Venice: May 1652

Pages 224-241

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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May 1652

May 2.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Francia. Venetian Archives.
586. Lorenzo Paulucci, Venetian Secretary in England, to Michiel Morosini, Ambassador in France. (fn. 1)
In conformity with my despatches of the 29th ult. I went to visit the Tuscan Resident Salvetti. I gave him the letters of introduction and received from him your letters of the 14th, with other missives. After preliminary compliments and saying that I counted confidentially on his assistance, I told him of my commissions to treat for levies and ships and then proceeded confidentially to say that I was to assure the rulers here of the most friendly disposition of the most serene republic. He thanked me and said that all he had done so far for the republic was by express instruction of his master, which agreed with his own inclinations. He then continued, If you have nothing but words for this government I am afraid your coming here will prove utterly useless. To speak frankly, something more is expected. Some while ago letters from Venice were circulating here among the merchants announcing the mission hither of a secretary for the purpose of acknowledging the Commonwealth, in conformity with what nearly all the other powers have done. The first thing the Master of the Ceremonies is sure to ask is if you have credentials, and if you have not, he is the only person whom you will be able to see, as parliament only holds intercourse with accredited ministers, following the policy of Venice in this.
I did not know what to answer, except to assure him that if this had been my principal object I should not have come unprovided, but as my journey was for another purpose this formality had not been thought of. He replied, I state a fact. You must judge for yourself, and again promised me all the help he could give. I thanked him and asked from curiosity about the forms used at audiences with foreign ministers here. At present these are the ambassadors of Spain and Holland, and the Residents of Portugal, Tuscany, Sweden, Denmark and Genoa, though the last has not been acknowledged because he is a British subject. (fn. 2) He told me everything was done with wonderful order and decorum. The ambassadors receive audience in full parliament, with the title of "Excellency." The Agents or Residents confer with members appointed by parliament and in the presence of the Speaker. The ambassadors have an armchair provided, and the other ministers one without arms. Statements are made orally and then left in writing, in English, so that all may understand them. The same form is observed for replies, and everything is done with good order, though they are somewhat dilatory. The only title they will use is "Parliament of the Republic of England" and they have rejected a number of communications because they were not thus addressed. He added that everything was going peaceably here in London ; a considerable body of horse and foot were well paid, excellent discipline being maintained, and on the score of obedience, neither England nor Scotland left anything to be desired. Ireland also was resigned to the allegiance of parliament, though I have heard some reports to the contrary.
I thanked him again, and as I was leaving he said, You will see the Master of the Ceremonies, then, as I can assure you he is expecting you with impatience, and three days ago he called upon me to ask about you. So I went to him the next day and the attached sheet will tell your Excellency about the interview.
London, the 2nd May, 1652.
[Italian ; deciphered.]
587. The Same to the Same.
The morning after my visit to Salvetti I sent to learn whether the Master of the Ceremonies was at leisure to receive me. I was told that he was to conduct the Dutch ambassadors to audience that day, but if I would be in the Park of the Palace at 10 a.m. he would be glad to see me. I went accordingly. I told him I was your Excellency's secretary and had been sent because of the republic's need of levies and ships, about which I was to see some members of the parliament, but as the forms of the present government did not allow of this, I had decided to apply to him, so that he might use his influence to help a state which had always been friendly to the English, which when assured that her intercourse was desired, would not fail to take suitable steps. Scarcely had I uttered the words than he interrupted me, saying, I beg you will not speak thus, for this Commonwealth has no need of intercourse. Let us waive these formalities and talk frankly. If you have credentials as minister of the republic, it is all right and everything can be arranged easily. Pray tell me this, for then I shall speak to you in one fashion, but if not, I shall speak in another.
