Venice
September 1673, 1-15

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Institute of Historical Research

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Allen B. Hinds (editor)

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1947

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99-118

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'Venice: September 1673, 1-15', Calendar of State Papers Relating to English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 38: 1673-1675 (1947), pp. 99-118. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=90362 Date accessed: 23 August 2014.


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September 1673, 1–15

Sept. 1.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
150. Girolamo Alberti, Venetian Secretary in England, to the Doge and Senate.
On Friday I forwarded an account of the battle as distinctly as I could gather it from the lips of Lord Wan, who reported it to the king. Not being a seaman he was unable to give a sufficient description. Subsequently Prince Rupert's letters arrived informing the king in suitable phraseology, with which I will not weary your Serenity, that throughout the afternoon of the 10th August he had found it impossible to get the weather gauge of the Dutch. So on the Monday he fought them to leeward he and Ruiter being opposed to each other in their respective centres, Estrées to Bankert in the vans and Spragh to Tromp, who commanded the Dutch rear guard. His Highness writes that he vigorously withstood the full brunt of the enemy's fire. He praises all the captains of his squadron. Lamenting the loss of Spragh he says that the Prince being rendered unserviceable, Spragh left it to hoist his flag on the St. George as he did. The skiff had previously twice narrowly missed being sunk, by the fall of two of the Prince's masts within a yard of it. To defend his dismasted ship Spragh made a fierce attack on Tromp, who was cannonading it, both being disabled. But in passing from the St. George to the Royal Charles Spragh's skiff was struck by a cannon shot that passed through the St. George and he had no time to get back, although a very short distance away and he and his companions were drowned, the bodies being recovered when life was barely extinct. Only three other captains were killed and four other persons of some note were wounded. The only vessel lost was the yacht Henrietta which was struck by several cannon shot.
The prince writes with some heat of the French, that they detached themselves from him and abandoned him in order to get the weather gauge of Bankert, without fighting or coming to him, although summoned. The populace, which has always had a poor opinion of the bravery of the French at sea and even less confidence in their integrity, clamours and accuses them. But they defend themselves by various statements. They maintain that on Monday, after having got the weather gauge of the enemy, they did not think fit to lose it for the sake of following Prince Rupert on that day, when they expected to fight on the morrow. The prince is of opinion that disobedience is not justified by having got to windward of the Dutch and that in spite of this advantage the French did nothing against them.
This jealousy being too openly declared there is no longer room to hope for great results at sea. The king has written to the prince to assemble the fleet off the English coast where he will provide him with more definite instructions later on.
The Dutch Indiaman Papemburgh which was captured as reported, is estimated to 50,000l. although the French declare the value to be 100,000l. But the India Company will sell it without fraud and one third of the proceeds will be consigned to them. The captain of the prize states that he sailed with four others in company. The English fleet in the Indies gave chase to him and he supposes that it has captured the station of St. Helena. He does not bring any more certain news.
London, the 1st September, 1673.
[Italian.]
150a. Account of an engagement with the Dutch fleet on the 11th August.
[English, printed. Published by authority, by Thomas Newcomb in the Savoy.] (fn. 1)
Sept. 1.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
151. Girolamo Alberti, Venetian Secretary in England, to the Doge and Senate.
It is impossible to discover the secret resolves now forming, this feble government being exposed to constant changes. But the Court is in the utmost consternation owing to the ill success of the war. The king who, in spite of the country, has burdened himself with an unpopular alliance with France, dares not accuse her, to avoid laying the blame at his own door. He does not know how to defend her either, as even if the Most Christian's intentions could be fully justified, parliament would never judge otherwise than by the result. The whole weight therefore of the reverse or the mismanagement, falls on the French and all shower curses on Arlington for having been bribed to sell the interests of the king and country alike. Buckingham, Arlington's enemy, seizing the opportunity, said in the privy Council, supported by the treasurer, seconded by Lauderdale and nowise contradicted by the chancellor, that the only way for the king to regain credit with the country and reputation in the world was by declaring himself offended and deceived by France. He should accept the good terms offered by Holland and attach himself to Spain, not only seeking his own advantage, but obtaining money from parliament at his pleasure since there was not an Englishman in the country who would fail, after such a change, willingly to open his purse to him. The king does not give ear to these suggestions, though Buckingham and his faction persevere in them. In the mean time Arlington is negotiating closely with St. Albans to purchase his post as chamberlain and withdraw from the turmoil. (fn. 2)
Your Serenity will readily understand how much these projects interfere with the peace and Lord Arlington said to me that if it was not arranged in the course of September it would be of long digestion. The Senate will have heard that the Dutch now refuse the salute which they had offered to the English flag. As for the Spaniards I can assert that they rely so much on the forces of Germany and hold this government in such small account by reason of its disunion, that they consider England of very little importance.
The duke of York acts with great reserve at this crisis, without declaring himself in any way, to avoid compromising his interests further. He is awaiting with impatience the letters of Peterborough, who, it is reckoned, will have arrived at Modena on this very day.
London, the 1st September, 1673.
Italian; deciphered.]
Sept. 1.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
152. Girolamo Alberti, Venetian Secretary in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The ministers are so engrossed by the present turmoil that I can scarcely obtain a moment of audience from them, at which to give a true account of what took place at Zante. Three days ago I spoke to Arlington. Sticking to the written protest already handed to me, he urged the consignment of a reply in writing that he might read to the Council and convince the ministers of the real facts, as they had hitherto been impressed with the idea that the affront had been offered to the English frigate, the prize having been taken from her unjustly. Arlington is now convinced by my statement that the ship and cargo were really Venetian. But he resents the force employed by his Excellency Valier, to recover the prize, just as if the English captain had not been the first to use violence against a friendly vessel, besides showing scant respect for the republic's flag.
