Venice
June 1667

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Institute of Historical Research

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Allen B. Hinds (editor)

Year published

1935

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163-169

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'Venice: June 1667', Calendar of State Papers Relating to English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 35: 1666-1668 (1935), pp. 163-169. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=90214 Date accessed: 01 November 2014.


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Contents

June 1667

June 4.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Spagna.
Venetian
Archives.
194. Caterin Belegno, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.
Two important subjects are under discussion with the Ambassador Sciandovich, namely, to join in alliance with England and to establish peace with Braganza. As regards the first there seems to be a disposition towards reciprocity; but for the other there are many obstructions and difficulties, increased by the last arrangement made with France. At this very outset of the affair it is impossible to speak with any certainty and many of the Council are inclined to treat separately with Portugal, shutting out the English mediation and separating the secondary considerations, which usually make the negotiations difficult.
Madrid, the 4th June, 1667.
[Italian.]
June 4.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Firenze.
Venetian
Archives.
195. Antonio Maria Vincenti, Venetian Resident at Florence, to the Doge and Senate.
The high demands of merchants for ships under present circumstances serve to bring into ever greater prominence the lack of business at the port of Leghorn. The number of ships is so scanty that nothing like it has ever been known within the memory of elderly persons. This state of affairs is attributed to the war between England and Holland, and it is hoped that with the adjustment of their differences the former flow of ships to Leghorn will return and that trade will flourish again. But the wisest recognise that even if the war were ended Leghorn cannot look for complete relief unless the sea is cleared of the Barbary corsairs.
Florence, the 4th June, 1667.
[Italian.]
June 11.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Spagna.
Venetian
Archives.
196. Caterin Belegno, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.
The English ambassador is daily making progress with his affairs. They have sent another person to London which gives one reason to believe that he does not hold full powers to conclude. Ambrun is of this opinion and not only so, but that his king will have forestalled the Spaniards and stipulated a secret agreement with the British king so that he will not be able to unite himself with this crown to the prejudice of France. Nevertheless, all the business of Portugal remains in the hands of the same ambassador, and without any declaration issuing from that side a great deal is promised from the disposition of Braganza if here they will agree to condescend to an effective peace and bow themselves to accept circumstances. In the Council many of the zealous, and the inquisitor in particular, do not incline to the truce of forty-five years, which really amounts to perpetuating the war, since the first negotiation was always detested and spurned by the Portuguese. Accordingly, it would be no small thing, at this conjuncture, to be able to win them by the inducement of a glorious peace, seeing that they are urged on to great endeavours by the gold and assistance of France.
Madrid, the 11th June, 1667.
[Italian.]
June 14.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
197. Marc Antonio Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
The States are hastening to fill up patents for fresh levies. Their fleet has crossed the sea to the number of seventy-one ships of war. Some of the Assembly were inclined to attempt some enterprise, but the fear of interrupting the negotiations for peace and of stirring up animosity afresh dissuaded some of the others. Denmark had forty ships ready and was only waiting for the payment of the subsidies promised by the Lords States, as well as a certain number of sailors, to be sent to join with the fleet of the Provinces.
The relations of the Provinces with the Swedes are being brought steadily to a better posture. They have recently obtained the release of the ships which were bringing cargoes of prohibited goods; they have also made an arrangement about the forbidden capital and obtained a passport for five ships which are to proceed to England and then to Portugal.
Count Dona has left for Breda to satisfy his curiosity and seems well satisfied with his negotiations. On his return they will be resumed upon other points outstanding between them, for the settlement of which present circumstances greatly favour the Swedes. The ministers of Sweden at Breda have declared in confidence to one of the Dutch deputies that the Provinces may rest perfectly assured of two things: one that the crown of Sweden will labour sincerely for peace, and the other, which is of the greatest importance, that Sweden will have nothing to do with the designs of France for the conquest of the Low Countries. If this is true it is a very significant statement and it chimes in with certain expressions which escaped from the minister of Sweden resident here at Paris (fn. 1) from which one might gather that the movements of this crown and its vast designs are being watched by every one with attention and mistrust.
