Venice
January 1671

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Institute of Historical Research

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Allen B. Hinds (editor)

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1939

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1-14

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'Venice: January 1671', Calendar of State Papers Relating to English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 37: 1671-1672 (1939), pp. 1-14. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=90304 Date accessed: 26 July 2014.


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January 1671

1671.
Jan. 2.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
1. Girolamo Alberti, Venetian Secretary in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The affairs of France and Spain at this Court remain on the same footing as by my last. M. de Colbert urges the advantage of union between France and his Britannic Majesty, or tries at least to keep him neutral, while the Spanish ambassador protests against innovation in order to obtain public pledges to the world, which he says are necessary for the prestige and safety of England.
Two days ago, by order from Spain, the count of Molina presented a long memorial in which, among other matters, he sets forth: that the king of England, having been the author of the alliance and having declared himself its head, was expected to take steps and adopt measures for a good arrangement which would secure for this crown the absolute arbitration of the most important occurrences of the world.
In spite of these incitements and other considerations of glory and urgency set forth in the memorial, the king is not disposed to make fresh declarations. He is satisfied with those made by him to the Commons, which gained him the 800,000l. and which for the moment guarantee his devotion to quiet and render him considerable in the eyes of both the parties concerned. The Spanish ambassador is dissatisfied as he expected more to strengthen the cause of his king while the Frenchman grumbles at the intention entertained here of rendering the emperor and other princes members of the alliance. He makes a mystery of the curt replies given by the king of France to Vindisgratz about Lorraine, which have been published here by Colbert to deter the ministry from compromising itself in this matter.
This is one of the causes which render fruitless the negotiations of the envoy from Lorraine, though he remarked in my presence to the Spanish ambassador that they heard him graciously and he did not despair of success, though he cannot as yet say how or when.
During the last few days there have been long debates in the House of Commons concerning ways and means for raising the 800,000l. Some of the members persisted in the determination not to burden landed property, because of the low rents, preferring to divide the tax equally among all his Majesty's subjects, rich and poor. There was much opposition to the other measure, styled “benevolence,” which is a forced loan, and according to recent practice it taxes individuals according to their titles and not by the estimate of their property. The result was that 148 votes against 140 carried the raising of the money by a land tax, avoiding a benevolence for the present. It is in fact intolerable to the nobility, for though they inherit titles they do not invariably retain the estates attached to them originally and they are thus incapable of furnishing the heavy contributions due from those of high rank.
The fund being thus determined, commissioners have been appointed to establish the percentage on all the landed property of the kingdom, so as to raise the 800,000l. But as all the commissioners are the creatures of the king the estimate will not be made with nicety, and in the course of next April his Majesty will get at least five million Venetian ducats. The king has also recently renewed the lease of all the customs of the realm at the rate of 600,000l. per annum and 150,000l. cash down, when up to the present he has only had 400,000l. The increase is due to the additional duty on wine and taverns, which was voted so long ago as last year.
The attention of the two Houses having been distracted by this money grant, they are no longer considering either the proposed naturalisation bill or the prohibition of foreign manufactures. On the other hand, the debt claimed by the prince of Orange was laid before the Lower House. The matter was not despatched immediately, but the majority approved of the justice of the demand and it may possibly result in a favourable issue in the course of the present session. In the mean time the prince goes about amusing himself. This week he visited the very famous university of Oxford, where all the Colleges bestowed on him evidences of the utmost esteem and respect.
London, the 2nd January, 1670. [M.V.]
[Italian.]
Jan. 5.
Collegio,
Secreta.
Esposizioni,
Principi.
Venetian
Archives.
2. The ambassador of her Catholic Majesty came into the Collegio and said that he was charged to inform them of the resolutions considered necessary in the interests of the frontiers, in Flanders and Lorraine. He could not do better than present copies of the queen's own letters. He gave them to me the secretary and they are below.
Polo de Garzoni, Secretary.
The Queen Regent, to Don Gasparo di Teves y Cordova, ambassador at Venice.
Since the decision taken about the claims of the Most Christian and the counter claims on our behalf at the conference at Lille, the king of France refuses to allow that the arbiters shall take cognisance of his claims to Condé, Linchen and the dependencies of Nieuport, unless our demands and counterclaims are considered. This is unreasonable and we have directed the execution of what has been decided, instructing the ministers of the North to devote all their efforts to this end, and that the ambassadors resident in England, Sweden and Holland shall set forth the generosity of my proceedings and try to engage those powers for the carrying out of so just a proposal, so that the counter proposals of the king, my son, being contested by the French commissioners at Lille, it would seem necessary to settle once and for all the questions arising out of the treaties of the Pyrenees and Aix la Chapelle; hoping that God will protect our cause, having done everything to keep the peace of Christendom, even yielding much to the unjust pretensions of the Most Christian king, to that end.
Madrid, the 19th November, 1670.
Countersigned: Don Pietro de Medrano.
The Queen Regent to Don Gasparo di Teves y Cordova, ambassador at Venice.
In the matter of the claims and counter claims he is to tell the French ambassador (fn. 1) that whereas the Most Christian nominated the kings of England and Sweden as arbitrators upon the pretensions declared in his reply to the English ambassador, so she nominates the same kings to be judges at the same time of the pretensions of her son, to which she does not doubt France will consent. She has directed the Resident Michieli di Iturrieta to perform this same office in Paris with Liona, and it has been imparted to all the foreign ministers at Madrid, to show the sincerity of her proceedings, and the irregularity and violence shown on the king's side, so that reason may prevail and anything likely to disturb the peace may be removed. She also wishes him to inform the republic.
Madrid, the 28th November, 1670.
Countersigned: Don Pietro di Medrano.
The Queen Regent, to the same.
Being informed by the ministers of the North that French arms have occupied all Lorraine, I have decided to write to those resident in Germany, England, Sweden and Holland directing them to make strong representations in favour of the duke of Lorraine, giving the reasons why they should all intervene in his favour, because of the violence shown and the evil example for sovereign princes, letting them known that I shall do the same. I have informed the foreign ministers here and wish you to inform the Senate.
Madrid, the 28th November, 1670.
Countersigned: Don Pietro di Medrano.
[Italian.]
Jan. 7.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
3. Zuane Moresini, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
The violent and disorderly expressions and proceedings of the Lower House of the English Parliament and the incitement given to their king to put himself in a state to offer vigorous resistance at the forthcoming move of the Most Christian towards Flanders, weaken the representations of the three ministers (fn. 2) who were trying with all their might to dissuade the notion and confirm the king here in his decision to proceed at the earliest moment with his conquests. By an express despatch the Ambassador Colbert reports to the government here that the sittings of that House are very frequent and are all devoted to offering to the sovereign their goods and their very lives to the detriment of France. One member of that Assembly suggested as a necessary measure the amassing with the money of the people of a considerable force of militia and with this to make things safe at home, cause the power of Britain to be more feared and to let their friends and neighbours see that that country was quite ready to assist them and to relieve them of all apprehension caused by the threats and procedure on this side. Others did their best to inspire a dread of secret designs on the part of the Most Christian when he makes his determined approach to the neighbouring parts in the near future; and in the end there was a general agreement that the dignity of the British king as head of the triple alliance and the first in the guarantee of the peace of Aix la Chapelle obliged him to make the most vigorous demonstration to uphold it.
