Venice
August 1662

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Institute of Historical Research

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Allen B. Hinds (editor)

Year published

1932

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168-182

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'Venice: August 1662', Calendar of State Papers Relating to English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 33: 1661-1664 (1932), pp. 168-182. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=90107 Date accessed: 31 August 2014.


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August 1662

Aug. 1.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Venetian
Archives.
218. Alvise Grimani, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
The queen of England departed at last on Tuesday. She took with her a natural son of King Charles, who is a boy of 13 to 14 years, (fn. 1) high spirited and very well behaved (spiritoso et molto prudente), of whom the queen is very fond. He was brought up in France in the Catholic faith, but in accordance with the quality which belongs to him, although he has always passed as a nephew of Lord Craf, but he has been educated in the manner of a prince. His father has recently given him a tutor of the Anglican religion (fn. 2) but he thoroughly understands it (ma egli in tutto lo intende), besides which, in this matter, the said queen is always trying to confirm him in the Catholic faith.
M. de Cominges the ambassador designate for England, is scarce troubling about that embassy. He informed the king of his readiness to obey, but also of his powerlessness, though he would defer to his orders, if they were accompanied by the means to carry them out. But this will be no easy matter, so I do not know when he will start. It is true that we do not hear either that the one appointed by King Charles is making any haste to come to this Court.
Nantere, the 1st August, 1662.
[Italian.]
Aug. 4.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
219. Francesco Giavarina, Venetian Resident in England, to the Doge and Senate.
Learning from Paris that the queen mother had left for England, the king and his brother set out at the end of last week to go and meet her. They descended the river in small pleasure boats, the duke to take a ship of war and put out to sea, the king to await her in the Downs. This was done but his Highness ran no little danger of shipwreck and the king also if he had gone a little further, as on Sunday he was caught in a furious gale at the mouth of the Thames, which is very dangerous for the sandbanks there.
The mast was broken, the sails torn, the sailors dismayed, and all in disorder he was thrown on the banks of Lie, at the mouth of the river and was obliged to stay there for several hours exposed to the fury of the waves, until the tide fell and the wind dropping he could reach a safer place. The other ships accompanying his Highness were dispersed, and there is no news of one, not very large, which had the earl of Sandwich and Baron Crofts on board.
The weather indeed could not be worse and it is more like a severe winter than the dog days. For ten days rain has fallen incessantly doing great harm to the country and to the harvest, which promised to be abundant. The winds are exceptional and intolerable; the cold is intense, contrary to the season and climate, which is usually very mild.
For this reason the queen has not yet left France, and is apparently waiting at the port of embarcation, not venturing to sea in such unfavourable weather, so it is not known when she will arrive at this place, now desolate by the absence of the king and duke. The queen consort and the duchess are here but will not move before her Majesty's approach. It is not certain whether the queen will stir, as she seems pregnant and it is not thought fit for her to risk any accident, especially as she is very delicate and of remarkably weak constitution, which suffers from the constant reports of the successes of the Castilians against her brother, which distress her greatly, especially as it is stated that her mother has been removed from the regency and that the affairs of Portugal are in a very critical state.
Definite news has come of the arrival at Lisbon of the troops sent under the command of Lord Inchiquin, but what service they can render in a climate so different from their own and not abounding in flesh and other things to which they are accustomed in England, no one can say. It is to be feared that they will not be so useful as is expected. Other troops have since embarked at Plymouth and more will follow to complete the total of 5000 effectives agreed, to reinforce Braganza's army.
Don Francisco di Melo, the ambassador who arranged the marriage with this house has recently been seriously ill. He is much better but his infirmity is considered incurable because the climate does not suit his constitution and because of his distress at the ill success of his master. He talks of returning to Portugal, but that depends on events there, as is the case with many of the Portuguese in England, and if the Spaniards pursue their successes there it is thought this will prove an asylum to many others who will take refuge here from the severity of the king of Spain.
To deprive the fanatics here of any incentive for their devilish intentions they have decided to demolish various fortresses and to remove the gates of those cities which seem most infected with such rabble, so that conspirators cannot make themselves strong. Northampton, Gloucester and Coventry, (fn. 3) as the most rebellious who have joined in all the past disturbances, will be the first to feel the severity due to their insolence and so they will proceed against others known to be culpable or found so.
