Venice
November 1668

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Institute of Historical Research

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Allen B. Hinds (editor)

Year published

1935

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306-323

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'Venice: November 1668', Calendar of State Papers Relating to English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 35: 1666-1668 (1935), pp. 306-323. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=90233 Date accessed: 18 April 2014. Add to my bookshelf


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November 1668

Nov. 2.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
367. Piero Mocenigo, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
After the ambassadors had made all arrangements for going into the country and apartments had been obtained, word came as they were on the point of starting of the king's return to London, brought, one may say, by himself, who unexpectedly made up his mind and acted on it, because of a breakdown in the queen's health.
Impatient to learn what instructions had been sent to the Ambassador Temple at the Hague, having previously made an appointment, I went to the Secretary Arlinton's. After compliments I thanked him for the orders sent to Temple, expressing appreciation of his zeal in so holy a cause. He told me that the king was thoroughly disposed to succour the republic, and he would not fail to do his share for the advantage of so friendly a power. He asked for news of Candia and I welcomed the perils as encouraging the hope of a brave defence, if succour did not fail. Turning to the commissions for the Ambassador Temple I said that the replies to the credentials would be the more appreciated by your Serenity if they contained such a pledge of the excellent disposition of his Majesty here and if the commissions given to the minister were communicated to your Excellencies. Arlinton replied the credentials were not answered except at the end of the embassy when the ambassador left, but if I wished to send to the Senate this evidence of my diligence he would send me a copy of the decree as soon as it was settled in the Council. So without objecting to the formality of the delay in answering the ducali, I fixed only on the point of receiving a copy of the decree. I will get the Secretary Alberti to ask for it so that if possible it may be sent with this despatch.
I then requested a visit from the Secretary Trevers and he chose to come to this House. I thanked him at once for his share in getting the commissions sent to the Ambassador Temple. He said he would always be glad to serve so important a cause. There was some change in what he had informed me last Friday, because on further consideration of the task for his minister the king wished first to consult the Council, but there was practically no room for doubt about the decision being taken. I had to accommodate myself to the hard conditions of those who ask favours and urged him to give effect to his prudent advice.
I have sent a full account to the Secretary Marchesini, so that he may use it to dispose matters until Temple receives authority to speak, and subsequently reap the advantages suggested by the Pensionary Vit.
The Lord Keeper having returned from the country I paid him my first visit. After compliments I thanked him for the reply he had advised to my memorial. The worthy old man opened out to tell me that if they were all like himself the most serene republic would receive prompt succour.
In the coming year all the powers ought to unite for the defence of that bulwark of Christendom and for the preservation of the ports there. He took leave of me with warm expressions though his bodily infirmity did not allow him to accompany me personally.
On a visit to the duke of Ormond, viceroy of Ireland, I had nothing left to desire from his lively assurances, he being one of the first in the Council of State and is a minister most apt and of great subtlety (d'attitudine e gran finezza).
In a conference with the Dutch ambassador at his house, the talk turned on what I wrote a week ago, and on the question of the reply that might be expected from the States about speaking here of a joint representation to the Porte for peace with your Serenity, he said it had been merely a remark of his own, and if such negotiations were desired it was necessary to conduct them at the Hague, and went on to speak of the goodwill of the States to send succour to your Serenity. This confirms my idea of the States wishing to make themselves conspicuous by having important affairs conducted at that Court.
London, the 2nd November, 1668.
[Italian.]
Nov. 2.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
368. Piero Mocenigo, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
Even with the interruption of visits the Spanish ambassador is on the best of terms with me, and appreciative of my just reserve he enjoys practising the greatest finesses in the queen's apartment, leaving time to provide the remedies that at present seem distant, between his insistence and the severe punctilio of the French ambassador. He seems to be deeply interested in the affairs of Candia, hoping for the verification of the favourable accounts published by several news sheets, so I frequently make this an excuse for sending the communications for him to see. The Ambassador Colbert shows his friendliness by visiting me in person and through the Secretary Alberti I cultivate Count Molina, maintaining friendly and confidential relations with both.
In connection with what the French ambassador asserts, the duke of Ormond received me on the stairs, but General Monch came down to the ground floor and the variety shows that there is no ceremonial but what depends on a man's own judgment and courtesy.
