Venice
August 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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172-186

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'Venice: August 1665', Calendar of State Papers Relating to English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 34: 1664-1666 (1933), pp. 172-186. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=90168 Date accessed: 01 October 2014.


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August 1665

Aug. 5.
Secreta.
Senato,
Dispacci,
Spagna.
Venetian
Archives.
230. Marin Zorzi, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.
Without having encountered any danger the convoy of Holland is now at Cadiz. The squadron of war has always been with it; we shall now see if this will proceed to other parts or if it will remain here cruising about to make prizes. Some contend that it will not be leaving but it will put compulsion upon the English, who by recalling a certain number of ships cripple the fleet so that it is left less powerful. The admiral has written to the ambassador of the States here asking for instructions but he remains irresolute, possibly waiting to learn from the States their wishes upon the same question.
Madrid, the 5th August, 1665.
[Italian.]
Aug. 7.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
231. Alvise Sagredo, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
The successes and plans of the English are deeply pondered at this Court. It is firmly believed that the sum of money furnished by King Charles to the Bishop of Munster to oblige Cologne and Neobourg to join with him against the Dutch, amounts to 400,000 crowns in bars and coined silver money. On the other side this also is certain that having remitted a great amount both in cash and credit through Flanders, Amsterdam and Antwerp the Most Christian proposes to balance the sum of affairs in the North by negotiation, supporting it all with the power of gold. M. di Lessein was sent at once to Munster to dissuade that prince from any attempt against the United Provinces, pointing out to him firstly the obligation of alliance of this crown with the States and then all the other consequences. They have written with all haste to M. di Tralon to proceed to Stockolm, and in conformity to try to keep Sweden back from any arrangement with the English, proposing to him, for a union with Holland, the fulfilment of what was arranged with the ambassador Count Tot, that is to say the prompt payment of the money already promised. At the same time M. di Liona has tried to induce the secretary of embassy here, whom I have mentioned to your Serenity as having preceded the Count of Chinigsmack, chosen for Paris, to facilitate the negotiations of the Chevalier Tralon. But I know that this same secretary has declared to a friend of his, in strict confidence, that all the offices of France, although efficacious and supported at the moment by that amount which she was already bound to give, and the invitation given to him to propose new and more advantageous conditions than those arranged, will certainly not move the present government of Sweden to abandon the friendship of England, since they know full well that the Dutch however friendly they may be to their crown, will prevent them from making any conquests in the Baltic. And they see that France only keeps her word when pure necessity requires it and because perhaps they are cogitating the way to free Erdford from subjection to Mayence to render themselves strong in Germany with the credit acquired with the Protestants and the free cities. So he concluded that Tralon will get nothing there.
It is true that the three French ships from the Indies were released before the arrival of the courier from the Most Christian sent to London to remonstrate, as I reported, and the release of these vessels might be seen printed in the popular gazettes before the news was divulged here. But many other vessels of the merchants here still remain awaiting the decision of the Admiralty Court there, and with the English continuing in permanence before Texel in the form of a siege, although they write from Holland that they had gone away, and are cruising about the sea besides with a powerful royal fleet, under Sir [George] Ascue, Van Bouninghen insists at the Court that if the king does not make up his mind to declare himself, in fulfilment of his pledged word, their enemies will take advantage, as it is now clear that they have the audacity to intend to dominate the universe, so that it will no longer be possible to resist them. To this it was answered that there was money ready in their fortresses, divided among traders who were subjects of the Provinces and they might say seven ships as well, as well as troops whenever asked for, and the contract being to provide succour in cash to the amount of 400,000 crowns a year, the Provinces, at 100,000 francs a month might henceforth begin to enjoy the assistance afforded. Van Bouninghen protested that they wanted a royal declaration and the money proportionately, as a clandestine payment of a sum so exiguous would even make the arrangement worse for them and they would prefer to be deserted altogether. They told him that he must wait for the first news from Sweden, holding out hopes to him that by drawing the Swedes over to their side they will have all they want. Van Bouninghen rejoined that his commissions did not allow him to stay on in France beyond the middle of August and so without any foundation and without hope he continues his progress in this business which is so intricate in every way.
Paris, the 7th August, 1665.
[Italian.]
