour of the English governor of Dunkirk and pressed for instructions, he was put off with indefinite answers, because the province was unprepared for war (No. 209). Uncertainty as to the attitude of England had prevented the withdrawal from those parts of troops needed for operations against Portugal (No. 32). When at length the government made up its mind to move some regiments from Flanders to Galicia, the event only served to show their dependence on the good will of England. On their way through the Channel the transports were overtaken by a storm and forced to take refuge in English ports (Nos. 134, 137). There they were well received by special orders from the king, but even with this good will only one ship of the entire squadron succeeded in reaching Galicia (No. 147). Spanish naval weakness was so great that without the presence of the English and Dutch squadrons in their waters, the Barbary corsairs would have brought all the sea borne trade of the country to a standstill (No. 107).
Some sort of an understanding with England seemed essential in order to relieve Spain from an almost abject situation. The first minister, the duke of Medina, admitted that they could not afford to show resentment for the injuries they suffered, as they had no means of exacting vengeance (No. 351). As the northern nations valued the Indies chiefly in the interests of trade and did not care about making conquests there, he was in favour of allowing them to trade, and the Spanish crown would benefit by so doing (No. 327).
Regular diplomatic relations with England had been broken off by the dismissal of Batteville and the departure of Rancano; but about two months after the secretary had left advances were made through a Burgundian lady who called herself the Marquise de Montbason. She approached the king's cousin, Aubigny, telling him that she had authority from the king of Spain to make proposals for an accommodation. Clarendon refused to treat with a woman, but Charles was curious and consented to give her audience. She failed to convince him of the genuineness of her credentials. It did not stop there as Aubigny spoke about the affair to Giavarina, who communicated it to his colleague at Madrid, who in his turn told Medina. That minister refrained from committing himself, but he was obviously pleased by the communication (No. 259). Later on he disowned the lady and declared that her assertions were all false (No. 283).
Almost simultaneously with this affair an Irishman named White came over from Brussels, nominally on private affairs, but actually sent by Caracena to find out what disposition there was for a friendly understanding. White obtained an assurance that if the king of Spain would send an ambassador to England, an embassy extraordinary should immediately be sent in response (No. 257). This also came to nothing, as Caracena disowned White and declared that he had acted on his own initiative, without instructions (No. 272). Close on the heels of White there followed a third emissary. This was an Irish friar named Patrick O'Moledy, whom Cornaro describes as a man of little account and less ability (No. 333). He came to London from Bilbao and lay awhile in hiding, until an opportunity should occur for disclosing his business (No. 270). In spite of Cornaro's poor opinion of him, he contrived to get the ear of the king and is said to have had several secret audiences (No. 272).
By April, 1663, O'Moledy was back in Madrid, where he held out great hopes of an accommodation, saying that the English desired it (No. 333). A few weeks later he set out again for England, well supplied with money (No. 337). A short while before a sum of 200,000 crowns had been remitted to London from Antwerp, where the king of Spain had double that amount lying to his credit (No. 326). It was proposed to apply these funds for fostering divisions in the English parliament, and the first remittance was to be followed by others (Nos. 328, 344). In the event these funds were diverted to serve the more urgent needs of the emperor, and so O'Moledy found himself deprived of the chief resource for his proposed activities (No. 352). Nevertheless he succeeded in persuading Charles to send Fanshawe as ambassador to the Spanish Court (No. 368).
Although the choice was somewhat ambiguous, seeing that Fanshawe had only recently returned from an embassy to Portugal, the announcement of it caused great satisfaction at Madrid (No. 399). Medina declared that the mission would be useful because of the Indies and to let them know the intentions of the English government, as they needed to settle something definitely and not be subject to constant losses (No. 373). In spite of appearances to the contrary Charles did not wish to drive the Spaniards into war. He had always protested his friendly sentiments to the Spanish king. He declared that the raids in the Indies had occurred without his knowledge and against his wishes, and when the earl of Marlborough was sent out in August, 1663, to be governor of Jamaica, he carried instructions to keep up a good understanding with the Spaniards so far as he was able (No. 347).
The aversion of the English for the French in general was much greater than that of the English for the Spaniards (No. 77). In the summer of 1661 relations with France were far from cordial. The household of the Ambassador d'Estrades were so detested in London for many insolences that it was believed he would try to get himself replaced (No. 69). In the affair of the coaches the London mob had taken Batteville's part and Estrades complained as much of the English as of the Spaniards on that occasion. The French king went so far as to demand the punishment of those who had offended, but no attention was paid to this (No. 73).