Sestri (fn. 4) has arrived who comes from the king of Denmark to congratulate his Majesty on his marriage and brings as a present a team of six superb horses. He remains incognito at London and it is still uncertain whether he will appear as ambassador or envoy. Don Luigi San Severino. a Neapolitan, is also here in the name of the duke of Guise, to offer congratulations to the king and queen, which he did last week, and is now about to return.
In obedience to the instructions in the ducali of the 24th June I have tried to find out from Sir Waller on what terms he would grant ships to the republic, but he utterly refused to produce them without a levy of infantry, as he will not do one without the other. I have tried to find out secretly and gather that his claims would be exorbitant and that his intention is to use the squadron which he wants your Serenity to pay. to go privateeering against the Turks for his private gain and advantage rather than to render any other service to the Senate.
With the king away I have not yet been able to get from the Secretary Nicolas the declaration about the proclamation. When his Majesty returns to Hampton Court and has signed it, I will get it from the secretary and send it on.
The day before yesterday the earl of Loderdel, secretary for Scotland, and a member of the Privy Council, asked me what reply I had from the Senate about Thomas Annand, but as there was nothing about this in the ducali of the 8th July, I could only tell him what had been already made known to the king.
Hampton Court, the 4th August, 1662.
[Italian.]
Aug. 5.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni
Corti.
Venetian
Archives.
220. To the Resident in England.
The king and Court being at Hampton Court and all the foreign ministers having gone there, it was right for him to do the same. Acknowledge receipt of the articles of peace with Algiers. but in view of the doubt about their being broken, it remains a question for his attention, to inform the Senate of what further transpires in the matter, and what treaties Lauson may make with the other pirates of Barbary.
He is to endeavour to induce the merchants to frequent that route, in the assurance of receiving the best possible treatment and of the advantage which they should be able to draw therefrom. Send copy of a proclamation issued by the Proveditore General of the Three Islands in this connection.
Ayes, 112. Noes. 1. Neutral. 3.
[Italian.]
Aug. 5.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Firenze.
Venetian
Archives.
221. Domenico Vico, Venetian Resident at Florence, to the Doge and Senate.
The English Vice Admiral still remains inside the Strait of Gibraltar with some of his frigates. The reason for this is not known, but it is believed to be in case English merchantmen should arrive at a time when some disagreement had taken place between Spain and England, of which there is still some apprehension.
Florence, the 5th August, 1662.
[Italian.]
Aug. 11.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
222. Francesco Giavarina, Venetian Resident in England, to the Doge and Senate.
After the great storm last week when many persons were drowned and ships wrecked, with loss to the traders, especially of London, which added to the depredations of the Algerines has resulted in failures which have come out in a few days, with the fear of others among the leading merchants which are believed to be imminent, the queen mother was able to put to sea, crossing in a few hours. The king paid her his respects at Dover, and on Saturday evening he arrived here where the bride received him with the greatest tenderness and respect and exceeding joy, because of the danger he had been in. On Monday evening the widowed queen arrived at Grinvich where she will stay until Somerset palace, her old residence in London, is ready for her. On Tuesday the queen consort paid her respects having gone on purpose with the king, as the duchess of York had done the previous day at the moment of her arrival. On Wednesday the king and his mother went to London, he to see the progress made at Witeal and she that at Somerset. Both were sumptuously entertained by the duke of York at St. James's. After this they all returned to their ordinary quarters in the hope of soon returning to London, where the bride has not yet been, and when she comes, probably in a fortnight, she will enter by water with great pomp.
Besides Lord Germin, Prince Edward Palatine and a natural son of the king, of 13 or 14 years, very spirited and dearly loved by the widowed queen, crossed with her to England. The father welcomed his son with great affection, but the courtiers are not equally pleased since it seem his Majesty proposes to give him a title and marry him to a wealthy Scottish lady, (fn. 5) so they begin to murmur and devise how to obstruct the good fortune of this young prince, so prudent and wise though young, and of the highest promise.
