Venice
October 1673, 21-31

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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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145-160

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'Venice: October 1673, 21-31', Calendar of State Papers Relating to English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 38: 1673-1675 (1947), pp. 145-160. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=90365 Date accessed: 30 July 2014.


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October 1673, 21–31

Oct. 21.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci
Roma.
Venetian
Archives.
210. Piero Mocenigo, Venetian Ambassador at Rome, to the Doge and Senate.
Stirred by his own zeal Cardinal Barberino showed himself exceptionally perturbed at seeing the opposition to the dispensation for the princess of Modena for the marriage with the duke of Jorch. He prudently took into consideration the impropriety of leaving the matter pending, without a decision, in respect of the pontifical dignity and of the full consolation of the House of Este, one most obedient to the Apostolic See. In this interest he had incurred the suspicions of the palace and found no one to listen to him. The ambassador of France had shot his bolt in the office he had performed with the pope the week before and the Cardinal d'Etre did not want to commit himself.
While the matter was tangled up in this way Barberino arrived to pay me a visit. With the ordinary friendly confidence practised by him with the minister of your Excellencies he gave me an account of the state of affairs. He enlarged upon the excessive reserve shown by the palace and said that the case did not stand well thus, since it was necessary to save the face of the Apostolic See. He confided to me that he had begged Cardinal Altieri to state what satisfaction he required for granting the dispensation when he would exert himself to obtain so much as would be adequate. But Cardinal Altieri would not listen to any such suggestion, indeed he became worked up and greatly angered against the one who mentioned it.
He told me these particulars with expressions of amazement and strong feeling. In responding to his confidences I could not fail to show sympathy and astonishment at hearing that they would not listen to one who offered satisfaction in a matter which concerned the dignity of the Apostolic See. I told him that with his infinite prudence he would not fail to find opportunities for starting negotiations and I commended the ardent zeal which he manifested. Such was the tenor of the conversation which took place at this visit.
Later on I had the chance of meeting Cardinal Cibo, who is one of the Cardinals deputed in the Congregation assembled for this business. After we had discoursed on various subjects this one was introduced which at present holds the attention of the Court. He had the goodness to inform me of what had passed in congregation, giving me to understand that they had not consented to the dispensation because there was no sign that the princess would have any security of enjoying in England the use of Catholic liberty and a Catholic household. On my side I told him of the complaints of Cardinal Barberino who, in his efforts to legitimate the business, had made an offer to the palace of his services to procure them satisfaction, and that when he had got the request made it was not listened to. Cardinal Cibo said that he knew nothing about this but he made the prudent observation that it was not good to let the matter drop, but all the same it was necessary to have recourse to prudent expedients.
The conversation between us was confidential without any idea of concerted action. On the following day Cardinal Cibo, moved by his natural piety, contrived to see Cardinal Altieri, to whom he confided the talk he had with me. He pointed out to him the desirability and the interest of the Apostolic See to settle this business if it could be done with reputation. He found that Cardinal Altieri had no objection to this, but discovered that it would please him that the matter should be conducted by him, Cardinal Cibo. Cardinal Cibo expressed his willingness to serve the Apostolic See in this affair also. He also told him that he would take it upon himself to treat for the palace. He would speak to the minister of your Excellencies but he did not wish to deal either with Cardinal Barberino or with the French. This was approved by Cardinal Altieri as it gratified him to make Barberino and the French appear as interested parties in this affair. And so they made their arrangements, dividing also the merit of the business between them, as your Excellencies shall hear.
Matters being thus settled between Cardinals Altieri and Cibo, the latter came to tell me of the impulse he had to communicate our conversation to Cardinal Altieri. After informing me of all that had passed, he urged me to undertake this mediation which he considered appropriate for the minister of the republic, assuring me that I should meet with the complete approval of the pope and Cardinal Altieri. It seemed to me, on consideration, that such a transaction would be seemly for my office and that the Senate, in its supreme wisdom would approve of the settlement by its minister of so conspicuous a business in which the interests of the Apostolic See, the obligations of two crowns and the consolation of a prince of Italy are involved. After turning this over in my mind I first thanked the Cardinal for being willing to allow me to share the glory with him. I then told him that before committing myself it was necessary to know what satisfaction the pope desired for granting the dispensation, as I did not think it advisable to go and speak to Cardinal Barberino, Cardinal d'Etre and the ambassador of France without something definite.
