Venice
November 1670

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Institute of Historical Research

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Allen B. Hinds (editor)

Year published

1937

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295-304

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'Venice: November 1670', Calendar of State Papers Relating to English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 36: 1669-1670 (1937), pp. 295-304. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=90280 Date accessed: 24 July 2014.


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November 1670

Nov. 6.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
345. Zuane Moresini, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
The arrival at Court of an express from London seems to give additional certainty to the report of the arrangement of a treaty of commerce between this country and England with a corresponding duty in both kingdoms of 5 per cent. on goods entering and leaving. It has been reduced to this reasonable figure in order that it may be easy to continue with it and that it may be established the more firmly. The Dutch are watching this transaction with extraordinary rancour. As an advantage for this side and an understanding with the British king are considered by them to be injurious and prejudical to themselves the States are devoting all their ability to cutting off the thread of this transaction, if it be any way possible.
Paris, the 6th November, 1670.
[Italian.]
Nov. 7.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
346. Piero Mocenigo, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The members of parliament have gathered from every part of England and on Monday morning the Chambers opened. The king appeared in the Upper House in his royal robes, where he spoke and afterwards directed the Keeper of the seals to inform the peers of the realm and the deputies more at length of the reason for this session. The substance of the speech was that the king, attentive to the glory of the crown, extended its application to the interests of Christendom, had put the finishing touches to the triple alliance and undertaken to arbitrate upon the differences between the two crowns. With prudent foresight his Majesty was much concerned about the great armaments of neighbouring powers, in view of the pledge to guarantee the peace of Aix la Chapelle. He went on to say that if the States of Holland were attacked by France it behoved England to succour them, even on the score of her own interests. The king had accordingly directed the arming of fifty ships for the coming summer and this was already in hand. He ended by saying that the last assignments had proved to be greatly below the estimates and the royal exchequer was still depleted. (fn. 1) Parliament approved of the declaration, but those who rejoiced most of all were the ambassadors of Spain and Holland. According to what I wrote last week they had discussed the matter and had decided to make representations to his Majesty to get him to announce publicly the continuance of the union for the alliance. Your Excellencies will readily understand from this that the king was easily moved by the insistence of these ministers as he had already made up his mind to declare himself for the peace of Aix la Chapelle and for the general quiet. Thus those ill founded judgments of secret transactions with France fall completely to the ground. I take credit to myself for having always written to your Serenity that the despatch of the duke of Buckingham was nothing more than to return the compliment brought here by the Marshal Belifont and that his commissions were open and merely complimentary.
The French ambassador on his side, surprised by the unexpected turn which dashes the hopes which he may have held out to the Court of Paris, at once applied himself to some sort of remedy; he applied to the king to see that such a declaration, to some extent touching the Most Christian, should not be published with a danger of some sinister interpretation of his Majesty's intentions. The king readily obliged him in this particular and ordered that copies of the speech should be withdrawn from the press, thus depriving the public of their usual means of gratifying their curiosity, by reading it and informing themselves.
The French ambassador also is not without misgivings about the visit here of the Prince of Orange. He confided to me that he suspects that the prince, assisted by the Dutch ministers, will unite the interests of the States with this crown more closely than ever. Colbert, as well as your Excellencies, will be aware of the negotiations of the Butch at Ratisbon to introduce the United Provinces into the guarantee of Germany, with an obligation upon them to hasten to the defence of the empire. Van Beuninghen informed me that they did not despair of inducing this same diet to support the peace of Aix la Chapelle in case of need. Van Beuninghen added that the emperor certainly would enter the alliance and went on to hint that only Italy was shying at it, although she would enjoy the results of it in the defence of the states of the Catholic, in the event of attack. Without answering I went back to the affairs of Germany, speaking of the declaration of the emperor in favour of the duke of Lorraine, (fn. 2) which will already have reached your Serenity's ears.
Even this news has not improved the interests of the duke of Lorraine at this Court. At the same time an incident that has occurred at the passage of the Sound might easily upset the correspondence resumed with the king of Denmark. An English frigate passing through with its flag flying was fired on by those of the fortress (fn. 3) and the king here is now claiming that amends must be made because of the respect due to the crown.
