Venice
September 1675

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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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450-457

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'Venice: September 1675', Calendar of State Papers Relating to English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 38: 1673-1675 (1947), pp. 450-457. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=90389 Date accessed: 19 April 2014. Add to my bookshelf


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September 1675

Sept. 6.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
549. Paolo Sarotti, Venetian Resident in England, to the Doge and Senate.
In obedience to the ducali received this week and which find me in bed with my usual catarrh, I will repeat the observations which I have already made whenever I had an opportunity, to dissipate the report which cast doubts upon the acceptation by the Catholic queen of the mediation of the most serene republic for the peace; and I will assure the ministers here as well as those of foreign powers of the forwardness of your Excellencies to devote yourselves with all your heart to the attainment of such a boon. I have already had an opportunity with Sir Silvius, a gentleman employed by the king on several occasions at foreign Courts, who came to see me. The conversation turned on the news from Spain that Don Pedro Ronquillo has been named by the queen as one of the plenipotentiaries. This is what he most eagerly desired, being avid and most ambitious to have the conduct of great affairs of state. In conformity with what I reported had been told me by Ronquillo about the form and condition upon which the royal ministers here said that the offer of your Serenity had been accepted, Sir Silvius said that it seemed to them the constant result of the irresolution of Spain, which had not even formally and positively accepted the mediation of England.
I have learned from others that upon the occasion of a journey to Holland of Lord Staffort on his private affairs that he received an incitement from the king to suggest peace with France to the gentlemen of the government. That is what they seem to desire at this Court, for the satisfaction in particular of the parliament, Protestants and people, who desire the relief of the Dutch as their co-religionists, without looking closely at the other interests of these realms.
A week ago to-day the king was in some danger by the extraction of a tooth as they could not stop the bleeding for the whole day, although they had also opened a vein in his arm. Yesterday he passed through this city on his way to Wolligi, with the duke his brother, and returned to be present at the launch of a ship of war. (fn. 1)
By a ship arrived from Borbade we have heard of a considerable conspiracy of Moors against the English colonies, which was fortunately discovered and the mischief prevented by the punishment of many. (fn. 2)
Here the extraordinary guards are still kept up although the greater part of the weavers who revolted lately have returned to their homes. We hear no more of any move on their part or of other malcontents apart from the customary free speaking against every magistrate and against the king, which they indulge in here with impunity.
London, the 6th September, 1675.
[Italian.]
Sept. 7.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni,
Corti.
Venetian
Archives.
550. To the Resident in England.
The Senate is anxious to have definite information about the manner in which purchases are made by merchants over there, of the privileges they enjoy and of the methods employed by them in conveying and convoying goods of the Levant and other parts and in particular to Aleppo and Cairo, with any other information which you may succeed in gathering by your efforts in connection with this business of purchase. If the Secretary Alberti is still there on the arrival of these presents you will not fail to acquaint him with this communication so that he also may supply such information as he has on the subject.
Ayes, 112. Noes, 0. Neutral, 2.
[Italian.]
Sept. 7.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Roma.
Venetian
Archives.
551. Piero Mocenigo, Venetian Ambassador at Rome, to the Doge and Senate.
Reports an interview he has had with Cardinal Nitardo.
He asked me if I had heard of the peace proposal of the British king which he called mal a propos and inadmissible. I asked him to oblige me but he said it was not worth knowing about and he judged that the British king had made it at the suggestion of the king of France. As I pressed him afterwards to tell me about it, he honoured me with his confidence. He then told me that the king of England proposed that Burgundy should be left to France while she on her part should give back to Spain the conquests in Flanders made in the year 1667. That in the second place Spain should cede Cambrai, Cambresis, St. Omer and some other places on that frontier and that France should give up Mastrich, what was occupied in the Liéegois and other conquests towards those parts, as well as Messina. Thirdly that the Spaniards shall give in sovereignty to the prince of Orange the town of Doremonda, the metropolis of Guelders so that the States may cede to him what they possess in that province, to declare him sovereign duke of the same; and that a suspension of arms be made for four years so that in this space of time they may be able to settle all the differences which have given rise to the war, arrange the confines of Germany and the controversies of the empire. Such in substance he told me is the project of England for the peace; but that it was not permitted so much as to talk about it. I have had confirmation about this project from the Cardinal d'Etre also, who, however, seems to consider it prejudicial to France.