At this point Cibo opened out. He said that at the palace they wanted a letter of the king of France to the pope in which his Most Christian Majesty promises to his Holiness security for the free exercise of the Catholic religion in England for the princess of Modena, now duchess of Jorch. He further desired that this letter should be brought by a subject of the duke of Modena sent expressly to Rome. I pointed out that it would be as well to have the circumstances of the letter well agreed upon so that there might not be any quibbling objections after it had arrived. I also said that it would be desirable to settle upon the treatment to be accorded to the person who brought the letter, in order to obviate all difficulties and to avoid encountering the usual finesses of the Court from a wish to mortify the duchess of Modena by causing the visit of her envoy to be delayed. The Cardinal promised every courtesy to the one who should come to Rome bearing the king's letter, and an audience without delay, and this was confirmed by the palace. With regard to the letter which the king is to write, they will give an example of one written on a like occasion by his Most Christian Majesty. Cardinal Cibo not only made these proposals orally but he set them down on paper, as your Excellencies will see by the sheet marked No. 1.
With this paper in my hand I went to the house of Cardinal Barberino having informed him of what had taken place. He merely approved and thanked me, speaking very kindly. I did not mean to lose myself in officialism and merely pleasing the Cardinal and told him that it was necessary to impart everything to the Cardinal d'Etre and the ambassador of France, for their approval since it was through their influential means that we must ask for the king's letter. Accordingly Cardinal Barberino immediately sent his secretary to the Palazzo Farnese to appoint the visit. But Cardinal d'Etre did not wish to wait and went himself to the house of Barberino. He apologised for the ambassador, who was engaged, but said that he himself would do all that was necessary. On being informed about the introduction of the business he seemed pleased. Turning over the demands made by the palace he pointed out that the letter written by the king of France for the marriage of Queen Henricheta to Charles I, king of England, had been sent by the chancery in the form of a patent, with various articles. If a letter in this form was desired it would make the business difficult. Accordingly he advised to ask the king for a letter of the cabinet or of the secretariat of state in which the promise desired would be comprised with the inclusion of the arrangement made with the present queen regnant on the subject of the exercise of the Catholic religion. The Cardinal also considered it was desirable that the king's letter should be presented by his ambassador. He said further that before writing to the Court it was necessary to see the form of the dispensation that would be given to the princess.
Such were the views of the Cardinal d'Etre, with which Cardinal Barberino concurred. Here I took up the tale. I commended the prudent reminder of his Eminence in showing that it would not be wise to adhere to the formulas of the letter written for Queen Henrichetta and that the same effect would be produced by one from the secretariat of state or the king's cabinet. I made no objection either to the wish expressed that the letter should be presented to the pope by the ambassador; but merely pointed out that they had made a point of asking that the letter should be brought by a subject of the duke of Modena in order to bring into relief the submission and respect of that prince for the Holy See.
Cardinal Barberino approved of this point of view and d'Etre made no objection; so it was settled that this satisfaction should be given, to have a subject of Modena sent with letters of credence from the duchess to perform a humble office expressive of the veneration felt by the House of Este for the pope and the Holy See. I had the satisfaction of getting all the results of this conference put in writing so that no discrepancies in the account should arise from the business passing from mouth to mouth. This was done by the secretary of Cardinal Barberino to whom it was dictated in the form that your Excellencies will see set forth in the sheet No. 2.
When this sheet was taken to Cardinal Cibo with all the considerations discussed, it was consigned by him to Cardinal Altieri, who made no objection either to the letter of the cabinet or of the secretariat or to its being presented by the ambassador, being satisfied with the publicity of the appearance in Rome of a subject of the duke of Modena to perform the office of submission to the pope. With regard to the essence of the promise the Cardinal said it was desirable that the letter should state an undertaking for the fulfilment of all that the earl of Piterbor had promised at Modena about the use of the Catholic religion with relation to the capitulations of the queen regnant. He went on to say that there was another point which it was necessary to consider inserting in the letter of the king. This was a promise to have the children of this marriage educated in the Catholic faith, at least during childhood, as was promised in the marriage of Queen Henrichetta. He said that the pope insisted strongly upon this declaration.
When this w as reported to me orally I passed it on to Cardinal Barberino and the French gentlemen, where they held a conference at which the French ambassador took part. In this conference they raised no objection to a promise in the king's letter of the fulfilment of what had been set forth by the earl of Piterbor at Modena; but with regard to the education of the children it was pointed out that the king could not promise what was in the power of others but that he would undertake to make strong representations to this effect. I had these particulars also put down in writing as your Excellencies will see in the sheet No. 3.
