Venice
July 1665

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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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147-172

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'Venice: July 1665', Calendar of State Papers Relating to English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 34: 1664-1666 (1933), pp. 147-172. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=90167 Date accessed: 18 April 2014. Add to my bookshelf


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July 1665

July 3.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
209. Alvise Sagredo, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
They now realise the importance of seeing the English armed and victorious. It is true that the Most Christian said something to Madame about his pledge to assist the Dutch, but to the English ambassador he only expressed his gladness at the good fortune of the king and hoped that he would profit by it to make a good peace. He told Lord Holles that he could not do him a greater favour than to contribute to this, as he desired nothing more earnestly than to escape from an embarrassment of which he might be aware without it being necessary for him to repeat it. But those who know the present government are firmly of opinion that the king will do nothing to break with any one, except out of pure necessity, and less than ever with the English because of the commerce so much cried up and proposed to them, for the trading beneficial to the country, for the salt, wine, flax, fruit, grain and wool which are exported, in communications with the Dutch, with the Hanse Towns and with so many other northern states. Accordingly the Dutch do not expect or persuade themselves of any further aid or defence than what depends on their mediation.
An important item of news from London is that the Ambassador Courtin meeting King Charles privately intimated to his Majesty as a private gentleman that among other inducements for arriving at an adjustment with the Dutch this one was outstanding that the crown of France was committed to succour them, without the possibility of drawing back. To this the king immediately replied by telling him that speaking as a private English gentleman he could assure him that the sentiment of London had been shown by paying him, instead of 100,000l. sterling to continue the war with the United Provinces, four times as much if he should choose to break with the Most Christian. So Courtin, who is very wise, and who well knows the instincts and the animosity of the nation and the newly arisen resentment of parliament at seeing so many volunteers hastening to fight in defence of their enemies, dissimulated his feelings and the conversation went no further.
Although no one could object to Madame celebrating the victory of her brother, the States cannot overlook the Duke of Vernuil having done the same in London, while acting as a mediator. As a consequence of this the people being greatly roused broke all the windows of the other two mediators with stones, possibly because they would not celebrate the victory after the example of the first. Although the king has ordered an inquiry and the punishment of the authors of the report, it is known that in more than one of the captured ships all the French were put to the sword and quarter was given to the Dutch by preference.
The Kings of Sweden and Denmark mean to profit by the occasion and the Spaniards also, who have denied to the Provinces all succour from the Meuse and all commerce by way of Lillo. So this affair is constantly becoming more and more involved, and no one can imagine how so many knots can be untied, and if England, which is the essential basis of it all, is not called off by a divine visitation, that is by the plague, to cut short the slaughter, we may well fear that these grave emergencies will not be terminated yet awhile.
Paris, the 3rd July, 1665.
[Italian.]
Enclosure.210. The Hague, the 25th June, 1665.
It is believed here that in France and elsewhere the most apathetic will condemn the procedure of the English, who have begun a most cruel war for nothing; but every one is persuaded here that it might have been prevented if they had wished, and that no one will profit by it, as was believed, because England and these States, seeing that this war is equally ruinous to them both, may possibly decide to make peace without mediation. It is some months since that a medal was being shown in England which makes clear their claim to the empire of the sea. (fn. 1) And France will be fortunate if she only learns of the intention of the English from the medal. But she will assuredly have other proofs the moment they have achieved some other great advantage over these States. Already they require the king's ships to lower their flag in the Ocean, and France will very soon find out, but perhaps too late, what she has done by allowing the English to arm, and by suffering them to make themselves masters of all the commerce of Europe; and it is not easy to see how this can be reconciled with the great design which they have in France for navigation and commerce. The Spanish ambassador has already made proposals and they have been made to him in London, and it is quite possible that these States will also intervene and so a league will be formed which France might not find to her liking, and which would be regretted by all who are well disposed and friendly to that crown.
The Duke of York was on the flagship and fought bravely, since more than two hundred were killed, including four lords and twenty-three volunteers, while Leveson was wounded in the knee.
In London they do not pay much attention to the complaints of the ambassadors about the prohibition of wine and salt, of which they will not permit the transport, because they say that the Dutch are not short of arms or munitions, but they are short of wine and salt and so it behoves them to declare these contraband. And because France also has prohibited foreign manufactures this state has occasion to complain of both powers and no one has any sympathy for it, on the contrary its best friends are abandoning it. If King Henry the Great should return to the world he would be astonished to see so great a change.
Signor van Bouninghen has no better chance of satisfaction after the battle than he had before, or any better grounds for claiming the execution of the treaty. So it is not believed that he will obtain any more than in the past. On the other hand the feelings of the people are becoming estranged, so that if there is no change in the aspect of affairs within three months, it will not be possible to keep them as friendly as they were before.
Here they are more proud than ever and determined to carry things to the extreme, and to put everything to hazard rather than make a disadvantageous peace. Accordingly they are working lustily to get the fleet into a condition to put to sea as soon as possible. In the mean time they will send out twenty-five ships under the command of Rear-Admiral Bankert, whose brother was killed in the last fight, to secure the safe return of the ships which are expected from the East Indies and elsewhere. These ships are at the mouth of the Texel and will sail with the first wind. The others will follow as and when they are ready.
They are proceeding here with the trial of some captains, accused and practically convicted of cowardice and dereliction of duty, and before this week is out at least half a dozen of them will be hanged. All the officers of the fleet have testified that Eversen, the lieutenant-admiral of Zeeland, comported himself very well in the battle, and his ship has been so roughly handled that one must believe it.
The letters from Denmark say that Ruither had arrived at Berges in Norway; but this is not credited. The letters of to-morrow evening will enlighten us. Meanwhile the English have been roughly handled near Cadiz and are very hard pressed at Tangier where the Moors are besieging them on the land side while the Dutch are blockading them by sea.
[Italian.]
Enclosure.211. From London, the 25th June, 1665.
We have not yet received all the particulars of the battle which took place between the English and Dutch fleets. The reason is that some English squadrons are still pursuing the Dutch craft who fled away towards the north and consequently they cannot send word of their captures and losses. But with all this the conclusion still is that the victory has not been less considerable for the English than what it was reported to be last week. Their losses are less by one ship, because the frigate John and Abigail, which was believed to be lost, has since safely rejoined the fleet; so that the English only lost the frigate Charity. It is said that on the strength of this capture bonfires were lighted in Holland and in some of the French ports, as when that frigate arrived in Holland a report was circulating that the English fleet had been routed and destroyed. But they soon found out the falsity of this rumour and their rejoicings turned into fury and grief over the loss of more than thirty of their best ships (some say forty) sunk or taken from them by the English. Among these five perished which carried the flag, together with all their admirals, vice-admirals and principal commanders, except Eversen and possibly Van Temp, whom report now says to have been saved by swimming to another Dutch ship when his own was sunk. Besides this it is estimated that their dead, wounded and prisoners amount to more than 10,000, among whom, it is true, there were some French companies, to whom H.R.H. did not wish quarter to be given, and so they all perished between those two furious elements of fire and water, though several small boats were sent to save native Dutchmen.
According to the most authentic information to be obtained the English lost, in addition to the Earl of Portland, the Earl of Marlborough, Lord Fitzharden, Lord Muscary and the son of the Earl of Cork, (fn. 2) mentioned in the preceding letter, the following persons of quality, to wit: Captain Sanson, Rear-Admiral of Prince Rupert, Captain Ableson and Captain Lazirby and about 1500 soldiers and sailors.