During the king's absence there has been some stir in the queen's court caused by the overscrupulousness of some Jesuits and other friars whom she brought from Portugal, as she refused to receive some ladies, holding appointments about her, because they were related to the countess of Castelmene, a most beautiful and witty lady, beloved and courted by the king since his return to England. A few days before his Majesty left to meet his mother, the countess kissed the queen's hand who received her with every favour, being ignorant of the relations between her and the king; but malicious persons, taking advantage of the king's absence, described the whole affair to her Majesty, so that the queen declared that she would never see the countess again or any of her relations or dependents. The affair is still undecided but every one of any prudence condemns the queen for having gone so far especially at the present crisis when by the misfortunes of her brother she is not in such credit here as is desirable. The chancellor supports the queen. The earl of Bristol, Sir [Henry] Bennet, who stands high in the long's favour, and other influential persons support the countess, and what is more important the king seems to incline to that side and refuses to gratify the queen by forbidding the countess the Court., so if the old queen does not arrange matters, as is expected, the bride will not be happily placed in her relations with the king, especially as the signs of her pregnancy have disappeared and it is now stated that she suffers from a defect which renders her incapable of offspring.
A quarrel over a post horse on the king's return from Dover has arisen between Prince Rupert and the duke of Buckingham, so that the prince challenged him, practically in the king's presence. The duke said he could not fight then because he had injured his left arm in a fall from his horse when hunting with the king, but promised satisfaction as soon as he was recovered. The prince who has long cherished rancour against the duke, repeated that he wished to fight at once and suddenly laid hands on the duke and pulled him off his horse in the public street, but with others interfering he could not do anything. The prince's action is generally condemned and the king was much displeased and reprimanded him sharply. The affair is not yet settled and it is not easy to see how it can be, as the duke is brave and fiery and certainly will not let the affront pass unavenged.
They have discovered some clipping the coins and making false ones, some of them belonging to one of the first houses in the country. They have been arrested and put in the Tower. (fn. 6) They will be tried and if they cannot clear themselves they will have to suffer the extreme penalty, by the laws of the country.
Sestri has assumed the character of envoy only, thinking it best not to take that of ambassador for fear of not being well received in France, where he is to go in that capacity. He went the day before yesterday, in private form, to pay his respects to the king and queen, and to-morrow he will present the horses he has brought. Neither he nor any of the ministers has yet paid respects to the queen mother, as when they applied to the Master of the Ceremonies for audience she pleaded that she wished to put herself in better train than she was. When I see her I will ask for her mediation with the king for some assistance for the most serene republic, and will report to the Senate what she says.
Tiring of the delay in the payment of his credits old Galileo has presented a fresh petition to the Council of State with a detailed account of the promises made to him so frequently by the Senate and of the scanty performance, imploring their assistance, otherwise he says his case is hopeless, as his agents at Venice advise him that satisfaction is absolutely refused. Accordingly, by order of the king and Council the Secretary Brun has been to see me, with the instances so frequently reported. I gave him the same reply as on previous occasions which did not afford him or the petitioner the smallest satisfaction. I think that if your Excellencies ordered the prompt payment of the remainder of the 3000 ducats di banco, voted 7 years ago, he would be much consoled and it might shut his mouth for a while.
Hampton Court, the 11th August, 1662.
[Italian.]
Aug. 12
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Corti.
Venetian
Archives.
223. To the Resident in England.
In the matter of your relief we can assure you that we cherish a very special inclination to render you satisfied, and that the matter will be considered at the earliest opportunity, so that you may be able to enjoy the results of the relief.
Ayes, 140. Noes, 1. Neutral, 3.
[Italian.]
Aug. 12.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Firenze.
Venetian
Archives.
224. Domenico Vico, Venetian Resident in Florence, to the Doge and Senate.
The Dutch consul has received letters stating that articles of peace have been arranged at the Hague between the English and the Dutch, and that the merchants of both countries are highly delighted because of the consequences and chiefly for the benefit of the trade between them.
The English Admiral still remains within the Strait, since people continue to say that the peace between Spain and England may not last much longer in the present state of affairs, and with the continual assistance that his Brittanic Majesty affords to Portugal.
Florence, the 12th August, 1662.
[Italian.]
