Venice
October 1672

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Institute of Historical Research

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Allen B. Hinds (editor)

Year published

1939

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294-307

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'Venice: October 1672', Calendar of State Papers Relating to English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 37: 1671-1672 (1939), pp. 294-307. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=90328 Date accessed: 21 October 2014.


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October 1672

Oct. 5.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
302. Francesco Michiel, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
The envoy of Sweden (fn. 1) made his entry yesterday. He brings from England the intentions of the king there which are averse from accepting mediation to compose the differences with the Dutch unless the feeling of this crown is previously in agreement with such a course.
A peculiar instance of the affection and correspondence towards England is said to have been supplied by the king here these last days. One of those who was not included in the pardon when the English king ascended the throne was living for some time in this city. He afterwards withdrew to Holland at the time of the late war when he made offers to the Dutch to stir up the parliament of London to the hurt of its natural lord. He came back finally to live in this city and was arrested some days ago and sent to London, to be disposed of as the king there may choose.
Paris, the 5th October, 1672.
[Italian.]
Oct. 5.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
303. Francesco Michiel, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
The English ambassador has been to call upon me. He expressed the regard of his king for the most serene republic. I made a suitable response. I have indeed found this minister worthy of the honour which he sustains and of capacity for his office more by his character and ability than by his age which does not pass his fourth lustrum. (fn. 2) He enjoys the approval of the Court, as both the ministers and the king himself commend the way with which he conducts himself in the negotiations.
Of current affairs he speaks with great maturity saying that everything was subject to uncertainty as well for war as for peace. He did not fear to say that the people of London desires quiet and in spite of the fact that the war was against a nation of a genius contrary to the English as well as for trade interests and punctilio of navigation yet in times of trouble they were obliged to lay burdens upon the people and for that reason their genius was averse from derangements.
Here they are waiting with curiosity to see what parliament will bring forth, which is about to reassemble. There are many who are inclined to believe that the gathering of troops in that country with the announcement that they mean to make an attack on Holland and to attempt landings, and the bringing into the Thames of the largest ships of war on the pretext of the rough weather are merely for the purpose of abating the authority of the Houses and reducing them to pass decrees in conformity with the king's intentions.
Paris, the 5th October, 1672.
[Italian.]
Oct. 5.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Spagna.
Venetian
Archives.
304. Tomaso Rudio, Venetian Secretary in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.
The English ambassador is augmenting his train and has settled his public and state entry for the end of the present week. Those who are most critical do indeed wonder at this behaviour of his because when it was thought from the protests made and the replies received from the government he would rather be making arrangements for taking leave and departing he is now making preparations for a more stable permanency. There are others who contend that judging by the results that appear a better correspondence is passing between this crown and the British one by occult and concealed negotiations. It might be possible to accept this view of the matter were it not that the negligence and the disputes of the government in so many other matters dispose of the universal idea of so good an opinion and direction.
Madrid, the 5th October, 1672.
[Italian.]
Oct. 7.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
305. Girolamo Alberti, Venetian Secretary in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The king has shown great kindness to the duke of York since his return from the fleet. He has earned this by so many hardships endured and by having vividly demonstrated his affection for his Majesty and the trust he places in him, by which means the jealousies, which so long estranged them from each other, dividing the Court likewise, at the risk of generating scandalous factions, are utterly destroyed.
Yesterday morning his Majesty went with the duke and the chief personages of the Court to the fleet for the purpose of taking the larger ships right into port and paying off the crews. Thirty of the second and third rates have already put to sea under Admiral Spragh and several small squadrons besides, to prevent a number of desperate men from venturing themselves at sea in the hope of making great gain, and with the evil determination to become bankrupt if all the capital fell into the enemy's hands. The public has been saved from this disaster by the royal forethought, no merchant having failed in London since the war, nor indeed since the closing of the exchequer, when the banks of all the goldsmiths were emptied, who allowed their customers
6 per cent. while charging his Majesty 10 and 20 per cent. for loans.
