Venice
May 1669

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Institute of Historical Research

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Allen B. Hinds (editor)

Year published

1937

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45-62

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'Venice: May 1669', Calendar of State Papers Relating to English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 36: 1669-1670 (1937), pp. 45-62. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=90261 Date accessed: 01 October 2014.


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May 1669

May 1.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
57. Marc Antonio Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
After the form of the entry of the English ambassador into this city had been disputed for several days the Court here has agreed to a very noticeable form. The dispute was due to the claim of his Excellency that the coaches accompanying him should precede those of the princes of the blood royal. They concede to the two coaches of this minister the place immediately after that of his Majesty, in which he entered Paris. The two coaches preceded that of the queen and consequently those of all the others who took part. To justify such a demonstration by some outward sign they have arranged with the ambassador as master of the horse of the queen regnant of England, the honour of bearing the arms of her Majesty on the coaches and that his people should wear the liveries of the said queen, as was actually done. (fn. 1) They pretend here that their readiness in conceding such a position is justified on the ground of the practical convenience of granting the best place to equals in one's own house.
The question which now preoccupies them of a close union with England for trade in order to take it away from the Dutch and to detach that powerful king from the triple alliance in every possible way that may be considered best, has led the government to pay no attention to the usual formalities and to allow itself to suffer this notable prejudice therein.
Paris, the 1st May, 1669.
[Italian.]
May 1.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
58. Marc Antonio Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
I am assured from a source that does not usually betray me that the ambassador of England proposed to the Sieur di Liona, as the vehicle of a close union and a perfect understanding between this country and England, the recovery of the strong place of Dunkirk. He offered not only to reimburse the Most Christian for the sum which he laid out on it for its acquisition, but also to pay into the royal exchequer all that he might have laid out on the improvement of the port and the fortifications. Liona would not undertake to carry the proposal to his Majesty since he considered it diametrically opposed to his royal service. We are waiting and watching to see what the ambassador will decide to do upon this most serious subject.
Paris, the 1st May, 1669.
[Italian.]
May 1.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Spagna.
Venetian
Archives.
59. Catterin Belegno, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.
On this side also ill feeling against the Court of London is being kindled in respect of the encroachments of English ships beyond the line. The Ambassador Molina spoke about it strongly, in accordance with his instructions, before he left the Court. Nevertheless the English bring forward the pretext that they cannot bridle the ardour of the corsairs or force them to respect the agreements and conventions which they have with this crown. They say, however, that if commerce with America were permitted, they would afford them opportune compensation. From this they deduce as a consequence that the disturbance caused by the corsairs is not without encouragement, in order to force the Spaniards to make a new and more advantageous treaty from the necessity of providing an immediate remedy.
Upon this question, however, the government shows itself tenacious and ill disposed to alter the arrangements established, that is, to offer a port to foreign craft only in case of a storm and when the vessels are in difficulties. For the rest they mean to exclude them from commerce because, after England, Holland would also claim the same and this would manifestly lead to certain and irreparable loss.
Madrid, the 1st May, 1669.
[Italian.]
May 3.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
60. Piero Mocenigo, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
Reasons that are very well known have prevailed to persuade Sweden not to cast aside the offers which have been made to her by the allies and the Spaniards with so much insistence and advantage. Nevertheless the policy of selling their friendship has become hereditary in that crown either through the poverty of the country or from the ambition of seeing themselves highly esteemed by the powers. This policy has been so closely observed at the present time that the government is keeping on the alert to squeeze profit out of the circumstances of the time and up to the very last moment. Mareschel, the envoy of Sweden at the Hague, does not offer direct opposition to signing the things agreed upon by the princes of the alliance, but he points to the obligation into which that crown has entered to set on foot an army, whatever may happen, and protests that before everything else it is necessary to pay the wholè of the money down, refusing to receive one half now and the remainder in two instalments at intervals of eight months.
Such a demand finds the Spaniards bare, as they are not even ready to pay the amount agreed upon in the last projects. They have no credit at Amsterdam except for four tons of gold brought from Cadiz, and they do not know how to find the remaining eight, which at 100,000l. each, come to twelve in all and their total indebtedness to 480,000.
The Dutch have made themselves perpetual mediators between the two parties, as it is to their advantage to buy the Swedes with Spanish gold and to preserve their own states by upholding Flanders, defended by the guarantee. They are trying to moderate the demands of Sweden reducing them to the eight tons and on the other hand they offer to find sufficient money for the Spaniards within twenty-four hours provided they are willing to hand over as security the strong place of Guelders and some castle. These with the fortresses of Ruremond and Venlao are the only ones which are at the present time subject to the Catholic in that province.
