Venice
May 1664

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Institute of Historical Research

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Allen B. Hinds (editor)

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1933

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13-20

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'Venice: May 1664', Calendar of State Papers Relating to English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 34: 1664-1666 (1933), pp. 13-20. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=90153 Date accessed: 29 August 2014.


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May 1664

May 6.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
17. Alvise Sagredo, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
Since I reported the negotiations here of the Portuguese ambassador Sandi, then resident in London, he has returned to France. I know now that the Sig. di Sa, secretary to the ambassador, has treated separately with Colbert and has recently gone to Portugal to report his arrangements, which aim at establishing France in the acquisition of the island of Madera in particular. This last week Colbert Terron (fn. 1) embarked for Lisbon with more money, to keep Braganza faithful and bind him, under no circumstances to come to a composition with Spain, as they are very mistrustful about the aims of the English who would like, by a truce and an alliance, to make themselves firm in any event against the monstrous forces of France at this present time. The Count of Bellisle, Lieut.-Gen. Schiup, directs everything, that being the true and only communication with Portugal.
Paris, the 6th May, 1664.
[Italian.]
May 6.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
18. Alvise Sagredo, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
The London letters of the 28th ult. confirm that affairs in general and the sessions of parliament are proceeding with complete quiet and mutual satisfaction, so all fear of discord in the latter being dismissed, it may be supposed that there is no longer any reason for disquiet about the sectaries or other commotions in the country.
The Count of Kinigsech, envoy of the emperor, after having been presented to his Majesty, upon his urgent solicitation for succour, has had commissioners appointed to discuss so grave a matter. But there are grave doubts about anything being granted, so as not to afford the Porte a reason for ruining the Levant trade; and there is no sign either that King Charles can assist Caesar secretly by other means since the question of his own stability does not permit him, as yet, to dispose for the benefit of others what he needs for himself.
100,000l. sterling in silver plate has been remitted from Madrid to London these last days. Moledi the Irishman, who on previous occasions, as I reported, passed from one Court to the other, engaged upon the promotion of the best correspondence between the two crowns, was pushing on with his negotiations, so with the arrival of the Ambassador Fanschau at the Catholic's, we shall very soon see the conclusion of everything, and whither the aims of these two powers united are tending.
A small succour for Portugal was on the point of leaving, but news of the latest affairs at Tangier with Prince Gayland, the Moor, affects them greatly, as in two encounters the English have had the worst of it. So they have been compelled to send a considerable force and some horse to the port itself.
Fourteen English ships recently captured are now at Algiers; but they are waiting for the Vice-Admiral Laudson, keeping everything intact, without disposing or selling to anyone, until the arrival of the said fleet. This causes the mercantile companies in London to hope that it may be possible to arrive at a durable composition with the Barbareschi.
Paris, the 6th May, 1664.
[Italian.]
May 7.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Spagna.
Venetian
Archives.
19. Giovanni Cornaro, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.
The English ambassador is at Valieras, a league from Madrid, defrayed all the time at the king's cost, in an extravagant style never before practised, waited upon by the Regidori of every town through which he has passed, in every one of which, and notably at Toledo, there were great rejoicings at his appearance, including bull fights, comedies and bonfires. The Duke of Medina himself has gone to Val di Moro, four leagues from Aranjuez, to a sumptuous banquet prepared for the ambassador. (fn. 2) It was a reason for a conference with Medina which lasted more than two hours. What they said has not transpired, but it must needs have been a start to the negotiations. Judging by what has gone before I am inclined to think there was a proposal for an adjustment with Portugal, and that hopes were held out from this side to England upon that point and upon freedom of trade in the Indies. But on the following day Medina assembled in the same place of Val di Moro, by order of the king, a conspicuous council of state and of war with the object of publishing declarations rather in favour of war than of an adjustment and to tone down the reports that are current among the people about proposals for this concord.
Madrid, the 7th May, 1664.
[Italian.]
May 13.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
20. Alvise Sagredo, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
Here they have got it into their heads that the English ambassador Fanschau at Madrid has orders to treat for a most secret union with the Catholic, promising him the defence of Flanders, which here they call a guarantee contra quoscumque. They note very particularly the pressing instance made by the Ambassador Holles three weeks ago to the Most Christian about the question of Orange, which he accompanied by presenting a note which set forth in good set terms the wrong done to the prince, the king's ward, and since the Sieur di Liona has never been, as he had promised to render the expected reply, King Charles, as the guardian and uncle of the young prince, has again strictly charged the ambassador not to grow cold in affording due assistance and his offices on behalf of the prince's cause.
The general aspect of affairs with the Dutch is the result of the long course of success with which they have been favoured. The English ambassador himself recently assured me that parliament had not only received the complaints of the companies of their merchants about the injuries suffered in their navigation in every part, but had in addition accepted the promised offers of assistance for the king if from such causes he should be obliged to break with the States General. So this tends to become the principal question under discussion in that country and in the assembly. But as it would by no means please the English to raise up a third quarrel in addition to those already existing, it is reasonable to conclude that they will be ready to compose and settle these claims, though ancient and important, by the good offices of friendly mediators.