The Marquis Pucci, envoy of Tuscany, had his public audiences of the king and duke of Hiorch on Sunday, returning on behalf of the Grand Duke the compliment on the death of his father and his own assumption of the government. He is visiting the ambassadors. I have received the most distinguished treatment from hi m and with the others have been to return his visit. The ducali of the 9th October have reached me and I will take leave here after having made the necessary appointments.
The Secretary Alberti, in obedience to the commands of the Senate, is preparing himself for the duties with which he is entrusted after my departure from London and, following the example of his ancestors, he promises a loyal and diligent service. The decision to give him the character of resident comes as a considerable relief to him; but at this Court there is no difference between the titles of secondary rank. Yet, fully impressed with what is due to the public service, he will sacrifice his own substance, especially now that certain advantages from the exemption of wine have been abolished by the royal reforms while the cost of the most ordinary houses has become excessive since the fire of four years ago. The secretary will devote his attention to the trade in cloth which they propose to introduce at the ports of the Gulf. I have charged him to make use of the sentiments prescribed by your Excellencies where and when he thinks it will serve the public interest. In the mean time I am pleased to see that the merchants themselves are disinclined for the enterprise from apprehension of some mischance.
London, the 7th November, 1670.
[Italian.]
Nov. 10.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
347. Zuane Moresini, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
With noteworthy generosity the British (sic) king has rewarded a courier who arrived these last days from London, giving him 600 doubles. This causes serious apprehension to Grotius, ambassador of the States, who has not yet been admitted to see the king. He is trying to penetrate into the true inner motives for this demonstration but up to the present they remain impenetrable and have not become known to him.
Paris, the 10th November, 1670.
[Italian.]
Nov. 12.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni,
Corti.
Venetian
Archives.
348. To the Secretary Alberti in England.
Enclose a copy of the letters of credence presented by the secretary, John Dorinton, who has assumed the character of resident, and also the reply to his Majesty's letter, which he is to present in a suitable manner. Also enclose a copy of the reply that was given to the resident.
Ayes, 91. Noes, 3. Neutral, 1.
[Italian.]
Nov. 12.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni,
Corti.
Venetian
Archives.
349. That the Resident of England be summoned to the Collegio and that the following be read to him (fn. 4) :
Our republic has received many proofs of his Majesty's friendship, lately confirmed by his ambassador, Viscount Falconberge, and now we enjoy fresh proofs of the same in your person, whom we receive with particular satisfaction. We respond with the most cordial observance towards his Majesty's favours, being exceedingly touched by the esteem and kindness he expresses to us in continuing his minister in our city. You may feel sure that you will be well received at all times and that whatever desires you make to us shall be considered with a most ready inclination to do our utmost to expedite the same, that so we may cultivate and improve the ancient perfect correspondence as well as continue to testify our hearty respects towards his Majesty and our inclination to answer your satisfactions also.
Ayes, 91. Noes, 3. Neutral, 1.
[Italian.]
Nov. 12.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni,
Corti.
Venetian
Archives.
350. To the King of Great Britain.
Acknowledge his letters presented by his Resident John Dodinton, who will always have a friendly welcome and his requests will be favourably received. In this way they hope to cultivate the sincere and ancient correspondence with that crown to the advantage of their states and to the commerce of their peoples.
Ayes, 91. Noes, 3. Neutral, 1.
[Italian.]
Nov. 12.
Collegio,
Ceremoniale.
Venetian
Archives.
351. The English consul having intimated at the doors of the Collegio that the secretary of the English ambassador Falcombridge, arrived at Vienna and Augsburg, had received letters from the king which directed him to come to Venice in the capacity of resident, and that he is now in this city setting up house, and busily making arrangements for taking up his charge and for the audience, the whole being reported to the Savii, it was directed that satisfaction should be expressed and a disposition to welcome him. On the 12th November he was presented and produced his credentials. When these were read he was asked to cover and he made his exposition in English, leaving a written copy in Italian. Angelo Zon, Secretary.
[Italian.]
Nov. 12.
Collegio,
Secreta.
Esposizioni,
Principi.
Venetian
Archives.
352. The resident of the king of Great Britain came into the Collegio to his first audience. On being introduced he presented his credentials, which was read and is below. Then, covered, he spoke in English and left the paper below, in Italian. The doge expressed pleasure at seeing him and at the king's friendly expressions. They would always be glad to see him and to afford him every satisfaction and gratify every desire of the British king. Meantime he could assure his Majesty of their great goodwill. With that the resident, after the usual reverences, withdrew.