Finding myself cornered I told him I had no credentials, because my object was to get levies and ships, though I thought, if credentials were desired, that the republic might not hesitate to send them. Upon this he changed his tone wonderfully and said, I wonder at your coming in this fashion, even on the errand you say. If I were to go to Venice for a similar purpose, what would the republic say? I replied that I imagined he would receive every satisfaction, such as I expected here. I am prepared to believe it, he rejoined, but we are not in that position and you know better than I what would happen. But this I know full well, the Council of State will be even more amazed than I am at your coming in this way, seeing that repeated intelligence has been received from several quarters that Venice had decided to send a Resident, Secretary or Agent to treat with the Commonwealth as so many other powers have done. I can only conclude that her indecision and delay are due to aversion to the present government.
I assured him he was wrong, but scarcely allowing me to finish the sentence he continued, So you are come for troops and ships. I believe it, but you may be interested to hear what befell a person who lately arrived from France, to see the lay of the land, to investigate and observe. He was arrested as a suspect, and though sick or feigning, he was forcibly expelled from the country. (fn. 3) I am sorry you have come in a different manner than was expected, as I fear it will only irritate instead of propitiating the Council of State. Is not Venice the model of prudence and of mature deliberation, and do we not glory in imitating her? But on this occasion we do not recognise her. What would become of the dignity of the Commonwealth if it were to seek an intercourse which is withheld? Recognition has been proferred to us and no different system will ever be adopted. The republic knows what has happened here and what has been done by other potentates. I am amazed that the motive of interest whereby, to speak plainly, all sovereigns are actuated, should have allowed her to delay a decision so long. We admire the discreet policy of Venice, but do not recognise it on this occasion. She puts up with a subaltern agent of Charles Stuart, and we are acquainted both with his proposals and the answers. We laughed at them and should like to know what advantage has been derived from this indecision. If Venice cares for our friendship and intercourse, we are willing to concede them. She knows what we have done for her advantage in the present war, and what we could do. Manus manum lavat. What is done graciously is twice valued. We know the Signory proceeds at a leaden pace even in forming resolves advantageous to itself. She sends you for levies and ships as she did another of your order covertly, some years ago, (fn. 4) which I tell you candidly was not liked. France also is pressing us to make her some concessions, but we shall certainly do nothing for the present government, and this Commonwealth is strong enough to stand alone. At the same time we admire your generous perseverance in so great and so protracted a war, from the very beginning of which we gave you up for lost ; but the Almighty assists you. If we had chosen to contribute to your hurt we might easily have done so, but our esteem and affection for Venice induced us to serve her to our utmost. So you see what is the right course and you may be sure the Commonwealth will reciprocate such marks of esteem as may be received from any minister accredited by Venice. We should like to know what help the republic has received from other powers, and I ask whether any other nation could contribute more to the relief of the republic than England, whose promises would be faithfully performed. This Commonwealth is strong enough to help its true friends and so you may judge what is most for your service. As a friend to the republic I would be glad to ignore your coming in this form if possible, as I am convinced it will not be taken in good part. But I am bound to report the fact to the Council of State though I shall use all possible delicacy to serve the Signory, as I have done on other occasions. I tell you this as the secretary of the Ambassador Morosini, since you have no other character. I tell you candidly the state of the case. I cannot understand the reason for the delay. You have come for levies and ships and I am amazed that it never occurred to the Venetian government that both depend on the consent of the parliament here.
I thanked him as I best might and asked for his continued good offices, again assuring him how well disposed Venice was towards the Commonwealth, trying to soothe him without pledging myself.
Such was the conference with this official, who has influence in the present government, and like many others, vaunts its power accordingly, representing the strength of England as warranting the highest hopes for any undertaking. Although in their hearts the English perhaps desire foreign alliances, they dissemble this outwardly and scorn all titles, saying that the Roman republic, which ruled the world, merely aspired to that of S.P.Q.R.
I have made a full report, hoping to receive your commands for my guidance. I do not imagine that the loftiest conceptions or the wisest reasoning will alter the dominant tone here, which is umbrageous, suspicious and self sufficient in the extreme.
London, the 2nd May, 1652. (fn. 5)
[Italian ; deciphered.]
May 3.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Francia. Venetian Archives.