The diplomatic victory won by France over Spain in this matter, filled the French with inordinate pride, and they imagined that their sovereign to be an absolute arbiter over other kings and that every one ought to submit blindly to his wishes in everything (No. 164). But while it was comparatively easy to inflict humiliation on an enfeebled Spain the French were wise enough to see that similar methods would not answer in England. Early in 1662 Estrades made a hurried visit to England and was understood to have presented demands concerning reciprocal salutes at sea and that the king should give up using the title and arms of France (No. 116). The latter point does not seem to have been pressed; but the question of the flag was a delicate one on which neither side seemed likely to give way. Charles could not afford to give up an acknowledgment of sovereignty which had been conceded to Cromwell, and his mother declared that though she was a French princess she could not imagine her son surrendering a prerogative which belonged to his crown (No. 133). Louis showed himself equally unyielding and sent secret and stringent orders to Beaufort, his admiral, never to dip his flag to the English but rather to suffer the loss of his ships (No. 122). The chief result of such an order was that Beaufort found himself obliged to remain in port, as the English were enormously superior at sea and he would only risk destruction by coming out (No. 128). French ministers seem to have glossed over this disagreeable fact (No. 133).
If the fleets of the two countries could only avoid a conflict by keeping out of each other's way, the situation was manifestly a delicate one, and in England the probability of a war with France was the one topic of conversation. It was believed that the French had concluded an offensive and defensive alliance with Holland and Sweden directed against England (No. 121). Negotiations between the French and Dutch were in fact proceeding and eventually culminated in a treaty of alliance. To show that this was not directed against England, a place was left for Charles to enter the treaty if he wished (Nos. 172, 177). The invitation was declined as Charles said that he already had an open treaty with the Dutch; but he was far from feeling pleased at this conjunction between the two next strongest naval powers (No. 191), especially as a French guarantee of the Dutch fisheries was an express condition of the treaty (No. 177).
This alliance sensibly modified the international situation and may have caused a feeling of insecurity in England. It was followed by a complete change in the attitude towards France. In August, 1662, Estrades was summoned to England by Charles himself, and when there he conferred more than once with Clarendon. This was supposed to be on the question of assisting Portugal, although a proposal to purchase Dunkirk was mentioned (No. 233). There had been some talk of this a while before, but the idea had been dismissed as absurd (No. 164). It was obviously more to the advantage of England that the place should be held by the Spaniards rather than by the French, and there was no sign that they meant to let it go (No. 165). It had been formally incorporated in the realm of England and could not be alienated except with the consent of parliament, moreover orders had only recently been sent to the governor to press on with the work of the fortifications, money being forwarded for the purpose (No. 253).
While the utter improbability of any such thing was being satisfactorily demonstrated, the transaction was swiftly and secretly carried out. Estrades is said to have carried his point by bribing the chancellor and his daughter, the duchess of York (No. 238). The difficulty about obtaining the consent of parliament was got over by giving the place as a pledge for money advanced. Once the French had obtained possession there was no fear that they would allow themselves to be turned out (No. 256). The purchase money was to consist of five million francs, payable in two instalments. Estrades offered hostages as security, but Charles declared that he would be satisfied with the French king's word, a mark of confidence that caused Louis intense satisfaction (No. 264). The financial genius of Colbert enabled the French to pay down the whole amount at once, and the English Court was so eager to have the money that a liberal discount for interest was allowed off the grand total, in consideration of the immediate payment of the second instalment (Nos. 267, 275).
Payment was made in silver coin, and Alderman Backwell went over to France to test the pieces (No. 272). The coins were examined at Paris, the bad ones being thrown out. To soothe French susceptibilities it was explained that King Charles wished to have the money recoined as English and that was why they cut it (No. 281). The arrival of the money was most eagerly anticipated in England, as no one was receiving any pay at Court and all expected to have a share, so that it was likely to disappear into several hands as soon as it arrived (No. 283).
The French showed great determination in effecting this stroke. Louis had declared that he meant to have the place in any case (No. 233). His ministers had been greatly perturbed by the premature revelation of their plans, fearing that patriotic Englishmen might interfere and bring them to naught; but they were determined by every means to ensure their intent (No. 260). On obtaining possession the officers of the king's household and the musketeers of the guard were at once sent to secure it (No. 278). They were received with delight by the inhabitants, who were told that although the king had been obliged to let Dunkirk fall into the hands of the English for the sake of peace in Christendom, he always intended to make this good later, to preserve it for the faith, as he had done by the sacrifice of so large a sum of money. It was expected that he would cause the temples erected by the English to be demolished (No. 284).
Some of Cromwell's old troops still remained in the garrison and it was doubtless these who objected to the transfer. They were disbanded. Of the rest, five companies were sent to Guernsey and the others were distributed among the home garrisons. The Irish entered French service (Nos. 278, 279).
In Spain this transaction aroused the bitterest feeling and the perfidy of France was loudly denounced. Mazarin, they said, had offered de Haro 800,000 crowns to recover those territories and drive the English out (No. 268). It had been arranged in the peace that the French should recover Dunkirk and hand it over to the Spaniards in exchange for two places in Artois (Nos. 233, 248). Now they meant to keep it for themselves. The French retorted that Mazarin's offer only showed the sincerity of his dealings. It was made because he wished to get the place out of the hands of the English. If it was not accepted it was not to be expected that France should lose a favourable opportunity of recovering it from the heretics (No. 297).