A French gentleman, a volunteer on board the fleet, has assured me solemnly that the last five ships brought from France a considerable amount of ready money for England, and other persons have declared to me that the Most Christian contributed
100,000l. a month for the maintenance of the English fleet. The only reason I have for believing that there may be some truth in these assertions is that the king does not make any demand on parliament for money, and that his revenues are insufficient, although he suspended all payments assigned to his creditors thereon.
Taking it for granted that England owes this debt to France, it will always be difficult for her to discharge it, and Mons. de Rhede, Orange's gentleman, made a great mistake in thinking he could reconcile the king to the States for the mere sake of the prince's interests when a previous tie, and one so strong, kept him bound to the Most Christian. De Rhede left last week and it has transpired that Orange's fundamental policy is to keep his forces on foot until, after giving law to the States, he succeeds in curbing the popular excesses. He will then seek to gain the friendship of England in order to relieve Holland from the naval war and from her commercial depression. Then, by joining the Spaniards and imperialists, there might be some chance of his withstanding the Most Christian. But there is no sign of Orange succeeding in his project for changing the resolve of England, so that with this disadvantage, by giving battle to France, he would hazard everything; and the princes of Germany and the Spaniards, who from interested motives foment the war, will not risk their armies in the field. This much has been hinted to Orange, that he may make the best peace he can. But as the Swedish ambassador, de Tot, has only got to Brussels, they await his arrival in Paris for the furtherance of the proposals.
In the mean time the king here has not only humbled the parliamentarians, keeping them aloof both from his confidence and from all authority, just when they expected to be arguing about the propriety of the war, on the conclusion of which, and not before, they will be called upon to pay its cost, but in the parliament of Scotland Lauderdale has signed upwards of 25 acts, some for the suppression of the conventicles, none against the Catholics and one for
73,000l. for the king, equal to 400,000 ducats, as a benevolence.
London, the 7th October, 1672.
[Italian; deciphered.]
Oct. 7.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
306. Girolamo Alberti, Venetian Secretary in England, to the Doge and Senate.
Hayles is not at rest about the consulage. He turned to Lord Faulconbridge who spoke to me about it. He said the king meant to reward Hayles' zeal. Hayles had suggested one penny per pound sterling as consulage. The merchants agreed to this. The captains rejoiced at the relief and as the tax fell on English ships he believed your Serenity would not oppose it.
I said it was a question of regulating the consulage proportionally to the ships. Speaking frankly, the increase of the consul's salary was another matter. Taking the old consulage at 30 ducats per ship, by tonnage the tax would be divided between great and small without innovation, which is always dangerous in trade unless of very evident public utility. If they choose to increase the consulage to 30 or 40 ducats or more, there were the precedents of Cadiz, where they paid 48 pieces of eight, of Malaga, 32 and about 50 at Lisbon. If they wished to relieve the captains entirely, although they spontaneously offered 30 ducats, the king might order them to charge so much more for freight, and in this way the consul would get more, the captains would no longer feel the burden of consulage and the merchandise would only be slightly overcharged for freight, and the rate being fixed, there would be no worse consequences. But if the tax were to be laid directly on the goods it would change the nature of the consulage and introduce a new custom in England, as it is only in the Levant that the consuls levy a tax on merchandise; but the Company pays them a fixed salary and takes the consulage for itself. It was the custom of sovereigns to impose taxes and to keep private persons as unconnected with them as possible, as they were always found to increase in the gathering to the injury of trade. I concluded that the captains would be relieved and the trade bear the burden which properly belonged to the ships, and it appeared too much for Venice alone.
Falconbridge had no answer, but as there are few private persons here who exert themselves for the common weal I suspect that all argument will fail to dissuade them from following the road already marked. But the least word uttered by me in your Serenity's name would be of the utmost use, as if once they expect to meet with some legitimate opposition at Venice I have no doubt but that the whole plan would fall for ever. Your Excellencies will have appreciated the consequences of the innovation to Venetian trade, which will not only be burdened but monopolised by Hayles, and further, the consuls at Zante and Cephalonia may possibly claim a similar charge.
