Venice
July 1663

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Institute of Historical Research

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Allen B. Hinds (editor)

Year published

1932

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250-256

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'Venice: July 1663', Calendar of State Papers Relating to English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 33: 1661-1664 (1932), pp. 250-256. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=90118 Date accessed: 27 November 2014.


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July 1663

July 3.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
331. Alvise Sagredo, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
Report of the defeat of Don Juan in Spain by Schomberg. (fn. 1) In the mean time commissioners have been deputed for the Marquis of Rovigni in London, to wit the duke of Buckingham and Lord Holis, and although the Marquis declares that he is treating in the name of the Marshal Turenne, Mons. di Cominges has orders from the king to act as surety for Rovigni's word. Considering at first the survival of Braganza as a desperate case Rovigni had commissions to propose and cooperate not only for the succour of Portugal, but upon more resolute measures, for encountering the Spanish fleet of the Indies, since an affair in extremis called for the adoption of extreme measures. Now with this last supposed success it is not known whether his commissions will be changed, as it seems certain that nothing else is expected than to come to an open rupture at the earliest opportunity.
The remittances made from Spain to London by way of Antwerp alone up to last week amount to 400,000 crowns, so one must assume not only negotiations but that these have arrived very near to a conclusion, for the redemption of Jamaica and Tanger from the hands of the English. It is beyond doubt that the Marquis of Caracena has already done everything to keep the parliament there divided into several factions. But matters having been consolidated in that body by the king, he has entered into close negotiations, so they write, for the purpose of taking those states from England by the power of gold, as in the case of Dunkirk, and with the greater reason because the last reports bring word that Tanger in particular is at present besieged by the Moors, whose natural antipathy has been fomented by Spanish gold to practise every kind of hostility against that place, and owing to this the garrison there is reduced to a shortage of all necessaries and compelled to provide itself by ships sent to distant parts, at excessive inconvenience and expense, where at the outset they were furnished with everything required for human sustenance at extremely low prices.
Paris, the 3rd July, 1663.
[Italian.]
July 6.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Costantinopoli.
Venetian
Archives.
332. Giovanni Battista Ballarino, Venetian Secretary at the Porte, to the Doge and Senate.
From the ceccaia of the Caimecan I learn that the English ambassador has letters from his king to present to the Grand Vizier, and an important business of which he has not made definite mention. I do not think it can be a revival of the affair of the steel, tin and other things, which was proposed before, it being claimed that this traffic which has always been conducted under the direction of the company of merchants shall now proceed for the benefit of the crown. There were also negotiations in favour of having a minister of Portugal resident here. This matter which has remained in abeyance for some time might possibly be renewed at the present time. It cuts me to the heart to see advantages offered to these infidels on every hand.
Adrianople, the 6th July, 1663.
[Italian; deciphered.]
July 8.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Spagna.
Venetian
Archives.
333. Giovanni Cornaro, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.
The Irishman back from London has brought great hopes of an accommodation. He says that the English desire it. They do not think much of Portugal and are greatly concerned about the trade of Spain. The individual and not his ability is credited and their actions at this very time show the contrary with the powerful succours which are proceeding to Portugal, in the fact of the presence of the English, to the number of 5,000 in the last battle and in the hostilities which England has carried on in the island of Cuba and the fortresses and ports of the Catholic king. But their counsels are so ill directed here that I have learned that they are entrusting remittances of money and instructions to the Irishman, to proceed to England, giving him the space of a month to return. The individual appears to me to be a man of little account and of less ability. The chief point which is said to be desired by the English is liberty for foreign goods, but from the indications it is clear that it is with France not Spain that England desires treaties and friendship.
Madrid, the 8th July, 1663.
[Italian; deciphered.]
July 10.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
334. Alvise Sagredo, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
Two days after the fall of Evora (fn. 2) an English frigate arrived at Lisbon with two million francs which King Charles, so they say, sent to his brother-in-law. Colbert Teron, who postponed his departure until the arrival of this succour, has afforded good ground for believing that the greater part of this money if not all is from France, especially as Colbert said that he would not leave before the frigate arrived, and when it came he at once embarked on it.
Letters of the 2nd from London report that the king sent for parliament in a body to come to the great hall of the palace at Whitehall instead of Westminster where they are accustomed to assemble. There, after a long harangue, he pointed out his need for prompt financial assistance to put down the malcontents of the kingdom and to preserve and maintain his good and faithful subjects. (fn. 3) Accordingly parliament decided to give the king a great subsidy, but they asked that the king should renew the act for the expulsion of Catholics and ecclesiastics from the whole of Great Britain, to which the king agreed by ratifying the act.
The Ambassador Cominges has had great conferences with that king and the Chancellor Hide for the renewal of the alliance and complete correspondence between the two crowns, both of them aiming to take advantage of the difficulties of the Catholic, as it is evident that all their respective lines are pointed in that direction for anything fresh that happens.
The Marquis Rovigni has also had long sittings with the deputies, and he went recently to the king and chancellor upon business which has not yet been disclosed, as news of the Spanish defeat had not then reached the Court, and they were turning over the means of prompt succour with untiring solicitude and ardour on both sides.