Such unexpected demands disturb the Spaniards and assistance of this sort confounds their spirit since they cannot persuade themselves that it is advantageous even though last year the treaty was concluded or near conclusion, although not carried into effect or the garrison changed. But the strangeness does not end here because during the discussions about settling the way in which the allies should act together and succour the part attacked in time, which is assumed to be Spain, Mareschel begins to negotiate about making sure of the payment which will then be due to Sweden, and seems anxious to put it on the footing of a yearly pension.
Such is the state of the transactions of the triple alliance with respect to the Spaniards. Owing to the jealousies between their allies things are proceeding as reported unless fresh surprises are in store after the public entry of Montagu into Paris.
Actual acts of hostility against the Spaniards are being committed and continued by the English in America. A new and vague report has come that four galleons of the Spaniards have fallen by surprise into the hands of the governor of Jamaica. (fn. 2) The Ambassador Molina rages, but without result. Here they assure him on the one hand that it is done without the order or knowledge of the king, while privately they point out that his Majesty cannot prevent it since the people there would throw themselves into the arms of France, who would permit them all manner of reprisal with effective support. Molina is not pacified by this argument, which is based upon violence, and insists positively that America is included in the peace. The English content themselves by replying merely that Spain would not commit herself to peace beyond the line because she feared to prejudice her claims to Jamaica.
The king is leaving affairs in this state and on Monday he will go to his diversions at Niumarchet, and in particular he will show the prince of Tuscany some horse racing there.
His Highness has already paid his visits to the duke and duchess of Hiorch, incognito, being received by both standing and uncovered, but he did not receive the salute of a kiss from the duchess. With Prince Roberto there is some difference of title as claimed by the prince. That of “Highness” was omitted by the gentleman sent by Roberto, and the gentleman sent in response by the grand prince had orders not to use the title of “Highness.” The question is still unsettled but it will be dropped without fuss as the visits of the ambassadors will take place on neutral ground. Those of France and Spain judging that it would be too prejudicial to consent in a manner of speaking to the pretensions of the prince, will let things slide. I have followed the example of Spain, who, having met the prince in the queen's chamber, performed the most courteous offices with him. I have done the same and we both used the title of “Highness.”
Your Serenity will have learned already of the resolution of the States to refer the affair of Sautin to the province of Holland. Here I have induced the secretary left here by the Ambassador Borel (fn. 3) to write to Holland and he has promised to do so in the best form, laying the matter before persons of the highest authority, with the ideas I have impressed upon him of the correspondence expected by your Serenity for the free commerce and good treatment enjoyed by the Dutch in the Venetian dominions.
London, the 3rd May, 1669.
[Italian.]
May 10.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispaccia,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
61. Pietro Mocenigo, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The queen spoke with deep respect for the Holy See and expressed her sincere regard for your Serenity, on receiving the pope's brief when I presented it these last days. I seized the favourable opportunity to introduce the question of succour with the king. I represented that he was pledged to it by his own Christian zeal for the defence of Candia against the Turks and by the example given by all the princes. The confidence existing between their Majesties permitted the most intimate considerations to be frankly discussed between them. Without repeating all the particulars I will simply report here that the queen had to let herself be convinced and to believe that the king was justified in avoiding any commitments from fear of stirring up trouble with those interested in the commerce of the Levant, in order not to hazard an obedience so recently planted and far from being rooted in the hearts of this people towards his royal person. Further the approaching assembly of parliament called for infinite reserve as he had to ask money from those who were resolved to refuse it. Here the queen exposed their sores, admitting the very considerable debts of his Majesty. She went on to say that even admitting that persuasion succeeded in removing the panic fear from the muddled heads of the merchants here that would not suffice to supply the means for co-operating for the relief of the fortress.
The queen communicated all this to me without the slightest reserve in order the better to excuse her fruitless intercession, expressing her regret at the unfavourable circumstances of the present time. I know however that her Majesty is zealously embracing the present opportunity of the breach of faith by the Algerians and does her utmost to urge that they must be compelled by force to keep their word; her object being to divert the force of the common enemy.