The king here, irritated by such discussions, calculated presumably to stay his progress by the inopportune means of inspiring misgivings and apprehension, considers himself on the contrary bound in honour to put aside every consideration but that of his own glory and has given orders for all the measures necessary for his march towards Dunkirk, fixing the date for May next. Under various pretexts and formalities his Majesty has in these last days informed the British king of this decision; but there may yet be many alterations and changes.
Paris, the 7th January, 1670. [M.V.]
[Italian.]
Jan. 9.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
4. Girolamo Alberti, Venetian Secretary in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The ambassador Molina gives no quarter either to the king or to the ministers. He constantly urges them to depart from the perilous neutrality and join the Spanish party, relieving it, once for all, of the perils of war and of the burdens of the peace, retaining for this country the bulwark of Flanders, which has hitherto been defended by the treasure of Spain.
The Dutch ambassador also had audience at the end of last week, announcing the readiness of the States to do what was requisite and saying that as the alliance was pledged to peace the Provinces were merely waiting for his Majesty's example.
The king, harassed by this pertinacity, such general proposals of so compromising a nature being of uncertain result and manifestly detrimental to his own interests, decided to ask the king of France to prolong the term of arbitration for at least another five months, thus neutralising his motives for attack and giving Spain a fresh opportunity to destroy the causes of innovation. All this was communicated to me yesterday by the French ambassador, who virtually complained that the English ministers should from time to time so readily consent to support Spain, whose pretensions, thus encouraged, took deeper root, and so this ministry cherished the germ of constant agitation. He also said that although he had set forth the just motives of his king's indignation against the duke, yet the envoy of Lorraine did not despair. Moreover while the province of Holland had proceeded to make declarations prejudicial to French trade by prohibiting brandies and laying heavy duties on the rest of French produce, in England the same system was also being briskly debated in parliament.
The truth is that the Upper House, zealously intent on benefiting the country, proposed right away, as already reported, to prohibit the importation of all foreign manufactures, which are very costly and, some of them, superfluous. But on examination by commissioners many articles were found to be necessary for the improvement of trade. At present the majority of the members are of opinion that as England receives cash from nearly all countries in exchange for what she supplies to them, or one half at least is paid for in ready money, French manufactures alone shall be prohibited or subjected to excessive duties because France receives but few English manufactures, while she drains this country of much ready money for the wines and fruits which she supplies.
The two Houses, having adjourned for Christmas, did not reassemble until yesterday, when they agreed to meet next Tuesday, after the rest of the holidays, which are kept here accordingly to the old style, and then the final decision will be known.
I report an incident which has befallen Sir John Coventry, a member of the House of Commons, in case it is referred to in parliament. This gentleman when returning home at two in the morning was assaulted by four persons with knives in their hands, who slashed his face and also split his nose. Coventry is recovering from his wounds and proposes to appeal to parliament for revenge. But the generality, basing their opinions on recent events, blame him for having spoken too freely in the House, and as the king, in particular, has not decided to take the trial out of the hands of the ordinary judges, since the flight from London of two of the persons suspected of the deed, (fn. 3) it is probable that the Lower House will not take further cognisance of the matter and the accident to one of its members, and that it will not in the least damp the zeal of the members to render the king all possible service.
The more the Danish resident exerts himself to suppress what took place at the Sound (fn. 4) and to change the last treaty, the greater is the difficulty encountered by him. He tells me that here, persevering in their punctilio, they insist on sending another envoy to Copenhagen, but his king will never renounce that jurisdiction which has been ceded by the Swede although possessing ports in the same Sound, and England, by several treaties and circumstances has acknowledged the supremacy of Denmark there.
London, the 9th January, 1670. [M.V.]
[Italian.]
Jan. 13.
Collegio,
Secreta,
Lettere
Principi,
Re e Regina
d'Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
5. James, Duke of York, etc., to Domenico Contarini, Doge of Venice.
In commendation of Piero Mocenigo, who is returning home after his embassy in England. Compliments.
Dated at London, the 3rd January, 1670 [old style].
Signed: Jacobus.
[Latin.]
Jan. 16.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
6. Girolamo Alberti, Venetian Secretary in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The king, having commissioned the Ambassador Montagu in Paris to obtain from the Most Christian the postponement of the term assigned for the arbitration, fancied that he had sheltered himself against Spanish pertinacity and sufficiently demonstrated his own zeal for the general quiet, without clamorous guarantees. The Ambassador Molina, not satisfied with this, no longer observes any discretion in his demands. He requires England to pledge herself further, either to peace or to war and says there is no longer any hope of settling about the dependencies of the conquered territory, because France will not listen to the counter claims of Spain; as if the Most Christian, having accepted the arbitration of England and Sweden upon one point, were bound to refer to their decision in everything and on every occasion. Molina is much encouraged by a letter received from the emperor, who writes to the king here to introduce him into the alliance. But I do not know whether he has yet presented the letter and the emperor does not intend to become a party to the special treaty of guarantee. Yet relying on the king's consent, Molina is beginning to say that England will have the glory of enlarging the alliance, in such sort that France, despairing of breaking it, will either become reconciled, or, if she wages war, will be sure to encounter powerful opponents in every quarter.
In spite of this the governor, Count Monterey, is raising troops in Flanders and has ordered the demolition of the superfluous fortresses of Arlon in Luxemburg, Tillemont, Giambelaur and Gennappe in Brabant, and Sogni and Bren in Hainault. I may add that when I visited Prince Rupert with new year greetings he told me in the course of the conversation that Mariemont, selected as quarters for the Most Christian with a guard of 30,000 men, was only eight leagues from Brussels, which he afterwards corrected to fifteen. These words of the prince corroborate what I learned of the proceedings in the privy Council, where it was stated that the Spaniards, renouncing treaties and retreats, would not yield any more ground to France, in the hope of obtaining such strong assistance from their neighbours that when the peace is broken Spain will be able to recover her lost territory. To this end, by urging England to give pledges, Spain seeks to place her in the front and to alarm her by comments on the French fleet; and the Spaniards no longer trouble about avoiding surprises, trusting to the allied forces to recoup them. Many other remarks were made at this cabinet Council and I believe that the policy of England was determined, but I cannot yet assert this definitely.
The truth is that since the affair of Coventry the zeal of the Lower House with respect to the money grant has cooled, as that House is more jealous than any other of its liberties. But since at the worst Coventry was punished by certain individuals, who were scandalized by his licence of speech in a matter that did not concern the commonweal, it is hoped that the trial will remain in the hands of the ordinary judges, without the interference of parliament, and that the king will be at perfect liberty to pardon those found guilty, in accordance with his powers.

