Venice
August 1670, 1-15

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Institute of Historical Research

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Allen B. Hinds (editor)

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1937

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237-245

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'Venice: August 1670, 1-15', Calendar of State Papers Relating to English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 36: 1669-1670 (1937), pp. 237-245. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=90276 Date accessed: 03 September 2014.


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August 1670, 1–15

Aug. 1.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
263. Piero Mocenigo. Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
Acknowledges receipt of the ducali of the 9th and 15th July.
Before presenting the ducal letter to the king I spoke in accordance with my instructions. I said that Viscount Falcombridge had been publicly introduced into the Collegio and your Serenity had been able to judge of his high qualities, which did not fall short of expectation. Your Excellencies valued ever more highly so distinguished a mission and were gratified to have with them a minister of a crown whose friendship with the most serene republic was of so long standing.
The king listened with attention to the whole of my office
and smilingly (con illarita) received the reply to the credentials which, I said, would serve as an earnest from the Senate until the Viscount was himself able to testify to his friendly welcome. The king replied that Falcombridge was indebted to me for the advantage of good information and he should in justice give a good account of the honours received while he personally was much indebted to the republic for such demonstrations which he hoped would be an opening for full correspondence. He lingered somewhat over the delay of the expedition, he rejoiced over the peace with the Turk and went on casually to other particulars, when I took leave, content at having left his Majesty with a good impression.
Nothing has been said to me about the renewed claim for titles from the duke of Hiorch so I am equally chary of putting a finger in the pie. I have not neglected to win my way further into the confidence of the Secretary Arlington, telling him all that had passed at the royal audience. When I tried to find out the decision about the successor of Falcombridge he first confirmed what the French ambassador had told me two days before that they had asked as a favour from the Most Christian that Darington, Falcombridge's secretary, should be restored to his post. But this is not yet settled and the grace is not conceded; as it is necessary for princes to be jealous about the free remarks of subjects. He added later that nothing had been done yet about Falcombridge as the king was reluctant to give way to the insistence of his wife who had set her heart on the journey, but it was manifestly a scandal that all should be crowding to see the daughter of the usurper Cromwell. (fn. 1)
In the way of confidence Arlington told me the reply of the Most Christian to the Ambassador Montagu in Paris about the arbitration, that he could not admit Holland as a third, as she was interested in the confines of Niuport and suspect and that he could not agree to a new republic intervening in differences between the most conspicuous crowns. Arlington added that instead of facilities fresh complications were always coming from Spain, which would serve to give the French time to perfect their fortifications. The queen is at present claiming that the arbitrators of the boundaries shall make France give compensation for the exportation from Franche Comté of guns, bells and similar material. She wants them to adjust the boundaries and perform the functions of land surveyors. He ended by saying that he did not want to see the Count of Molina here again, because he was a personal friend, and he would see him subject to many reproaches.
On the other side, amid these fresh derangements, the French ambassador has shown me a letter, which he allowed me to read, from the Archbishop of Toulouse from Madrid. He writes that the Dutch have extracted their nomination as arbitrators by main force. Colbert added that the States themselves by protests and promises had prevented Spain from yielding Flanders to France, when the queen would have agreed to it, seeing that she was practically driven out of it, and recognising the welfare and peace of Christendom. Colbert said nothing about the arrival of the constable of Castile in this country. He had heard of the constable's embarcation and his mind was not at rest until he heard that after starting with a favourable wind the constable had been forced by bad weather subsequently to return to his moorings.
Marshal Belefont and the Chevalier Flamerino have also left this kingdom having taken leave of their Majesties and Highnesses, after a short sojourn in London and a considerable number of favours received from the princes here, chiefly from the king who gave them rich presents. The duke of Buckingham will follow them very soon and the duke of Hiorch will nominate some one else to go in his name in response to the offices on the death of Madame of Orleans.
London, the 1st August, 1670.
[Italian.]
Aug. 8.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
264. Piero Mocenigo, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The ministers here are enjoying the ever increasing applause won by the king for the peace between the crowns arranged at Aix la Chapelle and this country has the consequent benefit of quiet, already procured by the alliance and now by the decision of the boundaries in dispute, by means of arbitration. The ambition for glory and the desire for tranquillity are both operative and energise the Council here in the crises over the arbitration. Until they can find more solid compensations they are applying themselves to middle courses, representing to Spain the objection of the Most Christian to receiving the Dutch as arbiters and the danger of persisting in asking for them. Van Beuninghen confided to me that he had told the king it was certain that the common interest would persuade the States not to accept the arbitration, especially when it was in the hands of princes so closely allied with them; but that he had replied that he saw from their caution that the States were disposed to it if they were sure that the decision about the boundaries would follow. In order not to leave the Court of Paris uncultivated the king has given instructions to the duke of Buckingham to try in every possible way to find a means to modify the objection of the Most Christian to the Spanish nomination in favour of Holland.