I discussed this same question with his Majesty, without compromising myself by an audience, to avoid giving greater importance to a matter which I hope to settle without further recrimination. I told the king that the affront had been offered to a Venetian ship in the face of the general who, passing over the unusual behaviour of the captain who saluted neither the fortress nor the Venetian flag, in the most civil manner possible and without any harmful consequences, exacted such reparation as his Majesty himself would have ordered, while inflicting punishment on the captain. The king replied that a different account had been given him, about which he had written to your Serenity. He was very sure that the Senate would not allow his frigates to be wronged and on his side he would cultivate the best correspondence; but I must leave a memorial of the facts with Arlington, to have them examined and discover the truth. The duke of York said practically the same thing and they all ask for a written memorial, which I will make when unable to do otherwise, lest further delay make them doubt the truth of my account.
In the mean time Arlington has written me the letter of which I enclose a translation. I shall tell him that I know nothing about the circumstances, having received no instructions from your Serenity. I imagine that the grist is supplied by the consul at Zante who, I have discovered, brought fire for this business and Mr. Doddington, who is returned from his secretaryship in the service of Lord Peterborough, did not fail to do his best to kindle it. I know that he suggested depriving Zante of the currant trade by crying up the currants of the Morea and making believe that over 50 per cent of duty is exacted. But I hinted that the English ministers were not so credulous as to give ear to his projects unless he could substantiate them and that it was more to the interest of England to maintain the navigation and dispose of her salt fish, rather than to raise difficulties about currants.
Consul Hayles, on the other hand, writes temperately about his affair. Arlington told me that he had reported the Senate as forbidding the exaction of consulage from Venetian subjects but allowing it to be levied on other nations. I retorted that I did not know what he might have written, but the innovation was extremely prejudicial to the port of Venice as it placed a new sort of tax upon merchandise at a moment when the public vigilance had dispensed with the old and usual duties for the sake of increasing the trade. In the mean time Arlington is convinced that your Serenity is justified in exempting your own subjects from the tax. If anything more is said on the subject I will insist on their not altering the customary charge of 30 ducats and that this mischievous innovation be not attempted.
London, the 1st September, 1673.
[Italian.]
Enclosure.153. The Earl of Arlington to the Resident of Venice. (fn. 3)
I had forgot in my last to acquaint you with another complaint then made to his Majesty in Council, that about six weeks before a small vessel belonging to his Majesty's subjects called the Amity, Captain Smith commander, being loading in the port of Zant, her boat was set upon by that of the customers and in the fray two of his subjects dangerously wounded and one killed dead in the place, and that the murderers, having taken refuge in the state's ships of war, no justice can be had against them. At which his Majesty being infinitely scandalised, not seeing how his subjects can promise themselves any safety in their persons or trade there where all ways are used to obstruct the ordinary course of justice and even in the case of assaults and murder, hath commanded me to let you know his high resentment thereat and that his Majesty expects speedy justice be executed on the persons who set upon the said boat and so wounded some and killed outright one of his subjects; which you will please to represent to the Senate accordingly for their immediate and effectual order therein.
Whitehall, the 11th August, 1673.
[Signed]: Arlington.
[English.]
Sept. 2.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni,
Corti.
Venetian
Archives.
154. To the Secretary Alberti in England.
We have received your letter No. 199. With regard to the incident at Zante commissions will have reached you already with the true account of the affair. We hope that you will have acquainted the king in audience with the facts of the case and that the Proveditore General da Mar was obliged to act as he did, with everything to justify him, and that his Majesty will have taken prompt steps to issue suitable orders to the end that English commanders shall observe that good correspondence towards our ships and ports which is called for by the friendship which is maintained with the British crown and in order that they may for the future avoid such pernicious insults which might give rise to the worst consequences. In the mean time we shall wait to hear what you have done in fulfilment of your instructions in this affair which is of moment and of no small consequence.
Ayes, 157. Noes, 4. Neutral, 2.
[Italian.]
Sept. 3.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
155. Francesco Michiel, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
By precise letters we have news that on the 22nd inst. or thereabouts the wind blew favourably for the Dutch armada, drawn up in the neighbourhood of the enemy fleets towards the Texel, after both sides had been waiting a long time for this advantage, and in the end the Dutch gave battle. According to the report this lasted from six to eight hours and was decided by a considerable victory for the latter. The English and French fleets resisted for some time, but at length, under the fire of the enemy guns, it is said that the French sought by flight to escape from injury. Prince Roberto also, whether compelled by his losses or defeated by the contrariety of the wind, made his dispositions for retreat. Sprach, who led the third wing, held his ground courageously and was the last to follow the example of the others, although he knew it was inevitable that he would add to the triumph of the enemy by continuing the fight. It is stated specifically that the losses of the two crowns amount to 32 ships One may indeed say three kingdoms because it is stated that eight powerful ships of Portuguese nationality were serving with the English, being sent for that purpose by a secret arrangement with the Infant there although up to the present his action has been kept religiously secret. The Dutch, on the other hand have come away with nothing less than the victory. They have lost their vice admiral and a certain number of captains, (fn. 4) but their ships have remained intact. The victory renders the power of that nation at sea practically invincible and leaves them in a blaze of glory upon the waters, in contrast to the feebleness and lack of resolution shown on shore.
Strasburg, the 3rd September, 1673.
[Italian.]
Sept. 6.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
156. Francesco Michiel, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
Letters from the fleet of the 28th ult. written at a distance often leagues from the Straits of England, state that they were sailing away in a withdrawal, and that they would by now have reached their destination if a contrary wind had not held them back. The officers greatly resented finding themselves obliged to retire without a fresh engagement with the Dutch and to be under the necessity of leaving them master of the field. The Dutch fleet had come back reinforced by eight great ships and 800 soldiers besides abundant provision of food and munitions of war, being forced by the trading company of Amsterdam to wait about in order to protect the fleet which they expected from the East Indies and they had misgivings, from reports that reached them, that the portion towards the island of St. Helena had fallen into the hands of the English, but as yet they had no certain confirmation of this.
