Venice
October 1667

Sponsor

Institute of Historical Research

Publication

Author

Allen B. Hinds (editor)

Year published

1935

Pages

185-190

Annotate

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

Citation Show another format:

'Venice: October 1667', Calendar of State Papers Relating to English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 35: 1666-1668 (1935), pp. 185-190. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=90218 Date accessed: 24 July 2014.


Highlight

(Min 3 characters)

October 1667

Oct. 1.
Inquisitori
di Stato
Busta 474.
Venetian
Archives.
233. Giacomo Quirini, Venetian Ambassador at Rome, to the Inquisitors of State.
The defeat of the Spaniards in Flanders involves war in Italy as a consequence in the coming year. Although the pope with his natural prudence recognises that the princes of this province, either from their own weakness or by fatal disunion are in no case to stay the course of this headlong fortune, he is advised to betake himself through some intermediary to the North and by strong representations to rouse the King of England together with the Dutch to divert this torrent of arms which threatens immediate and general ruin. Meantime Cardinal Barberino asked me if the most serene republic had a minister in London, lamenting to me that they had no correspondent who could speak with that monarch, although he knew that the king was well disposed and friendly to him. Thus some months ago when one of the missionaries left Rome, he handed him a book to present, but he had not been able to do it, seeing that the mere fact of being a Catholic cost him his life. He had thought to make use of the Earl of Arundel, recently arrived in this city, but he also suffered from two serious disabilities, one from having as enemy the Lord Chancellor Hyde and the other that he has his sons in the colleges at Paris. From these considerations your Excellencies will understand how tremendously they desire here to interrupt the thread of France's good fortune whether it be by their own action or by suggestion of the Spaniards.
Rome, 1st October, 1667.
[Italian.]
Oct. 8.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Spagna.
Venetian
Archives.
234. Caterin Belegno, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.
General amazement is felt about the delay of this government over the proposed mediation of the pope. The government feels sure that the Most Christian will not restore what has been taken. Preparations are being made for a fresh campaign. Ultimately the consultations and deliberations upon this most important question have been found out, although they were only imparted to the ears of the nuncio and of the ambassadors of Germany and England. They consist of this: that his Majesty is disposed to the peace, to grant Braganza the royal title and to introduce with him as with the ancient kings, a mutual and reciprocal correspondence. The nuncio (fn. 1) has been told that as the business was initiated by the Ambassador Sciandovich by the offices which he started with Braganza, and for other reasons as well, it cannot be taken out of his hands; otherwise it would mean delaying the negotiations and exposing them to serious accidents. They ask him to assure his Holiness that in virtue of his fervent exhortations they are at work upon this affair in order to complete it with despatch. Accordingly the cardinal, who from the very outset declared that all that they desired at Rome was a composition, replied that provided this ensued the pope will be satisfied. To this end the three deputies who are joined with Sciandovich (fn. 2) subsequently explained to him the tenor of the deliberation. But the ambassador, mindful of what happened to his predecessor, was cautious about committing himself. He said that Braganza cannot pretend to more, and that the affair will be brought safe to port provided they are prepared to compromise on this side for the security of the things decided upon, without making any alteration whatever in their substance.
The government is resentful over this tightness of Sciandovich and opinions are divided, as it seems a hard thing to them to take this step. On the other hand the ambassador will not negotiate upon the doubtful word when the sense of the things promised might be altered in the end. The ambassador of Germany is exerting himself to smoothe away the difficulties, and if the proposal is really sincere and that disposition reigns on the side of Portugal that Sciandovich promises, it would seem, under existing circumstances, that so great a boon ought to have precedence over any punctilio.
Madrid, the 8th October, 1667.
[Italian.]
Oct. 11.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
235. Marc Antonio Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
The report from England of an alliance of that power with the emperor and the Spaniards points to a more powerful counterpoise to this crown. However until we see the meeting of parliament and what its sentiments may be no definite conclusions can be drawn. The duke of Roclaure has been chosen as ambassador to that Court, to convey their compliments on the peace, but Rovigni will continue to handle important affairs. The aspect of affairs referred to above cannot fail to cause misgiving and apprehension to the government here but they will try to interpose obstacles and impediments to everything.
An express has reached the queen of England from London with news of the birth of a son to the duke of York. Every one is delighted and bonfires will be lighted to celebrate the occasion. The father lost no time in having the ceremony of christening performed. The duke of Albeni, the marquis of Worcester and the countess of Suffolk took part in the function, giving the child the name of Edward, which in days gone by was borne by a king of the race of the Saxons, who reigned gloriously in that country. (fn. 3) The prince of York persuades himself that he has laid the people of that kingdom under an obligation by this honourable pledge (con questo invito d'honore), so that in the approaching parliament they ought to show themselves favourable to the cause of the chancellor, his father-in-law, through their representatives.
Paris, the 11th October, 1667.
[Italian.]
Oct. 18.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
236. Marc Antonio Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
Madame, wife of the duke of Orleans, has written a letter to the king, her brother, in which she asks him to permit her to make a levy of troops from that nation in order to form a regiment for her service. It will be an easy matter for her to obtain this concession since all the Catholics have been exiled, without excepting even those who were in the service of that monarch. (fn. 4) This goes to prove how little authority is possessed by that monarch in his kingdom (quanto poco sii autorizata in quel regno la Maesta sua), who was only led to take such a step from fear that he would be compelled to do it by parliament.
Paris, the 18th October, 1667.
[Italian.]
Oct. 19.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Spagna.
Venetian
Archives.
237. Caterin Belegno, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.
The ambassadors of England and Holland declare that the Spaniards will find that they are mistaken in the object which they set before themselves of inducing those two great powers to join their side by the argument of their common interests. Sandovich says that his king, being now at peace with every one, is thinking of recuperating from the losses of the late war. Although he came to Madrid to propose an alliance to this crown, which was refused last year, very ill advisedly, now is the time to give them back their refusal. Besides this there were many reasons on his side to justify such a course.
From London we hear that the peace which the ambassador arranged here has at length been accepted, and a gentleman of his, whom he despatched to England with the articles, is returning here with the ratification. (fn. 5)
The peace with Portugal, which might well be the greatest boon, is being disturbed by a very important difficulty. Sandovic not only insists on the compromise, but puts forward a demand in the preliminaries which should serve for the conclusion of the treaty, to wit, that it be put in writing that this crown agrees to make peace with the king of Portugal, but not with the duke of Braganza, as before treating the Portuguese desire the hateful memory of their past subjection and dependence to be obliterated from the minds of the Castilians. This important point causes much heart burning because if the English ambassador does not hold sufficient powers from Braganza they are afraid of taking a compromising step without being certain of good results. However, Sandovic declares that he will answer personally for the conclusion if they agree to do this, that he will know well enough how to handle the Portuguese and to make use of the powers which will be granted to him at the right time. As a matter of fact the transaction has never been in such a promising state on this side, and the ambassador is full of confidence that he will bring it to a successful conclusion. He told me, however, that he has been waiting eight days for the final reply, and he seems worried by the delay. In spite of this I am assured on good authority that he already has in his hands the formal consent, signed by the queen. A strong indication of this is that the secretary of the embassy, who takes part in all the negotiations, is on the point of leaving Madrid almost any day, (fn. 6) under colour of proceeding to London. The secrecy observed cannot prevent something more definite and authentic from leaking out, from time to time.
The English have won a very important success at the Barbadoes, against twenty-four French ships. Many were sunk by gun fire, the rest taken and burned. (fn. 7) After this achievement the English proceeded to the island of San Christofolo in the hope of making a landing there and recovering it from the French, who had occupied it.
Madrid, the 19th October, 1667.
[Italian.]
Oct. 27.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Spagna.
Venetian
Archives.
238. Caterin Belegno, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.
The departure of the secretary of the English ambassador for Lisbon is being postponed from day to day; however, from the house of Sandovich I have just learned that it will take place on Thursday, without fail. He will take to Braganza the most ample assurances upon the compromise from this side, consigned in the most ample manner as desired, to the ambassador, signed by the queen and seven ministers. The confessor and Castriglio refused to append their signatures; the latter because by nature he is accustomed to oppose everything that is well done. The former refused under the pretext of not wishing to charge his conscience, not understanding sufficiently the greatness of the occasion, and assuredly he cannot shelter himself behind this excuse.
It now remains to be seen whether Portugal will respond with equal good will and readiness, if the powers given by Braganza to the Ambassador Sciandovich will be ample and if the pledge of the British king to abandon his brother-in-law if he does not agree to the peace will have the effect which they have always claimed for it at London. Here they have played the best cards of treating as between king and king not only after the peace but also in the preliminaries, being persuaded by the extreme difficulties in which the monarchy finds itself.
Madrid, the 27th October, 1667.
[Italian; deciphered.]

