Venice: September 1649

Pages 116-120

Calendar of State Papers Relating To English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 28, 1647-1652. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1927.

This free content was digitised by double rekeying and sponsored by the Arts and Humanities Research Council. All rights reserved.


September 1649

Sept. 7.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Francia. Venetian Archives.
326. Michiel Morosini, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
Encloses the sheet of events of London.
Paris, the 7th September, 1649.
Enclosure. 327. Advices from London, the 2nd September, 1649.
The Council of State and parliament are devoting their attention to Ireland, as the most important question for the moment. To hasten its reduction under the auspices of good fortune orders were send to Cromuell to embark with all speed for that country with all the forces there are, but to try to placate O'Neale by gentleness rather than by force, and the people by permitting liberty of conscience and every other satisfaction, provided they will recognise the government of England as supreme and abandon the royal side.
Cromuell's wife left London last week to embark for Ireland, as in that country she will enjoy with her husband the title and command of Vicereine, if the plan succeeds. It is already stated that they have landed at Dublin with a large force, and have engaged Ormond vigorously, who with the Scots and other troops is estimated to have possibly 20,000 combatants, and authentic news is anxiously awaited.
Last week the city of Exeter rejected orders expressly sent by parliament, tearing up and trampling upon the letters, merely answering that they did not recognise the parliament as anything, so that it is contemplated bringing that place to do what is desired by force.
Sept. 10.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Zante. Venetian Archives.
328. Ambrosio Bembo, Venetian Proveditore at Zante, to the Doge and Senate.
The Christian ships, Flemish and English, have already been dismissed, and I learn that they sailed some time since for their own countries. The enemy's forces are therefore weakened and unequal to coping with those of your Serenity.
Zante, the 31st August, 1649, old style.
Sept. 11.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Germania. Venetian Archives.
329. Niccolo Sagredo, Venetian Ambassador in Germany, to the Doge and Senate.
Three foreign ministers have arrived this week, I may say unexpectedly. One is a gentleman sent by the king of England, (fn. 1) who gives himself the title of ambassador, although as a matter of fact he is not recognised as such by the Court. The others are an ambassador from the duke of Bavaria and a cavalier of the house of Gonzaga in the name of the archduke of Innsbruch. I believe that the first is charged with compliments and recommendations in the name of the king of England. For my own part, in view of the state of affairs in that country and the measures and decisions of the parliament, which are so intimately concerned with the interests of your Serenity, I have thought it best to avoid any sort of communication.
Cimerin, the 11th September, 1649.
Sept. 14.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Francia. Venetian Archives.
330. Michiel Morosini, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
The English are beginning to issue decrees of reprisal against the French, because the time limit of forty days has expired which they set for the release and restitution of all the goods in the ship Apollo.
Paris, the 14th September, 1649.
Sept. 20.
Senato, Secreta. Deliberazioni. Costantinopoli. Venetian Archives.
331. To the Bailo at Constantinople.
We note the silence of the English ambassador about your release, which is a clear indication, that he is conscious of his mistake although he tries to cover it over with other pretexts. Nevertheless it will be helpful under present circumstances to use dissimulation and to encourage moderately confidential relations with him, the more so because, from what we are able to learn, his ships have served as transports for the Turks ; but they do not seem to have any intention of performing other acts of hostility against us. We think it likely, moreover, that the ambassador himself, from a sense of shame and consideration of the disapproval of his countrymen and the world at large, will refrain from granting them on other similar occasions. When you have an opportunity you will remind him of the glory he acquired on that other occasion by his refusal, and this will serve to encourage him to stand fast.
We enclose an extract from a letter of the Ambassador Contarini about an agreement made by Salvetti in England with the Levant Company. By this their ships will be allowed to enter the Castelli two or three at a time, and others will be allowed in if the first ones come out again. We shall issue orders to this effect and you will take action in accordance.
Ayes, 124. Noes, 2. Neutral, 12.
Sept. 21.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Francia. Venetian Archives.
332. Michiel Morosini, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
Encloses sheet of events of London.
Paris, the 21st September, 1649.
Enclosure. 333. Advices from London, of the 13th September, 1649.
Letters from Dublin report that Cromuell has come to terms with the Catholic general in Ireland, but when they wished to attack Ormond together, they received a serious check. (fn. 2) This seems to be confirmed by Cromuell's demands for men and money, on which account orders have been issued for the immediate levy of 6,000 men.
It is said that the Scots have taken 6 parliament ships which were going to join their General Harperton in Ireland, laden with provisions of food and munitions of war.
The Levellers seem inclined to make a fresh disturbance, and there is considerable apprehension if affairs go worse for parliament in Ireland.
Sept. 24.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Munster. Venetian Archives.
334. Alvise Contarini, Venetian Ambassador to the Congress of Munster, to the Doge and Senate.