The courier sent some days ago by the duke of Yorch to Lord Pitterborough, who was going to ask for the princess of Modena, has overtaken him on the way and has obliged him to come back here to await a final rupture of this marriage, which they say has been upset by the Spaniards, so that, in the event of it being no longer possible to arrange it, he may be able to apply himself to treating for some one else here in France. The agent of that duchess (fn. 5) has proceeded to the Court to represent to his Majesty the reasons she has for not agreeing to these nuptials, and he has orders, from what they say, to offer the other princess who may be considered too young and may not be considered satisfactory either on the score of fortune.
The Sieur Colbert excites the admiration of all by the application he shows to supply a sufficient provision of money for the royal forces. Not a month passes without his sending considerable sums. This establishes ever more firmly his reputation of being a great minister and secures for him the particular regard of the king who holds the fabric of so many affairs supported by him alone. His health has suffered and the other day he was subject to pain which kept him for the space of six hours on end in imminent danger of his life. However, the storm being passed he has got back to work and has found a fresh way of providing money, bringing back for sale all the sieves of the barbers' shops and such like things, forcing each present possessor to make the purchase, at an outlay of 1,800 of their francs. The amount realised will not be so small that it will not supply the public treasury with an appreciable sum.
Nancy, the 6th September, 1673.
[Italian.]
Sept. 8.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni,
Corti.
Venetian
Archives.
157. To the Secretary Alberti in England.
We have received your letters Nos. 100, 101. We note the representations made by you about the case of the Santa Giustina. As the Senate is not meeting to day we are advising you herewith that fresh information will be taken and further consideration of the matter and next week we will send you the necessary instructions.
No vote recorded.
[Italian.]
Sept. 8.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
158. Girolamo Alberti, Venetian Secretary in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The Court has received an express from Ireland with news of the arrival there of Capt. Monday with four men of war convoying eight Indians five belonging to the India Company and three to the Dutch. (fn. 6) The last were taken at St. Helena when the English fleet recovered that station. The value of the prizes is estimated at over 500,000l. In the mean time the satisfaction of the people over this news is diminished by the suspicion that Ruiter has detached a squadron of twenty ships from his fleet and is going to recapture the Dutchmen. But the Court is of a different opinion because letters have arrived from Amsterdam from the king's surgeon, who was accidentally captured in a yacht. (fn. 7) He writes that on the evening of the 22nd ult. Ruiter with 20 ships steered for the north, being very far from entering the Channel, by which the prizes will come in safety to London.
Prince Rupert has also returned to London where he received the congratulations of all the foreign ministers. He has brought the largest ships into the river to the buoy at the Nore. The lighter ones with the French will put to sea under the command of Capt. Harman. The duke of Monmouth also proposes to embark for a view of the sea and to lead a sailor's life for the rest of the campaign.
Unless the king's prudence finds some vent for the peccant humours generated by the present crisis, with the risk of some extravagant result, he will scarcely be able to apply a remedy when they have taken root. The money derived from the prizes, which some thought a miraculous aid, may prove of the worst possible digestion. The king may be encouraged thereby to make war for another year without need of the parliament, and, what is worse, with small hope of improving the peace now offered him. He would thus expose himself not only to the strange chances of war, but also expend what he might reserve for his own necessities, becoming more than ever a butt to the virulence of parliament, which is at a loss to understand the reasons for the French alliance and does not by any means approve of it.
In spite of this the Ambassador Colbert was called to a consultation in Arlington's rooms to dissipate the suspicions caused by the late sea fight. These have been partly cleared up and partly lulled at the instigation of the king and solicitation of Arlington, contrary to the opinion of Buckingham and without any declaration from York, who attended the conference expressly, having been called by the king from his field sports in the country. Buckingham, not content with what he said at the conference, sent to tell the king that he would never attend it again. He declares that it is hateful for him to act in concert with Arlington and to help others in ruining the country, as he is opposed to this most pernicious alliance with France.
This resolute protest which causes consternation to the French partisans by reason of the account which they will be called upon to give to parliament, wounds the king to the quick as he foresees that these bickerings between his ministers will subject him to endless embarrassments in the next session. Great excitement prevails as to what the king will do, as on a former occasion he sent the duke of Buckingham to the Tower.
Meanwhile orders have been sent to the plenipotentiaries at Cologne to persist, as it is foreseen that the negotiations will be pursued pertinaciously.

London, the 8th September, 1673.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Sept. 8.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
159. Francesco Michiel, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
An account of the congress at Cologne reports that the English ambassadors have insisted strongly against the plenipotentiaries of Holland to get them to make public their proposals for an agreement, protesting that they will break up the meeting, if this is refused. The Dutch have replied to this by offering to England as the price of peace, some advantageous post in the East Indies and the settlement of some new arrangement about the trade of those parts, for the profit of the nation.
Nancy, the 8th September, 1673.
[Italian.]
Sept. 9.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Roma.
Venetian
Archives.
160. Piero Mocenigo, Venetian Ambassador at Rome, to the Doge and Senate.
A report is current here that in England they are fixing their Roma. eyes on a princess of Modena for marriage with the duke of Yorch since the negotiations set on foot in France have ended in nothing. If there is any truth in this report your Excellencies will have received authentic information. I can only say how truly gratified Cardinal Barberino would be about it, with his connections and interests in that House, in the hope that the realisation of such a marriage would help towards the obtaining of the cardinal's hat for Prince Rinaldo, his nephew. (fn. 8) However the duke of Etré has not said a word about this to me.
Rome, the 9th September, 1673.
[Italian.]
Sept. 9.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni,
Corti.
Venetian
Archives.
