Venice
August 1663

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Institute of Historical Research

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Allen B. Hinds (editor)

Year published

1932

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256-261

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'Venice: August 1663', Calendar of State Papers Relating to English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 33: 1661-1664 (1932), pp. 256-261. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=90119 Date accessed: 23 September 2014.


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August 1663

Aug. 1.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Spagna.
Venetian
Archives.
340. Giovanni Cornaro, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.
An English frigate at Cadiz was suspected of observing the state of the fleet. The duke of Albucherche had the captain sent for, and found him ready with his excuses and denials. Nevertheless he received an order not to depart, but caring little for this he got away from the port and favoured by the wind he escaped the danger. He was pursued and more than twenty shots were fired after him by the guns, but to no purpose, and it is said that he has betaken himself to the remainder of the fleet of Portugal and of England.
Madrid, the 1st August, 1663.
[Italian.]
Aug. 7.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
341. Alvise Sagredo, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
The last letters from London report that the earl of Bristol has repeated his first accusations against the Lord Chancellor Hyde, and has produced some additional ones, as in the enclosed sheet. The letters of the current week bring no further news.
Paris, the 7th August, 1663.
[Italian.]
Enclosure.342. Articles of High Treason and other Misdemeanours against Edward, earl of Clarendon.
17 Articles, with a demand for the earl's arrest and an inquiry. (fn. 1) [3½ pages. French, translated from the English.]
Aug. 12.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Costantinopoli.
Venetian
Archives.
343. Giovanni Battista Ballarino, Venetian Grand Chancellor at the Porte, to the Doge and Senate.
The reply of the Grand Vizier has come from Buda about the suggestion of the English ambassador, in the name of his king, to cause a Portuguese minister to come here as a settled resident for the advantage of trade and for other transactions as well. He says in substance that as the Porte of the Grand Sultan stands open to all, an ambassador or other person may come from Portugal also and will be well received. The moment this decision had been imparted to the ambassador, as approved by the king and by all the Divan, his Excellency went to secret audience of the Caimecam, requesting that not even his Checaia should be present or any one else, no matter who; and this was granted.
This cautious reserve greatly excited my curiosity, to find out something of the essentials. I thought it would be necessary to have recourse to some confidential minister of the Caimecam, to try and get some particulars orally, without affectation and without betraying my curiosity. I did this in a convenient manner and succeeded in finding out that having gained the first step of the admission of the Portuguese minister the ambassador went on to prefer two considerable requests with the precise object that they should not be discovered, so as not to draw opposition upon himself or obstacles. One was that the ships of his nation should be allowed freely to navigate the Black Sea, which has always been refused to everyone without distinction, no one being allowed to penetrate to those waters and sail them except the saiche, caramusals and ships of the Grand Turk, and by the Turks. The object has been not only to prevent foreigners from enjoying the benefit of competing with their goods in foreign and suspect countries, but to destroy utterly any question of the French, English, Venetians or Flemings cultivating by this means any secret intelligence with the Grand Duke of Muscovy, the Poles, Moldavians and others to the prejudice of this empire. Although on the land side they cannot prevent any one from having communication with these, they know that it is long and difficult, whereas by sea it would be correspondingly easy, short, most convenient and of greater danger to these barbarians.
This being a matter of high consequence, the ambassador, to achieve his end promised a considerable recognition to the Caimecam and further, that if this concession was granted to the English to advance into the Black Sea, he promised with the strength of their ships alone to keep the Cossacks at a distance, so that in the future no possible harm should be received from their incursions, and the Grand Turk would not be obliged so frequently to weaken and divide his naval forces, destined to act against the most serene republic, but could keep them all together, and with a perfectly easy mind they could be sent to the Archipelago, with profit and honour to his Majesty. He pointed out that if at the present time they had in the White Sea the twelve additional armed galleys, which they have thought fit to send to the Black Sea. from suspicion of the Cossacks the Turkish fleet might be able to undertake something against its enemies, which it is in no position to do with the reduction and separation into squadrons in more than one place.
In fine there was no device or argument that he did not employ, because it would actually bring enormous profits for the private interests of his Excellency as well, if this treaty was brought to a happy conclusion.
The second request was that the kingdom of Portugal, at this beginning of government, having need, of a nucleus of foreign troops, he desired permission for levies of Albanians, Greeks or other nations subject to the Ottoman dominion, a favour which has been granted to princes friendly to this Porte at different times, and which would lay his king under an obligation to respond in everything.
The reply of the Caimecam to this office was brief and of little substance, because with respect to the navigation of the English in the Black Sea, he brushed it aside with a determined refusal, declaring that this empire has no need of foreign assistance for its support in any part, and if the Cossacks should come to those waters the business of driving them off will rest with the Grand Turk, as it has always done, and not with the king of England. On the second point he said that these levies involved very great considerations and he did not see how the Sultan could grant them. Nevertheless the ambassador kept on insisting and at length he obtained a promise to write to the Grand Vizier, and to send these requests by an Olacco. This has been done and the messenger will be back in a few days.
I do not believe that he will receive satisfaction, and it is clearly desirable to fend off something which would prove most injurious to the interests of our state. But being now enlightened I take my course with the Divine help, never abandoning a cautious reserve which I believe desirable to ensure the service of your Serenity so far as is possible.
The secretary to his Excellency is getting ready, and he always had ready divers provisions for proceeding to Smyrna and thence to England by an express ship, (fn. 2) sent there with letters of the king, all for the purpose of informing that monarch orally of necessary things which it is not altogether desirable to commit to paper.