Hayles gave me this morning an abridged account of the annual amount of merchandise supposed by him to be imported into Venice, together with its value and the tariff which he thinks of imposing for consulage. I cannot say if he has juggled with the figures, but I perceive that the tariff at the rate of so much per package case and bale would yield one third more than if the tax had been imposed at the rate of one penny per pound; which bears out my assertion that a gabelle imposed by the crown is increased when it passes through the hands of a private person.
London, the 7th October, 1672.
[Italian. ]
Enclosure.307. George Hayles to Girolamo Alberti.
From the attached list you will see an estimate of what may be derived from merchandise imported into Venice yearly. If you do not believe me, show it to any merchant, even if he be my enemy. Only remember that last year, because war was expected, more pepper and lead than usual were sent to Venice, and indeed a great quantity of those goods are unsold, which will cause less to be sent in following years. I ask you to assure Lord Fauconbridge that the papers for presentation to the Council of Trade are most correct, without any sort of deceit, and they will pass. It is seen with how much satisfaction the scheme is approved here by the merchants so the Council will give its full approval. You will thus oblige a most faithful servant, who will not repay favours with ingratitude.
With regard to the bales, such as pepper, goods etc. no estimate can be made of their tonnage, their quality and the manner of lading them being so dissimilar and uncertain, but a general estimate may be made of the average amount of merchandise which arrives annually at Venice in English bottoms, and the most exact estimate may be made either at the rate of two fifths or according to the tariff at so much per bale, as shown hereunder.
Tariff.
3500 Pigs of Lead, ducats52,000at Ven. soldi 7½ per baleVen. lire
1312.10
4000 Barrels of Herrings ducats44,000at Ven. soldi 7½ per bale1500
1200 Casks of Pilchards ducats28,800at Ven. soldi 15 per bale900
600 Barrels of Salmon ducats15,600at Ven. soldi 10 per bale300
600 Bags of Pepper ducats42,000at Ven. soldi 30 per bale1200
100 Casks of Barbados Sugar ducats8000at Ven. soldi 30 per bale150
100 Quintals Sugar ducats5000at Ven. soldi 15 per bale75
200 Bales, Chests, Goods and Drugs ducats30,000at Ven. soldi 20 per bale200
50 Casks Saltpetre ducats6000at Ven. soldi 15 per bale37.10
100 Casks Bowels (budelli) ducats2000at Ven. soldi 10 per bale100
400 Barrels Pitch and Tar ducats6000at Ven. soldi 43 per ton225
ducats319,4006300
This merchandise will be loaded annually in 20 English ships, of from 100 to 200 tons, that being the ordinary tonnage of those that trade to Venice … each ship paying 30 ducats, 600 of which make about 110l. sterling.
Your lordship will see the additional sum from the tariff on the bales, or from the two fifths, each yielding about 200l., and whether such a sum can burden the trade or enrich the poor consul.
Lead, capital ducats52,000Ven. lire 9454 ConsulageVen. lire
1280
Herrings ducats44,000Ven. lire 4000 Consulage560
Pilchards ducats28,800Ven. lire 2618 Consulage372
Salmon ducats15,600Ven. lire 1418 Consulage204
Pepper ducats42,000Ven. lire 3818 Consulage542
Lisbon Sugar ducats80,000Ven. lire 7272 Consulage1023
Barbados Sugar ducats8000Ven. lire 727 Consulage105
Barbados Sugar ducats5000Ven. lire 454 Consulage66
Bales of Drugs ducats30,000Ven. lire 2727 Consulage372
Saltpetre ducats6000Ven. lire 545 Consulage74
Casks ducats2000Ven. lire 182 Consulage25
Pitch and Tar ducats6000Ven. lire 545 Consulage74
Ven. lire4697
Ven. lire6300
Ven. lire1603
ducats258 grossi 212
The Venetian ducat is worth 6 lire 4 soldi. 20 soldi equal one lira.