Out of pure kindness Prince Rupert was so good as to come in person to this house, when he expressed the greatest respect for the republic. I told him that he might crown his exploits by putting himself at the head of a powerful body of ships of this nation to bring down the pride of the Ottoman empire. It is now deprived of its old and better troops and if it is not repressed it will rise again to trouble all Christendom. The prince smiled at my idea, approving the notion of attacking on the side of Constantinople … even if the same … (fn. 1) in Hungary. But there was a difficulty about uniting. He also referred to the consideration due to the Levant trade, although he half intimated that this was not sufficient to restrain a great prince. He avoided all reference to the interests of his brother the Palatine, as by his absence he has given up all thought of those parts, to enjoy his distinguished position in the Council of State. He is universally loved and esteemed and in particular favour with his Majesty who, to add to his appanage, has appointed him governor of Windsor castle, (fn. 2) where his only thought will be to take formal possession next week and to draw considerable emoluments in the years to come.
An individual has come here from Portugal with the title of envoy, (fn. 3) who arrived soon after the troops of this nation who returned from serving there. When he has got ready his household and arrangements for his wife whom he has with him he will make himself public at this Court.
Two days ago Signori Andrea Tron and Ascanio Giustiniani decided to leave this house for Holland and France so as to spend their time usefully in travel and in the knowledge of several countries. Their departure has deprived this embassy of its lustre, with the absence of such quick and generous spirits, especially at this Court, which is second to none in costliness and luxuriance.
Although the charge for preparing to go into the country is heavy it becomes endurable if it is exceptional and will not be frequent. But with the constant dripping of the water I should already have reached the bottom of my slender fortune if the state had not humanely come to my assistance, though in the end even the hardest marbles give way if they are left exposed to all weathers.
That your Serenity may see with what facility pounds sterling are called for I am acceding to the repeated requests of an ingenious person who, imagining new inventions … for the fleet … is studying how to turn to account the products of his imagination. From the enclosed sheet your Excellencies will see what he proposes. I have advised him to proceed to Venice to make good his claims by experiment. Such things usually prove abortive when brought to the light, or if successful they are either difficult to use or common to all.
London, the 2nd November, 1668.
[Italian.]
Enclosure.369. Proposals of the inventor:
A machine ten inches in diameter and ten inches in length which, on touching one of the largest ships that sail the sea causes it, in a moment, to break into more than a hundred pieces, making a breach of hole of 10 or 12 feet in length by about 7 or 8 in depth, sending the ship to the bottom at the same instant. The boat which carries the machine or invention goes under the favour of the great boiler which issues from the cannon of the vessel engaged (va sotto il favore del gran furno che esce del canone del vascelo impegnato).
Price of the invention 10,000l. sterling; one half to be paid down, and the other half as soon as the secret has been revealed.
A sketch of the apparatus is attached.
[Italian.]
Enclosure.370. Second proposal:
It is proposed to disclose to his Serenity how the Turkish fleet may be injured and the very masts of the Turkish ships cut down at such a distance that the guns of the Turkish fleet will not be able to reach the fleet of the republic to injure it. A recognition of 2000l. sterling is asked for this.
[Italian.]
Nov. 3.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni,
Corti.
Venetian
Archives.
371. To the Ambassador in England.
In addition to the proposal to supply gunpowder, lead and materials, you might be able to extend the scope to something more which might usefully be included, such as suggesting a levy of Irish troops, under cover of some particular levy; and it would be equally advantageous for our service to obtain some ships of the nation, either changing the flag or spreading a report that the conduct and hiring are under some other name. Such a course might facilitate a great boon for the state.
Ayes, 111. Noes, 0. Neutral, 0.
[Italian.]
Nov. 9.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
372. Piero Mocenigo, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge abd Senate.
The chief opposition to the generosity of the king here and the strongest check upon the disposition of the ministers to succour your Serenity is the consideration due to the merchants and the interest of the trade to which they are so deeply committed in the Levant. To make a way through so many difficulties I have always made it my fixed aim to remove the jealousy which might arise from the reserve of the Dutch, to which end I have enlarged upon the good will of the States and have tried to get more positive declarations by means of the Ambassador Temple, so that the example of the Dutch may open the way for action but not set limits to the generosity of the king. I have repeated my requests to Arlinton and thought fit to make use of the open-heartedness of the Lord Keeper, asking him to support the cause at the first meeting of the Council. At last, after so many requests and promises I have obtained a copy of the decree, which I forward.
With this pledge in my hand I went on Wednesday morning to audience of his Majesty before he returned to the country to amuse himself for four days in hunting. (fn. 4) Taking the decree as my text I said that my request and arguments had not moved him to make a positive declaration, but persuaded by the sincere regard of the Senate and informed of the need to help Candia he had been disposed to declare his good will. I thanked him, having no doubt that he would show himself more zealous than ever with the coldness disclosed by the States … and that the succour would be measured not in accordance with them but with his own greatness.
