Venice
August 1668, 21-31

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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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248-259

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'Venice: August 1668, 21-31', Calendar of State Papers Relating to English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 35: 1666-1668 (1935), pp. 248-259. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=90229 Date accessed: 01 August 2014.


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August 1668, 21–31

Aug. 24.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
330. Pietro Mocenigo, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
While waiting for a reply to the ducali of your Serenity promised by the Secretary Arlinton Sig. Marchesini endeavoured six days ago through the Master of the Ceremonies to obtain an audience to take leave of the king. As this has not been arranged he has to postpone his departure for the Hague. Meanwhile he has received your Excellencies' despatch of the 6th August regretting that the requests for succour have not met with the success that might have been expected from the goodness of the king. In accordance with your suggestions I will back up his zeal, making use of the example of the other princes in order to assist his Majesty to some generous resolution, urging the need for the utmost haste. I will say that the value of the favour consists in the opportunity for the succour of his Majesty, if announced in time, to unite with those of the others in the kingdom for the defence of Candia, and would be infinitely esteemed by the republic. Once the place had fallen through inattention of the powers, all their forces united would not be able to restore a kingdom to the republic and a bulwark to Christendom, as once the infidels have occupied a place there is no instance that they have ever disgorged their plunder. On the other hand Sig. Marchesini rejoices that the order to the Ambassador Harvis to prevent ships serving the Turks, shows his attention, and, so far as the violence of the Turks allows, I think that it will be obeyed.
Last Friday, as already reported, the Ambassador Harvis left for Constantinople, and having called on him beforehand, I feel sure that he left with the best disposition to serve your Serenity. This unexpected move, which in the private interests of the earl might have been postponed for some days longer, was due to nothing else than the repeated instances of the Pasha of Algiers, so that the ambassador, by his presence at Tanger might compose the differences which have arisen with the people there through the supposed extortions of the English governor. (fn. 1) These negotiations may delay his journey, and I have thought it my duty to inform your Excellencies about it for any offices which you might think fit to pass with him if he should touch at Leghorn.
On his arrival at the Hague Sig. Marchesini will renew his offices, so that even without the example of this crown the Lords States may give play to their friendly disposition, already pledged to contribute succour for the defence of Candia, devoting all his energy and the friendly means of the Pensionary Vit for the same end. But as their High Mightinesses are jealous about the reserve of this crown owing to the considerations of the Levant trade, and the king here is reluctant to commit himself from fear of being left alone and rendered too conspicuous, it will be my special object to procure a declaration from the king also, such as has been obtained from the Dutch, and then jointly, to stimulate them to carry out their promises under the most reserved forms that are numerous, and which suit the interests of both parties. I shall try in this way to serve your Serenity, and I pray God for success and that the objections of these powers do not render the work vain.
Taking root from the plague in Flanders that scourge has spread from the towns of Brussels and Antwerp and penetrated into the country of the new conquests of France, obliging the garrison of Aelst to come out and even to set fire to it, the contagion spreading considerably in spite of the cold climate. Your Excellencies will have heard this from elsewhere, but it is better to err by excess than by omission.
I have also to report the firm determination of the postal officials, vigorously supported by the ministers of the Court, who are interested in the same, who claim that I must pay for the letters which I send to your Serenity week by week, and on the other hand do not alter the custom of compelling me to satisfy them here for the carriage of the letters which I receive. It seems to me something new to pay in the same place for the letters both in and out. I report this, especially as the tariff is very high, that you may know their fixed determination here, admitting of no compromise.
London, the 24th August, 1668.
[Italian.]
Aug. 24.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
331. Piero Mocenigo, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
Finding everything ready for making his appearance at Court though not in a condition to furnish his public entry immediately, French ambassador tried to satisfy his impatience to see the king, and with unusual ceremonial he obtained his intent. By means of a gentleman he presented his respects to the Secretary of State Arlinton, informing him of his safe arrival at the Court. Moved by his natural courtesy Arlinton went to visit Colbert at his own palace. After an exchange of compliments his Excellency expressed the desire to see the king at a secret audience, as he could not be ready so soon for the public one, and seemed in a great hurry. When Arlinton reported this to his Majesty, a time was arranged and Colbert proceeded incognito to the apartments and was graciously received by his Majesty. But in spite of the urgency of the ambassador to see the king the audience merely passed in formalities, and was only desired to make a show of obsequious confidence. Colbert went subsequently to the queen's apartment and on the same day he visited the duke, his wife, the duchess of York and Prince Rupert, by previous appointment of Arlinton. He was received by all of them with the kindness habitual with the princes here.