Rome, the 7th September, 1675.
[Italian.]
Sept. 13.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
552. Paolo Sarotti, Venetian Resident in England, to the Doge and Senate.
With the ducali of the 17th ult. I receive a copy of what has reached your Serenity from Paris about the remarks of that sovereign anent the peace. This will serve for my illumination to find out and report such indications as I may gather on the return of the Court to town, which, they say will be soon. By the same ducali I learn of the exposition of the envoy Hyggons about the relief of English merchants from the pledge which they are obliged to find on the arrival of every ship at Zante and Cephalonia, with your Serenity's reply and further decision. I will carry out the instruction, as I have already done, to say that it is the wish of the state that the nation shall receive the best treatment and I will try to find out with whom the motion for the orders given originated.
Lord Barclai is destined for the embassy in France in place of the deceased Locard. Assignments have been made to him for his salary and they have given him the aid for which he asked. So he is getting ready a most noble train, worthy of the greatness of his king and of his own generous spirit.
There has been a long discussion by his Majesty in various councils with the duke of Jorch, the Prince Palatine and the most confidential ministers as to whether they should allow parliament to assemble at the time appointed for it or prorogue it. It has been decided not to change the royal decision to admit it at the time prearranged, as they want to make a fresh attempt to get money from it, which cannot be obtained otherwise. (fn. 3)
The weavers and other malcontents of the populace seemed to have quieted down for the time, but there is much talk and a fear of the imminent outbreak of fresh disturbances. Under the name of these weavers other vagabonds have taken to infesting the public highways in the country and upon the royal road of Windsor itself a lord and some gentlemen have been obliged to give them all the money they had on them.
The merchants are sorry to hear that the Tripolines object to conceding those articles which they would like to have for the peace with them. They have obtained an order from the king for the addition of other ships to those already sent to force those barbarians to a settlement. (fn. 4) Five large ships of war of Algiers with their captain named the Lion persist in their stay inside this Channel. (fn. 5) Also many privateers of France, Flanders and Holland scour the ocean, one against the other, but we hear of no booty except small craft. Some days ago the Dutch fleet commanded by Ruiter was sighted off the Isle of Wight, which afterwards took shelter in the Downs from a storm. (fn. 6)
London, the 13th September, 1675.
Postscript: I hear that Ronquillo is speaking very strongly against the most serene republic owing to the treatment given to the Germans in the Gulf and that the whole Court is full of talk about the resentment expressed by the emperor to the Ambassador Michiel (fn. 7) and whether this incident may prevent your Serenity having the mediation for the peace. I report this so that your Excellencies may give me instructions about replying to that minister as well as to others who may attack me on the subject, as so far I am in the dark about the facts, as I do not trust the Gazette.
[Italian.]
Sept. 19.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Spagna.
Venetian
Archives.
553. Girolamo Zen, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.
Some secret negotiation is coming to light these last days, which derives from the Court of England; but so far as my information goes the business conducted with the States and with the prince of Orange. On the surface I gather that there may be a proposal for the restitution of Mastrich and Limburg and the count of Harrach intimated to me that if their lordships would be satisfied with the peace of Aix, they would get it. In any event the British minister here seems to be unconscious of any project.
Madrid, the 19th September, 1675.
[Italian.]
Sept. 20.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
554. Paolo Sarotti, Venetian Resident in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The day after the despatch of my last the king came here to hold a council with the lord treasurer and other ministers of the cabinet (camerali) to decide about the farm of the revenues of Ireland which were farmed out to persons of credit who have taken them for five years with an advantage to the king of over 80,000 crowns above the last. (fn. 8) In the evening the king returned to Windsor.