The king smiled and answered to the same effect as the decree, speaking highly of the glorious defence of your Serenity, enlarging on the affairs of his own country, with a long rigmarole of words and considerations as a frame for his declaration about giving succour if … That no other prince … the same goodwill as he; which will result in no small benefit to Christendom. Immediately afterwards he went on to ask me for news of Candia, the state of the fortress and the position of the Turkish lodgments. Putting together the imminent peril and the hope of courageous resistance I said that the besieged were only waiting for succour from this country and Holland, to offer an obstinate resistance, since all the other princes had sent their own, and now the French also will have crossed swords with the Turks, because on the first days of last month they had sailed in that direction with a favourable wind.
The king rejoiced at the brave defence and showed his firm belief that the fortress would resist the Turks, and with other kind expressions he caused me to leave well impressed with his generosity.
I will inform the Secretary Marchesini of all so that he may incite the Ambassador Temple to keep the Pensionary Vit well disposed, because if he definitely informs Temple of his readiness to supply 2000 men paid I can press for more generous resolutions on this side, which it seems may be hoped from the king.
In spite of this your Excellencies will have heard of the imprisonment of Marchesini, and his desire to be liberated so that he may devote himself to the service of the state. I regret that, separating his public character from the pretended obligation of his person and goods in a private capacity, the foreign ministers there have not obtained justice from the Pensionary Vit. This has prevented me from saying anything to Borel as a mere suggestion would be useless and moreover I ought not to commit myself without instructions. It seems to me that some fresh sign of being able to take the troops of Bransvich on the way for the service of Candia may get Marchesini away from the Hague, but in the present circumstances of gathering the fruit of all past labours, it would be more … the resolutions taken by your Excellencies about the affair at the Hague and about Marchesini himself. I venture to suggest that to kindle both parties, in themselves so lukewarm, the presence of a public minister will be most useful to solicit the Pensionary Vit and the Ambassador Temple to act with the utmost promptitude.
But knowing how easily the appearance of things changes and how far off any result is, I cannot venture to promise more than my devoted service …. (fn. 5) I take leave to add the slight attention they pay here to the war between Lorraine and the Palatine. I have already mentioned the alienation of Prince Rupert from the interests of the Palatinate, and no one believes that the ill feeling which exists between him and his brother, the Palatine, will leave room for any act of affection or of assistance from this country, so I do not expect to see any change here.
London, the 9th November, 1668.
[Italian.]
Nov. 9.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
373. Piero Mocenigo, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge abd Senate.
At the very time when M. di Colbert arrived as ambassador at this Court I informed your Serenity that all his negotiations would be devoted solely to undoing the knot tied between this crown and the Lords States. His proposals about Tanger, trade, the differences in America and the recall of the chancellor having met with so much opposition, he is no longer trying these means to effect his end but is approaching it directly, making disparaging observations about the union of this king with the Dutch. He suggests that it was arranged inopportunely, abandoning those advantages which might have been won against the Dutch …. They had allowed themselves to be deluded, letting the opportunity slip from their hands which offered them what had been disputed by arms, and forgot to consider the aggrandisement of that power at sea, which has six thousand ships while England only counts four thousand. Combining considerations of interest with the stimulus of reputation he recalls the unsuccessful engagements in the late war, in which this crown … (fn. 6) and brings to mind the insult committed by the Dutch by burning several ships in the river here under his Majesty's very nose, and the carrying off to Holland in triumph of the most valuable ships.
In connection with these remarks Colbert himself opened out to me, and went on to say that in the present government the genius of Arlinton was most in favour with the king … the duke of Buchincan was his only competitor in the direction of the most important affairs. Arlinton was married to a Dutchwoman, a dependant of the prince of Orange. (fn. 7) He told me in confidence that while the facility with which the government changes its opinions made him hesitate to form a positive judgment, he should believe the return of the chancellor to London to be absolutely impossible, as he would have to be admitted by the authority of parliament, which … (fn. 6) of the government, who, fearful of losing their own appointments would not give way to the efforts of the duke of Ormond, earl Anglise and lord Holis, the friends of the chancellor. Accordingly these powers would arrange affairs to suit themselves; that they would have to draw back if the crowns of France and Spain united. This would be the unique service of the republic from which the king … (fn. 8) referring to the factions at that Court, divided into German, Spanish and French. I report all this to be compared with what you hear from the Courts in question.
I did not forget to use my usual arguments with Colbert to make himself a minister of peace and a mediator of the differences with the Spanish ambassador, in order to improve the relations of the minister of the republic with all the ambassadors and put him in a position to exercise those functions which always belong to him, to promote peace and reconciliation among all. He told me that he had heard from M. di Liona, and that, always saving the honour of his king, he would agree to any arrangement… In speaking of the events of Candia and of the interests of the most serene republic he had never said a word of such an affair. As yet they have not met each other and I should like to see Colbert break away from his reluctance to abandon punctilio, just as the ambassadress his wife has said nothing more about the affair of her audience of the queen, and has given up all pretence of offence about the alleged preference given to the Spanish ambassadress.
