Venice
April 1663

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Institute of Historical Research

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Allen B. Hinds (editor)

Year published

1932

Pages

239-244

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'Venice: April 1663', Calendar of State Papers Relating to English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 33: 1661-1664 (1932), pp. 239-244. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=90115 Date accessed: 01 October 2014.


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April 1663

April 1.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Costantinopoli.
Venetian
Archives.
310. Giovanni Battista Ballarino, Venetian Secretary at the Porte, to the Doge and Senate.
The English ambassador sent to inform me that as there were four English ships in the channel he felt sure that the Turks would. demand them for transport service to Crete. As he could not refuse this he wished to make an arrangement with me so that I should send word to the squadron in order that they might meet and capture the English ships thus armed and laded by the Turks, on the understanding that they should be released at once, without any hurt. I pointed out to him that I had no authority to write in this way to the Captain General, who would pay no attention to me, especially as information about the sailing of these ships with the Turks would be very uncertain. By dint of the gift of a few vestments to the Caimecan such as is customary with the English merchants here, the demand could be prevented, as the Flemish resident has done with great ease.
I acted in this way because I was certain that if the Captain General had taken these ships from the Turks, the ambassador would immediately have made it known that it had happened through my information. I sent Padavin to him with my excuses. The ambassador did not accept these and in his irritation he exploded with these words: I am not surprised at Signor Ballarino disclosing his malign intentions in this because in other matters also he has been against me. It was owing to him that at Venice they laid the blame on the English for the reprisals committed by the Tripolitans on the goods which were on the ship that left with Foster. He would not have me take up mediation for the peace with the republic, and yet the French ambassador before me had this in hand without any difficulty. He does me harm in many ways; I know all about it and by God I will bear it in mind.
I sent to him to justify my action and begged him not to listen to slanderers who were intent on discrediting me. I do not know if this made any impression on him, for I have had no further reply.