[Italian.]
Oct. 7.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
308. Girolamo Alberti, Venetian Secretary in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The insuperable difficulties which would prevent the grant of a special favour for Venetians and their ships made me write against the demand for exemption from the alien duty, and for your Serenity's merchantmen to trade in all the ports of England. In the mean time aliens already enjoy the first privilege, and to increase navigation Venetians must not only seek to charge lower freight, but it would be worth considering whether men of war should be equipped as convoy, to be paid for by the goods. The merchants, being relieved of the cost of insurance, the trade might be less burdened and the Venetian flag will find abundance of cargoes in proportion to the speed with which the voyages are performed.
With regard to Venetian trade, I find that of glass is utterly ruined since the introduction here of the manufacture of mirrors and drinking glasses, by a privilege granted to the duke of Buckingham. Those of Venice are not now prohibited, but a dozen drinking glasses, which are sold for 5 shillings at most, are valued at the customs at 18 shillings, the tax thus being raised beyond all bearing, and the mirrors pay practically half their value. In proportion to the great advantage to Venice from the revival of the manufacture, there will be manifold difficulties at the beginning, but a novelty has occurred at this moment.
The duke of Buckingham, attracted by a new invention for smoothing one side of mirrors as if they were polished, in the act of making them, has treated somewhat harshly the craft of the mirror polishers. These, being offended, have purchased two large parcels of unpolished Venetian mirror glass, now in London, worth several thousand ducats, and have given an order for more, so that they need no longer go to Buckingham's furnace. At first I thought of suggesting permission to export sheets of glass unpolished in spite of the prohibition, in favour of the Venetian mirror makers. This might have facilitated the affair, but as it is contrary to the decrees of the Senate and the continuance of the practice is uncertain, while the duke must evidently take offence, and through the king's favour obtain some other prejudicial patent, I think it best to approach the stronger side and avail myself of the present opportunity to attempt the effect.
My plan would be, in a confidential talk with the duke of Buckingham, to hint that the process of smoothing glass will always be difficult, and even if successful, all profit would be swallowed up by the cost. To obtain a clear revenue and vex the polishers, he might suggest to the king a new arrangement and thereby secure an annual revenue. Thus if the estimate on Venetian mirrors and glasses was reduced to the real value, a quantity sufficient for the consumption of all England would be sent, as English glass is neither so strong nor so clear, and the mirror glass is always uneven. By such means the king would greatly increase his customs revenues and instead of giving employment to 150 persons, at the most, who make mirrors and fine glass, more than fifty shops would be opened in London or the sale of Venetian glass and the number of seamen would increase in proportion to the additional ships required. There would be no lack of other arguments, but I wait to hear from your Serenity whether I should set it going in this way or rather speak at once to Lord Arlington. But as the duke is a very peculiar man (huomo particolare assai) and difficult to deal with, it may be better to do everything with Arlington, in the name of your Excellencies.
London, the 7th October, 1672.
[Italian.]
Oct. 14.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
309. Girolamo Alberti, Venetian Secretary in England, to the Doge and Senate.
During the present week the king only stayed two days with the fleet, surveying, together with the master builders, the first rates, to regulate the construction of others, which are being put on the stocks daily. Yesterday his Majesty and the duke of York set out for Newmarket, where the Court will remain a fortnight for the usual amusement of horse racing.
Great efforts have been made to discover the plans of the imperialists. It has been supposed that Montecuccoli has been ordered not to attack or proceed to hostilities, unless provoked, and as Colbert has ascertained that Turenne will merely remain on the defensive, the English ministers hope that the war may not become general.
The fear of kindling the flame throughout Christendom is not the only motive of this wish for quiet, but rather the fear of a rupture with Spain, to the serious detriment of trade and the universal discontent in the country, which is much greater than heretofore, owing to the war with Holland
(molto maggiore del passato per la rottura coll' Olanda).