Aug. 12.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Spagna.
Venetian
Archives.
232. Marin Zorzi, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.
From Brussels we learn that the English fleet is at sea again, triumphant, mighty and very formidable although deprived of the distinction of the presence of the Duke of York; yet under the leadership of famous commanders it lacks nothing in respect of good direction. The Dutch fleet is being got ready in haste, although with difficulty. The spirits of the people there are high but means and provisions are not easy. Another battle will decide the issue, and it does not seem that there is any disposition towards an accommodation until a better trial has been made of fortune and force. The Dutch ambassador here declares that their ships will not lack power or courageous commanders, having been furnished with great energy and he hoped they would be directed with admirable courage and as he attributes the late disaster to certain unfortunate accidents so now he feels confident that the issue will be glorious and happy. Here they support the bold resolution but consider it perilous, as battles are of doubtful issue and by hazarding the fleet they expose themselves to trouble from the event and to ruinous consequences.
The introduction of the Count of Molina to the embassy in London took place with great pomp and with conspicuous attentions. He expressed himself as entirely satisfied and writes to this effect. He omitted to invite the ambassadors, continuing the style which this crown intends to practise in every place in like circumstances, and which England also adopts for its own particular convenience. Ambrun makes a wry face about this although he does not complain of it openly.
Madrid, the 12th August, 1665.
[Italian.]
Aug. 14.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
233. Alvise Sagredo, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
To place before your Serenity's eyes the state of the present differences in the north and what is being said, and what according to some is likely to ensue, although the judgment may be quite wrong, I will record all that is happening and what is thought about future contingencies.
The proceedings of the English weigh deeply in the reflections of the Most Christian king, and if the plague which is working havoc in England does not spread to their fleet (1847 persons died of it in London last week) there is every appearance that any sort of event will conspire to increase the reputation of that separate monarchy, and of those arms which are always highly esteemed, since it is founded on extreme bravery and pertinacity. Even if the second engagement with the Dutch at sea did not prove equal to the first, the royal forces are certain to recover themselves, and in the mean time by jealousy alone to multiply the difficulties of the United Provinces. These are taking their measures with great vigour in case Ruiter does not come, who is awaited like the Messiah to give greater courage to the people, although these show a determination to make a resolute defence and stand firm. All the same it will be difficult for the direction of their new sortie to correspond to the truly wise and generous though unfortunate plan of the late Admiral Opdam, who went to meet the enemy and attack him in his own ports.
Further it is known that the Bishop of Munster has treated at Brussels in person according to the belief of every one here, or by a third hand as I am more inclined to think. It is contended that the money sent in bars secretly to Ostend and subsequently coined at Antwerp, is from the Spaniards, but passed through the hands of the English, who possibly may have an understanding to satisfy their debt in the guarantee of Flanders against the enterprises of France, so frequently threatened. Accordingly that prince, who has sent his own confessor to Vienna, raises and will continue to raise great troubles against the States themselves, and although they do not at present fear any siege they are nevertheless combated by various interests and by a diversity of passions, according to the intelligence and the arguments which we hear and which I will try to express better below.
With respect to the solidity of the great designs of King Charles, the generosity and incomparable leadership of the Duke of York and the valour of their national forces there is no room for any hesitation. Only the hand of God Almighty, as I have said before, by the visitation of the plague can change the issue of things. No other accident is sufficient to upset their resolutions, after the model of the ancient. Romans, of whom Hannibal confessed, after having won two signal victories over them that they could never distinguish when they were victorious or when they had lost and been beaten.
Holland, says King Charles, without free commerce cannot subsist. Every one knows that when the Spaniards fought the United Provinces the Dutch were always the stronger at sea, in every way. But then the position was different, as then they encountered the fleets in the Ocean and in the Indies, but now, in the short days of winter any one who wishes to come out of Texel with ships cannot avoid the passage of the Channel. So if at the moment they are beginning to suffer for something, since naturally they are short of everything, as is well known, to-morrow their warehouses will be much more depleted.