They are equipping a number of frigates here, but it is understood that the Dutch, with greater promptitude, have decided to send to the Mediterranean twelve great ships of war and that they are lying at anchor ready for the first wind. This resolution may have been hastened by a recent combat between two Algerian ships and three Dutch ones commanded by Vice Admiral Vander Zaen. After a series of encounters, the latter was slain and the corsairs succeeded in getting away, safe and sound with an unexpected victory, as they were in inferior numbers and their ships are not so strong or so well equipped, being more fitted for evasion and rapine than for encounters and action with the Dutch. (fn. 4)
His Majesty proceeded on Monday to Niumarchett, followed by the prince of Tuscany. The chief entertainment there will be horse racing. It is certain that the prince could not be treated with greater kindness, as his Majesty desired to be present at a sumptuous entertainment given by the duke of Hiorch on a great ship which is in the river, a few miles from London. Dining at table there the prince covered after the duke of Hiorch, (fn. 5) who enjoys this distinction from every other subject of his Majesty. The prince has already called on all the ladies related to the gentlemen who have been to his house. Thus he called on the ambassadress of Spain, because of the compliment received from her husband in the queen's chamber. It remains for the French ambassador to meet him in the same place, when he will receive the same civilities from the prince in his own house, on his return to London.
London, the 10th May, 1669.
[Italian.]
May 10.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
62. Pietro Mocenigo, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The appearance in London of the earl of St. Albans was always believed to be highly mysterious especially at the time when the duke of Hiorch's closet was rifled. Now the same person has arrived unexpectedly in haste from France after the relapse of the queen mother there is more talk than ever as well as weighty reflection. The root of such suspicions is the confidential relations that the king here may allow himself to be brought to cultivate with France. The duke of Hiorch and St. Albans are believed to be the gobetweens for this, the former influenced, by his father-in-law, the late lord chancellor; the latter commanded by the queen mother. Both are subject to censure and observation. I informed your Serenity that the most plausible suspicion against Hiorch would be of an understanding with the lord chancellor for private interests and not for arrangements with France, as being too dangerous. I think I can confirm this as the rifling of his closet has not caused any change. With regard to St. Albans I fancy I do not err in saying that the earl has only come to establish the assignments which the king here forwards to his mother with the customary punctuality. Up to the present moment the earl has not been engaged in any transaction.
I believe these are all devices of the Spanish and Dutch party, seeing great offers of ready money from France without proposals for any equivalent return to be given in exchange by England. Such is the reflection on the matter, but a beginning of less cordial relations with the Most Christian is an edict forbidding the importation into this country of foreign grain, (fn. 6) owing to the excess produced by that of France.

I confirm the same sagacity of Sweden, which studies its own profit. While still intending to sign the last treaties it says none the less that it will not take this step until it sees its utmost pretensions for payment by the Spaniards satisfied with an annual pension for the future. The Spaniards are labouring for this and are trying to persuade England and Holland to undertake the burden together with them, since Spain is spending treasure to preserve Flanders. Once that has fallen the chief injury would be felt by those two powers and the Spanish monarchy would be relieved of a burden which inconveniences it so greatly both in its peace and in its finances. The ministers tell the Ambassador Molina that the king's zeal had brought him into the alliance and held him thus committed for the good of Christendom. This was the sole motive and with that removed he would never take part for the preservation of Flanders. Such a frank withdrawal cuts away all the hopes of the Spaniards and the Dutch. There will be no lack of arguments to excuse themselves, unless they have to give money to receive places as a pledge, as I intimated last week. If, as the secretary states, an ambassador comes here soon from Holland, we shall know better about what is being negotiated in concert with this crown; but as no one has been nominated, no credit is as yet attached to the efforts of the secretary, who says that he is looking for a house to lodge this same ambassador.
Finding so much stiffness in the princes of the alliance the Spaniards are becoming disposed to listen to the French. These last, as the price of relinquishing the property sequestrated within the new conquests, are asking for the abolition of the gabelles imposed since the peace of Aix la Chapelle upon goods entering and leaving the newly conquered towns. The question is not yet resolved; but as it is a matter of opening the door to the whole of France, which is treating under the name of these places, the affair has been referred to the Consulta. It will be very remarkable if the Spaniards agree to humble themselves and redeem with a favour that which they say has been usurped from them by the French and which they claim should be restored to them by every right.
London, the 10th May, 1669.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
May 15.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
63. Marc Antonio Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
The assembling of the French troops at St. Germain. These demonstrations continue to cause uneasiness to the constable of Castile, governor of the Spanish Netherlands, and to the British ambassador. The latter has received orders to be in constant residence at St. Germain, in order to observe at closer quarters the proceedings and designs over here. The ministers here and those who are best informed speak with derision of these present apprehensions. They affirm more and more strongly the continuation of the peace and express themselves as utterly averse from a rupture or any irregularity.
Paris, the 15th May, 1669.
[Italian.]
May 16.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni,
Roma.
Venetian
Archives.