161. To the Resident at Milan.
You showed a proper alertness about the affairs of Genoa. With regard to the particular correspondence that passes between the British ambassador and Mendoza we are sure that anything of consequence that crops up will be imparted to us by you with suitable promptitude.
In reply to your letters of the 30th ult. in which you ask leave to come to Venice for your private affairs, the Senate sympathises with your desire and would be glad to gratify it, but the public service does not permit you to leave your post before the arrival of the one who is to take your place. However we will see that you receive this relief as soon as possible, in order that your mind may be at rest.
Ayes, 107. Noes, 4. Neutral, 2.
[Italian.]
Sept. 10.
Collegio
Secreta
Esposizioni
Principi.
Venetian
Archives.
162. Memorial presented by the consul of England.
A clear account has been sent to my king by the consul of Zante and the captain of the ship of war that made prize of the ship Santa Giustina in the waters of those islands of what was done in that affair. Also that how, a few weeks before in the port of Zante, when the English ship Amity was lading currants with its small boat, according to the usual practice, though unarmed, it was attacked by the officers of the Customs for a trifling cause, when two sailors were seriously wounded and one slain. As the guilty parties took refuge on the ships of war of your Serenity, no act of justice has been done upon them, although warmly solicited in the name of his Britannic Majesty. In view of the firm and ancient friendship that has always existed for so many ages between the crown of England and this Signory, and especially of the steady friendship of his present Majesty, it has seemed strange to him to hear of such disorders with such evil consequences and accordingly he has expressly commanded me to acquaint your Serenity at once with his just resentment, which he has expressed to some extent on the first head to the minister resident at that Court, and he will take the earliest opportunity to confirm it more amply by royal letters directed to your Serenity.
[Italian.]
Sept. 11.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
163. Francesco Michiel, Venetian Ambassador in France, the Doge and Senate.
If the Dutch won all the glory from the enemy nations in the recent action, as is commonly believed by most impartial persons, the English have carried off the advantage by the capture these last days of five ships of Holland, coming from the Indies, (fn. 9) full of merchandise. The cargo they carried is of such great value that three millions have already been offered to the king as the price of this victory. The fact is of importance in itself, but also from the circumstances since it reimburses that sovereign for the expenses he has incurred on the last campaign and infuses courage into the nation with the hope of continuing the war against the United Provinces with profit.
On the other hand the States feel the prejudice. With the previous loss of another vessel to the English with a cargo of 50,000l. sterling (fn. 10) they cannot help feeling the serious injury, both on public and on private grounds, with the fear that the nation may discountenance the continuation of the war or may refuse, after such heavy losses, to supply the needs of the state. Some believe that after such an unfortunate event they may adopt a more peaceful policy and that they will find it difficult to make up their minds to reinforce the action of the House of Austria against this crown. But these sentiments are personal and founded more upon the eagerness with which every one promptly forms his opinion about the things that are happening than upon well authenticated information which would afford an indication of any change in the policy of that government.
Nancy, the 11th September, 1673.
[Italian.]
Sept. 11.
Senato,
Secreta.
Francia.
Dispacci,
Venetian
Archives.
164. Francesco Michiel, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
The marriage announced of the duke of Hyorch has been broken off because the duchess there states that the daughter whom they wanted in England cherishes the intention to consecrate herself to God and to become a nun; but that if that prince would like to have the aunt (fn. 11) instead, that lady is ready to accept the proposal and to set out on her journey to perform the marriage.
I do not know with what sentiments the king has received this news. To-morrow they are sending back the courier with the royal replies and I am seizing the opportunity to direct these presents to Turin and to pay my devoted respects to your Excellencies.
The motives which have induced the duchess to come to this decision are not easy to understand (fn. 12) except the conjecture that she did not think it right to expose her youthful daughter to a union with a prince of mature age; a union which, in the order of nature, would not be likely to last long. There is also another consideration, that the duke of Hyorch is not now in perfect robust health and that his wife by her death had caused it to be known that there were some disorders present in him (che la moglie sua con la di lei morte habbi fatto conoscere ch'in egli si ritrovi qualche intemperie). Moreover that princess has learned a lesson not to expose her daughter to a supposed danger, in view of the death of her sister the princess of Conti, who passed away a year ago at an early age because of serious disorders which she contracted by means of marriage. (fn. 13)
Nancy, the 11th September, 1673.
[Italian.]
Sept. 13.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
165. Francesco Michiel, Venetian Ambassador in France to the Doge and Senate.
Yesterday a courier arrived from Modena brought the news of the establishment of the marriage of the young princess there to the duke of Hyorch. Poderbero, the British ambassador, and the marquis of Angio, the envoy of this Court, have had the power to persuade the mother and the daughter to a partie so advantageous. It is added that they will proceed to London together with the young duke to see the nuptials established there. I take the opportunity with the sending back of this courier to forward this despatch of mine to your Serenity and I shall await instructions with impatience.
Nancy, the 13th September, 1673.
[Italian.]
Sept. 13.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Milano.
Venetian
Archives.
166. Paolo Sarotti, Venetian Resident at Milan, to the Doge and Senate.
Reports an audience of his Excellency the governor. (fn. 14) He went on to talk about current affairs in Europe. I had told him what he did not know, to wit that Lord Peterboro had gone from Turin and after him the marquis of Angio, sent by the king of France to add warmth to the negotiations of his Britannic Majesty, both of them going by the Po. I have succeeded in discovering that on the side of Modena there is scant inclination for the marriage. That there was lack of direction at the Court there and consequently of firmness in their decisions. The interest of money will prevail over that of decorum. The advantage which accrues from the latter will be neglected so that they need not put their hands in their pockets. The first and most specious consideration is that of economy. In this connection the duke remarked to me it was no wonder since everything was in the hands of a woman and a Jesuit father. This business was a contrivance of France to recapture the House of Modena, to get free control of it and to bring up the young duke there. In Spain they neglected many things, and this among others, which was very considerable. He did not wish to intermeddle in the matter because he had no instructions and he knew that they were fully informed in Spain about it all. But things happened at that Court which passed his comprehension. It was not proper for him to tell me more, although he believed that I was informed about it.
