Venice
November 1661

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Institute of Historical Research

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Allen B. Hinds (editor)

Year published

1932

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62-72

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'Venice: November 1661', Calendar of State Papers Relating to English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 33: 1661-1664 (1932), pp. 62-72. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=90098 Date accessed: 18 April 2014. Add to my bookshelf


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November 1661

Nov. 1.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
77. Alvise Grimani, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
Mons. de l'Estrade, after the incident in London and after having seen the king, went by sea to his government of Gravelines, as he had been permitted to do. He is blamed at Court, because they say that he should have made himself acquainted with what Batteville was contriving and have taken counter measures; because if he had expended his money like the other he would have found equal protection and favour with the common people who only sided with Spain against France for their own gain and for no other motive. In spite of this the king received him graciously and has held long conferences with him. I have been able to show that he was hated there for his bad carriage and behaviour (che per male forme e procedure fosse cola odiato), reminding them generally that the aversion of the English for the French in general is much greater than that of the English for the Spaniards.
It is not known whether his Majesty will send him back to London again since he is not too well pleased that after the rebuff received the king there has ordained that on similar occasions of entry the coaches of other foreign ministers shall not take part in future. Here, on the contrary they would have desired an order from him that the coach of France should have precedence, as they say it always has had in the past in that country. Some time ago a suggestion was made to King Charles from this side that he should make a positive decree to this effect, but he replied that he was perfectly willing to do so whenever his Majesty here would issue another that his ambassador should have precedence over the Spaniard, as he claims, and this was the reason why the question was not pressed any more.
Moret, the 1st November, 1661.
[Italian.]
Nov. 1.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Spagna.
Venetian
Archives.
78. Giovanni Cornaro, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.
[Records an interview with the secretary of Don Luis.] Among other things the secretary said that the ministers were incensed with Batteville for not avoiding the incident. The English had the responsibility for the greater mischief that had ensued, because some incident had occurred a few days before with the same ambassador. This had gathered a crowd of the English in the streets against the French. The case was rendered the more serious because of the dead on the French side.
It seems to me that they would be better pleased to see the question dealt with at that Court with the favour of the queens, and it would also allow time to soften the acerbity and cool the ardour. In this difficult question they wish to rule their conduct by the reports received, believing that the resentment shown to Fuendalsagna and the offices of the queen may suffice to dissipate the cloud without a more serious storm.
Madrid, the 1st November, 1661.
[Italian.]
Nov. 4.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
79. Francesco Giavarina, Venetian Resident in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The great body of England, being full of evil humours, experienced the severe illness known to all. It has not yet entirely recovered, as only mild remedies have been applied and none of those required to purge it and rid it entirely of all internal pains. Though convalescent it still feels the effect of the poison which remains about the heart, which sometimes permits a truce but will not leave it for ever at peace. Besides the plot of the fanatics reported others have been discovered in the present week, not only of persons without employment but in the army of General Monk itself, gradually gaining strength in wavering minds, and if God had not brought it to light it might have caused a breach most difficult to repair. The aim of all these machinations was to kindle a fresh civil war for the total overthrow of the monarchy and the episcopal faith. The Presbyterians and others who imagine this destruction think themselves meritorious and doing God's service, so much are they blinded by the devil, not realising the error of plotting against their natural prince and country. When the king heard of it he immediately devoted himself with the Council to devising suitable remedies, ordering the arrest of divers persons, including 5 colonels, a lieutenant colonel, a major and a captain, all of the land forces now in the metropolis and some from Monk's own companies. They have been sent to prison and are carefully guarded. (fn. 1)
At Hertford some colonels have been arrested (fn. 2) who had a secret understanding with those of London, who were removing soldiers from their garrisons on flimsy pretexts and filling their places with evil men, thus forming garrisons suitable for their evil intentions to surprise the governors at the same time that their correspondents in London had fired the mine. This was discovered only six hours before it was to take effect, and so once again England has been preserved from these evil influences, but she will be often subject to other attacks and cannot count on being exempt until Lambert is removed from the world and other turbulent spirits, who though confined in the Tower never cease to labour secretly with their fellow sectaries to rekindle an inextinguishable fire in these realms, in the confidence that they are inspired by Heaven and cannot end their days well except by such barbarous and horrid acts.