Having given the above account of both the fleets and of the advantage of ours, it is only right to say a word of the valour of the Duke of York, who exposed his person to the greatest fury and all the perils of the engagement, fighting first hand to hand with Opdam and afterwards, at great inequality with several other vessels which came to Opdam's assistance, so much so that he was on the point of being boarded, and actually was so by some desperate fellows who were killed in the attempt by his Highness's own hand. When placed in this perilous situation by the number of ships which were fighting against his, he was opportunely rescued by Captain Smithson, who came with three frigates to his assistance and immediately sunk the ship of Zeeland whose captain had sworn to take the Duke of York. (fn. 3) He also assisted in the destruction of Opdam and in consequence of the whole fleet, so that, after the Duke of York and Prince Rupert, who with this crowned all his previous valorous actions, this captain may be called the chief author of the victory.
A few hours after the loss of Opdam's ship the Dutch fleet dispersed, some fleeing homewards, some towards the north, and some remaining a prey to the English. Those who fled homeward were impeded and pursued by the squadron of the Earl of Sandwich, and the others towards the north by Prince Rupert, who is still pursuing them. The Duke of York returned to port for the repair of some of his ships, to put the wounded ashore and to fill up the fleet with other sailors and soldiers in their place. But as thirty new ships have recently been sent to him and a great quantity of munitions of all sorts and naval provisions, it is believed that he will put to sea again, and this seems the more probable as he does not appear to have come to London, according to his first intention.
After the engagement the captains all came on board the duke's ship with their compliments and to congratulate him on the victory. They say that he showed great courtesy to some, embracing them and thanking them for their valour and service, but that others, who did not choose to fight when they had the opportunity, he received with a frown, and it is believed that before long an account will be rendered of their action before a council of war. It is supposed that some of them adopted that pose of neutrality to see to which side fortune inclined, so as to seize their opportunity in accordance therewith to go over to the side of the Dutch, with whom (most of them being officers of the republic and not friendly to the present government) it is supposed that they had an understanding, but they did not venture to discover themselves when they saw the success of the English fleet, when they were not confident about their soldiers and sailors.
It is said at Court that the English have surprised fourteen French ships which were taking munitions to the Dutch fleet; and that that king had a secret understanding not only with those States but also with the factionaries in England, and that in the event of the Dutch gaining the victory his Most Christian Majesty had planned to land some French regiments in England, in order to afford an opportunity to the malcontents and sectaries to revolt, by whom and by the Dutch they say this enterprise had been prompted. I write this last merely as popular gossip to which no great credence will be given without a greater probability of its truth than has so far appeared.
We hear that the people in Holland have roughly handled Eversen and other commanders who fled home, imputing to them the ill success of the action and that the Admiralty there intends to make inquiry about the behaviour of many of the captains to see if it was conformable with their duty and with the importance of the action. If they are found guilty or not so courageous as is expected of them, they will be punished to satisfy the people.
The plague continues to spread in this city, 112 having died of it this week according to the bulletins and as the bulletins admit such a number it is feared that the numbers are double, more than fourteen parishes being affected.
A report is circulating that the Dutch ships which were scattered and which fled northwards, reunited to the number of eleven and made a second fight with Prince Rupert, in which they say the English lost two captains Strahes and another, and took seven of the eleven ships. But this engagement being doubtful, confirmation is awaited before it can be credited.
[Italian, from the French.]
Enclosure.212. List of ships which we have taken during the fight which took place on 3–13 June, with the name of each ship and the number of guns mounted on each.
The ship called Charles le Quint, taken by one of ours named the Plymouth, which mounted fifty-four guns.
Another called le Helderstom, taken by the Bristol. Sixty guns, four of bronze.
The Delft, taken by the Breda and the Leopard. Thirty-six guns, four of bronze on the water line.
The Ruiter, taken by the Dauphin. Eighteen guns.
Le Jeune Prince, taken by the Martin. Eighteen guns, two of bronze.
Le Mars, taken by the Assurance. Fifty guns.
The Naglebome or Clonitrec, taken by the Colchester. Fifty-four guns of iron, six of bronze.
The Zelande, taken by the Centurion. Thirty-six guns, sixteen of bronze.
The Taureau Noir, taken by the Anne and the Ruby. Thirty-six guns.
The list of those which were burned and sunk during the same battle.
Le Coverdin, Le Prince Maurice and L'Estat d'Utrecht, of sixty, fifty and forty-four guns respectively, burned by one of our ships called the James.
Le Stedon
of forty guns. Escaped, as we believe, after they had taken off its men and burned its mast and sails.
Le Marceven, Le Tergoes and the ship of Captain Cupers, of seventy-eight, thirty-four and thirty guns respectively; burned by the Dauphin.
Admiral Opdam's own ship, of eighty-four guns, all of bronze; blown up.
The Orange of seventy-six guns; burned.
A fireship which blew up the night before the battle.
Another fireship which also blew up, the night after the battle.
A ship of fifty-six guns sunk by the ship called the Advice.
Another large ship with its crew, sunk during the fight at some leagues distance from the fleet, while it was retreating.
[French.]
July 4.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Firenze.
Venetian
Archives.
213. Francesco Bianchi, Venetian Resident at Florence, to the Doge and Senate.
The resident of England will have his first audience the day after to-morrow. He has already sent his credentials to the palace. The day before yesterday he called upon me. He told me that he expected news at any moment of an engagement between the fleets, and he foresees that it may be a most bloody fight and not unequal, perhaps to the undoing of both sides. The excited feelings in both nations left little hope of peace, and that France by her mediation is more likely to incur a declaration of hostility from England than anything else, the people being disgusted by the motive and by the recent pretensions. He told me in confidence that by recent letters from the Secretary of State he was informed that at Madrid they were on the point of signing an offensive and defensive alliance between his king, Spain, Portugal and Sweden against Holland, Denmark and France together, a matter which seems to me difficult of adjustment.
In the mean time, foreseeing that the ships of war of England and Holland which are cruising in the Mediterranean, may easily be constrained by the enemy or by storms to seek refuge at Porto Ferraio, they are increasing the garrison to make the place safe.
Florence, the 4th July, 1665.
[Italian.]
July 8.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Spagna.
Venetian
Archives.
214. Marin Zorzi, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.
News of the battle between the fleets of England and Holland. This first affair brings to light the desires and reflections on this side. The leaning of the ministers here, from a calculation of their own interests, leads them to desire the advantage and profit of the States. Good is hoped for from their victories. The good fortune of the others is considered unlucky for this crown. The injury suffered at the first encounter is received here with some displeasure. They fear that although it is not serious it may serve as an unhappy augury for a more general and important engagement. A victory for the English would be most disagreeable news for them. Many fear to see the sea reduced to servitude by overweening power; the strongest reinforcements for Portugal; the interests of the Indies compromised and above all lack of security for the arrival of the fleet. Although friendship and intimate correspondence continue, yet there is no lack of means for carrying off an exceedingly rich booty while pretending there is no breach of faith or violation of the peace. They feel themselves here to be seated upon sharp thorns and the pain of the danger is felt the more because they are bound by every possible consideration to dissimulate and keep silence.
A minister of authority has remarked that the Dutch should not have ventured to commit everything in one stroke. They should have conserved their forces to tire out the enemy who has not the means to provide nourishment for long to a body so huge and voracious. The crown would also wish it so, but it seems to me that the United Provinces by putting all to the hazard of one battle hope not only to conquer but to terminate the war. Such a stroke more than any other argument would impress their enemies with the need for an adjustment.