This sheet was presented by me to Cardinal Cibo who, being satisfied about how much the king could promise, presented it to Cardinal Altieri. This last while content with the mere promise to make representations to England for the education of the children in the Catholic faith, said that it behoved them to inform the congregation about the negotiations. He also made an attempt to gain another point namely that the letter should state that his Most Christian Majesty had obtained promises and guarantees so that he could assure his Holiness of these things. Although this point was not agreed upon, yet when the congregation met it was set forth in a paper made with considerable amplification of what was settled, as will be seen in sheet No. 4.
In the congregation Cardinal Cibo opposed the extension of the paper; nevertheless severity prevailed over expediency. When I saw this with astonishment I hesitated about taking it to the French, foreseeing that there would be alterations, as there were. The matter being discussed, to prevent the business falling through, I succeeded in the end, after long conferences, in inducing Cardinal d'Etre to promise that paper shall be sent to the Court to request the letter, leaving it to the choice of his Majesty to insert in the letter the article newly introduced and also leaving him at liberty to express in a brief and adequate form, in the French language, the substance of what was agreed. This also was put in writing by Cardinal d'Etre, as set forth in sheet No. 5.
I took back the paper and the sheet to Cardinal Cibo with a full account of the sentiments of Cardinal d'Etre about these finesses practised by the palace. I protested to him that this was the final resolution and that in that sheet I gave him the conclusion or the breaking off of the business. I also urged him very strongly to get the formulas of the dispensation, as they insisted upon seeing these.
Cardinal Cibo in his prudence employed all his industry and application to persuade them at the palace to relax their severity and not to insist upon this to the prejudice of the Apostolic See. He went to the private houses of the Cardinals of the congregation to give them precise information and to represent to them the essential service of terminating this affair with reputation. His zeal so far prevailed that yesterday evening he sent to inform me that Cardinal Nerli, the secretary of state, had been at his house to tell him, on behalf of Cardinal Altieri, that his Eminence approved of the sheet which I had presented to him and that they had directed a draft of the dispensation to be made to be given to me. This morning his Eminence came to this house of your Serenity to inform me of what he had done and to confirm what Cardinal Nerli had said. I am awaiting the formula of the dispensation in order to put the finishing touches to the affair. I pray God that there may be no difficulties over this also since from this lengthy narrative your Excellencies will have understood with what ease the business is introduced and then with how much finesse it is conducted.
The matter being now brought to the point of a conclusion I trust that I may have earned the approval of your Excellencies, as I have conducted the negotiations with cautious circumspection and it cannot fail to bring glory to the services of the state's representative, as it is a matter of consequence which will have the attention of the whole Court.
Rome, the 21st October, 1673.
[Italian.]
Attached.211. Sheet No. 1.
Demand made by the Palace.
Letter of his Most Christian Majesty to take to the pope, in which he promises the security etc. and asks for the dispensation.
The letter to be brought by a distinguished Modenese subject.
For the letter they will give an example of a similar letter written previously by his Most Christian Majesty on a like occasion.
The person who brings the letter shall be treated with courtesy and not made to wait for an audience.
The dispensation shall be in the usual form.
[Italian.]
Attached.212. Sheet No. 2.
Paper proposed by the French gentlemen and Cardinal Barberino upon the demand made by the Palace.
That it is necessary to confine the promise required of the king of France to the article of the marriage contract of the queen of England at present reigning, the more so as this corresponds to the promise made by the earl of Petreborn to the duchess of Modena.
That this promise be contained in a letter of the Most Christian king or of the secretariat of state or of the cabinet.
Upon the point that the letter with this promise is to be presented by a subject of the duchess of Modena, it is considered that it will be more proper and convenient for it to be handed over by the French ambassador himself.
In case they insist on having a subject of the duchess of Modena, that person will present a letter of credence from her Highness in virtue of which she will assure his Holiness of the respect and submission with which she herself, the duke and all the House of Este venerate his Holiness and that in the matter of the marriage carried out they beg him to take into consideration the shortness of the time and the necessity in which they found themselves.
If the person who comes is a cavalier and a person of distinction it is considered necessary that he go to audience with the ambassador of France so that in this manner he may be able to sit in the presence of the Cardinal nephew.
They desire a guarantee that if these things proposed are duly performed, the necessary dispensation will be forthcoming, of which they wish to have a formula before the despatch of the courier.
[Italian.]
Attached.213. Sheet No. 3.
