Venice
September 1673, 16-30

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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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118-126

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'Venice: September 1673, 16-30', Calendar of State Papers Relating to English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 38: 1673-1675 (1947), pp. 118-126. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=90363 Date accessed: 01 August 2014.


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September 1673, 16–30

Sept. 16.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni,
Corti.
Venetian
Archives.
176. To the Secretary Alberti in England.
In addition to what was sent to you about the Santa Giustina we are enclosing with these present sent by way of France, the inventory or manifest, in public form of the cargo brought by that ship, from which it appears that the whole of it was directed to Venetian subjects, some of whom, especially Morelli, trading in England, as is known. This will serve to add emphasis to our arguments and supply you with more material for your representations in the forms which have been prescribed to you to be made with your experience and prudence.
Ayes, 130. Noes, 0. Neutral, 1.
[Italian.]
Sept. 16.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Roma.
Venetian
Archives.
177. Piero Mocenigo, Venetian Ambassador at Rome, to the Doge and Senate.
In consequence of the advices at this Court the Cardinal Barberino has sent one of his intimates to Modena to persuade the duchess to establish with all speed the marriage of her daughter with the duke of Jorch, in the fear that the Spaniards may trouble the negotiations seeing that they have been set in motion by the French.
Rome, the 16th September, 1673.
[Italian.]
Sept. 16.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Firenze.
Venetian
Archives.
178. Giovanni Giacomo Corniani, Venetian Resident at Florence, to the Doge and Senate.
With regard to the marriage between the duke of Yorch and the princess of Modena I am assured that there has passed this way with extraordinary diligence and with great secrecy a brother or close relation of the marquis of Angiou, (fn. 1) for Rome. Some say it is to make some interposition there to induce Modena to decide against the opinion of the Jesuit father Arimberti who flatters himself vainly that this princess might become queen of Spain. Others say that it is to procure what may be required, as if the matter were settled. Because although by common report the duke of Yorch, by declarations already made, is a Catholic, yet as he has not made up his mind to make public profession of it, and as the considerations of the kingdom may militate in favour of keeping up appearances more with one than Math another, he would be considered as a non Catholic and in consequence some pontifical dispensation would be necessary, and they say that the journey of this person is on that account.
I hear it said, however, that since the first repulse from Modena, the Most Christian has committed himself so deeply in this business, he has given instructions to the marquis that if the hopes of Modena fall through he is to forward negotiations with Parma, where there is a princess of the House, who, being somewhat mature, may be considered a more suitable match for that prince. (fn. 2) But as the reigning House here has such close ties of connection with that of Parma one hears it said that if any such project were mooted they would be strongly moved to give it their attention, as it would be suspected that if it got through to Modena that there was a leaning that way, they might be led by this motive to change their minds, notwithstanding the close relationship between the two Houses, and in this way the princess of Parma would reap nothing but loss, after having entered upon the dance, owing to lack of confidence in the issue.
Florence, the 16th September, 1673.
[Italian.]
Sept. 20.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Milano.
Venetian
Archives.
179. Paolo Sarotti, Venetian Resident at Milan, to the Doge and Senate.
We hear from Modena that the marquis of Angio urged the marriage we know of with so much warmth, in the name of his king that the ambassador of England found his negotiations greatly facilitated. The fact that the marquis, on his passage to Mantua, gave out that he was going on a purely complimentary mission, gives rise to the suspicion that he is promoting some fresh move at that Court as well, in favour of his king. Here they do not know what they can do to penetrate with any assurance into what is passing at that Court, because the duke of Ossuna has no confidential correspondence there.
Milan, the 20th September, 1673.
[Italian.]
Sept. 20.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
180. Ascanio Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
The last letters from London, dated the 14th, bring them consolation here. They bring word that after the principal commanders of the royal forces had disputed over the occasion of offence and that both sides had presented their case to his Britannic Majesty, he had declared in favour of Estre and that in the decision to send the fleets to sea again he had decided to send the duke of Momuth on board, now that he has returned from the capture of Mastrich. That the fleet is entrusted to the experience of Captain Arman, conferring the command of admiral on the earl of Osseri. (fn. 3) This brings into greater relief that Prince Roberto has not come off with entire approval, as he remains in London without employment.