Aug. 16.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Spagna.
Venetian
Archives.
225. Giovanni Cornaro, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.
My correspondent writes from Cadiz that the fortress of Tanger held by the English has been proclaimed in respect of the public health. The decree has been published at Cadiz and Malaga, but it has not yet been put in force in the port of Santa Maria and others of Spain. It is believed to be a pretext to take away from the English the traffic in foodstuffs and the succours which pass to that city in a continuous stream. The English deny the mischief and they suffer from the loss. I have made inquiries and have written to Cadiz. The fact of the matter is that the English ships which enter the Mediterranean put in at that port, and afterwards they scatter themselves to the various places to which they are destined. It is reported that the garrison has been practically destroyed by the sword of Gailan and by sickness and that the Moors have inflicted serious losses upon it. To hold these in check, sixteen English frigates have been distributed between Ceuta, Arcilla and Sale to compel them by force and the losses inflicted, to carry out the terms of the treaty arranged with Montagu.
Madrid, the 16th August, 1662.
[Italian.]
Aug. 18.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
226. Francesco Giavarina, Venetian Resident in England, to the Doge and Senate.
When news is most expected its coming is longest delayed. This is the case with the affairs of Barbary, whence authentic news, so eagerly awaited, tarries in coming. It is announced that Lawson, since the agreement with Algiers has arranged the same capitulations with the other Barbary pirates, so that having performed his duties there he had proceeded with his squadron to Tanger, to overawe the Moors who tried to disturb the repose of the English in this new acquisition, which is strongly assailed by fortune and the iniquity of the neighbouring Barbary folk. Confirmation is anxiously awaited as these reports come via France and they are apt to be fallacious. But it cannot be long before some ship arrives as there has not been one for a great while.
The negotiations of the Dutch ambassadors at this Court are still pending. They had audience of his Majesty yesterday to press for a decision which concerns them greatly now the time for the fishing approaches, but it is not known how they succeeded. It is said that the most important points are digested and settled and that the only difficulties consist in not very difficult particulars, which may be introduced designedly to cause delay, so that the Dutch may not enjoy the benefit of the fishing which they desire. Meanwhile the ambassadors announce that they will go if there is no decision, so it is impossible to foresee what will happen. There is no doubt that they would welcome a rupture with the States here, especially the merchants, but they do not know how to manage it, as they lack the chief sinews of war, which are money, whose scarcity causes slow progress with the armament recently ordered, which they seemed anxious to set about with such energy, while internal affairs do not promise durable tranquillity, as there are too many malcontents who are only waiting for an opportunity to disturb the quiet of the country again. Prudent men think that they should establish a good peace abroad, especially with their neighbours so that they may with greater safety attend to the repression of internal enemies and bend them to their will.
M. de l' Estrade has come unexpectedly from Calais, who was ambassador here and then at the Hague. He came with only two or three followers and is living incognito in a private house in London, which he does not leave on the plea that he is not quite well. The chancellor has been more than once to see him and treat. About what is not known, but probably about the affairs of Holland, as the States have arranged advantageous terms with the Most Christian and they do not wish these to redound to their prejudice here. So this may be the motive for d' Estrade's visit which, they say, is not by his master's order, but that arrived at Cales on his way to Holland he found a letter from the British king asking him to cross to England before going there, and so he came. If I discover any other motive I will inform your Serenity. He may have come about the wheat ships for the Most Christian, taken by the English and used by the governor of Dunkirk, but they say the affair is settled with mutual satisfaction.
The duke of Ormond has safely arrived in Ireland, where he was received with great rejoicings, especially at Dublin, which he entered with great pomp.
Malo, the correspondent at Antwerp, writes that he has to go to Spain on private business, and leaves no one to look after the state despatches. He has advised the Ambassador Grimani at Paris, so that he may take the necessary steps, suggesting that the work might better be done at Brussels, where one Pasini acted some years go. I think it will be better to send the packets direct from here to Venice, as the merchants and others do, and for greater security they can be directed to Baron Twists master of the Post, and in such case there would only be the letters for Germany to recommend in Flanders, the cost would be the same with perhaps some advantage. The letters will not go by Flanders any more, but by Holland, a recent introduction, said to be quicker as it is certainly safer.
