Venice
August 1661

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Institute of Historical Research

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Allen B. Hinds (editor)

Year published

1932

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20-35

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'Venice: August 1661', Calendar of State Papers Relating to English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 33: 1661-1664 (1932), pp. 20-35. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=90095 Date accessed: 15 September 2014.


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August 1661

Aug. 3.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Spagna.
Venetian
Archives.
26. Giovanni Cornaro, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.
They calculate on the fleet arriving in the present month, with all prosperity. The declarations of England, but much more the weakness of the forces which she is keeping at sea at present, remove all fears of ill success.
All attention here is turned to Portugal and to England, as afflictions which gnaw at their very vitals and of the highest importance; but little is said about the treaties for a league or of the major interests of Christendom.
Madrid, the 3rd August, 1661.
[Italian.]
Aug. 3.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Spagna.
Venetian
Archives.
27. Giovanni Cornaro, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.
The English fleet under the command of Montagu is now in these seas. Don Luis told me that his Majesty has received letters from that king acquainting him with the reasons for this expedition, and expressing the desire for the continuance of good relations, but he cannot understand how the reputation of the monarchy and the interests of Spain can possibly permit this if the marriage takes place.
The fleet is made up of 14 frigates of war, four fireships and two ships (bastimenti.) Its destination is Algiers with the determination to recover from those barbarians the slaves of their nation. If they find any difficulty about this they mean to do them all the hurt they can, bombarding the town with their guns and burning the ships in the ports. At Malaga and Alicante, where the fleet put in, it was received with demonstrations of courtesy and the best possible treatment. The route taken, and the weakness of the force of which it is composed have relieved their minds here, which were troubled by fears of unhappy encounters, with the approaching arrival of the fleet. Nevertheless, in their talk they do not give up the hope that the negotiations of Batteville, the interest of the king there that the peace shall not be broken, some unexpected accident occurring to that government, which is not very solid, and the lack of money from which Portugal is suffering, may upset the completion of the marriage.
These are chimeras which present themselves in their serious infirmity or to their artificial imaginings, to moderate the bitterness of the people, or else the nursing of considerations where there is no remedy, and they are incapable of any resolution, things being already brought to such a pitch that they cannot be changed whatever efforts they may make and with Montagu's return it is known that the bride is to proceed to England.
The Spaniards are in no case to have powerful forces at sea. They have no means of doing any harm to England, and although some ships are arming at Cadiz and in Biscaya it does not appear that they can be brought together to form a fleet of any consequence. Portugal in this way will receive succour; the breach of the agreements made with this crown, the tearing up of the treaties will be dissimulated, without abandoning the name of peace. Hostilities will be practised, and by causing concern for the safety of Flanders they will tacitly confer a benefit on Braganza by the diversion. The ministers of the government indeed talk otherwise, but necessity is a councillor from whom there is no appeal and the lack of force makes them helpless to attack. France corresponds perfectly with treaties of confidence, but the incompatibility of temperament, and considerations of interest will always stand in the way of greater advantages. Holland is near to an adjustment of her differences with Portugal over trade and although England may be jealous to them, their immediate interests will not permit any resolutions contrary to the peace. The assistance which the English will give to Portugal will render the war difficult, lengthy and costly.
Madrid, the 3rd August. 1661.
[Italian.]
Aug. 4.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Costantinopoli.
Venetian
Archives.
28. Giovanni Battista Ballarino. Venetian Grand Chancellor at the Porte, to the Doge and Senate.
The English ambassador, though far away because of the plague, and most distracted at the loss of his daughter. (fn. 1) sent to inform me of the marriage arranged between his king and the Infanta of Portugal. I sent Padavin to the villa at Belgrade where his Excellency is staying, with congratulations. He returned thanks and went on to speak as follows: I have a two-fold reason for feeling gratified at this happy event because the transactions all took place from the beginning by my hands, just as that of the liberty and restitution to the royal possession of his throne was also transacted by me. so I ought to thank God that I have put the crown on his head and the bride in his bed. My wife is related in blood to his Majesty. (fn. 2) and this places me under a double obligation to procure every good for my country and the one who now rules it with felicity. As a further confirmation of my satisfaction I learn also that a defensive and offensive alliance has been established between his Majesty, Sweden and Denmark. I see everything taking the right direction, with solid hopes of very great progress. Because of this I have decided to send my steward (fn. 3) to London with despatches and many negotiations and particulars.