Having taken this step Colbert went on to inform all the foreign ministers of his arrival, treating the Spanish ambassador with distinction. This formality was answered with every due observance. The Secretary Marchesini was also visited by the gentleman, and his Excellency would have followed the same course with me also, had I not contrived to avoid it, so as not to confuse the order of the visits, since it belongs to me, as the latest one notified at Court, to send my gentleman first to pay respects and then for his Excellency to come to my house, as the last returned, so that having made himself public at the Court under his incognito, he will make the preparations for his entry at his convenience. It will take place in the course of next week.
In the first days of the same week I shall follow Colbert's example, not only to avoid remark by the omission of the act of courtesy, but to take advantage of the opening in order to serve your Serenity more speedily, and at the same time prepare the way for the entry, which I will hasten as much as possible, but with less inconvenience because nothing shall delay the service of the state.
In the mean time I have to report that it is absolutely necessary for me to repeat publicly the visit to Prince Rupert, for which I have no credentials from your Serenity. As he is a person of consideration, a member of the Council of State and belonging to the royal House, I cannot venture to ask for ducali to present to him, because I do not know the use or the intention of your Excellencies, owing to the difficulty of titles, destitute as I am of any information about past affairs or guidance for the future. I therefore leave all to the prudence of the Senate, my part being merely to obey my instructions. Meantime I feel confident that the public benignity will grant me the favour that I asked, because what I have had to devote for the rent of the house will certainly redound to the credit of the embassy, which, if abandoned and subjected to such a charge unlike the others, would have to withdraw of necessity from its high place, which at the present time is insupportable by any private purse. With this relief I shall be able to serve your Serenity better.
In accordance with what was arranged in the last parliament, which never separates without fixing a date for its next meeting, a sitting took place on Tuesday last attended by a few persons. It ended after a few moments because it decided nothing except to adjourn the sitting until the 11th November next, in accordance with the delay desired by his Majesty the king.
London, the 24th August, 1668.
[Italian.]
Aug. 31.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni,
Corti.
Venetian
Archives.
332. To the Ambassador in England.
The Senate is glad to know by his letters of the 10th of his arrival in London. Commend his offices. He is to cultivate the confidence of the duke of Arundel and his brothers.
Enclose news of Candia and of the help received from various princes. Hope that this will incline the king there to give an example to Holland. He is to ask for orders to prevent English ships from serving the Turks.
The arrival of the Ambassador Colbert at that Court is of great importance because of the negotiations he brings. He is to watch these closely and to cultivate the best relations with that ambassador.
What he reports about the excessive expense of renting houses certainly deserves some compensation. The Senate will consider the matter at the earliest opportunity with the desire to afford him proper relief.
Ayes, 137. Noes, 0. Neutral, 1.
[Italian.]