Parliament had passed an act (fn. 3) for weeding out of all towns and other places the mayors, aldermen and councillors appointed during the tyranny of Cromwell and other usurpers, whose entire obedience to his Majesty was doubtful, as if they acccepted him they did so by force to imitate the others and not from natural instinct and a sense of duty. They are putting the act into execution, but in some places have encountered serious difficulties, and it cannot be said as yet to be completely fulfilled. In London it seems that seven aldermen have been expelled besides other officials of lower rank.
During the late rebellion various markets were introduced into some of the cemeteries of the churches and notably in that of the most famous cathedral of St. Paul where they daily sold fruit, vegetables and other commodities. A strong proclamation has come out this week forbidding such sales in these places with severe punishment for those who disobey. (fn. 4)
Having paid some money to the troops collected to send to Tangier they have recently reviewed 1,000 foot and 100 horse who have all marched off to Portsmouth to embark. But many are deserting, being content with the money received, without waiting for more. The earl of Peterborough, colonel of these troops and governor designate of the fortress is all ready to embark. The duke of York, as Lord Admiral, has gone to Portsmouth to see the troops embark and inspect the ships which are to go and join Montagu at Algiers, of whom there is no further news, and to hasten the equipment of other vessels to send to Lisbon to fetch the future queen.
Durazzo, appointed by the republic of Genoa to come to England as ambassador and congratulate the king, has been in London some days but remains incognito, preparing his train. It is not yet certain whether he will assume the character of ambassador or envoy. It depends on his treatment by the Court and he is working hard to have it according to his pretensions, but it is not certain whether he will succeed. He may possibly manage to have audience in the great hall and produces a paper which shows that the Genoese have enjoyed this at the imperial Court, but they say that the other points will be absolutely refused.
In accordance with the ducali of the 8th October I am informing the merchants of the Senate's decree and the orders sent to the Proveditore General of the Three Islands about the grievances in the currant trade of which they complain, urging them to continue the trade with the assurance of every advantage. They all seemed greatly pleased and relieved at the decision.
London, the 4th November, 1661.
[Italian.]
Nov. 5.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Corti.
Venetian
Archives.
80. To the Resident in England.
He is to keep a very close watch on the affair between the French and Spanish ambassadors over the encounter of their coaches. With regard to interposition with the Porte for peace, he is to express to the Secretary of State, Nicolas, the very great regard that is felt for the authority, zeal and friendship of his Majesty and particularly the appreciation of his admirable intentions; but as the Turks are more inflexible than ever and pertinacious in their enhanced pretensions, there is no room to think of anything but defence. That all the princes of Christendom are concerned in this and so there is reason to promise ourselves that his Majesty, following their example, and also his own generous intimations made to our ambassadors extraordinary, will help with deeds, in proportion with his greatness, to co-operate for the suppression of Turkish arrogance and crown his name with eternal glory, while laying the republic under an everlasting obligation, giving himself the means to oppose more effectively the boundless appetite of the Turks. In this way he is to aim tactfully to have the question dropped, while at the same time making clear the republic's respect for his Majesty and its appreciation. Whenever similar questions are raised he is to contrive prudently to evade them.
Ayes, 82. Noes, 0. Neutral, 0.
[Italian.]
Nov. 5.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Costantinopoli.
Venetian
Archives.
81. To the English Ambassador Winchelsea, at Constantinople.
Acknowledge his letters of the 27th June, received through Dartes, his treasurer. The senate has already heard from the Grand Chancellor Ballarino of the courtesy shown to him. They have instructed their Resident in England to thank his Majesty for the perfect correspondence that exists with their representative at the Porte. The Senate wishes to express to him their regard for him personally and also as the representative of the king of England. If Dartes should happen to ask for anything that he may want, the Senate will make it plain that the earl's recommendations are most highly considered.