His Excellency expressed his desire to serve me. I spoke of the peril I might be in, here in the capital of an enemy, rather than as a minister. According to him the essential point is that his king, at the previous request of your Serenity, had given him a special commission that if any misfortune befell me or if I had need of his Excellency's assistance, he should act with vigour and sincerity, particularly for the conclusion of the peace, for although he would have done as much even without orders, yet he said it was of very great importance for a minister to operate freely, to be able to use the name of his king with absolute liberty. He did not conceal that he had written to his Majesty by the present despatch on this subject, which I see he has greatly at heart, whether it be from hope of advantage or reputation, or both.
Padavin thanked his Excellency profusely, but without committing himself. I venture to think that a letter from the Senate would confirm him in his opinion of the appreciation of your Excellencies and of the value set by the most serene republic on his merits.

Pera of Constantinople, the 4th August, 1661.
[Italian; deciphered.]
Aug. 5.
Cod. 1245.
Museo
Correr.
Venice.
29. Angelo Correr and Michiel Morosini, Venetian Ambassadors Extraordinary in England, to the Doge and Senate.
On Saturday last, as arranged, we made our public entry into this city. The Master of the Ceremonies came with the king's barges to fetch us from Greenwich and at the Tower we were met by the earl of Peterborough, the same who introduced the Spanish ambassador. He took us in the royal coaches to Westminster, a house of his Majesty where, as is customary, he caused us to be lodged and entertained for three days. Immediately on our arrival Lord Bellasis came in the king's name to offer his services, to which we replied suitably, and asked him to be our interpreter. He expressed his delight at renewing the acquaintance of two persons whom he had known before, one here and the other in France.
On Tuesday the earl of Hemby, who as Lord Feldin was ambassador at Venice, conducted us to audience of the king, who received us in the Great Hall, which was lined with guards, with every mark of honour. In conformity with our instructions we expressed your Serenity's satisfaction at his happy restoration. We thanked God for this provision of so great a monarch's aid at the moment of Christendom's greatest troubles, as his power could easily put down the pride of the infidel and so forth, ending with congratulations on his marriage.
The king listened with every sign of friendliness and said he never feared that the republic would withdraw its love from a family which for so many centuries had borne it a singular amity. He expressed his satisfaction that your Serenity through us had given him an assurance that your grief for his misfortunes was matched by your joy at his felicity and asked us to testify to his cordial reciprocation. We then thanked him for the honours received, referring to our pleasure in renewing an ancient obeisance to him. Upon this he embraced us, saying he had given special orders for our entertainment. After a suitable acknowledgment we went to the apartments of the duke of York, to whom we presented your Serenity's letters and performed our office. The duke said he deeply regretted the troubles of the republic and was most anxious to relieve them, to which we replied that the Signory would greatly value his courteous remarks in the assurance that the proofs would not be less when the opportunity came.
We found the Chancellor suffering from gout. After compliments we discoursed at great length about the present emergencies of Christendom and of our confidence that through his good counsel the king might be encouraged to undertake its defence. We showed how easily this could be done from the number of troops he could collect and transport to the necessary spot by his numerous ships. He listened attentively, but his replies were very brief and utterly devoid of spirit, merely expressing good will after which he changed the subject and tried to stop our rejoinder.
This minister, being vastly inferior in birth to the office he now enjoys, seeks nothing but its increase and confirmation and accordingly applies himself exclusively to the country's internal affairs. From what we learn he does not at all wish the king to undertake any foreign engagements, save those connected with Dunkirk, which are inevitable. His Majesty, having scarce the means to maintain himself and being unable to raise money save through parliament, cannot depart from its wishes, and as many of the members of the Lower House are deeply interested in the Turkey trade, they would with difficulty consent to measures, not less costly than repugnant and hazardous, from the confusion they would entail in maritime affairs; indeed these gentlemen are so obviously averse from all interference that no one can mistake them. To make more sure of the king's intentions we made enquiries through a confidant and are confirmed in the belief that no important undertaking can be determined by him without the consent of parliament. Nevertheless at our private audience we shall not neglect to make the most earnest representations.
London, the 5th August, 1661.
[Italian.]
Aug. 5.
Cod. 1245.
Museo
Correr.
Venice.