Milan, the 13th September, 1673.
[Italian.]
Sept. 14.
Collegio
Secreta.
Esposizioni
Principi.
Venetian
Archives.
167. Memorial presented by the consul of England.
In obedience to the commands of the king, my master, I earnestly request a reply to his letter, attached, directed to your Serinity and that it may be definite, without delay as a speedy decision in this matter is of great consequence.
[Italian.]
filza.168. Carolus II D.G. Mag. Brit, etc. Rex etc, Ser. Principi Dom. Dominico Contareno Venetiarum Duci etc. salutem:
Quanquam aegri nolentesque quoddammodo ad querelas descendamus, temperare tamen non possumus quin injuriam duplicem alteram navi nostrae bellica, altera mercatoria illatam, utramque non iterum ferendam, alta voce conqueramur, navi nostrae bellicae (cui Jersea nomen) Ricardus Vuelsh capitaneus, cum propi insulam Zanthum Junii nona jam proxime elapsi appulisset naves secum quinque mercatorias a Smyrna ducens, novemque quandam intra jactum ipsius tormentorum accessisse cerneret, tum nec propendente vexillo, nec signo quovis qua aut cujus esset dato nunc huc nunc illuc incertam ferro, inimicamque esse ex eo suspicatus, narrantibusque simul qui ex littore advenerant Hollandicam esse, fugientem demum persequitur, assecutusque jam proprius, cum nec obtinere potuisset ut summum velum submitterent, post horarum octo fugam eam adortus capit, captamque secum eum in portum abduxit. Id cum intellixisset Andreas Valier, navium vestrarum bellicarum multiremium capitaneus generalis, dictam navem, S. Julianam (uti jam compererat) appellatam, reddi sibi postulat pretextu Venetam esse; cumque id si facturum denegaret capitaneus noster, argumentis iis rationibusque variis innixus quae justam omnino suspicionis causam, praebuisseit, navem vere Hollandicam esse, quippe magistrum officiariosque caeteras nautasque magna ex parte Batavos esse, navem ipsam multis retroannis sub vexillo Hollandico comerciis iis in partibus assuetam consulis ibidem Hollandici juribus postulatisque semper subjectam, vexillaque Hollandica in ea jam reperta, aliaque id genus quamplurima; non veterius differendum ratus generalis ille vester superius memoratus, aut sermones cum capitaneo nostro (uti par erat) ea de re miscendos navium nostrarum mercatoriarum praefectos omnes sequestro imprimis damnare, dein instructa classe sua universa navibus viginiti majoribus minoribusque duabus constante, navem ipsam vi demum aperta occupare ac abducere additis insuper nimis, si aut ipse capitaneus aut alius quicunque hac auso se opponeret eum non tantum navem nostram bellicam funditus daturum verum et detenturum secumque alias abducturum naves simul omnes nostrorum mercatorias.
Transimus jam ad naviculam quandam mercatoriam Amicitiam dictam (simili capitaneo qua nuper eodem in portu ad onus accipiendus in auctiores stante, cymbam ipsius invasere teloneorum inspectores, eque subditis nostris duos non sine magno vitae periculo vulnerarunt unumque penitus interfecere in naves tamen vestras bellicas recepti prosimus interclusaque adeo justitiae methodo secure tamquam in asylo agunt, frustraque in homicidas postulatur judicium. Quae quo espressius vobis significare possint cum Residenti apud nos vestre sigillatim deducenda dudum curaverimus cumque istiusmodi sint, ut nisi authoritate manifesta apertaque justitia nobis quamprimum de iis satisfiat ad jus, honoremque nostrum vendicandum ad subditorum nostrorum personas in commerciis suis tuendas, protegendasque justitiamque de injuriis et vi dudum illatis reposcendam consilia alia pro rerum enormitate quantovi jus ineunda censeamus consideratis, obsecramur auribus nostris acriter intonari arma vestra in naves nostras, conversa, generalis ipsius vestri hostiles insultus, duriora adhuc opprobria, fusique demum subditorum nostrotum sanguinis clamorem; serioque perpensis rerum tantarum momentis, effictatis retinus (quod et affecturos vos pro amicitia nostra pristina confidimus et expectamus) ut generalis illi vester facinus hoc audacissimum pro meriti luat, ut navis illa Hollandica aut ipsius valor nobis pleni integreque restituatur, sumaturque de iis qui cymbam nostrorum aggressi sunt, quae debetur aggressoribus ac homicidis poena, quo fixa immotaque moneat amicitia ilia quam ex parte nostra religiose hactenus continuatam arctioribus adhuc vinculis constrictam capimus. Adeoque vos rempublicam que vestram Dei Opt. Max. tutamini comendamus.
Dabantur e palatio nostro Westmonasteriensi 18 die Augusti, 1673.
Signed: Carolus R.
countersigned: Arlington.
Sept. 15.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni,
Corti.
Venetian
Archives.
169. To the Proveditore General da Mar.
Immediately your notification of the 21 June last reached us about the proceedings of the English commander against the ship Sante Giustina, we sent full particulars to our Secretary Alberti in London in order that he might represent the incident to the king and ministers and cause them to see the impropriety of the action and your wise behaviour. But the prejudiced and utterly opposite account of the commander himself reached his Majesty more speedily. Upon these he has made complaint to the secretary and has sent a letter for the republic to the consul who has presented it together with two papers. We send you copies of all these for your information as well as of the answer which we are sending to the king himself and of our fresh instructions to the secretary. Although we feel confident that when his Majesty will have by now received the true intelligence and heard the rights of the case it will remove the impression created upon his royal mind, in any case we have thought it necessary that you should be informed of the state in which the matter stands at present, in order to take suitable precautions.