During the present week the two Houses only met on two days, but next week they will resume their ordinary sittings, in order to settle all the matters proposed since the beginning of the session. It seems at present that the commissioners of supply intend to tax incomes derived from land at the rate of at least five per cent., in order to obtain the 800,000l. as well as a tax of one per cent. on the salaries of all public offices.
On account of the annual duties to the amount of 400,000l. the Zante currants will be liable to a slight surcharge, but as Sir Downingh, a person of great credit and experience, told me from the king, it will not be an import duty, but one levied solely from the grocers who buy the currants from the merchants, so that the trade remains as before. The consumer will pay a little more per pound, but that will not decrease the consumption. I have given assurances that your Serenity has issued orders for the good treatment of English merchants and for their relief.
There has not yet been time to determine about the foreign manufactures indeed the commissioners have not met, because of the holidays which have been celebrated with greater pomp than usual, as the king, the royal family and the whole Court have gone out of mourning, which they put on some time ago for the death of the duchess of Orleans.
London, the 16th January, 1670. [M.V.]
[Italian, the part in italics deciphered.]
Jan. 24.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni,
Corti.
Venetian
Archives.
7. To the Proveditore of Zante.
Order to allow the English ships Leghorn Merchant and Scipio to enjoy the benefit of exemption from the 5 per cent. duty which has been granted to them by the magistracy of the Five Savii alla Mercanzia, as the Senate wishes to make it clear how much that nation is favoured. He is also to see to it that all the nations of the West are treated with entire honesty and punctuality by the ministers concerned.
Ayes, 99. Noes, 0. Neutral, 0.
[Italian.]
Jan. 24.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni,
Corti.
venetian
Archives.
8. In the Pregadi on the 24th January.
With respect to the exposition of the Resident Darinton, since it is the peculiar care of this Council that the nations of the West shall receive every possible convenience that may facilitate their frequenting these parts and it is clearly necessary to obviate any occasion for complaint: that the magistracy of the Mercanzia be charged, in their prudence to see to it that the ministers whose business it is to supervise the lading of foreign ships and to see that they bring their entire cargoes to Venice, to enjoy the benefit of the exemption of the 5 per cent. on currants, shall discharge their duties punctually and honourably.
Ayes, 99. Noes, 0. Neutral, 0.
[Italian.]
Jan. 24.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni,
Corti.
Venetian
Archives.
9. To the Secretary Alberti in England.
Enclose copy of a resolution of the Senate on a memorial of the Resident Darinton and of the office read to him. This is to serve not only for his enlightenment but to be used, when occasion serves as an additional assurance of the excellent disposition of the Senate towards everything that may facilitate commerce and the frequenting of the Venetian mart, combined with their constant desire to show respect for that crown.
Ayes, 99. Noes, 0. Neutral, 0.
[Italian.]
Jan. 24.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni,
Corti.
Venetian
Archives.
10. That a notary extraordinary be sent to read the following to the English Resident Daringhton. (fn. 5)
After considering the memorial on the ships Leghorn Merchant and Scipio the Senate is prepared to show its readiness to give you satisfaction and to do all that may be advantageous to the nation which they so entirely love. They have therefore taken order at Zante that the two ships may be forthwith declared capable of the exemption of 5 per cent. notwithstanding the variation in the matter of the full lading. They also assure you that care will be taken that this shall be punctually observed, and pray you to be confident they will administer all justice upon every application of yours to confirm the exact correspondence and most affectionate observance towards his Majesty.
Ayes, 99. Noes, 0. Neutral, 0.
[Italian.]
Jan. 24.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
11. Girolamo Alberti, Venetian Secretary in England, to the Doge and Senate.
Having obtained audience of the king, the Spanish ambassador presented the emperor's letter and explained his offer to join the alliance. At the time the king received the office in the usual complimentary form. Later when Molina entered into the details of his negotiations with the ministers to put the matter into shape, he was confronted at the outset by an objection about the guarantee. This had been given in favour of his Britannic Majesty by Spain, Sweden and Holland, who gave a formal promise to assist England in case of attack from France. The emperor ought to follow their example, or if he declares that he will not be a party to the guarantee or to the partiality for Spain, he might confine himself to the plain terms of the alliance, implying impartiality as between Spain and France and only committing himself to upholding the peace of Aix la Chapelle.
The Ambassador Molina does not take alarm even at this difficulty. He vows that the emperor is ready to become a party to the alliance and to the special guarantee and to contribute the necessary succour. But when speaking with me about the difficulties in supplying it he added that the suspicions of the Court of Vienna about the sincerity of the English government would increase. The emperor has always suspected the king here of not wishing for more colleagues in the alliance, to avoid greater pledges. Molina hoped to undeceive the emperor, believing that the king would keep the promise so repeatedly given to him, to prove himself a good ally, contrary to the suspicion that his Majesty aims at drawing money from his subjects, and that he will then seek pretexts to dispense with the pledge given by him to parliament to oppose innovation. By means of this declaration of the powers Molina counted on peace. He then unbosomed himself to me saying that even in the event of war Spain, with such strong support, would not be alarmed, and that there was a likelihood of her recovering what she had lost, especially as money and troops were on the way from Spain for the succour of Flanders. He did not mention the amount, which I know to be 500,000 reals, payable in a year, with the promise of another 500,000. Monterey is negotiating to consume the first instalment in the ear, through contracts. In conclusion Molina remarked to me that the Dutch will have to consider their own case.