64. To the Ambassador Grimani at Rome.
When the Ambassador Vinchilse arrives at that city you will be on the watch to see what he has to say about operations against the Turks, agreeing with his good intentions. You will afterwards inform us of everything.
Ayes, 96. Noes, 1. Neutral, 0.
[Italian.]
May 17.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
65. Pietro Mocenigo, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The affair of the triple alliance is limited to proposals and replies without any decision being taken, as the Spaniards lack ready money, which is the sole means for smoothing away all difficulties. Up to the present moment they seem determined not to accept the offer of the Dutch, except under compulsion and they will not allow themselves to be persuaded that anything but urgent necessity can counterbalance the disadvantage of the exchange. They say always that they would be giving up solid fortresses for money and after the greater part of that had passed into the hands of the Swedes nothing would be left to them but the promise and the hope of receiving succour; while Holland increased its dominions, the States securing their own by using those of the Catholic as effective bulwarks.
To avoid this necessity, which they fear may be only too near, they are listening to the proposals of France about the withdrawal of the sequestrated property within the new conquests. But they are becoming ever more conscious of the importance of exmption from the new gabelles to which the Most Christian is laying claim for the trade with his new portion of the Low Countries. The affair has been discussed by the Council, which has buried it with the other transactions about frontiers in the hands of the commissioners at Lille. In the mean time the gentlemen, deprived of their property for remaining faithful to the Catholic, are raising an outcry. The magistracy at Brussels is exclaiming about the new gabelles which of necessity afflict the subjects of each of the princes indifferently, and the governor does not agree to withdraw them. It is announced that the French make it a practice to advance to an usurpation and then extract some satisfaction before withdrawing. Thus, beginning as usurpers they enter into lawful possession of some advantage which is voluntarily conceded to them by the other side, which is compelled by force to receive the law from them.
Among the first representations made by Montagu at Paris was the urgent need for peace and for the observation of the treaty of Aix la Chapelle. He enlarged on the disquiet caused to the Spaniards by the movement of forces in Flanders. The Most Christian replied that they were merely military exercises, but he had good reason to complain of the constable, the governor there, for interpreting it otherwise, proclaiming this to the powers and casting doubt upon the promise of peace which he, the king, was resolved to maintain.
His Majesty has now been back in London five days. Up to the present it is not known whether the earl of St. Alban has proposed those matters which those who are most suspicious had imagined. While demonstrations of the greatest constancy to the union continue the suspicion may remain active among the timid; but those who are disinterested may well await better evidence.
[Acknowledges the ducali of the 26th April.]
I have received from the queen's grand almoner the attached reply to the brief written by the pope. I expressed myself in accordance with what I knew to be the state's wishes. The promptings of her own zeal alone suffice to keep her Majesty ever on the alert for opportunities to stimulate the just resentment of the king here against the Algerines. So far as the equipment of frigates is concerned there is no lack of application. It only remains for him to continue in this heat and that when the time comes to sail, their forces may not be accompanied with smooth words and by negotiations.
A merchant of Leghorn who has heard of the excellent results with the salted meat which was successfully sold last year in Candia, is agitating here for the lading of a ship and has given ample commissions and cash down for the lading of a ship for the provision in Ireland, so that in a few weeks it will be all ready for the voyage to those parts. (fn. 7)
The grand prince of Tuscany is seeing what is noteworthy at Niumarchet and the horse racing. He enjoys the king's favour in the most distinguished and confidential manner. He has since gone to observe the university of Cambridge and Oxford, and then, after a brief tour round the country he returned yesterday evening to London. So far he has not left his house.
London, the 17th May, 1669.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Enclosure.66. Catherine, Queen of Great Britain, to the Pope.
Très Saint Père:
Quand l'interêt que toute la Chrestienté a que la ville de Candia ne tombe entre les mains des infidelles ne me disposeroit pas a contribuer de tout ce que pourra estre en mon pouvoir a l'assistance de la serenissime republique de Venise, qui soustient avec tant de gloire le faix de cette guerre, les exhortations de vostre Sainteté qui me tiendront tousjours lieu de commandement tres absolus, m'y obligeroit. C'est pourquoy Elle se peut assurer que je chercheray avec application toutes les occasions de tesmoigner la part que je prends en cette querelle si sainte et l'obeissance que je presteray en tous rencontres aux volontés de vostre Sainteté. Je la supplie d'en estre persuadée et de croire que je prieray tous jours Dieu avec zèle. Tres saint père qu'il veuille preserver longuement et hereusement Vostre Sainteté au gouvernement de nostre mère Sainte Eglise.
Escrite a Londres ce 30 Avril, 1669. (fn. 8)
May 18.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Roma.
Venetian
Archives.