Aug. 31.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
333. Piero Mocenigo, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
To facilitate the understanding of what I have to relate I will follow a chronological order rather than the nature of the matters, which from its greater or lesser importance might deserve preference. The French ambassador having arranged as reported for his public entry in the present week, he caused the Master of the Ceremonies to be informed and fixed on Monday, when everything was made ready for a stately ceremony, such as is appointed for the reception of the ministers of crowned heads. Accordingly Colbert with his gentlemen proceeded to Grezuis, where, after dinner the Master of the Ceremonies came to fetch him, taking him by the royal barges as far as the Tower of London. There he was met by Earl Beet (fn. 2) who with the coaches of the king, the duke of York and others to the number of thirty, part invited by the Master of the Ceremonies and part out of friendship for the ambassador, proceeded together through the principal streets as far as the palace which he inhabits. The ambassador certainly made a splendid appearance, but he is not entirely satisfied, as the restricted measures of the ceremonial always upset the best arranged affair. The coachman of his Majesty's brother having the right to take part always in these public functions, and to follow the king's coach immediately, there have already been many occasions when he has not appeared, by his Majesty's order, for the sole purpose of leaving the most noble position free for the coach of the ambassadors, and not to separate it from the royal one by the duke of York's coming in between. In spite of this the duke of York, on this occasion, interrupted the introduction, joining the procession half way on the route and taking his place between his Majesty's coach and the covered mules of the carriages of the ambassador. Colbert complained about this to the Master of the Ceremonies, but it is probable that he will get nothing by it, since it is no novelty to continue that right, although it has sometimes been waived. If it is continued at the new ceremonial I shall acquiesce with good reason, as I cannot refuse to follow the example of the minister of the Most Christian.
Allowing a day to elapse, the date for the public audience was fixed and on Wednesday after dinner the earl of Chesterfield with the royal coach and thirty others in procession went to fetch the ambassador from his house, conducting him to Wittheal. There in the great hall he approached the throne, was received by the king and queen at the foot and, covered, expressed the continued friendship of the Most Christian king, set forth his charge to reside at this Court as ambassador in ordinary, so as to cultivate good relations more and more. Before leaving he paid his respects, uncovered, particularly to the queen and presented some of his gentlemen. Leaving their Majesties on the throne and accompanied by the earl and the whole cortège, he returned to his own palace.
This was the third audience that Colbert has had, because besides his first secret one, he was introduced again on Sunday, and spent an hour with his Majesty, apart in the cabinet. This has reawakened the reflections which were inclined to look upon his mission as mysterious from the first, intended for no other purpose than to upset the strong alliance which this crown has with the Dutch. The ambassadors of the Catholic king and of the Provinces are more watchful than the others and are very suspicious because they are unable to find out the more precise projects or what was discussed.
Meanwhile the Dutch ambassador is urging the despatch of Montagu, the queen's first esquire, destined as minister to the Most Christian, so that he may work in co-operation with Vamboninghen at Paris and displaying to the world the actuality of the alliance, procure the observance of the treaty of peace. But with the Most Christian delaying the announcement of his own reasons and with Castel Rodrigo uncertain whether he will remain longer as governor of Flanders, because of new reports of the reluctance of Don John to leave the Court of Spain, everything will be subject to delays. On the other hand the ambassadors of France and Spain cultivate each other by exchange of visits and leave nothing undone to make a show of the most friendly relations.
The Ambassador Molina was much upset by news recently received from Jamaica, and made complaint to the ministers at Court about the capture made by the English of a Spanish ship richly laden for the Indies. (fn. 3) But since then he has had to quiet down as they claim here that beyond the line no other rule is recognised but that of force.
London, the last of August, 1668.
[Italian.]
Aug. 31.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
334. Piero Mocenigo, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
Sig. Marchesini, who has always displayed the most ardent desire to serve his country, asked for audience of the king, and having obtained it left nothing undone to turn it to profit. Availing himself of the king's courtesy he introduced the question of succour, expressing his confidence in his Majesty's generosity and saying that he went away satisfied because I should have occasion to gather the fruit of the admirable intentions which he has frequently heard repeated. The urgent need was always becoming more pressing. The Turks, with renewed strength were insisting with pertinacity, aiming solely at overcoming Candia, in order to subdue all the rest afterwards. Any assistance from his Majesty would be a service to religion and would oblige the republic which professed such sincere and ancient friendship, and so forth.
The king replied that he wished he had been able to demonstrate the peculiar desire he had to respond to the regard of the most serene republic, and clinch the friendship which he had inherited from his ancestors. He doubly regretted the troubles of the late war which reduced his good will to impotence; and he regretted infinitely that the trade of the Levant obliged him to the most cautious reserve.
Here the secretary intimated that for the greatness of this kingdom there was abundance of means, and his Majesty's prudence would not be wanting in ways and means. He repeated his confidence that the royal goodness would yield to my instances, it being his object to leave the way open to requests for help, notwithstanding his own departure.
