Venice
August 1667

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Institute of Historical Research

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Allen B. Hinds (editor)

Year published

1935

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176-181

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'Venice: August 1667', Calendar of State Papers Relating to English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 35: 1666-1668 (1935), pp. 176-181. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=90216 Date accessed: 21 April 2014. Add to my bookshelf


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August 1667

Aug. 2.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
215. Marc Antonio Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
The Ambassador Coventry has returned to Breda from England with the ratification of the treaty. The king of England wished to hold things up until the meeting of parliament which was postponed until the 5th inst., but the ambassador forced upon him a prompt decision either to consent to the treaty or to face the dissolution of the congress and to go on without listening to any more talk of peace for years and years; so he had to agree to the articles. The king accordingly is in some anxiety that the parliament may not show itself satisfied with what has been done and that it may harass his Majesty by inquiring of him how the money was distributed that was destined for the war or some other tiresome questions. The best resource and defence may be by pointing out the advantage of freeing their hands to enable them to decide about emergencies in the Low Countries, the preservation of which is a notable interest for that kingdom. That would be a piece of good fortune if it would suffice to keep them in a state of internal quiet; but there is a fear of their being involved in fresh disturbances and that the neutrality already accorded to that monarch, between king and king, may give occasion for commotions for which there is no lack of stimulus and incitement.
The peace arranged between these two northern powers might give another aspect to affairs, either by a composition or by a fresh rupture, the English being daring and determined, for whatever fate may bring. It is believed that if any one proceeds to make a declaration in favour of Spain it may easily be followed by many others. Accordingly the peace with England is not well received in this quarter at the bottom of their hearts.
The Dutch Vice-Admiral Ghent is staying with his squadron in the neighbourhood of the Orcade islands. He came very near to surprising the English Vice-Admiral Smitz, who was proceeding to England with a rich prize of a Dutch ship laden with three tons of gold of the value of over three millions. He succeeded in escaping to the port of Hull. (fn. 1) In London they were anxious lest he should come to harm. The establishment of the peace will set their minds at rest.
Paris, the 2nd August, 1667.
[Italian.]
Aug. 9.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
216. Marc Antonio Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
A proposal started under colour of greater validity and security for what had been arranged, but possibly with the object of upsetting it, has not served to impede or suspend the signing of the peace. This was that they should wait for the consent of parliament. On the last day of last month the mediators called the parties together in the citadel of Breda, where the peace was signed at five in the afternoon, being followed by demonstrations of rejoicing. A month has been allowed for the ratification, this being asked by Denmark, but it is expected to come sooner. In the mean time all the foreign ministers have left Breda for the Hague, to await the arrival there of the ratification. The articles of the peace have not yet arrived. The Hanse Towns did then utmost to be included.
Paris, the 9th August, 1667.
[Italian.]
Aug. 13.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni,
Corti.
Venetian
Archives.
217. To the Ambassador in France.
Recognise the appropriateness of his representations and offices to co-operate for the benefit of the peace, that his insinuations are well calculated and his reserve commendable about the commitments with England and Holland. In the mean time observe with regret the king's evident dislike of the armistice and adjustment. On the other hand the Senate rejoices that through his dexterity the readiness of the republic has been made manifest and its desire to cultivate so great a boon. He must bring forward these ideas at every opportunity and press them with equal warmth, with particular attention to the offices which may be performed by the person who has charge of the interests of the pope at that Court.
The news of the peace between England and Holland is a great matter. When he receives particulars of this from the ministers of those powers, he is to perform a suitable office at a fitting opportunity, to express the consolation felt by the most serene republic at this adjustment; but he is to observe with great care the effect that this peace will have in Flanders, and the discourses and negotiations which are being propounded to the said powers.