I wrote last week of an important consultation. The sequel shows that the English cabinet is less alarmed about the proceedings and perils of Spain than about a rupture between France and Holland, the two governments having reached the last stage of mistrust owing to reciprocal grievances and matters of trade, of which your Serenity will have received particulars from the spot.
Although the vigorous resolutions of Holland, after having sought every means for an adjustment with France, indicate intrepidity on the part of the States, it has been said that the king of England ought not to rely on the strength of that republic. Although pledged for its own safety and possibly well able, from the nature of its government, to stand a fierce and protracted war, England must not therefore consider the Dutch republic as her perpetual bulwark. In this connection it is definitely asserted that the king will be advised to procrastinate and to continue to lean towards Spain until fresh circumstances, by changing the aspects of affairs, bring about an alteration of the present policy.
The blood from Coventry's nose has not ceased to flow and causes trouble. On Tuesday in the Lower House many spoke in his favour. More than
300 members agreed, without a dissentient, that the imprisoned culprits should be hanged, and that those who have absconded, if they do not appear when summoned, shall be banished for life, parliament alone having power to reverse the sentence. The bill to this effect is to be read for the third time, after which it will be sent to the Lords for their approval and then be presented to the king, who still hesitates about giving his assent. But the House in its zeal to maintain the privileges which it claims will choose either to obtain this satisfaction or it will delay the money grant, in which case his Majesty may possibly tie his own hands and permit the punishment of those who, from their own zeal or, as everyone believes, by the king's order, punished Coventry for having slandered his royal person, whereas in the ordinary course of justice the crown has the power to pardon any criminal.
To celebrate this carnival season the ambassadors of France and Spain had the honour, a few evenings ago, to entertain the king and many of the Court at their respective embassies; and it seems that they are preparing a second invitation for the queen as well, a new fashion which although adding to the lustre of their office, constitutes a grievous charge upon their purses.
London, the 24th January, 1670. [M.V.]
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Jan. 26.
Collegio,
Secreta.
Esposizioni,
Principi.
Venetian
Archives.
12. I, Cristofforo Surian, went by order to the house of the English resident and read him the Senate's decision of the 14th December. He took a copy and then said that he thanked your Serenity for the many favours he received. He would impart the office to his king. He enlarged upon his obligations and told me that upon the last decree about sailors, a fresh occasion had arisen lately, from the liberties which they are accustomed to take, for a decision from the magistracy all'Forastier, which had resulted in favour of the captain, which he recognised as the consequence of the decree. (fn. 6) He also remarked that in connection with his exposition about salt fish, owing to the reluctance of the merchants to enter into competition with the Jews in that trade, he hoped your Serenity would grant his request, as it would be for the advantage of trade and he would take it as a favour. After this I took leave and departed.
[Italian.]
Jan. 30.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
13. Girolamo Alberti, Venetian Secretary in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The Spanish ambassador continues intent on including the emperor in the alliance and in the guarantee; but the business does not progress, as for the last week he has been waiting for the reply to a memorial presented by him to Secretary Arlington. Molina having been compelled to state the amount of succour which the emperor would furnish, I fancy the offer was limited to a small body of troops. The ambassador hinted at the manifest peril which the emperor would incur of an attack from France if he were to join the allies in the guarantee. In that case, however, he demands the assistance of the allied powers for his relief. To this renewed claim, based on the old demands which were always rejected, England has not yet made any reply, foreseeing that after uniting such considerable forces for the sake of maintaining the peace of Aix la Chapelle, that is, to defend Spain, they would be divided by negotiations and weakened by so many cautionary and preventive measures.
These shifts of the emperor stand in the way of his entry into the alliance, since it is clear that he is brought to it by dint of Spanish instigation. So England, expecting little from his good will, no longer cares about the reproach for the delay of an adjustment which seemed concluded, as the blame will fall on the emperor, who does not give more than he asks, and on the Spaniards who merely seek to make a noise without providing substantially for the alliance.
In spite of these difficulties the Spaniards insist upon England preparing for war, that she shall enable Holland to do the like and call upon Sweden to join them in declaring hostilities against France, unless she disarms. But as this is contrary to the policy laid down at the cabinet council, to which I alluded last week, namely that England was content to lose but not to ruin herself for the Spanish cause, Lord Arlington told me that, the first step having been conceded, the Spaniards asked for the second, and he should therefore recommend the king always to keep something in reserve, as a final favour for the Catholic king.