Paris, the 13th May, 1664.
[Italian.]
May 13.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
21. Alvise Sagredo, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
Letters of the 1st from England relate that the merchants of London have appeared in parliament and have set forth their grievances in respect of the injuries inflicted by the Dutch nation in divers traffics and encounters in the course of thirty years. (fn. 3) The question being grave and weighty because of the consequences, they have deputed commissioners for better information, and at the same time they have caused the injured parties to know what they should contribute in case, for their just relief and compensation, it should come to a rupture with the Dutch.
Some members of the Lower House having died, the king punctually requested the counties of Beldford and Nortanten to choose successors, and the concurrence of leading gentlemen is so great that although the declaration has been made, they have applied to parliament at great cost to have a new nomination, hoping by the annulment of the previous election to obtain the coveted post. (fn. 4) After two days had been spent in hearing and examining the evidence and the petitions put in, the whole has been referred to special commissioners to be dealt with.
Parliament has resolved upon new and more severe decrees against the Quequer and other sectaries. When taken at private meetings they were in a sense tolerated by the payment of 5l. sterling for each offence, but now, without any remission, these delinquents will be transported to the new colonies planted by the English in the Indies. For this cause King Charles has nominated six commissioners, not so much before their departure to oblige them to carry out this sentence, as to keep in obedience and loyalty the people already gathered in considerable numbers in those parts. Parliament agrees to grant a new contribution to the king for the quiet of the realm and his own subsistence, as a necessary step for securing these two objects, while on the other hand it is clear that such an obligation will not be popular with the people.
The judges sent to the Duchy of York to put down the ill affected and the risings there have commuted various sentences of death into exile and relegation. This act of mercy is universally approved and applauded in the country. The confinement of General Lambert, hitherto in the Tower of London, has been commuted to relegation to Tanger. They are hastening the gathering of troops and money for that place, in order to bridle the audacity of the Moorish Prince Gaillandt, and they are taking the opportunity to send a certain number of troops and officers to Lisbon as well.
Count Chinigsech, the imperial envoy, has been very well received at the Court and elegantly entertained by the gentlemen there, but there is little sign of his negotiations achieving the desired result, above all from the consideration of the great benefits which the English Levant Company derives from the trade in cloth and from the free access to Constantinople every year. Besides this, King Charles is not, at this present moment, sufficiently established in his power and fortune to be able to venture on so serious an offer, and so far as he personally is concerned it cannot be said that he has sufficient means to supply what Caesar needs in this great emergency.
By letters of the 8th May from Holland we learn that the bishop of Munster has reinforced the garrison of the fort of Eylor with 500 men. That the peasants of the neighbourhood are working incessantly at new fortifications. That the commandant has perfected a most important half moon and opened a breach of forty-five feet in the dykes to inundate the country, so that the bridges were all destroyed. Accordingly they had turned out the women and children and useless mouths from that fort and everything was preparing for an obstinate defence. On receipt of this news the States General strengthened their force with nine cornets and twenty-nine companies of infantry, besides the corps de reserve which was expected. But above all they were considering the sending of this whole body of cavalry into the states of the bishop to create a diversion, and they have protested that if by the 10th he had not withdrawn his troops and the garrison from the fort, the bishop will be held to make good the expense, so they are expecting his Grand Dean at the Hague, (fn. 5) with the hope of settling the affair amicably, to wit, by the demolition of this same fort.
Paris, the 13th May, 1664.
[Italian.]
May 20.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
22. Alvise Sagredo, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
It is considered, or it would be more correct to say it is feared here that the negotiations of Braganza himself with the Catholic have gone so far that every moment they are expecting to hear the details of the articles concluded, and they say that the Ambassador Fanshau is leaving for London with the matter already settled. But this will not prevent the Most Christian from supporting the said princess in that house in order to separate her from the pretensions of Prince Charles of Lorraine. (fn. 6)
Paris, the 20th May, 1664.
[Italian.]
May 20.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
23. Alvise Sagredo, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
The last letters from London confirm the absolute annulling of the act for the triennial meeting of parliament; but as this news, in my opinion, is so important because of the consequences, I refrain from reporting it as certain until it is confirmed by the English ambassador, who in the mean time has been so good as to participate to me the intelligence he has of their fleet by way of Marseilles, and their good fortune in the Mediterranean, to wit: Dario Cogill, the ambassador's correspondent, writes on the 11th that Vice-Admiral Laudson had arrived on the 3rd at Majorca with his fleet. Penetrating by force into the fortress of Algiers he had recovered nineteen ships of those recently captured from the hands of the corsairs, with all the people on board. As the barbarians, surprised by this resolution, while expressing their readiness for an accommodation, excused themselves in the parleys from not being able to surrender other merchandise than these, in compensation for the numerous reprisals against the English after the peace was broken, the Vice-Admiral left six powerful ships before the port to prevent anything whatsoever from coming out or going in, declaring that he meant to have complete restitution or else he would declare war on them.
Subsequently on his return he fell in with and captured a rich Turkish ship, armed with forty bronze guns, with 300 men and forty slaves whom they held there and whom he released and landed in the island aforesaid. So from this successful beginning there is good reason to hope that the issue will be equally fortunate seeing the firm determination of that brave commander to press on against the barbarians to the utmost.