In the very heart of the Provinces are the Prince of Orange and his party, which may possibly be considered as the chief misfortune of that government. The people is certainly rich, but by nature so much the more subject to rioting, judging by results. They complain of the government and instead of applying some remedy it happens thatthe Provinces, hesitating among themselves, become divided. And this is the reason that the exemplary punishment of three captains for having behaved badly on that occasion while Evertzen, admiral of Zeeland is absolved, is imputed to favour and to his relations and not to justice and equity. In the appointment of general of the cavalry Holland put forward the Prince of Taranto and the other Provinces the Rheingrave of Maestricht, and the latter is accepted. He will serve under Prince Maurice of Nassau against the designs of Munster, who is now busy over the fortification of Huxter on the Weser, not far from Bremen, to make himself master of Westphalia.
After the Roman fashion, they now say, they are proposing here to send three members of the States General upon the fleet, and the admirals are to take orders from them in action and to carry them out. If the profession of arms was conducted as affairs are it would be well. The point is that the consuls presided and knew how to direct and command the forces. But here in a war that is mainly naval it is not known if the officials mean to be legates or if they intend to share with their hands and hearts in the heat of battle, men who have never been seen to handle a musket. Moreover it is lamented that M. de Wigt, whom it is proposed to put over the Admiral Tromp, who worked with such devotion for his country, will have to expose himself to a business so different from his vocation. It seems that although a native of Doorth he enjoys the full esteem and confidence of the rich Province of Holland, of which he is pensionary.
In short undique angustiae; but if the Dutch should make an accommodation at the present time, when they are reputed to be vigorous and full of heart and of strength it is believed that they continue to be esteemed for their prudence and valour and would not lose anything in the arrangements. Everyone sees that while the Duke of York at the beginning hazarded more than he should have done, the Provinces are now risking much more, beyond comparison than the English are doing, who wish in every way to enjoy the advantage gained and who will not relax their pretensions, which are constantly being increased. All is in God's hands but the appearances are such as I have described to your Serenity, with respect to the opinions, in which everyone speaks in the same way.
It is concluded that there is one thing only which might change for the better and beyond comparison the affairs of that republic, and that as I have said before is the safe arrival of Ruiter in Holland. It is said that after a cruise to Barbades, Virginia, Newfoundland and other colonies of the English, with twenty-seven prizes he left sixty sail, comprising among others the two rich fleets of India and Smyrna at Bergh in Norway. After he had made that port safer by landing some guns it is believed that with twelve brave captains of the twelve powerful ships which compose his fleet he has already travelled by land to his country where he is looked for as a saviour. It is known that a French ship coming from Canada warned the fleet of the Indies about the war with the English, otherwise it was coming straight into the toils.
Now to return to the matter of the Most Christian. His ambassadors at the British Court have grown tired, since it may be said that they cut no figure in the matter of the negotiation because none of the parties affords them an opportunity of exercising their admirable good will for the mediation of so great a boon, while under their very eyes they see the reception and confidential relations which are accorded to the Count of Molina, while the preparation of an embassy to the emperor is being talked about over there. All French and foreign ships are always subject to be searched and despatched to the Admiralty of London. With the increasing fear, owing to these incitements, of great commotions in Germany it is believed that the king here may not choose to declare himself against the Bishop of Munster, although he makesprotests to this effect by strong representations to avoid discredit for not fulfilling the alliance sworn with the Dutch against their more powerful enemies. Nevertheless they say that he has clandestinely undertaken that the old regiments of the crown shall be filled up, which means that in a brief space, without any beating up or the smallest commotion the royal troops here will be increased by 10,000 men. But as we are now approaching the winter and M. Colbert is labouring to put the king in a position to dispose of great sums when he is master of all the royal demesnes, it may easily happen that all such movements will be suspended.
Van Bouninghen complains about this, without effect, and although he had announced that he was leaving by the middle of August, he stays on in order not to increase the triumph of England.
Giacomo Stricher writes to me that he had achieved his intent, for which he made petition in the Senate. I thought it right to thank the Ambassador Borel for it ex abundanti, for when the ship Santa Maria is released at London also, as happened with the other, one is forced to believe that in England and in Holland the ministers suppose that the fulfilment of the request suffices for an answer. The office pleased the ambassador greatly and he offered to do whatever else he was able to favour the minister of your Serenity. He told me that he had not the smallest hope of an immediate peace. Once the English have drawn away from Texel 112 ships of war will immediately come out better furnished and defended than the first, and that everything must be decided by the cannon.