Spain may thwart these wishes by keeping the emperor to his agreement and the empire in agitation. Accordingly at a conference with Fresno, Arlington said, and the king repeated the same, that the Catholic crown made itself responsible to the world for a general war, having intrusively and unnecessarily pledged herself to it. The desire of England and France for peace was cooled solely by the too ardent interest taken by the neighbouring powers in the Dutch war, which had been undertaken with so much justice and conducted with no less moderation. Even if the allied forces were to succeed to some extent in worsting those of France, the hazard to which all Europe would be exposed for the mere sake of avenging Holland, was too great; but at the end the whole fabric would manifestly fall on Spain, who, to preserve the surface, had moved too many stones, using without need powerful engines which should be reserved for extreme cases, and thus causing disturbance and destruction.
Fresno listens attentively to all these arguments, but does not answer to the point, merely saying that his Majesty, by his own zeal, might moderate the pretensions of the Most Christian and improve the condition of his nephew, Orange, by a steady peace. The Spaniards fancy, as I know on good authority, that the allied crowns, intimidated by the union and troops of the empire, will yield before the prestige of them and give up the conquests and advantages gained over Holland at such great cost, and after being committed to the present campaign. On the other hand they have written to Orange that as the emperor is occupied with the Turks, he must not rely greatly on the durability of the league, and that Brandenburg made a stir solely in his own interest. They advise him to adopt the speediest remedy; but his Highness knows not what to decide, being daily more and more beset by an importunate residue of the de Wet faction, all persons who make head against him by insinuating to the people that after sacrificing so many points of importance to the republic to obtain the personal aggrandisement of Orange, England did not make the slightest acknowledgment, showing herself more obstinate than ever against Holland. At this Court they have always suspected that Orange has not enough experience to maintain himself against the Arminian and Socinian faction, which is identical with that of de Wet.
Orange having despatched a gentleman to Monterey for permission to avail himself of the garrisons in Breda and Bolduc, the count replied that he could not grant it, but he had sixteen companies of dragoons ready at Ghent for whatever might be needed, a clear proof that the Spaniards do not intend to leave those fortresses.
Count Chiombergh, who has been a long while in Portugal, arrived in London two days ago. It is not known whether he is the bearer of any negotiations. The esteem in which the king holds the earl of Osseri has been manifested by his making him a knight of the Garter as a reward for his recent services on board the fleet.
(fn. 3)
London, the 14th October, 1672.
[Italian; deciphered.]
Oct. 14.
Senato,
Secreta,
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
310. Girolamo Alberti, Venetian Secretary in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The affair of the consulage meets with increasing difficulties, for many of the London merchants, resenting the innovation say openly that the post of consul at Venice does not deserve the salary demanded by him and that the change will prove burdensome, and they are preparing to make representations to the ministers. (fn. 4) I rest content with having suggested a project to please every one. Once the change had been ratified by royal decree it would have been extremely difficult to get it repealed, with satisfaction to the parties concerned. I am now withdrawing and leaving others to act. I hope that I have not only saved Venetian trade from a burden, but that I have also quashed the project without any reference to the opposition it might have encountered from the Senate. The consul being thus discouraged, I fancy that he means to leave for Venice, but he will leave the affair in good hands, perhaps to have it furthered when its opponents believe it to be dropped, and hoping to obtain the assent of your Excellencies easily.
Although from this business it appears that the English are tending to relieve themselves of the burdens, to lade them on the backs of foreigners, the subjects of your Serenity should not, on that account, despair of finding good treatment here, more especially if the way were smoothed for them by your Excellencies.
The king of England might make one concession which would greatly facilitate Venetian trade, namely to allow all the produce of the Gulf to be brought to England under the flag of Venice, as if it were the growth of her territory. In this way there would not only be cargoes for the outward voyage, now prohibited, but the vessels would find shipments for the return. Without this facility it will be difficult for Venetian ships to find wherewithal to load in the territory of your Excellencies, and if restricted to this the carrying trade would gain very little, owing to the rivalry with England, who abundantly supplies the need. I cannot understand what sort of goods of great consumption could be brought here which would increase the Venetian sea-going trade, while it is perfectly clear that if things remain as they are no nation can obtain any advantage except at the cost of its neighbour, and all would end without any notable benefit.