This Cogill adds that the Duke of Chrichi had left Toulon some days before with four reinforced galleys.
Parliament continues its session as usual, devoting itself not only to the public welfare in the extension of trade but to the safety of the realm in the complete uprooting of the sectaries.
With regard to the disputes with the Dutch for compensation for the losses suffered by English merchants of capital amounting to over 700,000l. sterling, no further resolution has so far been taken, except that this matter is universally desired by every one, to show the zeal with which King Charles concerns himself for the relief of his subjects and to repress the greed of the others, who are envied in addition for the extreme wealth which they enjoy and which they derive from trade of all sorts. Accordingly parliament has expressed to King Charles its special appreciation and indebtedness for his Majesty having graciously taken under his protection the interests of their merchants, who have suffered in their trade for so long a space from these same Dutch. Thus the East India Company has estimated its losses at 148,000l. sterling from the capture of ships and at 89,000l. for their loss in trade. The Turkey or Levant Company claims 110,000l. Those who trade in Portugal have put down their damages at 160,000l. And all the other merchants, especially on the coasts of Africa, estimate the amount at 330,000l. It is hoped, however, that everything will be amicably settled by a composition, although the States are busily engaged in putting themselves in a position either to resist or to sustain their rights by arms.
Paris, the 20th May, 1664.
[Italian.]
May 24.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Firenze.
Venetian
Archives.
24. Francesco Bianchi, Venetian Resident at Florence, to the Doge and Senate.
We have just heard from Leghorn that the twenty-two English ships of war having drawn up in sight of Algiers, General Lauson has been besought by those barbarians not to proceed to hostilities against them. He thereupon invited them to restore the booty taken from his countrymen. They agreed to this and eighteen ships of all sizes were handed over with a quantity of merchandise that was on board them. He handed them an account for others which were lacking, to the value of 800,000 crowns and at the same time told them that they were breakers of their faith and that if they did not observe the agreements for correspondence his king intended that they should be treated as enemies, and so he once more threatened them with war.
Florence, the 24th May, 1664.
[Italian.]
May 25.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Spagna.
Venetian
Archives.
25. Giovanni Cornaro, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.
More than a month and a half have passed since the English ambassador has been in the neighbourhood of the Court and they have never found a house for him, although it is usual to provide them many days beforehand. I do not know whether it was his own idea, or if he has been persuaded, to have the house where the minister of your Serenity at present resides. (fn. 7) It is the strangest and most capricious thing imaginable to take the house of one ambassador in order to give it to another.
The secretary of the Duke of Medina came to see me, ostensibly to inquire after my health, but in reality to forward my departure. I asked him about the coming of the English ambassador, who has been so long at Valieras. He said nothing except that the ambassador would be in Madrid shortly, thus concealing their designs about the house in order to delude the ministers and contrive their loss. I asked him if he knew that the house, after my departure, was destined for the English ambassador. The secretary expressed astonishment. He said that though I was deliberate about my departure the new ambassador was on the road and it could not be long before he arrived. To change houses was nothing novel. This one was suitable for the English ambassador by its position, and they would give another house to the other ambassador of the republic. I intended to delay my departure and to get his Excellency Zorzi into the house, who would have thwarted their designs. This person is not a secretary of state. He has never spoken in the king's name but only for the Duke of Medina. He is an ordinary person, but sagacious and interested and for aught I know he has also been bought by money from the English ambassador himself.
Madrid, the 25th May, 1664.
[Italian.]
May 27.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
26. Alvise Sagredo, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
Letters from London this week bring us nothing except that King Charles inclines to come to terms with the Dutch since political prudence shows that any steps towards an open declaration of war would have the most far reaching consequences, which might lead to more than the first objects set before them. For this reason, in conformity, we hear from the Hague in letters of the 22nd inst. that they have decided to send two ambassadors, ordinary and extraordinary to England, (fn. 8) with objects and powers entirely distinct, to adjust these differences, but with every regard for their honour and safety, for the States are not standing with their hands in their pockets, but are armed, having thirty ships of war fully equipped, and having recalled Vice-Admiral Ruiter with his single ship, leaving van Mepen to command in the Mediterranean. The States are very sanguine about a settlement by negotiation, since it is known to them that the English at present have no great forces at sea, that the diversion of Barbary keeps their hands full, and that the factions of the sectaries are not yet extinct. They count also upon the generosity of King Charles, who always declared that the restitution of the island of Pularon in the East Indies, made spontaneously by the Dutch, as a stone of all offence, was a testimony of true friendship which the States always preserve towards those realms.
The English ambassador in taking leave for Moret confirmed all this. He further told me that the ambassador at the Porte had been summoned to Adrianople, in his belief, with no other object than to arrange some treaty of peace with the emperor.
Paris, the 27th May, 1664.
[Italian.]
Enclosure.27. Intelligences from London.
London, 19/9 May, 1664. The king is taking great care to establish the commerce of the West Indies. Our ambassador at Constantinople writes on the 26/16 April that the Grand Turk has sent for him to come to Adrianople, wishing to speak with him, and that he had caused carts and other things needed for the journey to be prepared.
His Majesty has sent Mr. Roper to the Duke of Savoy with condolences on the death of Madame Royale. (fn. 9) In Scotland they have forbidden the collections which were being made secretly for the support of the ministers who are without employment for refusing to submit to episcopal government.
[French.]

