Venice: April 1652

Pages 219-224

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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April 1652

April 3.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Francia. Venetian Archives.
572. Michiel Morosini, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
Encloses advices of London.
Moret, the 3rd April, 1652.
Enclosure. 573. Advices from London, the 20th March, 1652.
The Scottish commissioners are expected back soon to put the finishing touches to the affairs of that country. Of 31 counties notified 18 have consented to unite with the republic of England, and so have 24 of the 56 cities and boroughs, similarly notified. The rest excuse themselves for not having sent deputies because of lack of food and the requirements of their journey.
Parliament is making careful provision for the affairs of Ireland, and good results are expected from the negotiations of the Dutch ambassadors, who expressed their confidence in friendly relations with this republic. Sig. Williamsons has arrived in London, sent by the king of Denmark to recognise the republic. He was to have his first audience that same day of the tribunal appointed for this.
In Scotland the English commissioners continue to issue declarations obviously for the destruction of every other party than their own, while relieving the people of their former taxes and burdens.
In Ireland affairs are troubled by the persistent claims of the people there and little good is expected, as the parliamentarians have brought over public opinion and practically the entire population to their allegiance, who may soon declare themselves outright (havendo i parlamentarii occupati gli spiriti e quasi tutti i popoli alla loro divozione, che potra assolutamente ben presto dichiararsi).
April 9.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Francia. Venetian Archives.
574. Michiel Morosini, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
The Secretary Pauluzzi has left with all the instructions and I hope that your Excellencies will receive good service from him. I have caused 50 doubles to be paid to him and I will supply particulars of all that follows.
Advices of London enclosed.
Moret, the 9th April, 1652.
Enclosure. 575. Advices from London, the 28th March, 1652.
After the letter brought by Sig. Henry Williamsons, from the king of Denmark, had been read, an audience was at once arranged, which he had with all ceremony, after which parliament directed the Council of State to negotiate with him.
It is confirmed that the parliamentarians landed 600 men in the island of Barbadoes, where 900 encountered them. After a fierce skirmish in which more than 40 of the islanders fell, while the English only lost 5 or 6, the former fled, the others taking possession of the whole island, which surrendered on terms. The island of Antigua also surrendered to the English on the same terms.
In Scotland they are making great efforts to hold a conference between the two parties, English and Scots, to compose their affairs. It is said that Lord Argyle is disposed to join the commissioners of their parliament at Dumbarton, to give them all the satisfaction they desire. There were no soldiers or others in his house to take exception to, only his children and servants, among whom his chaplains were always praying to God for the king under the name of an afflicted prince. So apparently the marquis favours a monarchy rather than a republic. So the ministers who met at Edinburgh that week had agreed to direct the people not to recognise the parliament commissioners in any way, and when at Glasgow they announced their commission many of the natives cried "God save King Charles." As this has not happened anywhere else in Scotland it indicates the great affection of this people for the royal name and party.
They report from Chester that Commissioner General Reynolds has taken the island of Collugh on the River Shannon. It is on the other side of a great bog and fortified. By means of it the Irish, who had three garrisons there, bridled the whole of the neighbouring country. They have occupied other crossings and posts of great importance to the Irish, who will be prevented from communicating with their countrymen in Connaught and Ulster, while it opens the district of Longford to the parliamentarians.
April 13.
Senato, Mar. Venetian Archives.
576. To the Proveditore of Zante.
Commend his offices with the English consul and merchants about ships not molesting the French. He is to repeat these offices and to point out that such behaviour as that of the captain of the Buonaventura (fn. 1) is not in accordance with good relations or with the friendly way in which the English are treated, making them realise the impropriety of molesting ships in our ports which are taking supplies to Candia and the fleet. The Senate is sending instructions to the Proveditore General of the Three Islands so that he may perform similar offices with the English consuls and others there.
Ayes, 143. Noes, 3. Neutral, 5.
577. To the Proveditore General of the Three Islands.
Order in conformity, enclosing copy of letter to the Proveditore of Zante about the behaviour of the Buonaventura.
Ayes, 143. Noes, 3. Neutral, 5.