The business of Estrades in England did not stop at the acquisition of Dunkirk. He had proposals to make for the assistance of Portugal and for an alliance against the House of Austria (No. 266). The French wished to maintain a body of 6000 English infantry in Portugal at the cost of the king of France (No. 249). There seemed, indeed, some chance of a coalition against Spain for the defence of Portugal (No. 270). The acquisition of Dunkirk was also to serve this end. Troops from its former garrison were sent to Havre to be embarked thence for Portugal by way of England in spite of the remonstrance of the Spanish ambassador. He protested that it was a breach of the treaty, but the French declared that they had nothing to do with the matter (No. 311). An undertaking was eventually given that only 110 out of 1500 should go on to England (No. 319). How far this promise was observed is doubtful. Some while later 1300 French troops for Portugal reached Plymouth, where they were not allowed to land for fear of the mischief they might do ashore (No. 329). Speaking generally the English were not prepared to go so far as the French wished for the defence of Portugal.
With regard to an alliance against the House of Austria, Estrades found no response to his proposals in England. When Winchelsea at Constantinople had tried to get instructions to stir up the Turks against the Austrians, in order to provide a useful diversion for Portugal, he had received a strict injunction from the Council not to meddle in the matter (No. 166). Seeing that no progress was likely in this direction Estrades left with nothing settled.
He was succeeded by Comminges, who was sent over in a hurry. After the Dunkirk affair there was some idea that he might have come with offers for Tangier, which could also be represented as costing more than it was worth (No. 290). He was soon busy with secret negotiations. These mainly concerned Portugal (Nos. 296, 297), but he was also treating for a renewal of the old alliance and complete correspondence between the two crowns (No. 334).
Like his predecessor Comminges was eager to assert the dignity of his sovereign. He made a great to do because he claimed to have received an affront at the lord mayor's banquet, though the fault seems to have been entirely his own, for coming late (No. 365). France had no desire to quarrel with England over trifles and the matter was speedily and amicably adjusted by mutual explanations (No. 370). The delicate susceptibilities of the ambassador seem to have been somewhat ruffled later on because Fanshawe, who was going as ambassador to Spain, passed before his house with some pomp (No. 400).
In response to the mission of Comminges Lord Holles had been sent to Paris as ambassador in ordinary. He also stood upon punctilio and refused to make his public entry because of differences about precedence with the princes of the blood. For this reason the first weeks of his mission did not prove very fruitful. He had, however, very positive orders to protect and support the Vaudois, who were threatened with another persecution, with all possible pressure (No. 374), showing that Charles did not mean to be more backward than Cromwell in this matter. The fact that Turenne deliberately avoided meeting Holles and left the house when he was announced, naturally caused comment (No. 388), and there was some commotion later on over a flag incident with Beaufort (No. 402); but there seemed nothing for the time being that was likely to upset the friendly relations that had been resumed between the two crowns.
Relations with the Dutch were disturbed by their unfriendly proceedings which created a very bad impression, especially among the merchants (No. 38). Both countries were busily seeking commercial advantage and their interests came into collision in many parts. The union between England and Portugal was quickly followed by an adjustment of the quarrel between the Portuguese and the Dutch. To arrive at this settlement the Portuguese showed themselves as lavish with promises as they had been with the English. Complications were threatened because the same things that had been granted to the English were promised to the Dutch also (No. 35). Thus Portugal had conceded to the English full liberty to trade in the Indies, Brazil being specifically mentioned, whereas in the Dutch treaty the English were to be excluded from any trade in those parts. The Resident Downing protested strongly and tried to get the terms modified (No. 38). But in the treaty as ratified the Dutch were promised the peaceful possession of certain places in the Indies occupied by them and freedom to trade there, whereas the English had been given exclusive rights there and possession of the same places (No. 101). Gamarra, the Spanish ambassador in the Netherlands, pronounced confidently that the peace would lead to a rupture with England because the places given up by Portugal in Africa were the same as those assigned to the Dutch by Spain in the treaties of Munster (No. 48). The last forecast seemed likely to find prompt fulfilment, for the English fleet sent to take possession of the places in Guinea compelled the surrender of a Dutch fort there, which was not strong enough to offer resistance (No. 50).
Another possible cause of conflict was over the Spanish treasure fleets in whose safe arrival Dutch traders were deeply interested. When war threatened between England and Spain, Ruyter, who commanded a squadron in the Strait, sent to the duke of Medina Celi offering to protect the fleet (No. 40). To this end he kept hanging about in Spanish waters, observing the movements of Montagu (No. 48). To enable himself to maintain his station he established a magazine at Malaga, stocked with provisions for more than a year. Though ostensibly he was there to act against the Barbary corsairs his permanence in those waters was chiefly in order to secure the Spanish treasure fleets against any designs which the English might have against them (No. 72).
With these irreconcileable claims and other grounds of quarrel a conflict between the two countries seemed inevitable sooner or later. The merchants would have welcomed this gladly for the Dutch were drawing away a great part of their trade (No. 178). It was suspected on the continent that Charles was leading up to this and aiming at isolating the Dutch, and the French and Spanish Courts were beginning to feel alarmed and to consider the need of hastening to their assistance (No. 47).