I went to Whitehall to pay my respects to his Majesty. He said he meant to be back here with all the household inside the present week. He is expected to-morrow, but he proposes soon to proceed to Neumarchet to enjoy the horse racing for fifteen and possibly twenty days. It is uncertain whether the queen will follow him.
The ambassador of Holland, who had come to London for some interests of the Dutch fleet sheltering in the Downs, spoke a word in the king's ear as he was passing from the council chamber to his coach. He told me afterwards that he wanted his Majesty to devote himself with more fervour to the peace now that the situation seemed very opportune owing to various blows received by France. He asked me if the most serene republic had nominated its representative for the mediation. This gave me an opportunity to follow the instructions I had just received on the subject. He assured me that his masters would have had the most complete confidence in the republic.
A Count Horn with the title of envoy of Sweden is expected here any day. (fn. 9) Every one marvelled at the first news of the coming of this new minister of that crown as there is already an ambassador and a resident; but it has since been learned that his business is to collect sailors and materials for the furnishing and building of ships for his master's fleet in which he is an officer.
They are waiting with great curiosity to hear the result of the undertakings designed by the king of Denmark. Ronquillo has complained to his envoy that they do not hear of those declarations which ought to be made by his master as king of Denmark. He told him it was suspected that he only wanted to save appearances because of the obligations contracted with the allies; so he will operate feebly.
This Spanish minister, by order, takes a very high tone with every one, but now in particular since the arms of the allies have had some advantage. At his table, when entertaining other foreign ministers, he has exaggerated publicly about the incident with the Germans in the sea of your Serenity. As even this week I have received no information beyond what is circulated in the gazettes, in which I have not the smallest confidence, I uphold boldly the cause of the most serene republic as best I can and the prudent behaviour of its representatives. I shall continue to do so until I can speak with authority and with greater freedom, when supplied with the information and instructions which I am awaiting.
Fresh advices from Tripoli report that Sir [John] Narborough, commander of the English ships of war which are before that port, is in close treaty with the new dey for the adjustment.
London, the 20th September, 1675.
[Italian.]
Sept. 23.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
555. Ascanio Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
No progress is made with the negotiations for peace. They are keeping on the watch to prevent any mischief that may be attempted by the Spaniards upon the meeting of the parliament of England, and when this is over it may easily happen that they will afford some opening for negotiations which will be equally strongly supported by the Swedes.
Paris, the 23rd September, 1675.
[Italian.]
Sept. 26.
Cinque Savii
alla
Mercanzia
Risposte
158.
Venetian
Archives.
556. In considering the question of granting to foreign ships which arrive at this port with their entire cargo exemption from the duty of the “novissima imposta” upon currants, by virtue of a decree of the Senate of the 26th August, 1626, we note that this contains no limitation of time. We learn also, at the same time, that it is left to the arbitrament of the interested parties to avail themselves of this, and under the pretence of its being lost they might be able to have copies made in order to obtain similar advantages, as we suspect happened a year ago or thereabouts, since there can be no manner of doubt but that the same interested parties are able to make use of the same exemption upon another, occasion. Accordingly we, the Five Savii alla Mercanzia consider that as a greater safeguard for the state a limit should be prescribed for the future and that this ought not to exceed one or two years.
Dated in the magistracy, the 26th September, 1675.
Andrea Valier
Agostin Bembo
Domenico Zon Savii.
[Italian.]
Sept. 27.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
557. Paolo Sarotti, Venetian Resident in England, to the Doge and Senate.
A week ago at night the queen arrived here back from Windsor with the duke and duchess of Jorch and the princesses, their daughters. On the following day the king came with the Prince Palatine, the duke of Monmouth and all the rest of the Court. I went to pay my respects to their Majesties and royal Highnesses. I have also paid visits, partly at their residences and partly at the palace, to the ambassadors and other foreign ministers.
The king remains undecided about going to Neumarchet. In the mean time, attracted by the fine weather prevailing, he has gone to enjoy the hunt outside this city.
