Venice: August 1651

Pages 194-196

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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August 1651

Aug. 14.
Collegio, Secreta. Esposizioni, Principi. Venetian Archives.
510. Late yesterday I Angelo Ciera went to the houses of the Receiver of Malta and of the Residents of France, England, Florence, Mantua and Modena, to inform them of the success of the victorious arms of the republic. (fn. 1)
The Resident of England, lamenting by signs the difficulty of language, got the consul, who was there, to speak for him, who said he was afraid they might succumb to the effects of over joy. If the forces of the republic had achieved such glory, those of his king also enjoyed the favours of fortune, as by letters of a leading minister he was advised of the capture made by Prince Rupert of five ships of the Catholic king with cargoes worth two millions of gold and more. By other letters of the Duke of York he was almost assured of a considerable victory gained after three days' fighting, six leagues from Edinburgh, with great slaughter of the enemy, and some hope that Cronuel was among the slain. He considered the news certain, as the king had three armies, one of 2,000 commanded by himself, the second a flying one of 12,000, and the third of 15,000, and he was determined to try and dissipate the rebels everywhere by the sword. When the royal despatches arrive he will give your Excellencies a fuller account. In the mean time he rejoiced at the news I gave him and that the flags of his country were fighting under the happy auspices of General Mocenigo.
Aug. 15.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Spagna. Venetian Archives.
511. Pietro Basadonna, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.
The letters from London having arrived I asked Don Luis what he had heard from Cardenas about preventing the Anglo Turkish alliance. He sent at once for the despatches, evidently intending to show them to me ; but after glancing through them he checked himself and merely said that the ambassador had made the remonstrance and there was no reason to apprehend any mischief from that quarter. He repeated this two or three times declaring that the matter should never be lost to sight. I cannot guess why he changed his mind when on the point of showing me the letter. It may be he wished to prevent me giving any hint to France of the indifferent understanding which exists at present between Spain and the parliament, because the commonwealth has not complied with the demands of Spain or has raised difficulties about granting the promised succour. As the Spaniards were the first to acknowledge the parliament, they considered that they had bought it and could dictate the course of its foreign policy. This is far from being the case and so frequent bickerings arise. The Spanish ministers complain that they have been unable to prevent the negotiations with Portugal or to stay those with Holland, and although both have taken a bad turn this does not prevent the fact from prejudicing the influence which Spain claimed. In addition to this the English acted in these matters with marked contempt for Spanish opinion and in every other respect they deal harshly with this Court and affect superiority.
Madrid, the 15th August, 1651.
[Italian ; deciphered.]
Aug. 16.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Francia. Venetian Archives.
512. Michiel Morosini, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
A report issued from the quarters of the queen of England that the king with 22,000 foot and 12,000 horse had inflicted a great defeat on Cromwell ; but it proves without foundation. It is true, however, that the king's army, from almost inaccessible mountains is harassing the enemy with its guns, and has little fear of attack, as the advantage of position would certainly give it the victory.
English privateers are harassing French craft so seriously that scarce a week passes without the news of considerable losses, thus correcting by force the abuses which the negligence of the ministers here permitted to the manifest ruin of the country.
Paris, the 16th August, 1651.
Aug. 20.
Collegio, Secreta. Esposizioni, Principi. Venetian Archives.
513. On Saturday evening, the 19th, I Iseppo Cavanis, notary of the ducal chancery, went to the house of the Resident of England to read him the office decided, handed to me by the Secretary Bon. After I was introduced and had read the office relating the victory, of which he took a copy, he said he was very sorry he had not enough command of Italian to express his satisfaction at this victory, obtained by the Venetians without help from the other Christian powers. He would at once inform his king, knowing that he would be delighted, more especially as this is for the benefit of all Christendom. He was sorry his master was in such distress, as he would have shown the republic the most cordial affection he bore it. He prayed the Almighty that matters would adjust themselves so that the republic might know his regard. He remarked to me, I am sorry you do not understand my Flemish speech, to report to his Serenity our affection for this republic. As he said no more I took leave and came away.
Aug. 25.
Collegio, Secreta. Esposizioni, Principi. Venetian Archives.
514. The Resident of England came into the Collegio and handed in a memorial which was read :
The doge said, We regret the accident, but it is necessary to see that such things do not happen. The man was an outlaw and behaved scandalously everywhere. You know that such things are not tolerated. The Resident said, I knew nothing about it. He served the Resident of France two years and has been two years with me. It is right that your Serenity should have satisfaction, but I am innocent and I ask you to take some step to give me satisfaction. Without saying more he made his bow and went out.
The day before yesterday in the public street a short distance from my house Gasparo di Battista Picolo of Monselice, one of my gondoliers, was attacked by the Capitan Grande, followed by some 15 sbirri, wounded, dragged into a boat and carried off. I am amazed at the incident and cannot imagine the reason for such scandalous and undeserved treatment. As I believe this has been done without the order or even the knowledge of your Serenity I come to tell you of it as soon as possible, feeling sure that you will uphold the rights of public ministers and not suffer such treatment of an old friend and ally.
Venice, the 25th August, 1651.
Thomas Chillegreus, Resident of the King of Great Britain.
Aug. 30.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Spagna. Venetian Archives.
515. Pietro Basadonna, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.
At the close of our conversation Don Luis began to tell me of his own accord that he had read the letters from England a second time and could confirm that Cardenas had been unable to find any trace of an alliance between parliament and the Turks, but he would keep his eyes open and make his remonstrances at the right moment. Don Luis added that by more recent advices from London he learned that the affairs of parliament were less successful than usual. The king had become so powerful in Scotland that with forces now superior to those of the enemy, he contemplated entering England, with the hope of making a great stir among the people, who admit the justice of his cause and are weary of the violence of the present government. Don Luis showed little sign of regret for this and may enjoy the reverses of the Commonwealth because it has not attached so much value to the recognition and friendship of this crown as was expected.
Madrid, the 30th August, 1651.
[Italian ; deciphered.]


  • 1. On the 10th July, off the island of Paros ; 10 Turkish ships were taken, five burned, the Venetian Captain General Tomaso Mocenigo was slain.