The Dutch had no wish to precipitate a quarrel and from the beginning of this period they had four ambassadors extraordinary in England to negotiate for the settlement of outstanding differences. Very little progress was made and as the ambassadors wished to hasten homewards they restricted the scope of their efforts to a confirmation of general friendly relations (No. 43). But while these were in progress fresh disputes arose over ships seized, in which neither party would yield an inch (No. 206). In spite of the unpromising state of affairs the ambassadors checked their desire to leave. They stayed on because negotiations were proceeding simultaneously with France and favourable results were expected. If these expectations were realised it was probable that they would react favourably on the negotiations in England (Nos. 153, 165).
That is what actually occurred. The alliance concluded between France and Holland checked the desire for war in England as it was seen that Louis would support and protect the Dutch (No. 211). Lack of money and the possibility of internal trouble also acted as a deterrent (No. 226). The negotiations thus took a favourable turn and a conclusion seemed likely, when they broke down on a single point. It was proposed and agreed that all questions in dispute since 1654 should be referred to commissioners. The Dutch in addition wished to wipe the slate of all matters prior to that date. To this the English would not consent and the ambassadors prepared to leave, declaring that they had no authority to go into the subject again. But Charles detained them saying that they were certain to receive instructions by the next ordinary (No. 233). Nothing definite was settled even then, but after some weeks of uncertainty a treaty was at length concluded on 22 September, 1662. As this treaty ignored completely such essential questions as the fisheries, the prince of Orange and navigation, the general opinion was that it would not last long (No. 249).
For the time being, at any rate, the air seemed to be cleared. The Dutch professed a readiness to grant redress in the matter of damages claimed against them, and orders were issued that all who had such claims should send them in writing to Downing, who would present them and ask for satisfaction (No. 283). On the English side conciliatory measures were taken. Governors at the ports were charged not to allow any privateers with Portuguese commissions to enter with Dutch prizes; and Clarendon caused the release of six Dutch ships seized by one du Boulay by virtue of certain claims of the knights of Malta against the United Provinces (No. 204).
These more friendly relations did not endure for long. In little more than a year English privateers with Portuguese commissions were still preying upon Dutch commerce (No. 359). In North America serious disputes occurred between the inhabitants of the adjacent colonies of New England and New Belgium (No. 393). Mischief makers were busy and some annoyance was caused by the publication in Amsterdam of portraits of King Charles with pointed allusion to his impecuniosity and to some of his personal foibles (No. 402).
Since Cromwell's death and the practical withdrawal of English naval forces from the Mediterranean the audacity and insolence of the Barbary corsairs had been constantly on the increase. Their depredations caused heavy losses to the merchants and seriously reduced the volume of shipping, because they rendered navigation so unsafe (No. 112). Their daring was extraordinary and the duke of York informed Giavarina that six of their ships had looked into the mouth of the Thames in search for booty (No. 56). The sailing of Montagu with his squadron towards the Strait gave the traders some hope that he would remedy matters. Their feelings were somewhat mixed as while they wished to restrain and even to punish the corsairs, they were anxious not to do anything that might offend the Porte with whom the corsairs were so closely allied, and with whom their trading interests were so great (No. 30).
The expedition of Montagu owed its inception to certain individuals, without whose wealth it would have been impossible (No. 43). The design was to make treaties with the corsairs, as had been done in Cromwell's time, and only to use force if they proved intractable. Very little was achieved. Montagu was detained for a while at Alicante by sickness and his force was not large enough for great operations. The Spaniards, who had been anxious, were relieved when they saw its weakness and they gave it a cordial welcome at Malaga and Alicante (No. 27).
Montagu wrote home pressing for reinforcements and ten more ships were got ready to go out; but lack of money delayed their starting, as the sailors would not move before they had received their pay (No. 69).
About the middle of August Montagu sailed for Lisbon, leaving Lawson in command of what was left of the fleet. Algiers seemed too formidable for a regular attack, even with the help that was expected from the Dutch and the French. Lawson's plan was to institute a sort of blockade, keeping sixteen ships off Algiers, divided into squadrons, which cruised up and down, intercepting the pirates as they came out or went in (Nos. 62, 65). This policy proved so far successful that in a few weeks Lawson had taken about twenty of their ships (No. 84). The pressure was severely felt at Algiers, where it was reported to have caused a rising. The Pasha is said to have fled for his life and to have fallen into the hands of an English sea captain (No. 73).
In spite of this the pirates contrived to continue their depredations and took a heavy toll of merchant shipping, in which the English were the chief sufferers (Nos. 90, 103). To abate the nuisance any opportunity of making a treaty with the pirates on reasonable terms would have been welcomed in England, in the interests of trade (No. 101). The news of hostilities instead of negotiations caused anxiety because of possible reactions at Constantinople. Winchelsea, the ambassador at the Porte, was very disturbed when he heard of the attack on the Algerines. He made a special journey to Adrianople in order to see the Grand Vizier and explain to him that the Algerines had been the first to attack and to break the agreements (No. 100). Early in 1662 deputies from Algiers arrived at Adrianople, ready to state their case, but Winchelsea was able to prove that they had been the aggressors.