The duke set out in that direction yesterday to respond to the offices of condolence performed here by the Marshal di Belefont. Van Beuninghen is extraordinarily suspicious about it and diffuses this feeling among the others of the Spanish party, imagining that he has instructions for secret treaties, although so far there is no appearance of it as the king is far from altering the constitution of his own government by a change of policy and of confidences.
Van Beuninghen is also watching the circumstances of trade in the Indies, and does not keep silence about the arrival in the Texel of the four ships that were left behind, seeing that five, also from the Indies, have entered the river here and we shall hear fresh accounts of the state of trade there and possibly of other projects for the maritime treaty.
In respect of the African trade, nearer at hand, they have lost hope of promoting it by way of Tanger. The Ambassador Arondel writes that he has recovered from his serious illness and that he was preparing to return. He has advised the governor of that fortress to busy himself in extending the lines of defence and to win territory outside the fortifications in order to secure himself against the tricks of the Moors. Arondel's secretary, Thomas Warem, who is with Taffilet, has died. (fn. 2) He is the owner of the gunpowder taken at Zante by his Excellency Moresini for the service of the fortress of Candia. This information will serve to avoid ambiguities over the payment to his lawful heirs, if this has not yet been made by your Serenity.
I find that the Ambassador Falcombridge has not reported anything new, but it will not be news to the Senate that the king here has given the ambassador permission to take leave of your Serenity. You will have heard from me of vigorous efforts made by his wife to go out to Venice in the capacity of ambassadress and of the king's unwillingness to agree to this, so the Senate will have foreseen the necessity for the king to recall the viscount and to restore him to his wife. This is what has happened, and the leave being granted Madame has sent it with extraordinary diligence by way of France, in the hope that his Excellency may be able to get away from Venice the sooner. But for his own part he is in no such hurry as it is not yet decided who will succeed him with your Serenity.
This decision affords me an opening to make a humble petition for relief from this embassy, although my necessities would have required it much earlier. [Represents that he has now served the embassy for two years and that so far as any real business is concerned his further stay is superfluous.]
London, the 8th August, 1670.
[Italian.]
Aug. 9.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni,
Corti.
Venetian
Archives.
265. To the Ambassador Mocenigo in England.
Acknowledge receipt of his letters of the 18th ult. Approval of his operations. Enclose a copy of an exposition of the Ambassador Falcombridge. Information is required and a decision will be taken thereupon. In the mean time with regard to any intention displayed on that side for the encouragement and facilitation of trade with the Signory's dominions he may assure them that there is the same disposition on the republic's part and that the Senate will always be ready to afford every facility and will show the utmost forwardness with a particular propensity towards that nation which is always regarded by them with esteem and affection.
That the Avogadori di Comun be directed on oath to answer the exposition of Viscount Falcombrige concerning the interests of the consul of that nation.
Ayes, 110. Noes, 0. Neutral, 3.
[Italian.]
Aug. 9.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Genoa.
Venetian
Archives.
266. Paris Tasca, Venetian Consul at Genoa, to the Doge and Senate.
The captain of the ship Gierusalem from Lisbon reports that off Cap di Gatta two English ships of war and three merchantmen bound for the ports of Italy had an encounter with seven ships of the Barbary corsairs of Algiers with whom they fought for two days on end, with notable damage to both sides, both the commanders of the ships of war on the English side being killed. At last in the darkness of the night they came apart and the English have proceeded to Alicante for repairs. (fn. 3) The news is confirmed by a barque that has come from that direction and which left them in the said port.
Genoa, the 9th August, 1670.
[Italian.]
Aug. 9.
Collegio,
Secreta.
Esposizioni,
Principi.
Venetian
Archives.
267. Viscount Falcombridge came into the Collegio and spoke in the usual form and handed in the written memorial, which follows. He gave another memorial which was also read and is below. The doge said they were glad to see his Majesty so interested in trade and in good correspondence with them. They could assure him of forwardness on their side. The Senate would take the matter in hand and would certainly do everything for the benefit of trade and for the advantage of the subjects of both states. In the matter of the consul their lordships would duly consider the matter.
After this, the ambassador, speaking in Italian, offered some excuse for not being punctual the last time when the audience was appointed, when he had to give it up owing to indisposition. To this the doge made a short reply expressing their desire for his health and regret at the late incident. After this, with the usual reverences the ambassador went out.
The Memorial.