The decision taken by that monarch to oblige Sciombergh to come back again with the troops which were encamped at Yarmuth, having distributed the quarters for that purpose, serves to prove that the assembling of these was rather for the purpose of upholding the interests of the crown at the meeting of the Houses than intended for other enterprises, a thing to which attention is drawn in some of the advices which arrive from those parts.
Paris, the 20th September, 1673.
[Italian.]
Sept. 22.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni,
Corti.
Venetian
Archives.
181. To the Secretary Alberti in England.
The Senate acknowledges receipt of his despatch of the 1st inst and of the duplicate of the missing one. They commend his diligence in sending the report of the battle. Everything is of consequence because of the resolutions which may possibly be seen. They feel sure that he will give his close attention to every particular and they promise themselves a stream of advices upon anything fresh that crops up. They assure him of their appreciation of his merits as well as the discomforts and the journeys which he has to undertake, with frequent expenditure, all for the purpose of supplying them with authentic information upon current affairs. He may feel assured they will take all these matters into consideration as is his due.
They commend his prudent action about the Santa Giustina. They feel confident that the king will be convinced of the true facts of the case. It will be a merit in him to take every opportunity of impressing them with the sincere affection with which the nation is always regarded, and in the incident itself, when it is liquidated, the effects of justice will assuredly be carried out. In the mean time if he seizes every chance of discrediting the information of the consul at Zante cannot fail to be of service. His removal would also be desirable without committing the state in the matter.
The Senate commends his attention to what the Consul Hayles wrote to Arlington on the matter of the consulage and they rejoice to learn that he has acted in conformity with what they wrote to him in his efforts to prevent the attempted innovation altogether.
Ayes, 155. Noes, 5. Neutral, 9.
[Italian.]
Sept. 20.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
182. Girolamo Alberti, Venetian Secretary in England, to the Doge and Senate.
Tranquillity has been restored by the arrival in the river of the merchant fleets from the East & West Indies. The mart takes breath and the king reckons on 500,000l. which he hopes to obtain from the Dutch prizes, selling them for the use and through the agency of the East India Company.
The duke of Monmouth has given up his project of a cruise and the earl of Ossory, who wished to fight a second battle, will not put to sea. Harman alone takes command of the fleet with which he will first of all accompany the French back to their ports, and then scour the sea during the whole of the winter.
Under pressure from the king Prince Rupert has at length been induced to declare to several officers, that he esteemed the nation and considered the count of Estrées a brave man. So there is an end to the heart-burnings caused by the prince's sharp speeches.
It is not only in this that the king has shown his determination to persevere in the French alliance at any cost; for by his Majesty's order Arlington went and told the Spanish ambassador to stop Don Bernardo Salines from coming to London, the object being to remove the suspicions of the French ambassador. Fresno told me that the queen of Spain did not approve of his first visit, so they had no reason here to apprehend a second. That at the present time England was the only power in the world that did not oppose the violence of France; but the oppressed princes were looking solely to parliament for their revenge. Here they take all that the ambassador Colbert says for gospel. The imperial army would act in earnest. He went on to expatiate at length on the recapture of Naerden. (fn. 4) He spoke in a tone implying that he had orders from Spain to make himself heard all over London.
These intrigues of his might have been much assisted by the duke of Buckingham, who retired into the country as a popular favourite. But finding himself alone he is beginning to parley, his creature, the treasurer being spokesman, and it seems that ere long they will again be reconciled with the Court.
Your Excellencies will have heard of the scanty success at Cologne.
The general opinion here is that the parties do not seek it and that the Swedish mediators content themselves with keeping the negotiations on foot, to avoid declaring themselves in virtue of their alliance. In the mean time
2000 men have been destined for France and the duke of Monmouth talks of being in marching order.
A courier from France has brought letters from the duchess mother al Modena. She flatly declines the marriage overtures on the plea of her daughter's tender age. So the French immediately proposed others. The daughter of the duke of Crequi (fn. 5) is under discussion, though the negotiation is deferred until after the session of parliament, so that the duke of York may not be reproached with a marriage to one of a nation against which ill feeling is constantly on the increase.