Ayes, 117. Noes, 0. Neutral, 1.
[Italian.]
Aug. 16.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
218. Marc Antonio Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
The peace between England and Holland, although signed by the deputies, does not prohibit acts of hostility to the parties, but up to the ratification each is at liberty to inflict all the harm he can on the enemy. It is claimed that with this licence those interested will make more haste in putting the final touches to what has been agreed, it being feared that the prescribed term of a month, a very long period, was introduced in order to finish off the campaign, keeping the parties to their original commitments. Accordingly in the interval the English are making supreme efforts to recover the former lustre of their arms so sadly tarnished by the recent advantage obtained by the Dutch. Having fitted out nineteen ships of war Vice-Admiral Sprach, with these and some fireships, sailed out to encounter twenty-five Dutch who were keeping their station in the River Thames. He attacked them with great fury and after two days of continuous fighting in which the Dutch lost seven of their fireships and two ships of war, the others being roughly handled, they found it expedient to abandon their post and leave the river. The English Vice-Admiral, not having suffered much damage from the enemy, followed after him in the hope of engaging him afresh and routing him utterly, being reinforced by six ships which had left Harwich and had joined him. Prince Ruberto, also with ten other ships of war and four fireships, had put to sea with the object of engaging some other enemy squadron. There was some rumour that the English captain Alviz with the ships of his command had defeated some ships of the Dutch fleet which was expected from the Indies, causing great anxiety in Holland. (fn. 2)
These manifold moves of England spur the States to obtain from Denmark at the earliest possible moment the ratification of the peace and it is believed that it may be obtained by the end of the present month.
Parliament assembled in London on the 5th. The king postponed speaking of business until the 8th. They keep putting off the meeting, not feeling very sure about the views that may be taken about what has been arranged. In the mean time they are dealing with the leading men and whinning them over by the king's favour.
Paris, the 16th August, 1667.
[Italian.]
Aug. 20.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Spagna.
Venetian
Archives.
219. Tomaso Rudio, Venetian Secretary in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.
The replies of Braganza have arrived at last. They are in accordance with what was anticipated since that government will not consent to articles for a truce unless they carry with them treatment as a king. As they are obliged here to submit to necessity in this adjustment, they will abandon the mediation of England and have recourse to that of the pope.
Madrid, the 20th August, 1667.
[Italian.]
Aug. 21.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Germania.
Venetian
Archives.
220. Alessandro Bernardo, Venetian Secretary in Germany, to the Doge and Senate.
The articles of the peace of Breda have been ratified. Holland and England have agreed together about the adjustment to avoid the further destruction of their trade, and the Dutch in particular, from perceiving that the emergencies of Flanders may possibly cause disturbance to themselves as well. It may easily happen that being relieved of one war they will be desirous of obtaining peace on their borders as well.
Strong hopes are conceived here that with the English and the Dutch it may be possible to uphold the rights of Flanders and that the king of France will not be allowed to aggrandise himself further or be able afterwards to claim advantages and conquests against them as well.
Vienna, the 21st August, 1667.
[Italian.]
Aug. 23.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
221. Marc Antonio Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
At the meeting of the parliament of England some altercation arose because the king there, although the differences with France and Holland have been brought to a peaceful conclusion, wished nevertheless to maintain on foot a large body of troops. The parliamentarians refused to give their assent to this and so the king found it expedient to satisfy them by disbanding the men, merely keeping by him the ordinary number of his guards. It is believed that the parliamentarians, played upon (pratticati) by Baron Isola, made a point of this instance in order that the party of Spain in the Netherlands might receive speedy succour from a large proportion of those veteran and war-worn troops. They also desired to put forward other requests to his Majesty, and in particular to have under examination some articles of the treaty of peace; but the king dissolved the parliament and so rid himself of every occasion for disturbance and of wrangling. It is believed that the assembly will be prorogued until the end of next month, by which time every act for the establishment of the treaty of peace will be perfected and fulfilled.