Another paper exhibited by the French gentlemen and Cardinal Barberino with the addition about the education of the children born of the marriage.
In the letter required of his Most Christian Majesty it is necessary that his Majesty give his Holiness express assurance that all that which has been promised by the earl of Petrebourg to the duchess of Modena in respect of the free exercise of religion for the duchess of Jorch and for her household, shall be punctually performed. That it be stated in addition that whereas his Majesty in promoting this marriage has considered chiefly the welfare of religion, so in the future he will have a particular care and attention to procure that the children that may be born of it shall be educated in the Catholic faith, at least in their childhood, and for this he will gladly make the most lively representations to the king and the duke of Jorch.
[Italian.]
Attached.214. Sheet No. 4.
Paper drawn up by the congregation convoked for this interest.
In the letter of his Most Christian Majesty it is necessary that it be stated that his Majesty assures his Holiness that the duchess of Jorch and all her household shall be permitted freely the exercise of the Catholic Apostolic Roman religion, and that, to this end, in all the palaces and houses where it shall chance or please her to dwell, she shall have the oratory or place specially set aside for such uses, and this in the manner and form as has been permitted to the queen regnant of England and that she shall have about her such chaplains and ecclesiastics, in number and quality as befit the quality and rank of the duchess and who are required for the free exercise and use of the Apostolic Roman religion, for herself and her household and with the same privileges and exemptions as are enjoyed by the chaplains and ecclesiastics of the queen.
Further that his Most Christian Majesty shall promise that the king of England and the duke of York shall not in any way interfere with the duchess or her household or countenance or permit any interference by others in matters pertaining to the Catholic Apostolic Roman religion and conscience.
That to this end his Most Christian Majesty will have obtained already the promises and opportune guarantees to give effect to assurances to the Holy See of the aforesaid things and of the fulfilment of the promises made orally or in writing by the earl of Pieterburg to the duchess of Modena.
Furthermore it is necessary that his Most Christian Majesty, considering that his Holiness has stated that without an assurance of the education of the offspring in the Catholic faith with their mother at least until the age of their puberty, he would not accept, approve or bless the marriage in question, out of his own zeal for the welfare of religion, shall promise his Holiness that he will always exert himself to see that the children of either sex who are born shall be educated as above and that to this end he will not fail to make the most energetic representations in his power.
[Italian.]
Attached.215. Sheet No. 5.
Remarks on the paper presented by Cardinal Cibo to the Venetian Ambassador on 18 October, 1673.
With regard to the draft of the paper, seeing that the articles are more diffuse in expression than they were in the paper presented by the Venetian ambassador to Cardinal Cibo in conformity with what was reported by the Cardinal to the ambassador with respect to the views of the congregation held on Sunday the 15th inst. although the substance does not seem to be changed, that his Majesty shall be able to express the contents thereof in a shorter form and adequate to his language.
With regard to the article about his Majesty having obtained promises etc. since this article is new and not contained in the account given by Cardinal Cibo to the ambassador of Venice after the congregation on Sunday, that it be left in consequence to the discretion of his Majesty either to include it in the letters or to ignore it, and in case his Majesty in his prudence thinks fit to pass it over, that the letter, provided it contains the other articles, shall not on that account cease to be judged sufficient by his Holiness for granting the dispensation.
[Italian.]
Oct. 21.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Firenze.
Venetian
Archives.
216. Giovanni Giacomo Corniani, Venetian Resident at Florence, to the Doge and Senate.
Arrival of the Ambassador Finch at Florence. (fn. 1) He was received by Prince Francesco with the ceremonial that is used with the ambassadors of kings. I took an early opportunity to go and pay him my respects. He intimated to me that he did not propose to stay here long, the more so because he had reason to promise himself great facilities in his negotiations, which from what he said he had learned from the Grand Duke's own lips. For the English ship captured with the old Pasha of Tunis, his Highness had offered him more than he might possibly have asked. He considered the settlement of this affair so secure that he has arranged to bring with him the Turk already sent here by the Pasha for the purpose, whom he calls by the name of Aga.