In accordance with the efforts of the Court for the peace and security of Flanders, the French ambassador has had audience of the king to announce the consent of the Most Christian to extend the term of arbitration, limited to the dependencies of Condé, Linque and Niuport. The Spaniards are not satisfied even with this and say that the negotiation will never make any progress unless mention is made of their claims on Franche Comté. Colbert declares that out of regard for the king here the Most Christian has delayed enforcing his rights for another long period and complains that in spite of this England is constantly incurring yet greater commitments and that France after ceasing to treat here for partiality from this crown, is now at a loss how to make sure even of its neutrality. To this the Court merely replies that, being anxious for the peace, it endeavoured to secure this blessing despite every obstacle, but it feels glad that it is not pledged for Lorraine, perceiving the unsatisfactory outcome of the negotiations of Vindisgratz at Paris.
This combination of important affairs, which gives repute to the crown, had taken another turn of a sinister character owing to the Coventry incident, as any domestic occurrence has the power to change the public mind and to turn the kingdom aside from its most important interests, as the Senate will see from the impetuous decree against the culprits, in opposition to the king, who was generally believed to be inclined to protect them. The bill for hanging those seized and banishing the fugitives passed the Lower House, but the Lords modified it, inclining to leave the king his usual prerogative of pardon.
The excitement of the members having cooled they gently allowed themselves to be brought back to the debate about the money grant, induced by the flowery speeches of three or four members, who urged them not to prejudice themselves for a private incident and disappoint the expectations of the country which, by electing them, had placed its honour in their hands, arriving at the flattering conclusion that the whole world expected them to give the king the means to oppose perilous innovations, and adding that the Most Christian would take advantage of the opportunity. So by a majority of sixty votes they resolved to resume the discussion of the money grant, nor will there be any lack hereafter of plasters for healing Coventry's nose.