[Italian.]
Attached,
filza.
353. Charles II, king of Great Britain etc. to Domenico Contarini, doge of Venice and the most serene republic:
Notifying the recall of Viscount Falconberge, whose presence is required for his own and public affairs, and the appointment of his secretary to act as resident, for cultivating their mutual friendly relations and for the promotion of trade, asking them to give him credence. Compliments.
Dated in the palace of Westminster, the 16th September, 1670.
Signed: Carolus R.
[Latin.]
Attached,
filza.
354. From my letters of credence you will see that I present myself here as resident of his Britannic Majesty. To avoid wearying your Serenity with a long account of his Majesty's esteem for the republic, I will only say that his actions will demonstrate it. His Majesty has given me no other charge, I may say, than to act with watchful attention for the increase of that alliance and friendship, which has endured for so many centuries, and which will only terminate with the end of the world. Your Serenity may rest assured that all my efforts will be directed not only to obey the royal commands, but to show the great regard I have always entertained for the admirable government of this republic. Your prudence and valour are admired by all the world. The greatest kings desire your alliance and friendship and private individuals adore your conduct and generous spirit. A failure on my part to observe your wishes, to serve your interests and to observe all decorum towards this state, would be a most improper thing and to be avoided by me as a rock of irreparable shipwreck. I admit that my abilities are weak, but my desires and affections will serve as a spur to make good what I lack, and I hope to play my part and to render myself acceptable to your Serenity and to this august republic, unto which I wish the highest pitch of glory. (fn. 5)
[Italian.]
Nov. 14.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
355. Piero Mocenigo, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
I have got ahead with farewell visits to all the lords of the Court who have shown respect to the republic and civility to her minister. Next week I shall ask audience of the king and the royal House, having already made it known that the Senate has generously granted me permission to leave, for my urgent private affairs. My first steps were directed to the house of the Secretary Arlington, assuring him of my esteem for his office and for the consideration which he has always shown for the most serene republic.
[Acknowledges the ducali of the 17th October.]
I told Arlington that I was pleased to be able to remove completely the suspicion about orders being given to the Bailo Molino at the Porte to obtain a ban against English cloth from the marts of the Turk. I had instructions from your Excellencies to assure him that such instructions had not been given at the Porte. By their inviolable institutions the Signory endeavoured to procure the advantage of their subjects but they never conspired against the good of others. Arlington thanked me for the news and congratulated himself that, although false, it had not reached the ears of the king when, in other respects, trade had been so much encouraged and correspondence established. As I informed him of what your Excellencies had decided about the salt fish he asked me for definite particulars of all the facilities accorded to merchants. I promised he should have them and sent him the enclosed the next day. I also told him that the Senate had charged the Secretary Alberti to stay on in London in order that a minister of the republic should be left at Court. Arlington greeted him cordially and rejoiced at the information expressing a feeling of complete confidence, which Alberti has contrived to win and which he will cultivate from the knowledge which he has of the Court.
Two days afterwards Sir [Richard] Temple came to see me, the brother in law of the Secretary Darington. He is the member of parliament of whom I wrote that he is Darington's indefatigable protector. He came accompanied by the Ambassador Temple, his cousin. The knight introduced himself by alluding to my approaching departure and to the expected arrival of the Ambassador Faulcombridge. Coming to the person of Darington he said that he had heard with extreme regret of some complaint that had reached the Secretary Arlington. What he had done at Venice was from his dependence on the Ambassador Faulcombridge who had engaged him to make those demands. Now that he was the master of his will he would not give me occasion to speak otherwise than well of him at Court. He assured me of his prudence and modesty in the future and asked me to be his protector with your Excellencies. He also asked me to be to some extent an intercessor with the secretary of state here, telling him that Darington would not be an unsatisfactory minister to the most serene republic. I fully realised that this move came from Arlington who wishes to please the factionaries of the Court here. Without committing myself I said that Darington was a man of ability but that he had not as yet fully acquainted himself with the laws and formalities of the republic. Then after some complimentary remarks I added that we should see each other again before I left. If it is not possible to change the appointment I am aiming at getting a promise of excellent behaviour in the future and thus to leave the common correspondence well established.