The princes of Germany have not yet taken any resolution about the refusal which has been demanded, both of free passage and of troops to the emperor for the succours which were destined for Flanders, although some of them were thinking of sending a deputy to the king here to persuade him to an adjustment with Spain.
Boninghen has intimated to the Lords States that the king here will welcome the mediation of the Provinces and of the other allies, provided they do not assume the character of judges. They would perhaps be willing to entrust the mediation to the States so that they might not render themselves parties.
A conference has been held at Breda. The English claimed that the alternative ought not to comprise more than the places which have been taken since the 26th March, 1664, until the same day in the current year, and that there should be reserved to them the pretensions contained in the 14th article of 1662. However, they spoke in such a way as to leave hope that they will, in the end, withdraw these pretensions.
The French ambassadors display a great desire for peace, and upon the points on which it is difficult for the Dutch to give way they have declared that if the difficulties are not surmounted France will come to terms with England. The harmony (concerto) between the two kings is already known to Holland, but the Dutch are afraid that the French mean to put themselves on better terms with the English by fresh artifices.
Paris, the 14th June, 1667.
[Italian.]
June 14.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
198. Marc Antonio Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
Van Boninghen has made strong representations to the Sieur di Liona for the conjunction of the fleets. This is believed to be more in order to discover their sentiments here and to have a reasonable pretext that will enable them on every occasion to take better decisions with less remark, than in the hope of achieving any good result. There is some talk of causing a part of the naval forces to proceed into the Channel, but instead of going to the Dutch it is to stay about in the waters of Neuport or Ostend, to support what may happen there.
From the English they are expecting every demonstration of good correspondence towards this side, and it is not credible that the royal fleet should unite to their hurt.
Quite recently Count Illon, an Irishman, (fn. 2) offered his Majesty a levy of 4000 soldiers of that nation. It is not known whether the offer will be accepted. The Spaniards similarly are expecting 6000 English soldiers levied from that country with their own money, for the defence of Brabant. The English continue to extract profit from one side and the other and derive no little advantage for themselves by trading in their neutrality.
The Ambassador Molina is labouring by frequent offices to persuade them to an open declaration of alliance and union with Spain. He does not forget to make promises of cash while he urges the important interest they have to prevent the French from establishing themselves in possession of Flanders and Brabant. The English refer their own decisions to the resolutions of Holland and they have told the ambassador that it belongs to the Dutch to take the first steps and that they will follow afterwards. According to this notion, while it will render the English more sought after by France, it will also make this crown more anxious to keep the Dutch involved in the war and to keep a tight hold on them by their instances and offices while they are intimidated by the Swedes and the Spaniards.
The second son also of the duke of Jorc has departed this life, so that the royal House of England is without posterity. (fn. 3)
Paris, the 14th June, 1667.
[Italian.]
June 18.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni,
Corti.
Venetian
Archives.
199. To the Resident at Florence.
Commend his reply to the merchants of Leghorn. The matter has been submitted for consideration to the Five Savii alla Mercanzia. Their reply will soon arrive and the wishes of the state will be communicated at the earliest possible moment.
Ayes, 111. Noes, 0. Neutral, 1.
[Italian.]
June 18.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Spagna.
Venetian
Archives.
200. Caterin Belegno, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.
The Dutch ambassador speaks very hopefully about the negotiations at Breda. Here, as a matter of fact, they feel very confident of bringing the Provinces over to their side by the way of honesty, advantage and what is necessary. The ambassador Sandovich also is believed to be so far advanced with his business that only the consent of the king is lacking to complete the stipulation.
Cæsar insists upon the peace with Portugal by the most lively representations, but it is feared that circumstances will render this affair more difficult than was expected. The ambassador of England, who keeps his hand on the affair, sent an express some days ago to Braganza to learn his opinions and to invite him to great advantages.
Madrid, the 18th June, 1667.
[Italian.]
June 21.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
201. Marc Antonio Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