Lord Holles had already caused his belongings to be embarked for Havre de Grace and was preparing to set out for that embassy.
Paris, the 10th July, 1663.
[Italian.]
July 14.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Costantinopoli.
Venetian
Archives.
335. Giovanni Battista Ballarino, Venetian Grand Chancellor at the Porte, to the Doge and Senate.
Some months ago a ship was laded at a river of Moldavia by Sciot and Greek merchants jointly with potash for dyeing cloth, to the value of 30,000 reals. This passed from the Black sea to Constantinople and thence to Smyrna where it is at the moment. A Pole (fn. 4) was also interested and having come to a dispute with his fellows he was able to get possession of the entire cargo, which was destined for London, where they dispose of these goods with great advantage. The Pole betook himself to the ambassador of England, to whom he promised 2,000 reals if he might have judgment in his favour, presenting some false papers, on the strength of which he caused the Greeks and Sciots to be summoned. Although they exposed the fraud and produced evidence of the justice of their claim, the ambassador gave judgment that the whole of the potash belonged to the Pole, alleging as excuse that the king of Poland had recommended the man to him.
The men thus injured were extremely incensed at this sentence, and there was no place either at Constantinople or here that they did not approach and inform. They went to the tribunal of the Mufti, who would not interfere, so as not to injure the ambassador. They had recourse to the Cadi of Smyrna who though bribed by the English consul, (fn. 5) did not, at any rate, venture to say a word against them, because the cause was too clear. But he referred it to the Caimecam of Constantinople or Adrianople. These decided to present a paper to the foreign ministers resident at the Porte, in accordance with the excessive licence of this country, defaming the ambassador with indecent expressions and publishing abroad his injustice and violence.
Riboli, the resident of France, accepted it and had it registered in his chancery without difficulty. The Dutch resident, following the example of the Frenchman, obliged them with the same acts of courtesy and forwardness. They came to me also, the dragomans Grillo, Parada and, the young Tarsia being present, filling the room. The leader of them, a certain Glanguri, was very audacious. He said he meant to go with these papers to England and to secure a hearing with other advertisements.
Having read the paper which they gave me, full of detraction, though with a basis of truth, yet with unseemly expressions, I would not follow the other ministers. I told these ill-used persons, by way of consolation, that I should be glad to show my goodwill upon other occasions, but upon this I did not feel able to do so. I at once handed them bach the paper, avoiding the least appearance of protection or favour towards them.
By a third party I caused this act of regard of mine to reach the ears of the ambassador, if only to show that I deserved to recover his favour which was certainly not lost by any fault of mine. But I perceive that it has availed but little to remove the opinion impressed upon his mind although he sent to thank me.
He has now come here to treat about the same affair, and to buy by dint of presents, the injustice of the Turks to the prejudice of the merchants in question. I at once sent Padavino to offer my felicitations on his arrival, and he did not wait long before sending his thanks by his secretary, but without proceeding to the smallest act of confidence, as he used. Indeed although he had twice sent his janissaries to Constantinople he has not told me anything, possibly imagining that the memory of my despatches violated in the past, would force me to dissimulate as well as to be on my guard.
I intimated to his Excellency that I should be glad to pay my respects to him in person, but he excused himself from receiving me owing to his relations with the Turks; that is precisely what Sig. Padavino told me.
On the day after his arrival he sent word to the Divan that he had advices from London by a ship sent post by the king, which had arrived after a prosperous voyage in
39 days, laden with steel and tin, and bringing letters of the king for the Sultan. Wishing to present these without delay he asked, audience of the Caimecam, who introduced him on the following morning. He spoke with profound secrecy, presented the letters and received vestments with three of his suite. This affords clear evidence that there is some considerable business, satisfactory to the Turks and to their advantage. A Capigi Bassi was sent at once to the Grand Vizier with the report.
After careful inquiry by means of Turks in my confidence I have at length managed to discover that the English ambassador, by order of his king, offered the friendship of the Portuguese to the Sultan, with mutual trade and the frequenting of the marts by the ships of that nation, wider the superintendence of the ambassador himself or of a minister of the king of Portugal. His Excellency is seeking to take this charge upon himself, because of the profits which he hopes to derive therefrom.
I have practically no doubt that the Porte will consent and will gladly embrace this proposal, not only because of the discussions of some years ago, which I reported, but because I notice that the ambassador is looked on very favourably and received beyond the ordinary. None the less he laments and complains that a very strait and wretched house has been assigned to him, which obliges him to quarter himself in the country near here in a tent. All the dwellings of the town are full, mostly with Turks. If he had been able to make use of this one. I now am, which was occupied by his Excellency two years ago, he would not have lost the opportunity by presents to the Turks, which cost him nothing, because they are paid for by the merchants. But the Caimecam does not consent to such changes on any terms, and the Capigi Bassi who accompanied his Excellency here said as much to Olivieri. Caffis Effendi spoke to the young Tarsis who called on him yesterday in my name, to the following effect: ‘Now the remote nations of practically the whole world, desire the friendship of the Sultan at all costs, offering increase of treasure and new acquisitions.’ I do not know what they mean by acquisitions, but I do know that if Portugal is introduced at the Porte the king there, to consolidate the possession of his crown, will want to play this card with the Spaniards, and offer them the friendship of the Turks, if they will agree to his perpetual pacific possession of that kingdom. For the moment it is beyond doubt that the desired admission of the Portuguese is on the way and is getting a footing. The rest will become clear in the course of time.