30. The Same to the Same.
The ambassadors of France and Spain proposed to honour us in the usual way by sending their coaches, but as the question of precedence between them is insoluble, and it began to be whispered that they would take this opportunity of disputing it, we decided not to announce our entry to any of the foreign ministers, reserving it until we were in London, after the example of the last ambassadors extraordinary from France and Spain. In spite of this M. d'Estrades persisted in his intention to send and blusteringly made a levy not only of Frenchmen but of their dependants, while Batteville did the like, so that there would have been over 3,000 men under arms, with danger of some serious outrage among the parties concerned and of starting worse disturbance, since there are many eagerly watching for such opportunities. The king, learning that our expedient, which he approved, had not sufficed to stay them, prevented the contest by his own authority sending word to both that he wished them not to stir, and so it fell out. In the evening they sent their compliments, saying they had been prevented from sending their coaches.
We recently received your Serenity's letters of the 9th and 15th ult. We note the requests of our merchants for relief for the fraud practised on them over the goods unloaded at Algiers. Here also the parties injured keep complaining of the perfidy of the captains, and with their consent we have decided to speak strongly to the king to-morrow, leaving a memorial, although the captains urge many excuses in their favour. We hope that a remedy will be applied for the future since it is certain that the fleet now gone into the Mediterranean in making arrangements with these pirates has orders to stipulate that English ships shall henceforward pass free, whatever their cargoes may be. The king is now well aware how prejudicial the former stipulations were, which merely compelled the pirates to respect English ships and English goods; whence the irregularities complained of. The Signory will understand from these facts how anxious this country is to keep on good terms with the Turks, subordinating all pious considerations to the safety of its trade, on which the wealth of these kingdoms depends, as well as the entire subsistence of countless persons.
We shall punctually follow the other instructions. In the matter of coaches our searches in Holland and France proved fruitless, so we had decided to buy them here, but by good fortune and the favour of some gentlemen of rank we succeeded in obtaining those of the king, though they had been refused to France and Spain and latterly to Florence. The king said he made a distinction between other ambassadors and those of Venice, who coming from a distance could not have sufficient notice of his new decrees. The confidant added that this reason was given to prevent the concession being urged as a precedent. We were much cheered by this favour both for the honour and being relieved of the expense.
Even the Spanish ambassador now admits that the marriage with the Infanta is established, in spite of his efforts to prevent it. He complains openly of having been deceived in his negotiations for the marriage of the princess of Parma and says that the earl of Bristol's commissions were changed, while his own remained fixed and clear. However he says he has orders to remain and that Count Strozzi, if not prevented by the king's ministers, would have arrived to carry out his instructions, and would have aided us, both in order to help the emperor against the Turks and to show his devotion to your Excellencies. But he also thinks that we shall get nothing but hope from this quarter for the present, as they are too fixed in their determination against any infraction of the good understanding with the Turk. He even delivered the opinion that the English, as a consequence of our mission, will claim great merit with the Turks for having resisted our importunities, in order not to interrupt their good understanding with the Porte, and possibly the will is wanting and the reason given touching trade may be an obvious pretext, though, if the king is inclined to neglect such considerations, he cannot, as stated, so easily supply a lack of money, and we see that even the Portuguese, when they want to levy troops enjoy no other advantage than the bare permission to take them, and should your Serenity desire this, at great cost, it would not be difficult to obtain a grant.
His Majesty was to attend parliament this morning, so the present session is supposed to be over and it will soon be known what acts are passed. It was desired that for the future the king and not the counties should appoint the members. This project originated with the Upper House for his Majesty's advantage; but the House of Commons, would have received too severe a blow and refused its consent. So ill humour is reappearing and these last days a scandalous libel against the parliament's proceedings has been circulating, as too complaisant towards the king. Enquiries were made and its author discovered, who proved one of the most perverse Presbyterians. He would have been punished as he deserved had he not confessed his error and promised utter fidelity to the royal name and party, whereupon his Majesty dispensed with the penalty. (fn. 4)
Last week the Scottish parliament made pressing application to the king for the complete removal from that country of all the troops in garrison there, as they thought it strange to be guarded by the English in time of peace. As the matter was of importance his Majesty sought the opinion of this parliament, but before hearing it he decided to satisfy the Scots, a decision that may be regretted since as the first disturbance proceeded from Scotland it seemed only right that they should be the last to enjoy the complete liberty which they demand.
The governor of Dunkirk is here by the king's order, with whom and with the chancellor he has had several private conferences, which excite curiosity at Court, especially as it is reported that they have begun to levy the taxes which were disputed, which was the very thing that seemed likely to start trouble again.