These sentiments are not liked and do not meet with approval. Their sole consolation rests in the hope that when the fleets meet the encounter will be a fierce one and the English, even if victorious, will have too much to do in recovering from the effects to be able to profit by the occasion. I assure your Excellencies that this is a most important consideration that they would rather see the English beaten than victorious, torn by internal revolts or troubled by foreign powers. For the rest that country although friendly, is for so many considerations jealous and suspect and more so at the present time than ever.

The English ambassador here made a request that the Dutch should not be allowed entry to the ports when ships of his king were at anchor therein. This seemed audacious rather than reasonable, and was derided instead of being granted. They told him that access was free to all their friends and in such a matter they professed not partiality but indifference. He subsequently reduced his request to one that the most definite orders should be sent to the governors on the coasts so that provision should be freely promised to the ships of his nation upon every occasion. In this he met with no difficulty in appearance, but I foresee that the secret instructions will be very short and limited. They can always pretend that they have not got what they do not wish to give. At the first answer the ambassador held his tongue about the offence, though he did not seem pleased; at the second he pretended to believe them, but he does not trust them. Here they write fully to the ambassador in London, professing the best intentions towards that crown.
Madrid, the 8th July, 1665.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
July 10.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
215. Alvise Sagredo, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
We see no sign as yet that the proposed mediation of the Most Christian between England and Holland will achieve the desired result. Although King Charles has always shown his desire for peace and the Duke of York triumphant in the late action, should rest content with his glory and enjoy the fruit of it, parliament, rendered haughty by so happy an issue, and even more the lord chancellor, rendered indignant, according to what he says, by the temerity shown by the Provinces and their captains, who contrary to the laws of war, offered a reward to any one who would take the duke prisoner, and prizes to whoever should board or destroy his flagship, from which his royal person was only able to escape by a display of extraordinary valour and unparalleled conduct, has protested that now the Dutch want peace they must give one of their ports as a pledge for the observance of the same; and if they intend to continue to trade beyond the line they must disarm their ships, because that democratic government and the people who are all born or professed merchants will never have anything to fear from the royal fleet or from the generous English nobility, whenever they may meet them at sea. Such conditions or preliminaries, as they call them here, differ little from those which Scipio imposed on the Carthaginians, after he had conquered Hannibal in Africa.
Others fear worse, to wit, that the king himself, who knows that nothing contributed more to the unhappy fate of his father than his steadfast refusal to agree to a foreign war in order to save himself from internal dangers, when by that means he might have expelled the evil humours that were sown, will not understand that to stand thus armed not only establishes his throne but renders him considerable in the whole world, and since he cannot do this except by employing his power in a way that would justify the expense (che con un impiego aggiustato all' interesse della spesa) they contend that Holland will be the first to suffer greatly because she possesses great riches to be shared out with others also, and afterwards, without mercy or consideration the victorious British forces will have to be turned in whatever direction they consider may best suit their plans. For there are two great points in favour of England, namely the presumption and belief that they cannot be invaded in their own States by any foreign prince soever, and the pretension to have no equal in navigation once the Hollanders have been subdued, though these exert themselves to the very utmost to dispute it with them.
To corroborate this opinion it is contended that the Duke of York, who in the last engagement abandoned himself entirely to fortune, shall take in hand this arbitrament by exposing himself again to every other hazard, having the arms and one may say the goodwill also of the king and parliament in his hand. Accordingly instead of staying at London, H.R.H. as was announced and is expected, is at present hastening the fleet to put to sea without delay. If it is true that Ruiter, after having successfully conducted the affairs of his republic in Guinea, saving the capture of Cabocorso, when proposing to chase the English from the Barbades islands also by surprising their principal port, has been repulsed with the loss of some of his ships, (fn. 4) being wounded himself, as is asserted by the captain of an English frigate which has arrived in London, who says he was present at the fight, it is impossible to expect in the future anything but increasingly sinister incidents, distressing also to every one who has the common welfare at heart.
This is all from across the sea that I am able to report to your Serenity, with respect to the intelligences which we have and the movements which we observe. The attached sheet from Holland is sufficiently explicit concerning their resistance, and I will not inflict any further repetition upon the Senate for their greater illumination. But with respect to the affairs of France, since they are beginning to take steps which indicate the beginnings of resentment, I will inform your Serenity of what transpires.
Mons. Colbert recently prohibited English manufactures. King Charles forthwith banned salt and other things coming from France. But subsequently nine French ships which were sailing towards Ostend were stopped by the British fleet and brought to London to be thoroughly searched, as it was pretended that from the port in question, which is so near, they were to proceed furtively to Zeeland, and perhaps they proposed, through fear to get the crews to confess everything.
Another cause of offence has occurred off Cales. A small English frigate found itself engaged a short distance out with a powerful Dutch vessel. Being unable to hold out against such great odds, the Englishman had to take refuge under the fortress. The moment Lord Holles had letters from the king's lieutenant there (fn. 5) relating what had occurred, he went to St. Germain and thanked the king for the protection afforded with so much justice to the royal ship, since the lieutenant wrote that he had driven the other off with his guns. It has since been found to be quite the other way, as the fortress not only fired on the Englishman but allowed the Dutchman to capture it in the very port, slaughtering the few on board. King Charles has complained strongly about it to the Ambassador Courtin, and Lord Holles is waiting for reparation, but it will not be given, since they cannot rebuke the lie which was either believed or winked at here.
Confining myself to the essence of current intelligences I may say that on Tuesday the Most Christian caused an article to be verified in parliament which has the appearance of a fresh contract of alliance with the States, though it deals with the commerce of the Indies. Further with this decree and in connection it is stated that in no way derogates from the first agreement which everyone knows to consist and extend to an offensive and defensive alliance in Europe contra quoscunque, whenever one of the principal parties is attacked, after exhausting every attempt at mediation and preventing hostilities by previous negotiation for an adjustment. So we shall soon see the consequences which will spring from such a step, although it is known, I repeat, that this is an appendix to the first treaty which Van Bouninghen wished to be solemnized now in this form, as suggested by him to the royal ministers, always in order to pledge the Most Christian ever more deeply to the observance of his pledged word, and in the meantime to derive some advantage from the publication as well.
The reason for all these past accidents with England since the rupture with the Provinces is known to your Serenity, and how there has possibly been a disposition to dissimulate on the part of France up to the present, and the way this fire was kindled not to say stirred between the two nations, from its first origin, is a matter of recent memory.
Paris, the 10th July, 1665.
[Italian.]
Enclosure.216. From the Hague, the 2nd July, 1665.
Here some have thought, and in France also that the Lieutenant Admiral of Zeeland had failed in loyalty rather than in courage, but no one has ever believed that the provinces of Zeeland and Friesland had an understanding with the English. This is far from the case and one may rest assured that they are as zealous as any of the others, and accordingly that a closer union between the Provinces could not be desired.
Eversen has defended himself very successfully, besides the favourable testimony of all the officers of the fleet. His own ship does not admit the possibility of doubt, as it was struck by more than 115 cannon shot of which thirty penetrated below the water line. So we may feel assured, thank God, that there is no fear of any faction which can divide the States. It will soon put in an appearance at sea, stronger than it was at first, chiefly by the arrival of Ruiter. While according to the opinion of some in France we should have waited for the arrival of Ruiter before venturing upon an engagement with the English, the uncertainty about his coming led to the decision to fight, and no one could have foreseen that the admiral would perish by his own gunpowder or that most of the leaders would be killed and still less that the majority of the captains would abandon it.