The occasion of my coming is for certain affairs of trade, which I doubt not will receive reasonable despatch. The paper which I hand to your Serenity contains the sum of my desires in this matter, in which your Serenity and their lordships will see that their own interests are also concerned.
The Exposition. (fn. 4)
Of the great trade conducted between the subjects of the king of Great Britain and those of this state that in salt fish is very important, and in times past received every encouragement and favour. But at present and for a few years past a privilege has been granted to the company or society of saltfishmongers of this city that they alone may buy the fish of the English merchants, and as usually happens in like cases, the fishmongers or the richest among them, desiring to make the most of this privilege, monopolise this trade refusing altogether to buy salt fish of our merchants except at a very low price, so that our merchants, finding this prejudicial, have not brought so much salt fish to this city as they used, but have taken it to Leghorn and other ports of Italy, whence they are distributed to various towns and parts of this dominion, to the common loss and to the injury of your Serenity's own duties, which are enjoyed by your neighbours. Further the duties imposed on the part of this merchandise which has to be distributed from this city, are so excessive and out of proportion with those of other places where our merchants are not so heavily charged, that they are persuaded to lade them in those other places, to the serious loss of the republic. As I do not think it is the intention or in accordance with the interests of this republic to extinguish this trade, I ask that these interests may be determined as soon as possible, in the interval of more important affairs of the republic. As I have preferred a request before I may assure you again that the king, my master will always be ready to do all that depends on him to promote trade between the subjects of both powers.
I also ask for the payment of a debt due to a subject of my king, at present consul, from the Avogadori di Comun, of 998 ducats, by virtue of a sentence of 22nd November, 1666 in the Council of Forty, in which sentence were included 1200 ducats deposited for certain alleged duties, and which were immediately restored, as the rest ought to be.
[Italian.]
Aug. 13.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni,
Corti.
Venetian
Archives.
268. That the following be sent to be read to the Viscount Falcombrige:
With regard to the representations made by your lordship in favour of the trade of the subjects of his Majesty the king in this state, who are regarded by us with peculiar affection, his Majesty may rest assured of our forwardness to contribute every facility from our side. But in response to your instances we have supplied the necessary information to magistrates, with whom there rests the necessary authority to hear the consul and the merchants also, so that a decision may be taken. On the other matter touching the consul, we are waiting to receive information.
Ayes, 101. Noes, 0. Neutral, 3.
[Italian.]
Aug. 13.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
269. Zuane Moresini, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
The States of Holland resent strongly the open exclusion given them from this quarter of their interposition in the arbitration over the boundaries and the dependencies. They are making the most strenuous efforts to get it believed that the demand was made spontaneously by the queen mother and that it was not prompted by them. The British ambassador at this Court has made fresh instances to Mons. di Liona to have them admitted to this affair, but all in vain as he received an absolute refusal in the king's name. With the lack of success of the Sig. Van Boninghen in his negotiations in London it seems as if the States are inclined to recall him and they are disposed to persuade him to go as their ambassador to the Catholic Court.
Paris, the 13th August, 1670.
[Italian.]
Aug. 13.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
270. Zuane Moresini, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
The return to Court these last days of the Marshal di Bellefond has brought matter for entire content for his Majesty the king and for the Court. At several conferences the Marshal has informed the king of the distinguished welcome that was given him by the British king and of the demonstrations of esteem and goodwill that were made during the whole time of his sojourn at that Court. He assures his Majesty that he fully persuaded the king there, the princes and the leading nobles of the Court of the falsity of the rumours which gave out that the administration of poison had caused the death of the duchess of Orleans who is so deeply lamented at both Courts, and has removed every trace of bitterness and mistrust about that accident. The marshal affirms the best possible correspondence between the two nations in the reciprocal commerce of Europe and holds out hopes that the best sentiments will remain constant towards this side.
In the mean time nothing is left undone here for the reception of the duke of Buckingham, who is expected in a few days, to make known the king's entire gratitude by the most distinguished and cordial demonstrations. In the royal palace at St. Germains a commodious apartment has been prepared for the duke himself and for his numerous suite. He will be defrayed at the royal cost during the whole of his stay at this Court with every luxury that can be desired. The most honourable treatment will be accorded to him without any regard to ceremonial, except that of covering in the royal presence, as he does not enjoy the character of ambassador but only that of envoy extraordinary. The mission is very highly considered, from the birth of the individual, for his rank as the first duke in the kingdom and for the high favour in which he stands with the British king. The king here has accordingly charged some of those of the highest standing at this Court to show their personal appreciation of the duke himself by sumptuous banquets and other demonstrations, his Majesty being resolved to give the world the most striking testimony of his partiality and gratitude towards the British king.