Adrianople, the 14th July, 1663.
[Italian; deciphered.]
July 17.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
336. Alvise Sagredo, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
The recovery of Evora, which they go about proclaiming here (fn. 6) (in view of the engagements entered into by the Most Christian with King Charles, to send to England for despatch to Lisbon of the number of regiments that I reported, four companies having already started to embark at Havre, as the human appetite by nature is never satisfied), causes them to begin to chatter here and say that the Catholic, finding it quite hopeless to get together enough troops to drive away his internal enemies, will devote his attention to giving them peace when these new succours arrive at Lisbon and are joined by the others which King Charles is preparing. So the diversion which was expected to keep the House of Austria busy for many years will cease with the recognition of Braganza as the legitimate king of Portugal.
Paris, the 17th July, 1663.
[Italian.]
July 18.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Spagna.
Venetian
Archives.
337. Giovanni Cornaro, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.
The Irishman has already set out for London, having previously been made secretary for war to the king and provided with good supplies of money.
Madrid, the 18th July, 1663.
[Italian.]
July 24.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
338. Alvise Sagredo, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
Besides the recapture of Evora and another defeat suffered by Don John there is something that matters even more. A courier who has reached Rouen from Cadiz in six days reports that the fleet of the Indies will not arrive this year, to the great injury of Spain and of so many other places. According to the account the English out there are very strong, and after having wreaked damage on other islands and places, they set themselves obstinately where the fleet would come out, to fight it, rich as it was with gold but weak for defence, and to follow after it everywhere. So they claim here that that monarchy has been struck on the quick this year from these two sides, without a declaration of war.
Letters of the 12th from England report that the resident of Sweden there had left for Stocolm (fn. 7) with a commission to propose an alliance and a special treaty between those two crowns for the purpose of establishing between them the business of Guinea and to make a joint company to the exclusion of every other party. So your Serenity will see that in proportion as the profits of the Eastern Company in Holland increase, the affairs of the Western will correspondingly suffer, with the worse consequence of seeing the fleet hampered and bound to take thought for their own affairs for the maintenance of the trade everywhere.
King Charles had declared as his last word that parliament should separate within fifteen days, having obtained from it a favourable vote for three million francs, for which he agreed to the exclusion of the religious, the Catholics and the other sectaries as well.
The household of Lord Holles has arrived at Dieppe and he himself is expected. Everything has been arranged for him to make a stately sojourn here.
Paris, the 24th July, 1663.
[Italian.]
July 31.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
339. Alvise Sagredo, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
Letters from England of the 24th relate that the earl of Bristol, a close confidant of the queen mother, has accused the Lord Chancellor Hyde of high treason in the House of Lords, setting forth fifteen articles. This caused a great stir in the House, so that they referred the matter to the Lord Chief Justice, to look into it and see if it was a case to be taken up by parliament or one to be referred to the ordinary Courts of Justice. But two days after Bristol began to regret having taken up so arduous an accusation, so it is not known what will happen, as he would have struck a more effective and more certain blow if he had gone straight to the Lower House, in which the authority and credit of the chancellor is becoming weaker. Accordingly serious consequences are bound to ensue for both of them. In any case it is clear that Bristol has the support of the queen mother.
On the 20th the duchess of York gave birth to a son, to the great joy of the Court, and this serves so far to give authority and support to the chancellor. The two Houses of parliament, and chiefly the Lower, have decided, since the assignment last reported, to increase the royal revenues. Accordingly they are settling the manner and form in which it is to be done, with the consent and satisfaction of the people. They are also considering the establishment of a perpetual militia in the kingdom, at the disposition of the king, as well when parliament is not sitting. That body has been dismissed until the beginning of the winter. Lord Ruterford has arrived at Tanger with some troops and money to build the mole there. He also has instructions to cultivate friendly relations with the neighbouring Moors. Lord Holles arrived at Dieppe on the 22nd inst. and was leaving on the 25th for Rouen and Paris.
Paris, the 31st July, 1663.
[Italian.]

Footnotes

1 At the battle of Estremos on 29 May.
2 Taken by the Spaniards on the 11th May.
3 The king's speech on 12–22 June. Printed in Parliamentary History Vol. iv., 266–70.
4 Patrick Simpson; not a Pole but a Scotch merchant living in Poland. There is a despatch of Winchelsea to Bennet on his case, of 26 Oct., 1663 in S.P. For. Turkey.
5 William Cave.
6 Retaken by the Portuguese on 25 June, N.s., after the fort of San Antonio had been stormed by the English, two days before. Kingdom's Intelligencer, June 29–July 5,
7 Barkman took leave of the king on 18–28 June, having received permission to go and attend to his private affairs. Kingdom's Intelligencer, June 22–9.


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