There is no doubt whatever but that Sig. Van Bouninghen is doing his duty thoroughly, but other times have been seen when there would not have been so much trouble about the negotiations and one may well believe that he is labouring not less for the interests of France than for those of the States when he presses for the fulfilment of the treaty and when he represents the inconveniences that may arrive if France does not carry it out.
However self-confident the English may appear to be there is no doubt whatever but that they will defer to the declaration of the king, for they will believe that it is necessary and that it will involve consequences to match the threats. For it is most certain that in such case the Swedes also will conform to the views of France, and Denmark will by no means declare against the States. We might have wished that such a declaration had been made before, but it will still be in time and we have proof of the ability to bring the English to reason, if it should be desired for confidence; and if some revolution or union should occur in Portugal, France will have more need of these States than ever, as being the only power capable of hindering Spain from making a closer alliance with England.
Last Saturday letters were received from Ruither by way of Dunkirk. He writes from Martinik on the 6th and 11th May that he has carried out the orders of the States on the coast of Guinea, where he captured the fort of Cormantin with all the other forts and redoubts that the English held there, except that of Cabocorso, which is a place impossible to take unless the Moors declare against them. That from thence Ruiter had gone to the Caribe and that at the Barbade and elsewhere he had burned many sugar mills and destroyed forty-five English ships. He had also information that there were still seven near Guadaluppe, and he had divided his squadron into two corps to make the circuit of the island, and from thence he would take the route to Holland with fourteen ships, in which the officers and soldiers are in the best of health and impatient to have it out with the English. The States have received news since, but it is very secret, so that it cannot be said definitely whether he is in Norway or no; but this much is certain, that Banckert, who put to sea on the 23rd June with twenty well-armed ships, has gone to meet him, and possibly also towards the Smyrna fleet.
Vice-Admiral Tromp actually won great glory on the last occasion, but he has totally obscured it by his disobedience, so that he was within an ace of being put on his trial instead of being rewarded. Everyone was amazed at seeing him arrive here on Friday evening at the same time that letters were received from the deputies, who are at Texel, who sent word that he had left the fleet without their permission, so that it was decided that he must be sent back at the same moment with a reprimand and some disgrace, which would have been done under other circumstances. On Saturday he was heard in the full assembly of the States of Holland, where he gave a very pertinent account of all that happened in the last battle and did not dissimulate the causes of the disaster suffered. The day before yesterday he was in the assembly of the States General who had intimated to him on the preceding day that it behoved him to return to the fleet, as he offered to do. As a matter of fact he has returned protesting that he will devote his life to the service of the States. But he preferred a request to be discharged of the presidency of the council of war, both because he does not understand the form of procedure in criminal trials and because he does not wish to incur the ill will and envy of many persons of rank, by being obliged to condemn their relatives. Yet as president it will be necessary for him to take part, though it is believed that the deputies who are on the spot will excuse him and will join some of the Admiralty to the council of war. If they try the seven or eight who have failed in their duty and if some thirty or forty other captains are appointed, the fleet will very quickly be quite ready, and within eight days seventy ships could put to sea, without counting the twenty that have already sailed.
[Italian.]
July 11.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Firenze.
Venetian
Archives.
217. Francesco Bianchi, Venetian Resident at Florence, to the Doge and Senate.
The English resident had his first audience last Monday. He was accompanied to the palace by many coaches and by all his fellow countrymen, who came from Leghorn for the purpose. The function took place at the time when the news came of the victory of the English fleet over the Dutch, so these Englishmen were entertained with great rejoicings by the resident at a dinner which lasted until after midnight. He continued his demonstrations with bonfires for three evenings running, although he is without letters of advice from London. But he has them from Amsterdam and other places. These state that of the enemy ships only forty escaped. A part of these, much knocked about are attacked in the Texel with General Tromp, the others being burned or taken. One English ship only was lost, with four earls killed and Prince Rupert wounded. The Grand Duke has other particulars from Holland that in Leiden the people, incensed at the loss, is beginning to revolt and to acclaim the Prince of Orange.
Florence, the 11th July, 1665.
[Italian.]
July 15.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Spagna.
Venetian
Archives.
218. Marin Zorzi, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.
The English ambassador sent his secretary to inform Medina of the victory. I do not hear that he has informed the other ambassadors. It is noted with some astonishment that he has not illuminated his house and has abstained from all signs of rejoicing. Some attribute this to private considerations, others to public causes. Some say that he is waiting for the exact particulars. Here he would meet with no opposition on the part of the ministers, but the people, who dislike his mission, his religion and his interests might break in with insults rather than applause.
The Dutch ambassador minimises the blow as much as he can. He affects to laugh at the great satisfaction and the vast hopes of the enemy. Such good fortune which kindles the ardour of the English chills the Spaniards with fear. Here in the mean time the blow is felt extremely and their distaste pierces to the heart. They learn from Brussels that the rout is most important because it was accompanied rather by their own defects than by the valour of the enemy, cowardice in the first squadron, disobedience in the others, lack of spirit in the command and an absence of forwardness to obey. For these reasons they are dissatisfied with the past and they are fearful of the future.
Yet La Fuente writes that the Most Christian, by a greater appearance of deceit or from jealousy of England, too powerful at sea, expressed opinions more clearly in favour of the beaten Provinces, shows compassion for their misfortune and expresses the wish that worse may not follow. If King Charles rests content with the victory, all will go well to his glory and to the satisfaction of his friends, but if he wishes to make use of it as a greater incitement to war, it will then become necessary to change their policy and decisions and to bring about a peace by force of arms which they are unable to persuade by reason and negotiation.
The ministers here are now in doubt whether the States being reduced to suffer notable blows will be left alone to bear them, or if, desiring succour from the French they may not have to submit to terms and consent to straiter treaties injurious to this crown. Under such circumstances and so ambiguous they are greatly troubled and are fearful of everything. While they are unable here to assist the Provinces it is clearly seen that if the Dutch experience further disasters, to prevent their ruin they will look for support to the quarter which has a powerful arm to sustain them.
To the English ambassador here, who has spent many hours with Medina, they give the strongest recommendations for peace. They write to the same effect to the ambassador in London; but at the present time to speak with good will is useless if vigour and power do not go with it. They would like to have some share in the adjustment. Some one remarked to me that this is greatly desired by the Dutch and it is easily understood that they would not place entire confidence in the French in such negotiations. In any case it is difficult to imagine that the Most Christian having the power in his hands, will not interpose it, in good earnest. Madrid, the 15th July, 1605.
[Italian.]
July 15.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Spagna.
Venetian
Archives.
219. Marin Zorzi, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.
The Dutch convoy from Smyrna arrived at Alicante after an entirely safe and prosperous voyage. It will proceed to Cadiz and the Strait in a few days. To provide for its safe passage they are keeping a powerful Dutch squadron. As a matter of fact no English ships are seen in these waters, which might cause them injury and trouble.
Madrid, the 15th July, 1665.
[Italian.]
July 17.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
220. Alvise Sagredo, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
In addition to what the enclosed sheets relate about the affairs of the north, a rumour is current here, which I do not believe, that the Duke of York said that the fleet would fire on Beaufort if he entered the Ocean and did not lower his flag, and that this would be the sole motive for detaining the royal ships in Provence because the orders for them to pass the Strait immediately have already been published. It is true that all the ships of this crown are searched by the English, but it is also certain that seven of them were recently released by the Admiralty of London, as the crowns desire to preserve the best correspondence between themselves.
The English ambassador told me there was no treaty, because King Charles would not listen to the first proposals of the Dutch and they must make fresh ones about Guinea, giving satisfaction to the English merchants and regulating trade in the Indies.