By letters received from M. di Liona the Ambassador Colbert has made request for the release of the Frenchman, charged with having seduced the English manufacturers of silk hose. The king caused him to be taken from the Tower of London (fn. 9) and they are ready to believe here that this man, moved by the desire for his own private gain, without incitement from above, came here to persuade these artisans to go to France… (fn. 8) of his nation… (fn. 8) London and throughout the world, scattered in great numbers the most gifted men in every sort of art and occupation.
The envoy of Portugal, Don Abreo, had his first audience on Wednesday, and when I was least expecting any act of civility to a minister of your Excellencies, on account of the reserve shown in Spain by Count Miranda with his Excellency Belegno, he sent today to ask leave to call… I do not think that he will wait later than to-morrow before coming to pay his respects to the minister of your Serenity.
London, the 9th November, 1668.
[Italian.]
Enclosure. 374. Copy of a decree of the Council in answer to the Memorial of the Venetian Ambassador's appeal for assistance for the republic.
Dated at Whitehall, the 28th October, 1668.
[4 pages; Italian from the English.]
Nov. 13.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
375. Marc Antonio Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
To undo the knot of the triple alliance every industry is being employed on this side. The Ambassador Colbert neglects no finesse in order to captivate his Britannic Majesty. He pays court to him in the ways that are most suitable to detach him from the Dutch. The king, who takes delight in the blandishments of this crown, keeps alluring him with hopes and possibly at heart he is favourably inclined towards the interests of France to which he is drawn by bonds of relationship and obligation. But considerations about the nation and the rigid humour of the parliament serve to restrain him. As a further sop to the English and to soothe the bitterness of that people they have, with the utmost promptitude directed the restitution of the half of the island of San Cristofolo in conformity with the terms of the treaty of Breda. To this effect frigates have been sent forthwith in that direction with orders that there must be no delay about it. The Dutch who are closely watching all this and who are filled with misgivings and very apprehensive of the arts and money of the others, in order to oppose equal or superior ability to the exertions of the Ambassador Colbert, have chosen Vamboninghem to go as ambassador to that Court, in the firm confidence that the one who was a good means for making the peace will also be the right instrument for preserving it.
The Swedes who are clamouring in England for the payment of the subsidies promised are causing some anxiety to the Dutch that the English finding themselves hard pressed for money, may agree to some project of this crown; but it is probable that Holland will rather consent to bear the entire burden of the payment rather than permit the dissolution of this union.
Paris, the 13th November, 1668.
[Italian.]
Nov.14.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Haia.
Venetian
Archives.
376. Giovannni Francesco Marchesini, Venetian Secretary in the Netherlands, to the Doge and Senate.
The day after my audience of the Pensionary de Wit I saw the English Ambassador Temple. He asked me for news of Candia and I told him the latest advices received, expressing the hope of receiving help from his king. He assured me that so far as he was concerned your Excellencies might expect the utmost, repeating what he has said before that he did not believe there was any Christian who would not devote all his energies to an affair of such moment. Upon the very first occasion that he saw me he had declared that if his king had believed the peace between the two crowns to be stable, he felt sure that he would have had no hesitation about succouring your Excellencies. Now finding that things are proceeding favourably for the confirmation of this, by which he wished to infer that the desired alliance of England, Sweden and these Provinces was on the point of conclusion, for the maintenance of the same, he would, as a good subject, devote all his energies to persuade and convince the king of the equity and justice of the cause of your Excellencies. He would have no trouble about inciting him to this, since as a lover of glory he would not be likely to neglect any available opportunity of winning it by heroic actions.
I praised these ideas of his to the skies and told him that I indeed had noticed the king's royal generosity on several occasions. At the time of my stay there he had always made use of expressions of peculiar good will and he certainly gave me to understand that he would not let slip any opportunity of supplying adequate assistance to the cause of Christendom, especially in the extreme urgency of the position at Candia. He would thus not only demonstrate his own power but at the same time render the nation always more respected and feared by the Turks. Temple assured me that the name alone would give them cause for thought. He hoped that he would receive some definite instruction in such a matter to discuss with the Pensionary and set in motion some operation for giving assistance in concert.
His Excellency told me again that there were two ordinaries when he had not received letters from the Court. The usual packet boats had not arrived and he greatly feared that they had perished owing to the exceptional weather and because he had no news of them. His Excellency the Pensionary Viz had spoken to him of this and he had given him the same reply. He would regret it exceedingly if the letters with the royal instructions had gone astray, not only for this matter but because he was expecting answers upon other negotiations which he had conducted with the Lords States.
