Venice
September 1661

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Institute of Historical Research

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Allen B. Hinds (editor)

Year published

1932

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35-49

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'Venice: September 1661', Calendar of State Papers Relating to English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 33: 1661-1664 (1932), pp. 35-49. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=90096 Date accessed: 23 September 2014.


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September 1661

Sept. 2.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni
Corti
Venetian
Archives.
42. To the Resident in England.
He is to take an early opportunity to seek audience of his Majesty and thank him for the honours done to the ambassadors extraordinary and for the letters sent to the ambassador at the Porte to prevent ships serving the Turks, and most of all for his disposition to assist the public cause. The Senate considers that he can do so easily and without inconvenience to himself, sending to their fleet a certain number of his ships, as well as soldiers to Candia, just as other princes have done. It must be the resident's care to insist and obtain this, as opportunity offers, cultivating the ministers, with whom alone he will be able to express this opinion.
He is also to demand the punishment of the captains for the ships robbed by Algerian pirates and compensation for the damage done.
The king has promised to respond to the ambassadors extraordinary. He is to be on the watch for the appointment of an ambassador and to report at once.
He is to express goodwill in respect to what the Dutch ambassador said about renewing correspondence, saying that the republic will always be ready for this. As regards the debts of Galileo he can inform the Council of State that orders have been given for payment on account to his agents.
The merchants of the Levant have made complaint to obtain relief in their trade for currants at the Islands by removing the charges other than those of the ordinary public duties. This is to inform him that with the approaching departure of the Inquisitor elect Mocenigo. strong and appropriate orders will be given to him to this effect, so that they may be relieved of these burdens, as is the state's intention.
That the passage from the letters of the ambassadors extraordinary to England touching the charges on English merchants for currants, be given to the Proveditore Mocenigo with direction to make enquiry and to punish the guilty, causing only the usual state duties to be paid, removing every other inconvenience, so that the English nation may be well treated, and that the aforesaid trade may be encouraged in every possible way. reporting subsequentlv to the Senate all the particulars that he gathers.
Ayes. 91. Noes. 3. Neutral. 3.
[Italian.]
Sept. 2.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives,
43. Francesco Giavarina. Venetian Resident in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The regret at the news of General Montagu's illness corresponds with the general rejoicing at the report of his improvement received in recent letters to merchants, inspiring the confidence that in a few days he will be completely recovered and able to pursue his voyage to Barbary to try for an adjustment with the government of Algiers on terms more honourable and more suited to the interests of Christendom than are at present enjoyed, and in case of difficulty or refusal, to carry out the decisions already reported.
This operation while showing the king's good will towards the interests of Christendom, owed its origin and impulse to individuals among his subjects, as without their wealth it could not subsist. It may also encounter many obstacles owing to the distance of the place and especially to the superior forces that the pirates have at sea. Taking this into account and also that the excellence of the enemy's craft, which are good sailers, strong, well furnished with artillery and all kinds of instruments of war and all necessary provisions, may give him trouble and render his plans difficult and doubtful, Montagu is pressing for reinforcements. They are determined here to prosecute the enterprise with vigour and have decided to send thither with the utmost possible speed another body of ships, so that with this addition Montagu may be the better able to carry out his plans and show his worth. His great experience at sea encourages the hope in this nation and all Christendom that he will win great advantages and restore to trade and navigation their former liberty, relieving numerous families that languish in want and misery.
In spite of the good disposition here and the forwardness of the General in undertaking the enterprise, if he cannot act before the arrival of these reinforcements, as seems likely, since it is not a wise proceeding to attack and risk the valour of the nation with so great an inequality of forces, it is much to be feared that the operation will be a lengthy one, and that with the advanced season, nothing more can be attempted this campaign. So the delay, besides being prejudicial to all Christendom, can only engender the worst consequences for your Serenity. But it is thought that they may send some of the ships preparing for the Portugal voyage; and this would be very speedy and could not fail to be opportune. I do my best to encourage this idea as one likely to give life to a tottering cause.
