Venice
December 1662

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Institute of Historical Research

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Allen B. Hinds (editor)

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1932

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216-224

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'Venice: December 1662', Calendar of State Papers Relating to English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 33: 1661-1664 (1932), pp. 216-224. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=90111 Date accessed: 30 September 2014.


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December 1662

Dec. 1.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
283. Francesco Giavarina, Venetian Resident in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The money for Dunkirk has not yet arrived, but as the transfer was to take place on Monday last it is hoped that it will soon be in England. It is most eagerly awaited, no one being paid by the Court and everyone expecting some; and it will no sooner have arrived and been coined than it will disappear into several hands.
They continue to talk of the imminent arrival of M. de Cominges, and the securing of a residence near the royal palace at a rent of 600l. sterling a year indicates that he will not be long in coming. The negotiations of his predecessor l' Estrade seem to continue motionless, but a successful issue is hoped. This is based on the promises of the chancellor; but they may be wrong this time because it seems that the great favour and predominance of this minister are somewhat abated and the king has changed somewhat. Little things have been noticed and spectators are sure that they are always the beginning of great ones. The king used every Sunday, and other days also, to go in person to treat privately at the chancellor's house, showing thereby his confidence and esteem. Now these secret conferences are held in the house of the queen mother, to which the chancellor is summoned and the king no longer goes to the minister's house. This makes men think that time will consume all the affection his Majesty showed him and it is so bitter to the chancellor that he has taken to his bed with a violent attack of gout, in addition to his distress of mind. From this it is observed that he is very moderate and more humble and modest than before. He is probably apprehensive that the curses which are rightly called down upon him by all, may one day be heard, to his ruin and the consolation and relief of the people, many of whom groan under his most unjust extortions.
The Muscovite ambassadors so long expected have at last arrived in England. It is not known when they will make their entry, as they are waiting for their equipage, left behind with the presents for the king and others at Court. A very large dwelling is being prepared for them to take their numerous household of 150 persons. (fn. 1) They will be defrayed at the king's cost for six months at the rate of 1,500l. sterling the month, the Muscovy Company having refused to undertake this charge. So the whole cost falls on the king and it will be considerable as they are staying months, not days, and sometimes they stay for years. They made exorbitant demands for their daily food, but the decision was as above.
Three ambassadors of the Hanse Towns have arrived at Court, (fn. 2) made their entry and had their first audiences. At these functions they had a royal coach but did not speak to the king in the great hall, but in another where private audiences used to be given. They come on maritime business and to arrange certain privileges which those towns formerly enjoyed in London. They informed all the foreign ministers of their coming, but no one has called yet. Denmark, Sweden, Brandenburg and others will not see them without express orders from their masters, because they claim the title of Excellency, although these towns were once independent, formidable and united in one body, while now they are disunited and many are subject to other princes. I have not yet called and shall not without the Senate's direction, which I ask.
An ordinary ambassador from Holland will soon be arriving in London. We hear that Borelli, nephew of the resident of the States in France, is already appointed. When he comes I shall watch how they treat him and report as instructed in the ducali of the 21st October. To correspond it is believed that they will raise the status of Douning to that of ambassador.
As many claim to have received injuries and sustained serious losses from the Dutch the Privy Council has decided and issued an order that all who have such claims shall present them in writing to Douning, who is now here, who is to deal with them and everything of like character so as to obtain the satisfaction due.
I informed the Ambassador Cornaro of what the Abbot Obigni said to me last August. His Excellency informs me that he imparted it all to the duke of Medina, who assured him that the assertions of the lady were all false. He asks me to procure further light on the disposition here to resume relations with Spain. In informing the Abbot about the lady I meant to have said something on the other point. He thanked me for the communication but for the rest only said that he was amazed that Spain left this Court without a minister in the present most urgent circumstances when the French were pushing their projects, so I thought it best to go no further. I informed the ambassador of all yesterday evening.
The ducali of the 4th November charge me to say what has happened about Viscount Facombrige. He remains at his government and has never come to London. I find that he is as eager to come as the king is to send him if he receives the assignments and salary given to his predecessors. I fancy that as he is very rich they want him to perform the embassy at his own cost as a penance for having attached himself to the party of Cromwell, having married his daughter. But he was pardoned for this in the general amnesty and does not contemplate any further punishment. This has caused the delay. But if they mean to send, as the king has frequently promised, they will have to do what was usual in the past because no one will undertake an embassy at his own cost. If the Viscount comes to London I will call on him and get all I can out of him, but while he is far away I cannot report any more.
