Venice
May 1666

Sponsor

Institute of Historical Research

Publication

Author

Allen B. Hinds (editor)

Year published

1933

Pages

287-298

Annotate

Comment on this article
Double click anywhere on the text to add an annotation in-line

Citation Show another format:

'Venice: May 1666', Calendar of State Papers Relating to English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 34: 1664-1666 (1933), pp. 287-298. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=90177 Date accessed: 02 October 2014.


Highlight

(Min 3 characters)

Contents

May 1666

May 1.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Firenze.
Venetian
Archives.
401. Francesco Bianchi, Venetian Resident at Florence, to the Doge and Senate.
The English fleet which was destined to cruise in the Mediterranean is no longer expected at Leghorn. They are trying to sell the provisions which were made for it. In order not to be subject to the cost, the Resident does not mind their being bought by enemies since a Frenchman is on the look out to acquire them. The Resident himself has returned to Florence, where he is not favourably regarded at the palace. The Grand Duke remarked to me that as a new minister he was neglecting the chief part of his duty, in failing to encourage good correspondence and to put him right with his king for every little thing that might be pointed out to him by the malice of others or suggested by his own suspicions, for which it would have been necessary to revise and correct the despatches which he draws up.
Florence, the 1st May, 1666.
[Italian.]
May 2.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Germania.
Venetian
Archives.
402. Giovanni Cornaro, Venetian Ambassador in Germany, to the Doge and Senate.
Intelligence has arrived to-day of an adjustment between the Bishop of Munster and the Dutch. (fn. 1) The bishop's troops will go to join the French and with those already sent from France to the succour of the Dutch will form a strong corps by itself. England is angry with the bishop for the adjustment, the more so because after the 30,000l. sterling recently remitted to him they were persuaded that he would show more constancy. The present situation points to an attack on Flanders. Accordingly the negotiations between this part and the English are reviving. Lord Taf, who has arrived at Prague shows fresh commissions from his king for him to return. The emperor also has asked for it. He is expected within a few days since it behoves England to keep alive the business of the negotiations with the Austrians so long as the war continues with the Dutch and the French, and here the idea of this assistance may prove advantageous to Flanders, which is menaced.
The letters from Paris report that the hopes of an adjustment with England are dissipated; but those of Mons. d' Estrades continue to hold out hopes of agreement. It may therefore be supposed that so much preparation cannot be made without something happening and the end of the campaign may be the end of hostilities, because the war at sea cannot be kept up for long without conquests on land and that is equally difficult for both England and France.
Vienna, the 2nd May, 1666.
[Italian.]
May 3.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Spagna.
Venetian
Archives.
403. Marin Zorzi, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.
The courier of the English ambassador has arrived at last with news that is unsatisfactory. The delay promised badly because events that please are made to hasten and not to tarry. He tried hard, but gained nothing. At Benevente and a place hard by the ministers saw each other and conferred. A false report was issued by the government here and written by Caracena that the ambassador had been at Lisbon (fn. 2) and introduced. When he claimed to open the negotiations he heard two most difficult points roundly stated in a determined voice. The chief one and the standard of all, that Braganza must be recognised as King of Portugal; the other that they are ready for the peace but entirely opposed to the truce. Upon the first their insistence was no less determined than bitter. They considered that they received an injury not a benefit and that England ought to serve as a means for the exaltation of his brother-in-law and not to his detriment. In short, if he has won his crown gloriously by arms he means to preserve it with dignity in the face of the world. They drew attention to the flattering state of affairs at the present time, and their hopes of victories and progress; while Castile was threatened with loss and peril. Fortune as well as justice was fighting in favour of their cause and if they had conquered by courage in the course of the war, they did not wish to be vanquished by cleverness in negotiation.
The ambassador replied by giving many reasons to moderate such lofty pretensions, asking them to consider that a good beginning of the work will be matched by a better ending. The end will be achieved in time, but it behoved them first to cease hostilities, and afterwards to receive distinguished and courteous treatment. He instanced the satisfaction of England with Spain being pledged to a happy issue, reminding them of the assistance and obligations. It would be evidence of respect and appreciation to show a willingness and a disposition to consent to the agreement.