After being dismissed by the king he went to audience of the queen. She seemed displeased to hear he was asking for leave so soon, assuring him that she had not forgotten the recommendations made to her and that on every occasion she would have co-operated for the just relief of poor Candia. From the duke of York, on taking leave, he received most gracious expressions, and the duchess, his wife, appreciating the honour done her by the confidence in her good will, promised to respond with the utmost punctuality.
On the day after Sig. Marchesini went to call on the Secretary Arlinton and repeated to him what he had gathered from his audience of the king. Taking up the answer about simple good will Arlinton said that such had always been his opinion; that the king's disposition could not take effect and that the strain of the late war had been too great. Putting aside the talk about assistance Arlinton said that the republic should rather apply itself to the peace, and went on to ask about the Turkish claims to Candia. Sig. Marchesini replied that the barbarians had no other claims upon that Christian kingdom than what had been usurped by their might. That before reducing this to plausible negotiations for peace it was necessary to take the field with the greatest possible vigour because the Turks understand no other argument than force. The king could render great assistance, and if the nature of the present time did not allow him to afford great succour, befitting his magnanimity, it might be measured according to his present state and his friendship with the republic, which would certainly be considerable and highly appreciated.
Arlinton replied that the Levant trade was a great obstacle. The English merchants themselves would inform the Turks of everything that was done for their own private interests, and if other princes had pledged themselves to definite state assistance they either had not so many interests as England, or had secret aims, or they recalled their minister from the Porte to avoid unpleasant incidents. Marchesini remarked that if his Majesty wished they could easily dissimulate the purchase of munitions and the hire of ships. Ignoring the suggestion of Arlinton discrediting the succour of the emperor as due to political motives and not to Christian zeal, he said that if the king of France had recalled the Ambassador Aye, it was a clear sign that in the coming campaign he proposed to do greater things. The republic would exert itself to the utmost to defend every inch of the territory, which had cost so much treasure and so much blood of her citizens, to the very last. She hoped that she would not be abandoned, more especially by the great piety and the forces, conspicuous to all the world, of the British king.
Arlinton said that the king's disposition was certainly most favourable, but he permitted himself to say that he had been so little at London that the negotiations had not even been set on foot, which always, and particularly at this Court, require a great deal of time to reduce them to order, since it would have either been necessary to prepare the material a long while beforehand, or it was no use to hope for prompt succour at a moment's notice. With this he took leave and departed.
God grant that this objection about the shortness of the time is not a pretext, and that I, with the advantage of the embassy, may find a way to reap advantage that may force me to try to make way by long and adroit insinuations rather than by the strength of powerful arguments and definite requests, which admit of no answer or half-way solutions, but in pressing for a speedy and immediate decision may force them rather to a refusal, leaving no way open for a renewal of the appeal.
Having taken leave these last days of the rest of the Court Sig. Marchesini set out at once for the Hague, in conformity with his instructions; and although he has not obtained the expected declarations he will urge that government to win glory by giving rather than receiving an example from this crown in a cause so just and so urgent. He will inform your Serenity in his own letters of the result of his fresh instances, and will be guided by the prudent decisions of your Excellencies in the commissions which he will find at the Hague. He has gone to the Hague without asking me for money, having used that which was already remitted to him by your Serenity.
London, the last of August, 1668.
[Italian.]
Aug. 31.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
335. Piero Mocenigo, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
Last week your Excellencies heard how the impatience of the French ambassador had gained him an audience without the usual lengthy affair with the Master of the Ceremonies. With this example I expressed the desire to have the same courtesy as had been extended to the French ambassador. But as the Court disliked the innovation, and as the Master of the Ceremonies, as the person most interested, opposes, I have enjoyed the favour by another means, and as this exceeds the customary style, as I shall show, it is less likely to be made practicable with other ministers in the future.
