Venice: January 1650

Pages 132-135

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.

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January 1650

1650. Jan. 1.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Germania. Venetian Archives.
374. Niccolo Sagredo, Venetian Ambassador in Germany, to the Doge and Senate.
After a year of widowhood it is almost certain that the emperor will marry again and his wife should be the princess of England, (fn. 1) indeed his Majesty almost seems to take delight in this being generally believed. In the Council of State the day before yesterday Count Slavata, who is very familiar with the emperor, told him that according to the news from Prague a marriage was arranged between the princess of England and his Majesty and that Count Martinez was going to make the arrangements. The emperor laughed and asked Count Martinez when he was going to start on this journey. The duke of Lorraine told me that now they cannot tolerate the marriage of England with the princess of Innsbruch (fn. 2) without the opinion of France being requested, at least as a matter of courtesy. The duke says that there are reasonable grounds for believing that when they are able they will now seek for a pretext to avenge themselves in some way upon the house of England, and their irritation will be increased by this new marriage, which he also feels certain will take place, to the exclusion of the house of Orleans.
Vienna, the 1st January, 1649. [M.V.]
Jan. 3.
Senato, Mar. Venetian Archives.
375. When Captain Thomas Midelton of the ship Elizabeth Maria sailed from the Dardanelles he steered in the direction of Candia. In the waters of Limene he encountered fourteen galleys of the Bey, four foists and some brigantines. Attacked by these, fired on and boarded from every side, he sustained the assault with the courage and spirit of his men, inflicting considerable injury on the aforesaid craft and forcing the enemy to give up their attempt. This also had the effect of delaying the succour made ready for Canea. These particulars are all fully known to this Council by the testimony of the public representatives.
The republic, by acts of munificence, has at all times wished to make known its appreciation of those who do great deeds. In pursuance of this precedent it considers that it is only right to give the said captain some token of the public satisfaction over the above mentioned action, which he conducted so intrepidly to a successful issue. Accordingly it is proposed to grant to the said Captain Thomas Midelton for the aforesaid action a gold chain of 300 ducats, good value, so that with this mark of honour he may be distinguished as a man of valour, such as he has so worthily proved himself to be, by the shedding of his own blood, and that he may be consoled and encouraged thereby to embrace our service afresh and devote himself thereto with the utmost good will.
Ayes, 162. Noes, 8. Neutral, 10. It requires 4-5ths. On the 3rd January in the Collegio.
Ayes, 21. Noes, 1. Neutral, 0. It requires 4-5ths.
Jan. 4.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Francia. Venetian Archives.
376. Michiel Morosini, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
Encloses sheet of events of London.
Paris, the 4th January, 1649. [M.V.]
Enclosure. 377. Advices from Chester, the 20th December, 1649.
The troops of Owen Roe have now joined those of the Marquis of Ormond, making the king's army very strong. Lt.-Gen. Cromuell has begun his march, intending to engage the royal forces, which are not far away.
From London, the 24th December.
Letters from Gen. Cromuell were read in parliament recently, reporting the capture of Enesterni and three other places of consequence in Ireland. This has greatly delighted the parliamentarians, who hope soon to be masters of many other places in that country which are still loyal to the king.
Jan. 10.
Cinque Savii alla Mercanzia. Risposte. Venetian Archives.
378. With respect to the reference from the Senate of the 27th ult., about the trade of the English at Zante and Cephalonia we are informed that the English residents and traders at Zante are George Brumel, Henry Campion, Thomas Donson, George Farintor, George Gifford and William Tindal, whose business it is to buy currants from the islanders in accordance with orders from England. The ships go straight to the islands from England, to lade currants in exchange for ready money, brought from Leghorn or elsewhere. Other ships come to Venice and proceed to the islands with ready money and their empty casks, to lade currants, which are supplied by the house of Walter Vandervort, which in this city has the bulk of the business of the English. There used to be an Englishman in the islands named Thomas Simons, who was consul, but now that he has returned to his native land there is a Greek who is the only one who busies himself over the despatch of the ships. What amount of understanding there may be, we have not been able to discover, though we are of opinion that every merchant looks after his own interests and their conduct is governed by what happens.
