|73. Alvise Sagredo, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.|
On Thursday I called on the English ambassador. He spoke first about visits and the affair of the Ambassador Cornaro at Madrid. With regard to the differences with Holland he hoped that everything would be amicably settled and very soon. He protested that what touched King Charles more than anything else was the refusal of justice; that the dispute about the two ships should be settled at the Hague in accordance with the agreement, and not at Amsterdam, where the States wished it. But at the present time the States were considerably toning down their bragging (bravade) to use the word employed by the ambassador, and King Charles was graciously withdrawing from all pretensions. For the rest they might see the readiness of the Duke of York to take part in the war in person, wherever he was called. He had told the Ambassador van Goch at the last audience that since from caprice he had served foreign princes in divers campaigns, he might well undertake to do the same for his brother, even beyond the line.
Paris, the 7th October, 1664.
|Enclosure.||74. Intelligence from London.|
Their Majesties continue their sojourn at Hampton Court in perfect health and it is believed that their return to London will not take place until the approaching meeting of parliament, that is, on 1st December.
Letters from the Hague state that the plague has greatly diminished, but other private letters state the exact opposite, since in Amsterdam, the week before the mortality was eighty-six above the usual figure and at Leiden it is undoubted that 250 persons have died, according to the note handed to the magistrate there. In spite of this they are hastening the building and arming of new ships of war, and all other preparations, calculated to obviate the mischief that may come about by the rupture between the nations, in Europe also, since the hostilities on the coasts of Guinea make themselves felt more every day. If the news which came yesterday is confirmed, that the Dutch castle of Mina has fallen for lack of munitions, the affairs of the United Provinces and of the companies therein in that quarter would be in a serious decline.
Nevertheless the new fleet intended for Guinea will be all ready in two weeks and the Admiral Opdam is ready with twenty-five powerful ships to convoy it through the Channel. So unless they change their minds the Dutch will find the Earl of Sandwich, Admiral of England, joined with Prince Rupert, and if they do not show a readiness in lowering the flag, or if the slightest incident should occur between the two fleets, every opportunity will be afforded for settling their differences no longer by negotiation, but by the mouths of their guns in the Channel.
The council set up a while ago for the advancement of trade meets frequently in London in the hall of the merchants, and they say that the proposals newly made in it greatly encourage the spirits of those interested who are already beginning to taste the fruit of past progress.
The affair of the Quakers and other sectaries, by virtue of the determined act of parliament for the destruction of their conventicles, is taking a very good turn.
Yesterday Don Francesco Ferreiro Rebello, envoy extraordinary of Portugal, entered London, having crossed the sea on a frigate of the Duke of York, from Dieppe to Dover. It is expected that he will be forthwith introduced at Hampton Court for his first audience.
The great design to construct a new bridge over the Thames, being opposed by the city of London, for well founded considerations, is no longer expected to come to anything. (fn. 1)
|75. Alvise Sagredo, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.|
Enclosing the news from London.
Paris, the 14th October, 1664.
|Enclosure.||76. Intelligence from London, the 6 Oct. /26 Sept.|
It is hoped that there will be no war between us and the Dutch. These, recognising that the king was pressing them earnestly to do us justice, have set themselves on the road to an accommodation. Their ambassador had audience of his Majesty last Wednesday in which he testified that his masters are disposed to seek every means in order to terminate our differences, and to waive a large proportion of their pretensions in order to remain in good intelligence with England. This does not prevent our naval forces from continuing their preparations, without the loss of a moment, in which we hope to be found more diligent than the Dutch.
On Saturday last sixteen ships left the port of Tilbury, and the rest should follow soon. They are beating the drum to collect volunteers, who are appearing in greater numbers than had been expected, to go to Guinea with Prince Rupert; but it is not believed that he will sail before they have certain information that the Dutch fleet has gone.
The latest reports from Tangier say that the garrison is in a good state but they find no disposition for an accommodation in Prince Gayland, because of the advance works which they had made and which they are steadily making for the defence of the place.
|77. Alvise Sagredo, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.|
Enclosing the news from England and the Hague.
Paris, the 21st October, 1664.
|Enclosure.||78. Extracted from letters from London of the 13th and from the Hague of the 16th October.|
The king has heard from Major Holmes in Guinea of the capture of Cape Corso with two ships of war and four merchantmen. After this the Moors, who had assisted with the siege, went to besiege the castle of Mina, which did not long resist, being without provisions. Since then three of our ships have returned from Guinea, the least rich with a cargo worth 15,000l. sterling. Last Friday the king with the Duke of York and Prince Rupert went to dine in the ship Henrietta, in which the prince is to embark for Guinea next Wednesday. Five hundred volunteers have come from Scotland for this voyage and more are offering themselves than they require. The Dutch are moving rapidly towards a rupture and apparently nothing will stop them except an assurance from the king of the restitution of the forts taken by Captain Holmes. He does not approve of this state sending ships there, and yet he will not give such an assurance and has caused other ships to sail which will finish off what Holmes has begun.
The States are sending ships to Guinea which the Dutch fleet will escort through the Channel, because in this season they cannot make the circuit of England without danger. Our fleet has entered Havre to water, and to escape a storm, but with restrictions because of the plague at Helvert.
|Enclosure.||79. From the Hague.|
The English envoy continues to present memorials, but there is nothing more to be said after the paper given him on Monday, commenting on all the points of the reply given by the king to their ambassador, in which they say that since the peace the Dutch have not taken a single ship from the English. Everything resolves itself into the claim for compensation for the five ships which they prevented from trading on the coasts of Malabar and Guinea, and they were ready to give satisfaction for other damage. They regret to observe that the king has been led to believe that they have refused to give satisfaction upon the complaints made by his minister, whereas there is not one on which they have not done so, while he has not given them any satisfaction upon their complaints. Finally they offer to submit the words Litem inceptam prosequi of Article 15 of the last treaty to the decision of the Parlement of Paris or that of the Chamber of Spire, showing that they have done more than they were reasonably called upon to do, for the sake of ensuring peace. But for all that I fear that we shall have war. Nevertheless they are at work here continually upon the means for providing a large capital (fonds,) so that it may go on, without it being necessary to have recourse to loans.