Venice
June 1666, 16-30

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Institute of Historical Research

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Allen B. Hinds (editor)

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1935

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12-25

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'Venice: June 1666, 16-30', Calendar of State Papers Relating to English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 35: 1666-1668 (1935), pp. 12-25. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=90202 Date accessed: 17 September 2014.


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June 1666, 16–30

June 16.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Spagna.
Venetian
Archives.
12. Marin Zorzi, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.
The French ambassador has repeated his offer of mediation with Portugal. In the Council of State considerations of jealousy rather than of hope were adduced with respect to committing this important transaction into the hands of the French. It was further pointed out that the king of England would be affronted and offended with good cause, since he is already in possession, from having begun and from his continuing with the negotiation. Some one suggested that the latter should continue and that the other should also be admitted; but between two contraries the fabric would be destroyed instead of reaching perfection. They therefore decided to make no change in their original sentiments, there being no reason for a change. To Ambrun they expressed the most cordial recognition of their obligation but excused themselves by saying that they had committed themselves so far with England that it was their bounden duty to await the issue.
Ambrun has sent some letters, open, signed by Beufort. I gather that they deal with the introduction of ships with foodstuffs into Portugal; a plan to attack Tanger; other arrangements with the Dutch to maintain the engagement against England; to proceed towards Ireland to stir up commotions, and to uphold the honour of the flag against all.
Madrid, the 16th June, 1666.
[Italian.]
June 16.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Spagna.
Venetian
Archives.
13. Marin Zorzi, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.
There is talk about there being a solemn cavalcade for the public audience of the earl of Sandwich. From hearing of the disapproval about private function he may possibly have changed his mind. From what I gather the foreign ministers will not be invited. So far, however, there is no certainty about his plans or fixed intentions.
With his negotiations he has only made a superficial beginning. He is waiting rather to receive (fn. 1) from his predecessor than to set forth his commissions, but I am assured that in the conference with Medina they did not get beyond general expressions. Now he is asking for a minister to be assigned to him in order to set the negotiations going. It is doubtful whether it will be Medina alone or if it will be with the assistance of another leading minister. His rivals would like to shut Medina out, with scant honour. He is trying to hold his ground for the sake of his reputation.
Madrid, the 16th June, 1666.
[Italian.]
June 22.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
14. Marc Antonio Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
His Majesty has ordered all his troops to hold themselves in readiness for the end of the month, when there is to be a general review of the forces. Possibly it is to make use of them at the first opportunity, unless others do as Munster did, who was quelled by the demonstration alone and submitted. Picked troops have been sent to Normandy and orders have been issued for repairing the fortifications of La Rochelle from fear of the English landing. But their defeat has changed the aspect of affairs.
They will still keep to the plan of despatching 800 veteran soldiers on two ships of war, which are at La Rochelle, to the island of San Christofolo in the West Indies, provided with munitions, cash and other things required in those parts, if it has not fallen into the hands of the English, in which case they are to go to reinforce the other islands which are held of this crown.
Paris, the 22nd June, 1666.
[Italian.]
June 22.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
15. Marc Antonio Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
It was agreed between France and Holland these last weeks that the most sure and certain way to bring the English to reason was that of time and not of arms and that the best way to conquer was to tire them out. So the Dutch temporised about putting to sea and Boffort tarried and delayed his journey. The French made a show of disgust at the prolonged delays and complained of the slowness of the Dutch. They caused the troops to be stayed in Holland with redoubled circumspection. But this was all directed to one end and the arrangements were made in agreement. On the other side the English, rendered bolder and more determined by this tardiness, thought of nothing but of arming promptly and of putting themselves in a position to fight either of them before they had succeeded in uniting. They arranged to form two squadrons, one to attack Boffort, the other to fight the Dutch. Learning from these that Ruiter, the grand Admiral of Holland had put to sea on the 8th inst., and that on the 9th and 10th he had been joined by all the other fleets of the Admiralties of Zeeland, Friesland, Groninghen and the other maritime Provinces of the Lords States, to the number in all of 85 great ships, all commanded by Admiral Ruiter, they decided to send out speedily General Monch, commander in chief of England, already well known for his experience in war, with 75 great ships, all well furnished, to throw himself immediately upon the Dutch, who at the outset might not be thoroughly disentangled or well disposed for an engagement.