[Italian.]
Nov. 8.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
82. Alvise Grimani, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
Mons. de l'Estrade continues his frequent consultations with the ministers here. He has made a report to his Majesty that Batteville showed the king of England a written order of the king, his master, to do what he has done. They are persuaded here that this is absolutely true, for they say that without such precise instructions he would not have gone so far. I try to smooth matters over urging that while there might possibly have been such an order, it might also be nothing but a show, made up by the ambassador to justify himself with King Charles for the steps which he took.
Moret, the 8th November, 1661.
[Italian.]
Nov. 11.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
83. Francesco Giavarina, Venetian Resident in England, to the Doge and Senate.
Besides those reported last week some others have been imprisoned, not only in London, but in several parts of the realm, as accomplices in the conspiracy discovered last week. Among them are many who were great in Cromwell's time, and pardoned by his Majesty's excessive indulgence, have forgotten the favour, abusing the royal clemency by plotting fresh confusion, for which they may pay with their lives before long, as is only right. Considering that the leaders of the sectaries who have been a long while under arrest, can only serve as an instrument to procure fresh disturbances, whether they are confined or free, and supposing that their relegation can only be useful to the interests of the crown, they have recently taken from the Tower Lambert, Vene, Cobbett and Waller, the last a disturber of the peace in Ireland, and sent them by ships of war to the islands adjacent to this kingdom under good guard, (fn. 5) where at a great distance from each other without any communication and with no paper, pens or ink they can only plot with themselves. Wise men think that they have been sent so far off that they may be put out of the way without noise or notice.
The ships for Algiers to replace others, are all ready and would have sailed before now if the wind had been favourable. They will go as soon as this permits, but it is already cold and they may encounter more difficulties through bad weather.
With no news from the fleet every one is anxious fearing that Montagu's ships may have suffered some damage by a storm.
On Saturday evening a gentleman arrived post sent by the Most Christian to his Majesty with news of the birth of a dauphin, (fn. 6) causing great joy at Court. To respond to the mission and offer congratulations Baron Crafts and the chancellor's second son set out the day before yesterday from London for the French Court on behalf of the king. Sir Charles Berkley has gone for the same purpose on behalf of the duke of York. (fn. 7)
Tuesday being the day for the new mayor of London to take the oath, the ceremony was performed with great pomp. Contrary to the custom of past years the foreign ministers, the king's Council, the peers of the realm, the bishops and others, who used not to take part in such functions, were invited to the ceremony and were almost all present, with mutual satisfaction to the guests and the hosts.
I will carry out the instructions in the ducali of the 15th October and report to the Senate. I have spoken to his Majesty as directed about the ‘fisolera.’ He seemed very pleased and expressed his great obligation to your Excellencies, saying he would look for it with eager curiosity.
London, the 11th November, 1661.
[Italian.]
Nov. 12.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Firenze.
Venetian
Archives.
84. Domenico Vico, Venetian Resident at Florence, to the Doge and Senate.
The English fleet off Algiers under Admiral Lauson has in a few weeks taken about twenty of their ships and continues to chase others. It has so harassed them that the Algerians sent deputies to treat for peace or a truce. But Lauson told them that he could not listen to them as he had definite orders for peace or war. On hearing this the citizens rose in revolt and went so far as to assassinate a certain leading official of Algiers, who it may be, opposed the proposals for peace.
Florence, the 12th November, 1661.
[Italian.]
Nov. 13.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Germania.
Venetian
Archives.