There was great fear these days for the life of General Monk owing to the gravity of his disorder, but it seems that since yesterday he has somewhat improved, to the general satisfaction, although he cannot yet be said to be out of danger. He is suffering from a burning non-intermittent fever, which is common at this season in this city and the whole kingdom as it is this year, with a death rate in London of several hundreds a week, but, thank God, without any sign of plague or contagious disease.
The two ambassadors extraordinary of Brandenburg left for home some weeks ago, after completing their business at Court, which was merely to confirm the close bonds of friendship and alliance between this crown and the elector and for some private business touching the Prince of Orange, of whom the British king and Brandenburg are two guardians. Another person has remained here as resident (fn. 1) who went to audience recently and performed the other customary formalities and who will take charge of his master's interests.
The ambassadors extraordinary of Holland are pressing for the conferences with ministers to terminate their negotiations, which at present are solely to confirm the friendship and correspondence with this country as having encountered obstacles not easy to digest for the rest of the claims they put forward, it seems that they abandon them and are only thinking of getting away and going home.
The ambassador extraordinary of Sweden is expected at Court at any moment, indeed they say he is already in England. His negotiations are merely complimentary, it is not known yet whether they extend to other affairs of moment.
Strozzi, the imperial envoy, still tames in France. It is thought that he also will soon be in London, unless he is turned aside by new commissions of his master.
Nothing more is heard about the ambassador of Genoa. It is thought that as he could not obtain from this king the treatment that it wished the republic has directed its minister to stop at Paris until further order. So it is possible that the embassy will come to nought, as there is not the slightest sign here of any disposition to change the old forms in the matter of receiving and treating foreign ministers.
The ducali of the 12th ult. reached me on Monday. Reading what your Serenity says about the departure from Leghorn of the gondolas for the king here, I will present them when they arrive, with a suitable office.
London, 2 September, 1661.
[Italian.]
Sept. 3.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Corti.
Venetian
Archives.
44. To the Resident in England.
Acknowledge his letters of the 19th ult. Send him a copy of what the Resident at Florence writes about Montagu's operations at Algiers. Desire of the republic for the king's success, especially against the infidels. It will render him truly glorious and be of advantage to the generality, especially in repressing the insolence of the pirates of Tripoli which would not be a very difficult task for such powerful forces. It would have a most excellent effect if he can insinuate that orders should be given to General Montagu to go against Tripoli, and he must keep this in view.
In view of the king's remarks to the ambassadors, on their taking leave, he is to try and find out if anything is being said or decided about corresponding to the ordinary ambassador of the republic by the choice of a person to come and reside at Venice, and further, since there are ambassadors of France and Spain at that Court, whether they mean to correspond to those crowns by sending ambassadors thence to reside at their Courts.
Ayes, 109. Noes, 0. Neutral, 2.
[Italian.]
Sept. 7.
Inquisitori
di
Stato.
Busta 418.
Venetian
Archives.
45. Giovanni Battista Ballarino, Venetian Resident at Constantinople, to the Inquisitors of State.
The imperial Resident, before setting out for Adrianople went to the villa of Belgrade, conferred with the English ambassador and left a few hours later. The next day his Excellency sent his secretary to me expressly to inform me that some months ago the Resident committed to the ambassador a great deposit of Spanish doubles in seven leather bags, sealed with the arms of the House of Austria and of the Resident himself each one containing 6,000, so he said. He has now gone post haste to take them, alleging as a pretext the necessity of using them. The secretary says it is really because of the present mistrust, since the marriage between England and Portugal, and the alliance made with Sweden and Denmark, on which account he has not only taken away the money, but has also ceased to give the communications and important advices which the imperial minister had previously participated to his Excellency with the utmost punctuality; but now, with the existing jealousy and suspicion he abstains from any act of courteous correspondence.
I expressed astonishment at there being such a large amount of gold in the hands of the Resident, professed scepticism and suggested that instead of gold the purses contained silver. No, said the secretary, your lordship may take it as a fact, as before sealing it in our presence, he showed the contents for his own security.