London, the 1st December, 1662.
[Italian: this part in italics deciphered.]
Dec. 5.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
284. Alvise Grimani, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
An express courier arrived on Wednesday night with the news that Dunkirk had been handed over with the forts of Mardich and the other two forts on the side of Berg. The French troops entered, to the inexpressionable delight of the inhabitants, to whom was represented the zeal and piety of the king, who to achieve peace for Christendom had in the past been constrained to allow the place to fall into the hands of the English, but always with the intention of making this good later, to preserve it intact for the faith, as he had happily succeeded in doing, by sacrificing so great a sum of money. The king left immediately for those parts. He was expected to arrive on Friday and may be back in Paris this evening or to-morrow. It will then be known whether he has done anything noteworthy in that town. It is expected that he will have caused the temples erected by the English to be demolished, and will have allowed only the exercise of the Catholic religion.
Paris, the 5th December, 1662.
[Italian.]
Dec. 8.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
285. Francesco Giavarina, Venetian Resident in England, to the Doge and Senate.
Dunkirk having been handed over on the appointed day, the troops of the garrison are now on their way to this city where the money has been taken to the Mint to be immediately recoined. To compliment the king of France, who is understood to have gone to Dunkirk immediately after the queen's delivery, Lord Gerard, a gentleman of the Bedchamber, was sent with congratulations. But he was delayed by a storm, and in extreme peril, and on landing found that the king had already set out for Paris, whither he was obliged to follow to execute his commission, and he is now expected back in London.
The prince of Denmark left for France on Saturday, served by the Court coaches to the coast and by a ship of war for his passage. (fn. 3) Before he sent I followed the example of the other foreign ministers and called on him, when compliments were exchanged.
Yesterday the Muscovite ambassadors made their public entry with great pomp, their followers carrying a number of falcons to present to the king. Other animals for the same purpose have not yet been seen and will not be shown before the day of audience. Besides the royal coach they only had a baron for this function, but the streets were lined with troops from the Tower, where they landed, to the other end of the city, where they lodge, (fn. 4) and they were preceded by a troop of the king's horse guards and his Majesty's trumpets, an honour not shown to any other foreign minister and shown because it was used by the Muscovite with the ambassadors of this nation.
By letters of the 14th ult. the merchants have news of the peace arranged by Vice Admiral Lawson with the pirates of Tunis and Tripoli, similar to that with Algiers. The terms will soon be known and I will report them. News has come this week of the safe arrival at Tangier of the earl of Peterborough, whence he immediately despatched to Genoa the ship that brought him to fetch the engineers who are to build the mole.
To attract as much trade as possible to the place they have this week proclaimed Tangier a free port for all foreign merchants except those who come from beyond the Cape of Good Hope and ships coming from any English plantation, with the following conditions: English subjects and those of friendly powers may put in freely to unlade their goods and dispose of them as they please. All who register their goods on arriving shall pay 5s. for every 100 lbs. weight and no more. If they fail to register or do so falsely they shall lose ship and goods. Everyone can sell the goods brought there without any other payment. All who take goods from Tangier to England or Ireland must do so in English ships with English sailors. This liberty shall continue from 29 September, 1662, for five years, and no new impost will be established on the expiry of this term without two years' notice. (fn. 5)
The frigate Zante with the fisolera for his Majesty has recently arrived. The boatmen have gone to-day to fetch it and I have sent to get all the goods pertaining to it through the Customs. If it is sound, as the captain declares, it shall be presented at once. I informed the king yesterday evening of its arrival. He was very delighted and urged me to have it ready as soon as possible because he was so eager to see it.
London, the 8th December, 1662.
[Italian.]
Dec. 12.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Corti.
Venetian
Archives.
286. To the King of Great Britain.
Have only recently received his letters of 2 October, and regret to learn his dissatisfaction with the Resident. [He has already received orders to take leave and proceed to the other employment for which he has long since been destined.] (fn. 6)
He will already have received orders to take leave of his Majesty, and will have done so, presumably, by this time. Nothing therefore remains but to assure his Majesty that it is the intention and ancient custom of the republic to direct its ministers to conduct themselves towards that crown with every act of respect, and he may rest assured that the same will be done by those who are sent to this Court in the future, so that his Majesty may have every proof of the republic's regard for his house. May God give it every prosperity.
Ayes, 116. Noes, 3. Neutral, 9.
[Italian.]