From another quarter I am assured that the Duke of York has set out towards Scotland to appease some disturbance of importance (fn. 1) ; that Prince Rupert has proceeded to Germany to command the troops of Munster; and that a part of the imperial troops destined for Flanders have stopped with that prelate. It is known that he has sent his own confessor to Vienna in the character of envoy, putting off his vestments and girding on the sword.
Attached are two sheets from the Hague, of this week and last, owing to some delay of the courier but really because of the plague. I doubt if I shall receive any more intelligences from the usual correspondent by way of London, where the destructiveness of the plague is so considerable that the majority of the artisans are flying, closing the shops. General Monck alone, setting up his barracks in the country, namely Haiparch, for his troops, with his usual steadfastness, will not abandon the custody of the metropolis.
For the rest one must needs suppose that the Duke of Beaufort must have had orders to pass the Strait because last week his secretary was sent to him from the Court who announced the royal commissions which he carried to cruise in the Mediterranean.
Paris, the 14th August, 1665.
[Italian.]
Enclosure.234. From the Hague, the 30th July, 1665.
Here the disposition of the Most Christian to declare himself for these States is known. His Majesty told M. Bouninghen and the Ambassador d'Estrades confirmed as much, that when they knew that the Bishop of Munster had arrived his Majesty had sent thither a gentleman to declare that if he attacked these Provinces he would find a royal army in front of him to prevent it and that he would have to do with France which was furnishing an army corps on the frontier, and that they had already asked the Marquis de la Fuentes for a way through.
The letters of Bouninghen of the 24th say that the king had promised to give him his final resolution within two days at latest, and the letters which the Ambassador d'Estrades state that this resolution will be as favourable to the States as they can possibly desire, so that within two days we hope that we shall have a courier who will tell us that his Majesty will have recalled his ambassadors at London and that he will break with England. This is awaited with impatience, because without it we do not care much about the succour that will be sent against the Bishop of Munster because the States are in a position to defend themselves against him and will very soon be in a position to attack him, having sent a person of quality who will seek to induce the Duke of Lunebourg to cause a strong corps of infantry and cavalry to pass to the service of these Provinces, and ten regiments of infantry and six of cavalry are being sent promptly towards that frontier under the command of Prince Maurice of Nassau. The Rheingrave will command the cavalry and Colonel Kilpatric, a Scot, will command in the capacity of sergeant of battle. Accordingly last week M. Bouninghen was directed to thank his Majesty for his good intentions and to insist upon the execution of the treaty with respect to the English.
It is not General Monck, called Duke of Albemarle, who commands the English fleet, but William Pen, until Montegu has arrived. About thirty of their ships are towards the north near Hiteland and the other thirty, of a total of sixty are scattered here and there, lying in wait for the ships from the East Indies, and also for Ruiter. But about this they are in no alarm because it is considered certain that he is in Norway, because at the time of the last capture made from the English it was only ten days since he was out of sight of Teneriffe in the Canaries. Many galeots have been sent out from our seas to warn the ships of the Indies which are more richly laden than any others which have ever arrived, being worth eleven millions of the money of this country.
Here they have resolved to send to sea seventy or eighty ships of war under the command of Tromp, who for this has been made Lieutenant Admiral of Rotterdam and in this capacity will command the fleet if Ruiter does not arrive and is not made Lieutenant Admiral General in place of the late Opdam, of which there is every appearance if he arrives opportunely, but they have no news of him, although there is no doubt at all that he is in Norway.
The fleet of this State will not go out for eight or ten days yet because M. du Vict will not leave here before Monday or Tuesday, and he must be present. He has obtained the approval of the States of Holland and consequently that of the States General to go in person to have the direction of the whole enterprise. He has asked that they shall give him to accompany him two other deputies, one of Gelderland and the other of Zeeland, two colonels and two lieutenant colonels of those who have most experience and eight persons of merit who have previously held commands at sea, to serve him as a council.