I have only to-day been able to obtain from the secretary of state the declaration of his Majesty about the proclamation. It is all that is needed. To obtain it I had to pay 10l. sterling for the seal and the rest, in accordance with the custom of this secretariat, and I ask leave to enter it in my accounts.
Hampton Court, the 18th August, 1622.
[Italian.]
Enclosure.227. Declaration by Letters Patent (fn. 7) stating that the proclamation of the 20th June last for recalling seamen does not extend to the state of Venice.
Given at Hampton Court the 5th August, 1622.
Signed: Edw. Nicholas. [With impression of the Great Seal.]
[English.]
228. Italian translation of the same.
Aug. 19.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni,
Corti.
Venetian
Archives.
229. To the Resident in England.
Acknowledge his letters No. 347. Commend his action about the proclamation, to have ships in the Venetian service excepted. He is to thank the king in the name of the republic for this favour. Commend his reply to what the king said about the ambassador Mocenigo. He is to express the republic's satisfaction at the appointment of Viscount Facombrige, of whose nomination the Senate rejoices to hear. They wish him also to express to the king their pleasure also on account of the character of the individual, and to confirm to him that their own ambassador will undoubtedly start at the earliest possible moment in the approaching favourable season. He will also reiterate the esteem of the republic for his Majesty's person and house.
Ayes, 133. Noes, 1. Neutral, 2.
[Italian.]
Aug. 22.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
230. Alvise Grimani, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
L' Estrade departed for his government at Gravelines. Arrived there we learn that he unexpectedly proceeded thence to England; they say he was summoned thither by a letter from King Charles himself, in consequence of which M. de L' Estrade sent to this Court to his Majesty who sent him the permission to proceed thither. What the letter contained and what commissions were sent to him cannot be discovered; but so far as one may conjecture it is believed to be for the purpose of taking counsel and suggesting measures for the salvation of Portugal, and to obtain some help and means from France to uphold it. On this question, the ministers here, speaking to me in confidence, have shown a very strong feeling. They tell me, however, that in spite of this they wish to observe punctually the undertaking made with the king of Spain, not to assist them; and it cannot make things worse for the Catholic if here they desire the success and survival of Braganza.
The summons sent by King Charles is believed to have been suggested by the news which has reached London from Lisbon and other places of serious differences and quarrels which have arisen between Braganza and his mother, and that the latter has been excluded from the government by her son. M. di Telie, in showing me the letters on this subject, said that if this were true he should fear that the country was lost, because these quarrels would cause confusion and splitting up into parties, some of which might easily unite with the victorious forces of the king of Spain. He did not think that without a rising among the people there in his favour his Majesty would find it easy to recover the kingdom, because the task would prove a very long and costly one, of which the end was difficult to foresee.
Nantere, the 22nd August, 1622.
[Italian.]
Aug. 23.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Spagna.
Venetian
Archives.
231. Giovanni Cornaro, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.
The English garrison of Dunkirk continues to levy contributions upon the countryside. But Spain has neither the strength nor the opportunity for defence, and she herself provides her despoilers with assistance, so that Cadiz and all the ports of Spain contribute provisions for Tanger, and the trading of the English ships can do the same for Portugal. The lack of strength is the cause of the mischief.
The English make a great clamour about taking away trade from Tanger on the pretext of public health. The Duke of Medina Celi, general of Andalusia, reports these sentiments to the Court, and as intercourse is not forbidden with the other ports of Spain, it may be concluded that the suspicions about the sanitary conditions of the town are not confirmed.
Madrid, the 23rd August, 1662.
[Italian.]