67. Antonio Grimani, Venetian Ambassador at Rome, to the Doge and Senate.
The earl of Vinchelse, the English ambassador from Constantinople, has arrived from Naples and is preserving his incognito. He desired to place himself at the feet of his Holiness, who received him gladly and with paternal affection; when a lengthy conversation took place. The earl also came to this house, favouring me with great courtesy. He confirms the disturbances which have started in the Ottoman empire because of the counterfeit “luigini” introduced in infinite quantity. (fn. 9) He thinks that the disturbances may easily grow worse because of the request made by the Grand Turk for the heads of his brothers. Owing to the sorry condition in which the Sultan finds himself and to the dissoluteness of his life, the queen mother foresees that his fall cannot be long delayed. If the king's son should succeed, she would be deprived of her authority. In that event she would try, in conjunction with the janissaries, to secure the succession for one of the brothers. Thus confusion would be inevitable among them and consequently great advantages for Christendom would be practically certain.
He says that the Turks are very tired of war, but they feel sure of the fall of Candia. After that they mean to take Sicily and Malta. If the Christian princes were united their efforts would be vain. He said that he had told the pope all this. He spoke of the good relations he enjoyed with the ministers of the most serene republic. He considered it a piece of good fortune that his father had occasion to serve the Cavalier Corraro chiefly in London. (fn. 10) He was under great obligation because he had been entertained for several months at the palace of San Marco here by his extraordinary courtesy, with numerous favours. I made a suitable response.
He is about to set out in the direction of Venice after he has seen some other cities of Italy and will then return with all speed to his king. He makes it seem likely that his reports will tend especially to the service of your Excellencies.
Rome, the 18th May, 1669.
[Italian.]
May 22.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
68. Marc Antonio Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
New and precise instructions have been sent to the Ambassador Colbert in London to facilitate the trade which is so necessary between the two countries. The government recognises the absolute necessity of establishing sincere correspondence in the trade with that quarter or else to proceed to a rupture that is recognised to be inopportune and prejudicial. It has just now come to my knowledge that they are thinking here of promising the English the sale of their goods in this country on the condition that the corn and wine that are required in England shall only be obtained from this kingdom. This would appear to be the more likely to be granted seeing that the contrary practice, which has been customary hitherto will prove exceptionally inconvenient to both kingdoms and was rather the result of a dislike of foreign interference and of mistrust than deliberate intention.
Paris, the 22nd May, 1669.
[Italian.]
May 22.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
69. Marc Antonio Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
In the seas of Portugal two powerful French ships fell in with three English frigates. When the former wished to oblige the English to be the first to salute the flag of France, they obstinately refused this formality. The French made as if to oblige them to do so by force. Preparations were made for an engagement; but when all seemed to be set for a battle, the French ships, finding it impossible to gain the wind of their adversaries, were obliged to retire. (fn. 11) The affair being reported in London with liberal exaggerations to the advantage of the nation, a way was opened to detraction. Already several printed sheets have appeared which cast doubts upon the vigour and resolution of the French arms. His Majesty and the government here are bitterly resentful at these proceedings which are increased in importance by being tolerated. They have decided, nevertheless, to continue to practise a profound dissimulation in order not to cut short the thread of greater designs and hopes by fresh dissensions.
Paris, the 22nd May, 1669.
[Italian.]
May 24.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
70. Pietro Mocenigo, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The hope of great advantages and an obsession to obviate essential prejudices have exercised such a powerful influence on the ministers here that amid their urgent needs they have squeezed out a sum of ready money and supplied it to the earl of Arundel so that, after adding to it a considerable amount of his own, he may proceed with all speed to the embassy in Africa. The secretary Arlington in all the enthusiasm of this despatch came to pay me a ceremonial visit. He enlarged on the confidence he felt, from the ability of this individual, that they would hear that matters had been put on a good footing by a steady peace with Taffilet, king of Morocco, and of free commerce at the port of Tanger which would become the most important mart in Africa.
While applauding his zeal in devoting so much attention to securing advantages for his country I remarked that if considerations of self interest had obliged this government to send ministers to several princes, a sentiment of gratitude towards the Senate should have persuaded them not to forget the most serene republic. Taking my insinuations seriously Arlington replied that every prick touched him to the quick as he well remembered the pledge he had given in the note written to me months ago. The confusion in which the royal affairs were involved kept him constantly occupied. He had found things so badly administered that he had not dared to open his mouth to propose a mission to your Excellencies since he had not the wherewithal to offer assistance in money to the one who might be chosen. However, things would very soon be in better order, when he would speak about it to the king. He felt sure that he would find his Majesty entirely disposed to make known to your Serenity his desire to reciprocate the friendly sentiments which had been shown to him.