The Secretary Benet, backed by parliament and the people, was doing his utmost to prevent the Duke of York from risking his life at sea again, because he is the heir presumptive, but Benet was doubtful if he would prevail with the duke. The British fleet is about to sail.
Sig. Van Bouninghen has frequent consultations with the royal ministers at St. Germain. He was called again to the royal Council and was expressly summoned to the last council of war. His close relations with M. di Turena are noted, whose interests are divided, since he has one nephew serving in England (fn. 6) and another in Holland. As Turena shows a propensity towards the latter some say that France must ultimately declare herself for her latest allies. It is further stated that the two ambassadors are returning from London, with the excuse of the plague, only Court in remaining, but of this I have not the slightest confirmation.
Paris, the 17th July, 1665.
[Italian.]
Enclosure.221. From Tumbrige, the 9th July, 1665.
This week the Count of Molina, ordinary ambassador of his Catholic Majesty made his public entry into London with great splendour and magnificence. (fn. 7) He was conducted in his Majesty's coaches and accompanied by more than sixty others from the Tower of London as far as his house at Chelsea. Three days later he had the usual public audience in the great Banqueting Hall at which he set forth the very great desire of his king to enter into a closer and more settled friendship and correspondence with this nation. To this his Majesty made a very friendly and gracious reply which indicates some hope of a similar arrangement and consequently of a better understanding between these two crowns.
From the announcement made by his Majesty it was thought that parliament would be prorogued until next winter, but for political reasons that have made a change in this so that it will continue only until the 11th August next.
The queen mother left London last Tuesday, accompanied by the Duke of York, who proposed to accompany her as far as Dover. They say that this princess has promised the king, her son, to return to England within four or at most six months and that she has hastened her journey with the sole object of interesting herself at the Court of France in the adjustment between the two nations, since it is known that her Majesty previously interposed her good offices to prevent a rupture.
The plague is spreading in London, 168 having died this week and nineteen parishes being affected. They say that it is beginning to spread into the country and especially in the neighbourhood of the metropolis. The king has already withdrawn to Hampton Court, and nothing prevents his Majesty from proceeding as far as Salisbury, except his interest of being nearer to the parliament.
The last letters from Holland state that notwithstanding their late losses, which they admit to be twenty-four ships, 6000 men, and the death of their chief commanders, the States General have caused a second fleet to sail of twenty ships under the command of Banquer. With respect to his plans we have rather conjectures than certainty, but the general opinion is that he aims at a junction with the other fleet of Ruiter or else to meet and convoy the rich fleet which is expected from the East Indies. In the mean time they write that every effort is being made so that they may put in an appearance at sea at the earliest moment with the remainder of their fleet. This will consist in all of ninety ships, but it is believed that they will have great difficulty in finding men, seeing that the sailors have lost heart and the soldiers no less. Thus desertions occur daily and their device of compelling them by force to serve in the fleet may increase discontent and cause seditions as well as filling their ships. Moreover the example of having put Evertz and other officers on their trial will not help them, even though they were subsequently pronounced innocent, as in their state it would have been a wiser policy to have rewarded or at least to have had pity on them. Prince Rupert has returned to the fleet which continues all the time off the coast of Yarmouth, in excellent condition and they are making extraordinary efforts to repair the ships which suffered in the late action; so it is hoped that the fleet will be ready to make sail immediately and with the addition of thirty new ships, which, please God, will be capable of engaging any naval force soever.
I ask your Excellency to excuse the lack of the sheet from time to time, because having withdrawn from London on account of the plague I have not the convenience for sending it every week.
[Italian, from the French.]
Enclosure.222. From the Hague, the 9th July, 1665.
It has long been believed that France would have done much better to have prevented the war from the first rather than to exert herself to make peace now that feelings are so embittered on both sides that she is unable to do as she wishes, either here or in England. There is no doubt whatever but that the Ambassador d'Estrades will make known to the Court the true state of affairs of this republic; but there are things which foreigners cannot know, but which are nevertheless of great importance. The king may do as he pleases, but it is certain that after a second battle it will no longer be in his power to give such a turn to affairs as he would wish, because whether the issue is fortunate or unfortunate we shall finally come to terms with the English without the mediation of France. Those who might have provided a remedy have had no lack of warning, but since they have not done so things must be allowed to go as they can, and I console myself with having done my duty.
Those who hope to profit by these disorders by the establishment of their trade deceive themselves greatly because the English will never suffer France to make herself powerful at sea. I do not know if one may believe that here they will allow the negotiations in London to continue two or three months longer, but you may rest assured that the second battle will be decisive and that twenty-four hours after it this State will come to a decision that France will not be able to change any more. The Ambassador d'Estrade has instructions to tell all the foreign ministers here that the intention of the king, his master, is to unite himself with this State, and so their masters will be well advised to take their measures in accordance; but this is by no means satisfactory since what is asked is the execution of the treaty and a formal and effective declaration. If in France they have considerations which hamper them it is also reasonable to suppose that here also they have their own which obliges them to take the measures which they consider opportune.
Here they can only say that the king who in the past acted with such vigour against the Pope and the King of Spain, at present remains practically insensible to the outrage done to his ambassador in London and dissimulates the affronts which are constantly being done to him by the capture of so many French merchantmen and the confiscation of their goods.
The king advises this State not to let its fleet go out; but this cannot be postponed. On the contrary the deputies who are at Texel have asked the States General if they would consider it desirable for another fifty ships to go out in addition to the twenty-five which are already at sea, and if this is not done it is because they wish to wait for the arrival of Ruiter to whom the general command of the naval forces will be deferred. They have no news of him as yet, nor of Banquert either, who commands the twenty-five ships. It has been proposed to appoint deputies of the States to go with the fleet, one in each squadron; but they would not agree to this or to leave the choice of captains to the commanders.
They should not be surprised in France at what the Kings of Sweden and Denmark are doing, since they follow the example of France and believe that the treaties no longer serve for anything, since France has no regard for what she has done with this State, which was solemnly sworn and ratified.
It is believed that the captains accused of failing in their duty have been or will be condemned to-day, after which they will proceed to the appointment of some others and they will also appoint the chiefs. Friesland has already announced a Lieutenant Admiral (fn. 8) who has at least as much merit as the one who was killed. The Admiralty of Rotterdam has asked for ninety pieces of bronze ordnance for the ship which is being built for the admiral and which will sail when it has its guns on board. These will consist of eight thirty-six pounders, twenty-two twenty-four pounders and eighteen eighteen pounders, and the rest of less calibre.
[Italian.]
July 18.
Senato,
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Firenze.
Venetian
Archives.
223. Francesco Bianchi, Venetian Resident at Florence, to the Doge and Senate.
I cultivate the most friendly relations with the English resident. He favours me with complete frankness and as he is new at this Court and in the conduct of affairs I may claim, without vanity, to call myself practically his director by my advice, of every step he takes.
The Grand Duke has letters that the Dutch mean to put to sea and to try their fortune again, being persuaded of the necessity of preserving the two fleets which they are expecting from Smyrna and from India and of not losing their share in the benefit of the herring fishery of which this is the season. His Highness suffers the greatest injury at Leghorn from this war, and in order that it may not become greater he would like to see a safe peace brought about or that neither of the parties shall be totally defeated.
Florence, the 18th July, 1665.
[Italian.]
July 24.