85. Giovanni Sagredo, Venetian Ambassador in Germany, to the Doge and Senate.
The distasteful news has arrived of the combat which took place in England for the place of their coaches between the ambassadors of the crowns and the precipitous action of the French in dismissing the Count of Fuendalsagna and in stopping the further progress of the Marquis of la Fuentes, his successor, in recalling their ambassador in England, in their protest to the Catholic king and in other steps, unfavourable at the present conjuncture, contrary to the alliance and leading rather to a rupture. In discussing the matter they say that this accident is unfortunate not only for the general interests of all Christendom but for those of the Catholic in particular. The most prudent here do not think it right that after having sacrificed the Infanta and various places in Flanders for the sake of securing peace, he should be placed in manifest peril for an affair of no great consequence, more particularly since Spain has not the place from France with the most conspicuous princes of Christendom, so that it was no great gain to obtain it in England for a single day, for as there was no decision of the king the place could not be permanent, and being won by force would always be liable to be lost by force.
The affair is also extremely unfortunate for the war against the Turk, as if the quarrel between the crowns is not adjusted and they rush into war, they will make haste here to make peace with the Ottoman. They think at this Court that before matters grow worse His Holiness should intervene by couriers extraordinary and his own letters to prevent the rupture which may easily occur from the youthfulness and irresponsibility of the king of France, who is attracted by arms and surrounded by councillors who believe that war will suit their fortunes better than peace.
Vienna, the 13th November, 1661.
[Italian.]
Nov. 15.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
86. Alvise Grimani, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
I went recently to pay my respects to the queen of England at Fontainebleau. She is invited to London by the king, to dwell there in future, and so she will abandon France. This gives rise to a variety of opinions in conversation; but as King Charles has to be receiving his wife, that would be quite sufficient to account for his motive in recalling his mother. But before the queen leaves this country she wishes to see Madame, her daughter, safely delivered.
Moret, the 15th November, 1661.
[Italian.]
Nov. 18.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
87. Francesco Giavarina, Venetian Resident in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The Court is still without news of importance, but the new session of parliament in 12 days should supply material of more consequence. For the rest the cold weather, which dries up everything, and leaves nothing but the limp falling foliage. There is no news of the fleet but a merchantman arrived recently from Smyrna reports having seen it at the Strait of Gibraltar cruising about the Barbary coasts in search of pirate craft. On the way this ship fell in with pirates and was engaged by three vessels, but she defended herself boldly for three hours and was able easily to avoid search and escape, otherwise, in view of the inequality of forces, she might have remained a prey to the infidels.
The day before yesterday, late, letters reached the king from his bride, Braganza and their mother, but what they bring besides compliments cannot be known. They cannot contain much beyond a repetition of the promises so often made, which they would like to see fulfilled. They are constantly talking of the sailing of the ships to fetch the bride and of the earl of Peterborough going to Tangier. The delays are due to nothing but lack of money and it is hoped that at the opening of parliament there will be provision in abundance. Without it the king can do nothing in the matter of money.
As there can no longer be any doubt, by all appearances, about the coming of the bride, although the precise moment is not known, the gentlemen of the Court and private persons are preparing rich liveries and sumptuous garments to be displayed at the entry of the bride and at the celebration of the nuptials, and the foreign ministers will have to do the like as a sign of respect. I must ask the Senate to give me instructions what to do and also to supply the means, as I am too reduced to do anything after over six years of service at this Court, which is at present the most expensive owing to the excessive price of everything and the endless obligations, particularly many extraordinary expenses after the king's return, most of which fell on my private purse.