M. Oudart, councillor of the Prince of Orange, who was arrested on the 22nd inst. and taken to the castle ward was conducted on Saturday evening to the ordinary prison. On the morning of the same day they arrested an English merchant who lives at Amsterdam, convicted of corresponding with the Court of England. (fn. 2) Among his papers were found some which accuse Oudart, for which he has been seized. It is said that this merchant is speaking out and accuses a number of persons whom it was not possible and whom they could not venture to suspect, and it is feared that he accuses so many and of such high rank that perhaps they will not dare to publish it. After this it is possible that the Resident Douningh will not be so impudent as in the past. He had the effrontery to claim Oudart and say that he is his servant.
[Italian.]
Enclosure.235. From the Hague, the 6th August, 1665.
Here they are astonished that while the gentleman sent by the king to the princes of the Rhine and the Bishop of Munster about his armament, is said to have returned to the Court, yet it is not known by the ministers here what he has brought back about the intentions of the bishop, and M. Bouninghen also writes nothing, which makes it probable that he has not returned. The Elector of Cologne will not have anything to do with it and the Duke of Neobourg will not permit the bishop to make levies in their States. Here they care little about it and they do not need the assistance of France against him. There are many persons of rank who offer themselves and the Count of Valdech promises to levy up to 6000 men if they want them here. Prince Maurice of Nassau, who arrived in this city the day before yesterday, told the States that the elector will let them have 20,000 men if they wish it. Accordingly the king will not give them pleasure by causing an army to march to the frontier if at the same time his Majesty does not declare against England, and if he does not do so in the event of the English refusing the restitution of three ships which they have taken, it is useless for the States to expect it, because the English would not venture to refuse the said restitution.
Ruiter will not unite with the Duke of Bofort and Meuen has no orders to make the junction; but without this France cannot render herself formidable to England and ruin her; because although the pride of the English is very great they would lower their lance when they saw France, Sweden and this State declared against them, even if they did not cause some inducements in gold to circulate in Scotland and Ireland, where they could give them serious occupation; but there is no time to lose because after a second engagement they will come to terms here with England, no matter what the price.
Douveningh insists strongly upon this and would like them to make an accommodation before the circumstance of a second battle changes the face of affairs. He has had two conferences about this with two of the leading ministers of this State, after eight days, of two hours each time. It is quite certain that in the uncertainty of what France means to do there are many who think that we ought not to lose the opportunity to close with England provided it can be done without disadvantage, and the chancellor of England has spoken to our ambassador in these very terms and offered very reasonable conditions if we will treat without the mediation of France.
This would be done if those who govern did not consider it necessary to give some reputation to the arms of this State by a second engagement in which they promise themselves a very happy issue, and would then make an accommodation on equal terms. The fleet is in excellent condition and will be able to put to sea towards the end of next week as strong as it was before, if they consider it advisable. They have already sent forward sixty war ships to Texel under the command of Vice-Admiral Banquert, and in proportion as the other ships are ready they will have them sent to the same place where they can leave with any wind. Tromp will command the whole fleet, and to this effect he took the oath to the States last Sunday and on the following night left for Texel. M. de Wit who is to have the general direction with two other deputies of the States General left the night before in the direction of the sea, in order to issue all the necessary orders.
The report current that Ruiter had arrived in Norway is not confirmed, indeed the letters from London say that an express had reached the King of England with intelligence that he had been seen with his fleet near Hiteland. However this may be they have no definite news, or it is being kept very secret. It is believed that he has his rendezvous in Norway, like the ships of the East Indies, which with those which have come from Smyrna and elsewhere will make more than a hundred sail, which will bring to this country, if they arrive safely, more than forty millions in wealth.
A privateer has arrived at Texel bringing two English prizes. In the River Ems four others have arrived with eight prizes and in Norway there is one which has made four prizes, all richly laden, coming from Barbade. 4000 men have arrived in the Low Countries of the troops of the emperor, and the Marquis of Castel Rodrigo has gone to receive them at Namur. Here it was feared that they might go to join with the Bishop of Munster; but they crossed the Rhine at Handernach. 6000 more are expected, so that it is quite clear that the Spaniards and the emperor have the intention to preserve the Low Countries. Here they have no news about the emperor being sick. We hear of the adjustment made between the two Dukes of Lunebourg since they write that the provisional treaty was to have been signed on the 29th July, on the execution of which everything depends.
[Italian.]
Aug. 18.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
236. Alvise Sagredo, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
Enclosing the sheets of intelligences from England and the Hague.