Footnotes

1 Probably Charles Colbert, Seigneur du Terron, of the elder branch of the family. See the preceding Vol. of this Calendar, pp. xxviii., 225, 248, 251.
2 Fanshawe was staying at Vallecas. Medina came up from Aranjuez to meet him at Valdemoro, about 12 miles south of Madrid, on the 2nd May, N.S. Fanshawe to Bennet on 7th May. S.P. Spain, Vol. xlvi.
3 Their petition was presented on 20th April, o.s. Journals of the House of Commons, Vol. viii. page 547.
4 The vacancy for Bedfordshire was caused by the member Robert Bruce succeeding to a peerage; that at the borough of Northampton by Sir Richard Rainsford being appointed a baron of the exchequer. At Northampton, the return was disputed between Sir John Barnard and Sir Henry Yelverton, the latter being declared elected on 26th April. In Bedfordshire the dispute was between Sir Henry Chester and Sir John Napier. The latter was ultimately declared elected, but only on 13th February, 1665. Journals of the House of Commons, Vol. viii., pp. 550, 563, 600. Return of Members of Parliament, Part I, pp. 519, 526.
5 J. Brabeeck. Aitzema: Saken van Staet en Oorlogh, Vol. v., page 23.
6 Marie daughter of the Duc de Nemours, whom the queen mother wished to marry to Prince Charles of Lorraine. D' Haussonville: Hist. de la Reunion de la Lorraine a la France, Vol. iii., page 128. In 1666 she was married to Alfonso, King of Portugal.
7 The Casa de las siete Chimeneas, No. 2 Calle de las Infantas, Plazuela del Re, Madrid. Fanshawe at length obtained possession of the house in July of this year. Murray: Handbook for Spain (1878), page 74. Fanshawe to Bennet on 2nd July. S.P. Spain, Vol. xlvi. The Intelligencer, Sept. 5th, 1664. Original Letters of Sir R. Fanshaw, page 178.
8 Only one, Michiel van Gogh, was actually sent. He was chosen on 30th April. Aitzema: Saken van Staet en Oorlogh, Vol. v., page 69.
9 Christina of Bourbon, Dowager Duchess of Savoy, second daughter of Henry IV. of France and the king's aunt, who died on 24th December, 1663. The envoy was Francis Roper, brother of Christopher Roper, fourth Baron Teynham. Cal. S.P. Dom., 1663–4, page 563.


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