Fresh quarrels have already begun between France and the parliament of England. The latter has prohibited the importation of French wines into that kingdom, in retaliation for a similar prohibition by the French of all the manufactures of England. (fn. 3) If these decrees are carried into effect they will inflict great injury on the people of both countries, for it is all but impossible for England to do without French wine, or France without English manufactures. It is further stated that the insurgents of Bordeaux receive some secret assistance from England. I do not think I was far wrong when I wrote that the English and the Dutch are the hidden canker (remori occulti) of the peace between the two crowns. It is quite certain that these considerations are much more weighty than the points in dispute between the crowns.
Brussels, the 24th September, 1649.
Sept. 25.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Germania. Venetian Archives.
335. Niccolo Sagredo, Venetian Ambassador in Germany, to the Doge and Senate.
The English gentleman who is here in the capacity of ambassador for his king sent to visit me. I pleaded sickness and to avoid further trouble I got the son of Count Montecucoli, his friend, to represent to him the delicate state of the republic's affairs and the need for me to be cautious, and that he would do better to avoid the visit. The count's son told me afterwards that this office was well received. The gentleman said that he had instructions and a great desire to serve me, but he would forego the pleasure in view of the considerations advanced.
The gentleman will remain some weeks at the Court. Another has arrived, a Scottish cavalier named Enderson, in the king's name, with orders to ask for assistance with arms and some other help. To effect this Enderson offers to hand over a particular credit of 40,000 florins which he has with the chamber here.
Cimmerin, the 25th September, 1649.
Sept. 25.
Senato, Secreta. Deliberazioni. Corti. Venetian Acrhives.
336. To the Ambassador at the Imperial Court.
To follow the example of the other ambassadors in his dealings with the Sieur di Pentenau, the ambassador of Bavaria. With the ambassador of the king of England it behoves him to avoid all communication, using discretion, owing to considerations which are well known and appreciated by him.
Ayes, 125. Noes, 1. Neutral, 0.
Sept. 28.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Francia. Venetian Archives.
337. Michiel Morosini, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
The King of England, after making some of the leading gentlemen of his party knights of the garter, has left St. Germain and gone to Gersey, to await some opportunity that fortune may send him. He took with him the Duke of York, more to annoy his mother, with whom there is little love lost, than because prudence required it, since all his enterprises may be considered hazardous in the present state of affairs, and there is always danger to the posterity of the house when the two princes run risks together. During his stay in France, although incognito, one has observed traits of true royal generosity. Among these I have noted the refusal, destitute as he was of everything, of 50,000 reals offered him by the owners of some ships now serving the Turk against your Serenity for pardon for the fault and restoration to his grace and favour. While swearing eternal fury against these the king expressed the most tender affection for your Serenity and said that the greatest distress he suffered was being powerless at a time when your Serenity's need was so great, as he knew with what sincerity you had always loved his house. He has directed Sir Henry Hyde, his consul in the Levant, to go and express his sentiments and the part he would wish to take in the present situation, and he had also charged him to make strong representations at the Porte in support of the Bailo with whom he wishes the consul to act always in concert. He has been to see me to-day expressing his reverence and devotion to your Serenity.
To inform divers princes of Italy of the fate of his father the king is sending Mr. Thomas Chilegreu, who will go first to Madame of Savoy, because of the family connection. Thence I believe he will go to Florence for the same purpose and finally reach your Serenity, where he is directed to remain as resident. On hearing of this I intimated to his Majesty that I should be glad to have the honour of assuring him of the disposition of your Excellencies and that you would have co-operated for his great interests if you had not been entirely preoccupied with matters of the highest importance. He made a complimentary reply, adding that as his Majesty was in the midst of a few familiars he did not wish to make himself visible to foreign ministers, and had intimated as much to all without distinction.
The step taken by this young but very talented king has reference certainly to his own interests, but in some sense he has been moved by a peculiar aversion for the French nation. Although he might hope for the recovery of his dominions from them rather than from anyone else soever yet he fears that they mean to deceive, to divert the wrath of parliament which they seem quite disposed to recognise openly when the opportunity presents itself. For these reasons I find that he would not abandon his brother, preferring to have him as the companion of his miseries rather than leave him exposed to the caprice of those who would think nothing of sacrificing him for the most trifling advantage.
News sheet of London enclosed.
Paris, the 28th September, 1649.
Enclosure. 338. Advices from London, the 20th September, 1649.
Last week in parliament five royal crowns were broken up and then sent to the Tower, and so all the other things belonging to the king are being destroyed, and they are even taking down the royal arms and eulogies from the churches and other places, putting up other inscriptions to please parliament. Last Sunday a minister preaching in St. Peters church, London, said something against parliament, when he was pulled out of the pulpit by soldiers and taken to prison, although the people tried to stop it. (fn. 4) On the following day guards were set at the city gates to prevent a rising and he was taken to a room of the royal palace for greater security.
The struggle in Ireland affords an opening for the Levellers and it is rumoured that they have taken Oxford with a quantity of food and munitions of war.


  • 1. Possibly John Taylor. In letters of credence for the earl of Rochester in Dec., 1652, Charles refers to Taylor as if he was resident in Vienna. Londorp : Acta Publica, Vol. VI, page 890.
  • 2. It was Monk who made the convention with O'Neill and who was driven from Dundalk by lnchiquin.
  • 3. By resolution of the 23rd August, O.S. Journals of the House of Commons, Vol. VI, p. 285.
  • 4. Apparently Richard Bishop of St. Peter's, Pauls Wharf. Cal. S.P. Dom., 1649-50, page 523.