Venice
February 1668

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Institute of Historical Research

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Allen B. Hinds (editor)

Year published

1935

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211-215

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'Venice: February 1668', Calendar of State Papers Relating to English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 35: 1666-1668 (1935), pp. 211-215. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=90222 Date accessed: 21 October 2014.


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February 1668

Feb. 1.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Spagna.
Venetian
Archives.
275. Catterin Belegno, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.
A great welcome was given to the English ambassador on his entry into Portugal. He was received on the frontier by a strong force of cavalry and introduced into Jelves into the midst of the garrison, under arms, and greeted with a royal salute. During his passage from this to the enemy frontier a truce was arranged between the armies for three days, so the Portuguese and Castilians passed mutually from Badajos to Jelves and from Jelves to Badajos with the demonstrations and preludes of a sound peace. On his arrival at Lisbon the ambassador was likewise received with universal acclamations as the harbinger of peace. We do not yet know about the propounding of his negotiations although it is believed here that the principal points will have been arranged by the marchese di Lice, who had full powers from her Majesty, as I reported when the Ambassador Sandovic seemed to be hesitating about the journey. A manifest indication that the business is far advanced is that the marchese di Lice has been caused to proceed free from the tower of Belem to a private house; so it is believed that the English ambassador has arrived to an affair already settled and that only his signature is required to give reputation to the treaty.
In Lisbon some of the ill affected cried out against Don Piero, but their voices made no impression because the commune of the people and the procurators of the general Cortes are blinded by their desire for peace. Letters from thence state that the party of France has declined and that some few of the ministers there are exerting themselves to persuade them not to break the alliance with France. A few weeks should put the issue of this great transaction beyond doubt. It is difficult to see by what accident it can be disturbed seeing that both the parties cherish sentiments of peace.
Madrid, the 1st February, 1668.
[Italian.]
Feb. 4.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni,
Corti.
Venetian
Archives.
276. To the Ambassador with the Most Christian King.
The Senate in its prudence has come to recognise that there should be no further delay about the despatch of the ambassador in ordinary to the king of Great Britain which was decided some time since. This is not only in consideration of the present most serious condition of the affairs of the state but to revive and maintain with that crown the good correspondence which our ancestors always had at heart. For this cause our well beloved noble Pietro Mocenigo, selected for that Court, has been directed to make his preparations immediately to set out within the space of one month next following, to the end that by arriving there at the earliest possible moment he may find himself favourably placed to facilitate by his offices the labours ably undertaken by the Secretary Marchesini who has left, as we suppose, for levies and other provisions which are most urgently needed. The ambassador also will be able afterwards to apply himself with all his powers to appeal for the largest possible measure of assistance for the relief of our most urgent requirements.
At the same time it will be appropriate and advantageous for you to make known at that Court this decision of ours. You should also impart it to the queen mother of England and to the duchess of Orleans, her daughter, taking advantage of the opportunity thus afforded to ask from both of them their letters in support, so that both by their interposition and by this act and declaration of ours the Secretary Marchesini may find them the more favourably inclined, realise better the wishes of the state and carry out the orders which have already reached you.
You are instructed to obtain from the States of Holland without delay the passports necessary for the ambassador, sending them on to meet him on his journey, according to the progress that you hear that he had made in it, advising us thereupon.
Ayes, 95. Noes, 9. Neutral, 26.
[Italian.]
Feb. 7.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
277. Marc Antonio Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
There is no sign of more exact particulars than those indicated which I am sending by the next ordinary, and more definite information must be awaited from Holland. Yet these points afford no small subject for consideration and discussion. This is as well from the decision having been so sudden as from the aspect itself of the affairs, as may be observed, it would seem, from divers manifestations. There can be no doubt but that the English are the principal contrivers of the business. To carry the affair to the Hague in the commissions given to Sir William Temple, taking everything out of the hands of the Dutch ambassadors who are in London, who would have negotiated at length and possibly with jealousies between the Provinces themselves, from their being creatures of de Witz who is so masterful and a partisan of this crown, was an excellent means