The enclosed memorial (fn. 5) has been presented to us by a colonel of some experience concerning offers, which your Excellencies may care to examine. We send them as they are, that you may be able to give such orders to the Resident Giavarina as you see fit.
London, the 5th August, 1661.
[Italian.]
Aug. 10.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Spagna.
Venetian
Archives.
31. Giovanni Cornaro, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.
Of the fleet they have no news, but it is always expected. The ships of England which are staying in these seas, and some other squadron which they say may arrive here, do not serve to dissipate their fears.
Madrid, the 10th August, 1661.
[Italian.]
Aug. 10.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Spagna.
Venetian.
Archives.
32. Giovanni Cornaro, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.
Their misgivings about England hinder the coming of the troops from Flanders. They suspect that the English mean to maintain the garrisons of Dunkirk and Mardich with the contributions of the neighbouring country and that quarter will never be free from apprehension.
Madrid, the 10th August, 1661.
[Italian.]
Aug. 11.
Cod. 1425.
Museo
Correr.
Venice.
33. Angelo Correr and Michiel Morosini, Venetian Ambassadors extraordinary in England, to the Doge and Senate.
Being very readily admitted by the king to private audience we began by telling him how much the Senate appreciated the generous action of his ambassador at Constantinople in resisting the efforts of the Turks to use the ships of this nation. The king seemed gratified and scarcely giving us time to conclude told us that he fully approved of the conduct of his ambassador, whom he had charged to persist on every occasion in preventing the aggrandisement of the Turks by means of the ships of Christian princes. He added that the most serene republic had long been embarrassed by a grievous war, unaided save by God and her own courage. The miracle of her resistance was great, but even greater the shame of the princes of Christendom, who do not unite for her need. He had spoken to this effect in France, Spain and Holland during the time of his troubles, and he was equally ready now to do his utmost for so great a cause.
We commended his generosity and said that God has indeed miraculously protected your Serenity, to the end that, the troubles of Christendom being ended and his Majesty restored, the way might be made smooth not only for resistance but for the humiliation of the common enemy. We laid stress on the forces which his Majesty commands, enabling him to advance where he chooses against the infidels, in whose dominions there are many Christians, only waiting for an opportunity to throw off the yoke. We also pointed out that his subjects ought not to object on the score of trade, since there was no sign that it had been injured by your Serenity's employment of English and Dutch ships, showing clearly that the Turks need and value them no less, which his Majesty seemed to approve. We then alluded to what the imperialists were doing in France and Spain and the hopes entertained through the affairs of Transylvania, in which the emperor had shown great interest by the mission of Montecuccoli, and could not now leave his arms idle, as his Majesty would shortly hear from Count Strozzi. We thought all this might stimulate him to distinguish himself above all others on this occasion.
The king seemed pleased and repeated several times with energy that it was a shame the princes of Christendom should not endeavour to secure the republic and themselves for ever. He would have done his utmost to show his good will and regretted his inability to do as he wished, saying frankly: You see Sirs, I am not yet well re-established, but I will surely do all I can. We could only respond to such confidence, expressed so frankly, which touched a point perhaps only too true by saying that his cause was so just and so supported by his prudence and valour that no doubt could be entertained of his entire and glorious establishment.
The king thanked us and we then began to speak about the ships which had been searched by Algerian pirates and had discharged at Algiers, to the great injury of this mart, with the fraudulent consent of the captains. We had no difficulty in making his Majesty understand the importance of this affair and its consequences, as he condemned the action and told us he had sent his fleet into the Mediterranean on purpose to make such arrangements as would prevent the repetition of such conduct, and on the return of the captains he said he would make the most severe example of their treachery, especially as he had recent news of other ships being similarly treated. With this opening we thought well to repeat our desire for the punishment of the captains and also that the parties injured might be indemnified. The king assured us of his gracious intent and asked us to deliver our memorial to the secretary. He repeated this twice and we acted at once on his advice. The Resident Giavarina is fully informed, he has the papers and by persevering he may reap the desired advantage.
When the opportunity offered we went to General Monk and tried to enlist his help. He received us amiably but rather as a soldier than a courtier, answering in general terms, indicating his small share in the king's resolves. This we believe to be the case because his Majesty depends exclusively on the chancellor and because this man's influence depends solely on his past services although on their account he is much spoken of by many. As he only speaks English we had to employ the interpreter, and we must confess that little or no benefit was derived from this visit, nor is it his custom to return any.