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Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
224. Alvise Sagredo, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
We know that the royal fleet was only waiting for a favourable wind to come out, being quite ready and reinforced with a greater number of ships and soldiers. His Majesty's order was that the Earl of Saint Duick should command in chief, but no one has yet been substituted to the post of Lieutenant-Admiral Laudson, who died from the wound in the knee. King Charles has appointed three equal subordinate commanders (fn. 9) so that the fleet, either separate or united, may be able to follow the traces of the enemy. The permanence on shore of the Duke of York and of Prince Rupert supplied an argument for the hope that there were secret negotiations for peace but the subsequent news that General Monck was to put to sea as the grand admiral makes one waver in this belief or in the success of the negotiations themselves; and although the plague, which brings low as many as 470 persons a week in London is feared by the English, so they say, more than any rupture with any prince whatsoever, whether neighbouring or remote, and should naturally persuade that the natural ardour in that generous nation should be moderated to avoid the chance of perishing by arms as well, yet the knowledge which they have of the decision of the Dutch in exposing themselves to another engagement, three captains suspected and contumacious for not having fought having been sacrificed upon the altar of a severe justice and other officials ignominiously punished, it may well be imagined that after so exemplary a punishment the Provinces will never be prepared to offer themselves as a willing victim to the dominion of the English.
On the other side in England they say clearly that they are sure to beat the Dutch again. That God Almighty disposes of all, but they assure themselves that if matters fall out otherwise the war will not end either so soon or on those terms which they might at present receive. Because if the States General have been wrong in two judgments made up to now, they will be much more so in the third, whatever may happen, since it is known that no one believed that King Charles would receive from parliament assistance in money proportionate to the need, the event showed that when a tax was proposed upon conditions to the two chambers, it was voted unanimously, indeed they presented his Majesty with double what was asked. So also from the exceeding number of their ships, their quality and construction the Dutch imagined that they had a certain victory, but the result turned out entirely contrary.
The enclosed sheets set forth other particulars which I omit to avoid being tedious to the Senate.
I will only say that the ambassadors of the Most Christian having repeated their request namely that the two more indisposed should return home, in view of the slaughter wrought by the plague, and that Signor Courtin might alone discharge all the duties of the office, the king thought fit not to remove them yet for two months. Accordingly a great part of their equipage has been dispersed and dismissed, principally to enable them to follow the Court with less danger, by limiting communication.
King Charles has left for Salisbury and the last thing which he gave to the mediators was that the Dutch offered much more before the Most Christian interposed; so from this they could imagine how much value they attached to the mediation of so great a prince.
For the rest the Duke of Beaufort certainly will not pass into the Ocean since it is known that the Marquis di Humieres, the principal French chancellor, who came to London with the ambassadors, took the post immediately to meet the Duke of York, as a prince with whom he claimed to have the most intimate relations, while his Highness was living at Paris. And Humieres declared that the favours shown to the Duke of Vernueil by King Charles tempted another kinsman and servant of the royal house, namely the Duke of Beaufort, to render his particular respects to his royal Highness, making a journey to the royal fleet on purpose to fulfil this duty. The duke answered that he would receive his cousin Beaufort with every sign of esteem and all that was proper to his regard and cordiality. The marquis then said that he would come with the ships of the Most Christian, certain to receive the honours expected since he represented the crown of France which was so deeply interested in the advantage of that of England. On hearing this the duke replied that as his friend he would have treated him with the utmost distinction and esteem, but if he came into the Ocean with the royal embassy ho told him frankly that his intention was to receive him as a friend and not otherwise, that is to say he warned him to be the first to lower his flag. The marquis immediately rejoined that Beaufort came as a foreigner as a relation and he could not call to mind any treatment or any favour that he had received in like sort from his Highness. The duke answered that he knew and wished to use ceremonies and courtesies with everybody, without doubt, and especially with Beaufort, when it was proper to do so but added that in the Ocean every prince, and Beaufort likewise would have to recognise the British flag as pre-eminent. Then, rejoined Humieres, the English fleet in the Mediterranean should respond with the same demonstrations towards the Most Christian flag. The duke answered briefly with these words: Here I know that I mean to exact what is due to me, and I promise not to pay elsewhere what I am not bound to pay.
Paris, the 24th July, 1665.
[Italian.]
Enclosure.225. From the Hague, the 16th July, 1665.
The orders given by the Most Christian to parliament to register the treaty made by his Majesty with this State may arouse the belief that it is his intention to declare himself against the English, and Sig. Van Bouningen writes by the same ordinary that the French ministers are daily giving him fresh assurances and beg him to have patience for a week or two because they hope that in that time the King of England will propose conditions upon which a sound and reasonable peace can be made.
It is well known that even if his Majesty had no treaty with these States his interests would oblige him to oppose himself to the greatness of England which means the total and inevitable ruin of the plan of Mons. Colbert for the establishment of commerce and of what the king might have by the conquest of the Low Countries. Yet in spite of all this it is difficult to believe that his Majesty means to declare himself before their lordships here have explained themselves about those Countries. It is possible that they would have done so at the very first if France had taken their side, and there is nothing that she would not have obtained, but now feelings have become so much estranged that there is no room to hope for anything unless France takes positive action for them and does not remove the mistrust which has been growing for some time past.
It is a well ascertained fact that the king cannot suffer this State to perish or allow England to profit by its ruin, but I do not know whether when France wishes to prevent these contingencies it will be in her power to do it. A second battle will so dispose matters that France will no longer have any share, and there is no likelihood that the queen mother of England will make proposals in France in view of the scant credit which she enjoys in the Court of the king, her son, and the unsatisfactory relations between her and the chancellor; but it is quite certain that proposals are being made here and that Douning goes about saying everywhere that it is necessary for the two nations to come to an agreement to the exclusion of France. Last Saturday he presented a memorial to ask for a conference for the exchange of prisoners. This was granted and from that they may proceed to other overtures.
Beyond question it is desirable that the adjustment should be made with the mediation of France and not by other means; and that is the opinion of the best intentioned; but men wonder if the mediators of France can be acceptable to England in view of the great aversion that the English have displayed for the whole nation. For this reason it is believed that she is obliged to do something more than the mediation, and the mediators conduct themselves in such a manner that people here are not afraid to say that they will have nothing to do with their interposition. With respect to other mediators there are many who offer themselves and who will exert themselves with better success than those of France, if she does not look to it in good time.
Here they believe that the Duke of York will go to sea again and the death of the Archduke of Insbruch is absolutely certain; which will make them hasten with the marriage of the Infanta and it may possibly cause some change. (fn. 10)
Banquert who has been at sea fifteen days with twenty ships re-entered the Texel on the 8th instant because he did not know what to do, not having met a single Englishman at sea. They say this week there will be some sixty which may be somewhat diverted, as the fleet of this State is preparing to come out, and it is not believed that the English will meet Ruiter and still less the ships of the Indies and Smyrna, as the galeots which were sent to the North warned many of them, to the number of more than twenty, which were coming from Portugal and the Caribele; and we have word that Ruiter, on the 4th June, was near Newfoundland, where he destroyed the fishing of the English.
The day before yesterday three captains were put to death by shooting (fn. 11) and three others had their swords broken by the executioner and were declared infamous; another was broken with infamy and the master (capomaestro) of Courtinaert was present at the executions with a rope round his neck. Mons. di Wit has been here since yesterday, but he will return to Texel in a few days in order to cause the fleet to sail. This consists of ninety ships without those which are in Zeeland and the Meuse. In the course of this week or at the beginning of next the admiral will be appointed.