Accordingly on Friday the 11th of this month Admiral Monch with his 75 ships sailed out from the mouth of the Thames and, favoured by a very good wind, advanced to the opposite side of the sea between Ostend and Flushing, where, at a short distance from the coast, he found the Dutch fleet which was sailing rather to exercise itself by the way than to encounter the enemy. General Monch presented himself before them, one may say unexpectedly, without keeping the form or line of battle, but merely observing that order or disorder which was due to a speedy and unexpected voyage. The Dutch were taken aback but not discouraged and they immediately received orders from General Ruiter to put themselves in a posture to give and receive battle with the enemy, each one being called upon to keep his ship in a long and straight line, alongside the next one without forming a half moon or drawing in the extremes except when they saw the admiral change the colour of his standard; and in the mean time when he gave the signal every ship was to turn and present its broadside to the enemy, firing its guns with the utmost rapidity. The English, observing the disposition of the Dutch, which only added to their natural insolence and customary arrogance, emptied their guns several times without shot as a sign of contempt and contumely for the Dutch and further, as if firing blank shot had given them a complete victory they began with hymns and joyful songs to applaud and celebrate their triumph, not refraining from singing with a loud voice the Te Deum, possibly in derision of Heaven in anticipation of the victory which they believed they had in their hands.
In the mean time the Dutch were burning with wrath to see themselves disdained in this strange fashion; but owing to the lightness of the wind they could not give them the lie by force. However soon afterwards a propitious breeze sprang up which brought them into a position where they could strike and injure the enemy. The Dutch fired their first shots with fury, to which the English ships replied by a corresponding discharge. Both sides repeated their discharges incessantly but the Dutch, favoured by the wind, which became stronger, advanced in the order described closer and closer to the English, who briskly returned the gun fire. Ruiter then changed his flag, whereupon both extremes of his fleet drew together, closing round the English in the midst, hunting them down, striking them hard, crashing ship against ship, straggling, grouping one with another, exchanging artificial fires, attacking with the cold steel with all their might and with the flames. Inspired by fury, drunk with hate and the smoke, both sides blinded by passion, no longer men but wild beasts, they left it to inhumanity and desperation to do their worst in that conflict, which lasted, day and night, all Friday and Saturday, with the perpetual discharge of guns, the flames of burning ships, masses of black smoke, which encumbered and confounded the air, the noise of masts and spars falling and breaking, the shouts and groans of poor wretches who were in pain.
On the Sunday morning, rather exhausted than satiated with fighting, stunned and amazed, one side did not know and the other did not recognise who was the victor. But the English no longer fastened their eyes upon the flag of General Monch; they saw the most important ship of Admiral Asshlein surrendered; (fn. 2) they observed that many ships were missing, others were seen to be half consumed and being rapidly swallowed up by the flames. As best they could they got together thirty ships, roughly handled in the engagement and pierced by the cannon, and took their way or rather their flight for England.
Ruiter followed them with as many ships as he could, keeping up a constant fire on them with his guns. Prince Rupert, who remained in England getting the other squadron in order, being warned of the flight and disaster of his colleagues, immediately went on board a ship and with twenty-nine others, in good order, advanced to succour them. Meeting with those who had taken to flight he caused them to turn about and the battle was renewed that same Sunday in the afternoon. It was begun with energy by the thirty fresh ships of Prince Rupert and received with equal courage by the Dutch, who brought their full weight against these thirty fresh ships, well knowing that the other thirty who had taken to flight could do them little hurt, being more in need of repairs than fit for combat.
Rupert recognising the disadvantage at which he stood, while he decided to show his resolution and vigour by opposing and fighting the Dutch all Sunday night and the whole of Monday until six o'clock in the afternoon, never committed himself so far as to allow himself to be cut off and destroyed. Knowing, moreover, that his ship (fn. 3) had been the chief objective of the Dutch and that it had suffered from cannon shot more than the others, he commanded the retreat. This was very well served by a certain mist and darkness which came up with the declining daylight, and so he with his damaged ship and all the rest of his ships got back into the Thames, leaving to the Dutch the glory of two important and notable victories over the English fleet in the space of only four days. For themselves they had the everlasting shame of their unbridled arrogance, their lunatic haughtiness and their overweening pride, shown in the hymns which they sang before the battle which made it appear that they had first made war on Heaven, usurping from it the issue of the battle, which belongs to it alone, and thereby undoubtedly provoking its wrath and their losses.