On taking leave of the king and thanking him for the honours received, especially the coaches, we told him we had made a faithful report of all to your Serenity, at which he seemed gratified and told us above all to mention his good intentions of acting against the enemy whenever he may be able to effect any great undertaking. It is our duty to state that this prince, who is exceedingly courteous, generally extends his offers, we will not say beyond his intentions of performance, but he sometimes is not careful about embarking on certain affairs from which he is easily diverted by his councillors and particularly by the chancellor, who is devoted exclusively to internal affairs, though it is true that he told us frankly how matters were not yet very stable, and the state may reflect upon this caution, which is very remarkable.
We could not pay our respects to the duchess of York because she was taking the waters at a great distance from this city (fn. 6) ; but on taking leave of his Highness we spoke of the king's goodwill to the cause, at which he expressed pleasure and said frankly that he would forward it as he was eager to be on board a fleet against the infidel; all his life had been passed in arms and he disliked private ease, and he could not go forth with greater satisfaction as High Admiral than on so great and just an occasion. We expressed the hope that the opportunity might arise. He then offered us the use of ships for our passage and sent us the necessary orders. We shall make use of them as soon as possible for living in England has become so dear as to be impossible for private purses, and we shall feel the effects for long, though we are glad to serve the state.
We shall try to take the most convenient road and having no occasion to stop anywhere we feel sure we shall be excused if no more letters are received from us. We must add that we have profited greatly by the exertions of the Resident Giavarina, who has punctually performed the functions of his charge with universal praise and to the king's particular satisfaction. In the act of departing we told his Majesty that Sig. Mocenigo would hold himself in readiness to act as ambassador in ordinary so soon as his Majesty should have acknowledged his acceptance to your Excellencies, whereupon the king said that he should be pleased to see him and would reply suitably to your Serenity.
London, the 11th August, 1661.
[Italian.]
Aug. 17.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Firenze.
Venetian
Archives.
34. Domenico Vico, Venetian Resident at Florence, to the Doge and Senate.
I received the enclosed packet for your Serenity from Constantinople, from the English consul at Leghorn. (fn. 7) It came via Marseilles, sent by the ambassador at Constantinople. The same consul writes to me from Leghorn that towards the end of the present month the English ship Virginita is to leave that port for Smyrna, and despatches might be sent by it to Constantinople. Letters from Marseilles relate that General Montagu has appeared at Alicante with a squadron of twenty ships of war, driven there by a contrary wind, as he wished to go to Algiers to obtain satisfaction for his crown and country in accordance with their articles of peace, or else to wage war against those barbarians. General Montagu was suffering from a slight indisposition, but it was hoped that after one or two days' rest he would have recovered and be able to go on and proceed with his enterprise.
Florence, the 17th August, 1661.
[Italian.]
Aug. 19.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
35. Francesco Giavarina, Venetian Resident in England, to the Doge and Senate.
After suspending my communications for some time, during the stay here of the ambassadors extraordinary, who appeared at incredible expense with unequalled splendour, amid the admiration of the whole city, I resume the thread of my service this evening with the scanty news supplied by this barren season. The meeting of parliament is broken off, from which came the little there was to report, and the Court is about to start on its journey through the kingdom.
After performing all their functions the ambassadors could not get away from London until the day before yesterday, as they had to await the despatches of the Court, which was away from the city the whole week, and the king could only give them Wednesday morning, when he returned.
After leaving Court, as reported, the Ambassador Mello was detained for several weeks in the isle of Wight, owing to contrary winds, and he has only recently got away, so it is supposed that he cannot be at Lisbon yet. News is eagerly awaited to see what that government will decide about the things arranged by him at this Court. They hope to hear soon, especially because it appears that before the ambassador returns he will be preceded by his secretary with the final ratification of the articles.
Fanscio, who was to go as resident to Lisbon, has not yet started. As he is to go by the fleet now fitting out, it is probable that he may be delayed for some days yet, as the work on these ships is seen to have slowed down, several obstacles standing in the way of the despatch desired by the king, chiefly the shortage of money, which could not be greater, and for this same reason many other things are languishing which call for speedy despatch.
Authentic news comes from the Hague this week of the adjustment between the States of Holland and Portugal, which was first said to be concluded and then seemed uncertain, in spite of two of the Provinces standing aside and protesting against the procedure of the others. (fn. 8) The treaties have been signed by the Portuguese ambassador, after which he was about to set out for Lisbon to get his master's ratification, for which three months are granted and no more. From this conclusion something of consequence should ensue, since the Portuguese have been liberal in their promises, as they were here over the marriage, and as it is said that many of the same things which have been granted to the British king have been offered to the Batavians as well, it will be interesting to see what will happen.