April 16.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Francia. Venetian Archives.
578. Michiel Morosini, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
Encloses advices of London.
Moret, the 16th April, 1652.
Enclosure. 579. Advices from London, the 4th April, 1652.
An act has been passed this week incorporating Scotland with the republic of England, and they will have 40 members in the London parliament. They report the wedding of the Baron de Cugniac, son of the Marshal La Force, with the eldest daughter of Lord d'Obonna, chief physician of the late king of England, (fn. 2) celebrated at Kingiston, 3 miles from London.
From Berwick they report that many of the ministers, after having tried in vain to adjust the differences in the Presbytery of Linlithgow, have returned to the Marquis of Argyle who promised to obtain the same conditions as were given to him, and he was gathering a great number of gentlemen of his party to meet the English commissioners. An official of the English parliament in Perth, as a consequence of this, being informed that the Scottish ministers were always praying for the king, forbad such prayers and obtained a firm promise that if their deputies had come to terms with parliament the entire population would acknowledge its supremacy. Nevertheless the provincial Assembly at Edinburgh has issued a declaration forbidding all its adherents and confederates to sign any articles touching the union of Scotland with the English parliament.
We hear from Ireland that the Earl of Clanricard being unable to obtain from the English parliament general articles for the whole Irish nation the city of Galloway has decided with others to treat separately. Vigorous hostilities continue against the natives, and the officers harass and destroy as much as they can. Sir Theophilus Jones has taken a castle and put the occupants to the sword, including 13 ecclesiastics who had taken 2,000l. sterling there. (fn. 3) The parliament is attacking by sea also with great success, but the Irish mean to hold out for some advantage and decency, while the separate conventions remain valid and take their course.
April 20.
Senato, Secreta. Deliberazioni. Corti. Venetian Archives.
580. To the Ambassador in France.
Commend the promptitude of Pauluzzi in going to England. In confiding this mission to him the Senate feels great confidence in his ability.
Ayes, 128. Noes, 2. Neutral, 7.
April 23.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Francia. Venetian Archives.
581. Michiel Morosini, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
Encloses advices of London.
Moret, the 23rd April, 1652.
Enclosure. 582. Advices from London, the 11th April, 1652.
Parliament is busily engaged over the reformation of the laws and the establishment of new rites and forms of government, both ecclesiastical and temporal. Mr. Bradsaw, resident at Hamburg, left London recently for that city, (fn. 4) and Messrs. Lilla and Dury (fn. 5) have started for Stockholm, as residents with the crown of Sweden.
The act for the incorporation of Scotland has been passed, and some of the leading ministers of London have presented a memorial to parliament for the propagation of the gospel in that country and to regulate eccleciastical affairs.
Sir Gualter Frost has died in London, secretary of the Council of State, a most competent man who rendered distinguished service to the committee of the two kingdoms and in his last post, which is now discharged by four clerks or secretaries.
We hear from Scotland that Col. Overton is still in the Orkneys and has fortified the church and castle of the Earl of Morton in the most detached portion. The deputies of those and the Zetland islands met at Dalkeith and submitted to the English republic in the name of all the inhabitants. Many of the Scottish nobility and other ranks have presented a petition to the English commissioners for the release of their relations and friends held as prisoners of war. No decision has yet been taken on the matter. Glasgow and the counties of Kilkardy, Inverness and Perth will submit to the new government, having made their agreements with its commissioners.
The magistrates recently appointed at Edinburgh have mostly declared for the king's side, but it seems that they have recently showed more friendliness to the present government, while the ministers preach incessantly against the republic.
They report from Chester that the Irish are gathering in the county of Lagan to make provision of food there and then enter Connaught ; but their divisions among themselves are such that Col. Venables is promptly advised of all that is discussed in their provincial council, and most of those who have property are negotiating for an accommodation with the new republic, whose commissioners have already issued their declarations and are doing their utmost to prevent the Irish from helping or contributing to the other side, which is still in arms.
April 30.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Francia. Venetian Archives.