588. Lorenzo Paulucci, Venetian Secretary in England, to Michiel Morosini, Ambassador in France.
Yesterday I sent the account of my interview with Mr. Fleming, who promised to inform the rulers here about it. Being curious to know the result I went to-day to the Park and while I was strolling about he came up. To begin with, I asked him if he had told the Council of State about me. He said, No, but he had mentioned the matter privately to some members of the government, who were amazed at my coming in this way. He told me in confidence that they considered themselves affronted. He believed the matter would be discussed on Monday. He expressed his devotion to the republic, but said he must blame her after the private assurances from Venice that this mission was to announce a recognition. The news was spread abroad and the Commonwealth would naturally feel wounded. He continued, The Council of State has thoughts of taking vigorous steps, as they have already done with France, who is even now demanding satisfaction. But we know that such measures would pain Venice more than they do the French, who forget their wrongs more easily. I said, I could not suspect them of such intentions, as my masters were so friendly. He cut me short, saying, We believe it all. But your coming hits us ; it is palpable ; it assumes a character and everyone is watching it. There is no excuse, for if other foreign ministers arrived here and stayed a few days as private persons, it was because their credentials were not properly addressed. When this was put right, they were received and well treated. They brought something ; but you come empty handed after so many years of indecision. We certainly cannot put up with the wrong which the republic does us.
I said the offence was not intentional ; but as the need was urgent, I was sent to get help, with special instructions to take every opportunity of expressing the regard of the republic for this great state. He rejoined, May I speak freely? Facts contradict the assertion. As this matter is to be discussed in the Council immediately I advise you to write me a letter which I can use. I promise to do my utmost to calm irritation and to serve the republic. I have not escaped censure for conferring with you, as the government considers you in the light of a public functionary.
Accordingly I drew up the letter of which I enclose a copy. Salvetti will put it into English. I cannot say what effect it will produce, but Fleming professes his willingness to do his best, and he told me repeatedly that the mischief demands speedy remedy, lest the rulers here should decide on some unforeseen step.
Sir Oliver Fleming went on to expatiate on the quiet of England, her forces, her regard for and leaning to Venice and to all other republics. The wise rule of the Signory during so many centuries rendered her a glorious example. He added, It would be our ambition to imitate her, and our esteem and her prudence entitled us to a different treatment at her hands. He particularised the good and harm that England might do in the present war. He said, We have lately received complaints of some acts of aggression committed by our ships on the Turks. We want to serve Venice, to help rather than to injure her. We are well intentioned and anxious for peace. We shall never begin hostilities without reason. We shall prefer a defensive war to one of aggression. We shall never make alliances to the detriment of a third party, and we shall be good friends to our friends. We shall treat the French according to their behaviour, which seems to be improving, as they talk now of giving satisfaction for their reprisals, on which we insist. Believe me, if Venice had decided on intercourse some while ago, trade there would have suffered less harm. We might have done something more to help against the Turk, who is as much the enemy of our religion as of yours, but her irresolution tied our hands. And then when we thought she meant to follow the example of other powers! the republic must judge whether we have reason to complain.
After assurances from me, he went on, Owing to the importance of the matter I recommend you to send duplicates by way of Flanders, so that the ambassador may remedy the mischief speedily.
I must say frankly that they consider themselves affronted by my coming thus and doubt the reality of my wanting ships and levies, because private letters reported otherwise. I must leave it to you about sending an express to Venice, and shall await your instructions, unless the rulers here decide to expel me, as they did the French Agent, for when they take things amiss they care for no one. If they do not molest me I shall continue to do my duty, but I implore speedy instructions.
London, the 3rd May, 1652.
[Italian ; deciphered.]
Enclosure. 589. Lorenzo Paulucci, to Sir Oliver Fleming, Master of the Ceremonies.