Aug. 25.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
232. Francesco Giavarina, Venetian Resident in England, to the Doge and Senate.
Last Saturday in the palace, in her Majesty's private gallery I met the Abbot Obigni, a person of high character and merit, first almoner of the queen consort and high in her Majesty's favour. After some formal and general conversation he intimated that he had something of consequence to communicate, and drawing me aside told me that there was at Court a Burgundian lady who passes as the Marquise de Mombason and a kinswoman of the Baron de Batteville lately ambassador here. She came to England some months ago to ask his Majesty's interposition for some private interests she has in Portugal with the duke of Braganza, and to smoothe the way she presented the king with two very tolerable Spanish horses. She had applied herself to pressing her claims with the king, but latterly she had abandoned these and confided to him that she had authority from the king of Spain to make proposals to him in the present uncertain relations between the two crowns and upon the current affairs of Portugal, and she had urged him several times to speak about it to the king, but he had refused, thinking the business insubstantial and a feminine invention. In spite of this he had mentioned it to his Majesty and the chancellor. The latter said he did not wish to negotiate with women, it was not an affair to be dealt with by that sex. The king was curious and said, Let her come to see what she has to say. Introduced to his presence besides asserting her full powers from the Catholic king, she drew out two letters, one from the king of Spain, the other of the duke of Medina, apparently giving her this authority, and a packet of the Court of Madrid addressed to the Baron de Batteville which she put in the king's hands not appearing to care whether he opened it. But the king gave it back to her unopened saying she should send it to the addressee as he would not touch it.
In examining the two letters the king suspected that the signatures were false and plainly told the marquise as much. Thereupon she offered to prove the contrary and showed a long letter which she was writing to the Baron de Batteville explaining that here they would not credit her assertions and asking him to obtain from the king clearer evidence so that she might handle the affair without obstacles. After telling me all this the abbot said that the king marvelled that during the whole time that Batteville was at Court he had never said anything of this sort or showed the least intention of the Catholic to treat about such things.
Here they consider all the assertions of the marquise to be false. If they are not and if the Spaniards are making the overtures merely to feel their pulse here and discover their disposition, things are not going well. There were the ministers of the most serene republic, the friend of both crowns, which had always interposed on such occasions, to whom they might confide their projects and not to the inconstancy of a woman. He had no orders to speak about this but he knew that the king would not disapprove. Moved by his esteem for the crown of Spain and by his regard for Batteville he begged me to contrive in some way to bring these particulars to the ears of the duke of Medina and the baron, so that they might at least prevent this woman from making such assertions which greatly concerned the reputation and honour of the Catholic crown and of the ministers in question. If Spain is really disposed to negotiate and proceeds in another way, something may certainly be done. He would always be the mean because he knew what he was saying; but he could not go any further which is sufficient to show their propensity on this side to treat. They need no longer mind about the marriage or consider the queen any longer as a daughter of Portugal, but as queen of England. For Braganza the king was obliged to do what he had by virtue of the treaty. All this was done so he was now in a position to begin over again and suggest something for the relief and consolation of both nations.
Not thinking it proper to refuse the abbot's request I told him that I would impart all he had told me to the republic and to the Ambassador Cornaro at Madrid, as he had repeatedly urged me to do. So though he declares that he has no orders to speak, there must be something as he is so anxious to enter into negotiation, the more because on the two or three occasions when Obigni has seen me since Saturday he has urged me not to forget to write. To oblige him I recounted the whole to Sig. Cornaro yesterday, so that he may, if he sees fit, speak about it to the duke or the baron who should be at Madrid at this moment since it is known that after staying in Flanders all this time he was recently in Zeeland waiting for a favourable wind to carry him to Spain.

Hampton Court, the 25th August, 1662.
[Italian; deciphered.]
Aug. 25.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
233. Francesco Giavarina, Venetian Resident in England, to the Doge and Senate.
I wrote of the coming of M. de l' Estrade. It was stated at his arrival, and he encourages the report, that at Cales on his way to his embassy in Holland he was invited by the king of England, but seeing that he could not cross without his master s permission this report is considered unfounded. Some say he has come to offer money secretly to the king as a loan, so that it may be supplied covertly to the duke of Braganza, as France cannot do it otherwise without infringing the peace with the Catholic and after the demonstrations against the Portuguese, while it is not to the interest of the Most Christian that the Spanish monarchy should become more powerful, and considering what strength the fall of Portugal would add which is supposed to be imminent from the accounts of the successes of the Castilians and their devastation. So it is thought that the French are getting this king to assist Portugal and thereby to entangle the crowns of Spain and England, so that they, at their good pleasure, may dominate and trouble Germany.