It is quite certain that the levy of 6000 English for the service of the Spaniards keeps them full of misgiving on this side, and it is argued that the neutrality professed by the English tends to the advantage of the Spaniards. There are not wanting those who suspect that the English have made a show of listening to the French about establishing peace and agreements with them in order to make them proceed more easily to the declaration against the Spaniards and so come to be involved in a great war. A courier from London has reached Lord Germen, and he went with all speed to see the king. He holds some important commission and a few days will disclose its nature.
Paris, the 21st June, 1667.
[Italian.]
June 28.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
202. Marc Antonio Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
Lord Germen brought complaints to the Most Christian on behalf of his king about a landing of 4000 soldiers of this nation which he caused to take place in Ireland at a place called Solzbay. (fn. 4) Eighteen French ships detached themselves from the body of the fleet some months ago and not being fully acquainted with the agreements between this crown and the British they thought to be serving their king by inflicting injury and trouble upon his enemy. This crown regrets the circumstance, the more because it may serve as a pretext for breaking off all that has been arranged. The English, by nature, do not like advantages for France, nor, from reasons of state should they desire them. I have written that the treaties might have been managed. It is believed that when England sees France in the toils she will go straight over to the Spaniards. The Queen, who is here, regrets it. In England Baron Isola is doing his very utmost to draw them to a declaration and an effective alliance. From this side they are pulling in the opposite direction. Rovigni has made more than one journey. It is believed that the Sieur di Liona has arrived in Paris, not so much to recover from his indisposition as to remedy the evil of this affair. While he was in bed Rovigni read him a long letter from those parts, and he does not despair. The issue may be foreseen from the balance of interest.
At the congress of Breda they are negotiating actively for the peace. The Dutch are surmounting numerous difficulties. The new project was a claim of the English for 30,000 crowns from the aforesaid. The latter made it a point of honour and seemed reluctant to yield the point to them, but in the end they gave way to the offices of the Swedish mediators. One of these, Coyet, has passed to the other life. (fn. 5) It is feared that this accident may bring about some delay in the adjustment. It is true that the report that this had happened was current yesterday, but if the letters do not confirm this rumour, belief in it must be suspended. The courier of last week has arrived but the letters of Germany are not being distributed. Everything is being kept under custody at the Court and they observe a rigid silence. But it is impossible for every one to be kept in the dark. It is said that the emperor is sending a certain number of troops to Alsace, that he is short of commanders, that they have resolved on defending the Catholic, but they fear a rupture with the Most Christian.
Paris, the 28th June, 1667.
[Italian.]
June 28.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
203. Marc Antonio Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
About Ostend and the coastal parts of Flanders they no longer say anything. A good number of English troops who were at Dover waiting to embark, have crossed over, (fn. 6) and the English say quite openly that if France makes any attempt at conquest in that part they will go to its defence.
Paris, the 28th June, 1667.
[Italian.]
June 28.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
204. Marc Antonio Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
The Dutch fleet has proceeded to the mouths of the Thames with a very strong force of ships. It would seem that they have in mind some design from which they hope to secure advantages for their peace and that this may make the English solicitous to conclude it. It does not transpire what this may be.
The Dutch were expecting sixteen ships of Denmark which were to unite with their fleet. That king is keeping a further number of ships by him, for the safety of his ports. He has learned that Sweden is beginning to prepare a fleet (un armata).
The Lords States were considering the question whether they should present an ultimatum to the English ambassadors, giving them so many days to decide either to conclude a peace or to dissolve the congress; a very severe and perilous step.
Paris, the 28th June, 1667.
[Italian.]

Footnotes

1 Stephanus Gambrotius Hirschenstierna.
2 Presumably Thomas, fourth Viscount Dillon.
3 Charles, duke of Kendal, who died at St. James's palace on the night of Wednesday the 1st June, n.s. London Gazette, May 23–27, 1667. His elder brother, James, duke of Cambridge, survived him, but died on Thursday, 30th June, n.s. Ibid., June 20–24.
4 Thomas Borrows, writing from Kinsale on the 14th June, reports the appearance off Berehaven of a French man-of-war off Berehaven, men from which burned a town and stripped the country. Cal. S.P. Ireland, 1666–9, p. 375. There appears to be no other record of a landing.
5 The Swedish ambassador, P. J. Coyet, died at Breda on Saturday the 11th June, n.s., of a violent fever. His place was taken by Count Dona. London Gazette, June 6–10, 1667.
6 Writing on the 8th June Henry Muddiman reported that 500 English had landed at Ostend, being the earl of Castlehaven's regiment for the Spanish service. (Cal. S.P. Dom., 1667, p. 163.


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May 1667