Paris, the 18th August, 1665.
[Italian.]
Enclosure.237. From Tumbrige, the 7th August, 1665.
His Majesty King Charles having forbidden access to Court to all persons who are not domestics of the king, queen and Duke of York, except the public ministers and others who have affairs of consequence to communicate, it is not easy to obtain information about what is being dealt with or done in the royal Council. It is supposed that they are at present applying themselves to the preparation of bills and other things advantageous to the country to be placed before the coming parliament which should re-assemble on the 18th of the present month, although, on account of the plague, it is believed that it will be adjourned that same day from Westminster to the city of Oxford or elsewhere.
The plague is spreading with such rapidity in London that it moves to pity. In some parishes so many are dying that they take carts through the streets crying “Bring out your dead, bring out your dead” and when the carts are full they take the bodies to be buried in a ditch a short distance from London. Of all ailments 1761 have died this week in the city and suburbs of London, of whom all, except 200 or 250 may reasonably be considered to have died of the plague, although the bulletins only confess to 1089.
The letters from Holland relate that the deputies of the States have decided to leave the affair of the fleet entirely to the Admiralty as being its proper business, and that they hope to have better sailors and arrangements at the next encounter than they had at the first. These letters state that the English fleet had withdrawn from their coasts, and they mention a great deal of gun fire heard at a great distance at sea last Friday. As the same thing was heard in England in the counties of Kent and Essex and near Neucastel it is supposed that some ships of his Majesty have engaged with Ruiter, as there is no sign of any other Dutch force at sea capable of offering resistance. In confirmation of this conjecture letters have been received from Hull which speak of it more positively, saying that the English have had the victory. Other letters say that the Dutch fleet has come out from Texel to assist their companions but these letters make no mention of particulars. Confirmation is awaited with impatience, before giving them complete credence.
We hear from Plymouth that the English ships have brought in six ships which came from Cadiz under suspicion that they belong to Dutchmen or that they have merchandise belonging to the United Provinces.
Their Majesties are always in the enjoyment of perfect health at Hampton Court, and the king, having given the necessary orders for the adjournment of parliament and for naval affairs, proposes to-morrow to proceed in the direction of Salisbury.
The governor of London, being very fearful about the plague has caused a cabinet to be made, entirely of glass, in which he gives audience and determines the affairs of the city.
[Italian, from the French.]
Enclosure.238. From the Hague and Amsterdam, the 14th August, 1665.
The Dutch fleet of seventeen merchantmen, come from Cadiz, has arrived safely at Bergues in Norway; and the mercantile fleet likewise of Holland, coming from Vlecquer, escorted by three warships has arrived safely at the Dutch port of Flye. Admiral Ruiter has similarly arrived safely in the dominions of the United Provinces at Delficel, with his fleet of nineteen ships of war and thirty prizes, taken some in Africa and some in America from the English. Since his departure from Cadiz, sixteen months ago he has reduced the coast of Guinea under the dominion of the United Provinces and taken from the English Cormantin and other ports possessed by them. The States General immediately elected Ruiter to be Admiral General of the fleet ready in the port of Texel and numbering 105 ships of war well furnished and provided with everything. This put to sea on the 14th August to the number of ninety ships. The rest will remain in the said port to unite with the nineteen ships which came with Ruiter, upon which they are working with all diligence to send them to sea to follow the fleet which has already sailed.
The three plenipotentiaries of the States General, namely MM. Huygens, de Wit and Boreel have already embarked with many of the first officers alike of the land and sea forces, on the fleet which sailed on the 14th August, to go to seek out and to engage the English fleet and to secure the free passage of the sea, towards the north, the Channel and the west if it can come up with the enemy and to bring safely home the Dutch fleets which are expected.
They are also building and preparing yet a third fleet of great new ships to the number of forty-eight, on which they are ceaselessly at work, and without delay, to serve in case of need with the fourth fleet of twenty ships which is at present at the Strait of Gibraltar, before Tangier and in the Western Ocean.
The rendezvous of the land army, under the command of Prince Maurice of Nassau has been given under or before the town of Suol in Overissel. More than a hundred commissions have been given to individuals for armaments at sea.
[Italian, from the French.]