Acknowledges ducali of the 10th and 17th September.
London, the 14th October, 1672.
[Italian.]
Oct. 15.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Germania.
Venetian
Archives.
311. Giovanni Morosini, Venetian Ambassador in Germany, to the Doge and Senate.
After a lengthy discussion between the British envoy and the Court upon the serious question of the marriage of the young archduchess of Insbruch to the duke of Jorch the articles were finally settled and determined the day before yesterday and all the conditions accepted by the mutual consent of the parties with the proper signing of the contract. This is to be sent at once to the Catholic regent and the British king for the necessary ratification. The conditions have only come to my knowledge this day. They deal in the first place in the concession to the bride and her Court of the free exercise of the Catholic religion. The daughters born of the marriage are to be brought up in the same faith but the sons are to continue in the faith of their father. 100,000 florins in ready money will be granted by the emperor to the archduchess personally as one part of the dowry. The mother also is provided by this Court with a yearly pension of 120,000 florins and during her lifetime she will pro vide the bride with 30,000 of them every year and in addition there is secured to her the entire possession of her dowry, amounting to some 70,000 crowns, after the mother's death. Finally, for outward formalities, an extraordinary ambassador is to be sent from London to this Court and on his arrival he will make the customary demand for the archduchess with all the proper and most stately formalities.
The persistent carefulness of this British minister to conceal by every means in his power from the French minister here the particulars and all the steps of his negotiations may cause the French to apprehend secret arrangements between the two Courts of Austria and England to the prejudice of the affairs of the Most Christian. I have previously reported the true sentiments of the Catholic ambassador here on this subject which are all directed to detach England from the interests of France by this marriage. I am not able to say anything more definite, as the whole of the business is a most carefully guarded secret and I cannot hope to obtain any more certain information until some time has elapsed.
In the mean time Guasconi himself set out yesterday with all speed by the posts for Inspruch in order to let that Court participate in what has been arranged and at the same time to sketch out the necessary agreements for the future journey when all the other circumstances have been definitely settled.
Vienna, the 15th October, 1672.
[Italian.]
Oct. 19.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
312. Girolamo Alberti, Venetian Secretary in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The king having announced his intention of remaining a fortnight at Newmarket, the foreign ministers gathered there as well as the whole Court, and I followed their example, sacrificing my private fortune for the good of the state.
Last evening a quantity of letters arrived from Euston, Lord Arlington's country seat, 16 miles away, and the duke of York immediately acquainted me with the movements and attempts of the prince of Orange.
Some other important advices have also been received, but they are kept secret. Correspondence being interrupted by this perpetual confusion of amusements, I have only been able to elicit that the emperor, moved by the events of Poland and Hungary, may possibly recall Montecucoli. In that case the match to kindle the flame being removed, the ministers here cherish hopes of an adjustment.
Yet the Spaniards continue to clamour, and if, owing to the joint policy of England and France, who are unwilling to attack them, they avoid the untoward burden of a war, lest too many peccant humours be set in motion, they will claim that their management has restored the balance.
Two evenings ago the duke of York received letters from Sir [Edward] Spragh reporting that he had made 400 prisoners belonging to the Dutch fishing boats, the rest having escaped and left their nets in the sea. (fn. 5) During the whole of this year Holland will suffer from the lack of fish, which is the principal support of the inhabitants, especially of the people.
Spragh is now at the buoy of the Nore, with only six ships capable of cruising with him, having been buffeted by the heavy gales, which were dead against them, and it is not known when he will put to sea again.
His Highness is now busy over sending out the convoys for the merchantmen, whose departure depends on the sale of the goods received from the Indies, which will take place in a few days. The mart believes that trade will revive.
I have heard from London that Consul Hayles, seeing the difficulties in the way, has decided to leave for Venice this week. In that case I will give your Excellencies notice, keeping on the watch about the affair of the consulage, until I receive instructions from the Senate.