The ratifications of England had already reached Breda; those of the Dutch are expected shortly and the ambassadors of France had promised that theirs should be at hand before the end of last week. Mons. Courtin had left the Hague for Breda and the Ambassador Estrades was to go after him, two days later. The Lords States have announced that if any one attempts to stir up fresh trouble to interrupt the peace or to render it difficult they are determined to have it and to conclude it alone, with England.
Paris, the 23rd August, 1667.
[Italian.]
Aug. 28.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Germania.
Venetian
Archives.
222. Alessandro Bernardo, Venetian Secretary in Germany, to the Doge and Senate.
It is believed that the peace of Breda may prove very helpful to the affairs of Flanders, since many troops will be sent over from England, and these, joined with others who are also being assembled in that country, will serve to give fresh vigour to the Spanish side.
This Court is urging on Madrid the adjustment with Portugal, in order that Spain, being relieved of that incumbrance, may attend with more vigour to the emergencies of Flanders, and that those here may be discharged of the obligation of succouring her.
Vienna, the 28th August, 1667.
[Italian.]
Aug. 30.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
223. Marc Antonio Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
It is expected that the treaty of Breda will be quite completed next week. Sweden is keeping every one on tenterhooks with respect to its views upon the present situation. In like manner England is causing the powers feelings of doubt and uncertainty over the same circumstances. The English ambassadors have stated quite freely that their king will preserve neutrality between the two crowns; but Baron Isola writes differently from London and asserts that the king and Council will contribute every conceivable advantage to Spain. The results bear this out, since more than 1300 soldiers of that nation have been embarked in London these last ten days in order to cross to Flanders.
To counteract the negotiations of Baron Isola they are sending Mons. di Rovigni from this Court to that country. He is a gentleman of ability who has transacted business there on other occasions. His commissions are to make liberal offers to the king and chancellor there provided they will consent to thwart the advantage of the Spaniards. But with the chancellor it will be necessary to use the greatest precautions to avoid incurring the wrath of the parliament, which seems to be opposed to him, possibly suspecting that he has strong leanings to the French.
An attempt disastrous to the English has taken place in the island of San Cristofolo. They made a landing of 1200 men to beat the French, who held it, but were repulsed and more than six hundred of them were cut to pieces. The rest found it expedient to retreat. However, one half of the island will be restored to the English by the treaty of peace, as they enjoyed it before hostilities began.
Hostilities will continue beyond the line for some months, in the Ocean for weeks and in the Channel for days, so encounters will frequently be heard of, even after the peace. On the coasts of Africa the English went to take the fort of Comartino by storm, but they lost 150 of their men there and, abandoning their guns, they gave up the attempt. Nevertheless, they succeeded in capturing a ship of 44 guns which was escorting a squadron of provision ships for those parts. On the other hand the Dutch have captured four ships of the English which were coming from Smyrna and Lisbon. Ruiter is still at the mouth of the Thames with a squadron of ships. Admiral Gant is towards the North with another. The Dutch are still anxious about their Eastern fleet which does not put in an appearance. Thus both the parties, although at peace, are experiencing the fears and vicissitudes of war.
Paris, the 30th August, 1667.
[Italian.]

Footnotes

1 Vice-Admiral Joseph Willem van Gent, who commanded the third Dutch squadron, was sent to cruise off the north of Scotland with a squadron of 17 ships. Sir Jeremy Smith's ships were busy making prizes in Scottish waters. The one mentioned was a vessel of 700 or 800 tons and 32 guns, bound to the East Indies from Amsterdam; taken by the Plymouth off the coast of Ireland. She was sent for safety to the Firth of Forth and then to the Humber. Le Clerc: Hist. des Provinces Unies, Vol. iii, p. 196. Cal. S.P. Dom., 1667, pp. 216, 220, 230.
2 The action of Sir Edward Spragg was begun on the 23rd July and continued on the 25th and 26th, o.s. London Gazette, July 22–25 and July 25–29. The Harwich squadron was under Sir Joseph Jordan. Alviz may be intended for Sir Jeremy Smith, who was in northern waters to intercept Dutch merchantmen.