London, the 22nd September, 1673.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Sept. 22.
Inquisitori
di Stato
Busta 442.
Venetian
Archives.
183. Girolamo Alberti, Venetian Secretary in England, to the Inquisitors of State.
In the matter of the glass I think I have discovered the best way for facilitating the formation of the fund required by the London merchant here from the Muranese as a bounty, for which he undertakes to revive their trade at so much toil and risk to himself. After having brought him to agree to receive the bounty, which he wanted in cash, in annual instalments I intimated that the republic might favour him by granting him exemption from duty on all the glass he exported from Venice, a considerable amount, however light the duty. He replied that he preferred five shillings in cash to an expectation of 15l., but if I could secure the exemption he would yield to my persuasion. I have no doubt that your Excellencies will consider it reasonable to encourage one who, at great risk undertakes an enterprise so important for Venice. As it would be difficult to make the glass trade contribute and as the measure might be fraught with evil consequences for it, I do not imagine that your Excellencies would scruple to extract so trifling a bounty from the public purse. If this is not recovered by an increase of the glass exports by other persons, or if the republic does not see fit to sacrifice the duty for the sake of reviving the trade, it might be imposed again in two or three years, increasing the duty on these very glasses, which will then be able to bear the burden, having recovered their original abundant sale, which would all be so much to the good for the public exchequer.
It remains to decide in what manner this merchant can be exempted from the duty, as for appearance he must go through the form of paying it like the others. It seems to me that the customs officers might have instructions to present every three months a note of all the glass exported from Venice, which might easily be compared with the return made by the merchant of what was sent to his house, in accordance with which the money could be refunded to him, or your Excellencies may devise some better plan for the refunding of this money as it is only right that he should have the assurance of enjoying the favour promised him.
The project I mentioned last week relates to a very beautiful metal as white as silver and of like weight, extremely malleable and preserving its brilliant colour in spite of use and age. The anxiety of the republic to prevent the coinage from being exported and the convenience offered by this metal for stamping a very base standard, of a better colour than the present currency, makes me think that the Senate will consider the project. The friend who has discovered the secret offers to sell the mixture of the alloy required, for 1,500,000 ducats, all ready to be coined. He wants to know what his Serenity would pay him for silver of the Venetian mark and standard, and what profit he would receive on the alloy. Alternatively he offers to send the mixture to the mint at Venice and to await compensation for the costs of carriage, insurance and interest during the time of his outlays, receiving in payment money coined with his own metal. He further offers to send the raw material for mixing, instead of the usual copper alloy. I forward a specimen which does not contain a single grain of silver although, after many tests it retains the appearance of that metal. I lay this proposal before your Excellencies believing it to be for the public service.
London, the 22nd September, 1673.
[Italian.]
Sept. 25.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Proveditore
General
da Mar.
Venetian
Archives.
184. Andrea Valier, Venetian Proveditore General da Mar, to the Doge and Senate.
I have experienced great difficulty over collecting the duties at Cephalonia because of the scarcity of money. A miserable state of affairs is in prospect unless there is a change since not a single ship has appeared as yet for currants. What is more important, we have information that those of last year have only now arrived in England, and it is argued that they will not want to take away any new ones before they have succeeded in disposing of the old. This may be a long time yet, in respect that now they cannot send any to Amsterdam, where at least 1½ millions were consumed.
Cephalonia, the 25th September, 1673. [Italian.]
Sept. 27.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Milano.
Venetian
Archives.
185. Paolo Sarotti, Venetian Resident at Milan, to the Doge and Senate.
From Modena we hear of the conclusion of the marriage of the princess there. Her departure is being pressed on with great solicitude and everything is being done to see that it takes place on the first of next month. The English ambassador is fitting himself out with a profusion of money for his state entry and to espouse her by proxy in the name of the duke of Yorch. They say further that Prince Rinaldo will accompany her on the journey and that he is inclined to go with her as far as London. Her mother the duchess proposes to do the same, but incognita under the title of principal Italian lady, her lady in waiting. For this they have sent a courier to summon the galleys of France, in order to proceed by them to Provence and they are sending divers persons to Venice, Bologna and here to make various provisions. They say that the chief difficulty was over the dowry because of the very thrifty character of the duchess of Modena, but the marquis of Angio came to the rescue by promising that his king would see to this and that there would be an arrangement with the duke bridegroom.
