Venice
March 1664

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Institute of Historical Research

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Allen B. Hinds (editor)

Year published

1932

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286-289

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'Venice: March 1664', Calendar of State Papers Relating to English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 33: 1661-1664 (1932), pp. 286-289. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=90126 Date accessed: 22 August 2014.


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March 1664

March 7.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
400. Alvise Sagredo, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
Letters from London of the 14th relate that King Charles, perceiving that the Dutch are not bestirring themselves at all over the usurpations made in the trade in India by the Admiralty of Amsterdam, inflicting such considerable losses on the English merchants, has sent instructions to the Resident Douning at the Hague to present once again the same demands, with a declaration that any delays or difficulties which may be raised will be met by a royal decree authorising the injured parties to recoup themselves where they are able to do so.
The trading company with the title of royal, of which the duke of York is the head, (fn. 1) has increased its own fleet with seven other powerful ships.
His Majesty having proceeded to the house of the chancellor, who is indisposed, a decree has been issued that the confiscated goods of the felons of the realm shall be shared in part by the accusers and informers.
They write further from London that the anniversary of King Charles I. was celebrated both in the churches and throughout the city with all rigour, but with all this, on that same day libels were scattered abroad in divers places against the royal honour, the quiet of the kingdom and the safety of the first ministers of the state.
At Colchester the Quecquers rose in great numbers and were only dispersed with difficulty by the guards of militia. Lieut.-Col. Myller, sometime governor of the Tower of London, (fn. 2) was imprisoned at Bedford, as the declared ringleader of the army of fanatics, if their plan at York had proved successful.
King Charles is devoting himself with great zeal to the promotion of trade and has nominated the earl of San Duych, a nobleman of great credit and other great lords of the Court as a deputation for this.
Charles Beyllei, the principal and most famous in the sect of the Quecquers has been imprisoned in the Tower of London (fn. 3) as the author of the last conspiracy. By this means they hope to cut off the very seed of fresh troubles in that island.
In Scotland matters are proceeding very quietly, but in Ireland, over the ownership of the lands held by new possessors the king has met with much greater difficulties in settling the claims of the dispossessed than had been anticipated originally.
The Sieur de Cominges, ambassador of the Most Christian, was labouring to compound the claims of Lord Holles about his public entry, but the revelation that Lord Fanschau, who left London some weeks ago for Spain displaying himself with much pomp, deliberately chose to pass before the house of Mons. de Cominges, which was previously considered here to be a falsehood, will not have tended to promote a better disposition on this side.
Paris, the 7th March, 1664.
[Italian.]
March 12.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Spagna.
Venetian
Archives.
401. Giovanni Cornaro, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.
The English ambassador destined for this Court, having arrived at Tanger has sent his secretary to make provision for his journey and to see the arrangements for his transfer to this Court. Every one is awaiting his arrival with great curiosity, and it cannot be long deferred.
Madrid, the 12th March, 1644.
[Italian.]
March 18.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
402. Alvise Sagredo, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
They are clamouring here, if indeed it is not being fomented, about some offence committed by the duke of Bofort last November against the flag of England in the person of a merchant. It is said that when withdrawing from the coasts of Spain he found an English ship in a port near Cadiz, and because it was not prompt in saluting the flag of France Bofort sent some soldiers to belabour the merchant. When the latter reached London he immediately reported the injury he had received with the usual vehemence of the nation, defending himself by saying that he was too far off to render the salute and there was no obligation to do so. His deposition was accordingly recorded, for future use, and now it seems that a like complaint will issue from the side of King Charles, who makes a point of not yielding a jot in such matters. Letters of the 6th from London continue to report the encouragement given to the ill feeling between that country and the Dutch. Whether designedly or not some portraits of King Charles, issued from Amsterdam, have been published and offered for sale, indicating the scantiness of the royal treasure and taking off some private characteristics of the king himself. Thus the claims of the English merchants for the injury done them in the trade of the Indies, and the old standing dispute about the fisheries are being whipped up by fresh quarrels or inventions which are against the Dutch government and nation.