I have at last obtained the duke of York's letter, (fn. 7) which I enclose with a copy. It is in answer to the letter of credence presented by the Ambassador Mocenigo. I have not received those of the queen or the duchess of York because there is no precedent here for their writing to republics or answering your Serenity, but the secretaries believe that they are ready to do so if there is any record of the kind preserved at Venice, even if it is only of the late queen mother.
London, the 30th January, 1670. [M.V.]
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Enclosure.14. Copy of letter of the German Emperor to the King of Great Britain. (fn. 8)
Leopoldus etc. Romanorum Imperator etc. Dom. Carolo Mag. Brit. etc. regi etc. Serenissime Princeps etc.
Minime latet Ser. Vestram quod cum anno 1667 de pace inter duas coronas quoad motus in Belgio, Hispanico exortos componendos Aquisgrani tractandum esse rescrivissemus pro ardenti nostro ejus negotii promovendi desiderio Ablegatum et Consiliarium nostrum, sacrique Imperii fidelem dilectum Franciscum liberum baronem de Lisola plena ad id potestate instructum inde ex Anglia ad dictum locum concedere jusserimus. Et cum dicta pax antequam is eo pervenire potuerit jam composita esset per eundem ministrum impensum nostrum ad ejus conservationem concurrendi studium Ser. Vestrae aeque aliorum triplicis (ut vocant) foederis sociorum ministris aperiri fecerimus huic desiderio etiam num firmiter inhaerentes de eo Ser. V. etiam hisce eo libentius testatum facere voluimus quo certius nobis de pari voluntate et desiderio suo et dicti triplicis foederis quoad garantiam supradictae Acquisgranensis pacis in unam nobiscum societatem ingrediendi nobis relatum f uit, prout dicto Ablegato nostro una cum consiliario et residente nostro Johanne Kramprich, Hagae comitis subsistente aliam subinde plenipotentiam ad it foedus nostro nomine ineundum submisimus: de quo jam ante Ser. Vestrae etiam ex declaratione nostro nomine a praenominatis ministris nostris ejusdem legato Templio recenter facta relatum fuerit: ac requirimus proinde benevole ut Ser. quoque Vestra hanc nostram Pacis conservandae optimam et enixam voluntatem suo calculo approbare, studio ratam et gratam habere de mente quoque quoad hoc sua nos quantocumque certiores facere velit: cui quod reliquum est fraternae et singularis nostrae benevolentiae affectum confirmantes omnia ex animi sui voto evenire amanter optamus.
Datum in civitate nostra Viennae die 25 mensis Novembris 1670.
Signed: Leopoldus.
Countersigned: Jo: lib. de Walderode.