I replied that it was his part to perfect the crown of glory by adding this fresh branch to it, which assuredly would not bring less lustre to him personally than he had won in the other important negotiations which he had concluded. To this he said that he was operating with the sole desire to perform his duty, both as an English subject and as a Christian and that he would always promote ideas calculated to produce benefit for the whole of Christendom, prestige for his king and advantage for the most serene republic, and that when he had received his commissions he would address himself to these matters.
I applauded his sentiments and extolled his great merits which would certainly redound to his advantage. Informing him of my approaching departure for Lunemburgh for the despatch of the duke's troops, I told him that I ventured to hope he would not slacken in the least in giving effect to the royal orders when they reached him, and that I would try to get back at the earliest possible moment. To this he replied that he would not fail. So rendering him my most hearty thanks I ended the colloquy and the visit together. As the three packets of missing letters reached him yesterday from England, and as I have received from the kindness of the Ambassador Mocenigo assurances that the Secretary Arlinton has written to the Ambassador Temple, I venture to believe that projects will be set on foot by his Excellency for that good which is so desirable and necessary for the whole of Christendom.
Amsterdam, the 14th November, 1668.
[Italian.]
Nov. 16.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
377. Piero Mocenigo, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The commissions having been sent a week to-day to the Ambassador Temple with the confidence in the issue to be expected from the repeated declarations of the Pensionary Vit, I went to thank the Secretary Arlinton, to cultivate his good will and show my reliance upon his authority. He received me kindly and promised to let me know the ambassador's answer as soon as it arrived. In my desire for the Pensionary Vit to ratify the disposition of the States for 2000 men I should aim at getting the king here to resolve upon greater things, so far as the impoverished condition of the exchequer would allow and consideration for the Levant trade…. I gather since from the ducali of the 20th October that the Senate is persuaded of receiving succour from this crown even if the Dutch hang back and I am directed to stimulate the king's generosity by considerations of glory, and the greatness and quiet of his kingdom rather than by the example of the States. I must repeat what I have already written… from which it is plain that a good harmony with the Dutch is not accessory but a principal part, and if there is no union with these in the succour for your Serenity, no consideration, argument or hope of glory will persuade them to lose sight of the Levant trade, which they would consider lost if the Dutch should take advantage at the Porte by publishing [information of help] from this quarter. Accordingly all my energies will be devoted to persuading them how easily they can dissimulate their declarations and the succour itself, and I have suggested the expedient of publishing that the troops are levied by the republic, the munitions purchased, the ships hired, in fact everything done independently of his Majesty's knowledge.
Of the insecurity of the peace between the crowns and of the reserve about the mediation, something has been said to me. The reply of the Secretary Marchesini to Temple was very wise and I will avail myself of the suggestion of your Excellencies to combat this opposition, which is, in effect only the device of a minister to give a respectable appearance to the reluctance to give succour. This may have been the reason for what the Ambassador Borel said about representations about peace at the Porte though I thought it right to report it.
The Secretary Marchesini may by now have left the Hague, being summoned urgently by the princes of Luneburgh in order to cause the troops to march overland to the state of your Serenity, as they would not allow them to be taken by sea or embarked in the ports of Holland, causing disorder besides the loss over the hiring. I hope this fruit may not be lost to your Excellencies when it is on the point of being gathered.
[Acknowledges ducal letters of the 20th and 27th October. With the heavy charge on his resources hopes for relief from the state in an embassy which is more costly than any other.]
The charge has now become greater from advice given to the king which has given rise to a decree that ambassadors shall only enjoy exemption from the old gabelles on the wine which is imported for their use. One must not consider a loss the obligation to keep up the chapel daily with a number of masses and other holy offices by means of abundant alms. At the present time the worship is free and much frequented. So it is only necessary to appeal for consideration. Your Serenity has listened to the petitions of ambassadors who found themselves at Courts in time of change by augmenting their salary and has rendered the burden endurable by gratuities. As this embassy, which is as costly as any, has hitherto remained vacant, I must humbly ask that for what my predecessors would have applied, and which, if denied to me, will have to be granted to my successor. Necessity and the desire not to injure the honour of the state makes me press for this, as the urgent need exceeds the favours received.
London, the 16th November, 1668.
[Italian.]
Nov. 16.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
378. Piero Mocenigo, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The ducali of the 27th ult. charge me to see if there is any distinguished person at this Court, of rank and experience, who would come to serve the republic. I will make inquiry everywhere, but it would seem that the vocation of the competent persons here is rather in commands at sea as the leaders of their very numerous squadrons.