The States of Zeeland have given the character of Lieutenant Admiral of their Province to Cornelis Evertzen, brother of John, and those of Vice and Rear-Admiral to Banquert and Cornelis Evertzen, the young son of John. Those of Friesland have also nominated one, so that they will have good leaders provided they have one capable of commanding all the rest, such as Ruiter. They have caused the troops to leave who are to serve in the ships, which makes men believe that very soon they will put to sea. [Italian.]
July 28.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
226. Alvise Sagredo, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
The assembling of parliament is ordained for to-morrow and on Saturday they will decide about everything. God grant that these two days may not be critical, that is to say, devoted to more profound aims, because the English fleet is now before Texel. Others are leaving Haruich to cruise about the sea as the first are abundantly sufficient to prevent the Dutch from coming out and to prevent the junction of the other bodies of their fleet. King Charles has caused a certain amount of ready money to be embarked at Neuport to assist the Bishop of Munster, but it touches the quick that the ships of France, hitherto released in part, have had to submit to a certain payment as it were out of gratitude; and by yesterday's letters it is said that three rich French ships which were coming from the Indies have been stopped, so a courier has been sent to London and the issue is breathlessly awaited.
On the other hand Van Bouninghen goes about declaring that the Most Christian has promised succour against the Bishop of Munster and is trying to impress on the ministers that the object of the English to re-establish the Prince of Orange in Holland is precisely in order to plant a declared enemy of France on this side of the sea.
Paris, the 28th July, 1665.
[Italian.]
July 29.
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Venetian
Archives.
227. Marin Zorzi, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.
The Count Molina being now established at his embassy with King Charles they are devoting their energies to contriving to introduce his mediation in the affair of Holland. He suggests proposals privately and treats in a secret if not in an open manner and he would like to have the glory and credit at this outset of his mission. He is exceedingly acceptable to the king, receives extraordinary favours and courteous demonstrations. He places his confidence in these and it seems that he does not despair of his efforts. It is thought here that he is greatly deceived by appearances to which the real fundamentals of the matter do not correspond. However they are glad that the attempt is made and only desire that he shall act and arrange matters without any noticeable pledge. The Dutch ambassador here urges the ministers to give the Count determined instructions; for their part they profess themselves ready to embrace the interposition and to abide by it in perfect good faith, as those Provinces always profess themselves hesitating and suspicious about the mediation of France.
Madrid, the 29th July, 1665.
[Italian.]
July 31.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
228. Alvise Sagredo, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
The movements of England have to-day become the principal phenomenon of the affairs of Europe. Those who believed that the English when armed will easily yield or grow tired are doubly deceived, as experience now shows the advantages which the British crown derives therefrom, not merely in esteem and reputation but in consolidation and its own greatness. If the Duke of York risked much, not to say everything in that first engagement, it is recognised to-day that fortune has changed and the Dutch expose themselves greatly if they should lose a second battle. And although their prudence, their firmness in resisting and standing fast are to be commended, yet in the judgment of some it would not be contemptible for them to seek and consent to peace now that King Charles finds them and believes them vigorous in their forces and in their spirit, instead of choosing, after another disaster, to wait for terms which would be too unequal and to abide the dictation of England, since it is admitted that if the Provinces conquer, the English will relax none of their pretensions but will want to postpone the decision to the next campaign, which means the stopping of trade at sea for the Dutch in the mean time. These are the principal considerations.
As for the accessories in favour of Holland none other is considered except that the Most Christian, if he chooses to do it, shall declare himself in earnest. And this either will not happen or if it does it will involve even greater objections and more perilous disadvantages than the above method of settling at once in good earnest. Spain will never of her own accord abandon the good understanding which she has with England, for knowing that that warlike nation cannot live at ease, she has to see to it and to desire that the fire should be kindled by preference in the house of others. Sweden and Denmark depend to-day on England owing to the compacts and articles concluded, and they certainly would not venture to thwart such a power at sea. The Hanse Towns, because freedom of navigation can be denied to them by the English alone, are fearful if they do not identify themselves with the wishes and interests of that crown. The Bishop of Munster assures the English that the Duke of Neubourg (who did so much for France and was afterwards abandoned at the election to Poland to which he aspired) and the elector of Cologne will be at the devotion of the British crown provided they are assisted in recovering what has been usurped from them by the Dutch. Cologne complains principally, as prince of Liege, about Mastricht and Rimbergh, occupied by the States. Neubourg complains of much more, but more especially about Ravenstheim and its dependencies. Munster about the fort of Eydeler, recently taken from him by brute force, about his claims upon Borcho and many other pretensions. The ill-feeling of the Protestants against the Most Christian about Erdford (fn. 12) is known, the estrangement of the sentiments of Germany from the French name (il dissentimento de' voti della Germania al nome Francese), for not continuing the generous pensions introduced by the king and the preceding ministers. Thus although the Most Christian has immediately sent a gentleman (fn. 13) with orders to go first to Munster and afterwards to the other princes, to announce to them that if they make any trouble against the Dutch, his allies, he will put himself at the head of an army of 40,000 men, with the determination to assist them, it is not known what grounds there are for counting upon this.
I wrote that General Monckra man of such consideration and so dear to King Charles, was going on board the fleet, contrary to the opinion of those who know his esteem and credit. I was not entirely wrong because he is destined for a landing in the higher country of Friesland with 5000 English, to unite with the troops of Munster. From this your Serenity may judge if we were presumptuous to believe that little will suffice to placate so brave a nation, to moderate the political ardour of the one who directs the government, since they cannot transport their arms, to foreign countries without exposing the interior of the kingdom to fresh commotions. Thus if at London they have arrested the secretary of the embassy, that is of the Ambassador Vangoch; at the Hague, they have countered in the same way by stopping the secretary who is now with Duningh, and who was formerly secretary of the late princess royal, sequestrating and seizing all his papers. (fn. 14) All this is very well and may be called on a par but it is hard to say whether the determined pertinacity of the first will be able to make head against the too obstinate caution of the second.
Here they are afraid that England, Spain, Portugal and other Protestant princes of Germany may proceed in agreement and it is noticed that the Most Christian for some days past has been very thoughtful, not to say sad.
It is openly announced that if they attempt here to scatter money in Scotland, as was done under the ministry of Richelieu, with such a terrible example, to gather the fruit of new risings, they will make a great mistake for their own ends, as a war of diversion will immediately be made towards Guienne where it is known that the people of all ranks live in discontent, so that suspicions and protests are mingled indifferently, as if the English revived in our age the device of the ancient Romans: aut pro nobis aut contra nos.
It is said that Beaufort will unite with Meuven, the Dutch commander at the Strait and with Ruiter, who is expected, and that with this strength by the junction of over fifty ships, with brave leaders, they will force the English admiral to lower his flag first; but this also cannot succeed because the two kings are most ponderous (pesantissime) and have the best understanding with each other. The nobles honour each other reciprocally and greet one another with acts and professions of mutual esteem, and if there were some rash man among the people who would like to turn the universe upside down, he will never have credit or a vote. In this connection I may say what I fancy I have already remarked to your Serenity that King Charles by the offer to punish severely all those found to have been concerned in the offence done to the royal ambassadors on the day of the rejoicings over the victory, has adequately supplied the reparation due or desired by the Most Christian. (fn. 15)
There were 722 deaths in London last week. Parlement here has forbidden communication with England. Something more about such grave affairs will be learned from the usual sheet from the Hague, attached. For London I am in default because of the suspicion of the plague, as I have intimated.