Whereas the affair of the French and Spanish ambassadors occurred at the arrival of the ambassador extraordinary of Sweden, so another remarkable unseemly event has occured at his departure. He was brought to England by three Swedish ships, with which he entered the Thames. He himself came in a great and powerful warship of over 70 bronze pieces. During the few days he stayed in London he kept the ships at Gravesend. After having performed his functions and taken leave of the king he went to embark to return to Sweden. At the mouth of the river it met with the guard, a great English ship called the Charles. Seeing the Swede depart without lowering its flag this fired a gun without ball as a signal of what they ought to do. As no notice was taken the English fired another with ball which shaved the principal Swedish ship without doing it any harm. But as even this did not bring the Swede to reason a third was aimed at the sails, which did not miss. The English captain then sent on board the ambassador to inform him that he must lower his flag, that being the general practice in the house of others. The Swede replied that he had no such order from the king, without specifying whether it was the king of England or Sweden. In this ambiguity the captain sent an express to Court to report the incident and receive instructions. His Majesty approved of all his proceedings, directing him to continue them, and ordering other ships of war to go to his assistance. But before these instructions could reach him fresh advices arrived here from him reporting the departure of the Swede in the darkness of the night, with a favourable wind, without his being aware of it. The king has strongly resented the action, expressing his desire for satisfaction for the ambassador's indiscretion and highly incensed against the English commander who, according to the laws of the nation, may have to pay with his head the penalty for his lack of vigilance, for as he was diligent and praiseworthy at the beginning he should have been more exact and punctual afterwards. (fn. 8)
In obedience to the instructions of the 22nd October I am circulating about the Court with suitable remarks what your Excellencies send me in the matter of the English ambassador at Constantinople, and I will not fail to acquaint his Majesty with it as well.
London, the 18th November, 1661.
[Italian.]
Nov. 19.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Corti.
Venetian
Archives.
88. To the Resident in England.
Note the king's satisfaction at the victory of the republic and their proposal to continue hostilities against the Barbary corsairs and to help the republic. He is to encourage his Majesty's disposition and to urge the ministers to continue hostilities against the pirates.
The Senate is sure that he will report all that happens further with respect to the encounter between the coaches of the French and Spanish ambassadors.
Ayes, 82. Noes, 0. Neutral, 0.
[Italian.]
Nov. 21.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Costantinopoli.
Venetian
Archives.
89. Giovanni Battista Ballarino, Venetian Grand Chancellor at the Porte, to the Doge and Senate.
Yesterday the English ambassador came unexpectedly to tell me that a small frigate was ready to sail for Leghorn. There are reports everywhere of the damage inflicted on the corsairs at Algiers, of 500 slaves taken and sold by the English, who proceeded to those parts with armed power burning ships and bombarding the fortress with their guns. Although his Excellency had predicted this to the late Grand Vizier, protesting in the name of his king that he required the restitution of the slaves and goods taken, otherwise his Majesty would send his own ships to recover them, yet he has not welcomed this news, for fear of some disturbance. He immediately had search made in the registers of the embassy for particulars of similar incidents happening at other times without offence to the Porte. He imparted these to the Caimecan and wrote to the Dragoman Piron at Adrianople that he should inform the Reitschitab and the Cheia of the Grand Vizier, intimating to all the certainty of a speedy adjustment between the English and the Barbareschi. In these ways he seeks to put them all in safety, and prevent severe measures being taken by the ministers of the Grand Turk. So far these last do not seem to trouble themselves about the matter declaring that they cannot take any steps before they see an arz of the Basha of Algiers on the subject. This has relieved the ambassador considerably from his fear of some outrageous proceeding on the part of these barbarians; because in the mean time he will go about dealing with them by his offices and presents, in the certainty, so he assures me, that all will be happily settled at this moment at Algiers, with mutual satisfaction.
Pera of Constantinople, the 21st November, 1661.
[Italian; deciphered.]
Nov. 24.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Firenze.
Venetian
Archives.
90. Domenico Vico, Venetian Resident at Florence, to the Doge and Senate.
We hear from Leghorn that the pirates of Algiers in the course of about one month have taken twenty-four vessels, the majority of them English, as appears from the enclosed note.
Florence, the 24th November, 1661.
[Italian.]
Enclosure.91. List of ships taken [of which only seven appear to be English].