As suggested to me I am writing to ratify the excellent disposition of the republic towards the great parliament. Relying on their goodness our ambassador in France sent me here to obtain levies and ships to act against the Turk, the enemy of all Christendom, feeling sure that this motive would suffice to overcome all difficulties. If letters from the Signory are necessary the republic would not be slow to forward them. The state will always be ready to show all marks of esteem and respect for this government which may serve to confirm their peculiar regard for the English nation.
I have written this to enable you to give such assurances as may be necessary so that so just an object may be assisted by the government here, to which I personally profess all respect and esteem.
The 3rd May, 1652.
[Italian ; deciphered.]
May 4.
Senato, Secreta. Deliberazioni. Corti. Venetian Archives.
590. To the Ambassador in France.
We are pleased to hear that Pauluzzi has set out for England and in a few weeks we promise ourselves to hear the results of his operations ; also to learn that, as soon as the roads are safe he has proceeded to the Court to carry out instructions already given about the Ambassador dell' Haye at Constantinople.
Ayes, 133. Noes, 1. Neutral, 1.
May 7.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Francia. Venetian Archives.
591. Michiel Morosini, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
Encloses advices of London.
St. Germain, the 7th May, 1652.
Enclosure. 592. Advices from London, the 2nd May, 1652.
The only news from London this week is the capture by the Phoenix of that city, of a Flemish ship mounting 16 guns which was taking to Spain various goods laded at Marseilles and Toulon.
In Scotland the castle of Bradich in the island of Arran belonging to the late Duke of Hamilton, has been taken by a regiment of Gen. Deane, who met with little resistance. He found 5 barrels of powder, 7 cwt. of ball and other munitions of war.
From Chester they relate that the garrisons of Dublin, Carlow, Wexford and the neighbourhood have made several raids into county Wickolond, slaying quite 100 Tories who had retreated there, capturing all their herds. The Marquis of Clanricard having retired from Galloway with other Irish lords, the inhabitants treated with Sir Charles Coote and obtained favourable terms, owing to the importance of the place, into which he is to enter on the 22nd.
May 8.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Francia. Venetian Archives.
593. Lorenzo Paulucci, Venetian Secretary in England, to Michiel Morosini, Ambassador in France. (fn. 6)
I do not press for a reply to my letter to Fleming as I have no business to render it urgent, but I am on the watch for the intentions of the rulers here while relying on Fleming. I have also seen Salvetti who told me Sir Oliver had said the same things to him and he recommended suavity, as severity would only inflame ill feeling and make reconciliation difficult. I have seen Fleming again this morning by chance when he said he hoped for letters from Venice soon that would eradicate bad impressions and set on foot a real mutual intercourse. I told him I had communicated his views and definite orders should come soon. I keep on the alert and if the rulers here should decide on violent action I should consider myself justified in leaving voluntarily, without waiting to be dismissed. But I do not think they will proceed to such extremes because they expect prompt satisfaction, while I take every opportunity to proclaim the excellent bias of Venice towards England. I fancy that they want intercourse, but they do not wish to show it, as they have done with other powers. Yet I am assured that they speak of Venice with esteem and respect, this minister in particular, and express pity at seeing her, the bulwark of Christendom, opposed single handed to a power so formidable. If language be an index of the mind they seem anxious to do something to help the Signory, though their expressions may of course be false.
London is perfectly tranquil, the government being very intent on enforcing such regulations as may keep it so. But the grandeur and ordinary pomp of the Court seem to have vanished utterly. The House of Commons, formerly subordinate, has achieved independence ; and it alone commands, directs, disposes ; everything being done by its orders. General Cromwell is the one who has the first word and the last also, for the necessary decisions.
The Dutch ambassadors have audience more often than the other foreign ministers, on account of their important negotiations. Reports of a mutual good understanding gain ground daily, the ministry here perceiving that a rupture must prove very prejudicial to England. The ambassadors have received a paper from the Council of State with a number of clauses concerning demands and projects for mutual satisfaction. Owing to its importance they have transmitted this paper to their High Mightinesses, as the ambassadors do not know how to answer it. Although the reply has not yet arrived, I have just learned from one who is acquainted with current affairs that all will soon be arranged, although the act of parliament prohibiting Dutch vessels from bringing foreign goods here is what they most dislike. The damage done to them is manifest, while on the other hand, to suspend the act for their gratification would be most difficult and contrary, so I am assured, to the intention of all the members of the Council of State.