I replied that the greatness of this crown was not subject to such petty obstacles and I had not the slightest doubt that I should hear of the nomination of some one who would proceed to the embassy at Venice, where the Senate would renew in his person the regard it feels for the ministers of his Majesty. I will take particular care that what I succeed in getting shall be more by way of consideration than by request or by directly committing your Serenity. I also desire that the lack of money shall not check the wish of the king here, in which all the ministers concur, to correspond and deserve the generous advances which have been made by your Excellencies.
The ducali of the 3rd May enlighten me as to what is happening in Candia and about the disturbances at Constantinople. I made these known immediately when the duke of Hiorch spoke at length on the subject to the king, who discussed it with me, entering minutely into the particulars in the queen's chamber. The ambassadors of France and Spain also, to whom I supplied the same information, remarked to his Majesty on the courage of the defenders. I spoke highly of the generosity of the Most Christian and Catholic kings who had both hastened to give prompt succour to Candia. I went no further than to extol the Christian example which their Majesties afforded to all the other princes. When the Ambassador Vinchelse arrives back here from the Porte I will perform the offices which your Excellencies enjoin upon me.
In respect of ceremonious relations with the prince of Tuscany I have conformed precisely with the practice of the ambassadors of France and Spain. As they thought fit not to follow the example of Madrid and not be seen expressly in a third place, I also abstained and only paid my respects in the queen's chamber after the Spanish ambassador. The Ambassador Colbert, who first raised the difficulty about visiting in a third place, wrote to Paris. While he was waiting for the reply he found that the grand prince had responded to the courtesy of Molina by visiting the ambassadress, his wife, according to the style introduced of visiting the wives of gentlemen who have favoured him in his house. Colbert being offended at this step taken at the Spanish embassy before coming to his own, did not abstain from speaking to the prince in the queen's chamber. When his Highness sent to arrange a visit to the ambassadress, the time was fixed; but when he arrived at the house and mounted the stair he was told that the ambassadress had gone out. This action which shows the feeling of Colbert about the precedence claimed from Spain is received by the prince as the act of the wife without having arranged it with her husband and so the ambassador did not offer a word of excuse to his Highness when they met last Tuesday, in the presence of his Majesty, who was holding a state review of his troops in this neighbourhood. (fn. 12)
London, the 24th May, 1669.
[Italian.]
May 24.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
71. Pietro Mocenigo, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The talk about transactions undertaken by the earl of St. Albans is increasing without measure and without reserve. Although most of it may be false one is forced to believe that there may be some basis of truth. The political considerations for a union of commerce and interests to the exclusion of the Dutch, who usurp everything for themselves, open a way at the outset for insinuations. On the assumption that the division of the Spanish Netherlands between these two kingdoms would be easy, it is stated that St. Albans has authority to offer money to the king here to pay all his debts provided he detaches himself from the triple alliance. With this knot undone the Spaniards would be no longer have a safeguard for their marts. With their own left free (restata libera la sua), Holland would be greatly weakened and so France and England would be able to think of conquests in the north and of joining together to surpass all others in the trade of America and the East Indies. These proposals are as raw as I now present them to your Serenity and so far his Majesty does not listen to them.
A medal has come forth from Holland representing on one side a part of the River Thames with some ships consumed by fire and others carried off by the Dutch who are distinguished by their flags. On the other side is the fleet of the Provinces in triumph with the motto: “Mites et Fortes.” The king here has seen it with much vexation of spirit though he was subsequently soothed by the prudence of the ministers who represented that it was an old one struck at the time of the late war.
Word comes from Holland of the renewal of the alliance and the universal guarantee established for all the dominions of the Catholic; and the Spanish and Dutch ministers trust in it as irrevocable. Up to the present, however, it is not known upon what terms they have been able to appease the high claims of Sweden, and the agreement is kept religiously secret. The truth is that the ministers at the Hague have arranged something definite among themselves and that the whole has to be signed over again by the kings of England and Sweden, and so far neither of them has assented except by his ministers.
In spite of this vigorous reunion announced by the Spaniards the French continue to distribute the revenues of the property sequestrated and are beginning energetically to dispose of the property itself, particularly that of the prince de Ligne. On the other hand they insist peremptorily on the withdrawal of the sequestrations, on the strength of a letter written by the queen regent to the constable governor. That officer, interpreting the commissions as a mere matter of form extracted by the insistence of the French minister, has not as yet made any change.