With regard to the question of covering I have not been distinguished from the ambassadors of France and Spain to my prejudice, and if in the cold weather his Majesty wishes to wear his hat as well as the peruke, I shall enjoy, like the other ambassadors, the privilege of covering before him, as I did at the public audience.
The envoy of Portugal has been to call, and besides ceremonial we talked of the affairs of the world. As he said nothing about the reasons for the reserve of the count of Miranda in Spain with your Serenity's ambassador, I merely enlarged on the greatness of Portugal. I think it will be necessary to return his visit and not to mix up the differences of one Court with another.
Your Excellencies will have heard of the events at the Spanish Court, and I can now report the remarks of the earl Sandovich, with whom I have exchanged visits. He expressed excellent sentiments and referred to the discords of that Court, foreseeing worse evils. He regrets that France has not been obliged to make peace and also to restore what she has occupied. As the most serene republic had always upheld the liberty of Italy so England must be watchful over these parts and protect herself from the ill will with which she was regarded by the king of France. That country pushed its advantage more in peace than in war…. It was powerful at sea in navigation and on land had abundance of money. He said openly that he hoped devoutly that in this Court there were not bribed ministers, thus hinting at those of the other. I do not know if this has any connection with the ideas spread by the Ambassador Colbert that it is a service to the queen of Spain to unite with France. (fn. 10)
From Flanders the governor, constable of Castile, has sent to this Court six persons, distinguished by the commands they hold in the garrisons there. They have paid their respects to the king and queen informing them of the constable's arrival and entry upon his charge. (fn. 11) As the Grand Prince of Tuscany is expected from Spain, they are preparing the palace of the queen [mother] for his accommodation, which is one of the most splendid in London. (fn. 12)
Four days ago … natives of the same and of dominions ruled by his Majesty presented a memorial against a large number of Frenchmen, who work silver in private houses. It is still uncertain whether the Council will approve of the contentions of the latter who claim that they cannot be expelled by the king here, who bears the title of king of France and in consequence is bound to take them under his protection as subjects and not exclude them from the country.
After a great deal of trouble I am able to supply the information about the payment for the carriage of letters. The price is fixed by the authority of parliament and this cannot be changed, except by fraud in weighing the packets. Also in the letters… if they should contain … less than in number, and exception cannot be taken even to this since parliament has so ordained, and has given the ministers power to cause themselves to be paid in either way, according to their own pleasure. But as the king has given the benefit of these letters to the duke of Hiorch who farmed it to the Secretary of State Arlinton, who has granted it to his elder brother for a great sum yearly, the ministers are acting with some severity. (fn. 13) In order that all the money may come direct to the caisse they will not permit letters for Italy to be paid for at Antwerp any longer. So I consider it more advantageous to pay here straight through to Venice, as payment at several places would always involve loss. So the letters both going and coming from Venice are paid for by me at London where formerly they were paid for at Antwerp. They cost 32 of their pence here per ounce, equivalent to about four and a half of our lire. As there is no way for resuming an abandoned practice I am careful to pay here in advance for the letters I send to Vienna and Ratisbon, to save them from triple payments in several places. In any case I hope that the totals will not exceed the cost in times past.
London, the 16th November, 1668.
[Italian.]
Nov. 17.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni,
Corti.
Venetian
Archives.
378. To the Ambassador in England.
With regard to currants all that we can say at present is that in the present year the harvest has been exceptionally scanty, and this also affects the cost, which is higher than usual. For the rest severe orders have been issued and will be punctually observed about undue charges and oppressions, so that you may easily dissipate all misgivings and prevent any kind of change, the more so because the poor condition of the small crop which has been harvested in the Morea is well known.
Ayes, 113. Noes, 0. Neutral, 1.
[Italian.]
Nov. 21.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Spagna.
Venetian
Archives.
380. Catterin Belegno, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.
The grand prince of Tuscany is pursuing his journey in Portugal by short stages. A gentleman who is here, without definite character but who attends to the affairs of his Britannic Majesty, has offered him, in the king's name, two frigates of war, in any part of Spain that he chooses, to carry him across to the Downs. (fn. 14)
Madrid, the 21st November, 1668.
[Italian.]
Nov. 23.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
381. Piero Mocenigo, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
Impatient to know if the reply of the Ambassador Temple had arrived from Holland, I tried by way of a confidant to find out from the Secretary Arlinton if Temple had written on the subject, and learned that the receipt of letters had been delayed by bad weather…. Arlinton would not deceive me about letting me know immediately the letters arrived as he promised.