General Ruiter returned to the waters of Holland full of glory and triumph, bringing with him 3000 English prisoners, among those of most note being Admiral Aschlein with his ship of 92 guns and the Vice-Admiral of the White with his ship of 75 guns. (fn. 4) Ruiter entered the port of Flushing with the Dutch fleet towing behind them ten ships taken. The rest of the English have come to grief. Besides the ten mentioned it is estimated that they have lost in all thirty-five or thirty-six of their best ships.
Admiral Monch himself narrowly escaped falling into the hands of the foe, having lost his main mast and the rest of the ship having suffered badly. Indeed it is said that the count of Ghisa, who when his own ship caught fire in the first battle, took refuge on Ruiter's flagship, in the second fight urged Ruiter to board Monch and capture his ship. Ruiter refused and when Ghisa continued to urge him, saying that they must not lose such an excellent opportunity of taking the English admiral, he replied that he had as much courage as the other and he knew the business of war as well as anybody, but the Lord States had forbidden him to board or mount on to the enemy's flagship, as they had learned by experience that the English, when reduced to this pass, blow up the ship. This very thing had happened in two other combats with that nation. God had given them this great victory and they meant to enjoy it.
On the Dutch side the damage is not very considerable. They have lost six or seven ships, some sunk, none taken and others burned. The dead are not numerous and the wounded are few, but they do not state the number of either. Evertzen, the Admiral of Zeeland, has been killed. It is not known who performed his part best in this affair or who is the most deserving, as the battle took place in the most confused form and during the first two days of the engagement it resembled a very dark night, owing to the masses of smoke. Ruiter alone is exalted with the greatest praises and every one of the others extols his own prowess as remarkable and the fortunate issue causes the Lords States and every one else to believe them.
The Prince of Monaco, who a few days before went on board the ship of his kinsman Ghisa, was in great danger, (fn. 5) When the ship caught fire the count of Ghisa threw himself into the sea and by swimming arrived on board the ship of Ruiter. But the prince, being equally fearful of the water and the fire and lacking presence of mind (povero di consiglio, did not know to which of the two elements to commit himself. At last being terrified of the fire, which surrounded him, he decided to throw himself into the water. There he was gradually drowning, but just as he was about to sink to the bottom he was seized by the hair by a German, who happened to be in a skiff near by, and pulled out of the water.
From several of the coastal parts of this country couriers have arrived with the news of these events, but the report which receives most credit so far is that which was brought in person to his Majesty by Mons. de Naiental, a gentleman who was on Ghisa's ship, (fn. 6) and it is precisely the one which I have given to your Excellencies.
What effect this serious and ill-fated disaster will have upon the presumptuous and proud spirit of the English, is not yet known, but it is easy to see that it may bring about some disturbance in the government and involve peril to the king personally, as the ignorant vulgar attribute unfortunate happenings to the first directors, and it is against them that it usually directs its first blows. It is also important to know if Smit was in that part of the fleet, if Prince Rupert received much harm to his thirty ships, if they think of coming out again and if their pride will be humbled by this stroke or whether, with obstinate perversity, they will seek fresh occasions to make good.
Here the news was received by his Majesty, by the Court and by every one generally with great satisfaction, the past insolence of the English richly deserving a similar mortification and punishment. I am not as yet able to gather whether an event of such consequence will cause them to alter their original plans, induce them to get Boffort to quicken his pace, join him with the Dutch and Denmark and attempt something great against the enemy, or whether they will stand by their first resolutions. It is certainly more likely that they will change their first opinions and directions and that the moderation which they professed may undergo some change.
The delight which the Dutch feel over it is inexpressible. The reputation lost by their arms through the defeat of last year is restored, and now they are roused from the dejection into which they were plunged, we shall see what use they will make of this noteworthy event.
Paris, the 22nd June, 1666.
[Italian.]
June 22.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
16. Marc Antonio Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
The first plans entertained by France when the present war broke out, at that time between England and Holland alone, when they sent thither the two ambassadors extraordinary, seem to have been to keep the fire burning, and to avail themselves of the negotiations and manœuvres of their ministers, so that by feeding and encouraging difficulties in the negotiations, both sides should be subject to the heavy burden of arms, and so while they, being exhausted and weakened by the expense, and their attention diverted from the commerce of the Indies, this crown should have a free field for reaping a harvest in those parts and acquire for itself a position of superiority and predominance over both of these powers nearer home.
