503. Michiel Morosini, Venetian Ambassador in France, to
the Doge and Senate.
The Duke of Lorraine has sent to Ireland 40,000 doubles and
some ships with guns, officers and men, because of the invitation
from the people there to purchase some large towns. The greed
of this prince occasions deep reflection, because the investment of
so much money in a direction where he will certainly have to
contend with a powerful enemy is considered merely a device of
the Spaniards, who, in order to bring pressure to bear on the
English may have persuaded the duke to invest it thus in order to
reap a considerable advantage later by selling the places to the
English parliament. In London 60 ships are ready to sail in
different squadrons against the French, since it seems that the
English desire nothing so much as an open rupture with this
country. In Amsterdam also they are arming 30 more ships to
increase the squadron which has already sailed against the
The Duke of York has arrived here this week, it is thought for
his usual stay, as the queen is disposed to console him with some
annual assignment. But the impoverished state of the finances
makes it very doubtful if he will get the benefit he expects from it.
Paris, the 4th July, 1651.
504. The Resident of the King of Great Britain came into the
Collegio and spoke as follows :
I heard the other evening, with the greatest distress, of an
irregularity which I had not committed or even imagined. As
I express myself with difficulty in Italian, the enclosed sheet will
show the facts, and he thereupon handed the sheet to the secretary.
After it had been read the doge said, We are sure of your
excellent intentions and desire to do what is right. But as the
masters of houses are often the last to know what is being done,
we wished to let you know the desire of the Senate so that stricter
orders may be issued to prevent such scandals in the future,
causing general inconvenience and serious loss to the customs.
The Resident replied, I assure your Serenity that you shall have
no further occasion to complain on this score. I give my word
as a gentleman that such excesses are repugnant to my character
and my birth. The doge said they hoped this would be so, and
that as a gentleman and in his official capacity he would not
give occasion for any further complaints. The Resident repeated
what he had said, and without adding more, took leave and went
Had no idea of offending the republic or infringing its laws, or
of doing anything to cause the least scandal. Considers himself
unfortunate that others have abused his livery and committed
irregularities in his house of which he was not aware. To prove
his sincerity he has dismissed all who have worn his livery up
to this day, to prove his intention to have only men of unsullied
reputation, and that the republic may see his intention to live as
becomes the character he bears.
Venice, the 4th July, 1651.
Thomas Cilegreus, Resident of Great Britain.
505. Pietro Basadonna, Venetian Ambassador in Spain,
to the Doge and Senate.
As no minister has arrived from the parliament, and there is no
sign of any, I am unable to fulfil the state's commissions, unless
they are amplified. I had the secretary of the murdered resident
sounded by a person of discretion about paying me a visit. He at
once said he was anxious to come because of the goodwill I showed in
refusing to harbour the murderers of his master. He said he had
sent particulars of this to London, but having no orders to negotiate
with any one he did not venture to take such a liberty for fear of the
interpretation that might be put upon it. As he is of small ability
and no authority I did not insist further on a step that would not
give the desired result.
This person is to leave Madrid in the course of next week and will
travel with an escort sufficient to save him from accidents until he gets
on board ship. The Council of State wished sentence to be passed
on the prisoners before his departure, so that he might inform
parliament how it's claims had been favoured by the king. The judges
in charge of the case have thus been subjected to grievous pressure,
and from day to day the people expected to see the prisoners gibbeted
in the market place. But at length the king yielded to the remonstrances
of the nuncio in favour of the sanctuary, and rejecting reasons
of state, has decided to proceed according to the usual tenor of the law.
Now this fierce storm has blown over it seems probable that the prisoners
will be released in due course without opposition from the secular arm.
Madrid, the 8th July, 1651.
[Italian ; deciphered.]
506. Pietro Basadonna, Venetian Ambassador in Spain,
to the Doge and Senate.
The English secretary went to take leave of Don Luis before
starting for Malaga, to embark on a parliament ship for London,
His Excellency asked what he thought of Madrid ; he replied that he
had lived there rather as a prisoner than a guest, out of regard for
his personal safety. He had not even visited the Venetian ambassador,
to whom he was indebted for the goodwill shown to parliament and
himself. Don Luis told him he need not fear going abroad, as the
severity to the murderers of the Resident was a sufficient guarantee,
and he recommended a visit to the ambassador. Don Luis told me
this and added he spoke thus thinking to do me pleasure, because
of the desirability of a good understanding between the republic
and parliament. I thanked him and said I should be glad to see the
secretary although I had nothing special to say to him. Two days
later, i.e. the day before yesterday, he paid his call. He was most
effusive about my refusal to harbour the murderers, which he had
reported and he would repeat this orally on reaching London. I told
him I should greatly value his finding favour for me with the parliament,
from respect for the English nation and my wish for perfect
correspondence between it and the most serene republic. As he
expressed approval I went further and gave him leave to represent
all this to parliament, intimating how meet it would be for the first
overtures to proceed from the other side, as the junior power. I offered
to forward any such intimation that parliament might make. I took
the liberty to tell a falsehood for the service of the state, saying I
considered myself an excellent medium for the establishment of a
result so much to be desired for trade, repute and a thousand things.