With the slowness of both parties, always inclined to delays and to avoid positive commitments I am afraid your Serenity will suffer no less prejudice by having no one over there to solicit and stimulate operations … (fn. 15) in spite of this … has gone to Luneburg to conclude arrangements with the princes of Bransvich for sending the troops across country. I have taken the opportunity of the response made to me by the Ambassador Temple for calling on his wife before her departure to write urging him to win glory by procuring resistance to the barbarity of the Turks, as he did by establishing peace between Christian powers.
The Dutch ambassador Borel is on the eve of departure, having received the permission of the States, and until some one else comes with the same character, the secretary will remain in charge here. (fn. 16) If I have an opportunity to see Borel before he leaves I will do my utmost to inspire his goodwill to the general welfare, as he has assured me that he will stand to his principle that the powers should be united against the usurpations of the common enemy. He said that he would show himself a good Christian and very well informed about the cause in question.
After having stayed at that Court for some time … the same … periods of the embassy, because one night recently his footmen met a drunken man who fell down with a gentle push. He called out in a loud voice that he was being murdered. The citizens came out of their houses in great numbers, although it was one o'clock in the morning, and they would have broken in the doors of the ambassador's house, to avenge the alleged injury had not the sheriff arrived with a great number [of troops to enforce] respect for a public representative.
The Spanish ambassador also found himself in a serious predicament on the evening of the 5th of November, old style, because bonfires were being lighted throughout the city in commemoration of the unsuccessful attempt to blow up parliament in the time of King James and some boys impudently threw some fireworks into the ambassador's own coach … followed it tumultously right up to the house and if his Excellency, sword in hand, had not forced his own household to withdraw and to shut the doors, arms were already brought out and there would have been a great disturbance. But soldiers came up, on horse and foot by order of General Monch and drove the people away from the house, which they were besieging … lose respect for the republic representation, being easily stirred and ready for any perilous enterprise.
The same Spanish ambassador is all ready to ask audience of his Majesty in a short time, for taking leave, and in the few days in between he will give an account of all affairs to Sig. Marco Ognate, who has arrived from Flanders to compliment the king on behalf of the governor, and it is believed that he will remain here as minister until some other ambassador appears. In the matter of visiting I will try to smoothe away opposition and to get the compliment settled, and I will try to convince the French ambassador that he will win more regard by an accommodation than he will gain in reputation by standing upon punctilio.
I returned the visit of the minister of Portugal, to promote harmony when reserve like that of Miranda in Spain might have increased the ill will felt in Portugal. In speaking of affairs there he never mentioned the king, Don Alfonso, but always the prince, Don Pietro, calling him master and governor of the country.
Your Excellencies will have heard of the orders sent to the governor of San Cristoforo by the Most Christian for the release … Here they do not believe … governor there. Differences are foreseen over the claim for improvements and it is said that the only aim of the French is to create a belief in their good will, and to gain by the benefit of time what cannot be claimed as a right.
Last Tuesday, the 10th old style, parliament met and fixed the next conference for the 1st March, and they will continue to prorogue it at will … to dissolve it altogether, because they cannot count on the election of the same persons, and the country might choose others possibly not so well disposed to the service and obedience of his Majesty.
London, the 23rd November, 1668.
[Italian.]
Nov. 30.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
382. Piero Mocenigo, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The art of navigation has not yet reached such perfection as to supply the defect of nature and unite this separate country with the continent. Northern winds have driven back the packets which come twice a week with letters from the ports of France, Flanders and Holland … (fn. 17) there is also my impatience to hear how Temple has carried out his Majesty's commissions in Holland, and what constancy the Pensionary Vit has shown about the succour for your Serenity. On the arrival of the posts I should be informed by Arlinton, and I promise to try and get the most generous resolutions from the king here.
Although letters from the Ambassador Harvis arrived from Leghorn last week, the contents of those written to the duke of Arundel were only communicated to me by him three days ago, being … far away … when he conferred with Sir John Finche, he had with amazement discovered reserve when he expected illumination from the minister of your Serenity about the peace negotiations at the Porte. The resident had told the consul that your Excellencies disapproved the request of Marchesini for instructions to him to handle the peace with the Grand Turk … had their own … not to place their affairs in the hands of the ministers of foreign princes. Upon this point it seems that Harvis took offence. God grant that on the ground of reputation he does not suggest notions of mistrust to the king here, because it would be most difficult to disabuse him of them. But I cannot believe that your Excellencies did not direct the reply … the Ambassador Harvis from the pledge to negotiate the peace, into which he did not enter of his own inclination; and I am certain that the Resident Vincenti will have measured his words and abstain from any that would irritate and probe the wound…. I believe that the matter has become heated in its passage through mines of fire, for such are the ears and spirits of Harvis and Finche upon a point of honour, and so I hope that it will not be represented to his Majesty by that way. In spite of this I shall watch very closely the opinions expressed … I will try to introduce the greatest confidence in your Serenity. To remove any suspicion this crown may have I shall assert that it is so far from the truth that the Senate wished for the effective handling of peace, that they made urgent demands of his Majesty by their own letters; but that the departure of the envoy from Venice … and all that Sig. Marchesini had propounded was absolutely equivocal. By these assertions and assurances of esteem I hope to get over the incident better than I should have done by disclosing the disapproval of your Excellencies before being provoked; because where in that case I should have had to admit and excuse it, I can now in the distance … in recompense for the words at Leghorn, remove the distrust, express esteem for this crown and ask for instructions to Harvis to assist and favour the envoy of your Serenity. In any case I will do my utmost to prevent the incident causing any cooling off about the succour.