Milan, the 27th September, 1673. [Italian.]
Sept. 29.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
186. Girolamo Alberti, Venetian Secretary in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The earl of Ossory has insisted so much that the king has at length granted him the command of the fleet which put to sea 30 sail strong. The French, who followed two days later, have suffered so much from the wind that d'Estrées has returned to the Downs with twelve ships, without bringing news of the others or of Martell who commands them. (fn. 6)
The duke of Monmouth is hastening his preparations to return to France with the 2000 men under his command. He will be accompanied by fifty of the king's horse guards.
The Spanish ambassador told me two evenings ago that Orange would unite with Monterey to make a joint effort against the French. My correspondent writes me from Brussels that a bridge is being built over the Schelde for the passage of the Dutch troops, Monterey having gone in that direction, while the duke of Montalto has posted himself at Ypres. Here they do not yet believe that Spain will unmask herself, but Fresno says that if the English refuse peace they must expect war.
The Swedish resident confessed to me his fear that the mediation would not produce any effect, and that his crown would be compelled to declare itself. He also dropped a hint in conformity with what the Spanish ambassador said to me some months ago, about the most serene republic being the only neutral power for the negotiation of peace. Col. Guasconi confirmed to me his receipt of a letter from a friend at Vienna to the effect that the Ambassador Morosini there had very zealously furthered the projects for the adjustment. The only home news is the reconciliation of Buckingham to the king, effected by the treasurer. This last week his Majesty has been frequenting the queen's bed, a practice he had abandoned for some years. As every one knows that this does not proceed from affection, no one can comprehend for what purpose, as the physicians consider the case of the succession hopeless.
Nothing has been heard this week about the duke of York's marriage. Fresno merely says that it is very strange that his Highness should marry by means of Peterborough's eyes.

Sir [Thomas] Huggons has taken leave of the king (fn. 7) but will not start for Venice until another ten days have passed.
London, the 29th September, 1673.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Sept. 30.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Roma.
Venetian
Archives.
187. Pietro Mocenigo, Venetian Ambassador at Rome, to the Doge and Senate.
When the princess of Modena raised difficulties about agreeing to the marriage with the duke of Jorch, the Cardinals Barbarino and Etré urged the pope to write her an exhortatory brief representing that this would be in the service and interest of the Catholic religion. The pope was talked over and wrote promptly. He received a submissive reply from the princess who, after telling him of the intention she had hitherto cherished to become a nun, yet she let herself be convinced by the judgment of his Holiness in the belief that he gave his advice with infallible prudence, being guided by the Holy Spirit. In consonance with this reply the negotiations at Modena were proceeded with by the English ambassador and by the abbot of Angio, sent for the purpose by the Most Christian and for the conclusion there remained the necessary dispensation of the pope. (fn. 8)
The Abbot of Angio, having come to Rome by the posts to obtain this dispensation, the pope assembled a congregation of eight Cardinals in order that they might look into the conditions upon which the princess should proceed to England so that the exercise of the Catholic religion should not be opposed in her household. They got out the registers of previous examples, examining the negotiations of King James to have the Infanta of Spain for the prince of Wales; then what was arranged by Charles I with the princess Herichetta, daughter of Henry IV, and finally examined the capitulations in the matter of the Catholic religion granted to the queen regnant, sister of the king of Portugal.
The Cardinals of the congregation came to the conclusion that the pope ought not to permit the dispensation without a previous declaration of the king of England to promise the same conditions to the princess of Modena also. They further considered that the promise of the king of England ought to be made to the king of France because the apostolic see could not negotiate or accept the promises of a heretic king.