These objects being suspected or perceived by the English, they became impatient over these transactions, and allowing themselves to be mastered by the force of their passions they treated the ambassadors with some severity, who were simultaneously dismissed by that king and recalled by this one.
The French perceiving that they also might be drawn into the practice of arms, which is completely out of harmony with the genius of the present government, abandoned their first intentions and devoted themselves sincerely and with all their might to seek and secure peace by all means. This only rendered England more confident and insolent, and accordingly they proceeded to those hostilities and high-handed actions against the subjects of this realm which subsequently forced France to declare war on the honourable and plausible ground of fulfilling their treaties and upholding their friends.
But this has never cooled their desire for peace, to procure it by every means, to ensue it in every way; and while they have not at present been able to achieve this end, the government had decided beforehand to make a war that should partake of the nature of peace, or that should at least have the appearance of it, with its delays, by avoiding combat, in a word by campaigning under the standard of time. But whether it be the universal genius present in this nation which requires it to be bellicose or the good fortune of the king here, which means to exalt him yet higher, by means of the years, they have attained to what they were unable to get at the beginning by artifice and negotiation. The brilliant victory of the Dutch has instilled high spirit and courage into their breasts. It seems probable that the inflexible pride of the English will not permit them to yield easily, and it is more likely that both parties will rather seek ways to vent their wrath in some great commitment than to make good their losses, consuming and destroying each other rather than adding to their comforts and profiting by trade. Circumstances are certainly very favourable for this country to win advantages in trade, abandoned by the others, and to push on with their conquests, since the wealth of this government can very easily support powerful armaments and at the same time despatch numerous fleets to the Indies. Their own inclination points the way to the one and the designs of Holland to the other.
Since I wrote the above, letters have arrived from the Hague which relate in the first place the excessive rejoicing of the Provinces and the people there at the happy success of their arms; the thronging of the whole people to the churches to render thanks to God for the victory. This was the first act of rejoicing and was performed by order published by the Lords States. They have sent express couriers to all their ministers and ambassadors at foreign Courts, to communicate the news to them.
But while they have celebrated this glorious event with great rejoicings, with equal prudence they have turned their thoughts to making the best use of it. Accordingly they immediately sent some frigates out from port to go in search of divers English ships which, having suffered badly from their arms, had taken refuge in various ports. At Ostend was the ship Rainbow, which took to flight at the beginning of the battle. (fn. 7) Others were in other ports. At sea there were the burned hulks of ships, floating on the waters, with guns and other remains which might be turned to some account. The frigates in question had orders to make a harvest of all these and bring them into the port of Flushing.
The chief and most considerable decision is to send eighty ships to sea at once, to proceed to the mouth of the Thames and prevent enemy ships from coming out or going in. This assuredly will not happen without causing great sorrow, ignominy and inconvenience to the English. These resolutions of Holland also arouse spirited and extensive ideas of undertakings and conquests in the minds of this government, so far as may be conjectured. On the same day two councils were held, one in the morning, which lasted several hours after midday; the other in the evening, which lasted until long after midnight. Every one conjectures that they do not mean to let the opportunity slip which fortune has presented. The king is armed and has on foot a most copious body of troops beyond what is required for guarding the wide circuit of the coasts and the naval fortresses which were keeping the troops occupied for the most part. He has cavalry upon his 16,000 horses and a powerful naval force. He lacks nothing but the will to act for which the fine opportunity affords no ordinary inducement. It is said that there has been talk of landings in Scotland and Ireland; others say, that it would not be impossible to make an attempt in England itself. A few days will disclose their plans more definitely.
Paris, the 22nd June, 1666.
[Italian.]
June 23.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Spagna.
Venetian
Archives.
17. Marin Zorzi, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.
Relations with the ambassador extraordinary of England have at last been satisfactorily settled, although not without some difficulty. The ambassador is a gentleman of the most distinguished carriage and courtesy, a soldier and a minister at once. He has spent his life both in the command of naval forces and in cabinets in the direction of affairs. The secretary (fn. 8) is known to be a man experienced and profound, well skilled in languages, with experience and finesse. He is to take part in the negotiations and to enter the juntas with the ministers. I learn that this same person enjoys intimate confidential relations in London with the secretary of state Benet, who stayed for several years at this Court as resident. It is therefore supposed that the ambassador may have only the show and the state but will share with the other the authority and power in the counsels and discussions.