Newmarket, the 19th October, 1672.
[Italian.]
Oct. 19.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
313. Francesco Michiel, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
An express from England arrived at Court some days ago. He saw the king at a special audience. (fn. 6) I gather that he only came to report, with an exact testimony of correspondence the motives of the British king which have induced him to withdraw his naval forces and assurances of the royal intention to expose them once again to battle against the Dutch upon every occasion that the service of the alliance so requires and the satisfaction of the king here. The envoy was only about an hour with the king. As being an expert soldier of the sea his Majesty asked him for particulars of the last battle, which he was able to satisfy perfectly as he was with the duke of York on that occasion.
Paris, the 19th October, 1672.
[Italian.]
Oct. 22.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni,
Corti.
Venetian
Archives.
314. To the Secretary Alberti in England.
Acknowledge receipt of his letters of the 23rd and 30th September. Those of the 16th are missing owing to the robbing of the courier. Commend his operations about the consulage. With regard to the suggestion to reckon at so much per ton the Senate refers to what has been decided, provided that the Consul Hayles does not extract a profit exceeding the 30 ducats and he must make sure that the charge does not fall upon the goods. He must be particularly careful about this point.
The question of the viceconsul is certainly inadmissible and he is to persist in his efforts to divert it, speaking always as if of himself and assuring the ministers that in all circumstances there will be no lack of proper action at Venice to make sure that the captains receive no harm and that everything proceeds with that correct order that trade and good correspondence require.
Commend his efforts on behalf of the ships Fortuna di Mare and Santa Giustina. (fn. 7) The privilege of allowing the foreigner to be equal with the native in the customs cannot fail to prove advantageous. The continuation of such good orders is to be desired and all his vigilance should be applied to seeing that goods are left more and more free and exempt.
Ayes, 75. Noes, 1. Neutral, 2.
[Italian.]
Oct. 27.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
315. Girolamo Alberti, Venetian Secretary in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The king has carried the whole Court with him to the country seats of the duke of York and of Lords St. Albans and Arlington, which are in this neighbourhood. (fn. 8) He went for his own amusement and to inspect the regiment of dragoons lately raised by Prince Rupert. (fn. 9) A thousand able bodied men were passed in review, and having been removed from the coast, where no longer needed, winter quarters have been assigned to them in places best able to bear the burden.
The duke of York returned to London two days ago and the king will be there on Saturday. His Highness went first to hasten the convoys and to do his best to prevent certain individuals from maliciously injuring the national cause for their own profit. The duke told me that after insuring his ship a merchant exposed it and contrived to have it captured by the Dutch, of whom he bought it for half its value.
Your Serenity will have heard of the reverses of Orange. (fn. 10) Here it is said that the Dutch, seeing no end to their misfortunes or not being aware that their own disunion is the cause of them, are beginning to complain openly of the prince's conduct. The truth is that he is urging Monterey to remove the garrisons from the fortresses of Brabant, without being able to obtain either his in tent or a reply, and although it is generally believed that Orange is negotiating the cession of Maastricht to the Spaniards, I receive no assurance of this from a friend of mine at Brussels.
Here in the mean time it is publicly hoped that the marriage of the archduchess of Innsbruck to the duke of York is concluded. In addition to this, his Highness, in a confidential conversation with me, said he was in momentary expectation of a courier, having already received information that it only remained to set out the conditions agreed upon. The earl of Piterbero also, the ambassador appointed to Vienna, is hastening his preparations, the general impatience for the result of an affair of such consequence for the Court and for the country being great.
I have this week received the ducali of the 24th September and 1st October. I will cultivate Lord Arlington carefully and report all I can discover about his plans for trade with Venice. But he is completely occupied with current events and cannot allow himself to be distracted by others. I will, however, be attentive to all overtures, and as the proposal to appoint two viceconsuls has been dropped, I hope that of the consulage, which is very much out of favour, may also be stifled.