Adrianople, the 12th August, 1663.
[Italian; deciphered.]
Aug. 14.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
344. Alvise Sagredo, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
The English ambassador has arrived at Rouen. His wife has preceded him to Paris in order to attend to the preparations of all the numerous things that are required for the entry of a conspicuous ambassador at this Court.
At London the king has sent orders to the earl of Bristol to take himself off immediately. No one knows whether anything else will happen to him, since it is realised that not the service and safety of the country but private pique and rancour moved him to table the serious accusations against the lord chancellor, which have already been declared by parliament to be inadmissible under the head of high treason.
Before parliament was dismissed the tax on hearths was repealed, and they removed the others proposed on the wool making of London. In Scotland matters of religion seemed to be tending in a direction favourable to the public quiet, as they have begun to banish some sectaries from the country, with the approval and indeed at the wish of the people. The queen was going to Tumbridge to take the waters.
Besides the sum reported to have been remitted to England by the Spaniards, another considerable amount is ready at Antwerp. Possibly the accident of the recent quarrels between Bristol and the chancellor may have interfered with the business already set on foot for the Catholic, concerning the acquisition of the two important places from the English, because the lord chancellor, a nobleman of credit and authority, but ambitious not to say interested in interfering in affairs of the kingdom which do not fall within his competence as first minister of justice, wishes to have a finger in the pie, and everything is held up.
Paris, the 14th August, 1663.
[Italian.]
Aug. 16.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Costantinopoli.
Venetian
Archives.
345. Giovanni Battista Ballarino, Venetian Grand Chancellor at the Porte, to the Doge and Senate.
The English ambassador, impatient at seeing himself so badly treated by the Turks, not only in appearance but in the essentials of his negotiations, suddenly made up his mind, demanded audience of the Caimecam and taking leave to-day is setting out on his way back to Constantinople, whence he will despatch his secretary to London, for the reasons which I gave in my last.
This same secretary, by order of his Excellency has been to perform an office of great kindness with me, very different from the curt behaviour which he has adopted with me for some months. I attribute the reason for this change with confidence to his bitterness against the Turks, for whereas he thought to dominate and direct their will in the service of his king he now finds himself deceived. The secretary was most lavish in expressions of esteem, with acknowledgments of obligation and offers. I responded with corresponding demonstrations towards the ambassador. He asked me if I had found out this Caimecam to be a great venal traitor, who promises everything for money but does nothing. I replied that from the time of my first audience onwards I had made no progress in my offices with him, in compliments or in gifts, but this was an epidemic disease in barbaric governments, which devours everything with a wolfish hunger, but which turns nothing into nourishment for those who supply it with food. For my own part I kept a very close look out on them and I hoped that they would not deceive me without my being aware of it.
Here I afforded an opportunity to the secretary to enlarge freely upon the rebuffs which have been received during this brief sojourn. At the end, when on the point of leaving, he uttered these words in the presence of many who were near enough to hear him well. The ambassador, my master, has never intended to violate the laws of friendship with your lordship and will never be one to do anything detrimental to good relations. I replied that I shall always be his Excellency's sincere servant, as I have shown everywhere, verbally, with the pen and by such deeds as my weakness has permitted. I have no doubt that if I am able to have a conference with him I shall be able to extract some essential particulars from his own mouth. It is true that the temperament of his Excellency is much inclined to variations and correspondingly facile in embracing, without consideration those things which he believes will serve his interests.
I at once sent Sig. Padavin to pay my respects, thank his Excellency and wish him a pleasant journey, with expressions which I thought best suited to convey my unalterable desire to be of use to him, which I offered even when far away, so far as I may be able. He expressed his appreciation of this and said that if anything happens he will send his dragoman Piron here. He referred scathingly in general terms to the overweening and slack methods of these infidels. He sent some sheets to be communicated to me upon the affairs of Christendom. They contain rumours from every direction, preparations in Italy, declarations of France, ruptures of the pope, arming of the Grand Duke, intelligences of the Spaniards against the Most Christian, the necessity for your Excellencies to stand armed and ready. I hope they may not fall into the hands of any one who would use them against our religion, as has already happened.
His Excellency is living in the country in a great tent which he has bought, not being able to live in the house assigned to him, a place incredibly vile, confined and ruinous in every part. But he has put up with it all knowing how easy it is to become involved in some mishap under this most inclement sky.