Dec. 15.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
287. Francesco Giavarina, Venetian Resident in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The Count de Vivone has come here from France to respond to the mission of the gentleman of the Bedchamber, who is not yet back. Having performed his duties he is now about to return to Paris. Meanwhile the French king has been at Dunkirk and greatly consoled the people by his presence. They say he declared the town free to all who bring goods, offering great advantages to traders, showing his intention to draw trade thither, from which one may conclude that France does not mean to change that important place for others in Artois. Dunkirk is indeed a plum which the possessor will not readily part with, especially as it cost so much money.
The articles of agreement with the pirates of Tunis and Tripoli have recently been published. As they resemble those made with Algiers last July I have not thought it worth while to send them. The only difference is in specifying more openly the point about search of English ships, which are not only to be exempt, but to be free to carry foreign goods and persons without molestation, a great advantage for the trade and reputation of England. The Dutch have not yet been able to settle anything with that people. We hear that Vice Admiral Ruiter proceeded to Algiers to bring those infidels to book, claiming the terms granted to the English but the Turks showed themselves recalcitrant and we must wait to hear the issue.
The Muscovy ambassadors have not yet had their first audiences, because immediately after their entry the chief of the embassy fell ill. He is said to be a man of high birth and standing in his own country. He is not yet sufficiently recovered for the function. There are three of them, and after formalities they say the first is to treat for the resumption of trade, interrupted in the late disturbances, during which the Grand Duke would have nothing to do with the English. The second is to go to Venice and the third to Florence. The present for his Majesty does not consist of animals and precious furs alone, as was stated, but in flax, hemp and other materials necessary for the rigging of ships, the whole estimated to be worth 20,000l. sterling, a considerable gift and opportune in the present shortage of money here.
The disturbances being stilled everything is quiet and there seems no way for the sectaries to disturb the general repose, owing to the good measures taken and the great vigilance for the safety of the king and people shown by the secretary Bennet, who has considerable powers in the matter, much to his credit and to his advancement in the king's favour with every sign that he will soon achieve higher honours and confidence.
In Scotland also things are being brought to good order by changing seditious preachers and restoring the liturgy of England in that church, too much contaminated by the Presbyterians.
The Calogero having pressed for an answer has been dismissed without one in writing; the king merely told him that he would very gladly take up the project but present circumstances did not permit, so the poor Greek continues in the city, begging his bread and the means to return to his distant home.
The fisolera was taken from its ship a week ago with all its fittings and being found in good condition, I at once had it caulked and greased, the cushions stuffed, and so forth at a total cost of 6l. 13s. which I hope will be allowed in my accounts. I presented it to the king after dinner, on Saturday. He was highly delighted with its lightness and agility and charged me to thank the Senate warmly. He was very eager to go in it, but the very severe cold and the strong wind in the Thames prevented it, and he has not been able since as the river froze that night and is not yet navigable.
In obedience to the last ducali I spoke to his Majesty about the false report of plague at Tangier spread by the Spaniards. I assured him that English ships would always receive the best possible treatment in the ports of your Serenity. He thanked me with his usual graciousness and asked me to express his obligation to your Excellencies. I seized the occasion to get something positive about Viscount Facombrige. The king said he fully intended to send him and when he was about to leave he would inform your Serenity, but from others I learn that the delay is due to the reasons given a week ago. His brother (fn. 7) told me that he will be in the city in 5 or 6 weeks, not having been able before as he was recovering from a severe illness he had last autumn. He said he had cooled considerably about going to Italy; it is probably something of the nature suggested. However, when he comes to London I will see him.
London, the 15th December, 1662.
[Italian.]
Dec. 16.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Corti.
Venetian
Archieves.
288. To the Ambassador in Spain.
At this moment Giavarina should be leaving London. The Ambassador Mocenigo is being sent opportunely to show that on the side of the republic nothing will be left undone to show their deep regard for king's wishes.
Since the affair of Dunkirk was settled the Senate has heard something about the Ambassador Estrade having left London. Notwithstanding this it is necessary to keep a close watch for other business which he may have introduced for a union or something else, at that Court.
Ayes, 104. Noes, 2. Neutral, 1.
[Italian.]
Dec. 19.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archieves.
289. Alvise Grimani, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
The king having returned from Dunkirk, I asked for an audience and congratulated him on the acquisition. He thanked me and said that the acquisition was indeed a considerable one. His principal object in doing this had been to remove the prejudice to religion, which he always had at heart.
Paris, the 19th December, 1662.
[Italian.]
Dec. 19.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archieves.