Two new foreign ministers have arrived. One is Count Horn, sent by the king of Sweden, the other lo Spantemio, envoy of the Elector Palatine. (fn. 10) Horn has not taken character or title but says he is only here to employ himself in the service of his master under the protection of the ambassador. As he was formerly a captain of ships in the service of this king he has skill and knowledge in naval matters and has been sent to take away from the ports here eleven ships, which have been cleared of goods to arm them for use in war, collecting sailors and taking away such munitions as he can. But it is thought that he will not be able to carry out his intent because of the opposition that will be offered by the envoys of Spain, Denmark and Brandenburg, apart from the constitution of the realm and the nature of the English.
Lo Spantemio is at present engaged in paying his first complimentary visits. It is supposed that he has come to keep an eye on the negotiations which are set on foot for the peace, to procure advantages for the elector, his master.
The ambassadors of Sweden and of Holland are exerting themselves in their offices with the royal ministers so that his Majesty may join with the emperor and the Spaniards to open the way for preliminaries with the satisfaction claimed by France about the Furstembergh, from which Rovigni declares that his king will never draw back.
Both of these ambassadors have said to me that it seems to them that the most serene republic also ought to begin to contribute its efforts. In reply I made use of the ideas set forth in my instructions.
Ronquillo has also chosen to favour me with his opinion about stopping the passage of the Germans. He said that ill will was made clearly manifest in the landing which was forced upon them, as the officers were left in one place and the soldiers in another, so that the latter might disband and disperse. If the responsibility for this belonged to the Venetian commander, he ought to be punished. The pretexts and excuses put forward were pitiful. It was well known how much the republic depended upon the satisfaction of France. What your Serenity had had told to the king by your ambassador about this incident, which has a direct bearing upon the mediation of the republic for peace, seemed to him a similar action, to which he gave a name which I do not dare to repeat. He thought that their imperial and Catholic Majesties would require adequate satisfaction. It would be proper to the emperor's greatness to cause the ambassador of your Serenity to be forbidden to appear at Court. If subsequently the republic should insist upon its pretensions the emperor and his king would not fail to take suitable measures. The French had entered the Gulf and stayed there and they will return to it, showing in various ways their contempt for the pretended dominion. Although there was a Venetian general with a fleet at Corfu or Zante, no obstacle was offered to the French and not so much as a word spoken. (fn. 11)
He has frequently spoken to the same effect in public also and at his own table when other foreign ministers were dining with him. In reply I told him that I had not yet received any instructions from your Serenity or any information about the facts. As I only knew of them through the gazettes I was not able to uphold adequately the cause of the Signory. There was a great deal that I might say but possibly not all to the purpose because I did not know the circumstances with any certainty. If he had been well informed, without prejudice, he would not have spoken so improperly as he did. I thought that the most serene republic, which by courteous connivance had allowed so many thousands of Germans to pass, both recently and at other times, had now seen fit to prevent the inconveniences which might result from the continuation of such transit; and precisely from being a mediator for the peace she ought not to give any ground to the French for crediting her with any partiality for the Spaniards. I advanced various other considerations upon all the points of his discourse and told him that as I would not give credit to the reports of the gazettes or to his assertions either, as being an interested party and prejudiced, I did not think it became me to refute allegations of uncertain and possibly mendacious matters, wasting my breath to no purpose; but the ambassadors of your Serenity at the imperial and Catholic Courts would meet the case abundantly with the most solid arguments.
I know that Ronquillo has spoken strongly to the king himself about this incident, that it may prevent the mediation of the most serene republic.
I report all this in accordance with my duty, beseeching your Serenity to assist me from time to time with such illumination as you may see fit in the present conjunctures, as I find myself at a Court at which there are ministers of practically all the princes of Europe. Everything that happens is discussed and examined and it is important for your minister to be well instructed.
London, the 27th September, 1675.
[Italian.]

Footnotes

1 The Woolwich, a fourth rate built by Phineas Pett and launched at Woolwich on 26 August, o.s. Salvetti on 15 Sept. Brit. Mus. Add. MSS. 27962 V, fol. 421. Navy Records Society, Catalogue of Pepysian MSS., Vol. III, pp. 95, 103.