I know that with couriers reaching the Resident almost every month, he is always receiving money, but that this was for his own account seems to me impossible, because he has several times asserted that he was remitting his own money home. I said as much to the secretary, who replied: I cannot say anything about that, but I do know that the Spaniards are doing their very utmost to prevent the emperor breaking with the Turks, as they look for a great flood from the rest of us.

[Ballarino remarks on the prejudicial effect of this on the Venetian cause and expresses his belief that some secret intrigues are afoot.]
If the king of England should send an ambassador to the most serene republic or if the ambassadors extraordinary are still at the Court, I venture to suggest it would not be amiss to make known to his Majesty the favour shown me by his Excellency here by this communication, to show a proper appreciation, and to obtain, if it be possible, something further. I have already expressed myself to the secretary.
Pera of Constantinople, the 7th September, 1661.
[Italian; deciphered.]
Sept. 9.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
46. Francesco Giavarina, Venetian Resident in England, to the Doge and Senate.
Besides the letters reported last week from the fleet, more recent ones nave arrived from the general himself, which serve to increase the general satisfaction as they report him well after many days of violent sickness caused by the discomforts and tossing of the sea. He left Alicante with a prosperous wind after receiving the best treatment from the Spanish commanders, and in a few hours arrived safely at Algiers. He at once sent letters to the divan announcing his arrival and sending in writing the commissions he had from his master. He asked for freedom of trade without the ships of his nation being liable to search, asserting that it is the firm determination of his king that they shall freely carry the goods of subjects and of foreigners also, without the restrictions which the Turks claim to impose. He offered to negotiate and arrange a peace and friendship in this manner, pointing out the common advantage for trade, but without this previous satisfaction he protested that his master could not suffer English ships to be searched, with so much ignominy to his nation. He asked for a reply in a few hours, so that he might act thereupon as he thought fit. So far the letters received. The next will bring news of greater moment, with the Turks' reply and what Montagu has decided to do, so they are eagerly awaited by the Court and the Mart alike.
Although the wind has for several days been favourable for passage from Portugal to England, yet nothing is heard or comes from Lisbon about the arrival of the Ambassador di Mello. The Court wonders at the delay and is anxiously waiting for certainty both about the marriage and also about the later arrangement with the Dutch. Meanwhile Fanscio, chosen as resident with Braganza, took leave at the palace this week and started for the coast two days ago, to proceed to Lisbon on a war ship, with the first favourable wind.
Evil humours still persist in this kingdom and are hard to purge away while there is the diversity of religions and creeds which at present infects England. These persons think of nothing but how to shuffle the cards again and rekindle civil strife, and win advantages for their party, which is by no means small. It seems that with the help and correspondence of the malcontents of Scotland, who are not a few, they were meditating some disturbance in this city, and thought the king's journey a favourable opportunity to give it effect. When his Majesty was gone and London almost empty owing to the multitude that would follow the Court there would be a chance to let blaze the wrath which the sectaries cherish. But the plans prepared being discovered it was easy to prevent them by the measures taken. Houses were searched, persons arrested, arms sequestered and various munitions of war of which a great quantity were found scattered about in different parts of the metropolis, in secret underground places, and in several parts of the kingdom; so they were able to explode the threatened mine. For this reason and for others also which do not permit the Court to be far away, it would seem that the king's journey is put off and perhaps postponed altogether to some more opportune time, when affairs are more pacified which as yet are far too balanced and unstable.
The ship from Leghorn with the gondolas arrived in the Downs this week and the news reached London the day before yesterday. When the wind serves it will enter the Thames and anchor not far from this metropolis. I will then have them put in the water and set right, and subsequently present them to his Majesty. I have informed him of their arrival, at which he expressed his delight, declaring that immediately they reach the river he will go to see them, while manifesting great curiosity and his indebtedness to the Senate. I am sure that the sight will please him greatly, as from the account of ministers I know he was not a little gratified that the mission of the ambassadors extraordinary was expressly for offices with his Majesty, without any charge for other princes, as was reported here and suspected. When I spoke with any one about it I did not fail to assure them that this was so, and that it was a mark of esteem for his Majesty and the whole nation.
London, the 9th September, 1661.
[Italian.]
