Venice
February 1665

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Institute of Historical Research

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Allen B. Hinds (editor)

Year published

1933

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78-81

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'Venice: February 1665', Calendar of State Papers Relating to English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 34: 1664-1666 (1933), pp. 78-81. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=90162 Date accessed: 02 August 2014.


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February 1665

Feb. 4.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Spagna.
Venetian
Archives.
125. Marin Zorzi, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.
The English frigates from the Bay of Cadiz have sailed away to a distance; it is thought that they have gone to Tanger for munitions. It is supposed that their objects are to scour the sea, and not only to harass the trade of the Dutch, but to do mischief to all rich ships with full cargoes, in short to practise ignominious piracy rather than an honourable war.
Madrid, the 4th February, 1655.
[Italian.]
Feb. 7.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Firenze.
Venetian
Archives.
126. Francesco Bianchi, Venetian Resident at Florence, to the Doge and Senate.
From Leghorn news has arrived this week confirming the report of the first engagements which have taken place between the English and the Dutch since the declaration of war, in the neighbourhood of Cadiz. (fn. 1) The only variation is an increase in the losses of the latter, which are said to amount to seven ships, two sunk and five left in the hands of the enemy.
Florence, the 7th February, 1665.
[Italian.]
Feb. 11.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Spagna.
Venetian
Archives.
127. Marin Zorzi, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.
Intimate negotiations with the Dutch ambassador are reported from Paris. But one satisfaction and assurance is asked of them, that they shall not adhere to any treaty with this crown but shall agree to co-operate with them when the time has come for invading Flanders. If they do not give their consent to this treaty it is threatened that not only will they not be assisted but will be fought. This report may come from the Marquis della Fuente. The ministers here attach great importance to the news and are very anxious. They make dexterous representations to the Dutch ambassador against such notions, which aim at the ruin of his masters rather than their benefit. They are sending to the same effect to their ambassador in Holland, to prevent assent to such proposals. But here they would be unwilling to commit themselves for the moment, except that very strong reasons cause them to take that path, namely not to provoke England to draw close to France. The differences between two powers so strong at sea constitute a most formidable entanglement. If the war takes hold and progresses, most troublesome embarrassments will ensue. One of the ministers has said that the scene cannot fail to be lamentable; it is beginning between two powers only, but the neutrality and indifference of the crowns will not be kept up for long.
Madrid, the 11th February, 1665.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Feb. 18.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Spagna.
Venetian
Archives.
128. Marin Zorzi, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.
The report is revived that the English ambassador will be leaving soon. Some say there is a double entendre (anfibologico). With regard to the interests of Portugal, they complain that the thread is cut short and that hope is now dead. Everything points in the direction of war and not peace. In speaking of this the ambassador said that if the maxims of the present government had belonged to the days of the greatest prosperity of Charles V, they would be too vexatious, much more so do they condemn themselves as haughty and puffed up when the crown is in decadence, and when their power does not correspond with their vanity. The vice of ambition will extinguish the virtue of prudence, but it often happens that those who carry conflagrations to others scorch themselves. He says this openly and in particular to the foreign ministers. Medina tries to soothe him and tells everyone that the ambassador is not going. This much is certain that complete confidence exists between them and as Medina was the prime mover of this mission so he will be the first to hinder his return.
Madrid, the 18th February, 1665.
[Italian.]
Feb. 21.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Corti.
Venetian
Archives.
129. To the King of Great Britain.
The republic readily embraces any opportunity of giving him satisfaction. His letter recommending George Hayles, an English trader, only recently received, has had the effect he desired as the person concerned has been recommended to despatch speedily that merchant's suit with the merchant Roccho Fustinoni; so justice shall have its course. They are gratified to hear that his Majesty's intentions coincide with their own, regarding facilities for trade between their states. Wishing him length of years and all felicity.
Ayes, 132. Noes, 4. Neutral, 1.
[Italian.]
Feb. 21.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Firenze.
Venetian
Archives.
130. Francesco Bianchi, Venetian Resident at Florence, to the Doge and Senate.
The Court will be leaving for Leghorn at the beginning of next month, to stay there until holy week. It is called thither by many interests concerning the trade of the port, and more particularly in case disagreeable incidents occur between the English and Dutch merchants and between the ships of the two nations in the port itself, as in times past. The project which was mooted a while back for equipping a convoy of ships to escort the merchandise in place of the Dutch and English has been disapproved by the Consulta, not so much because of the expense as from fear of provoking contests with the two nations aforesaid, and because such a convoy under the flag of the Grand Duke could not approach the Levantine marts with safety.
Florence, the 21st February, 1664. [M.V.]
[Italian.]
Feb. 25.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Spagna.
Venetian
Archives.
131. Marin Zorzi, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.
The despatches of the Marquis della Fuente contain two remarkable points: (1) the negotiations for the purchase of Tangier from England; (2) the powerful naval armament which is being prepared by the Most Christian. On the first he points out the motives for acquiring the place. He states that every difficulty that might arise on the part of England will have good foundation, since France is ambitious of getting possession of the place owing to its situation which is so opportune for her ends.
A very leading minister has remarked that on no account should they permit such an acquisition to be made by the rivals of this crown; if they are unable to upset the business with the sword they must needs impede it with gold; to win their point by means of interests and instead of having recourse to more spirited measures they must hold out greater inducements, as in this matter advantage will prevail over friendship.
Something has been said to the English ambassador on the subject, but I fancy that the treaty has not taken shape. It falls through from the scant inclination which the English show to let the place go, although they are very suspicious here from other considerations. The ministers here also show great coldness about depriving themselves of so much money for current emergencies. The French ambassador denies the purchase though he grants that in the event of war with Holland the King of England will need money and may take the easy way to get it that he tried on another occasion.
Madrid, the 25th February, 1665.
[Italian.]
Feb. 28.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Firenze.
Venetian
Archives.
132. Francesco Bianchi, Venetian Resident at Florence, to the Doge and Senate.
A ship from Marseilles reports having sighted ten great vessels off Cape Boniface in Corsica. They are supposed to be English, who are waiting for the Dutch convoy from Smyrna. The merchants living at Leghorn looking to see an irreparable stroke, fear that it may come soon, and the Armenian nation in particular. They contemplate the loss of the convoy, with a notable increase of loss for the mart of Leghorn, where business is beginning to feel the effect and the merchants are making few contracts. The English alone are pleased that such injuries serve to enhance the glory of their arms, for which they boastfully predict considerable conquests and striking victories. At present the business of that mart is restricted to what is brought by French ships.
Florence, the 28th February, 1664. [M.V.]
[Italian.]

Footnotes

1 The action in Cadiz Bay on 29th December.