The conferences were repeated several times and various efforts made and much eloquence expended; but no progress was made towards better answers or any change or reconsideration. They persisted that the king must be treated either as a king or as an enemy. Finding that every avenue of approach was closed, and without the power to propose a change, the ambassador decided to leave. Before going he saw Braganza, who was staying at a country house a short distance away. He was received with every appearance of honour, and I am told that a rich gift was presented to him. They wished to send him away content in his private capacity, since he would return ill pleased over the unfortunate conclusion of his business. The ambassador believed that when the Portuguese saw that he meant to go they would not allow it and would moderate their terms. He was mistaken as they not only allowed him to begin his journey but forwarded it. They showed signs of disdaining the move rather than of desiring his permanence.
As no courier has appeared since the first one it is not supposed that there is any fresh matter of moment, as if the ambassador was detained by better proposals he would not have delayed sending another express. Accordingly it is believed that he is many days on the road and that he has reached the frontier if he is not close at hand. Some flatter themselves that if the news of the war between the two crowns arrives before he has left the country it may suffice for the resumption of the negotiations. Nevertheless, an individual who is less enmeshed by self deception has confessed that everything else is trifling if there is a breakdown over the recognition of the king, which is the important question.
I understand that the ambassador lays the blame for such a rebuff on the suggestions of the French. The minister of the Most Christian had filled their minds with passionate motives (vehementi motivi). He raised the points of dignity and interest. If England should fail he offered troops and gold in a lavish and assured manner. In a word he had created a troubled and fatal atmosphere. In like manner, to justify himself, he has laid the blame on others. As a matter of fact, carried away by his own feelings he was rendered presumptuous by their acceptance, attaching scant importance to the principles of the Portuguese. He hoped to win them over by threats and to confound them by eloquence. They were able to resist with intrepidity and constancy. Some accuse the ambassador of having cut the thread of negotiation by excessive precipitance; that he should have temporised until the arrival of fresh orders and have come only with the leave of this Court.
Medina feels the unfortunate outcome more than any one else. As it was his work he was interested that it should terminate successfully for his own glory, apart from the service of the crown. He also hoped that the merit of so decorous an adjustment would win him popularity among the people, credit in the government and special appreciation from her Majesty.
The courier was directed to him by the ambassador. He immediately asked for audience to communicate the information, which was heard by her Majesty and the Court with a general disfavour. Now that the fruit does not correspond to expectation and that the wind has changed after the sails were spread, the counsels and decisions are alike condemned, a fate that is always hanging over those who govern, detraction or approbation depending on the issue.
The discovery, after the wound has been probed, that it is incurable, causes extreme depression. After the universal hope of relief and of some consolation for these realms, eagerly awaited after so many calamities, they now groan at the continuance of the burden and the scourge.
Madrid, the 3rd May, 1666.
[Italian.]
May 4.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
404. Marc Antonio Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
Two conferences have been held in the house of the Queen of England. Neither the minister of Denmark nor of Sweden was present, nor even Lord Germen, though he was attending in the ante chamber. In his stead the queen wished Lord Hollis to take part. Being still ill with the gout and incapable of moving, he was brought in a chair of the queen right into the room where the meeting was held. In the first place her Majesty began the proceedings with a speech in which she pointed out the common misfortunes of war and the desire to see princes so closely allied, who used to be friendly, brought back to a reconciliation. She begged these distinguished ministers very earnestly to find the most suitable means for achieving this through their prudence and skill, offering to devote all her wit and goodwill as her contribution towards a happy issue to the affair.
Every one of the ministers spoke in the most respectful and appreciative manner of her Majesty. They confined themselves to generalities and all agreed in the assurance that their princes desired peace and that they would consider the ways to bring it about. It seems that the speech of Lord Hollis was somewhat more warm and elate.
These were the preliminaries of the business. On the day after the holidays (fn. 3) a second meeting was held. There they came down to the points of difference. The proposals were the same as those made in England by the ambassadors extraordinary of France. The conference lasted several hours. What they agreed upon or disagreed about is not yet known, but it is certain that couriers were immediately despatched, one to England the other to Holland. There will be no meeting before their return. Some believe it is to receive assent to what has been arranged; some that it is to provide the ministers with greater powers; but everyone hopes that an adjustment may be at hand. With goodwill on every side it is impossible not to hope for a good issue. Borella told me that there were punctilios rather than obstacles; that the English had sought titles to gratify their pride so as to come decorously to an accommodation, but that they were as anxious for it as the others and he was very hopeful. France has only to wait for the complacence of Holland before consenting to the adjustment, in which she has no other part than that which she has taken for her allies.