The Prince of Orange arrived on Saturday evening. Gentlemen paid him their respects on behalf of the king, who subsequently embraced him tenderly as did the duke of Hiorch. He is treated with infinite respect by the whole Court. The ambassadors sent to learn his Highness's pleasure about visits. When these were arranged we were all received equally on the stairs with a handshake and accompanied to the foot of the stairs near the door. This very day he has returned the compliment at this house and confirmed his great esteem for the most serene republic. A declaration of the king in favour of the prince merits the attention of your Excellencies. As the son of his own sister, married to Orange, the king has decided that he shall have precedence of Prince Rupert, son of the sister of Charles the First, who married the Elector Palatine, styled king of Bohemia, as being nearest to the crown. The States of the United Provinces moreover wished to declare him ambassador extraordinary, but the Province of Holland opposed, being jealous about the prince beginning so early to undertake the conduct of affairs of state. It does not appear that he has as yet spoken of any business touching himself or the Provinces.
The incident of the Sound of which I wrote last week is not yet adjusted because the resident insists upon the jurisdiction claimed by the king of Denmark in those waters; so that there is no room for a withdrawal or for moderation of what was done.
Your Serenity will be pleased to hear that the prudence of the king continues to rule with felicity over the zeal of the parliamentarians. They have decided calmly to grant his Majesty the amount of money in which the crown is indebted and to prepare a fund for the event of a war. It now appears that the king, liquidating the debt (of the money that pays interest) for 1,300,000l. sterling and recognising the necessity of arming 50 ships at a cost of 800,000l., is reducing his demand to 2,100,000l. sterling which will amount to 12,000,000 of our ducats, for one occasion only.
London, the 14th November, 1670.
[Italian.]
Nov. 14.
Collegio,
Secreta.
Esposizioni,
Principi.
Venetian
Archives.
356. The resident of England came into the Collegio, where the desired office was read to him. He then went into the other room where he took a copy of it. He asked me, the secretary, to assure the republic of his deep regard, and of the punctuality with which he would always carry out the suggestions made to him for cultivating the best relations. I reported all this in the Collegio.
[Italian.]
Nov. 19.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
357. Zuane Moresini, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
The affairs of Lorraine. One may predict that the end of the present disturbances in Lorraine is not far off seeing that France has enjoyed the considerable advantage of the winter quarters. On the other hand that which may happen in England remains for the moment enveloped amid numerous uncertain appearances, principles being opposed by a peculiar desire for quiet cultivated by three ministers (fn. 6) on the ground of their own preservation and in order not to risk, by the employment of some other individual, in the event of a rupture, their well established credit and authority.
Paris, the 19th November, 1670.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Nov. 19.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Spagna.
Venetian
Archives.
358. Tomaso Rudio, Venetian Secretary in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.
On the alarm felt at the proceedings of France and the measures taken for defence. They are making the strongest representations to the envoy of England to get him to urge his king to gain the utmost possible benefit from time and the least mischief for this crown. The envoy only replies with generalities although he makes great capital of the peace which he has given to this crown and the manifest and courageous support which it has afforded for the space of two years continuously. He says further that his master cannot possibly fall away from his own standard and that he will conduct all his operations with an entirely impartial and even handed justice.
Madrid, the 19th November, 1670.
[Italian.]
Nov. 21.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
359. Piero Mocenigo, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
I have just come from my farewell audience of the king arranged for me by the Master of the Ceremonies. I told him that the Senate, taking pity on the urgency of my private affairs, had agreed to relieve me of the embassy. I felt most thankful that I had been able to exhibit on every occasion the disposition of the most serene republic for a good correspondence with this crown. When I arrived in Venice I should constitute myself a pledge of his Majesty's good will, supported by the zeal of his most prudent ministers, and I went on to speak of the most gracious generosity with which I had always been treated.
The king replied that he had always known the oldstanding affection of the republic. He lamented that he had not been able to make a declaration in the late occasions of the war. He begged me to acquaint your Excellencies with his intentions. He was aware of the honours rendered to the Ambassador Faulcombridge. He then spoke in complimentary terms of me personally. I need not enter into this and will only add that when I presented the Secretary Alberti his Majesty was pleased to see him and expressed his entire satisfaction.
Later this evening I had audience of the queen and of the duke and duchess of Hyorch who graciously received my thanks for their favours and I am gratified at leaving them as friendly as ever. Having also taken leave of the foreign ministers and of the leading gentlemen at Court I have everything ready for a speedy departure.