After some further discourse upon such matters, in which he did me the honour to show confidence with the minister of your Excellencies, he told me that the person destined to act as resident with the most serene republic was on the point of setting out for Venice. He wished to make a confidential communication, not for the purpose of opening negotiations but purely as an act of confidence and as a testimony of his reverence for the republic for which he was moved by an ardent desire to co-operate for the preservation and cherishing of the best correspondence between his Britannic Majesty and the Senate. Upon this point he had abundant grounds for assuring me that with respect to his Majesty's feelings, there could not be a better disposition towards this end. At the present time however there had cropped up an occasion of offence with your Serenity owing to an incident which occurred with the English ship of war Gerse. This had captured another ship which had sailed from Zante shortly before which was recognised to be Dutch in the White Sea. This was brought into Zante in good faith, when they were compelled to give it up, because when it was recognised, it had flown the glorious flag of St. Mark, although said he, it is known that the use of flags is practised by all ships as they please for such objects as force them to it, but that in the long run every one ought to have one only, to be used legitimately.
He went on to say that what mattered in the case of the Gerse was that not only was force used but it was claimed that, some shots having been fired in the encounter, a ball had struck a galley Capitana a short distance away and on this pretext they had arrested a man of the English ship who had even been sentenced to death.
The new resident will have strong commissions upon the subject and it might be that, before taking up any negotiation, the way would be left open for some injurious attempt and it is as well that the most serene republic should be on its guard and prevent it by such means as, in its infinite prudence it may find expedient. At this point he resumed: Mr. Resident I do not speak for negotiation as I have no instructions and if I had I should not start any because I should be afraid that it would prolong my stay here and at the replies which it might provoke I hope to have embarked and to be away from the port. So I have thought it best to make it understood that my only object has been to drop a hint and to have no more to do with the matter.
He went on afterwards to tell me that he thought that he would like to see Candia in passing, because it had been for such a long time the theatre of events for the whole world. He was as yet uncertain whether he would touch at Zante. He protested about the correspondence which he means to cultivate with the Bailo Querini at Constantinople having heard glowing accounts of his distinguished qualities. He was sorry that he would only enjoy his acquaintance for a short time but he consoled himself with the assurance that the one who succeeded to his place would possess qualities no whit inferior.
Florence, the 21st October, 1673.
[Italian.]
Oct. 26.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
217. Francesco Michiel, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
Some days ago, by the king's order the Sieur de Martel, the naval commander was taken to the Bastille. His imprisonment is matter for discussion and they say that it is all due to the recent naval battle, either because he would not obey the orders of the Vice-Admiral or else, as others assert, because he disapproved of that officer's conduct.
News has come from Lyons of the arrival there of the new duchess of York and they declare that within a few days she will be arriving in these parts. From what they say she will have the entry to royal audiences and will have the honour of a seat equal to the queen, although that is not the custom of the Court but solely in order to correspond to the treatment on a par which the late duchess of Orleans received at Dover on her reception by the king, her brother, and the queen, her sister-in-law.
Paris, the 26th October, 1673.
[Italian.]
Oct. 27.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
218. Girolamo Alberti, Venetian Secretary in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The king returned from Windsor on Saturday. On his arrival he found the letters from Calais and France giving account of the Spanish hostilities in French territory. Shortly afterwards news arrived from Flanders that the governor of Antwerp had struck the first blow by means of placarts. (fn. 2) Fresno said immediately that the Spaniards did not consider that they had begun the war; they had merely repelled force by force. He then added that the positive declaration of Monterey would not be long delayed, always inviting the English Court to detach itself from France.
At a conference between them Arlington told Fresno that he hoped the Spaniards would proceed more phlegmatically with England and not compel her, unseasonably to change her policy and ruin herself by an extravagant adjustment. The king expected this, not only in return for the zeal with which, in his treaties, he had always bound the Most Christian to observe the peace with the Catholic during his minority, but because he shut his eyes to the Spanish support of the Dutch, at a moment when the Most Christian urged him to compel Spain to declare war, for which she was not at all prepared.
A courier has been despatched to Madrid with the same remonstrance. They have also sent a copy of the treaty with France so that Spain may perceive the interest taken by his Britannic Majesty for the preservation of Flanders. Finally the English ambassador has been charged in case the queen decides on war, to request her to observe the last stipulations which bind the crowns to give six months' notice for the removal of their subjects' effects.
Arlington has exerted himself to render this remedy efficient, as it is the last he has for the avoidance of a rupture with Spain and to escape detaching himself from France. But all the other ministers, who seek his ruin, are endeavouring not to leave him time. To hurry him yet more they will make use of the violence of parliament, in order to compel the king to abandon France and sacrifice his lordship.
Your Excellencies will note that this parliamentary machine is a contrivance devised purposely, by intriguing ministers, to work it against each other; the king being of opinion that the custom will not prove prejudicial to him and that the weight will eventually fall on anything but the crown, alleging that he introduced the fashion of exacting millions from his subjects, a thing never previously endured in England, and that when a fair opportunity presents itself the damage sustained might be repaired by force and the people kept under the yoke, and with the burden of taxation besides.