On Tuesday after dinner I sent my esquire to the Secretary Arlinton, informing him of my arrival in London, assuring him of my esteem for his office and person and telling him that during the time that I was remaining incognito I did not wish to remain idle, and that I hoped for guidance from him in all occurrences. Two hours later, it being dark, Arlinton came to my house. Expressing surprise at his visit, I met him on the staircase. When we were seated in the room he said that he had always respected the ministers of the republic, and he had come on purpose to assure me in particular of his continued regard. Taking up the conversation I said that I almost regretted the course I had taken in putting him to inconvenience, as I only wished to express the confidence that I should always have in his great authority and prudence. At the very outset I let him know my ardent desire to be able to pay my respects to the king and queen at a secret audience, since several things were still lacking for the public one.
Arlinton replied that he would try to oblige me with an audience of the king. With regard to the queen and the duchess of York he did not advise me to follow Colbert's example, who had special letters for both of them from the queen mother. Here introducing the Master of the Ceremonies to acquit him of the past exclusion of Colbert, he said that he would have arranged the visit with the duke of York and would come to fetch me from my house for that of the king.
I told Arlinton that my sole object was to express my respect for the whole of the royal House, and that I should not on any account wish the delay to be considered as an omission of respect for the queen and the duchess. For the rest I accepted his advice, having no doubt that he would support me, and it would be enough for me to see the king and the duke of York. I did not insist on an audience of the queen and duchess, which he offered by means of his wife, but which would not have been granted with complete satisfaction. After an exchange of compliments he took leave and I accompanied him to his coach, in accordance with the custom of the country and my own object to cultivate his good will.
The following day being barred by the ceremony of the long public audience of the French ambassador, the adjutant came yesterday morning to inform me of the hour, and that evening the Master of the Ceremonies appeared with Arlinton's coach. By way of the little park he introduced me to the royal apartments, from which the Lord Chamberlain accompanied me to those of his Majesty, who alone, standing, without a baldachino and always uncovered, received me graciously rather as a private gentleman than as an ambassador. I myself, dressed in the English fashion, without the robe, did not present my credentials to him. When I left he advanced some paces into the room. I will leave to another letter what passed at the audience, separating it from this matter of formalities and compliments of which I have thought it necessary to give an exact account to your Serenity, after the embassy has been in abeyance for so long a time.
Descended again into the park I thought it good to visit Arlinton, whom I found walking, and meeting the duke of Arundel we all withdrew to the apartments. There I thanked him for all the favours received by his means, at being fetched by the Master of the Ceremonies and introduced by the Lord Great Chamberlain when a simple lord had attended on Colbert. With this pledge and the credit which I owed to his special qualities I hoped in the future for the best guidance. Arlinton replied smiling, being pleased at my appreciation, and asked what language had been used. I said that the king had used French and I Italian. He told me that his Majesty was very fond of the latter and was always glad to hear it. We then talked about the negotiations which I will report in my next. Before leaving an appointment was made for audience of the duke of York, returned from the chase, and this evening, after the despatch of these presents I shall be conducted to his apartments by the Master of the Ceremonies, and next week I will report what takes place.
London, the last of August, 1668.
[Italian.]
Aug. 31.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
336. Piero Mocenigo, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
My object to serve my country counselled me not to enter upon the serious matter of succour at the secret audience of the king, or to test him by a vigorous assault, in order to prepare the way first by gentle insinuation and winning his good will, when I might insist with greater energy and possibly achieve my intent more successfully. On the other hand the urgent need of my country made it difficult for me to support any delay in the effort to procure relief. When I entered the apartment I bowed and said that the most serene republic to continue the ancient friendship and to show its esteem for these realms had entrusted me with the honour of residing as ambassador in ordinary with his Majesty. It would be my duty to cultivate his Majesty's good will, and make the good correspondence clear to all the world, with such advantage also as might result therefrom, this country being at present the arbiter of war and peace. As regards myself personally I said that I should try to combine the satisfaction of his Majesty with the service of my country. The king replied that the friendship of the most serene republic was nothing new, and had always been met with complete correspondence from his ancestors, and there would be no difference with him. He loved the republic and with all other princes admired the steadfast resistance offered for so long to the might of the Turks; and he would always be glad to see me personally.