Footnotes

1 Nicolas Prunier, seigneur de St. André.
2 These are presumably Pierre Seguier, the chancellor; Hugues de Lionne, minister of foreign affairs, and Jean Baptiste Colbert, controleur general des finances. See the preceding volume of this Calendar, page 302 and note.
3 The two were Sir Thomas Sandys, lieutenant in the duke of Monmouth's troop of the Guards, and Capt. Charles O'Brien, a son of the earl of Inchiquin. It all arose out of a proposal to tax the comedians. Sir John Berkenhead opposed the motion on the ground that the comedians had always served the king well. Upon this Coventry rose and asked the opposer to explain himself better about those comedians who served the king, whether they were male or female. Salvetti Antelminelli on 9 and 16 Jan., Brit. Mus. Add. MSS. 27962 T ff 130, 135 Cal. S.P. Dom., 1671, page 106.
4 The firing on the royal yacht conveying John Werden, envoy to Sweden, when passing through the Sound, both going and coming, for not striking its flag. See the preceding volume of this Calendar, page 296. The resident was Christofle Lindenow.
5 There is a copy of this office in the Public Record Office, S.P. Venice, Vol. xlix, f. 15.
6 Referring to a, memorial presented by Dodington in the Collegio on 10 December concerning the enticement of sailors from English ships. (See the preceding volume of this Calendar, pages 307–8), and the reply given on 27 December. Ibid., page 319.
7 No. 5, at page 6, above.
8 The letter with an English translation is preserved at the Public Record Office, S.P. Foreign, Germany (Empire), Vol. xii.


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