This is very probable and good policy is in its favour. But on better information I find that the true reason for this visit concerns Dunkirk. In the peace between the crowns it seems there is an article that France shall hand over Dunkirk to the king of Spain and that the Catholic shall give in exchange two places in Artois. The French king wants to have this carried out and proposes to recover Dunkirk to exchange with the Spaniards. The Ambassador l' Estrade when here offered money for the place. The king seemed well disposed, but said he could do nothing without parliament, which was entirely opposed to such a renunciation, knowing the consequence of that place beyond the sea to the English nation. It seems now that the Most Christian again offers money and protests that he means to have Dunkirk in any case. The king continues to show a propensity to oblige, but in effect, as the place was incorporated with the crown of England by parliament he can decide nothing without it. Accordingly he will temporize and may easily treat with Spain also, to give it to the one who offers most, because past question, short of a considerable payment he will never consent to give it up, and in that case, if it is true about the article, Spain would not wish to treat, because to recover it from the English without consigning the places in Artois to the French would be an infraction of the peace and might cause fresh trouble. Time will throw light on this important particular.
The negotiations of the Dutch persist in the same terms without any sign of a conclusion, so far. The principal points are digested, but difficulties and delays occur over a clause of no great consequence. In the discussion over the treaty England proposed that all disputes between the two nations from 1654 until now should be decided by commissioners, to be nominated by both parties. The ambassadors asked the king whether, if they obtained the consent of their superiors to this he would sign the treaty without further delay. The king said Yes and they wrote to Holland and obtained the consent of the States, with full powers to conclude the capitulations and, in case of other difficulties, to leave the country, sending a ship of war for them, which is now anchored in the Thames. In setting forth the articles they entered that what has happened between the two countries before 1654 should be forgotten, and that future events should be adjudicated by commissioners, so they believed everything settled and only needing the king's signature. They took the articles to his Majesty but encountered a further obstacle. The English are willing to refer the later matters to commissioners, but before 1654 they claim to keep their rights for ever. The Dutch do not agree to this, so the negotiations are held up and this is the only obstacle.
The ambassadors declare that they will go away, saying they have no authority to go into the subject again, but the king detains them, telling them that with the next ordinary other orders are certain to reach them. They say this cannot be, but have decided to wait for the first letters, which should come on Monday or Tuesday, and if these bring nothing they say they will go. In that case a rupture is inevitable, as letters of reprisal will be granted which are the prelude to war, and so the traders here will have their wish, to the detriment of Christendom because the Turks will take advantage of the preoccupation of these two naval powers, to assert their mastery in the Mediterranean and satisfy their huge greed. The issue of this affair will be as interesting as it is important.
Here they believe that all the declarations of the ambassadors are fictitious, merely to alarm them and induce England to sign what they wish. But if an open rupture results there is good reason to fear that they will get the worst of it here, because the malcontents at home are constantly increasing, especially the Presbyterians, who are only waiting for a suitable opportunity to give vent to their evil intentions.
In some places in the country arms and other warlike instruments have been discovered under haystacks and in other secret places, to be ready in case of need. They have been seized and they are now busily engaged on measures to prevent disorder. They are accordingly pushing on with the demolition of the fortifications of the towns, leaving only those of the coast towns, which are being strengthened, to deprive the malcontents of any place of repair.
The tax on hearths causes so much discontent that it is generally thought that the king will have to recall parliament before Christmas to have it repealed. The general outcry is so great and the desire to be rid of the burden so strong that it seems some are offering to pay the king for one turn, their entire income for one year rather than submit to pay 2 shillings a hearth each year but it is impossible to foretell what will happen.
There has been some difference at Court between the king and the ambassador of Portugal about the queen's dowry. This consists in sugar, jewels and such things, besides a payment in cash, still to be made. It seems that the Portuguese estimate the jewels, chiefly, at twice their real value. The king has refused them and says he will have it all in hard cash. Accordingly a great part of the jewels has been sent back to Lisbon to be sold, and they are trying to dispose of the other commodities in London and other parts of the kingdom, to pay his Majesty the money realised. Besides these things there is a table service of beaten gold. The king accepted this but when the queen and the ambassador ordered the Portuguese treasurer, who had charge of it, to consign it to a certain Court official, he refused to do so without precise instructions from the duke of Braganza. This led to a quarrel between the ambassador and treasurer the other day in the king's private gallery, and the treasurer saying something which stung the ambassador, the latter struck him with his cane. The treasurer at once put his hand to his sword, and if he had not been prevented, would have drawn it on the ambassador on that sacrosanct spot. The treasurer was blamed for having provoked the ambassador so far but the latter was not commended for his action in that place. In the end it has been settled and the treasurer has agreed to hand over the service.