I said that my public audience being delayed by various circumstances I had ventured to ask for a secret one to express the homage of the republic and to thank him for the instructions given to the Ambassador Harvis to prevent ships of the nation from serving the Turks against your Excellencies at the siege of Candia. Without further remark the king asked me about the state of the fortress of Candia. I told him what I had gathered from the sheets of advices, amplifying the magnitude of the peril, the determination of the Turks to try every means to capture it and the constancy of the Senate in defending it and every inch of the soil. The appearance of Sant' Andrea Alombrum (fn. 4) with troops, munitions and food had brought new life to the garrison. When I began designedly to speak of the great number of French volunteers and the generosity with which the Most Christian consented to succour for Candia, the king interrupted me, showing that he knew about it, and asked me only about the assistance contributed by the princes of Italy. I recapitulated how much the pope had done since his elevation, the double despatch of galleys, effective money, a quantity of powder, troops, tenths and subsidies. I said that the Grand Duke, besides munitions of war, permitted the transport of his own troops to Candia. There was good ground for believing that the duke of Savoy will send a good part of the troops recalled from the confines of Geneva. So that with all the princes of the empire and the kings of France and Spain contributing to this defence, as his Majesty knew, the republic might well hope that his generous piety would not wish to be left out. I seized the opportunity to add that any declaration would have a double force since the Dutch were only waiting for his Majesty's example to supply considerable succours. The king having repeated his friendly disposition and his special application to consider every means for hastening to help this cause, I thought it wise not to insist further and took leave.
In visiting the Secretary Arlinton I did not forget to express confidence in his friendly disposition. His Excellency called upon the duke of Arundel, who was present, to bear witness to this. He set out to tell me that the king, from the affection he bore for the most serene republic, in the absence of means for aiding her in the war, and employing those of diplomacy, had given orders to the Ambassador Harvis to take up negotiations for peace at Constantinople for your Serenity. No minister, whether of the emperor or France, would proceed with so much single mindedness, and no minister could represent the interests of the republic better than the English one.
I replied that I had thanked his Majesty for the orders given to the Ambassador Harvis to prevent ships serving the Turks, and a pledge of this was the commission not to enter between the Castelli, in order not to expose his powerful ship to the violence of the Turks. The Senate had kept a minister at Constantinople during the whole course of the war, and he would value very highly the sincere assistance of Earl Harvis. While thanking him for his care for the affairs of the republic I carefully avoided committing myself about the negotiations for peace, rejoicing that I had anticipated the intentions of the state on previous occasions.
I went on to point out to Arlinton that the forces and reputation of the Turk being committed under Candia, it was only right that the king of England should join with the other princes in its defence, and that it belonged to him, as an influential minister, to suggest the means, to win equal glory for his name. The republic did not lay claim to fleets, armies or an immense quantity of money; but everything would be received in the present need, which does not admit of delay in the remedies, and that they would be campaigning already for four or five months in Candia where the succours would arrive in time. Descending to particulars I begged him to ask at least for a generous supply of gunpowder, lead and other materials which abound in this country and can easily be got together and sent at any moment.
Arlinton smiled and said that he would stir up the king, not showing so much objection to the nature of the succour as that it was too late for this campaign and that it only remained to think of the next one. But as I have allowed myself to be led to ask for these munitions, to obtain them speedily and to be in time to ask for greater assistance in the coming year, I told him that speed was as important as the favour itself. The duke of Arundel joined me in warmly supporting the idea, and we shall wait to see what the result may be in obtaining some relief for the urgent needs of Candia.
London, the last of August, 1668.
[Italian.]

Footnotes

1 The acting governor was Lieut.-Col. Henry Norwood. The Algerians complained that he had refused water to their ships, fired on them and detained their boats. They asked for the appointment of a new governor. Playfair; Scourge of Christendom, p. 92.
2 John Grenville, earl of Bath, first gentleman of the bedchamber.
3 On 23rd September Werden wrote to Arlington that the duke of Peñaranda had complained to him about a ship of Jamaica that had taken by force a Spanish ship coming from Campeche and brought her into the Thames. P.R.O. S.P. Spain, Vol. liii.
4 Alexander du Puy, marquis of St. André.