Sept. 10.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Firenze.
Venetian
Archives.
47. Domenico Vico, Venetian Resident at Florence, to the Doge and Senate.
I also have received from an Englishman in my confidence here similar information to what was sent yesterday to the Grand Duke himself, but in general terms, that the king of England is now moving with rapid strides to cause that the great body of Holland shall in a short time remain finally without support (senza braccia,) so much so that they write that on this account both France and Spain are beginning to feel the greatest apprehension, and it is suggested that these two crowns are placed under a strong obligation to change their plans, both at once, and to join in a close alliance with the Dutch, although this decision will come too late in the opinion of the wisest. My English informant further tells me that General Montagu, not having obtained the satisfaction he required, is now off Algiers, bombarding the town, and has burned many ships, so that in a few hours he hoped to have his will of them. To the same end he had also summoned from Alicante a reinforcement of some other frigates of war, which renders everybody most eager to hear the outcome.
Florence, the 10th September, 1661.
[Italian.]
Sept. 13.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Spagna.
Venetian
Archives.
48. Giovanni Cornaro, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.
These last days they have been discussing the adjustment between Portugal and Holland. Gamarra, the ambassador in Holland, writes that this peace will lead to a rupture with the English, because the places belonging to Portugal and given up by the Portuguese in Africa, are the same as those assigned to Holland by the Spaniards by the treaties of Munster. He says they have intimated to the ambassador of Portugal that he must leave their dominions if the treaties are not signed with the same terms as were offered before the marriage with England. That the Dutch ambassadors in England have made protests to the end that they shall abandon the places yielded to that king on the sea coast in Africa, and that from this diversity of negotiations and these clashes, a rupture will ensue between the two powers. But these are their ideas here, where they are always ready to build on their hopes and in this fashion to hide their apprehensions.
A courier has reached the Court in all haste. It is stated that other vessels have left England, with the report that they are to fetch the bride from Portugal. Meanwhile the fleet of New Spain does not put in an appearance, so that their fears and misgivings are returning. Ruiter is hanging about in these waters with the ships of Holland, observing, so they say, the movements of Montagu, and also that a further number of ships is to leave Holland for the observation of the English, because the capital which they have in the fleet is over large.
Madrid, the 13th September, 1661.
[Italian.]
Sept. 16.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
49. Francesco Giavarina, Venetian Resident in England, to the Doge and Senate.
Owing to contrary winds the ship with the two gondolas could not enter the Thames before yesterday, when it cast anchor 35 miles from this city. I went at once to See them and found them much damaged and in poor condition with great leaks caused by the excessive heat on the long voyage and some of the packages are not in good condition. They were put into lighters yesterday evening and reached London to-day. Moved by curiosity the king took a pleasure barge on the river to meet and inspect them, so eager is he. I at once had the packing opened and the bodies sunk, so that after they are seasoned a little they may be taken to a boat yard and the damage repaired. I am also giving orders for all that is unstuck and broken to be repaired, and with permission, I will enter the cost in my accounts. As the king is extraordinarily eager to see them I will hasten their repairs as much as possible and then present them, but this cannot happen till the middle of next week, as it needs time to do all that is necessary. Meanwhile the gondoliers are working; they are all four in good health and eager to be presented to his Majesty.
Owing to my attention to this matter I cannot devote much time to this despatch and beg the Senate to pardon me, especially as there is nothing of importance. They are still in the dark about the affairs of Portugal to the general astonishment. There is definite news of a fight between the English and Turks at Algiers, but no particulars are known, and the thirst for these can be imagined. From the lips of the duke of York I hear that on the expiry of the 6 hours given by General Montagu to the barbarians for their reply, they made ready to fight on seeing which the Turks fired the guns of the fortress on his ships, to which he replied with determination, and was preparing to set fire to the ships of the infidels in the port. Nothing more is known but further particulars are expected soon. God grant that this nation may be so far committed against the Turks as to benefit the most serene republic.
After staying some weeks in this city Sig. Girolamo Cornaro has recently left for Holland, desiring to increase his knowledge of foreign countries, leaving the king and all the Court singularly impressed with his admirable qualities.