Tuesday after dinner was appointed for me to congratulate the queen mother on her save arrival in England. I went to Greenwich on purpose to perform this office and I also congratulated her on the marriage of her son, and asked her to intercede with him for some help for the most serene republic. She thanked me, expressing her regard for the republic. For the other matter she said that she knew the king had no need of any pressure to do something for Christendom when he was in a position to act. She promised to speak to him to see what he could do. I then took leave lamenting that it is impossible to get anything but words, which are not sufficient to make war on such a formidable enemy as the Ottoman.
Hampton Court, the 25th August, 1662.
[Italian.]
Aug. 26.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni,
Corti.
Venetian
Archives.
234. To the Resident in England.
Enclose letters for the queen mother, which he is to present with an appropriate office. With regard to the renewed request for Thomas Annand, the Senate has decided to write to the Captain General at sea that if the Colonel wishes for leave, he is to grant it. He is to inform the king, and any one else suitable, of this, to show the desire of the republic to gratify his Majesty.
Ayes, 129. Noes, 3. Neutral, 3.
[Italian.]
Aug. 26.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberiazioni.
Corti.
Venetian
Archives.
235. To the Queen Mother of England.
Congratulations on her return to England, with compliments which the Resident Giavarina will express to her in the name of the republic.
Ayes, 129. Noes, 3. Neutral, 3.
[Italian.]
Aug. 29.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
236. Alvise Grimani, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
There is no longer any doubt about M. de l' Estrade having gone to England. The ministers here cannot deny it and say that he was summoned by King Charles. Although they say that they do not know the reason for this it is a fact that Estrades sent here before he set out, and despatched another express after his arrival, with a secret despatch. I have heard that Estrades took with him a small but very heavy casket, which might contain money to succour Portugal or to purchase or otherwise acquire Dunkirk. The little journey to those frontiers which they were saying that the king was inclined to make, would not fall in badly with this project. But it is nothing but talk and the issue alone will disclose the truth. Also with regard to the fortress of Dunkirk, further particulars will follow.
The Dutch have sent twenty-two treaties to the Ambassador Boreel, with other powers. The ministers here have promised to give those of the king. Among these is one made with Cromwell in which there is understood to be an article by which the French oblige themselves to guarantee the possession of Dunkirk to England while the English guarantee that of Gravelines to France.
Paris, the 29th August, 1662.
[Italian.]
Aug. 30.
Senato,
Terra.
Venetian
Archives.
237. That the Proveditori alle Rason Vecchie be directed to consign to the captain of the ship Fregadon del Zante, which is Venetian about to sail for England, the fisolera for presentation to the king of England, which is now quite ready. It will be exempt from the usual securities.
Ayes, 167. Noes, 3. Neutral, 7.
Tomaso Pizoni, Secretary.
[Italian.]

Footnotes

1 James Crofts, later created duke of Monmouth in November of this year. Cal. S.P. Dom. 1661–2, page 552. He was born 19 April, 1649.
2 Thomas Ross.
3 Orders for slighting the walls of these towns were issued on 30 June, o.s. Cal. S.P. Dom. 1661–2, pp. 423–4.
4 Hannibal Sehested.
5 Anne Scott, countess of Buccleugh in her own right, born in 1651. The marriage took place on 20 April, 1663. G.E.C. Complete Peerage, n.s., Vol. ii, page 366.
6 One Richard Oliver was convicted at Essex Assizes for coining false money and committed to the Tower. He tried to obtain release by giving information about other offenders but only disclosed a mint at the Temple, where George Howard coined. Cal. S.P. Dom. 1661–2, pp. 472, 584, 586.
7 Cal. S.P. Dom. 1661–2, page 454.