Footnotes

1 Cardinal Vitaliano Visconti.
2 The three who conducted the negotiations with Sandwich were the duke of Medina de las Torres, the count of Peñaranda, and Nithard, the queen's confessor.
3 Born on the 14th Sept., o.s. and christened Edgar, not Edward, after Edgar the Pacific, 957–975. Albeni is a mistake for Albemarle. London Gazette, Sept. 12–16, 1667: Cal. S.P. Dom., 1667, p. 557. Pepys: Diary, Vol. vii, p. 114.
4 A reference to a decree issued by Charles on the 18th September, to please parliament, for the administration of the oaths of allegiance and supremacy, whereby as many as 400 of the troops were cashiered. See Aitzema: Saken van Staet en Ooorlogh, Vol. vi, p. 71. London Gazette, Sep. 19–23, 1667, Cal. S.P. Dom., 1667, pp. 472, 476, 1667–8, p. 110.
5 Henry Sheres was the gentleman. On October 3/13 Sandwich wrote to Arlington saying that he was pleased to hear of Mr. Sheres' arrival in London and that he might expect him back any day with the treaty ratified. P.R.O. S.P, Spain, Vol. liii. See also Pepys: Diary, Vol. vii, pp. 119, 127.
6 William Godolphin. He did not actually leave Madrid until 10th Dec., o.s. John Werden to Williamson on 27th Dec., o.s. P.R.O. S.P. Spain, Vol. liii.
7 The victory of Sir John Harman. Having received news at Nevis of the French fleet on the 13th June he put to sea in the Lion, accompanied by the Jersey and Norwich and 8 other ships. On the 19th he sighted the enemy in the road of Martinique, 24 sail in all. Attacking on the 25th he gained a complete victory, completely destroying the enemy forces, with the exception of two or three ships which escaped. Twenty of the French were considerable ships, five being men-of-war. Harman's despatches in the London Gazette, Sept. 9–12 and Sept. 19–23, 1667. Cal. S.P. Dom., 1667, pp. 447–8.