London, the 16th September, 1661.
[Italian.]
Sept. 17.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Firenze.
Venetian
Archives.
50. Domenico Vico, Venetian Resident at Florence, to the Doge and Senate.
News of the English fleet has come from Marseilles. We also learn from there that two English frigates of war in going from Alicante to join with Montagu's fleet at Algiers, falling in with three Barbary galleys, they sunk one of them with their first discharges, and subsequently captured the other two without resistance, releasing the Christian slaves. All the Turks were put in irons, to be sold later at the first opportunity. These same frigates are cruising about, awaiting the return of other Barbary corsairs.
From a kinsman of the English consul at Leghorn I have learned that in accordance with the agreement to consign to the king of Great Britain in respect of the dowry of the princess of Portugal, his bride, all the places which the Portuguese hold in Guinea, the English fleet put in an appearance there to take possession. It was very gladly received by the people there, the only slight obstacle being from a fortress of the Dutch there, which was fain to fire its guns on one of the frigates of the fleet. This stirred the Admiral to let those of the fortress understand that it must surrender to England within ten days if it did not wish to suffer the utmost rigour. The governor, having well considered the matter decided to surrender on good terms, especially as he was in no state to resist. (fn. 2)
Very different news from this has come about the relations of England with the Dutch, as by recent advices received from the merchants of Antwerp it seems that before long the Dutch propose to publish themselves as in alliance with England and Portugal.
Florence, the 17th September, 1661.
[Italian.]
Sept. 21.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Spagna.
Venetian
Archives.
51. Giovanni Cornaro, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.
Some glimmerings of hope survive about the execution of the agreements between Portugal and England, as the people of the former country object to giving up the fortresses to heretics. Further in the peace with Holland matters for dispute and occasions for a rupture may arise, accordingly reports are spread abroad to amuse the people and moderate their feeling against the government, since the forces of England and Portugal are the surest instruments to bring about the state of affairs that has been determined.
The king of England has recently written to his Majesty and to Don Luis protesting the constancy of his friendship and perfect correspondence. But Montagu has proceeded to Lisbon to fetch the bride and other ships are said to have left London.
Madrid, the 21st September, 1661.
[Italian.]
Sept. 23.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
52. Francesco Giavarina, Venetian Resident in England, to the Doge and Senate.
In the total absence of matter here, there being nothing from Portugal in spite of favourable winds, causing suspicion and much talk, I will report the execution of the instructions sent on the 2nd. I asked audience of his Majesty which was appointed for Wednesday after dinner. I then thanked him for the honours done to the ambassadors extraordinary for the orders given at Constantinople to prevent ships of this country from serving the Turks and for the good will expressed to assist the common cause of Christendom, sustained alone for so many years by the sword of the republic.
The king replied with his usual incomparable kindness that he owed your Serenity thanks for the honour of the embassy. He did not doubt that the orders to Constantinople would be punctually obeyed. He would renew them and would always be ready to do so. As regarded succour he had the affair much at heart and would not lose the first opportunity to render it jointly with Christendom. He added that he believed he would be forced to make war on the Turk, in view of the insolence of the men of Barbary. At this I enlarged on the glory he would win by such a just decision. Who knows if this may not happen, as if the news is confirmed which comes via France, that the English at Algiers have suffered a great defeat with the loss of several ships, the business will not be ended so soon, but will be embittered, to the advantage of our republic. Two ships certainly, very roughly handled, have been forced to take refuge at Malaga. For the rest there is no certain news, but particulars are anxiously awaited.
The king told me later of what happened with the ship of war (fn. 4) which took the Ambassador Winchelsea and is now returned, saying that the captain was obliged to keep good guard for fear that the Turks would force the ships to serve, in which case he was determined to resist and rather blow it up than do so. Although the captain makes known his determination, especially as it was against your Serenity, yet this does not prevent him complaining of the high handed action of your ministers at Zante who made him pay duty even on the provision of wine and other things required for the service of the ship. The duke of York himself spoke to me about this. I replied that the feelings of your Serenity to this nation could not be more friendly and quite definite orders were given at the islands for the good treatment of all English ships and particularly his Majesty's. The trouble all came from the inferior ministers, who are alike in all countries in their greed of gain. I promised to inform the Senate.
