Venice: November 1651

Pages 202-206

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 1651

Nov. 7.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Francia. Venetian Archives.
530. Michiel Morosini, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
The king of England entered Paris on Wednesday evening, being met by the Duke of Orleans, the queen his mother, the Duke of York and many grandees of the Court as well. His suite consisted of a gentleman and a lackey. His dress was more calculated to move laughter than respect, and his aspect is so changed that those who were nearest believed him to be one of the lower servants. He relates that after the battle, he escaped with a gentleman and a soldier, who had spent most of his days in highway robbery and had a great experience of hidden paths. Thus accompanied the king travelled by night, always on foot, as far as the remote parts of Scotland, but finding no means for embarking or place of safety, he had himself shaven, as a more complete disguise, and decided to return to England. There by ill fortune he was recognised by a miller, who began to shout to raise the country. Though destitute of the royal trappings, he did not lack prudence and courage to extricate himself from such a perilous adventure, as he hurried into a neighbouring wood, where he hid among the branches of a tree. In spite of the number and energy of the countrymen they never thought of raising their eyes, although the wood was full of men looking for him. When night came he took the way to London, where he arrived without being recognised and remained there in the same disguise. He was lodged in the house of a woman who got a ship for him, and to avoid risks in going through the city, he wore her clothes, and with a bag of washing on his head he got to his ship in safety and so crossed.
They have not yet given him a pension here, but I do not fancy there will be delay as he lacks the means to support himself. He declares that if France does not give him powerful assistance to make a diversion in England, the English will certainly come to make war on France, such being the talk among the soldiers and people too, and if they had peace here I have no doubt they would go to his assistance, owing to the justice of his cause as well as to bring down the pride of a nation naturally hostile to this.
Paris, the 7th November, 1651.
Nov. 11.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Roma. Venetian Archives.
531. Giovanni Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador at Rome, to the Doge and Senate.
I saw the pope yesterday. He asked me what I know and what I thought about the league which is being contrived by the English with the States of Holland, with others, and I think he meant to say with the Spaniards. Also about the despatch of a fleet which those two powers are contemplating sending to these waters and the offices which have been addressed to the Genoese for an assurance that the States and their ships shall receive every consideration. He went on to observe that the powers really ought to regard such a contingency with concern and lamented that no one gave it any consideration. He dilated considerably on this subject, perhaps in order to learn from me your Serenity's views. He asked me afterwards if England had accommodated the Turks with her own ships. I seized the opportunity to urge the need for assisting your Excellencies ; but the pope refused to enter upon this and kept the conversation fixed to the question of the English and the Dutch.
Rome, the 11th November, 1651.
Nov. 14.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Francia. Venetian Archives.
532. Michiel Morosini, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
Thirty large English ships of war are cruising off the coast of Normandy, full of troops and with 1,200 horses as well. The apprehension here is great as from the cavalry they conclude that a landing is intended, either with the support of partisans in the country or with the intention of compelling France by arms promptly to recognise parliament. The people of the coast are all under arms and keep on the watch to render such an attempt either difficult or hopeless.
Paris, the 14th November, 1651.
Nov. 18.
Senato, Secreta. Deliberazioni. Corti. Venetian Archives.
533. To the Ambassador in France.
In the last audience of our ambassador at Rome his Holiness made some reference to negotiations for a league on naval matters between the States of Holland and the parliament of England, with a hint that the Spaniards also might be included in it. We have not heard of this from anywhere else. We sent it to you in order that you may keep on the alert on a matter of so much importance and report to us what you find out on good authority.
Ayes, 126. Noes, 2. Neutral, 2.
Nov. 19.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Firenze. Venetian Archives.
534. Thadio Vico, Venetian Resident at Florence, to the Doge and Senate.