The attitude of the Porte was somewhat aloof from these quarrels. The deputies received a mild rebuke from the Grand Vizier and were advised to come to an agreement with the English (No. 117). Later on they were sharply taken to task by the Vizier's deputy, but Winchelsea was unable to secure the punishment of the guilty parties (No. 124). On the other hand, when the corsairs appealed to the Sultan to help them they were told that as he was on friendly terms with the English crown, he neither could nor would do so and they were advised to make the best terms they could with England (Nos. 134, 162).
Following upon this encounter Winchelsea entered upon negotiations with the corsairs, though he was rendered very anxious by news that pointed to a joint attack of England and France upon their lairs. He complained that his king would do him a great wrong if they instituted operations against the corsairs without giving him previous warning, so that he might make all straight with the Turks (No. 158).
Meanwhile Lawson, though his squadron was reduced to only twelve ships, continued his hostilities and on the 22nd March he made a spirited attack on the Algerians at Bogia (No. 184). After serious losses the Algerians broke and fled for their home port in front of which Ruyter was lying with his squadron. To Lawson's extreme disgust the Dutch admiral allowed the fugitives to pass in unmolested, because he had signed a treaty with the Pasha only two days before (Nos. 188, 191).
Such an event showed the complete lack of correspondence between two nations ostensibly cooperating for the same purpose. The English poured scorn upon Ruyter's agreement and declared that Lawson would exact much better terms by force of arms (No. 180). This he was able to effect soon after and went on to make similar arrangements with Tunis and Tripoli, while the treaty made by Ruyter was denounced by his home government.
The acquisition of Tangier at the end of the preceding year provided Lawson with a convenient base for his operations. But the place also added to his responsibilities. The hold on the fortress was rendered precarious by the uncertain temper of the Moors in the surrounding country. These were divided into factions and something was done to play them off against each other. But they could not be trusted to keep their agreements and there was always the danger of a treacherous attack. Hardly had the agreements with the Barbary corsairs been concluded when Lawson was called upon to distribute his ships along the African coast from Ceuta to Sale in order to keep the Moors in check and to see that they abided by their engagements (No. 225). While the English commander was thus engaged the Barbary corsairs, who had previously shown signs of trickery over the treaty (Nos. 211, 217), took advantage of his absence to claim the right to search English ships, contrary to the treaty, and to commit other acts of violence (No. 244).
The home government seems to have believed that Lawson's work would endure and moved no doubt by motives of economy they recalled him at the end of the year, leaving only six ships behind, under the command of Capt. Smith (No. 296). The event showed that they were too optimistic. Before the following year came to an end the corsairs were as busy as ever, making prizes of both English and Dutch ships as if they had no agreements with those nations (Nos. 366, 369). This could not be endured and Holles told Sagredo, the Venetian ambassador at Paris, that his king was determined to prevent future trouble and to send a powerful fleet to compel the corsairs to keep faith (No. 374). Lawson received orders to proceed to the Mediterranean and wage a ruthless war against them (No. 372). To do this effectively the king was said to be arming 25 ships of war (No. 379).
At the other end Winchelsea was busy at Constantinople and at a cost of 2000 reals had obtained commands from the Porte to the Tunisians and Algerians that they were to renew the peace with the English and give an undertaking not to search their ships (No. 358). He further obtained the Sultan's consent to the punishment of the corsairs for their breaches of faith, though only those against the English (No. 381). Apparently not much was expected to come of this. Upon representations being made that the corsairs were still continuing to take prizes the Caimecam at Adrianople replied that they were born thieves and thieves they would die; it was impossible to control them (No. 404).
When Winchelsea was appointed to the embassy at Constantinople Giavarina described him as a frivolous young man who only desired the position for what he could make out of it. As he appears in these pages the earl certainly displays a somewhat naive vanity, boasting of his wife's connection with the royal blood (No. 28) and that the king of England called him “cousin” and the Grand Duke “Excellency” (No. 60). He is also represented as very variable and ready to embrace without consideration things which he believes will serve his own interests (No. 345). But he showed himself none the less an efficient minister in looking after the interests of the nation and enjoyed a high repute with the Turks. The Venetian minister Ballarino, who did not love him, admits that he was looked on very favourably and received beyond the ordinary (No. 335). Early in 1662 he secured the renewal of the capitulations in the same form as under Charles I, but with some additional advantages for his merchants (No. 124), a service that was greatly appreciated at home (No. 162). Although his chief concern was with trade he also had to treat for the admission of a minister from Portugal at Constantinople. The Turks seemed perfectly well disposed to this, but Winchelsea insisted upon having the concession in writing, and over this there was some difficulty. He himself felt doubtful about the advisibility of this policy, as the Portuguese might make great profits to the hurt of his own people, and friendly relations between princes were not permanent (No. 124).