It is considered certain that the Dutch have come to this accommodation to see what the Portuguese are in a position to do, since it is impossible for them to keep their promises to both, and they will have to break their word to one, unless the information, which comes from a good source, is wrong. The English resident at the Hague, Douning, is much annoyed at this procedure and they are not pleased here, but time alone can disclose the result.
They have heard that the squadron under General Montagu is at the Strait of Gibraltar, passing into the Mediterreanean to humble the pride of the pirates of Algiers who have become more cruel from the ease with which they have carried on their depredations, making themselves a nuisance to all the nations of Christendom. Your Serenity will have better news of this by a shorter way. I only hope that the result will turn to the advantage of my country.
The duchess of York who went to drink certain health-giving waters such as rise in several places of this kingdom from underground springs returned to London the day before yesterday. She seems to have derived harm rather than good from these, and it cannot be said that she is enjoying perfect health at present.
The ambassadors handed to me the ducali of the 29th ult. which reached them this week and I will inform the merchants of what the Senate states concerning the appeal of Edward Wyld, and I will also follow out the instructions concerning Count Strozzi on his arrival.
Signor Alvise Contarini, son of Pietro, fell sick in France and could not cross with their Excellencies. Being somewhat better he came over alone but was not sufficiently recovered to accompany them when they left. He is staying here in your Serenity's house, and I hope soon to see him entirely recovered from his serious illness. He is a charming gentleman of the highest promise and deserts. Sig. Girolamo Cornaro, son of Andrea, has also come to this Court to gain experience for the service of his country, and is living with great splendour and taking note of all the most remarkable things.
London, the 19th August, 1661.
[Italian.]
Aug. 21.
Cod. 1245.
Museo
Correr.
Venice.
36. Angelo Correr and Michiel Morosini, Venetian Ambassadors extraordinary in England, to the Doge and Senate.
Before taking leave of the king we repeatedly met the foreign ministers here, except Florence, who did not show himself on account of his youth and extreme inexperience. He is the son of the late Resident Salvetti, born here, and he has never left the country to learn other tongues or customs. We had occasion to speak with the Spanish ambassador, but have nothing further to add about him. The French ambassador assured us of his king's determination to assist the common cause, and as he depended much on the late Cardinal Mazarini, would fain persuade us that after the establishment of peace his sole object will be to seek glory by some great undertaking against the Turks, of whom the Cardinal made particular mention in his will. We replied suitably, referring to the great hopes you had ever placed in the Most Christian Crown.
With the Dutch ambassadors, with whom we were charged to make overtures for resuming the ancient correspondence, we had two long and very confidential interviews. They showed great cordiality and spoke of the desire of the States to renew correspondence. They gave several reasons for this and declared they were ready to do all that was becoming. We assured them on our side of the uninterrupted regard of the Senate which was always ready to renew relations. One of the ambassadors, not favouring the interchange of embassies, permitted himself to say that they would be the first to fulfil their duty, but he would not commit himself farther. Hence we infer that what we did not ratify will be confirmed by your Excellencies, in the certainty of receiving entire satisfaction. We gave them a similar assurance as to what they might arrange with the States, and as there is no lack of ministers of the parties at all the Courts, they can easily supply any defects in the arrangement. They promised to act thus, but if your Serenity wishes the matter settled we doubt if it can be done well or speedily without some mediator, because the parties may be the more lavish of compliments the less they are disposed to agree, as has often been the case before.
The king went in state to parliament only on Tuesday last. He examined all the bills presented to him and thought fit to approve most of them in a well weighed speech. One act of importance in his favour was passed touching the army which for the future is to depend absolutely on him, for the selection of officers and for its increase or diminution. Meanwhile as the monthly revenue of about a million francs, or 500,000 of our Venetian ducats here, assigned to the king for all expenses, public and private, including the fleet and the garrisons of Dunkirk and Mardyke, do not suffice, as shown by the notes delivered to the treasurer, who at the end of the year reports a deficit of three millions, and as parliament cannot appoint other funds to meet them, it again has recourse to a benevolence to be given to his Majesty next month. From the nobles individually this is not to exceed 400l. or 200l. from others, and this is already being promptly paid.