Suspicion of Dunkirk continues to be acute. This morning it was announced here that a squadron of English ships had passed in sight of that place with the idea of attacking it from the sea. On the other hand, I have since been told that they approached the port for some definite satisfaction and for some money which is claimed from the Governor there, (fn. 7) who, on their appearing, sent them word that he intended to afford them complete satisfaction, since that was the wish of the king, his master. Nothing has occurred since this, but we may possibly hear of other decisions before long.
No news comes from Scotland, as although parliament has an army there under General Lambert, to enforce obedience, submission is tendered spontaneously, the people there enjoying quiet after the violent shocks and losses to which they have been subjected of late years.
In Ireland matters do not seem quite settled and the army there seems to have a great deal of work to do still. News has come of the surrender of Goline to General Curt, on remarkably generous terms, (fn. 8) so it seems that success attends the Commonwealth in every quarter.
London, the 8th May, 1652.
May 13.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Zante. Venetian Archives.
594. Andrea Corner, Venetian Proveditore of Zante, to the Doge and Senate.
Seven English ships and one Flemish arrived here on the 29th ult., three of them war ships and five laded at Smyrna for Messina and Leghorn. They asked for pratique for the war ships, but it was not granted because of the orders of the Magistracy of Health. The English commander, who calls himself admiral of the republic of England, demanded three Englishmen said to be on the ship San Bernardino for Candia. I sent to remonstrate. He said he had tried gentle means at first, but as they were not given up he was obliged to use force. He complained that he was not saluted when he arrived and at the refusal of pratique. He claimed that this was a most serious affront. Yet he on his side had performed all the acts of true friendship. He had refused to accede to the urgent demands made of him by the Turks by the despatch of a chiaus from Constantinople expressly, to accompany the Turkish fleet to Canea with this squadron. (fn. 9) He had abstained from any acts of hostility against the French tartane which were in these harbours though he would be quite within his rights to capture them, because of the enmity with the French, and yet he had refrained from troubling them out of the respect he bears the republic. He would not listen to reason and sent to me yesterday, repeating his complaints and asking for pratique for the three war ships, promising that no one should land. In the event of this being refused he protested that if, after an interval, acts of hostility were committed by their ships it would be known to the world that they had received the impulse from the affronts put upon them in this place. He was not a commander to put up with uncivil treatment without showing a proper resentment. They were not afraid of anyone, although they were not in need of anything. He would carry off the tartane which are in the port and would do the same with the others which are at Argostoli and Zorno, because he was treated like an enemy. I tried to soothe him, but he demanded an answer without delay as he wanted to sail. After holding a consultation I thought it best to grant pratique from fear lest he should land troops and carry off the tartane, or should go with the Turkish fleet or take away, as they talk of doing, the English ships serving in your Serenity's fleet, or suspend for some time the trade in currants.
Another commander of the same nation arrived yesterday from Messina. (fn. 10) The English merchants here say that he is of higher rank than the first one and that he bears the title of Vice Generalissimo of the forces of England ; but both of them fly the flag of a commander.
Zante, the 3rd May, 1652, old style.
May 14.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Francia. Venetian Archives.