The question seems to have remained in abeyance for a whole year when in August, 1663, the Grand Vizier sent word that as the Porte stood open to all the world, a minister might come from Portugal and would be well received. This pronouncement, though not very encouraging, stimulated Winchelsea into making two remarkable proposals. First, that English ships should have free access to the Black Sea where they would be able to assist the Turks against the Cossacks and leave the Sultan free to concentrate the whole of his naval force in the Mediterranean. Second, that the Portuguese might have permission to raise levies from the Albanians, Greeks and other Turkish subjects. In permitting himself to go so far Winchelsea courted a severe rebuff, which he duly received. His first proposal was curtly declined while the second did not meet with much encouragement (No. 343). It was at this point that the earl sent his secretary, Rycaut, to England with letters from the Sultan and matters to be communicated orally to his own sovereign which he did not wish to commit to paper.
The life of a minister at Constantinople was not a bed of roses. Winchelsea early lost a little daughter by the plague. At Adrianople the quarters assigned to him were so wretched that he bought a large tent and established himself in that, in the country near by (Nos. 335, 345). He diverted himself with hunting. While on one of these expeditions two of his servants were set upon and one died, in consequence. The culprits were delivered to the ambassador and he is said to have tortured them, to get information about their accomplices, before they went to execution (No. 15). The dragomans upon whom the ambassador had to depend for communications with the Turks were not to be trusted. The imperial resident Reninger confided that he had received orders from home to have his put out of the way, and Winchelsea admitted that he had half a mind to stick a dagger into his own man, Draperis (No. 61).
With the imperial resident Winchelsea had at first been on friendly terms, so much so that Reninger had deposited a considerable sum of money in his hands. But the Portuguese marriage caused an estrangement and the resident broke off all relations (No. 45). Not only so, but he did his best to prevent the admission of a Portuguese minister (No. 101). As already stated Winchelsea was forbidden to stir up the Turks against the Austrians, as he would have liked to do. He was later in friendly correspondence with Count Leslie who came subsequently as ambassador extraordinary to the Porte from the emperor (No. 389), and the Court of Vienna selected a minister to go to England, in a series of embassies sent out to appeal for help against the Turks (No. 371).
The French and Dutch ministers were not persons of great consideration. Both of them were ready to countenance a slanderous attack on Winchelsea made by Sciot and Greek merchants who felt themselves aggrieved by his interference in a case in which they were interested (No. 335). With the Dutch minister the earl also had differences over the requisitioning of the ships of their respective nations by the Turks for the conveyance of troops and munitions of war, a question of great moment for the Venetian minister. Each minister accused the other of being the cause of the mischief (No. 146). It is not unlikely that they had both bribed the Turkish officials to let off their own ships at the expense of their rival.
Venice was particularly anxious to be on good terms with England and accordingly Ballarino had most precise instructions to do his best to cultivate friendly relations with the English minister. At first all went well, so much so that Winchelsea got the Venetian to act as godfather to his infant son (Nos. 55, 60). In the matter of the requisitioning of ships by the Turks, Winchelsea promised to do his best to prevent it, and Ballarino seems to have believed him. This friendliness did not continue. Winchelsea took offence because an offer to mediate between Venice and the Turks had not been accepted. This was not entirely Ballarino's fault for Giavarina had reported from England that the offer was made entirely on Winchelsea's own responsibility, and that he was moved partly by good will to Venice but much more by the hope of private advantage (No. 112). A more serious misunderstanding arose over the Bailo Capello, who died in November, 1662. The two ministers disputed the possession and disposal of the body. Winchelsea's account of the matter is given in part in the Finch papers, while that of Ballarino is set forth here. It must be admitted that Ballarino's story seems much the less likely. It is not quite clear, however, whether the incredible report of the indecent treatment of the Bailo's body originated with him or was only attributed to him by Tomaso Gobbato, the physician whom Winchelsea commissioned to convey the body to Venice (Nos. 304, 383).
Ballarino subsequently got together evidence to show that Winchelsea had instigated the Turks to make an attack on the Venetian embassy (Nos. 375, 386). Winchelsea himself declared that he was aware of Ballarino's hostile attitude towards him, under a mask of friendliness, and swore that he would bear it in mind (No. 310). Shortly afterwards he was making friendly advances to the Venetian, but Ballarino remained on his guard, suspecting that the earl, whose temperament was so volatile, was simply moved by disgust at his treatment by the Turks and because he wished Ballarino to do something for him (Nos. 345, 396).
Ballarino's reports to the detriment of Winchelsea had no effect on the policy of the Venetian Signory to cultivate the most friendly relations with England. In the long drawn out war of Candia they wished first of all to obtain orders from Charles to prevent English ships serving the Turks. They also hoped to obtain assistance from England, either directly with ships and men, or indirectly by hostile operations against the Barbary corsairs. They hoped further that the regular diplomatic relations, so long interrupted, would be resumed by the appointment of an ambassador to reside at Venice.