Newmarket, the 27th October, 1672.
[Italian.]
Oct. 29.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni,
Corti.
Venetian
Archives.
316. To the Secretary Alberti in England.
Acknowledge receipt of his letters of the 7th inst. Enclose copies of the advices received about the acceptation of mediation by the Most Christian and of the marriage of the archduchess to the duke of York. He is urged to take the utmost pains to find out by the light of the considerations and motives expressed there and in any other way, if there is anything that would lead to the inference that there is any inclination over there to change the present posture of affairs and perchance to detach themselves from the interests and designs of France.
The question of the glass is left to his ability. At every opportunity he is to make known the Signory's desire, which is to facilitate trade and that everything possible shall be done on both sides for the relief of traders.
That a copy of what the Secretary Alberti writes about consulage, glass etc. be sent to the magistracy of the Five Savii alla Mercanzia so that after they have obtained the necessary information and examined everything that throws light on the subject and after duly weighing the advantages which may accrue to this city from exempting from import duty the ships and goods which come to us from that direction of the sea, they shall report what in their prudence they consider most profitable and useful for the state, having regard not only to this but to facilitate the flow of trade and the special relief of traders.
Ayes, 103. Noes, 0. Neutral, 2.
[Italian.]

Footnotes

1 Count Gustavus Adolphus de la Gardie, who had been in England as envoy extraordinary to offer mediation for a peace with the Dutch. He had a pass to go to France on 7 September and left England on 12 September. Cal. S.P.Dom., 1672, pp. 590, 685–6.
2 Sunderland was born in Paris in the autumn of 1640.
3 He was elected on 30 September, o.s., to the vacancy caused by the death of the prince of Taranto, and installed on 25 October following. Nicolas: History of the Orders of Knighthood, Vol. i, p. 260.
4 At a Court of the Levant Co. held on 27 June, Hailes attended and offered reasons for altering the consulage at Venice. Upon a full debate it was understood to be a thing of evil consequence to admit a levy upon the trade of the nation, the office of the consul at Venice being only for the service and despatch of ships, from whom they usually had a gratuity … and a levy on goods would probably be increased … for which and other reasons it was concluded not to give any content or allowance to the said proposals of Mr. Hailes. As the consul still persisted, the matter came up for discussion again and finally at a Court held on 29 November, “upon complaint renewed of the endeavours of Consul Hailes and others to lay a burden upon the trade of Venice which may prove to be of great detriment to this Company” it was resolved that the Company should appear in opposing the same. Levant Co. Court Book. S.P. Foreign Archives, Vol. CLIII, ff. 165, 217.
5 An extract from Spragge's letter reporting the success is printed in the London Gazette of Oct. 3–7. He was in the Resolution, commanding a squadron of 25 ships. He claimed to have captured 30 busses and a small privateer, and to have chased away 200 fishing vessels. Cal. S.P. Dom., 1672, p. 634; Ibid., 1672–3, p. 17.
6 Henry Savile. He had audience of the king on the 14th.See his letters of 24 Sep. and 5/15 Oct., S.P. France, Vol. CXXXV, and the Gazette Nouvelles Ordinaires, no. 124 of 22 October, 1672.
7 Presumably they mean Horologio di Mare and San Giuseppe. See at p. 288 above.
8 York seems to have been occupying Culford Manor at this time. See Hearth Tax in Suffolk, Suffolk Green Books, No. xi, p. 88. St. Albans' seat was at Rushbrooke and Arlington's at Euston; all three are in Suffolk and within easy distance of Newmarket.
9 A regiment of 12 troops of eighty men each, exclusive of officers. They were the first English soldiers to be armed with the bayonet, Journal of the Society of Army Historical Research, Vol. i, p. 187. From various references in the Cal. S.P. Dom. they seem to have been known as the Barbados regiment.
10 Alluding no doubt to his attempt upon Woerden on 10 October, which was foiled by Luxemburg. See Le Clerc: Hist. des Provinces Unis, Vol. iii, pp. 312, 313.