Venice: November 1650

Pages 158-162

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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November 1650

Nov. 1.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Francia. Venetian Archives.
432. Michiel Morosini, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
The English parliament has intimated to the Dutch ambassador that he must leave London unless within 30 days he presents letters from his masters recognising the new republic. (fn. 1) At the same time they have decided to send an ambassador to this crown. This puts the ministers here in a dilemma, as a refusal to receive him would amount to a declaration of war, while to receive him would be too great a strain for France which has not yet dried her tears for the unhappy fate of King Charles, and which feels compassion for the queen, his widow, who has become the butt of every misfortune, and has recently lost a daughter who was left in England. From the shortness and malignity of the illness it is concluded that she died of poison. (fn. 2)
Paris, the 1st November, 1650.
Nov. 5.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Costantinopoli. Venetian Archives.
433. The Sieur De La Haye, French Ambassador at Constantinople, to the Doge and Senate.
I have already reported the Sultan's order for fetching back the gentleman sent to the Porte by the king of England, who was at Smyrna on an English ship. The parliamentarians, however, refused to hand him over to the chiaus, under whose nose they despatched a ship to London with this gentleman. (fn. 3) The Vizier was so irritated at this that he contemplated delivering up the parliamentary ambassador to the king of Great Britain. But the Captain Pasha having represented that the ships of the Venetian fleet were English for the most part it was resolved that the First Vizier should command the ambassador to have them withdrawn. So two days later the ambassador was summoned, in the presence of the Captain Pasha, and after being severely censured he promised to write to parliament and so arrange matters that these same vessels should be withdrawn, and in addition he undertook to cause other ships to come to help the Turks. In this way he obtained a complete absolution for all his sins, not only his own, but for those insolent fellows at Smyrna also.
Having heard of these transactions I went on the 2nd inst. to audience of the Captain Pasha. In the matter of the ships I told him I was astonished that they placed any reliance in the ambassador since it was manifest that he only promised out of fear of being handed over to the king of England, and even if the ships should be given they must not expect a more considerable succour than what they had last year when it was known that they had served so badly that the First Vizier Mansul threatened the ambassador here to force them to restore the 70,000 piastres given them for the hire, or to put him in the Seven Towers. I told him that if they made use of English ships these would claim to share the glory of their achievements against Candia. The Sultan should refuse their aid as it would be considered the price of treason. The Captain Pasha agreed that they did not need them, since they had enough of their own.
Pera of Constantinople, the 5th November, 1650.
[Italian, from the French ; the part in italics deciphered.]
Nov. 22.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Francia. Venetian Archives.
434. Michiel Morosini, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
The Prince of Orange has died of small pox at the age of 26, (fn. 4) after 6 days' illness. The queen of England also weeps his loss, though she is relieved at the safety of her daughter. These misfortunes have reduced the king of England to a wretched condition as from time to time he obtained powerful support from the rich resources of that house. The news about that king is somewhat contradictory. Reports came almost simultaneously that the sectaries of Scotland had made him prisoner and were negotiating with General Cromuell to settle all their differences by handing him over to the parliament ; other reports say that the sectaries have changed their minds about giving him to the English, and together with the nobility have decided for his coronation, so that being in a position of authority, the king has ordered the meeting of parliament to give shape to what is required, and that even those who absented themselves in the past have flocked to it. From these reports we should know in a few days whether the last hope of re-establishing the monarchy has disappeared, or if there is a ray of light after the numerous misfortunes which have pursued the Stuart family so far.
Paris, the 22nd November, 1650.
Nov. 23.
Senato, Secreta. Dispaeci, Spagna. Venetian Archives.
435. Pietro Basadonna, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.
The parliament fleet which has been blockading Lisbon, unable any longer to brave the storms of this season in the middle of the Ocean, has been at length compelled to abandon the undertaking. Prince Robert, left as master of the port, cruises about those waters. He captures indiscriminately the ships of all nations, whose sole immunity consists in the good fortune of not encountering him. Ships are not even safe in harbour for he has captured some under the fortresses of the king of Spain, to wit at Malaga and from some other places as well. (fn. 5) The government here is greatly annoyed. They resent these acts of brutality and rudeness on their own account and they are also anxious lest they prove the prelude to an attack on the [India] fleet, which from stress of weather often parts company, the vessels coming in one by one.