Madrid, the 23rd June, 1666.
[Italian.]
June 23,
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Spagna.
Venetian
Archives.
18. Marin Zorzi, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.
The English envoy, having taken leave of the queen and ministers, has set out on the way to Lisbon. He goes very well pleased with the courtesies received and with a precious jewel which her Majesty gave him as a present. With respect to his negotiations there is nothing fresh, the direction and power remaining in the hands of the earl of Sandwich. They merely expressed to him the utmost forwardness in assenting to the agreement when ways are found consonant with the reputation and honour of this crown.
Madrid, the 23rd June, 1666.
[Italian.]
June 23.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Spagna.
Venetian
Archives.
19. Marin Zorzi, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.
In continuation of the conversation with the English ambassador, I will tell your Serenity his principal negotiations. One is the adjustment with Portugal; the other, the league or alliance with this crown. Speaking of the first he expressed astonishment that in times like the present the government should stand upon vain shows without considering matters of greater substance. Braganza was in secure possession, not only supported by his subjects with ready loyalty and constancy, but he was ever being assisted by foreign powers. It was his fortune to be the victor not the vanquished. He had taken up arms to be king, and he was aware how improper it would be to lay them down without keeping the royal title with the kingdom. There was no comparison to be made between his claims to acquire the crown and those of the Dutch. All the same, having won their liberty by force they were recognised as free and sovereign. If the Spaniards took the step at that time with little loss of reputation they can bring themselves to take this one, with less injury.
With such opinions I maintained reserve, and I did not consider it proper to enlarge except in expressing the desire that some way may be found to bring about peace. He replied: there is only one difficulty. That Portugal will give way is not likely. That they will depart from their determination here I doubt very much, but they ought to reflect that the principles … (fn. 9) most feeble state proper to their ancient power. He then passed to the second point, saying: It is necessary to consider the perils of Flanders; the ambition of the Most Christian. The vigorous forces which he keeps on foot are abundantly sufficient for opposing us at sea and for securing his maritime provinces. From this it may clearly be inferred that he is planning other strokes, making two wars at the same time.
To this I answered that I hoped that instead of beginning another war the one between the crowns already begun would calm down. In the minds of two such great and powerful kings, as vigour had been shown over the taking up of arms, an inclination would appear for the resumption of tranquillity.
The ambassador went on to say: I believe that the French know how little it is to their profit and advantage to fight with us. They would much prefer to discharge their fury against Flanders; but my king, seeing through their intentions and tricks, wishes for a universal peace with every one. They had opened a negotiation at Paris, assembling a conference, all a contrivance to make us mistrusted and suspect to our friends. However, the charm is dissolved, the ambassador recalled and all transactions interrupted. With his repeating several times that the peace ought to be universal, the conversation ended. In my answers I did not depart from my first ideas. I always expressed my deep regret that the scars of Christendom were being increased and my desire that the present wounds should be doctored and healed. These sentiments of the ambassador have been expressed not only to me, but to others as well.
He wishes to make this government believe that the decision for war or peace rests in the hands of his king. Accordingly that this crown will not be admitted without being assured against molestation. It is therefore necessary to join in the common defence and to take a place in the alliance. If the project does not please them he protests that if they open their ears to a composition with France they will be left alone here in the midst of the greatest miseries and embarrassments, abandoned by all.
It is observed that England is watching with close attention and suspicion the progress of the Most Christian in the Low Countries, recognising that it is not only hurtful to Spain, but that the blow will have a most serious repercussion against themselves. A confidant of the ambassador has remarked that he will ask for a positive and direct answer. He has orders to hasten his departure with the resolution. The treaty will not suffer the delays and stolidity of this Court, when it is necessary to conclude the agreements with all speed.
Madrid, the 23rd June, 1666.
[Italian; deciphered.]