It seems that the Most Christian is claiming satisfaction on many points from the Dutch. The Ambassador Pompona has presented a memorial about the restitution of the ship Santa Catterina taken in the time of the late war with the English, laden with tackle for the herring fishery. He has also brought a second and asks for the maintenance of what was established by the naval treaty made in 1662.
Here they are waiting with eager curiosity to see what will happen, being anxious to learn that occasions and pretexts for breaking the peace have been avoided. They have been glad to hear of the arrival in Sweden of the Ambassador Carlisse, which happened on the 18th of last month, which will serve to divert any sort of derangement that might occur to upset the quiet and close knit concord which at present they enjoy.
London, the 24th May, 1669.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
May 25.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Roma.
Venetian
Archives.
72. Antonio Grimani, Venetian Ambassador in Rome, to the Doge and Senate.
The earl of Vinchelse set out, but a few miles outside Rome he was obliged to turn back because of some accident that happened to his son. However this morning he started again on his journey to Venice. During the time of his stay here I have shown him every attention, and I even gave him the use of my coaches at his departure. He seemed to be particularly pleased at this. When he has reached Venice I think that it would be desirable to gratify him if he should express the desire and request the confidence of some important communication of the affairs of the Turks and of the interests of your Excellencies at Constantinople.
Rome, the 25th May, 1669.
[Italian.]
May 31.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
73. Pietro Mocenigo, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
Between the resolute demands of the Swedes who will not listen to any moderation and the hanging back of the Spaniards who make no approach to satisfy them from sheer inability, the Dutch are interposing as mediators in various ways. Out of this has issued the renewal of the alliance with an obligation to guarantee all the dominions of the Catholic if the Most Christian is the first to break the peace of Aix la Chapelle. We know the results of this change of Sweden but we do not yet see whether they are content to receive one half of the money on the consignment of the paper of the alliance signed by the king and to wait for the remaining six tons of gold at intervals of eight months The truth is that the Spaniards have agreed to the obligation of a pension; but Sweden will have nothing in hand but bare promises. The ministers of that crown have nevertheless agreed to such terms, il Pool having arrived there recently with fresh instructions.
With all the secrecy with which these allied powers keep their agreements the quarrels between the constable governor and the Spanish Ambassador Gamarra at the Hague have leaked out, causing scandal. The ambassador took the honour of publishing the agreement, a duty which belonged to the governor as his superior. The governor was led by this to criticise the transactions of the ambassador, and was on the point of accusing him, but as he only found him at fault in mere details it seems likely that he will not spoil the fruit which has been cultivated for so long.
In the mean time the allied powers, triumphant over this union which leaves the door open for any prince zealous for the general quiet to enter and join them, are renewing the report that it is intended to include the emperor.
While the Spaniards are looking well ahead to know if they can be sure of the intentions of the kings of Sweden and England, these intentions are much discussed in both cases. It is stated with some freedom that the former crown, when it comes to the point of taking serious action, may show itself very lukewarm about supplying the proper forces required by the guarantee. Here certainly in the privy Council they have thrice discussed the question whether they should sign the alliances. The duke of Hiorch has always opposed it and up to the present time his opinion has always prevented any of the rest from agreeing to it. In pointing out the mischiefs that would result to the country from a declaration against France he seems to have been followed up by the earl of St. Alban who impressed on them the advantages of union with that kingdom. The secretary Arlington, giving his own opinion, told me two days ago that the king would certainly sign the alliance. Personally I incline to believe that this union with France would be universally condemned as dangerous so that it would cause internal trouble in the country and great hazards with the allied powers. There is no further difficulty to be overcome except the attraction of the money offered by France, but it is hoped and with good reason that parliament will supply this in abundance.
The pregnancy of the queen has been whispered about the Court for two weeks, though concealed by her Majesty's modesty. (fn. 13) This will relieve the disquiet which has disturbed the whole country through the absence of an heir to the king's body, by putting off the troubles which would be irreparable at the next succession. This is the fourth time that her Majesty has conceived, and so happily, as distinguished from all the others, that it arouses hopes of a most fortunate issue, and one awaited with impatience by the people here. Following the example of all the other ambassadors I offered his Majesty my hearty congratulations, which he received most graciously.
The ambassador of Spain is on the point of departure. He has already embarked all his baggage on the ship (fn. 14) assigned to him by the king here. He has practically lost all hope of receiving any satisfaction for the reprisals in America, having proposed the punishment of the governor of Jamaica. The duke of Jorch opposed it altogether, maintaining that in order to remove the obstacles placed by Spain to the advancement of that trade there was no other remedy than to avail themselves of their weapons, and in that way get freedom of trade conceded.