Madrid, the 23rd November, 1650.
Nov. 23.
Collegio, Secreta. Esposizioni, Principi. Venetian Archives.
436. The Resident of the King of England came into the Collegio and without saying anything presented a memorial. The Doge replied, We thank you for the office. These Signors will consider your requests and gratify them so far as is possible. On hearing this the Resident made the customary reverence, without adding anything, and went out.
The Memorial.
I have not appeared before your Serenity for some time because I have had no news of importance from my king, nor any certainty of his progress in Scotland until last week. The letters which arrived then relate that his Majesty had defeated the parliament army before Stirling. They retired to Edinburgh and their general, Cromwell, had gone to London, it is supposed for reinforcements for the coming campaign, and the king also is making the necessary provisions. Although so preoccupied in bringing back his people to their obedience, his Majesty's care for all his subjects extends even to the most remote. Having heard that his merchants in the Turkish dominions are about to be despoiled of their goods and maltreated in their persons contrary to all reason, he has commanded me to make every effort to protect them. I have recently had news of their imminent peril and how, to avoid it, most of them have left the mainland for the islands of the Archipelago, and that his Majesty's Resident with the Grand Duke (fn. 6) has taken ship to those parts to pick up what he can, both of his own in the hands of those merchants and of others, to take with their persons to safe places in the dominions of your Serenity. His ship, the Arabella, is now here and the Seven Delegates have not allowed it to depart. I beg your Serenity as a favour and in the name of my king, to grant the licence, the more so because this ship rendered most faithful service for two years in your Serenity's fleet, and has even now come from Candia. I hope the republic will generously grant this favour, taking compassion on the state of his Majesty's poor subjects, exposed to Turkish rapine and cruelty, which are too notorious. I can only assure your Serenity of his Majesty's sincere recognition, of which I shall always be ready to serve as the instrument.
Thomas Killigrew.
Venice, the 23rd November, 1650.
Nov. 25.
Senato, Secreta. Deliberazioni. Corti. Venetian Archives.
437. That a notary of the ducal chancery be sent to read the following to the Resident of England.
We much appreciate the communication of your advices. We rejoice at the satisfaction and content of his Majesty. In compliance with your request the ship Arabella will be allowed to proceed on her voyage. Without deviating from the course which she wishes to take we believe that she can render a service to the republic as well as benefit the royal minister whom she has on board, and we shall be glad if she will receive a cargo of various materials which are there ready to be laded, for the requirements of the islands.
Ayes, 146. Noes, 2. Neutral, 2.
Nov. 30.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Spagna. Venetian Archives.
438. Pietro Basadonna, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.
The vessels of Prince Rupert, continuing to cruise in the Spanish seas, captured two ships of the parliament fleet. Being afterwards caught in a storm they entered the harbour of Cartagena, where the two prizes, being ill manned, ran aground and went to pieces. A few hours later the ships of the parliament hove in sight and determined to attack their enemies even in harbour. However, owing to the remonstrances of the governor, and somewhat awed by the guns of the fortress, they consented to withdraw to the other side of the harbour, where they still lie, awaiting a reply from the ministers here to their demand that the remains of the two wrecks shall be handed over to them. Here they have held long consultations on the subject. After weighing the proprieties and the respect due to his Majesty's fortresses against the wish to give satisfaction to the parliament, fear of which no doubt exercise and influence, they decided four days ago to send a courier to London, for the purpose, it is supposed, of justifying the government and to give assurance of the best possible correspondence.
Madrid, the 30th November, 1650.


  • 1. The Council of State decided on Sept. 7/17 that Joachimi should be required to depart in 20 days. Cal. S.P. Dom., 1650, page 330. But according to Aitzema this intimation was received in October. Saken van Staet en Oorlog, Vol. III, page 469.
  • 2. The Princess Elizabeth, who died on 8/18 September, at Carisbrooke. She caught a chill which brought on a fever, and was ill about a fortnight. Cal. S.P. Dom., 1650, page 331.
  • 3. Hyde was sent to London in the ship Dragoneere, together with Dr. James Hyde, Paul Haggett and Richard Charleton. The ship reached London in January, when the Hydes were sent to the Tower and the others to the Gatehouse. S.P. For. Archives, Vol. 112, Feb. 6, 1651 ; Vol. 151, fols. 93, 100.
  • 4. On the 6th November.
  • 5. Blake left the Tagus early in October, and was at Cadiz on the 14/24th of the month. Rupert was heard of at Malaga on the 26th, old style. Hist. MSS. Comm. Portland, MSS., Vol. I, pages 537, 543.
  • 6. Apparently Sir Bernard Gascoign is meant. Spalding : Life of Richard Badiley, page 92.