June 29.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
20. Marc Antonio Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
The fierce, bitter and prolonged conflict which took place between the two fleets has also given rise to disputes and arguments over the reports and accounts of the battle, so that the whole of last week merely served to supply the Court with a subject of dispute and quarrels over the diversity of the letters and accounts. Those of Holland all confess the victory of the forces of the States, but they differ somewhat as to its greater or lesser extent. That thirteen ships remained in the hands of the Dutch cannot be disputed, because it has been seen. Tromp insists that forty-one of the enemy ships have come to grief, including those burned, sunk and blown up. Those of Flushing and Midelburgh make a calculation that the English have lost not less than thirty-five or thirty-six ships, which is precisely what Naiantel reported to his Majesty, and to this opinion the majority adhere. The number of the prisoners is incontestable because they have counted three thousand, but the number of the English who perished in the fight is estimated by some at two thousand while others make it more or less….
The letters from England were awaited read and discussed with the greatest interest. From these it appears that their pride is in no wise abated, and that their feelings are more envenomed than ever. They have studied to deceive the people by making them believe that the fleets separated with little disparity of advantage, and that if anything it lay on their side. That they only lost nine ships, three by accidents, having caught fire and blown up, and six which were of those which were captured last year in the victory gained over the Dutch, because they were ill fitted for the battle and were voluntarily abandoned. That their retreat was caused by the lack of gunpowder and that a strong wind, contrary to them, obliged them to leave the sea and retire to the ports. As their guns could not be used they thought it superfluous to remain any longer against the enemy, since they could not do them any hurt, and this is also admitted by the Dutch.
The guns of the English ships are placed deep down in them on the water line (alla estremita de'medesimi a fila d'acqua.) The contrary wind was so strong that the waves entered the port holes, so that they were obliged to close them if they did not wish to be sunk, and so they were deprived of that advantage, which is the greatest that they could have. They could only make use of the higher tiers, with little harm to the enemy and their own loss. They announce that at any moment Prince Rupert will be going out with thirty frigates to engage Boffort; that this number is sufficient to defeat him.
The king has written to this effect to the queen of England, his mother and to Madame his sister. He added that he told them this as the pure truth. He was no braggart and he did not wish to glory in lies. It is certain that they have lost the battle because they lost the time to fight, and they were defeated because they pretended that they were invincible. In the ship of Admiral Aschelin, who is prisoner to the Dutch, they found a great quantity of letters prepared to be sent to friends, in which they informed them of the victory which the fleet had won, with the number of ships taken in blank, of prisoners, of ships sunk and other particulars, all in blank. In England the people, all ready to celebrate the victory, set watchers who were to wait for it and to give the news. But when the fleet returned the king directed that bonfires should be lighted as if the advantage had been with England, and this for the purpose of deceiving the populace and preventing risings and the ruin of the royal House. They are keeping a number of vessels at sea, to leave the people under the impression that the prisoners are serving on the ships and that the dead are alive.
Upon these advices and in particular about the sailing of Rupert to encounter Boffort, they immediately sent a courier from here to Lisbon, with what commissions does not transpire, but it is conjectured that it is about the principles of the government which, up to the present has preferred to reap rather than to gain victories. They feel confident that Boffort is at Lisbon, where he had orders to unload a great quantity of wheat for the relief of that country, which was experiencing extreme scarcity, and by disposing of this to cover all the expenses of the naval armament, with some profit over and above.
Marshal Turenna has been summoned to the Council several times in the past week, a manifest indication of military consultations. The opportunities that open and then disappear give rise to plans in their counsels from time to time and then remove them.
Paris, the 29th June, 1666.
[Italian.]
June 29.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
21. Marc Antonio Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
Two days before the engagement between the two fleets took place the Swedish ministers in London, Flamin and Coiet, had audience of the king there, to whom they offered mediation. It was accepted, but on condition that the congress of deputies of both parties should meet in London. Chinismarch was to explain to the king here what had been done by those ambassadors, and the king's reply. The reason given by the English is that from the beginning of this war London was the place where the first negotiations were conducted, and the deputies of Holland and the ambassadors of France proceeded thither, and therefore it was not proper to change the place of meeting. If when the proposal is made it is not accepted, the English might be brought round to what is reasonable. However, Chinismarch abstained from making any suggestion to the proud Court which might cool the blood already boiling over what had happened between the fleets. In the mean time they have sent to the Ambassador Andeli in Sweden so that he may find out the ultimate intentions of Sweden and how far the instructions for the ambassadors destined for the negotiation may go.