Paris, the 4th May, 1666.
[Italian.]
May 5.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Spagna.
Venetian
Archives.
405. Marin Zorzi, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.
The English ambassador extraordinary has left Corunna and is expected at Madrid within two weeks. Some of the more punctilious ministers wished him to remain longer on account of the plague, but the majority of them agree in admitting him without further delay.
The wife of the ambassador here has taken leave of the queen. It is said that her old father (fn. 4) desires her to return. At the palace the ministers have attributed the request as a pretext to find out the royal will and to derive arguments to their advantage therefrom. So far no arrangements for the departure have been seen at the ambassador's house. If the ambassadress goes it will be considered as an evident sign that the ambassador will follow her in a short time. They say, not without reason, that if he has to go, as well, it would be superfluous to divide on the journey, with greater expense and inconvenience also.
It is now several weeks since the English frigates have been seen of the many which made a continuous passage from Tanger to Cadiz. It is concluded that they have sailed for England to join the main force, or to return in greater numbers to stop Buefort, if he should pass the Strait.
Madrid, the 5th May, 1666.
[Italian.]
May 11.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
406. Marc Antonio Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
I know on good authority that here their sole aspiration is to make a composition with England, give peace to Holland and arrange the internal affairs of the country which have been thrown into confusion by the past wars. The king would like to recover and bring back to the possession of the crown its domains with all that formerly belonged to its dominion.
Paris, the 11th May, 1666.
[Italian.]
May 11.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
407. Marc Antonio Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
The hopes of seeing peace arrived at between the crowns and Holland, which were universally entertained these last days are becoming less confidant. That persons of ordinary capacity should easily credit certain appearances gives no cause for astonishment, but that the most weighty members of the government should allow themselves to be persuaded of what has not even been begun is very remarkable. The renewal of the negotiations committed by the King of England to his mother was believed, one may say, to be a conclusion of negotiation. Two meetings have been held upon the orders which the King of England gave to hearken. I wrote of those who took part. At the second meeting there was some controversy. They were to lay down the proposals to be taken by the Duke of Vernoglia and Cominges to England. Van Boninghen pointed out that they were too disadvantageous to Holland and produced fresh pretensions. Lord Hollis opposed and an altercation took place. Mons. di Liona with suavity smoothed them down. They despatched the couriers; none has yet appeared from England. It is known that Liona reproved Van Boninghen for the new proposals. He told him that they wished to force the hands of their friends. They had won over France in order to allow themselves to be carried to extravagances. France might still withdraw from them and accordingly he should show moderation and allow himself to be guided. Nevertheless, things are in this state and Mons. di Liona, as I have intimated before, does not promise himself so much facility, although it may be his singular prudence to wish to give this impression, nevertheless he shows himself very desirous for it.
Boffort's force has put to sea. Smit has arrived at Lisbon, according to intelligences from Spain. It was said that the one would be recalled and the other detained in the port of Toulon. It looked as if this was practically a suspension of arms; but if Smit goes to England and Boffort does not advance beyond La Rochelle, as people believe, the forces will not fight; arms will be far apart, not suspended. Nevertheless the fleet of England, to the number of eighty sail, is cruising in the English Channel. The other ships are left in port for lack of sailors. They are waiting for 200 vessels called colliers, which are good for transport but not for fighting. From these they will draw the sailors and make use of them for the fleet. They experience a shortage of provisions, of salt and of cash, and there is no abundance of soldiers. The plague has wrought great havoc among them and is still raging at Colchester. To their fleet they have added ten Barbary ships, of Fez, more for piracy than for war. The queen of England has travelled these last days to Borbon, to take relief for her health from the waters there. She has left sufficient orders and commissions for the negotiations with Lord Germen, and will stay there fifteen or twenty days or so.
The English had despatched an envoy to Munster (fn. 5) to encourage him to continue the war, with offers of vigorous assistance, to wit of 10,000 men and fresh payments of money. He did not arrive in time and the treaty was already signed. The ratifications have been exchanged and the restitution of the places carried out. Only disarmament remained. There is no longer any doubt about the good faith of the bishop, who has declared himself to Brandenburg and given his word that he will not cause the smallest shadow of jealousy to the Lords States.
Their fleet, composed of sixty vessels, is within the Texel. They have allowed the English to beat those waters. They are watching for the propitious moment and taking care that their coast defences are manned and secure. At a report that seven warships were to be found towards the Dogersont seven were sent from the Texel to engage them and to impede their design, but they met nothing and returned to port again.