Pera of Constantinople, the 1st April, 1663.
[Italian; deciphered.]
April 10.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
311. Alvise Sagredo, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
The Spanish ambassador has found out that there is a regiment of 1500 men stationed at Havre de Grace, to be embarked for Portugal. He made loud complaint about this. The ministers defended themselves saying that they were troops of the duke of York, left when Dunkirk was handed over, as men whom the English could not depend upon. The ambassador said that he could never believe or consent that, contrary to the oaths and obligations of the peace, these troops should go to serve against the Catholic and it mattered nothing to him whether they were trustworthy or no, provided they did not go to the defence of their enemies. Upon this they assured him that as the king has no part and no shadow of influence in the matter, the mutual friendly relations between the crowns is in no wise affected. It would seem that the affair was satisfactorily settled up to now, with the command (condotta) undertaken by the ambassador from the moment of his arrival at this Court; but if it is confirmed that the troops in question are to proceed to England, upon the pretext of the disturbances which have occurred with the parliament there, the suspicion grows that they may be conveyed thence subsequently, with even greater ease to Lisbon and that in this way they propose under such a cover although by a different route to attain the same end.
Paris, the 10th April, 1663.
[Italian.]
April 12.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia,
Venetian
Archives.
312. Pietro Picardo Neostad to Alavise Sagredo, Ambassador in France. (fn. 1)
The Ambassador Grimani, in his last, of 28 March, kindly informed me of his approaching departure and of the entry of your Excellency into that distinguished office; he further commanded me to attend to what happened in these parts for your service. I shall do this the more willingly by reason of my service with your Excellency's brother at Madrid, and later at Vienna, which his Excellency was good enough to approve, especially if I am assured that I can do so without wrong.
Up to this moment parliament has continued to devote itself to the question of religion, determined to maintain the reformed Anglican faith alone and to enforce more severely than before the laws originally passed against the Catholics and the various sects under Henry VIII, Elizabeth and James. They have already settled the points which will shortly be presented to his Majesty for his assent, and referred to him to be carried into effect.
By order of his Majesty, as a last attempt to mitigate the determination of parliament, the chancellor in a weighty and pregnant harangue expressed his Majesty's sense of obligation towards the Catholics, declaring that at the time of his exile they had displayed the most extraordinary charity towards him, so that he recognised his indebtedness to them for his life and consequently for his crown. He mentioned among others a convent of Benedictines in Flanders which had supplied him with considerable sums of money for his personal needs, and so his Majesty wished to show corresponding gratitude. But all in vain because answer was made in the name of the whole body of the Lower Chamber that this was a private obligation which his Majesty could discharge by similar and equivalent acts of generosity, in which they themselves offered to concur upon suitable occasions, which were not repugnant to the state religion, the quiet of the country and the laws, the observation of which was a supreme duty of his Majesty as without them he could not be king.
News comes from Ireland that the duke of Ormond, the Viceroy there, seeing that the affair of the Catholics encountered the same difficulties about their reinstatement, has dismissed it by the royal command, until a more opportune moment, and has taken the field with a certain force of troops with the intention of providing against any eventualities that may occur at the principal fortresses.
Here mutual mistrust is reported between the king, parliament and people, from which troubles usually arise or are foretold, but the pacific genius of his Majesty seems likely to make all serene and a happy issue is promised for us.
Apart from the equipment of some ships of war to clear the Ocean of pirates I have nothing to add, except to say that his Majesty has offered to give parliament his word that he is disposed to give them satisfaction by carrying out what is decided in the matter of religion.
The enclosed from the gondoliers is a request for the favour of a remittance.
London, the 2/12 April, 1663.
[Italian.]
April 17.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
313. Alvise Sagredo, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
Report of a conference between the Spanish ambassador and Liona. The ambassador complained of the help given to Portugal, contrary to the terms of the peace. Liona informed him that the final conclusion had been that the troops in question should be sent by sea to England for their service in the kingdom, the fleet or the Indies and that henceforward there will be no occasion for complaint or for other representations upon this question.
Paris, the 17th April, 1663.
[Italian.]
April 17.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
314. Alvise Sagredo, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
M. Colbert Teron has already left La Rochelle and they assert that he is first going in the direction of England, as he did on the other journey, of which Lisbon was similarly the goal; the vessel which was making ready in that port not having sailed as yet.
Paris, the 17th April, 1663.
[Italian.]
April 17.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
315. Alvise Sagredo, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
As I have been without advices from England for two weeks, your Excellencies will be able to gather from the enclosed, which now reach me, whether the correspondent who was found there by Sig. Giavarina, meets with the public satisfaction, and you will be able to direct me whether it is your wish for him to continue, in accordance with the instructions which reach me.
Paris, the 17th April, 1663.
[Italian.]
April 24.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
316. Alvise Sagredo, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
From London this week I have neither letters nor advices. Here they speak as a positive fact of the act passed by the parliament there against the Catholics, shutting them out of the kingdom altogether, with the confiscation of all their property, or forcing them to accept the Anglican religion. This would be the most terrible pass to which they had ever been reduced under any sort of government. They do not admit that the king has as yet signed it, but they live in extreme apprehension and dread.
Paris, the 24th April, 1663.
[Italian.]
April 25.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Spagna.
Venetian
Archives.
317. Giovanni Cornaro, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.
They are very apprehensive over the preparation of the squadron of England, and they may well be fearful about the fleet of the West Indies, exposed as it is to attack and perils. The duke of Medina tells me that they know the king of England has disapproved of the operations of the governor of Jamaica in the island of Cuba; it is impossible, nevertheless to put up with such injuries.
The Irishman who was sent there has returned. (fn. 2) He has a great deal to say, but the character of the individual is not such as to render him capable of negotiating.
Madrid, the 25th April, 1663.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
April 26.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
318. Pietro Ricardo Neostad to Alvise Sagredo, Ambassador in France, (fn. 3)
The resolutions of parliament in the matter of religion having been submitted to his Majesty by their deputies for his approval and their execution, the royal edict in conformity came out on Saturday enjoining all priests, regular and secular who hold their orders from the see of Rome, as well as foreigners as subjects of his Majesty, to leave this kingdom and the principality of Wales before the 14th of May next, under the penalties contained in the laws, namely death and confiscation of goods. It further directs those in charge of sea ports to promote and hasten so far as they are able the departure of those who arrive there, in case they are delayed or hindered by contrary winds or any other pretext whatsoever. (fn. 4)
Those who minister to the queen mother and queen consort are not comprised in the edict, as by their marriage contracts they are permitted to keep the number stated therein, and a list will be made of them to secure their exemption. Neither has parliament intervened, as was expected, to propose to his Majesty that the queens should employ foreigners only, leaving this to their decision. So Monsignori Aubigni and Montagu will continue their ministrations here, both of them English priests and persons of distinction, in whose favour they have previously sent to Rome to treat with the pope in the king's name for their promotion to the cardinalate.
The criminal tribunals throughout the kingdom have been ordered to forward to parliament the names of those priests who are at present in prison in their districts, together with the charges against them, so that within the appointed term, or as soon as possible, they may be noted and despatched. As a sequel parliament has declared to the king that they wish to repay twofold what was done for him in the late troubles by the Benedictines and other Catholics.
This affair will be joined with another which has to be proposed by his Majesty, namely the payment of the debts of the king, his father, which amount to an immense sum, and those of the late queen of Bohemia, his aunt, consort of the Elector Palatine, who during the interregnum neither received nor asked parliament for her appanage.
At his Majesty's request parliament has begun a review of the royal treasury and all accountants and paymasters have received orders to present exact specifications of the expenses of the Court, to make clear the reasons for both revenue and expenditure and to reduce both, since both exceed the limits of preceding kings. Up to the present they have not been able to clear up this matter as the session has been prorogued for 15 days, until after the octave of the approaching Easter festivities.
After these festivities his Majesty will travel to Windsor to celebrate a chapter of the order of St. George, of the Garter.
There were no letters from Ireland owing to the bad weather, so they say. Those which have now arrived do not confirm the report, which certainly caused great misgivings here, of the dissolution of the parliament there, indeed they state that the Viceroy has prolonged it until the end of June next, in order to bring the affairs of that country quietly and safely into port, since it appears clearly that their resolutions will correspond with the instincts of the one here, making equal progress in the common cause.
The Viceroy's taking the field was only to put down some fanatical factionaries who had attempted to surprise Dublin castle, in order to seize him personally and other royal ministers. Some of these are already in prison and severe proceedings will be taken against them.
All is quiet in Scotland. Some remaining Presbyterian ministers have submitted to receive investiture from bishops and to conform to their ceremonial.
Mons. di Comenges the French ambassador made his public entry on Saturday, accompanied by the Court coaches, those of foreign ministers being excluded by the king's order, to avoid quarrels. On the Monday following he had private audience of his Majesty.
Yesterday in the king's presence, with the firing of guns, a royal ship of war of great burthen was launched into the Thames a short distance from here.
London, the 16–26 April, 1663.
[Italian.]

Footnotes

1 Forwarded with Sagredo's despatch of the 17th April.
2 He arrived at Bilbao from Plymouth on 12 March and was at Madrid on 12 April according to his letters to Bennet of those dates. S.P. For. Spain.
3 Forwarded with Sagredo's despatch of 15 May.
4 Proclamation of 9 April, 1663. Steele: Tudor and Stuart Proclamations Vol. i., page 408, No. 3381.


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