He assured me he would report what I said and would give a detailed
account of my good disposition. He repeated this on the morrow
when I went to wish him a good journey.
The rest of our conversation tended to an exaltation on his part of
the power of parliament. He asserted with arrogance rather than
boastfulness, that all princes will seek its friendship, as England
combines what no other country possesses, namely military and naval
strength united with commercial prosperity, whereby the English
have rendered themselves necessary to the whole world. In discussing
the relations with Spain he said he relied on their durability, as the
king will never dare to sever them. Yet their slackness over the
murderers and the connection of Spain with the Duke of Lorraine
(who has purchased harbours in Ireland and keeps 20 good ships on
purpose to injure the English) will always cause offence and may
prevent the Catholic from realising the advantage which he hopes the
parliament will give him.
Of France he spoke contemptuously and told me plainly that no
friendship exists between that country and the English, who set no
store by it. He added laughing, By God's grace we have rid London
of the French, who made us as mad as themselves (che facevano pazzi
noi altri ancora).
Of the neighbouring powers he thought well only of the Dutch,
possibly from similarity of principles and constitution. He said
that when united with England, as they must be of necessity one day
or other, they would awe the whole world.
This is all I have to report. Time will show the result. The
state is not affected as I alone am pledged, although the Englishman
may reasonably infer that my language was dictated by something
more than my private caprice.
I have also tried to obtain information through the Abate Carleni,
a Roman, who served Sig. Contarini at Munster, and is now
living here, having recently arrived from London upon business
of the Count of Egmont. He said he was convinced of the esteem
which several members of parliament had for the republic and of their
wish, more than two years ago, to send a minister to Venice. They
refrained only because of what happened in Holland and in Denmark.
When the Abate asked me why this friendly feeling was not reciprocated
I replied, that if the English, whose place it was to make the first
advances, had done so, I imagined that the republic would willingly
have maintained that intercourse which had existed between Venice
and England for so many years. Carleni then asked if I would
allow him to write this to a friend of his, a man of influence in the
new commonwealth who had spoken to him particularly on the
subject, as he passed for a Venetian, a Roman origin being in too
bad odour in London. I gave him leave and said I should congratulate
myself if I were instrumental in what I considered advantageous
for both nations. I did not unbosom myself further, as though the
Abate is my friend and devoted to your Excellencies, he may profess
goodwill to others also, and so I prefer his interference to be spontaneous,
rather then he should act on any suggestions from me. I will
report any reply that may reach me, and in the mean time I will not
lose sight of the affair.
Madrid, the 15th July, 1651.
[Italian ; deciphered.]
507. Thadio Vico, Venetian Resident at Florence, to the
Doge and Senate.
When I saw Sig. Gondi on Monday I asked him if his Highness
had recognised parliament. He replied in the affirmative and
said they had sent orders to the resident there to recognise them
in negotiations, but with the utmost reserve until it was seen what
France would do. This did not satisfy parliament as they wanted
a clear expression from the Grand Duke in letters to his minister.
Accordingly special letters of credence were sent, though they had
to be repeated because of the title. The last were sent at the
beginning of last month. His Highness could not do less though
closely related to the king of England, on account of the interests
of trade and mutual facilities in the ports of both nations. If the
king gains the upper hand they will recognise him afresh. Spain,
Portugal, Sweden, Denmark, Holland and all the circles and states
of the empire, which had commenced relations with England, had
accommodated themselves to circumstances in this way and France
was on the point of doing the same, so his Highness did not wish
to be the last. I commended the prudence of his Highness and
thanked Gondi for the confidential communication.
Florence, the 15th July, 1651.
508. Michiel Morosini, Venetian Ambassador in France,
to the Doge and Senate.
The English ambassadors, after making a long stay at the
Hague, have departed thence without concluding anything and
indeed with some amount of ill feeling (con poca soddisfatione
The Ambassador of Savoy has visited the duke of York. The
other foreign ministers have not yet seen him. I should be glad
of instructions in the matter.
I have received the ducal missives of the 17th ult. I may say
that although French merchants have received considerable
injury from English corsairs, and from French ones as well, yet
they have never come forward as a body to make complaint.
Paris, the 18th July, 1651.
509. The ship Nortumbria was hired by the Magistracy of
Oil to fetch oil from the Morea to Venice. It did so, bringing 360
thousand. This oil has been detained at the instance of the
Proveditori of the Customs and a suit has been instituted against
That the Proveditori of the Customs be ordered to release the
oil and annul the suit.
Ayes, 64. Noes, 18. Neutral, 69.
Second vote :
Ayes, 46. Noes, 8. Neutral, 92.
That reserving all rights and in the interests of the public
service the Proveditori of the Customs be directed to release
absolutely the oil aforesaid and not to proceed further with the
suit touching the ship Nortumbria.
Ayes, 83. Noes, 4. Neutral, 57. Carried.