Nov. 25.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
92. Francesco Giavarina. Venetian Resident in England, to the Doge and Senate.
After being talked of for so long there are signs that the earl of Peterborough may at last be going to Tangier, although the reports of the reluctance of the Portuguese governor and the inhabitants to give up the place are more persistent this week than ever. It is asserted that having received good sums in cash from the Spaniards they have protested that they will only admit a subject of the Catholic king, with other reports indicating their repugnance to do what the Portuguese wish. It is added that there has been some disturbance in Lisbon over the collection of the money promised by the duke of Braganza to the British king for his sister's dowry. In spite of these reports, which are well authenticated and not unknown at Court, yet the infantry for Africa have been marched to the place of embarcation and tomorrow the cavalry will begin their journey to the coast, and so one is inclined to think that they may not be true, as if the Court thought they were well founded it would stop them going, as useless. The journey of the duke of York to Dunkirk the day before yesterday to see to the embarcation of the regiments to be sent from that garrison to Tangier, also suggests that the reports are unfounded unless under the pretext of Tangier the expedition is for something else, as frequently happens at Courts and as good policy requires, to announce one thing and proceed to carry out another.
The king having answered the letters which came from Portugal last week they are to-day sending a gentleman from London to take them to Lisbon. (fn. 9) He has no other charge and they merely contain compliments and the expressions usually exchanged between lovers.
The captain of the Charles, being sent for by the king to answer for the escape of the Swedish ambassador was at once committed to the Tower to await the punishment the king may inflict for his carelessness. This is expected to mean at the least his dismissal and imprisonment for some time. Owing to the behaviour of that ambassador there has been some doubt whether his Majesty would receive in audience the resident left in England. The matter was debated in the Privy Council and after discussion it was decided to allow him access to his Majesty. He had audience recently of the king who said nothing to him about the incident, but it seems that the duke of York is charged to speak of it when he visits him.
In accordance with instructions repeated on the 29th ult. I thanked his Majesty for the courtesy and good correspondence of the English ambassador at Constantinople with your Serenity's ministers. The king replied that he was glad his minister acted so, such being his instructions which would be repeated, so that your Excellencies may understand his cordial predilection for the republic.
London, the 25th November, 1661.
[Italian.]
Nov. 29.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
93. Alvise Grimani, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
Lord German has been to take his audiences of conge of their Majesties. He came straight back to Paris and will set out from thence for London. There are arrived here Earl Craf, in the name of the king of England, and another gentleman for the duke of York, (fn. 10) to congratulate their Majesties upon the birth of the dauphin. Yesterday they were at audience and were most cordially welcomed and entertained.
Moret, the 29th November, 1661.
[Italian.]

Footnotes

1 Colonels Packer, Streater, Wielks, Litcot and Kenrick; Lt.-Col. Read, Major Gladman and Capt. Chaffin, all committed to the Gatehouse. Mercurius Politicus Oct. 17–24.
2 Only one colonel, named Markham, is mentioned in the Mercurius Politicus (Ibid.), as having been arrested at Hertford.
3 Act for the regulation of corporations.
4 Proclamation of 21st October, o.s., that no fairs or markets may be held in churchyards. Mercurius Politicus Oct. 17–24.
5 Vane was sent to the Scilly islands, Lambert to Guernsey and Cobbet and Waller were sent to Jersey by warrants dated 21st October, o.s. Cal. S.P. Dom. 1661–2, page 118.
6 Louis, born 1st November.
7 Lawrence Hyde went with Lord Croft. Their pass and that of Sir Charles Berkeley dated 30th October, o.s. Cal. S.P. Dom. 1661–2, page 128.
8 An account of the affair is given in the Kingdom's Intelligencer Nov. 25–Dec. 2. Capt. Robert Holmes was in command of the Charles. He was summoned before the Council and committed to the Tower on 17–27 Nov. Ibid. His command was taken over by Capt. Robt. Clark. Cal. S.P. Dom. 1661–2, page 149. See Pepys: Diary, Vol. ii., page 135.
9 Hugh Cholmeley. He reached Lisbon on 8–18 December. Maynard to the king on that date. S.P. For. Portugal.
10 Sir Charles Berkeley.