290. Alvise Grimani, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
I hear that M. di Cominges has been suddenly sent to London on an embassy extraordinary. He has gone post and is to conclude negotiations left on the tapis by l' Estrade. It may be that the king is not without some idea, mingled with many great considerations, that it may be possible to relieve the king of England also of the expense which he incurs over the fortress of Tanger.
Paris, the 19th December, 1662.
[Italian.]
Dec. 22.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
291. Francesco Giavarina, Venetian Resident in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The excessive cold, more intense than England has experienced for many years does not allow anything of note to come from without; and at home there is nothing of consequence. There is only the trial and sentences against the sectaries who had a hand in the recent conspiracy, and I should not have written but the ducali of the 25th November bring the desired relief from this charge, after an absence of 13 years from my country spent at the most costly Courts of France and England, amid so many changes. Next week I will ask audience to take leave of the king in the manner prescribed, and after the visits and other formalities I will set out for Switzerland with all the speed the present bitter weather permits.
In obedience to the instructions of the 18th November, I have written again to Tamagno at Amsterdam on the necessity of using the utmost severity against the ship Speranza, seeing that the captain is a prisoner at Leghorn, and too poor to give the proper satisfaction. I now hear from him that the ship has arrived at that port. He had spoken to the owners who examined the sailors, obtaining a confession that the captain and super cargo had committed the theft, but the amount cannot be 3723 ducats. He thinks it would be a long and costly business to go to law, especially as the owners are nearly all leading men of the government who might use their influence to prevent a decision. He advises compounding the matter, appointing two merchants of the place as arbitrators. I cannot decide this without instructions from your Excellencies, but to keep the matter alive I am writing to tell him to insist on complete restitution. If your Serenity thinks fit to entrust me with the decision on my way through Amsterdam, the reply can be sent to Malo at Antwerp with full powers, but it must be sent on the Friday following the receipt of these or I may have gone too far.
London, the 22nd December, 1622.
[Italian.]
Dec. 29.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
292. Francesco Giavarina, Venetian Resident in England, to the Doge and Senate.
To obtain my release as speedily as possible and to set out for my new post with the Swiss I asked audience to take leave which was fixed for yesterday after dinner, when I had it of the king, the queens and the duke and duchess of York. I spoke in accordance with the ducali of the 25th November, of the regard of the republic, of the coming of the ambassador Mocenigo and your Serenity's confidence that his Majesty will respond by sending his ambassador as he has so often promised. They all expressed the greatest goodwill towards the interests of your Serenity, and the king said the Ambassador Mocenigo would be welcome and promised that he would send an ambassador very soon. He also spoke very graciously of me personally. I also told him of the permission granted to Lieut. Col. Annand to leave whenever he wished. The king was very pleased and asked me to thank your Excellencies. Having performed these principal duties I will go through the other visits, to leave a good impression, and then start at once on my journey. If instructions come about the Speranza I will stop at Amsterdam on the way.
Your Serenity charges me before leaving to find someone to write of events here to the ambassador in France. There is with Prince Rupert, though without any formal appointment a Pietro Riccardi, a great confidant of mine, to whom I have entrusted this duty as he is very capable and talented. He has previously shown his devotion to your Serenity, notably in his service in the embassies of France and Spain of Sig. Girolamo Giustinian, where he acted for many months as secretary, owing to the illness and departure of Sig. Vendramin, until the arrival at Madrid of the Secretary Bianchi, continuing with the same ambassador at Vienna, and when his Excellency left for Prague with the emperor he had charge of raising levies for your Serenity. He continued at the imperial Court under the Ambassador Nani and took to Venice the news of the emperor's death, when he had the honour to serve the Ambassadors Sagredo and Nani on their embassy extraordinary to the imperial Court. (fn. 8) He is ready to perform this duty, in the hope of receiving one day some recognition for his services, desiring nothing else than to be honoured with the title of cavalier.
London, the 29th December, 1662.
[Italian.]

Footnotes

1 York House was taken for the Russian embassy. Cal. S.P. Dom. 1661–2, page 500. The ambassadors were Peter Prozorovsky, John Zhelyabushky and John Stepanov. Kingdom's Intelligencer Dec. 29 to Jan. 5.
2 Diedrich a Brombse, Nicholas Zobel and Caspar Westerman. See their letter of 9 Dec., 1662. S.P. For. Hamburg and Hanse Towns.
3 He went in the Assurance, Captain John Tyrwhitt. Cal. S.P. Dom. 1661–2, page 576.
4 York House in the Strand, near Charing Cross.
5 Proclamation of 16–26 November. Steele: Tudor and Stuart Proclamations Vol. i, page 406, No. 3369.
6 The sentence in the text substituted for the one in brackets.
Voting: Ayes, 134. Noes, 2. Neutral, 1.
7 Viscount Faucombridge was an only son. Collins: Peerage of England, ed. Brydges, Vol. VI, page 30. Probably one of his cousins; uncle Sir William Belasyse of Morton House, Durham, had several sons. Surtees: Hist. of Durham Vol. I, page 203.
8 Giustinian was at Vienna in 1652 and was succeeded there by Nani. The emperor Ferdinand III died on 2 April, 1657.