for establishing the affair promptly. The proposals made by this Temple to de Witz some weeks ago of an alliance against France and later the threat that England would draw near to France with an offer of the same to that country if the Dutch should not incline to accept the proposals, may well be considered as a very sharp spur to a resolution, the more so because the journey of Lord Germen to London might be interpreted as for this purpose. But whether the object of the English is to see the Spaniards driven out of the Low Countries completely, whether they have wished to do a good turn for France, themselves and Holland, or merely to inculcate moderation between princes and to prevent France from spreading herself in Flanders still remains to be discovered. At first sight the articles in question seem to be entirely in favour of the French. They allow them to keep their conquests and they require the Spaniards to make a forced cession. There are some who persuade themselves that all this is a contrivance of the government here, which has caused the English to dance according to its own tune and that knowing the difficulties which the Spaniards are about to interpose to prevent an adjustment, England, Holland and France have joined together in an arrangement to drive them out of the Low Countries.
The brother of the king of England has arrived here and is well entertained. (fn. 1) They talk of giving him some employment as a proof of good intentions. Nevertheless all this does not suffice to dispel the belief that the Spaniards also may not find their greatest advantage in this treaty and that Isola and Molines in England have not had a hand in it. It is not reasonable to suppose that France will be pleased with a treaty which speaks as if it were laying down the law to them. The Spaniards, before force is used to compel them to let go, will want to have their arguments heard. Here they are unwilling to let time slip by without plucking their advantage, and there is no inclination here to stand armed without attempting conquests. Accordingly the mediators may easily choose to take the side of the loser, and as the Swedes are no lovers of peace one cannot believe that they have entered into an alliance without hoping for war.
Paris, the 7th February, 1667. [M.V.]
[Italian.]
Feb. 15.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Spagna.
Venetian
Archives.
278. Tomaso Rudio, Venetian Secretary in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.
An extraordinary from the Marchese di Lice has arrived from Lisbon, from whom it is learned that the English ambassador has met with four deputies appointed for the peace. The agent of the English ambassador here says that his master will not send unless he has definite news and has the certain prospect of a favourable issue to these affairs or the reverse. The messenger further reports that at the port of Lisbon they are expecting any day ten powerful English ships of war (fn. 2) in order, if circumstances should require it, to suppress any risings that might result from the vigorous exertions of France for the upsetting of these affairs. The same agent accordingly feels very hopeful about the peace and from seeing the ambassador so much honoured there. He is living in the palace of Avero, and from the duke and Don Pedro he is constantly receiving marks of their singular esteem.
Madrid, the 15th February, 1668.
[Italian.]
Feb. 18.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni,
Corti.
Venetian
Archives.
279. To the Ambassador in France.
Approval of his conduct in conversation with the ministers of England and Holland. Desire that the former shall leave for London well disposed to forward the interests of the most serene republic in that quarter. In the mean time, while the Ambassador Mocenigo is proceeding towards that Court it will be advisable to keep alive the correspondence with the minister, with the same object.
Ayes, 99. Noes, 0. Neutral, 1.
[Italian.]
Feb. 21.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
280. Marc Antonio Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
The news of the alliance between his Britannic Majesty and even more of the union of England, Sweden and Holland for peace between the two crowns has been received with no ordinary pleasure by the people of London; and the work of Sir William Temple has received the king's full approval. The ratification of the treaty was immediately consigned to Temple's brother who was charged to proceed forthwith to the Hague to hand it in. (fn. 3)
The English show themselves well content with the Lords States. As a testimony of their satisfaction with what has been done they have renewed their orders to their commanders in the West Indies for the restitution of a certain fort taken from the Dutch Company of the West Indies. (fn. 4)
Paris, the 21st February, 1667. [M.V.]
[Italian.]

Footnotes

1 It was James, duke of Monmouth, not James duke of York. He arrived in Paris on Monday the 16/26 January and alighted at the palace of the queen mother of England. London Gazette, 30th January to 3rd February, 1667/1668.
2 Probably the squadron of Sir Thomas Allen who sailed from the Downs for the Strait with five frigates on the 27th January, o.s. Cal. S.P. Dom. 1667–8, p. 204.
3 The treaty arranged by Temple at the Hague and signed on the 23rd January, whereby the two powers of England and Holland, with Sweden intervening, were to unite their efforts to bring about peace between France and Spain, or failing to do so, were to unite with Spain to check the French king's ambition. The treaty was brought to London by Henry Temple. Courtenay: Memoirs of Sir William Temple, Vol. i, pp. 169, 182.
4 Surinam.