Henry Hyde lived for some years in the island of Zante and the bulk of the trade passed through his hands. He was held by everyone to be an absolutely sincere and honourable merchant, whose industry and flourishing business was advantageous to the interests of the state. He is reported to be well affected to the republic. He came to Venice to farm the customs on currants and took them up at a considerably increased rate. Subsequently quarrels and dissensions arose between him and the islanders, and he withdrew to the Morea under a sentence of banishment. His innocence was subsequently acknowledged and he was acquitted. We learn that he is a man of upright character and being well disposed and industrious he is likely to benefit the interests of the state in every way that can be expected.
Dated at the office on the 10th January, 1649. [M.V.]
Jan. 11.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Francia. Venetian Archives.
379. Michiel Morosini, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
I hear a report that in Toulon a number of French gentlemen are arming ships, taking advantage of the facilities granted by the king to go privateering, and I am told that they will sail under the flag of the king of England. I believe this to be an invention originating in the minds of those who have unlawfully made profit out of the goods of numbers of merchants and who, in order to escape from the representations of foreign ministers, want to cover over their shortcomings by letting it be understood that they are privateers dependent on the king of England.
News sheets of London enclosed.
Paris, the 11th January, 1649. [M.V.]
Enclosure. 380. Advices from Chester on the frontiers of Ireland.
The royal army under the Marquis of Ormond, having occupied the fords of the rivers Noer and Barou, Lt.-Gen. Cromuell sent his troops under his lieutenant to offer them battle, while he lay sick at Rosse. But the two armies, after facing each other for some time, without caring to engage, have retired, contrary to the general expectation, as a sanguinary conflict was looked for. After the two armies separated Cromwell sent Colonel Reynold with 15 companies of horse to take Carich, which was held by Ormond. After taking Carich Cromuell's lieutenant went with the whole army to attack Waterford, crossing the River Lever. Colonels Pride and Valler are at Leverpol where they are embarking many parliament troops to send to Ireland.
381. Advices from London, the 2nd January, 1650.
At the news that Prince Rupert was at sea with a considerable fleet, parliament decided to send their admiral to engage him, with 14 ships and a number of frigates. (fn. 3)
Jan. 15.
Senato, Secreta. Deliberazioni. Corti. Venetian Archives.
382. To the Ambassador at the Imperial Court.
We have heard with satisfaction the remarks made to you by the duke of Lorraine on the expected marriage of Caesar to the princess of England, to the exclusion of Mademoiselle d'Orleans. This confidence deserves our appreciation and we shall make a respectful response as well as by observing the requisite secrecy.
Ayes, 118. Noes, 3. Neutral, 1.
Jan. 18.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Francia. Venetian Archives.
383. Michiel Morosini, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
The English who have suffered more than any from the aggression of the French are now sending 15 large ships of war to the Mediterranean, to fight the French quite as much as to convoy their own ships. They have orders to engage those who go privateering under the flag of the king of England, even in French ports. I add another item of news, of great importance if it proves true. Many letters from England relate that the Spanish ambassador in London has recognised the republic, since when the parliamentarians have intimated to the French resident and all the other foreign ministers that they must do the same or leave the country within six weeks.
Paris, the 18th January, 1650.
Jan. 22.
Senato, Secreta. Deliberazioni. Corti. Venetian Archives.
384. To the Ambassador Contarini.
Satisfaction that the Levant Company has accepted the arrangement suggested. The Senate will be glad if he can obtain a copy of the orders issued to the English ministers in the Levant.
Ayes, 130. Noes, 2. Neutral, 0.


  • 1. The emperor's second wife Maria Leopoldina died on the 19th August, 1649. The princess of England would presumably be Elizabeth, barely 14 years old at this date.
  • 2. Isabella Clara, daughter of Archduke Leopold V. of the Tyrol, and elder sister of the recently deceased empress, would seem to be meant. But she had just married Charles III., duke of Mantua.
  • 3. Blake was selected to command this squadron on the 4/14 December. Cal. S.P. Dom., 1649-50, pages 424-5.