Venice: February 1652

Pages 212-215

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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February 1652

Feb. 6.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Francia. Venetian Archives.
556. Michiel Morosini, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
Encloses advices of London.
Paris, the 6th February, 1652.
Enclosure. 557. Advices from London, the 18th January, 1652.
Parliament has at last given orders to the Council of State to treat with the Dutch ambassadors. The Commons have passed an act to set up a new maintenance for the armies, with absolute power to collect and dispose of the taxes of 90,000l. a month, and they have also managed to raise 100,000l. sterling independently to pay the troops in full.
From Berwick it is reported that Major Generals Lambert and Deane are back at Stirling, having been through Fife and settled the general contributions, abolishing the free quarters of the troops. This has afforded such general satisfaction throughout Scotland that they ask nothing better than to accept this new form of government, especially as the people understand that they will soon be relieved of the burden of war. These same generals have accordingly decided to leave at once for the north to carry out the same work which they accomplished in the west. The Marquis of Argyle was always absent from the meetings held by the parliamentarians as he would not assist at the sequestrations made upon the property of Scots who were prisoners in England. Dumbarton castle has surrendered on terms, possibly one of the strongest places in Scotland, and they hope soon to have the whole of the island of Bass.
From Ireland the news is neither so favourable nor so abundant. Col. Venables, having recovered from a dangerous sickness, had orders to storm Ballnacargi castle, but after bombarding it for some days he had to raise the siege from lack of powder, and retire to Belfast.
Feb. 24.
Senato, Secreta. Deliberazioni. Corti. Venetian Archives.
558. To the Ambassador in France. (fn. 1)
We have your despatch of the 23rd ult. and commend your punctual service. In consequence of hints received from several quarters and on various occasions of the wish of the English parliament for relations with our republic, we must express to you the will of the Senate.
No one can fail to perceive that a good understanding with the English government, which has now established and consolidated itself in authority and considerable power, would prove advantageous to the state because of the great naval power of England. After deliberation upon several projects we find none more suitable than to send forthwith to London your secretary, who, we are confident, will joyfully seize the opportunity of earning the public favour and exercising his well known ability.
He must therefore proceed forthwith to England under the pretence of hiring ships and negotiating levies. On arriving there he must endeavour by these means to associate with some of the leading members of the government. If they say anything to him about mutual intercourse, he will then unbosom himself and declare our readiness to enter upon this, and express our desire to give the parliament proofs of the esteem due to its greatness, and in conformity with the ancient custom of our republic.
He will take special note of the manner in which the ministers of crowned heads are treated there and of the formalities observed towards them at public audiences in the matter of titles and other things. In short, without committing himself further for the present, and while adroitly gathering all possible information on the subject, he must put himself into a position to prove our willingness to embrace and reciprocate any well grounded proposal that may be made to him.
He will communicate to you the result of his investigations, to enable you to receive such orders as we may think fit to give you from time to time, so as to protract the business, with a view to making it yield such fruit as may reasonably be hoped for in the present crisis.
You will supply him with what he requires for his travelling expenses and the cost of his stay in London, which will be repaid to you subsequently, as is proper.
Ayes, 116. Noes, 1. Neutral, 3.
Feb. 27.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Francia. Venetian Archives.
559. Michiel Morosini, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
Encloses advices of London.
Paris, the 27th February, 1652.
Enclosure. 560. Advices from London, the 8th February, 1652.
The Committee set up by parliament for the reform of the laws has met three days running and in a week it is thought they will have established the form for this affair, since all the officials of parliament have consented to this appointment.
The Dutch ambassadors have had a second conference with the English commissioners at Whitehall, receiving the answer of the Council of State to the memorial they presented, so good results are expected.
The king of Portugal has satisfied the English merchants by restoring all their goods, and is preparing to send an ambassador to England.
The English commissioners have devoted the whole of the past week at Berwick to ordering the affairs of Scotland, and they have sent to all the counties to appoint commissioners to meet them in a month and receive the orders they will give them from parliament. Col. Alured is still besieging Dunettir and they have sent him by sea two battering guns, mortars and a petard, with 22 bombardiers. Col. Cooper recently left Dundee for Montrose where he will take quarters until the arrival of two ships of war, eight merchantmen and four barques from Leith. The Marquis of Argyle still remains in the north, hoping for leave to continue his defence until May, at which time he will make his submission. Meanwhile he has fortified his house of Invenarra and mounted 40 guns on his castle of Dunstafage.
They report from Ireland that owing to some invasion of Ulster, those of the kingdom had been obliged to send troops there, who had slain and maltreated a great many of the other side. The natives of the barony of Bund having refused to pay their contributions, Sir Charles Coote, Lieut. Gen. Ludlow and Maj. Gen. Venable had all been obliged to send an army corps to lay the country waste and make it impossible for those people to live (per impedire quelle genti a sussister d'avantaggio). (fn. 2)


  • 1. A part has been printed in Barozzi e Berchet : Relazioni Venete, Inghilterra, page 346.
  • 2. Probably Bunratty co. Clare. In 1653 it is reported as completely wasted and depopulated. Dunlop : Ireland under the Commonwealth Vol. II, page 343.