Viscount Faulcombridge is back in London and received me among his first visitors. He never tires of referring to the favours received from your Excellencies. He told me he would give the king a full account and would always be ready to serve the republic. As instructed I told him of the public appreciation of his prudent procedure; but he did not speak to me at any length about affairs. Perhaps he will do so when we meet next week.
There is nothing new about the arbitration, but the declaration of the king in parliament has made a great stir in France which had taken its measures upon the confidence divulged with this crown. Further declarations are not heard from this quarter. They will come to your Excellencies' knowledge in good time.
London, the 21st November, 1670.
[Italian.]
Nov. 26.
Collegio,
Secreta.
Lettere
Principi.
Re e Regina
d'Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
360. Charles II, King of Great Britain etc. to Domenico Contarini, Doge of Venice.
In commendation of Piero Mocenigo, who is returning home after his embassy in England. Compliments.
Dated at Westminster, the 16th November, 1670 [old style].
Signed: Carolus R.
Countersigned: Arlington.
[Latin.]
Nov. 28.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
361. Piero Mocenigo, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
Although I have asked for it I have not yet obtained from the Court the reply to the credentials which I presented to the king in the name of your Serenity on my arrival in London as well as to the queen and the duke and duchess of Hiorch. They are all postponed on the complimentary plea that they do not wish to smoothe the way for my departure. Scarcely had the king learned of my desire to be dubbed a knight than he charged the Master of the Ceremonies to acquaint him with the most distinguished ceremonial. He performed the function with his own sword which he delivered into my hands, telling me at the same time that he was disarming himself to arm a knight and he could wish that there were other and more striking ways of expressing his entire satisfaction with my employment here.
[Acknowledges the ducali of the 17th and 24th October.]
I delivered to Viscount Faulcombridge the ducal reply to his letters, which he received with the utmost respect, repeating his everlasting indebtedness to your Excellencies for the generosity with which you continue to favour him. Step by step he has taken up again such business as he submitted to the most serene republic, rejoicing to hear of the good progress made since his departure. He told me that he had heard with regret of the dissatisfaction of your Serenity over the expressions used by the Secretary Darington. While he confirmed that this had not been by his order, he said that he did not believe that the secretary had taken such a liberty. As he seemed anxious to introduce equivocation I let the matter drop, especially as I did not see any further prospect of a remedy. When I chanced recently to be speaking of this same secretary with Arlington, he assured me that the next time he overstepped the limit he would have no more support from him and the king would not pity him. I like to think that this determination will reduce Darington to a prudent moderation satisfactory to your Excellencies. I am also glad that they are gratified here by the overlooking in Darington's case of what is past and rejoice to see the complete reestablishment and consolidation of correspondence by the Secretary Alberti remaining here, full as he is of loyalty and zeal to serve the republic efficiently.
London, the 28th November, 1670.
[Italian.]
Nov. 29.
Collegio,
Secreta.
Esposizioni,
Principi.
Venetian
Archives.
362. In accordance with my instructions I, Vicenzo Negri, went to the house of the resident of England. After the necessary formalities I read him the office, consigned to me. of which he took a copy, asking me to inform your Serenity that he would take the first opportunity to represent all to his king, who certainly will be much obliged, and would always be ready to respond to such favours. He himself would desire the honour of some command so that he might be able to show his forwardness in all that might concern the service of the state. With that I took leave.
[Italian.]

Footnotes

1 The text of the king's speech and that of the lord keeper is printed in Journals of the House of Lords, Vol. xii, pp. 352–3.
2 A diet assembled at Ratisbon, by a unanimous vote on 13th October, protested against the proceedings of France and decided to send an ambassador to Paris to demand the restitution of Lorraine to its rightful ruler. The emperor chose Count Windisgratz for this mission. D'Haussonville: Reunion de la Lorraine à la France, Vol. iii, page 267.
3 A royal yacht, conveying John Werden, the English envoy to Sweden, was fired on by the governor of the castle of Cronenberg when passing through the Sound, both coming and going, because the commander, Capt. Bullmay, refused to strike his flag. This seems to have occurred on 21 August and 23 September.
S.P. Denmark, Vol. xviii, a letter of Guldenlow of 24 Sept. Cal. S.P. Dom. 1670, page 498.
4 There is a copy of this office with an English translation in S.P. Venice, Vol. xlviii, ff. 95, 97.
5 A copy of this office with an English translation, is in S.P. Venice, Vol. xlviii, ff. 85, 87.
6 Referring presumably to Pierre Seguier, the chancellor; Hugues de Lionne, minister of foreign affairs, and Jean Baptiste Colbert, controleur general des finances.