Aug. 25.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
239. Alvise Sagredo, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
I send the result of my conference with M. di Liona on Sunday. He spoke first of the approaching departure of his Majesty's ambassador for Constantinople. (fn. 3) After some conversation on the subject I remarked somewhat vaguely that it was not for me to suggest the shows or the plans of other princes in the current movements of the north, but the mere declaration of the intention to assist the republic, and at the earliest possible moment with vigorous forces and adequate offices would be likely to impress the Sultan. There was also the admirable zeal in prosecuting the negotiations for peace between England and Holland, which should be extended and the royal ambassadors in London stimulated to bring it about in order to unite some portion at least of those strong forces, after the example of the king here for the relief of your Serenity, and in this manner to show to the world the veritable fruits of a heroic mediation. The Sieur di Liona reflected a little and then said to me that it was all true, but that the king could not at the moment make a present of what he was bound to pay to others, and ended by telling me to wait another fifteen days when I should see if he was telling the truth. It seems to me that this is an intimation of an imminent declaration of his Majesty for the Dutch.
Paris, the 25th August, 1665.
[Italian.]
Aug. 25.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
240. Alvise Sagredo, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
This past night the Marquis de Louvois, by order of the Most Christian, proceeded in person to this faubourg and caused the arrest of the Chevalier di Ghet, the Abbé de Bofort, brother of Mons. de Bofort, first chancellor of Monsieur, taking away all their papers. This Abbe had been accustomed to amuse the king every day, speaking to him even in the chamber of Mademoiselle la Valiere. It is supposed to be about the affairs of England. (fn. 4)
Paris, the 25th August, 1665.
[Italian.]
Enclosure.241. From the Hague, the 20th August, 1665.
All our fleet is at sea. On Friday last fifty ships went out, on Saturday twenty-four, the remainder on Sunday morning except two which collided when going out, but they have been repaired at once and will have followed the others. This grand fleet is composed of ninety-one ships of war and ten fireships, and is in much better condition than the first. Admiral Ruiter commands it, but it is not known for certain if Tromp is there, as he refused to obey the other and asked for his dismissal. At any rate he will have been on the fleet when it came out and if he has withdrawn it will have been after the arrival of Ruiter and this evening or to-morrow we shall know for certain. All the captains have declared unanimously that they would rather serve under Ruiter than under him and the sailors themselves share the same opinion. All the people which had shown such great affection for him [Tromp] blame his behaviour and condemn his disobedience.
Here they are preparing a corps de reserve of about thirty ships, to which will be joined those which had been at Cadiz and which formed an escort for some ships of Smyrna, which left there some time ago. The English fleet is towards the north, numbering eighty ships and six fireships, but it is not known for certain if it is towards the seas of Norway or towards Hisland at the extremity of Scotland.
Our fleet is going to look for the ships of the East Indies and will convoy home the merchant ships which are in Norway, and if the English attempt to prevent them there will be a battle; otherwise we shall be content with what has been done, because if the English do not take this rich booty they will not have wherewith to pay their soldiers and sailors or to make a second armament either.
The Provinces have agreed to a sum of 480,000 crowns to make levies, and orders have been sent to the envoy of the States with the Dukes of Lunebourg to treat and to bring to this service the troops which they have on foot, and if their agreement is not made within a few days they will accept the offers which many qualified persons in our neighbourhood make to us to hire out in six weeks 4000 foot and 2000 horse, of whom a good army corps can be made, together with the troops which are already on the frontier. Prince Maurice of Nassau is going to Zuol with Colonel Kilpatrick and the Rheingrave to Nanzem.
After yesterday evening definite news arrived that of the thirteen ships which were being brought from the East Indies ten have entered on the 6th of the current month into the port of Bergh in Norway, that two others are safe in some other port not having been able to reach that of Bergh and that the thirteenth became separated from the fleet near the Cape of Good Hope, so we see that the English are very far from their pretensions and expectations.
[Italian.]
Enclosure.242. By the last letters of the 20th of this month from the Hague it is confirmed that the Dutch war fleet had come out of Texel into the open sea on the 14th and 15th, with a strength of 105 ships of war and twelve fireships. They have with them also some large merchant ships for Archangel in Muscovy and some privateers who have commissions according to the rule. This Dutch fleet is divided into four squadrons, the first of which is under the command of Admiral Ruiter, who carries the great standard; the second under the Admiral of Zeeland, Cornelis Evertzen; the third under Vice-Admiral Tromp and the fourth under the Vice-Admiral of Friesland.