Paris, the 11th May, 1666.
[Italian.]
May 11.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Spagna.
Venetian
Archives.
408. Marin Zorzi, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.
The Council of State here has not thought of giving any reply to the English envoy, and he similarly has kept silence for some weeks, attributing the delay to the difficulty of the matter or to their natural slowness in resolving. Finally, fearing that this patience might encourage them to disdain, he pressed with much energy for knowledge of the royal will. He complained about the time wasted uselessly, of his long and hitherto fruitless stay, of the scant attention paid to instances made in the name of a great king, and declared that if he heard nothing from them in the space of a few days, he would depart.
When the ministers heard his grievances and complaints, with scant pleasure, they were condemned as inopportune and improper. It seems to be beyond what is permissible in such an employment when tact is required more than energy, and he should not make a grievance where there is no intention to offend. Some inclined to continue the silence with which they had begun, as this would fit in with the substance of the business although they might be lacking in the forms of compliment. However, it was considered better to quiet the minister with general phrases, instead of leaving him entirely dissatisfied. Accordingly they have sent to tell him of their esteem for his rank and character and that with respect to the proposals her Majesty recognised that there were reasons for revolving them but not for speed, for as the ambassador extraordinary was not far off, it was considered proper to wait for him, and any decision would be superfluous at present when a distinguished minister is coming to take part in the negotiation.
Since this reply the envoy has not spoken again, but it was noticed that as soon as he had it he sent an express to the Earl of Sandwich. He announces that he is leaving and he is actually taking leave of the ministers, but his servants say that he wants to show himself at this Court with the ambassador beforehand.
Upon this question of Portugal the ministers here believe that the ambassador extraordinary is coming with fresh instructions. There has been time enough since the Count of Molina set forth to the king there the unlucky transaction of his ambassador with Braganza, to supply him with commissions in conformity with the event. This is certain that apart from the general discourse of notable persons it is stated that this minister is comng with important business. There is hardly a doubt that he will renew the treaty for a defensive and offensive alliance; a most serious matter, full of perils, whether it is accepted or declined. Some who start from the basis of the inevitability of war with France, maintain the necessity for support and an ally, and that they must not be left alone. Others are not inclined by jealousies to provoke the wrath of that power by uniting with its declared and open enemy. The business, of the highest consequence, will attract the attention of Europe. La Fuente in his despatches is always repeating that the mere report of union with the British crown, whether true or false, foments any evil intentions which there may be in the Most Christian, and without provocation irritates their feelings and ambition greatly. A confidant of my own who is very intimate with the ministers assures me that there are letters from Paris, the writer of which declares that peace with Spain will last just so long as the war continues with the English. It is to be feared that the storm, after having circled around for so long while, will finally descend upon these unhappy states.
Madrid, the 12th May, 1666.
[Italian.]
May 12.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Ceffalonia.
Venetian
Archives.
409. Andrea Lippomano, Venetian Proveditore in Cephalonia, to the Doge and Senate.
The harvest of currants gathered is limited to 3100 miara, whereof 1300 miara were exported for Venice. These only pay the simple export duty. An equal quantity has been exported for the West up to this point and only 500 miara are left for England. Two ships are expected shortly to take these and as they are subject to the payment of the novissimo, 6297 reals will come into the chamber
Cephalonia, the 2nd May, 1666, old style.
[Italian.]
May 16.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Germania.
Venetian
Archives.
410. Giovanni Cornaro, Venetian Ambassador in Germany, to the Doge and Senate.
Lord Taf was returning home, having given up hope about his negotiations, but being better advised, on reaching Prague he wrote here to learn whether his return would be acceptable. The suggestion was not only embraced, but the course was even urged in the name of Caesar. He has now arrived at the Court. He has not as yet seen the emperor and the new instructions which he brings are hidden. It is indeed believed to be all a show by the English to maintain dealings with the Austrians at the time of a declared war with France, and in the latter to render considerable their defence in Flanders with the reflection of so powerful an alliance. Each party is playing for the advantage and with artifice.
Munster has come to terms, as reported. Nevertheless Sir [William] Temple had arrived unexpectedly at Munster in the capacity of minister extraordinary of the King of England, to advance the affairs of that crown, on the supposition that the treaties of adjustment had not been concluded.