All the enemies of the French party give it to be understood that now so many allied princes have declared against the Most Christian, England should parry the blow by making an advantageous retreat, accept the peace and resume her ancient policy perceiving that Spain, prudently making sure of the means, did not declare herself until she had overwhelmed France with enemies and was in a position to carry her point and again regulate the balance with that crown.
London, the 27th October, 1673.
[Italian; deciphered.]
Oct. 27.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
219. Girolamo Alberti, Venetian Secretary in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The Spanish ambassador, on reconsideration, went with all pomp to the duke of York to offer his congratulations, thus silencing the comments on his reserve made by the Court which blamed him the more because he had always thwarted the duke's marriage.
A handsome apartment has been prepared for the bride, but no public chapel will be opened for her. The king does not wish, and the duke agrees, that any stir should be made about this at present, when parliament is opening.
The session begins next Monday, and if what some tell me is true, the house will adjourn for a fortnight in order not to interrupt by agitation the entertainments with which they propose to receive the bride. News of her arrival is eagerly awaited.
She will be met at Dover by the duke and Lockhart's regiment has been appointed to form her guard. In three days she will reach London, stopping the first night at Canterbury, the second at Rochester and proceeding thence to Gravesend, in order to come by the river to London. The city itself proposes to make some grand display and all the nobility, naturally profuse on every occasion, are preparing a most magnificent array, though the season is one when everyone withdraws to the country.
My poor purse will suffer in upholding the public dignity, and more will be expected of me from the bride being an Italian, for in England they do not closely observe the division of Italy into states. Moreover your Serenity's interests cannot fail to be advanced by my ingratiating myself with this new princess, especially through her influence over the duke, who has always protested to me his readiness to serve the republic's interests.
The excessive cost of living in this country is well known. I need not expatiate on the cost of gala suits, liveries and the journey to Dover which I must make in common with the other ministers, with a coach and six horses and six of my household. I only ask that consideration may be given to my readiness to uphold the dignity of the state and to the many journeys made by me with the Court these last two years, allowing me such a sum in addition as the generosity of your Excellencies may suggest.
London, the 27th October, 1673.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Oct. 28.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni,
Corti.
Venetian
Archives.
220. To the Secretary Alberti in England.
Your letters of last week have not arrived. In those of the current week we note what is said about the marriage of the duke of York. We send you what we have heard on the subject for your illumination. The Senate promises to take into consideration the expenses you may incur in this connection.
With regard to the incident at Zante the enclosed remarks by the Ambassador Finch at Florence on his way to Constantinople, showing such strong feeling based on the first ill-founded notices, will serve you for information only. For the rest we notice that the clear accounts will soon be reaching you and we expect soon to hear how reason and your ability will have prevailed and that all is satisfactorily settled.
The Proveditore General Valier in letters of the 20th ult. reports that ships have not yet arrived at the islands for the purchase of currants as they used to do in other years. It may be that by this time some have turned up. In any case you must make a thorough and careful inquiry and by making clear the good treatment that is meted out to the nation see that the trade proceeds and that its normal course is not interrupted.
We hear that the Cavalier Hugons will soon be starting for his residence here and we reaffirm to you the affection and esteem with which he will be welcomed and heard.
Ayes, 85. Noes, 0. Neutral, 0.
[Italian.]
Oct. 28.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni,
Corti.
Venetian
Archives.
221. To the Secretary Alberti in England.
We send a copy of the reply received from the Proveditore General Valier about the incident with the ship Amicitia. This clearly shows how sinister and remote from the truth was the account sent to England by the consul there, with his malice, for the sole purpose of troublesome complications as the incident took place as long ago as the 8th April. The accident was irreparable but justice took all the steps which were requisite having first proclaimed and then banned the guilty parties, who have escaped, who are condemned to be hanged. The acts themselves, the time at which they were committed and the skilful management of the matter by you, will, we are sure, thoroughly convince the king and his ministers that there has not been the smallest failure in any respect of the most rigorous justice or of an attentive regard to the proper satisfaction of the nation; and we shall anxiously await your report upon the matter.
Ayes, 85. Noes, 0. Neutral, 0.
[Italian.]
Oct. 28.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni,
Corti.
Venetian
Archives.