The three plenipotentiaries of the States General have likewise embarked with many of the first officers of war and a great number of the nobility and of good families in the capacity of volunteers. Among these is the Count of Hornes, recently returned with Admiral Ruiter from his employment in Africa and America, where he commanded the land forces with much success and reputation.
This same Dutch fleet is going in search of the English who are cruising between Scotland and Norway. They have not, however, been able to prevent the safe arrival in port of the Dutch fleet of Vlequero or that of Cadiz, or similarly that of the East Indies of ten ships which have arrived in the port of Bergues in Norway, towards which the fleet of the States is going to fight the English, free the said port of Bergues, which is blockaded by the enemy fleet and after gaining the success which is hoped in opening that port and the North Sea, to bring the merchant ships and their cargoes, numbering sixty, safely to Holland.
These ships from the East Indies report that their fleet sent from Batavia to take the island of Formosa had set foot on land and taken possession and they had fortified at Quelangh. That the King of China or the emperor of the Tartars, had given them a succour of 350 jonquis or Chinese ships and 30,000 soldiers to help them for the recovery of the whole island of Formosa and also free trading and commerce in his empire. This is a matter of the greatest importance.
[Italian, from the French.]
Aug. 26.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Spagna.
Venetian
Archives.
243. Marin Zorzi, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.
The King of Portugal has sent two ships with abundant supplies to the fortress of Tangier, upon the report that it was being besieged by the Dutch. By his own letters to the commander he subsequently offered, if the need should become more pressing, to send greater supplies; but the cause having disappeared the commander sent to thank the king for the succour sent and for the offer of assistance.
Madrid, the 25th August, 1665.
[Italian.]
Aug. 28.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Costantinopoli.
Venetian
Archives.
244. Giovanni Battista Ballarino, Venetian Grand Chancellor at the Porte, to the Doge and Senate.
The English ambassador asked me for a letter in favour of one of his people, to be sent by way of Venice to London, and I was able to do so promptly. I learn that the Grand Vizier sent for the English secretary, who is here with Draperis, protesting to him that he required for the purpose of war all the merchant ships present at the marts of the Grand Turk, upon payment, otherwise the merchants of his nation would have to feel the burden and suffer for it. This was the cause of the disturbance and the claims for double duty which were raised in the past, which they were not able to overcome without first giving some intimation to the Vizier that he should be satisfied about these ships, but it was necessary to send a report on the matter to their master in order that they might learn subsequently the good pleasure of the king. The secretary and dragoman then left for Constantinople. I can very well believe this report because as it does not suit the interest of the English ambassador to upset the trade of his merchants and to offend the Turks he will undoubtedly be constrained to try and persuade that monarch to give this satisfaction to the Sultan, so I have no doubt that he will co-operate to bring about a favourable issue because otherwise the whole weight of the displeasure of these barbarians might fall upon him.
I must not hide the impression which is made on me by the very close confidence which is going on between the English ambassador and the imperial one. (fn. 5) As the latter is not well disposed and so far as I can find out is very subtle, full of devices and most plausible proposals, I am obliged to be on the watch for anything which might come out to the prejudice of the State.

Adrianople, the 26th August, 1665.
[Italian; deciphered.]

Footnotes

1 He was sent north at the end of July to have an eye on the northern parts; but did not go further than York, returning to Oxford in September. Clarke: Life of James II, Vol. i., pp. 421–2. Cal. S.P. Dom. 1664–5, pp. 514, 558, 564.
2 Thomas Corney. The Newes of 20th July. Cal. S.P. Dom. 1664–5, page 500.
3 Denis de la Haye, sieur de Ventelet.
4 Beaufort told the king something out of a letter from Lauderdale. The king wished to see the letter. Beaufort was unwilling to show it, but finally produced one. The king believed this to be a forgery and sent the Abbé to the Bastille. Holles to Arlington. 16–26th August. S.P. France. Vol. cxxi.
5 Count Walter Leslie, the imperial ambassador extraordinary to the Porte. He arrived in June.