Venice: December 1651

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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'Venice: December 1651', in Calendar of State Papers Relating To English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 28, 1647-1652, (London, 1927) pp. 206-208. British History Online [accessed 1 March 2024]

December 1651

Dec. 5.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Francia. Venetian Archives.
540. Michiel Morosini, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
Encloses advices of London.
Paris, the 5th December, 1651.
Enclosure. 541. Advices from London, the 18th November, 1651.
Very favourable news has reached parliament from its commissioner in Ireland that Limerick (fn. 1) and the castles of Russen and Peel have surrendered to its forces.
The troops are still before Elizabeth castle in Jersey, and as this is built on rocks on a very small island the enterprise is likely to prove difficult.
News came on the 3rd that Limerick surrendered on terms, that the inhabitants should be safe and the soldiers to leave without arms. Sir Charles Coote has taken Mulich castle from the Irish, capturing 14 and slaying 34. It is established that one of the most famous leaders of the Tories named Scurloch has been killed in an encounter with the parliament forces refusing the quarter offered to him.
It is reported that the Highlanders raised by the Marquis of Huntly and Lord Belcares all deserted, because they were not paid, and taking to the road, after many robberies they attacked the baggage of Lord Calendar convoyed by Sir Alexander Levingston, his son, in the mountains towards the island of Murray, which they took, wounding the knight and stripping all his men.
The divisions between the Scottish ministers persist, for and against the acts of the late Assembly. Many persons of note met not long since at St. Andrews, where proposals were made on behalf of the natives of the counties of Fresia, Perth, Angus and Alerne to present to fresh commissioners the members of parliament to be sent to Scotland, where they are impatiently awaited by those natives. On the other hand the Marquis of Argyle was for summoning a new parliament in Scotland in some part subject to him, either in the Highlands or in the islands, and he invites our people to go and visit him, to observe and direct his proceedings.
Dec. 19.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Francia. Venetian Archives.
542. Michiel Morosini, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
In the matter of England nothing definite has yet been decided. I can only say that the king is doing his utmost to get Mlle. d'Orleans to wife and the Duke of York Mlle, de Longueville. (fn. 2) But I have not doubt that the Court will prevent both, since to permit this would mean preparing for a war with the parliament of London.
In reply to the ducali of the 18th ult. I may say that the pope's suspicions of an alliance between the English and Dutch, with possibly the Spaniards as well, are derived from the nuncio here, who, with his usual credulity, has written to Rome what was said here, but without foundation as although there is certainly some sign of an alliance it is equally certain that at present the Dutch are more disposed to a breach, owing to the constant reprisals of the English, and France was persuaded to oblige them with the purchase of Dunkirk for no other reason than with this indication of a new war and from the advantages which that position would give them against England at all times.
[Advices of London enclosed.]
Paris, the 19th December, 1651.
Enclosure. 543. Advices from London, the 2nd December, 1651.
The castle of Montorgueil in Jersey surrendered to Col. James Heanes and the terms granted to Col. Philip Catret, the commander, were confirmed. The parliamentary Admiral Penn has come in with 16 French and 3 Portuguese ships taken at sea. In a furious gale in America near the island of St. Christopher 9 English and 12 Dutch ships have been wrecked. From Holland we hear that Prince Rupert's ship perished with 250 on board, and the prince himself barely escaped in the skiff. The ambassadors of the States to the republic are only waiting for a favourable wind to start.
Col. Robert Duckenfield, Governor of Chester, is in the Isle of Man where he is causing the orders of parliament to be obeyed. The Irish have not lost courage with their recent defeats and are gathering considerable forces in many parts of the island, while they are constantly raiding the quarters of the parliamentarians.
From Scotland it is reported that they are preparing to receive the commissioners of the English parliament, which is to take place at Edinburgh on the 1st December and they hope soon to see all the Highlands of Scotland reduced to obey the new republic. The divisions in the country persist, even among the ecclesiastics and this has made them decide to give in.
Dec. 26.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Francia. Venetian Archives.
544. Michiel Morosini, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
Condé has effected a levy in England of 6,000 foot, and has sent Cognac, son of the Marshal de la Force, to receive them.
[Advices of London enclosed.]
Paris, the 26th December, 1651.
Enclosure. 545. Advices from London, the 7th December, 1651.
Parliament is on the watch to prevent the meeting of the magistrates of Scotland by any authority except its own. News comes from Portsmouth that Cornet castle in Gernase has been summoned. There was some conference with the garrison, but without result, as the besieged decided to stand fast, like Sir George Carteret in Elizabeth castle, although Col. Heane is making every effort to take it.
They report from Chester on the 4th December that in Limerick the bishop, the mayor and the deputy governor have been hanged for having aided the escape of some ecclesiastics in disguise. (fn. 3) Since the capture of that town Clare castle also surrendered to Lord Ireton on terms, and he has introduced a garrison there. The Irish still propose to hold a general assembly at Jamestown, where their troops will soon be and the members of their Council.
We hear from Berwick on the 3rd December that many Scottish ministers continue to declaim against the English parliament, accusing it of having unjustly invaded their country, complaining more than ever that their nobility had so vile a spirit as to submit, and protesting that the people would offer a most obstinate resistance.


  • 1. On 27 October, O.S.
  • 2. The first, Anne Marie Louise, daughter of Gaston, duke of Orleans, born in 1627 ; the other, Marie d'Orleans, daughter of Henry d'Orleans, duke of Longueville, born in 1625.
  • 3. According to Dunlop (Ireland under the Commonwealth, Vol. I, page 92), seven persons were executed after the surrender of Limerick, including Terence O'Brien, bishop of Emly, and Thomas Strick, the ex-mayor. Hugh O'Neill, the governor, was pardoned and died later in Spain.