At the last sittings of the Lower House it was proposed to make search for those who circulate scandalous prints, many of which are in private houses. But the peers, in view of their privileges, refused to submit their houses to search, and as the commons wished the search to be general, the bill remains in suspense. (fn. 9) The point seems to concern the king more than any one else and some one remarked to him in jest that parliament was composed of beardless members, inferring that they ought to be changed. But the king, who has it completely at his beck and call (che lo ha tullo da se dipendente) and wishes it to continue, replied, no less wittily, that if they had no beards it was necessary to give them time to grow, showing that there are still turbulent men who are also very audacious.
The Secretary of State has just sent us a note from the chancellor earnestly desiring your Serenity to direct that the promises repeatedly made to Galileo concerning the payment of his credits, may have effect. Further the merchants here, who trade in the Levant ask that it may be notified to your Serenity that as the currant trade keeps decreasing, it would be for the public interest to encourage it by taking care that in addition to the public duties, it be not crushed by other burdens, which have hitherto greatly interfered with it, and more than ever at this time. We mention this as in duty bound.
London, the 21st August, 1661.
[Italian.]
Aug. 25.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Corti.
Venetian
Archives.
37. To the Ambassadors extraordinary in England.
Acknowledge receipt of their letters of the 5th inst. but Nos. 6 and 7 have not arrived. Gratification at their reception and commendation of their manner of dealing with the question of precedence and the royal coaches. Also approve their action in the matter of the pirates, for which they left a memorial. The Senate will be glad to hear of the necessary fruit of this, which they much desire.
With regard to the engagement of 1,000 men it is necessary to know what gratuity the leader will claim and what charge he has exercised, to enable a decision to be taken upon his claims. But as there is great need of gunners and masters of fire (maestri di fuoco) in the fleet, they are to try for some other provision, besides this, to induce them to agree to serve.
The last letters from Constantinople report the goodwill of the English ambassador towards the republic and his correspondence with the Grand Chancellor Ballarino. It is supposed that the ambassador has received his king's letters about English ships serving the Turks and that he will act upon them. They will try to see that this is done.
Ayes, 75. Noes, 7. Neutral, 17.
[Italian.]
Aug. 26.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
38. Francesco Giavarina, Venetian Secretary in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The ambassadors extraordinary left for home a week ago and I have heard since that they crossed the sea safely. It was much calmer than when they came from Dunkirk, when they spent several days and nights in the passage.
The news from Lisbon about the treaty tarries. The delay must needs cause suspicion of the Portuguese proceedings, and some at the Court here are becoming suspicious about the fulfilment. For the rest such delay is irritating and inopportune in a matter of such consequence.
The arrangement made between Holland and Portugal also serves to increase suspicion, seeing that the treaty excludes the English from any pretensions they might have in Brazil and in the trade in those parts. This is entirely contrary to what was agreed between the Portuguese and this crown, to which they granted full liberty of trade to the Indies, Brazil being specifically mentioned. This gives further cause for doubting the good faith of Portugal, the more because they promise other advantages to the Dutch which were already granted to the English. So the outcome of this masquerading cannot fail to excite general curiosity. Thus the Resident Douning, besides complaining of the form of the agreement, has also protested against it, and he is at present considering how he can put things straight. But no conclusions can be drawn before the replies come from Lisbon, about the agreement with England and the adjustment with Holland alike.
Meanwhile it is greatly to be feared that these recent unfriendly proceedings of the Dutch, which have made a very bad impression here, to which other considerations have contributed, may move the English to a quarrel and a rupture. Time will show; but there is no doubt that these evil humours are greatly invigorated by the traders here, as in addition to their old animosity and rancour against the Dutch, they are the ones who are most deeply affected by the above named resolutions, which touch their pockets.
Though the parliament of England is ended those of Scotland and Ireland still go on, passing resolutions and laws for the benefit of the people, and for the utter destruction of the unquiet spirits who might remain after the late commotions there.
By the last letters from the fleet they have learned with great regret of the serious illness of General Montagu. This obliged him to land at Alicante to recover, where the Spanish ministers received him with every mark of esteem, indicating the desire of the Catholic to cherish the most friendly and sincere relations with England. Great regret is felt over this unexpected accident as it may hold up their plans against Algiers, which admit of no delay, in view of the overweening arrogance of those pirates, whose audacity alarms and troubles all Christian princes and threatens great disorders, if God does not provide a remedy before they take firmer root.
General Monk also has fallen sick here, and as it is serious the whole court is distressed.