222. To the Resident at Florence.
You did well in performing acts of courtesy with the English ambassador who was on his way to Constantinople and whom we suppose to have already left those parts in continuation of his journey. We also approve the punctuality and clearness with which you have forwarded to us all the particulars as well about his entry and treatment as about his courteous dealings and confidential talks with you.
Ayes, 85. Noes, 0. Neutral, 0.
[Italian.]
Oct. 28.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Roma.
Venetian
Archives.
223. Pietro Mocenigo, Venetian Ambassador at Rome, to the Doge and Senate.
Amid the anticipations and apprehensions caused by the pope's illness Cardinal Altieri has been embarrassed with a multitude of affairs, both public and private, mixed. Thus the application called for by the interest of the dispensation for the duchess of Jorch has been overlooked. Although this matter ought not to present any difficulty, seeing it concerns the service of the Apostolic See, nevertheless, since it is an essential of this government to attach grave importance in negotiating to disputes about words, so they show themselves dubious at the palace about the expressions to be employed in granting a dispensation for a marriage already contracted. There also arises a scruple about giving the formula of this dispensation censured by the party, which is considered disrespectful to pontifical veneration. These hesitations are increased through the indisposition of the secretary of briefs, Monsignor Slusco, a man of exceptional ability, who has charge of such matters.
With all this irresolution the affair remained quiescent until Wednesday. On that day Cardinal Cibo renewed his demand with great energy to have the formula of the dispensation, in order to put the finishing touches to the affair. In a conference held at the palace with Cardinal Nerli and Carpegna, the Datary, it was resolved that to overcome the difficulties and the scruples entertained, Cardinal Barberino should get some theological canonist to draw up the dispensation and then present it in order that it may be considered. Up to-day it has not been possible to do anything, as these last two days Barberino has been in the country, but to-morrow it will be drawn up and they will press for a final decision.
Rome, the 28th October, 1673.
[Italian.]
Oct. 28.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Firenze.
Venetian
Archives.
224. Giovanni Giacomo Corniani, Venetian Resident at Florence, to the Doge and Senate.
The Ambassador Finch called at this house last Saturday when we exchanged compliments. On Sunday he was entertained by the Grand Duke at a banquet and on Monday he had audience at Poggio Accaiano. After this he went to stay at the house of Colonel Bernardin Guasconi. Before the last function he received a present of divers pieces of silk.
With regard to his negotiations there are various opinions. In the first place I can say that the palace's opinion of him and his opinion of the palace is one of great smoothness on either side owing to what happened at Leghorn. I understand there was some misgiving there that he might claim a salute for the ship on which he was embarked. Not only was this passed over but he was satisfied with the salute of the fortifications there to the personage whom he represents. He had a response made with 30 guns, with which they express themselves as highly satisfied. They came to a mutual compromise about this.
In this connection I should inform your Excellencies that the ships of war at Leghorn, as well French as English, and at Genoa also, from what I hear, for some time past have adopted the practice of entering the ports and omitting the salute. Before this I understand that they claimed it but in practice at the present time they neither give nor receive it at Leghorn.
Last week I reported the confidences of the ambassador about the ship Mediterranean. I may say that the matter is more complicated now than ever. In point of argument they propound here that the ship Mediterranean was built at Venice. The captain, although English, had domiciled himself and taken a wife at Leghorn. The flags were used without patents which were not forthcoming at the time, although now they produce them. In fine they seize here upon certain expressions of a capitulation made years ago between that crown and this side. In this they speak only of the ships that went from ports of England to ports of the Turks. They infer from this that as nothing is said in those capitulations which would cover English ships which passed from one infidel port to another infidel port, under such conditions the booty would be held to be good by the capitulation itself.
In this state of affairs the preliminaries of the negotiation were sufficiently difficult and they proved harder when, building upon the intention of the Grand Duke to satisfy their demands in any event, the ambassador enlarged his claims to such an extent that they amounted to the sum of 300,000 reals, whereas the demand of the Turkish Aga was only for 150,000 and they assert that the Pasha of Tunis should negotiate upon the matter of ransom and that the corsair gave everything for 20,000 reals, the Pasha offering only 10,000 and they were separated afterwards by the wind which frustrated an agreement.
This tone of voice changes the aspect of affairs and the suggestion is made that they want to see a new judgment with delegation to the Rota here. In that case the ambassador would make his arrangements not to leave before it was settled.