Strenuous efforts are being made to bring about peace between England, France and Holland, but so many forces and the dispositions made at sea will not be allowed to continue without combats and advantages. Only the end of the campaign can bring the termination of the war.
Medling, the 16th May, 1666.
[Italian.]
May 17.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Spagna.
Venetian
Archives.
411. Marin Zorzi, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.
What I have chanced to gather concerning the account given by the English ambassador will be related by me to your Serenity in the present. He says that on his arrival he found the Portuguese full of great ideas and vast hopes. These were increased by the weakness here, which is perfectly well known to them and by the promises of a French minister (fn. 6) who before him had fulfilled his commissions on behalf of the Most Christian, impressing them with the idea of upholding the title with the crown, and not eclipsing a glory so resplendent for his name, prejudicing himself not only with Spain but with all Europe. For such prejudice he blames the slowness of the ministers here in making up their minds, as if they had hastened his despatch and forestalled the arrival of the French envoy, he would have found the Portuguese better disposed and the negotiation would have proceeded smoothly.
At the first conference the Portuguese declared that without equality between king and king they would not open negotiations. After much discussion the ambassador let it be understood that he held no commissions upon that point but he would be glad to hear their opinions, in order to report them to this government. The offer was much appreciated and they rejoiced that the ambassador was disposed to entertain the proposal instead of rejecting the pretension. They also though fit to rebut in a decorous manner the affront which it was attempted to thrust upon them. If the proposal was an insult the reply is sent back with compensation since the mediator makes it known that they choose to abide in the sphere of kings (se la propositione fu offesa, la riposta si rimanda con risarcimento, mentre il mediatore publica che vogliono nella sfera di Re trattenersi).
This step having been taken they did not refuse to talk about the other articles. Practically all were admitted; few were disputed. With regard to the restitution of revenues and goods, the exiles made the principal exception, six persons being excluded. I understand that three were among the most powerful, the other half being of mediocre rank. This was reported by the ambassador with the addition that the answer is expected at Lisbon before the end of the present month after which all correspondence will be cut short. He has sent a paper to the queen, not having asked for audience, indeed he says that he does not mean to appear before her Majesty before his proceedings have been approved or censured.
Every day has been employed by the Council of State or Junta in a careful examination. Although a decree has not been issued I learn on excellent authority the sentiment of the ministers. They are ill pleased with the ambassador and disapprove of several things. It was his duty not to yield upon a single point in his commissions, least of all upon one of the most essential. To treat as king to king was not permissible and this being refused he should have departed or sent an express with the news, for fresh orders. To capitulate with the Portuguese of his own authority as he has done cannot be suffered. They have heard with unspeakable disgust of his bearing a motion of such great importance with such open facility. While they consider it prejudicial to themselves here, it has served to encourage the other side and to enhance their consideration. In taking leave it was not proper for him to unfold other points, and if he did not break off he should at least have suspended negotiations. Further they accuse him of proceeding with moderation whereas the reply deserved sharpness, resolute and not tepid offices with a protest that his king, instead of a mediator would become a party and the enemy of his brother-in-law. This they aver was his duty and his undertaking.
Some vent their feelings in such lamentations. I hear, however, that he is trying to defend himself as having done through zeal what they charge him with as contravention. If in one direction he saw the effort was futile he wished to achieve success in another. They ought not to ascribe to him as a fault what was really the result of prudence, since at a conjuncture so favourable for the continuation of the war he had disposed them towards peace, a precious boon for this crown. The title of king for the one who enjoys the kingdom cannot be given up. In him it was substance; here only imagination and a show. With regard to the suavity he had shown he maintains that by the order of his king he was to pass offices not to make protests; to contribute warmth not wrath.
If the government here is not appeased they may possibly write to England in a resentful manner, if not to mortify the minister at least to put the king there upon punctilio. This will not be easy as they have no paper of his which binds him in any way. The foundation laid in the words of the ambassador affords a basis as feeble as it is facile. The question of allowing the negotiations to proceed will be an interesting matter to decide. Your Excellencies shall not be left without intelligence of it, in due course. In the mean time, as they did not succeed in getting the suspension of arms, the campaign is inevitable and I fancy they will think about defence and little about a treaty.