I would suggest that it might be well to issue orders for the better treatment of ships of this country, to prevent complaints which certainly are extreme. Every ship coming from the islands makes known that they receive ill treatment only from the ministers of your Serenity, all other princes being more courteous and giving them more advantages, and the impression they make can easily be imagined.
Having informed the Senate of what the king wrote to me about the claims of the owners of the ship Angelo, and received orders to inform his Majesty of all the circumstances, I put off doing so, knowing that delay could only be advantageous to your Serenity. But gathering that the parties were beginning to murmur and to prevent more petitions I thought it best not to wait any longer. I gave him a brief account of the whole affair the day before yesterday and left a memorial with all the particulars. (fn. 4) He seemed much displeased at the bad behaviour of the captain, assuring me that he would never claim from the republic anything more than was just and friendly. I answered that the claims of your Serenity are more reasonable than those of the captain and owners. With regard to the ships plundered by Algiers pirates I am pressing the Secretary of State about the fulfilment of the request made by the ambassadors extraordinary. I will also perform my instructions with the ambassadors of Holland, and inform your Serenity at once of any nomination by the king of an ambassador to your Serenity, but so far nothing is said about a selection for any Court whatsoever.
Having repaired the gondolas, which were all in pieces, having them regilded and much of the inlay reset, I had them out on the Thames yesterday and presented them to his Majesty with suitable remarks. It is impossible to express his Majesty's pleasure or how they were praised by the king, Court and everyone. His Majesty at once got in with the duke and duchess of York and another lady of the Court, and also made me enter. Other gentlemen of the palace followed in the second. He took a short course on the river, before a great crowd assembled to see them, their richness, grace and lightness being generally admired with praises for the gondoliers also. He said many times that he had never seen anything finer or more gallant. He charged me expressly to thank your Serenity for the present, which he valued greatly and he would see that the gondoliers were well treated.
It would really seem that the present of your Serenity stands apart from the many others that have been made by many other princes. This week he was presented by the States of Holland with a little vessel to sail on the Thames, of great beauty (fn. 5) but he is more pleased with the gondolas, and he enjoys nothing so much as going on the water.
In speaking of the speed of gondolas and barques the gondoliers told him that there is another kind of craft called ‘fisolere’ (fn. 6) which go much quicker and with these they could show him quick rowing, describing the nature of the boat, to his Majesty's extreme delight. The king at once sent for me and said that after receiving such an honour he ought not immediately to ask for another, but what he heard of the ‘fisolere’ and his passion for anything that floats would excuse him. He asked me to beg the Senate for one of these and I consented, having already told him of the state's desire to gratify him in every possible way. The gondoliers tell me the form which the ‘fisolere’ ought to have for this river and I will send full particulars to the Magistracy alle Rason Vecchie.
The duke of York told me yesterday that he also would like gondolas; but he would not trouble the Senate and asked me to get some at his own cost. Many other lords of the Court have already spoken to me, all being most eager for such craft, so greatly have those sent by your Serenity caught the general taste.
London, the 23rd September, 1661.
[Italian.]
Sept. 24.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Corti.
Venetian
Archive.
53. To the Resident in England.
Acknowledge his letters of the 2nd inst. Note that part which speaks of the decision to send more ships to Montagu. The Resident at Florence reports the attack made by the English fleet on Algiers. Accordingly the Senate considers it highly desirable, in the present state of affairs that the resident should continue, with the prudent tact he has shown from the first, to encourage this same favourable disposition, promoting this common service, and pointing out the merit and glory the crown would acquire, and now they should increase Montagu's strength to pursue those barbarians and do them every possible harm.
Ayes, 121. Noes, 1. Neutral, 4.
[Italian.]
Sept. 24.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Firenze.
Venetian
Archives.