2 The news was brought by the Concord which left Barbados about 1 July and reached Lyme on 11 August. The rising of the natives was secretly planned, to massacre the whites, but the design was discovered in time and all the ring-leaders executed. Cal. S.P. Dom., 1675–6, pp. 253–4, 266, 285.
3 This seems to mark the defeat of what Ruvigny had been urging a short while before. “Ce prince in'a fait dire par M. le duc d'Yorc qu'il était convaincu de mes raisons et qu'il proroguerait encore son parlement en Avril si Votre Maj. voulait l'assister d'une somme d'argent qui fut capable de supleer à ses necessités. De sorte, Sire, il est en votre pouvoir de choisir … ou que le parlement soit prorogué jusqu'en Avril, en donnant au roi d'Angleterre, 500,000 écus, a quoi ce prince s'est reduit après beaucoup de discours … ou de consenter que le parlement assemble dans deux mois, mais aux conditions que le parlement soit cassé, ou qu'il donne de l'argent a Sa Maj. Brit, sans rien proposer contre la France,” Ruvigny to the king, 19 August, 1675. P.R.O. Paris Transcripts,
4 This would seem to refer to an order to Capt. Thomas Harman, in the Sapphire, on 17 September to convoy the Turkey Company's ships to Narborough. Writing on the 3rd Pepys merely notified Narborough of the ships that were already on the way to join him. Navy Records Society, Catalogue of Pepysian MSS., Vol. III, pp. 110, 117.
5 According to Salvetti these ships were met between Portsmouth and the Isle of Wight “li quali hanno male trattati diversi vasseli, dei quali alcuni furono lnglesi, pilligiando ot menando via per schiavi tutti che trovorono a bordo.” Brit. Mus. Add. MSS. 27962 V, fol. 420. Portsmouth is probably a mistake for Portland. Other reports stated that the corsairs had behaved very well. Cal. S.P. Dom., 1675–6, pp. 278, 286, 320. London Gazette. Aug. 30–Sept. 2.
6 It was not Ruyter but a convoy of some forty Dutch merchantmen escorted by 6 or 7 of his squadron under the command of Vice-Admiral Haen in the Gouda. They were on their way to Sicily and put in at St. Helens road on 26 August, n.s., under stress of weather. Relations Veritables, Brussels, of 4 Sept., 1675. London Gazette, Aug. 19–23, 1675. Cal. S.P. Dom., 1675–6, pp. 265–6.
7 On Saturday, 3rd August, the Marquis de la Fuente, the Spanish ambassador, left Venice for Trieste, in order to embark 1,400 German foot for Naples. A few days later the Venetian Captain of the Gulf obliged a ship carrying 600 Germans for Naples to return to Pirano in Istria, because they had not obtained a permit from the republic. On the 21st the emperor forbad the Court to the Venetian ambassador Michiel and demanded satisfaction for this affront. Relations Veritables, Brussels, Aug. 24 and 31 and Sept. 7, 1675.
8 By warrant dated 28 September powers to collect and manage the revenues of Ireland were granted to Sir James Shaen, Sir William Petty and ten others. In November the period of the grant was extended to seven years. Cal. of Treasury Books, Vol. IV, pp. 823. 853–5.
9 Count Gustave Horn, son of Marshal Horn. He arrived soon after and had his first audience of the king on the 26th. Relations Veritables, Brussels, 2 October, 1675.
10 Ezechiel von Spanheim. He had his first audience on Monday, the 24th. London Gazette, 13–16 Sept., 1675.
11 “Here are four men-of-war of the French soccorso from Messina, coasting it for this Gulf, to prevent the emperor sending militia in Apulia and Sicily; who have likewise visited several vessels coming to this city; which makes our Senate bite his lip, but silent per force. They fear that king and his interest.” Hailes to Williamson on 2 August. S.P. Venice, Vol. Vol. LIII, fol. 80.