The capture by the French of the town of San Domenico in America is not confirmed. But it is understood that Vice Admiral Estrées has made booty of two Dutch ships and put a third to flight, which were trading at their ports there contrary to the decree of the company of the nation. Thus as an answer to the harshness shown by the Dutch to French merchants in the East the French have driven some ships from their stations in America without permitting them to take cargo and from this time forth all that they take will be considered lawful booty.
Acknowledges the ducali of the 10th May.
London, the last of May, 1669.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
May 31.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
74. Pietro Mocenigo, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
Recounts the circumstances of his appointment and despatch. Now that he no longer entertains any hopes of success he asks permission to relinquish a residence so futile and distasteful. After the passage of a full year since his entry he can no longer persuade himself that there will be any change in the aspect of affairs, the tenor of which is most tenacious. He relies on the generosity of their Excellencies to look with a compassionate eye on the obvious and very sensible losses to which he was of necessity subjected and that they will give him the grateful refreshment which has always been allowed to his predecessors at the English Court.
London, the 31st May, 1669.
[Italian.]

Footnotes

1 This was the expedient originally suggested. The entry took place on the 25 April. W. Montagu to Arlington on 3 April. Francis Vernon to Williamson on 27 April. S.P. France, Vol. cxxvi.
2 Sir Thomas Modyford. For a justification of his proceedings, see Colonial Cal. America and W. Indies, 1669–74, pp. 38–9.
3 Mijnheer Kinschot. See the preceding Vol. of this Calendar, p. 320 n.
4 The encounter took place on 17 April. Van der Zaen was killed by a broadside from the Algerine Admiral, the Sun a ship of 40 guns and 500 men. London Gazette, April 26–9, April 29–May 3. Of the three Dutch captains concerned, de Barry was afterwards cashiered, and Swaert and van Lier suspended. Ibid., Aug. 30–Sept. 2.
5 On Saturday, the 4th May. According to Salvetti the duke of York invited the prince to see the shipping in the Thames. The king met the party at Greenwich and they all dined on board a pleasure boat. Brit. Mus. Add. MSS. 27962 S, fol. 367.
6 Proclamation of the 29th March. Steele, Tudor and Stuart Proclamations, Vol. i, p. 426, No. 3525. Williamson in his Journal gives the reason, “it having been observed that the price of corn has much fallen these last market days by the amount of foreign grain brought in.” S.P. Dom. Chas. II, Vol. cclxxi, on 29 March.
7 See note at page 37, above. Writing later on 13 August, Finch says that the Senate had told him that they could not contract for a certain price, but the Proveditore at Zante would have orders to make immediate payment, and every ship that brought such provisions should be allowed to lade currants free of duty, which, he adds, “amounts to a considerable advantage.” S.P. Tuscany, Vol. x.
8 The original letter is in the Vatican Archives, Epistolae Principum, Vol. xciv, f. 207, but dated 28 April. P.R.O. Rome Transcripts, Vol. xcix.
9 For some years the French, Dutch, Italian and other traders had introduced in the Turkish dominions a sort of small money called luigni, or ottavi, by the Turks temins worth about 5d. English. At first the coins were gladly accepted owing to their attractive appearance. As time went on the coins were issued with an ever increasing amount of alloy and their value kept decreasing until at length the Turkish tax collectors refused to accept them. Finally, the Sultan ordered them all to be called in to the mint to be melted down, and ships which brought further supplies had their cargoes confiscated. Rycaut: Hist. of the Turkish Empire, pp. 258–9. Winchelsea, who left Constantinople about this time, reported that the luigni were totally decried. Sir John Finch writes that a French ship had arrived at Leghorn from Smyrna with a cargo of this very money which they could not vend there. Finch to Arlington, April 20/30 May 4/14. S.P. Tuscany, Vol. x.
10 Anzolo Correr, ambassador in England from 1634 to 1637 and knighted by Charles in October, 1637.
11 Apparently a reference to the encounter of the Milford with a French threedecker of 75 or 80 guns on or about the 13th April. Cal. S.P. Dom. 1668–9, p. 292; but this was off Malaga and there was no other English frigate.
12 The King reviewed the Guards in Hyde Park on the 11th May, o.s. London Gazette May 10–13, 1669.
13 It is mentioned by Salvetti on 17 May when he says the report is “piu generalmente bramato che creduto.” Brit. Mus. Add. MSS. 27962 S. fol. 371. Colbert writes of it on 23 May and says the queen will keep her room for six weeks. P.R.O. Paris Transcripts.
14 The Portland, which was waiting at Portsmouth. Cal. S.P., Dom. 1668–9, p. 355.


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