King Charles who shows himself correspondingly generous in superfluous pomp as he is assiduous at present in the consolidation of his throne, is devoting himself to the removal of the two obstacles which stand in the way of this great and necessary end and are incompatible with it. By keeping an army of 10,000 brave soldiers he hoped to have entirely settled one of them, in punishing the revolts which have broken out and in particular by the exemplary punishment of a prominent author of the libels published against the royal estate. (fn. 4) This rogue, by the abuse of passages of scripture and by pouring contempt on canonical texts and on the arguments of the Scolastics, argued that sovereignty and absolute power belongs to the people and not to the king; that the king himself is more subject to the laws than private individuals, because the life, honour and property of the latter, if ill used by the royal authority, call for a just vengeance against the appetite or misconduct of a single man, and that the actions of parliament alone, which represents all the members of the people, deserve to be reverenced and obeyed. On the other hand, what may help the king to survive, they are always strengthening his position by economy in expenditure, to the advantage of the royal treasury. So every one is waiting to see what the next move will be.
Up to the present affairs seemed very well disposed, but as parliament is to meet in London for its first session on Friday, the 21st, the earl of Bristol, whom they thought to appease completely by the marriage of his daughter to the chancellor's eldest son, has been admitted by the court of the exchequer to prove the charges previously brought and the other newer ones against the chancellor, so that from the present aspect of so serious a matter thus resurrected it is impossible to look forward to that complete internal tranquillity which England has need of. Some who speak according to their own private sentiments or aims about the disturbances which are expected, say that it does no harm whatever to other crowns to encourage internal divisions in a kingdom which otherwise is invincible. So it will be a question of watching all those developments which may possibly result from so great, not to say perilous a beginning.
On the 29th January the earl of Tiviot landed happily at Tanger with all his troops, having lost on the voyage no more than five horses and a single soldier. His lieutenant in the fortress had arranged a fresh project of peace with Prince Gayland, and accordingly the garrison there was enjoying the best of understandings with the Moors.
Paris, the 18th March, 1664.
[Italian.]
Mar. 19.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Spagna.
Venetian
Archives.
403. Giovanni Cornaro, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.
The English ambassador has landed at Cadiz and is on his way to Madrid. The firing of the cannon at his entry, his being defrayed at the nomination of the king, the visits of the governor of Cadiz, of the duke of Albuncherche, general of the Fleet, the manner in which his coming is accompanied all give rise to close observation and great curiosity.
Madrid, the 19th March, 1664.
[Italian.]
Mar. 27.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Costantinopoli.
Venetian
Archives.
404. Giovanni Battista Ballarino, Venetian Grand Chancellor at the Porte, to the Doge and Senate.
The English ambassador seems to be satisfied with my behaviour. He eXpresses the desire to have much better relations with me than heretofore. I do not attach much importance to this because it is the result of necessity. I will respond modestly, but without committing myself, to avoid possible snares. His Excellency made an attempt to come here, but the Caimecam stopped it, wishing to know the reason. Now Draperis has come and says that his Excellency wishes to have the Barbareschi reduced to order, as over ten ships have been taken by them, contrary to the agreement. The Caimecam replied that the corsairs were born thieves, and thieves they would die; it was impossible to control them. So the ambassador can stay at his house and go hunting at his pleasure.
Adrianople, the 27th March, 1664.
[Italian; deciphered.]

Footnotes

1 The Royal Adventurers of England trading unto Africa, later reconstructed as the Royal Africa Company. Scott: Joint Stock Companies, Vol. ii., pp 17, 20.
2 Lt.-Col. John Miller who was put in charge of the Tower by Desborough at the end of 1659. See Vol. xxxii. of this Calendar, page 104.
3 Charles Bayley, committed to the Tower on 21 January. Cal. S.P. Dom. 1663–4, page 449.
4 Apparently referring to John Twinne, who was sentenced on 20 February and executed at Smithfield on the 24th. The Intelligencer, Feb. 22; The Newes Published, Feb. 25. But he was the printer, not the author.


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