His Highness would have, the tenth of this plunder as would the Grand Master of Malta, because when these corsairs put in there they pay them five per cent. which is exactly half of what they pay to their own prince. When it was stated that this was not accepted, this was about a present, which still remains in deposit, sent by the corsair to his Highness, of a rich turban, a mace mounted with silver enamel and a precious vestment lined with sable, with two other inferior vestments destined for the two ministers, arbiters in such matters, Count Bardi and Auditor Caponi.
The ambassador has also taken another matter in hand. This is of one Banches, an English merchant although he lives at Leghorn. This man had as his apprentice (giovane) a certain Piacentine. This youth suddenly disappeared from his house and the merchant claims that he carried off the value of 5000 reals. Accordingly both in private and in public with petitions in the name of the king he made various attempts to get the other declared debtor who was not without substantial effects to pay, although to-day he may be condemned to the oar. However the Piacentine has always had the decisions in his favour and so the pleadings were sent some time ago to London, to which they have not known how to reply. The ambassador is now reviving this petition in favour of Banches although it is a stale affair. (fn. 3) So also may be the other which he mentioned to me, as reported to your Serenity.
I must not omit to inform your Excellencies that a person who is present in the ambassador's house assures me that they were reading gazettes in the English tongue, recently arrived, in which he said he heard them read an article stating that they were sending him commissions for him to come here for this very business. He also told me that in this connection it was added that the ambassador would try to get despatched from here in order to escape such a fresh ramification of his embassy.
I do not know either if he has any intention or idea of doing anything about getting men for the crews that England wants to collect to man the two galleys for Tanger. (fn. 4) The king has already been freely granted liberty to get them and there is someone dealing with this at Leghorn. If there is any negotiation I cannot say to what it may tend. I have been told that there is something, I know not what, to ensure that those enlisted for the galleys shall not suffer detriment in the practice of their own religion. If time reveals it I will report faithfully to your Excellencies.
When the ambassador was resident here he proposed that, as at Leghorn, Armenians, Greeks, Semitics, Jews and the like should have a place and means for the exercise of their own religions as was given to the English as well. The request was refused at the time. It is now said that he may have renewed it. If he has I fancy he will certainly have a refusal.
In the talks which he had on several occasions with the Grand Duke they touched upon the prohibition in England of foreign manufactures which I reported to your Serenity. He cleverly countered this with a prohibition started here a few years ago of English serges and cloth, of which there was some dissemination in Italy from the port of Leghorn. Some contend that from this feeble beginning a treaty will arise and I gather from merchants, versed in these matters, that it would suit them here to grant freedom to these in order to get the free introduction into that country of their silk manufactures here. They allege that the Art of Wool cannot decline into greater ruin whereas the silk might hold its own if they continue the vent which is made of those cloths in that country. There is a report that he sent a courier to England last Sunday. It may be about the matters I hear of but not because he had any occasion for negotiations here; but it is much more likely to have been about the obligations of his ministry.
Florence, the 28th October, 1673.
[Italian.]

Footnotes

1 Finch arrived at Leghorn on 15 October, n.s., was at Pisa on the 16th and reached Florence on the 18th. See his journal in S. P. Tuscany, Vol. XV.
2 On 16 October, n.s., placarts were issued at Brussels, Antwerp, Ghent and other principal towns by the governors of their garrisons announcing that it had been resolved to exercise all hostilities against the French, as the declared enemies of the crown of Spain. London Gazelle, Oct. 13–16, 1673.
3 “The old controversy of Mr. Banckes of fifteen years' dependency, being cheated of his money by one that is now in the galleys, I could do no good in, for the Great Duke offered to do for Mr. Banckes whatsoever any judge in his own state or at Rome, Padova, Genoa or Bologna should tell him he might in law do. Hereupon Mr. Banckes named one Dr. Orcioli at Rome, his lawyer, [who] informs the judge of the matter. After some days' consideration the judge declares that the Great Duke in law could do no more than had been done; so that I was forced in reason to acquiesce.” Finch to Arlington, 10 Nov., 1673. S.P. Tuscany Vol. XV.
4 “The captain and officers of H.M.'s galley in this port made application to me in relation of their slaves and completing their number. As to their raising of men, the Grand Duke declares that he cannot give way to the making any slaves that be under 21 years of age, it being against the imperial constitution that one should sell his person before he can sell his estate … as to making his own subjects slaves he shall defer his orders till he has an answer from Sir J. B. Duteil, to whom his secretary, Mr. Piatt, has wrote.” Finch to Arlington, 10 Nov., 1673. S. P. Tuscany, Vol. XV.