583. Michiel Morosini, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
Induced by the troubled aspect of affairs the king and queen of England decided to exert themselves for the common good, by persuading peace. To this end they went to St. Germain and made such strong representations that they were pleased to find the Court excellently disposed to make it. Accordingly they returned to Paris and reported to the princes that there was no doubt the king and queen were equally disposed to peace, but they were so determined to support Cardinal Mazarini that they thought it was quite impossible to move them. All those present were confused and mortified, but especially Orleans, who begins to mistrust the prince and fears that the firmness of the Court is sustained by some secret treaty prejudicial to himself. After much discussion they decided to send four deputies to St. Germain to treat for peace. When they stated their terms they were absolutely refused by the king and queen. They returned to Paris ill pleased and with scant hope of concluding any adjustment.
Moret, the 30th April, 1652.
584. Michiel Morosini, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
The Secretary Paulucci has arrived at Calais, where he was waiting for favourable weather to cross. The governor there (fn. 6) made some difficulty about permitting him to go, but after taking a copy of my passport he gave him permission. Here they declare that he is going to recognise that republic and the king of England is making special efforts to find out. I try to dissipate this report, by publishing the orders he has to hire ships and levy men and by pointing out that if it was intended to recognise them it would be done by some one more suitable. It is true that the king's resident at Paris, (fn. 7) who has never seen me, now wishes to treat and has got the minister of Parma to speak to me, intimating that he had need to confer with me on important business. I replied that I was going to the Court and should then proceed to Paris, where I should be glad to listen to anything he wished to say. I do not believe that he really wants to see me as for four years he has never done so, but I doubt his only object is to fish about Paulucci's mission, as he might easily have done, if I had made any difficulty about seeing him.
[Advices of London enclosed.]
Moret, the 30th April, 1652.
Enclosure. 585. Advices from London, the 18th April, 1652.
By order of parliament the cultivation of tobacco is forbidden, under a heavy fine, and anyone may destroy it wherever it is found. They have also decreed that the book "Catechesis Ecclesiarum" vulgarly called the Cracow Catechism, containing erroneous, blasphemous and scandalous matter, shall be publicly burned by the hangman, with all the copies that can be found. The negotiations with the Dutch ambassadors are progressing and they recently had a close conference with the parliament commissioners.
They report from Scotland that Major Generals Deane and Salloway have conferred with the Marquis of Argyle at Dumbarton, whither they had gone with only two attendants. No particulars are known except that the Marquis asked for the exercise of Presbyterianism in his lands, exemption from all taxes of his subjects and farmers and satisfaction for what is owed to him by England upon his provinces. These demands were sent to parliament for its decision and the commissioners parted from the Marquis with every mark of mutual friendship and understanding.
The island of Barsa having surrendered on terms, all the registers of the Scottish Church have been found there, and on this account the Scottish clergy are more stirred than they have yet been. The bailiwicks of Tania, Ross and many others have accepted the union with England through their deputies at Dalkeith.
An incident has occurred in Ireland which makes the victory of parliament there more likely than ever. Colonels George Cooke and Pretty being at Eniscorty with some parliament troops, united and marched 12 miles through woods and bogs to the Irish quarters, killing some, capturing others and burning a great quantity of corn and all the houses and cabins they found. This slaughter lasted four days running. It continues in all the country called Mac Kdemore where Sir Thomas Edmond is with his cavalry.


  • 1. John Witheridge. He died on the 2/12 Sept. following. Cal. S.P. Dom., 1651-2, page 392.
  • 2. Pierre de Caumont, marquis of Cugnac, son of Henry Nompar de Caumont, marquis of La Force, married — Turquet de Mayerne, baronne d'Aubonne, daughter of Sir Theodore Mayerne, the physician. Pere Anselme : Maison Royale de France, Vol. IV, page 473.
  • 3. A castle on the Ennis (or Inny). Dunlop : Ireland under the Commonwealth, Vol. I, page 144.
  • 4. Richard Bradshaw. He left between the 5th and 25th March, O.S. Cal. S.P. Dom., 1651-2, pages 169, 195.
  • 5. Daniel Lisle and John Durie. Id., page 173.
  • 6. Louis de Bethune, comte de Charost.
  • 7. Sir Richard Browne.