Among those who seek to penetrate to the heart of the actions of princes it is believed here that a personage of such high rank and confidence is not sent here from that country on a merely formal mission and that more profound negotiations and objectives are hidden under the present show. All that I have been able to discover so far, which in duty bound I report to your Excellencies, is that this government is averse from every new proposal but what it most desires is to detach England from the triple alliance, which is recognised here as impossible of attainment.
Paris, the 13th August, 1670.
[Italian.]
Aug. 15.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
271. Piero Mocenigo, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The question of the arbitration does not proceed with the smoothness so fervently desired by the ministers here, who are the authors of it. After the objection of the Most Christian to accept the Dutch as their arbiters Montagu now writes from Paris of the decision of the king there not to refer to the crowns of England and Sweden more than the boundaries, reserving to other treaties the claim of the Spaniards for damages in Franche Comté. They are sending fresh representations from here to Madrid urging them to give way about the nomination of Holland, avoid delays and reserve for another season the demands on the French for bells, guns and similar materials taken away from Franche Comté. At the same time they are instructing the duke of Buckingham to introduce this point also and to remove opposition if possible.
These are the secret commissions carried by Buckingham to France and not the others that many suspect about hidden treaties of the king for a union between these two countries for breaking up the alliance, or any propensity of this duke to the French side, when up to the present in the interests of peace he has supported the Spanish at the Court of London. The truth is that the mission of so considerable a minister, more apt for negotiation than suitable for a compliment, has very naturally excited attention, but the real reason is the royal intention to make known to the world the baselessness of the suspicion of poison in the death of Madame of Orleans and to show how far he is from that resentment against France in which every one was so ready to believe. I have always written very soberly to your Serenity and I can confirm it as I know the sincere and ample pleasure with which the king has seen the presents of bracelets of diamonds and pearls and other generous demonstrations of the Most Christian to the daughter of the duke of Hyorch who has just come from France where she has been in the charge of the queen mother and afterwards of the duchess of Orleans, to profit by the good air for the recovery of her health. (fn. 5) The duke of Hyorch returned six days ago from the salubrious air of Rismond, having recovered from the low fever from which he was suffering and I have congratulated him on behalf of your Excellencies.
Your Serenity will recall the prorogation of the parliament of Scotland. It is now expiring and Lord Lauderdaile, who was so successful in the last sessions as royal commissioner in establishing and increasing his Majesty's authority, is now there. The chief business to be dealt with at present will be the union of the two kingdoms and the appointment of commissioners. They, as usual, will devote a great deal of time but there is no sign of a better issue than on previous occasions.
With the loss of all hope of negotiating with profit a peace and union with Taffilet the present situation of the fortress of Tanger is worsened because their suspicions of the Moors are changed into definite hostilities. They have already crossed swords with the garrison and are preparing fresh attacks. The governor writes that he is extending the lines of defence and that he keeps constantly on the alert.
The earl of Esses writes from Denmark that he has arranged and signed a treaty of commerce between these two countries. He asks for permission to return which the king has granted; for the ordinary relations, residents and ministers of a secondary rank will serve.
Nothing has been decided yet about a successor for Lord Faulcombridge. The Secretary Arlington, who has charge of such matters is a long way from London. Next week he will be back again from the country and I have no doubt that some one will be immediately selected for Venice. At present report is in favour of Sig. Savels who was sent by the duke of Hyorch to the Grand Duke. He is soliciting the honour of serving and some sort of title, for residing accredited to your Serenity. From the ducali of the 19th July I gather that Viscount Faulcombridge has not broached any further proposals in the Collegio since his first offices.
London, the 15th August, 1670.
[Italian.]
Aug. 15.
Collegio,
Secreta.
Esposizioni,
Principi.
Venetian
Archives.
272. I, Pietro Antonio Gratarol went to the house of the English ambassador, but did not succeed in finding him until late in the evening of the 14th inst. when I read him the office which was consigned to me. His Excellency gave me no answer about it, beyond some formal words, saying that he was in a hurry as he had received letters from his king. With this, a copy having been taken of the office, I took leave and came away. [Italian.]

Footnotes

1 Viscount Falcombridge married Mary, Cromwell's second daughter, on 11/21 Nov. 1657.
2 “Mr. Warren, who put his Majesty on that embassy, its said died at Fez of displeasure that things succeeded no better.” W. Perwick to Williamson on 26 July. S.P. France, Vol. cxxx.
3 The fight was early in July; the English ships the Advice and Guernsey, and their commanders Capts. Ben Young and Argenton Alington. Cal. S.P. Dom. 1670, pp. 325, 395. London Gazette, Aug. 4–8; 11–15.
4 There is a copy of this office in English and Italian in S.P. Venice, Vol. xlvii, ff. 135 et seq.
5 The younger daughter, Anne, afterwards queen, who was only five years old at this date. On the death of Madame, Col. Villiers was at once sent to fetch her back, and she landed at Rye on 23 July o.s. Cal. S.P. Dom. 1670, pp. 301, 313, 343.