Adrianople, the 16th August, 1663.
[Italian; deciphered.]
Aug. 21.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
346. Alvise Sagredo, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
The English ambassador arrived in Paris the day before yesterday. He sent at once to inform me and to pay his respects. I sent a gentleman to respond. I fancy that he will make no public entry because of precise orders which he says he holds. The London letters do not arrive until to-morrow.
Paris, the 21st August, 1663.
[Italian.]
Aug. 28.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
347. Alvise Sagredo, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
The London letters of the 20th write that the king has held council several times, also in the house of the Chancellor Hyde, he is in bed with the gout. Orders have been issued for the imprisonment of the earl of Bristol in the Tower of London, but up to that moment they had not been able to find him, although nothing was known about his having fled out of the kingdom. Accordingly orders have been sent to all the sea ports to stop him if he should arrive there.
The earl of Malburgh who recently returned from Goa, is selected to be governor of the island of Jamaica, with orders to keep up a good understanding with the Spaniards, so far as he is able. He should be leaving in a few days for that appointment.
Various consultations have been held both before and after the separation of parliament upon divers affairs and in particular upon cutting down expenses in the royal household. To effect this they have suspended all the pensions for the present year. This causes a great outcry among all the courtiers, as contrary to generosity and to the style always practised by English magnanimity.
They are fearful of new conspiracies of the sectaries of England, especially towards the north, and accordingly the duke of Buckingham has been despatched to York on purpose to put things in order and in particular to prevent their conventicles.
The ambassador of England was taken incognito to see the king the day before he was to set out.
Paris, the 28th August, 1663.
[Italian.]

Footnotes

1 Printed in Journals of the House of Lords Vol. xi., pp. 550–7.
2 The secretary, Paul Rycaut, went in the Bonadventure, and sailed on 19 August, old style. Hist. MSS. Comm.: Finch Papers Vol. i., page 271.