The other English minister is being lodged at the house of the ambassador. He was sent from London to Lisbon to assist and co-operate in the same offices. The negotiations being broken off he thought it best not to stay on with Braganza but to come to this Court. He went to Medina with the ambassador. It is not known what business he presents. He desires audience of the queen but does not get it. The ministers are not agreed about admitting him, considering it improper that one who has seen a rebel in a diplomatic capacity, should see the face of the legitimate king.
Madrid, the 17th May, 1666.
[Italian.]
May 18.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
412. Marc Antonio Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
Boffort, who has arrived at La Rochelle is commanded to receive as a reinforcement eight other ships of war which were destined for the transport of Madame d' Omala. In the mean time Boffort will proceed to Brittany and will make halt at the port of Brest which dominates the two seas, the British and Aquitanian. There he will await the reinforcements both from Denmark and from Holland and in that place he will be able to harass the voyages of the English as well to Portugal and the Levant as to Ireland and other parts.
Paris, the 18th May, 1666.
[Italian.]
May 19.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Spagna.
Venetian
Archives.
413. Marin Zorzi, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.
The envoy of England here announces that he has received orders to stay on here until the arrival of the Earl of Sandwich, when, with the earl's consent, he will decide what is to be done. The ordinary ambassador is proceeding with the same intentions. There is no sign of any journey either for him or for his wife, indeed a report has issued from his house that he is to stay on at his post and that the other is to leave after some time. For the extraordinary his principal house has already been selected near to my own. One alone not being enough for his numerous suite, another, a short distance away, has been provided. Both are being supplied with handsome furnishings at the expense of the king. The whole of the treatment is carried out magnificently in his Majesty's name with pomp and splendour.
Madrid, the 19th May, 1666.
[Italian.]
May 22.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Corti.
Venetian
Archives.
414. To the Ambassador in Spain.
The Senate is sure that he will keep his attention fixed on the negotiations of the English envoy and the Earl of Sandwich about an adjustment with Portugal, and is confident that if this is brought about, as they sincerely desire that it may be, he will not flag in his zeal to lend a hand to forward it, using his prudence in the way he will know how; upon which the Senate has written to him before, to produce some benefit or advantage in the interest of the republic.
Ayes, 129 Noes, 8. Neutral, 4.
[Italian.]
May 23.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Germania.
Venetian
Archives.
415. Giovanni Cornaro, Venetian Ambassador in Germany, to the Doge and Senate.
Lord Taf is staying on here without formal business; it is all for show, as I have written. The theme of his discourse is that the King of England cannot see Flanders invaded and occupied by France. The conquest would be too jealous a matter. For the rest it will be easy to find the means to bring back the two crowns to calm and friendship.
Medling, the 23rd May, 1666.
[Italian.]
May 25.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
416. Marc Antonio Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
The French naval force, favoured by propitious winds, has crossed the Mediterranean and was advancing to the neighbourhood of the Strait. The three last which have arrived from Marseilles report this and they intimate further that Smit, having handed his convoy of merchantmen to the grand fleet, had received fresh orders to betake himself once more to the Strait and impede the passage of Bofort's force by fighting it. This news keeps them in suspense and they are all on the watch. It is known that the English are eager to make proof of the French arms as well and they will not incline to negotiations for an agreement before they have stained their arms with blood.
Paris, the 25th May, 1666.
[Italian.]
May 25.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
417. Marc Antonio Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
The deputies of the Admiralties of the Provinces have proceeded to the Hague to consult with their fleets which are ready to sail and waiting for orders to be carried out. The advance of Boffort will decide the character of their deliberations. The fleet will consist of seventy ships when ten Zeelanders have joined, which they were expecting. The English will do their utmost to prevent the junction of the two forces and will try to fight them before they are united.
Lord Germen has left for England. Lord Holles also started in that direction two days ago. The plague has increased notably in England. It has crossed over to the towns of Ostend and Bruges. Accordingly the parlement has renewed the arret forbidding commerce with England and has banned the two towns in question as well as the whole of Flanders.
Paris, the 25th May, 1666.
[Italian.]

Footnotes

1 On 8th–18th April, 1666. The articles printed in Dumont: Corps Diplomatique, Vol vi., pt. iii., page 106.
2 Blank in MS.
3 Easter Sunday fell on the 25th April, new style, in this year.
4 Sir John Harrison.
5 Sir William Temple. His instructions are dated 23rd March. The bishop acknowledges his arrival in a letter to Charles of 22nd April. S.P. Germany, States, Vol. lvii.
6 Melchior de Harod de Senevas, baron de St. Romain, who was sent to Portugal in January. Recueil des Instructions des Ambassadeurs, Portugal. (ed. Vte. de Caix de St. Amour), page 88.


<--Previous:
Venice:
April 1666
Next:-->
Index:
A