The king is more concerned than ever about economy and the extinction of the debts contracted in the late war. He presses the inquiry against Earl Anglise for the money administered in his charge of Treasurer of the Navy. Suspended for the moment from his office it seems that he may be called upon to answer for some hundreds of thousands of pounds sterling. But others … coming to this conclusion from the renewed attention of the king to abase the supporters of the chancellor, Anglise being one of his most open and steadfast adherents; so that the French ambassador, trying for the recall of the chancellor, had made it further off than ever, stirring up humours and disclosing the parties …
Sunday, being St. Catherine's day, was celebrated in the city of London, it being the queen's name day, and besides firing all the guns of the Tower, they had comedies performed at Court and lighted bonfires, all the Court taking part, the ladies and cavaliers in the richest habits and jewels. Having waited for this day Pietro [de Velasco] left for Flanders [having had audience] of the queen, being related to the constable of Castile, a kinsman of her Majesty, (fn. 18) accompanied by other gentlemen who came for this function. They will all be ready very soon for the discharge of their offices in Flanders.
London, the 30th November, 1668.
[Italian.]

Footnotes

1 Obliterated.
2 Lord Mordaunt resigned the constableship to the king for 20,000 crowns and Rupert was immediately appointed, the letters patent being dated 19th October. Brit. Mus. Add. MSS. 27962 S., f. 290d. Tighe and Davis: Annals of Windsor, Vol. ii, p. 332.
3 Don Gaspar de Abreu de Freitas. Prestage: Diplomatic Relations of Portugal p. 170.
4 At Newmarket. Brit. Mus. Add. MSS. 27962 S., fol. 305d.
5 Obliterated.
6 Obliterated.
7 Isabel of Nassau, daughter of Louis of Nassau heer van Beverwaart, a natural son of Prince Maurice.
8 Obliterated.
9 Noiset. See note at p. 300, above. On 22nd October Colbert wrote that his efforts for the man's release had been fruitless, and that it would be necessary for him to take action in the king's name. On the 5th November he reported that the King had granted him the release of the man four days ago. P.R.O. Paris Transcripts.
10 Two and a half lines obliterated.
11 Don Pedro de Velasco, constable of Castile, had succeeded the Marquis of Castel Rodrigo as governor of the Spanish Netherlands. The chief of the envoys were Don Marco Ognate and Don Pedro de Velasco, a kinsman of the constable. They had their first audience on the 20th. Salvetti on 23rd November. Brit. Mus. Add. MSS. 27962 S., fol. 310d.
12 Somerset House. Salvetti on 6th November. Ibid., fol. 307d. Apparently some at least of the queen's goods were sent to her in France. Col. S.P. Dom. 1668–9, p. 98.
13 The office of Postmaster-General was set up in 1660 and three years later the profits were granted to the duke of York. In 1665 Arlington and Lord Berkeley took over the lease of the office on the death of Daniel O'Neill, and on the expiry of the lease Arlington became sole postmaster. His brother, Sir John Bennet was made deputy postmaster, in 1667. Steele: Tudor and Stuart Proclamations, Vol. i, p. 426. Barbour: The Earl of Arlington, p. 101.
14 Sir Bernard Gascoigne. Writing from Madrid on the 4th October he asks that the king will be pleased to favour the prince with one good ship for his passage. S.P. Spain, Vol. liii. The Portland was selected for the purpose, attended by the Roe ketch. Cal. S.P. Dom. 1668–9, pp. 60, 106, 161
15 The last two lines of each page of this despatch are illegible.
16 Mijnheer Kinschot, who had gone to England in the train of the Ambassador Meerman. London Gazette, Nov. 2–5, 1668.
17 The last two lines of each page of this despatch are illegible.
18 He had come with Ognate to pay respects to the queen upon the constable's assumption of the governorship of Flanders. Brit. Mus. Add. MSS. 27962 S., fol. 310d.