There was some doubt whether the Swedes, having made some proposals of peace and some requests of the parties for their own profit, without success in either case, might not declare themselves for England. Since the battle they hope for this advantage, that the Swedes will reconsider the matter and that they will not come to a declaration. This much is certain that the last troops which the Dutch had destined for Holsatia in case the treaties did not proceed for the new league between Brunswick, Luneburgh, Brandenburg and others who in conjunction with the Dutch were treating to form a counterpoise to the moves of Sweden against Denmark, are not proceeding on their way.
Some weeks ago a person of great ability and mettle, qualified to start any sort of design on a large scale, set out from these parts for Ireland with supplies of cash. We hear accordingly of disturbances which have occurred there and revolts with the occupation of two towns by the Catholics of that country. (fn. 10) All this is attributed to the acts and the correspondences of this Court.
A report has circulated these last days, though it is very doubtful, that twenty merchantmen laden with precious capital, mostly for the account of Dutchmen, come from various marts of the Levant, Italy and Spain, having united for safety on their voyage and proposing to put in at different parts of Holland, took the long route round England to avoid meeting the fleets, but being discovered by some English frigates which were cruising in those waters, they fell into their hands. The capture, if true, will make good all the losses and will go far to heal the wounds that the fleet has suffered.
Paris, the 29th June, 1666.
[Italian.]
June 30.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Spagna.
Venetian
Archives.
22. Marin Zorzi, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.
Richard Fanshaw, the English ambassador in ordinary, being overtaken by a severe fever, has lost his life in a few days. He was of an advanced age, but seemed robust and vigorous. Affliction of spirit had filled him with melancholy, and one may say had disheartened him. His wife and children with the rest of the household will proceed to England. His wife wishes to take the body with her, embalmed. He always displayed a leaning to the Catholic religion, but particularly in these latter days, and to die obedient to the Roman Church. Some religious, friends of his, in frequent conversations, instilled into him holy sentiments and the dogmas of the truth, and being a man of great learning he recognised and admitted it, but overcome by his interest he arrived at extremity still plunged in errors and heresy. These same religious, by a secret arrangement, while a great council of physicians was being held in another room, entered his chamber and made wonderful profit. But this being discovered by the wife and the preacher, they hastened impetuously and drove out the good fathers with maledictions, and the unhappy dying man, left in their hands, expired bound by the chains of the false belief and perdition. (fn. 11)
An English ship of the royal navy has been lost which was sailing to Lisbon with a cargo of wheat. Choosing to defend itself it was obliged to yield to superior force. The combat lasted for some while and some were slain on both sides.
Madrid, the last of June, 1666.
[Italian.]

Footnotes

1 Blank in the MS.
2 Sir George Ayscue, on the Royal Prince, which had run aground on the Galloper Sands. Cal. S.P. Dom. 1665–6, p. 431.
3 The Royal James.
4 Sir William Berkeley in the Swiftsure. Aitzema: Saken van Staet en Oorlogh, Vol. v. p. 716.
5 Louis Grimaldi, prince of Monaco, was with his brother-in-law, Armand de Grammont comte de Guiche on board the Duivenwoorde commanded by Otto Treslong. Le Clerc: Hist. des Provinces Unies, Vol. iii, p. 138. Aitzema: Saken van Staet en Oorlogh, Vol. v, p. 699.
6 The Sieur de Nointel. Lettres etc. de M. le Comte d'Estrades, Vol. iv. p. 329.
7 The Rainbow, after being severely mauled stood near Ostend all night, but had escaped back to the North Foreland on the 14th June, old style. Cal. S.P. Dom. 1665–6, pp. 428–9.
8 William Godolphin: he was secretary of Arlington.
9 Obliterated.
10 Apparently referring to the mutiny at Carrickfergus and the attack on Castle Forbes by Cornet Nangle. Burghelere, Life of James, First Duke of Ormonde, Vol. ii, pp. 112–4.
11 Fanshawe died on Saturday, 16/26 th June, at the age of 58. Sandwich was present at the end and wrote to Arlington on the 1st July: “He most Christianly submitted to God's will … and resisted temptations from the people of the religion, who did press upon him more than was fitting in that hour of parting.” S.P. Spain, Vol. li. Printed in the Memoirs of Lady Ann Fanshawe, p. 563.