In the other matter involving the wounding and death of sailors of the ship Amicittia we have no information whatever. You must take vigorous steps for a thorough inquiry in order to throw light upon the real facts. If these prove to be such as they are represented, you will proceed to punish the culprits severely in accordance with the nature of their crime and with the satisfaction which we always desire to afford to that nation. We are certain that on every occasion you will give them the most courteous treatment. We rejoiced therefore to hear in the letter of the Proveditore of Zante that you have treated the ships which last arrived in that port with friendly courtesy.
Ayes, 171. Noes, 3. Neutral, 9.
[Italian.]
Sept. 15.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni,
Corti.
Venetian
Archives.
170. To the Secretary Alberti in England.
We have received your letters of the 18th August. You did well in asking Lord Arlington and the duke of York to suspend judgment in the case of the Santa Giustina. We take great consolation in hearing the just confidence you feel that you will be able to calm their spirits in the certainty that the facts were not such as they were represented. We shall wait anxiously to hear if you have had occasion to speak with Arlington and the king and that, with the first impression removed, they are satisfied of the truth about the matter and of the correct procedure of our Proveditore General Valier as well as of the impropriety of the attempt of the English commander.
In the mean time, on the 8th, the Consul Hayles presented a paper in the Collegio, and yesterday he presented another with a letter from the king. We enclose copies of these. You will note the definiteness and the vigour with which his Majesty retails to us the sinister account of the interested parties and the truthful and sincere reply which we make to it. Thus while we leave the question to your offices you should, in presenting the ducal letter at a special audience, bear witness to the high esteem of our republic for his royal insignia and for a nation so particularly beloved and you will be guided in what you say by the sentiments we have expressed.
In addition to the arguments already supplied and which you will repeat at the audience, you will note the enclosed sworn depositions of many leading merchants of divers nations concerning the ship Santa Giustina. That ship had paid all the dues and never recognised any consul but the Venetian. (fn. 15) We feel sure that you will make all these representations with suitable energy and we shall await your report eagerly in the hope that the true facts will be well received and that proper orders will be sent to the English commanders to practice towards our ports and ships those forms that our true and sincere friendship merits. But if the offices which you have previously performed have succeeded in convincing the king, you will behave at the further audience in accordance with the existing state of affairs.
With regard to the other matter of the Amicitia, we are writing to the Proveditore General da Mar in the form which you will see expressed in our reply to the king and you will be able to testify to the object which we always have in view to give every possible satisfaction to the nation.
Ayes, 171. Noes, 3. Neutral, 9.
[Italian.]
Sept. 15.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni,
Corti.
Venetian
Archives.
171. The Doge to the King of Great Britain. (fn. 16)
From the consul Ailes we have received your Majesty's letter of the 18th August last. From these the Senate observes with regret how widely the information conveyed to your Majesty by the interested parties differs from the truth about the incident at Zante with the ship Santa Giustina. We also regret deeply that the truthful accounts sent by us to our Resident Alberti so soon as they reached us, have not reached you in time to keep your royal mind at rest. In any case, from a knowledge of your strict justice, we are sure that these will have since prevailed over any other different relation. The esteem which has always been shown by our republic to your Majesty's flag and the strong affection in all circumstances for the nation ought to prove sufficient means to remove every doubt that there has been any attempt to inflict injury, but only a justifiable action to prevent a Venetian ship, chartered by a citizen and another subject being left as a prize in a port of the republic under the eye of her own flag. In order to recover it our Proveditore General observed all the forms of good correspondence. The orders which the republic transmits to its representatives are always in conformity with the sincere intention and the peculiar observance which it professes for your Maj. For the rest we refer you to what has already been represented to you by the same Alberti and to what he will say further in handing over these presents. He has all the information and evidence collected upon true foundations and we ask you to give him full credence.
The other particular about the ship Amicitia is new to us, but causes us the utmost regret. We are therefore issuing appropriate orders this evening that when the offence is liquidated rigorous justice shall be done against the offenders, with due punishment for the same and corresponding satisfaction for the nation, which it has always been our object to treat with the most desirable forms of courtesy. We wish your Majesty length of years and constant good fortune.
Ayes, 171. Noes, 3. Neutral, 9.
[Italian.]
Sept. 13.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
172. Girolamo Alberti, Venetian Secretary in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The king is greatly perplexed since, according to the last news received, Ruiter is at sea with his whole fleet, indeed some say that the he has shown himself off the isle of Wight. By this he not only shows the world how little damage he received in the last battle, but is in a position to take unopposed the nine English Indiamen, the three Dutch prizes, the Guinea ships and forty others on their homeward voyage from America, all of which are assembled at Kinsale in Ireland to sail in company for London. It is said and desired that the fleet should put to sea in two days, but the first rates are unable to do so and the smaller ones dare not, being unequal to the contest; so everything is more doubtful than ever. The fact is that the king lives from day to day, and being penniless could only victual the fleet for a few days, so that it was compelled to return to port for provisions and they have neither the means nor the method for collecting supplies and sending it back to sea. This is the secret of English weakness and none of the ministers seeks to remedy it. The king's service is the last thing they think about, their own coming, first. Buckingham stays in the country hunting, having come out on the popular side; but as he is very fickle in his opinions his party is no longer so numerous as before. He does not alarm Arlington greatly, though, to be on the safe side he has purchased the post of lord chamberlain of Lord St. Albans for 10,000l., 4000l. for which are paid by Williamson, now plenipotentiary at Cologne, as the price of his succession to the secretaryship of state.
Arlington will not retire until the course of this war is settled and I do not as yet see any hopes of peace, as they have not chosen to purchase it. Every one knows that England has gained nothing in the present campaign. Those who flatter themselves with hopes of profit in the next advocate the war, as if they could look for better means of waging it. All those who counsel it are of the French party, because they are afraid the king may accept the Dutch proposals. Thus weeks and months pass without England coming to any decision.