The mission of the ambassadors extraordinary was expected to advance all these objects. Correr and Morosini met with the most friendly reception but they left matters much as they found them and were obliged to report that very little advantage could be looked for from England (p. 88). On their departure Giavarina remained to continue his lengthy ministry. He grew weary of his task and in June, 1662, he petitioned that he might be removed to Zurich, for which he had long since been chosen (No. 194). The Senate promised that his appeal should be considered at the earliest opportunity (No. 223), but it was not until November that permission was sent to him to set out for his residence with the Swiss (No. 280). Before this reached him Giavarina's service was terminated in a less agreeable manner.
The brewer who supplied the embassy with beer and who had already been paid for the liquor, claimed that payment should also be made for the excise duty. Giavarina refused to do this, as he said that it was a privilege of the foreign ministers to be supplied duty free. After a while the brewer, growing impatient, appealed to the Council, who sent word to the resident that exemption from the duty was not allowed to anyone soever. Giavarina protested to the secretary that he had never been called upon to pay the duty, but if they meant to withdraw a privilege that had always been enjoyed he asked that they should give him something in writing. This seems to have enraged Clarendon, who called the Secretary Nicholas and directed him to write a letter to Venice saying that the king was not satisfied with Giavarina and wished him to be recalled.
Such extraordinary procedure astounded Giavarina, who was at a loss to account for it and tried to imagine various reasons. One of the gentlemen of the king's bedchamber was Thomas Killigrew who had acted for Charles as his resident at Venice, and who had been ignominiously expelled in order to please Cromwell. He openly gloated over the incident, which he represented as an act of retaliation (Nos. 261, 266, 270). That there was no real feeling against Giavarina was shown by an interview which he had soon after with the duke of York, and when he finally took leave at the end of the year the king received him kindly and spoke of him very graciously (No. 292). Alluding to the incident at a later date Holles seemed to apologise for what had been done and said that the matter did not have his vote when it was brought up in the Council of State (No. 349). Giavarina was told that the threat to write to Venice had only been made to frighten him, but the records contain a reference to a letter of October the 2nd, although the letter itself seems to have disappeared. In reply the Senate merely expresses regret at the king's dissatisfaction and says that the resident had already received orders to take leave and proceed to another employment (No. 286).
As in the case of Batteville, also the work of Clarendon, the incident led to a complete breach of diplomatic relations. Pietro Mocenigo had been appointed to the English embassy as early as December, 1660. (fn. 10) At his last audience Giavarina spoke to the king about his coming, and application had already been made to the Dutch to give him a passport (No. 250).
The cavalier treatment of Giavarina does not seem to have, by itself, decided the Senate to stop their ambassador, but before he proceeded on his way they wished to be assured that Charles would respond by sending a minister to Venice. Cromwell's son-in-law, Viscount Fauconberg, had been spoken of for this embassy as early as December, 1661 (No. 105). He was very fond of Italy and would like to have the post (No. 113). In July, 1662, the king definitely told Giavarina that he was to have the appointment (No. 217). He was said to be as eager to come as the king was to send him, but they wished him to undertake the embassy at his own cost, as a penance, some said, for having married Cromwell's daughter (No. 283). But Fauconberg had already compounded for this fault and he was not prepared to go out upon such terms. Before many months had passed Sagredo was told that all idea of his going had been abandoned, but that the king would soon select someone else (No. 363). The Signory did not want to commit themselves too far before they could feel fairly certain of reciprocity from Charles. Sagredo was instructed to inform Holles that Mocenigo had been detained by his private affairs, but that he would start when these had been disposed of (No. 353). The English ambassador's reception of this information gave the impression that they were not anxious to see the Venetian minister in London at the moment (No. 357). Little more is heard of Mocenigo's mission for some time to come.
The Venetian ambassadors extraordinary have left a picture of Charles in the early days of his reign. They lay stress on the easy familiarity of his manners, his delight in hunting, fishing and in trips on the water (No. 106, p. 84). He took great delight in watching the building of ships for the navy and paid frequent visits to the Arsenals (No. 7). In the summer of 1663 he went to Portsmouth to see a new invention of a ship which would go as swiftly against wind and tide as if it had them in its favour (No. 350). He was greatly pleased at the present of gondolas, which he had not scrupled to beg from Venice (Nos. 46, 49, 52). When the gondoliers told him about the “fisolera” in which Venetian gentlemen went water fowling, he must needs have one of these also and made haste to ask for it (No. 52). He had St. James' Park enlarged and adorned with ornamental waters, which were stocked with a number of live creatures for his amusement, and out of his superfluity he sent a very large consignment of deer, Indian ducks, pelicans and other animals to put in the park of Versailles (No. 330). By the end of 1662 the king's popularity had greatly declined. Everyone complained that he left everything to his ministers and cared for nothing but his amusements, which were looked at askance, especially by the sectaries “who all claim to be saints and that all they do is by divine inspiration” (No. 269).
The king's brother, the duke of York applied himself but little to the affairs of the country and attended to nothing but his pleasures (No. 106, p. 87), though he told the Venetians that he disliked private ease and desired nothing so much as to be on board a fleet to fight the infidel (No. 33).