54. Domenico Vico, Venetian Resident at Florence, to the Doge and Senate.
Montagu's fleet has left Algiers, after declaring war. It was hanging about in those waters, divided into several squadrons. One of these had previously captured three Algerian frigates, manned by 300 Turks, who were put in chains. On the other hand they set at liberty a Genoese ship which had been taken shortly before by the others.
Florence, the 24th September, 1661.
[Italian.]
Sept. 29.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Costantinopoli.
Venetian
Archives.
55. Giovanni Battista Ballarino, Venetian Grand Chancellor at the Porte, to the Doge and Senate.
The English ambassador sent his secretary four days ago to inform me of the birth of his son. He will stay at his villa two months longer, but as the child must be christened he has asked his Majesty to be godfather, and remembering the favours conferred on him by the most serene republic he said he would be pleased if I also would act in that capacity. I was surprised at so unexpected a request, chiefly because of the difference in religion, but I thought it best not to show any hesitation. I expressed my pleasure at the invitation, but said that I did not know how I could act, and I was afraid that my coming might cause more trouble than satisfaction to his Excellency. However the secretary pressed the request, saying that conditions were different now. I therefore asked Musir Aga for leave to go, with the ordinary guard, to his Excellency's villa, for this purpose. In the end I have obtained permission to go abroad for two or three days. I sent at once to inform the ambassador.
Pera of Constantinople, the 29th September, 1661.
[Italian; deciphered.]
Sept. 30.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Ingilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
56. Francesco Giavarina, Venetian Resident in England, to the Doge and Senate.
There have been several reports this week about the fleet at Algiers, but in the absence of letters from the general no one believes them, especially as they disagree. The merchants say they have word that the English have been beaten, as when entering the port they were caught between the fortress and the ships and suffered, being unable to come out because of the contrary wind. Others hear from Marseilles that Montagu had so handled the Turks that he had forced them to yield to his terms, and that satisfied about Barbary he had gone to refresh at Alicante. Time alone will show which is true.
What is beyond doubt is that they have equipped ten more ships here to send to Algiers, which are all ready at Portsmouth only waiting for a favourable wind. From this haste with reinforcements it may be conjectured that the English have received some hurt, which is known at the palace but kept secret in order not to alarm the people and so that no one may object to proceed to those parts with the squadron.
The duke of York himself spoke to me the other evening about this expedition. He said that Montagu will proceed to Portugal; that the vessels now at Algiers should return to England, from which one may conclude that they are not in a very good state; and that the squadron now being sent will suffice to do all that is necessary in those parts, especially as the Dutch fleet commanded by Ruiter is also there, for the same purpose as the English. I approved of his Majesty's resolution and remarked on the advantage to this country of repressing the insolence of those infidels, who have even ventured into the English Channel, observing, what the duke himself had told me, that six Barbary ships had gone to the mouth of the Thames to see if they could make any booty, and fled from apprehension that they might be discovered and engaged. Such audacity and pride are insufferable and must be abased. I seized this opportunity to say what I am directed in the ducali of the 9th about the Tripolitans. I have also spoken to the king and ministers when occasion served and found them all disposed to destroy if possible the Algerians, Tripolitans and the rest of those pirates, those pests of navigation, if they will not give the satisfaction demanded.
The absence of news from Portugal continues amid the usual astonishment and suspicion, the greater because the governor of Tangier (fn. 7) seems reluctant to yield that place to the English, and it is feared that, corrupted by Spanish gold he may hand it over to the Catholic and thus delude the hopes of the Portuguese and those here, who built much upon that place and the numerous advantages it held out, because of its situation, adjoining the Strait of Gibraltar and so convenient for keeping the neighbouring parts in check if it is well fortified and furnished with the things necessary for war.
The ambassador extraordinary of Sweden, who was said to be in England weeks ago, was driven away from these coasts by a storm, and nothing being heard of him they feared he was ship-wrecked. But he appeared unexpectedly in the Thames and is now at Gravesend, intending to make his public entry next week, on which occasion they expect broils between the ambassadors of France and Spain for the precedence of their coaches, and if the king's authority is not invoked, as it was for the entry of the Venetian ambassadors, there will certainly be mischief, as both sides are making great preparations.