I went yesterday evening to welcome the Grand Duke and the Princes back from the country. In the course of conversation the Grand Duke told me of the clever means adopted by the king of England to escape from Cromwell. In the army, when it was seen that all was lost, he took counsel with the duke of Buckingham, who was in the same plight as himself. The duke decided to disguise himself as a falconer, with the goshawks on his arm. The other dressed as a groom with dogs for hunting on a leash. When asked where they were going they said they were on their way to London to find a Scottish gentleman. This proved quite successful as far as London. There Buckingham happened upon a sailor, the friend of a servant of his father. When asked, this man willingly carried them across to Holland, and so the duke with the king, who was not recognised by the sailor, crossed the sea and escaped. We hear by letters of the 26th written from Amsterdam that they stayed in that city for one day, incogniti, and then went to visit the Princess of Orange at Tilinghem, a pleasure resort a short distance away, given to the Princess by the States for her disport.
Florence, the 19th November, 1651.
Nov. 21.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Francia. Venetian Archives.
535. Michiel Morosini, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
Salvetti assures me of the constancy of the Levant Company. I enclose a copy of his letter, and without instructions I will not urge him more, as his zeal and vigilance merit praise rather than the spur.
Advices from London attached.
Paris, the 21st November, 1651.
Enclosure. 536. A. Salvetti to the Ambassador Michiel Morosini.
I should have informed you at once if I had suspected any change in the affair of the Levant Company and should also have tried to prevent it, but I have always found its principals very steadfast in their desire to maintain good relations with the republic, and I do not think there is any reason to mistrust them. But I will from time to time intimate to them the discredit that would attach to them as Christians should they help the enemy of the faith, and the credit to them if they abstain. I hope that all will pass according to agreement, and in any case you may be sure that my offices will always be used to serve the republic.
London, the 9th November, 1651.
537. Advices from London, the 5th November, 1651.
Nothing has yet been decided by the House of Commons about the reform of parliament and calling a new one, but they are to meet again about it this week. At the same time there will be public rejoicings for the victory over the Scots. At the same time Col. Robert Duchenfield, governor of Chester, set out with 3,000 foot, 2,000 horse and 40 ships for the Isle of Man, but with the wind contrary he had to return to Bomaris. 70 ships under Gen. Bache have invested Gerzei and occupied a good part of it.
Colonel Venables has been obliged to raise the siege of Ballinecargi, a very important place in county Cavan, the garrison being over 4,000 strong, with 300 foot and 700 horse two miles away.
Col. Fenuich, governor of Leith, has forbidden his men to marry Scottish women without his special permission, and has also prohibited his ministers from marrying them. Col. Fairfax has arrived at Newcastle with 6 companies of foot, having sent four others to Hull. The Scots in the north, under Sir George Monroe and the Marquis of Huntley, some 1,800 strong, advanced to Chsintor, but the governor hearing of this sent a part of his garrison to meet them, and made them retire towards Castle. The county of Sutherland has supplied 300 foot and 100 dragoons to Major Gen. George Monroe, and meantime the Marquis of Argyle is fortifying the island of Mula and his other castles.
Nov. 28.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Francia. Venetian Archives.
538. Michiel Morosini, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
I will not fail to send constant reports of the news of England, precisely as instructed.
Advices of London enclosed.
Paris, the 28th November, 1651.
Enclosure. 539. Advices from London, of the 11th November, 1651.
The fleet of 80 ships for Gersei left Weymouth but did not arrive till the 30th ult. owing to contrary winds. Our men were put in flat bottomed boats to land, but the tides being contrary they had to put into the bay of Suenton. Gen. Black and his officers approached the shore and these men threw themselves in to swim, and passing through gun and musket fire they were held up by a body of horse. After an hour's battle the enemy fled, leaving 12 guns in our hands. We thus entered the heart of the island, where we stopped until 5 in the morning of the 3rd inst. and meeting with no opposition from the enemy, captured two forts and some others which were all furnished with guns.
On the 2nd inst. the company of Capt. Anderson, of Fenwick's regiment entered Leith, and the 100 men of Cobet's regiment embarked there for Dundee, where the rest of the regiment is. That same day the vice governor of Leith demanded the surrender of the governor of Bass Island with all its guns and munitions. As he refused the vice governor sent commissioner Desburgh with a party of horse to seize the governor's wife, two brothers and father who were all sent by ship to England.
The Marquis of Argyle, being at this time in his castle of Anderanan, 16 miles from Dumbarton, seeing that the inhabitants refused to take up arms, informed Gen. Monk, to prevent any disorder and bloodshed if possible. Monk replied that he could not decide upon any treaty without orders from parliament, for which he had asked.
The governor of Dumbarton (fn. 1) with his garrison is greatly harassing the inhabitants of the neighbouring parts, who obey parliament.
The assembly of ministers at Edinburgh has terminated, and has issued a declaration completely disapproving of its former proceedings.


  • 1. Sir Charles Erskine.