The troops who were encamped at Yarmouth have gone into quarters, and Count Chiomberg has come to London. He is not one of the least dangerous enemies whom Prince Rupert has made for himself in the course of this expedition. Chiomberg also complains of the king for thus sacrificing his servants and expresses his offence and disgust.
Letters from Peterborough in Italy are awaited with impatience, in order to know the result of his negotiation. I have this week received the ducali of the 11th and 17th August.
London, the 15th September, 1673.
[Italian; deciphered.]
Sept. 15.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
173. Girolamo Alberti, Venetian Secretary in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The whole Court being impressed with the idea that an affront had been offered to the English flag in the incident at Zante, I thought it my duty to give Arlington a written statement of the facts, which I enclose, without committing myself to a memorial in the name of the republic for which he had asked … I also told him that at the end I had merely dropped a hint but he himself knew what punishment the captain deserved for having omitted the salute while bringing charges against the Venetian commander of intending to interrupt the good understanding between the two governments. Arlington answered that my statement was very different from that of the captain. He would read it to the king in Council. His Majesty certainly desired to pay the usual compliments, especially to all the representatives of your Serenity. Later on I saw Sir [Thomas] Higgons, who is quite convinced of the justice of the recapture. I found him moderate in his opinions as usual and anxious for the best possible understanding, which he will seek to maintain on his arrival at Venice. He is on the point of taking leave as he means to start in a fortnight, being followed by his wife in the spring. His character differs from that of Mr. Doddington, as he seems to detest upsets and to believe that it becomes a gentleman to encourage friendly intercourse. He confided to me his disapproval of Doddington's project to obtain currants from the Morea.
In the ducali of the 25th August I learn of Consul Hayles' petition on behalf of Capt. Coder of the ship Africana. If Doddington hears of it he will clamour for the appointment of vice consuls, whom your Senenity does not countenance.
London, the 15th September, 1673.
[Italian.]
Sept. 15.
Inquisitori
di Stato
Busta 442.
Venetian
Archives.
174. Girolamo Alberti, Venetian Secretary in England, to the Inquisitors of State.
In my zeal to serve the republic I have paid special attention to trade and have sent several notices to the Senate thereon. I now report what is happening to the glass trade which I have sought to bring back to Murano, when all but ruined. It steadily grows worse and there is little hope unless your Excellencies effect its revival.
An extravagant duty on Venetian glass and a most irregular one on the mirrors of Venice burden them so heavily that they can scarcely be sold in London at the price of those of far inferior quality made here or imported from France, Flanders and Holland. I hoped to persuade the farmer of the duties to reduce them, as the influx of Venetian glass would supersede that of other countries which yield him little or nothing. But he will not take upon himself to make this change for fear of diminishing the usual annual revenue.
An experiment made by me these last two months has been more successful. I have encouraged a London merchant to undertake the payment of the duty on the strength of his importing twice or thrice as much Venetian glass as is at present brought to England, and increasing its price in the proportion of one third or one half at the most of the duty, so as to obtain his revenue. Thus with a duty of only 10 per cent instead of 25 or 30, as at present, he will be in a better position to undersell the others and eventually to make great profits. He has only one misgiving, caused by two new furnaces lately opened for very fine large crystal, which will hinder his sales. He asks me constantly what guarantee can be given against his being made to pay a higher price for glass than is now current at Venice. To satisfy him upon this point I caused some proposals to be made at Venice, but there is no way of binding both parties in a satisfactory manner and I believe that at the present day there are no furnaces with sufficient capital to undertake to provide the very considerable, not to say immense supply which this person requires for his consumption.
The last difficulty for him to overcome, and in the event of success he would waive the others, is that of suppressing the manufacture of English mirrors in the house of the duke of Buckingham. He was in treaty for the purchase of these before I gave him a taste for this other source of profit. Buckingham asks 4000l. and the furnace, under good management, yields that amount annually. But from me the merchant demands only a subsidy of 500l. and takes upon himself the payment of 2000l. for the customs. He will start the business and on his own account send for and receive as much glass and as many mirrors as are sent to him, to suffice for the entire consumption, in place of what is manufactured by five glass houses, apart from that of Buckingham's mirrors and instead of all the others which come from beyond sea.
It is certainly a very intricate business and the 500l. is a mere trifle when compared with the first cost and the risk. But I merely give him fair words, not knowing how far the trade at Venice will choose, at the very beginning, to make the outlay, although the advantage will be mutual. I do not see as yet, either, how the capital can be formed with great secrecy so as not to alarm the English glass men. If they are unable to oppose the merchant's scheme they are sure to make a noise, declaring that money is being made at Venice to suppress the manufacture of glass in England. I venture to suggest that means be found to raise the sum or to divide it, securing its payment in three annual instalments, so that the Venetian glass trade may receive relief in proportion to its need. In that case I should consider the affair settled and I have no doubt that in a very few years the Murano glass trade would revive.
I lay the whole before your Excellencies for such commissions as you may be pleased to give me. I do not ask them directly of the Senate to avoid giving publicity to a matter which might suffer if divulged before its time. The zeal which made me work so hard for this affair encourages me to acquaint your Excellencies with a project which, if organized in time for the next post shall be announced with all possible details for such decision as may be deemed expedient. If successful it will earn me the approval of the state.
London, the 15th September, 1673.
[Italian.]