The king's natural son James, usually known as Monmouth, came to England from France at the age of 13 in the company of the queen mother, who was very fond of him. He was a spirited lad and though he had passed as the son of lord Crofts, he had been brought up as a prince, and instructed in the Catholic faith. The queen wished to confirm him in this, but his father, who now recognised him, gave him an Anglican tutor (No. 218). His father made much of him and arranged a marriage with the Buccleugh heiress; but the courtiers, envious of his good fortune, began to intrigue against him (No. 222). After the wedding and the installation of Monmouth as a knight of the garter, the lad was sent off to France to start a continental tour, while his little bride returned to her home (No. 322).
Prince Rupert, who held a command in the imperial armies, had come to England by permission of the emperor, on condition that he returned to Germany when the campaigning season began (No. 130). Having received a promise from Charles of an appointment in England, and being admitted to the Privy Council, Rupert wrote to the emperor resigning his command while thanking him for his numerous favours (No. 184). He only appears once more in these pages, in trying to force a duel upon Buckingham, whom he disliked intensely, and being sharply reprimanded by the king for his conduct (No. 222).
In the autumn of 1662 England was visited by the crown prince of Denmark, who was making a tour of the world. Among other places he visited the university towns of Oxford and Cambridge. The king would not allow him to maintain his incognito, but insisted on lodging and defraying him, though the prince tried hard to avoid it. Before he left for France the king made him a knight of the garter (Nos. 253, 262, 279).
Although Charles sent few ministers abroad in the first years of his reign his own Court was crowded with the representatives of foreign powers. According to Giavarina they were all eager to leave the country as soon as possible because of the instability and dilatoriness in negotiating and because of the high cost of living (No. 153). In commenting on the charges against Batteville of acts unfriendly to the government to which he was accredited, Giavarina quaintly remarks that even if true such acts should not be considered blameworthy, since it was the duty of a minister to do anything that he considered might be of service to his master (No. 95).
A notable foreign embassy was that from the Grand Duke of Muscovy. In accordance with custom the Muscovy Company were called upon to defray the expense of entertaining the ambassadors. Though summoned before the Council, they absolutely refused to do so, ostensibly because they had no money, but actually because the Grand Duke had taken away all the privileges which they used to enjoy in his dominions (No. 217). The entry and first audience of these ambassadors were marked by extraordinary pomp. Their offices were for the resumption of trade, the repayment of a considerable sum which the Grand Duke had lent to Charles during his exile, and to engage military officers to serve their sovereign (Nos. 296, 298, 300).
One of the few missions sent abroad was that of Richard Beling to Rome in the autumn of 1662. He was to act as agent for the queen and to move for the promotion to the cardinalate of the two English abbots, Aubigny and Walter Montagu. Some difficulty was anticipated because, when in France, Aubigny had shown a leaning to Jansenism, though he had since given it up (Nos. 257, 276).
The early history of the English occupation of Tangier has been given at some length by the late Sir Julian Corbet (fn. 11) and not much is to be added from these pages. When the English took over the place most of the Portuguese inhabitants left, and were transported with their families to Faro (Nos. 149, 162). In an early brush with the Moors, one Mordaunt, a kinsman of the governor was slain (No. 162). In the summer of 1662 the port had already become an assembling place for English traders to the Mediterranean, the ships putting in there and afterwards scattering to their various destinations (No. 225).
Venice was not alone in desiring Charles to attack the Turks. Towards the end of 1662 a Greek monk arrived in London with letters from six bishops inviting the king to take the Morea, promising that the people would rise in his favour (No. 270). The king received the letters, but was not attracted. He had, on the contrary, been thinking of taking into his own hands the trade in steel, lead and tin with the Porte (Nos. 158, 215, 332).
In the summer of 1661 England was visited by an epidemic of fever, not considered infectious, but giving a death rate in London of several hundreds a week. Among the sufferers was General Monk, whose life was for some time considered in danger (No. 43). On the last days of February, 1662, London and the whole country were visited by a terrible storm, incomparably more severe than the one which marked the day of Cromwell's death. In the country the roads were blocked with fallen trees and many lives were lost. In London the royal palace was seriously damaged in many places, and fires broke out in three apartments. Giavarina had the front of his own house blown out and escaped himself by a miracle. Two adjacent houses collapsed entirely (Nos. 143, 148). After a coronation, he says, it seems that this country has always been visited by some scourge, such as a pestilence or scarcity (No. 137).
The paper printed as an Appendix from the MSS. in the library of St. Mark is apparently in the hand of Giovanni Cornaro, Venetian ambassador in Spain from 1661 to 1664. It is probably a copy he made from some print or paper issued in Spain during his embassy, between the time of the announcement of Charles's betrothal and the arrival of the bride in England. The copy does not seem to be complete as it breaks off somewhat abruptly with the rather inconsequent panegyric of John Casimir II, long of Poland.
In conclusion I would express my grateful thanks to the officials of the three great Venetian repositories of the Frari, the library of St. Mark and the Museo Civico for their kindness and courtesy.
London, May, 1932.
ALLEN B. HINDS.