I will add finally that on Friday I was admitted to audience of the queen mother at her usual retreat at Golomb. I told her that I had gone to congratulate her on her safe arrival in this country and to pray God to give her perfect health and every imaginable greatness and prosperity. She received this office with gracious kindness. I then added that while the glorious success of the British arms filled with joy every prince who was friendly to that crown I took greater consolation that the well deserved merits of her Majesty might do much on this side of the water since peace in Christendom in order to turn its arms against the common enemy would be the true and sacred trophy which would immortalise all the deeds of so great a monarch and of the most invincible captain, such as were the king and the Duke of York, her royal sons. The queen said, I assure you I have always tried for peace and I am certain that my son will not be found wanting in anything that may favour the republic. At these gracious words I bowed and thanked her cordially for her sublime sentiments whose aim was the true glory of God, and so took leave.
Paris, the 31st July, 1665.
[Italian.]
Enclosure.229. From the Hague, the 23rd July, 1665.
Here it has always been thought that the king would at length tire of putting up with the insolence of the English and that he would manifest to all the world what he can and means to do for his allies. And truly it is time, because the King of England is beginning to set in motion his plans on the land side by the treaty which he has made with the Bishop of Minister, who, on his side, has made himself safe with the elector of Cologne and the Duke of Neobourg, with the intention, according to all appearance to assist the English to make a landing with a powerful diversion from the side of Transisolania or Overyssel. This may be judged by the preparations which the bishop is making of bridges, barques, pontoons, artificial fires and the like. He has about 4000 to 5000 men on foot and is levying 8000 to 10,000 more and causes his peasants to be exercised every day. The English, from all accounts, are to land 5000 men so that in this way they would form an army corps of over 20,000 men.
The Ambassador d'Estrades presented a memorial yesterday in which he says that the king, his master, has sent one of the ordinary gentlemen of his household to the bishop and to two other princes, advising them not to disturb the peace of the empire by a new war, and that if they attack these States they will find his army in the way to prevent them; and that his Majesty has demanded a passage for his troops of the Spanish ambassador and that they give them a rendezvous near Arras. From this side they are sending troops into Overyssel to form a flying camp there, and it is believed that they will constrain the bishop to explain himself and to dismiss his troops, otherwise a big fire will be made in Westphalia. Here they have decided to increase the French companies by twenty-five men each, to make the cavalry ones of seventy-five horsemen and to take from the Duke of Luneburg or elsewhere a body of 5000 men, horse and foot, under this motto: Tu non cede malis; sed contra audentior ito. They also talk of making a Camp Marshal, a general of artillery and a sergeant of battle. It is known for certain that the Bishop of Munster has already received 400,000 crowns, which is money from England, from which at least one advantage is derived that this war effects an extraordinary unity of spirit.
Last Saturday the lords States received letters from Cornelis Evertzen who commands the fleet in the absence of Tromp, who writes that a galeot which has just arrived reports that 64 English ships had been sighted at sea towards Flie. This was implicitly believed so that at that same instant they ordered Tromp, who had then arrived in this city, to return to the fleet towards Texel. But the letters from London of the 17th instant do not say that the English fleet is at sea, and as a matter of fact it has not been seen.
The same letters say that the King of England has caused the secretary of embassy of these States to be imprisoned although he had special letters of credence for his person and he has always been recognised in that capacity. Accordingly yesterday the States intimated to Mons. Douning that he should consider he was a minister still and that he ought to expect the same treatment if he does not cause the secretary to be set at liberty, and they will make this a pretext for causing the Ambassador Vangot to return here and to make Douveningh withdraw or actually arrest him if the secretary of embassy is not set at liberty.
By way of England we hear that Ruiter is in Norway; but this is not absolutely certain although it is definitely known that he cannot be very far off. They also say that orders have been sent to him to come by land and to bring with him four or five of his best captains. Some believe that he has orders to go to Cadiz where they might form a body of fifty or sixty ships if those of the Duke of Bofort would unite with him, and in that case they might pass through the Channel in despite of the English, while here they would still have a fleet of more than 300 ships at sea, though it is not thought that they will put out until the arrival of Ruiter. The States of Holland have proposed to send deputies of the body of this State and to have them accompanied by some military officer to serve them as a council, but it is not thought that the other Provinces will consent to it, both because there is no great hurry to go there, and also because it is believed to be useless, as the sailors make a difficulty about suffering the command of those who are not of their profession.
In France it must be known beyond a doubt that the Spaniards are offering great advantages to England and that there is every appearance of treaties between them. This will be the more inevitable if the Spaniards and Portuguese come to terms after the defeat of Caracena. Yesterday they arrested M. Udart, formerly secretary of the Princess Royal of Orange and who is at present in the service of the King of England. All his papers have been sealed, and the examination of them was begun to-day, as it is known that he was playing the spy here.
[Italian.]

Footnotes

1 A medal by Thomas Rawlins with the king's head and on the reverse an English ship in full sail, flying a flag with the legend nos penes imperium. Hawkins: Medallic Illustrations of the History of Great Britain and Ireland, Vol. i., page 506. The reference here indicates that it was issued some time before the battle of Lowestoft.
2 Richard Boyle, second son of the Earl of Burlington and Cork, who had been member for Cork.
3 The hero of this exploit was Capt. Jeremy Smith, in the Mary. The Zeelander sunk was the Orange, Capt. Sebastian Senten. Pepys: Diary, Vol. iv., pp. 431, 444. Aitzema: Saken van Staet en Oorlogh, Vol. v., page 444.
4 Ruyter's attack on Barbadoes is reported in the Intelligencer of 19th June and the Newes of 22nd June as having occurred on the 20th of April.
5 M. de Courtebonne. In a letter to Lionne of 22nd June, Holles calls the ship “un petit vaisseau d'avis,” sent by the Duke of York to take a packet to Calais. S.P. France, Vol. cxx.
6 Louis de Duras, marquis de Blanquefort. On 24th June he received a commission as captain in the Duke of York's guards. Cal. S.P. Dom. 1664–5, page 445.
7 On 21st June, o.s. Rugge's Diary, Brit. Mus. Add. MSS. 10117 f. 141d.
8 Tierk Hiddes. Le Clerc; Hist. des Provinces Unies, Vol. iii., page 82.
9 Sandwich was Admiral; Sir William Penn Vice Admiral and Sir Thomas Allen, Rear Admiral. Pepys: Diary, Vol. v., page 4.
10 Sigismund Francis, archduke of Austria who died on 25th June. The Infanta Margareta Theresa, daughter of Philip IV, was not married to the Emperor Leopold until December, 1666.
11 Jan Pieterszoon Onklaer, Anthony Evertsen de Marre and Jacob Bruyningh, sentenced on 13th June. Aitzema: Saken van Staet en Oorlogh, Vol. v., pp. 460–2.
12 The reduction of Erfurt for the Archbishop of Mainz.
13 Mons. Lessein, nephew to M. de Lionne. He started on the 9th or 10th August. Holles to Arlington, on 29th July, o.s. S.P. France, Vol. cxxi.
14 The Secretary Cunaeus was arrested at Colchester in July and later sent to the Tower. Aitzema: Saken van Staet en Oorlogh, Vol. v., pp. 386, 392. Cal. S.P. Dom. 1664–5, page 486. Nicholas Oudart, who was claimed by Downing as his secretary, was arrested on 13th July. The Newes of 20th July.
15 The matter is referred to in a letter of the three ambassadors to Lionne of 22nd June. Comenge and Courtin complain that they each received an insult on the night, because they did not take part in the rejoicings. P.R.O. Paris Transcripts. See page 148 above.


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