Sept. 15.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
175. Francesco Michiel, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
The Spaniards are always living in hope of seeing England ready to change her policy and because of the advantages which she might derive thereby, detaching herself from the alliance with this crown and establishing a peace settlement with the States. It might also come from the stimulation of the differences which usually arise between the captains of different nations, although the servants of allied princes. For this reason the Spaniards make known that the recent engagement has caused differences and punctilios between the captains of the friendly fleets who lay upon each other mutually the blame for missing victory. They announce in this connection that corresponding manifestoes will very shortly appear on behalf of Prince Roberto and the count of Etré in defence of their actions. Furthermore that Martel, one of those commanders who was made responsible more than any one else for the cause of the disorder, is about to issue a paper with his justification. (fn. 17)
From the meeting of parliament, which should in reason take place in a few weeks' time they also look for some advantage, on the supposition that the intentions of that body will not be in harmony with those of the king; but your Excellencies will be able to form a better judgment about this from the information which you will receive from the spot.
With regard to the marriage of Modena with the duke of Hiorch, replies have not yet arrived to the letters sent by the king with the offer of the aunt in exchange for the niece. But this partie will undoubtedly be declined by that prince who wants a wife who is young and beautiful.
There is in Paris a daughter of the prince of Wirtemberg of the age of some twenty years, of superior understanding and with personal attractions no whit inferior. (fn. 18) She has already been seen by some English with this in view, so in the end it is believed that she will be the one to perform these long drawn out nuptials. England would have already inclined that way always provided that this crown had not suggested to him the partie of Modena. This happened for the following reason, from what I gather:
Two years ago at the time when the duke of Orleans found himself a widower, the Cardinal of Esté gave a hint to the Cardinal of Etré that there was in his house the young princess who is now in question. He said that in the event of some matrimonial opening presenting itself to the king there was his House which had always shown itself so devoted, in occasions of war and peace in following the advice of his Majesty here, and which looked for his protection. When this occasion arose the king assumed without any further participation at the time, that he could dispose the choice of that princess, thinking from outward appearances that such an opportunity would not be displeasing either to the mother or the daughter because she would have the chance of expecting the fortune of a crown of so high a rank as that of England. Accordingly the king has not received with good humour the repulse that has been given him from that quarter. It would seem that he suspects that the duchess has some other plan and that the Catholic queen has prepared some design.
Nancy, the 15th September, 1673.
[Italian.]

Footnotes

1 This is not in the file of despatches at the Frari but bound up with Alberti's letter book in the Library of St. Mark. Classe VII, Cod. 1672. There is a copy in the, S. P. Dom. See the Calendar, 1673, page 498.
2 This throws some light on a letter of Sir B. Carr to Williamson of 3 October. Cal. S. P. Dom. 1673, page 565.
3 The original letter is bound up with Alberti's letter book in the Library of St. Mark. There is an Italian translation in the file of despatches at the Frari. The information is based upon a letter of Sir Clement Harby, consul at Zante, which had been before the Council. Cal. S. P. Dom. 1673, page 470.
4 Vice-admiral Schram, Rear-admiral Vlug and Captains Jacques van Bergen and de Boer. Le Clerc: Hist. des Provinces Unis, Vol. III, pp. 340–1.
5 Gaspar Rizzini. Bittner: Repertorium der Diplomatischen Vertreter, Vol. I, page 330.
6 Capt. Richard Munday, in the Assistance with the squadron that captured St. Helena. He arrived at Kinsale on 14 August, o.s. The E. India ships were the Castle Berkley, John. Loyal Subject, Barnardiston and Rebecca. The Dutch prizes the Oliphant, Europa and Wappen van Kamveer. Aitzema cont. Bos. Historien onses Tyds, page 660. Cal. S.P. Dom. 1673, pages 495, 505.
7 Probably the Katherine, captured by two Dutch men of war after a long chase, and taken to the Helder. London Gazette, 25–28 August, 1673.
8 Prince Rinaldo was son of Francesco I of Este, duke of Modena by his third wife, Lucretia Barberino, who was a sister of Carlo Barberino, the Cardinal.
9 No doubt referring to the three mentioned in Alberti's despatch of the 8th.
10 The Papenburgh. See page 96 above.
11 Princess Leonora of Este, daughter of Francis I, duke of Modena and aunt of the reigning duke Francis II.
12 Colbert says it was due to the desire of the duchess to marry her daughter to the king of Spain. Colbert to the king, 29 August, P.R.O. Paris Transcripts.
13 She was Anne Marie younger daughter of Girolamo Martinozzi, a Roman gentleman, by his wife Margaret Mazarini, eldest sister of Cardinal Giulio Mazarini. She died at Paris on 4 February, 1672, at the age of 35. Her husband Armand de Bourbon, prince of Conti had died on 21 Feb., 1666. Pere Anselme: Hist. Genealogique de la Maison Royale de France, Vol. I, pages 345–6.
14 Gaspar Tellez, duke of Osuna.
15 In a letter to Arlington the Consul Hailes explains that the Santa Giustina belonged to one William van Eyck, an Antwerpian who had lived over 25 years at Venice and that after 12 years' residence, any stranger enjoys the privileges of a citizen in the customs. S. P. Venice, Vol. LII, fol. 126.
16 The original letter is in the Public Record Office, Royal Letters, Vol. LXVI, under the date.
17 According to Salvetti, Rupert was so disgusted with the behaviour of the French in the battle that he spoke of it publicly and even declared that he would rather lay down his commission as admiral than fight or risk the English fleet in the company of the Count of Estrées. He also says that Martel submitted to the court of inquiry about this battle an account containing serious charges against his chief. Brit. Mus. Add. MSS., 27962 V, folios 155, 156. Martel's account of the French squadron in a letter to Rupert of the 5th September is printed in Cal. S.P.Dom. 1673, pages 529–31.
18 Maria Anna, daughter of Ulrich the fourth son of John Frederick, duke of Wurtemburg, founder of the Stuttgart line. She was born 27 Dec, 1652. Her mother, Isabel of Aremberg was Ulrich's second wife. There is a letter to her from Louis XIV of 5th September, promising his interest in forwarding the match with England. S. P. France, Vol. CXXXVII.