The king is preparing for his journey through the kingdom, the delay in perforating it being due solely to the lack of cash. Good sums are now entering the royal exchequer every day arising from the voluntary grant, made by every one in fulfilment of the last act of parliament. This comes in time to supply the needs of this journey and for all the other things required to perform it in a fitting manner.
London, the 26th August, 1661.
[Italian.]
Aug. 27.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Firenze.
Venetian
Archives.
39. Domenico Vico, Venetian Resident at Florence, to the Doge and Senate.
They write from Leghorn that General Montagu, having recovered at Alicante, left that port on the 22nd inst. with twenty-two ships, towards Algiers, with the objects reported … (fn. 10) and in case of a refusal they say that he has resolute orders to declare war on them. At the same port of Alicante, on the 4th inst. there put in the English ship of war that is taking the gondolas, gondoliers and baggage, with the goods destined for the service of the king of England. I have heard since that it sailed on the 6th for England by way of Malaga.
Florence, the 27th August, 1661.
[Italian.]
Aug. 28.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Spagna.
Venetian
Archives.
40. Giovanni Cornaro, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.
Twenty Dutch ships are at Cadiz. The commander, Ruiter, has offered his squadron to the duke of Medina Celi to protect the fleet. The duke writes expressing his mortification at seeing things reduced to this pass; but the fleet is expected to sail free from alarm, the English being diverted against the corsairs. It is reported that after the last engagement off Algiers, Mons. Polo joined with French ships and a certain number of Dutch ones, those nations being determined to reduce within limits that barbarous piracy which has infested the seas and troubled trade. But this union of English and Dutch ships is a motive for jealousy. They fear there may be understandings, of which there are rumours, and such concerted action of the Dutch, English and French, although against pirates would not please them because it would be an indication of a correspondence which they do not desire.
Madrid, the 28th August, 1661.
[Italian.]
Aug. 30.
Cinque Savii
alla
Mercanzia.
Risposte.
Venetian
Archives.
41. Giles Gionas, consul of the English nation, asks your Serenity for a safe conduct, civil and criminal for two years for his person and for the English ship Dama, captain John Hosier, now in the waters of Leghorn with a very rich cargo, which it would bring to this city, as Gionas himself urges, as a protection against debts contracted in foreign countries, a favour he asks in the name of Captain Hosier: we consider that the traffic of ships to this city is always desirable and profitable, especially in the present shortage of business, because of the duties and the convenience of the ships for the requirements of the fleet. To encourage this traffic divers exemptions and reductions of the duties were allowed to captains in time past, but not safe conducts for themselves, their hire, ships and goods, to avoid raising difficulties in trading and mistrust and trouble among the merchants. We note however that two safe conducts were recently granted to the captains of the ships Vittoria and Tigre, so as this important matter is a question of favour we can only leave it to the prudence of the Senate.
Dated at the office, the 30th August, 1661.
Polo Antonio Moro
Alessandro Diad
Mario Marcello
Polo Nani
Silvestro Valier Savii
[Italian.]

Footnotes

1 Lady Mary Finch, his third daughter who died of the plague. Hist. MSS. Comm. Finch Papers, Vol. i., page 139.
2 She was Mary, daughter of William Seymour, second duke of Somerset, directly descended from Mary, younger daughter of Henry VII, who married the duke of Suffolk.
3 Knevet. Finch Papers, Vol. i., page 140.
4 On 12th July o.s., a pamphlet entitled “Sundry reasons humbly tendered to the most honourable House of Peers by some citizens and members of London and other cities, boroughs, corporations and ports against the new intended bill for governing and reforming Corporations” was brought to the notice of the House of Commons. Three days later William Prynne confessed himself the author. He submitted to the judgment of the House, that it was an illegal, false, scandalous and seditious libel, and was duly admonished. Mercurius Politicus July 11–18. Journals of the House of Commons, Vol. viii., pp. 301–2.
5 The enclosure is lacking; the text being from the letter book.
6 She was at Tunbridge Wells. Rugge's Diary Brit Mus. Add. MSS. 10116, f. 223.
7 Thomas Clutterbuck.
8 Gelderland and Zeeland.
9 The bill for regulating unlicensed and disorderly printing passed its third reading on 27th July o.s., The Lords inserted an amendment exempting the houses of peers from search for such papers. The Commons refused to accept the amendment, and the Houses were unable to agree after two conferences. Journals of the House of Commons, Vol. viii., pp. 314–5. Journals of the House of Lords, Vol. xi., pp. 326–7. The matter stood over until the following year.
10 Document damaged.