The residents of Sweden and Brandenburg having carried through certain maritime treaties with this crown, the latter left recently for Germany to obtain the ratification of his elector and then to return to his residence here. The other, taking advantage of the ambassador's return, will proceed to Stockholm to inform his master of his negotiations, leaving some one in charge here to do what is required.
In conformity with the ducali of the 9th I have endeavoured with the caution enjoined to find out whether anything has been decided about an ordinary embassy to Venice, and about corresponding to those already here of France and Spain. I find from a confidant who has a share in the government that never a word has been said as yet and am assured that the scarcity of cash which prevails stands in the way of a decision, especially as they have the extraordinary in France and make him act as ordinary. They are not thinking about Spain since it is not yet known what will happen between that crown and this owing to the Portugal marriage. For other parts, where the need is not so great, there seems no disposition to trouble themselves until the king is more firmly established and the exchequer is better furnished. I have this on good authority and I fancy the resident of Denmark has not found out any more, who has pressed them to appoint an ambassador to his king. I will keep on the watch and report whatever happens.
London, the 30th September, 1661.
Postscript: When sealing these present one of the secretaries of state has written the enclosed letter in his Majesty's name, recommending a certain Erlisman who is, they say, unjustly molested and cast into prison by Jones.
[Italian.]
Enclosure.57. Illustrissime Domine:
Narratum est Regi Domino meo clem, quendam Aegidium Jones, mercatorum Anglorum Venetiis Proconsulem, cum in summa aeris plusquam mediocri Joanne Erlisman mercatura (fn. 8) ibidem uganda teneatur, nonnullas molestias et juris tricas ipsi creasse imo juvenem innoxium specie criminis obtenta in carcerem conjecisse. Sua quidem Maj. non minus agre fert ut subditi sui in exteris regionibus improbe se gerant, quam ut inique se invicem vixent, ideoque ejus nomine et mandato Dom. Vestram oro ut Ser. Rep. Senatum aut Magistrates ad quas spectaverit hujus querelae certiores faciat, ut eorum jussu atque authoritate dictus Joannes vadibus datis (aut alio quovis modo Venetiis usitato) libertati suas restituatur, quo tum res suas tum causam adversus dictum Aegidium sub patrocinio et secundum leges Seren. Reipub. tuto ac pacifice prosequatur. Quod et communis aequitatis gratia a ducts magistratibus facile impetrari posse spero et ipsius Joannis causa preto etiam; qui quidem familia satis nobili oriundus est et novitius mercator nisi in hac parte sublevetur, ingentem amicis dolorem allaturus est. Haec habui a praememorata Maj. Sua ad Dom. Vestram scribenda; quas literis Vestris ad Senatum efficaciter expressa justitiam et favorem pro dicto Joanne non possunt non obtinere.
Ex aula regia 18vo die Septembris 1661.
Ill. Dominationes Vestra studiosissimus
Guglielmus Morice.
Illmo. Dom. Francesco Giavarina etc.

Footnotes

1 Prince Maurice of Nassau and the Chancellor Weiman took leave in July. They left Christopher Brand to act as resident for Brandenburg. Kingdom's Intelligencer, July 15–22.
2 The report of Capt. Holmes, admiral on the Guinea expedition, is printed in the Kingdom's Intelligencer, July 25th–Aug. 1st. The surrendered fort, on the Gambia river, was re-named James Island.
3 The Plymouth, Captain Thomas Allen.
4 The memorial, dated 11–21 September is in S.P. For. Venice, Vol. xlv.
5 A yacht presented by the Dutch East India Company. Evelyn: Diary, page 278. See also Pepys: Diary, Vol. ii., page 101.
6 “Barque petite, legere et rapide,” used for hunting moorhens (fisolo) or curlews, a winter sport of Venetian gentlemen. Made to carry the master with 7 or 8 servants. Jal: Glossaire Nautique, page 697.
7 Don Luis de Almeda. S.P. For. Portugal, Vol. v. Maynard's despatch of 4th Nov., 1661.
8 Erlisman was super cargo on the ship Rose and Crown of London. There are papers on this case in S.P. Venice, Vol. xlv.