The earl of Peterbor, ambassador at Modena, declares that the princess will enjoy liberty of religion and will have ample faculty to keep Catholics in her household but he had not sufficient powers to promise and set down on paper any such capitulation.
In the face of this difficulty the ambassador of France paid a special visit on Wednesday to Cardinal Altieri and on Thursday he had audience of the pope to beg and persuade him to facilitate the business by not leaving it exposed to the prejudice of the delay of time. He pointed out the importance of getting the princess off so that she may arrive in England and the marriage be established before the meeting of parliament, which is summoned for the month of November, as it is to be feared that some act may come forth to prevent the duke of Jorch from marrying a Catholic princess.
These arguments did not suffice to move the pope and Cardinals to grant the dispensation. They persist in requiring an effective promise of the king to the Most Christian. They say that the rights of religion and piety require that a princess who has surrendered herself to the arbitrament of the pontiff shall not be exposed to unlooked for accidents. The French complain that they are making difficulties here in the way of a marriage which may turn out of great profit for the church of God and that they prefer the studied formalities of Rome to the most important considerations of the universal good.
The Cardinal of Etré remarked to me that as everything is already established at Modena and the marriage articles signed, they will advise the princess to start and proceed to Paris to wait for the dispensation. Cardinal Barberino also is greatly upset over such difficulties, as he is impatient to see the conclusion. He has favoured me with a call at this house with a gesture of complete confidence. He informed me about the negotiations and said that the duchess mother was also going to England to accompany the princess, her daughter, who would also be accompanied by Prince Rinaldo and a suite of the most distinguished nobility of Modena. Cardinal Barberino also pressed me to urge the pope in audience and Cardinal Altieri to facilitate the business and remove opposition by telling them of the piety of the king, the distinguished and most worthy character of the duke of Jorch as well as the remarkable kindness (l'humanita singolare) of that Court. Tactfully, without committing the state and remote from business, I touched upon this matter in the course of conversation with the pope and with Cardinal Altieri, but I did not persist with my persuasion as I discovered a resolute determination to stand by what the congregation had advised.
The interest of Cardinal Barberino in this affair is out of consideration for his nephew Prince Rinaldo, whom he wishes to see promoted to the purple. He hopes by means of the queen of England and of the duchess of Jorch herself to beg the hat of the pope and so he would be Cardinal of Este without dependence on either of the two crowns, which is what the prince ardently desires.
Rome, the 30th September, 1673. [Italian.]

Footnotes

1 Louis de Courcillon, the abbé Dangeau, brother of the marquis. See Morosini's despatch of 30 September at page 125 below.
2 Ranuccio Farnese II, duke of Parma, had two sisters, Maria Magdalena and Catarina. Probably the former is the one referred to.
3 There was some talk at this time of putting Monmouth in command of the fleet, with Sir John Harman to advise him. Cal. S. P. Dom. 1673, page 524.
4 Naarden was invested by the prince of Orange on 12 September, n.S., and taken seven days later. Le Clerc: Hist, des Provinces Unies, Vol. III, page 336.
5 Marguerite de Crequy, daughter of Charles de Crequy, prince of Poix. In 1675 she married Charles de la Tremouille, duc de Thouars. Père Anselme: Hist. Genealogique de la Maison Royale de France, Vol. IV, page 293.
6 The storm was on the 16th old style. London Gazette, Sept. 18-22,1673.
7 On the 10th September, old style. Cal. S. P. Dom. 1673, page 543.
8 James had raised the question of a dispensation somewhat earlier. “M. le due de York me dit hier que comme on ne sait pas á Modène ses veritables sentiments touchant la religion, on voudra peutêtre avoir un dispense du pape, et qu'il serait fort obligé á Votre Majesté si elle voulait bien faire lever cette difficulté, soit en faisant entendre á la duchesse de Modène que cette consideration ne doit apporter aucun retardement au dit marriage, ou en écrivant á M. le duc d'Estrées de demander cette dispensation de Sa Sainteté, et lui faire connaître qu'il est meme de Tinterêt de la religion de ne pas differir.” Colbert to the king, 10 August, 1 1673. P.R.O. Paris Transcripts.