595. Lorenzo Paulucci, Venetian Secretary in England, to Michiel Morosini, the Ambassador in France. (fn. 11)
Various persons have offered me levies of troops and ships, but I put them off, saying I am waiting for fresh instructions. This also satisfies the rulers here, who have given me to understand through Sir [Oliver] Fleming that until a reply comes from Venice, which they are convinced will arrive speedily, no further steps will be taken about my stay here, provided I remain as a private person and do nothing about ships or levies. I agreed to this, saying it was probably the wish of my prince. Later Fleming told me that some day soon, when all foreign affairs are discussed in the Council, as they usually are from time to time, my case will come forward, when with the help of my letter he will prove his devotion to the Signory. He approved of my policy to gain time, feeling sure that I shall receive suitable instructions from your Excellency. Yesterday morning he again spoke in the same strain, adding that he much regretted my lack of credentials, as otherwise some arrangement might have been made for the relief and advantage of the republic, which it needed in the war with the Turk. He considered no country was better fitted to afford such help than England was at present with her troops and ships of war. He enlarged on the indecision of the Signory, usually so prudent, and said, if she had made up her mind, she might ere this have experienced the zeal of England. At the beginning of this war he had caused offers to be made through a third person of both ships and men at a much lower price than was paid to the Dutch. He was astonished that such an advantage had been neglected, though he knew it was owing to the incorrect information about English affairs received at Venice since the death of the Resident Agustini. I assured him of the esteem and goodwill that was felt for the English at all times, and said the republic looked for a return from this side. He said much help could easily be rendered from here. At a small cost 5 or 6,000 Irishmen might be shipped for Candia. They were fighting troops and might be placed under the command of some royalist officer now a prisoner to the parliament, but as matters now stand nothing can be arranged or expected.
I tried to foster the goodwill of this official, who enjoys the esteem and confidence of General Cromwell, who is the practical director of the government here, which acts with great vigilance and secrecy. Its best energies are at present employed upon the negotiations with the Dutch, now well advanced, whose ambassadors had audience of parliament again yesterday. The points in dispute are manifold, but the most essential concern the fisheries and supremacy at sea, England maintaining her sovereign rights to these prerogatives and insisting on their recognition as the basis of peace. Parliament boldly asserts the usage of bygone times and that the Dutch have and ever will have greater need of England than England has of them. In proof of this some English vessels have captured two Dutchmen which were smuggling butter and cheese from England, although these commodities are plentiful in Holland. So the general opinion is that the differences will be arranged to the advantage of England, that is to say, her dominion of the sea will be acknowledged and she will grant the Dutch free navigation, but will not allow them to import foreign produce into England.
The Agent of the Prince of Conde (fn. 12) is still here, negotiating and forming projects, but with small profit, as the Commonwealth puts scant trust in them and has so far shown no inclination to join or assist him. His hold on the government of Guienne, however, is of great service to him here, as the commercial relations of London with Bordeaux and its need of that trade, induce them to pay greater attention here than they otherwise would to the proposals of the Bordeaux parliament, which from what I hear vaguely, tend towards union and a good understanding.
Since the death of the first minister from Sweden a second has lately arrived here and is to have his first audience to-day or to-morrow. (fn. 13) It is also understood that Denmark has appointed an ambassador to reside here in ordinary. I will send further particulars about this, and in the mean time ask you to accept what I chance to learn here in so brief a sojourn and in such a form, with such small experience of events is these parts.
London, the 14th May, 1652.
May 15.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Francia. Venetian Archives.
596. Michiel Morosini, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
I have this week received a number of letters from the Secretary Paulucci, of which I enclose the essential ones, for the state's instructions. I am willing to believe that excess of zeal led Paulucci to believe that with good intentions it is impossible to err ; but I regret that this should subject the state to what I feel is a serious detriment. When he left I gave him distinct instructions, both written and oral, insisting that as he had your Serenity's letter he could never make any mistake. On arriving in London, where he never ought to have spoken of anything but ships and levies, except under provocation, he unbosomed himself to Salvetti at the very outset, and still worse, went to the house of the introducer and began to talk with him, without any encouragement, about intercourse, leading to audacious and unbecoming replies, and committing himself in a thousand ways. It seems to me that he has thus embarrassed the business seriously by making advances utterly at variance with the intentions of the state.
Had I been authorised I should have recalled him at once, but as it is I merely report by express so that your Excellencies may remedy the mischief and tell me what to do. What disturbs me is that a number of English merchants have written here, and Paulucci has received a hint to the same effect, that as he is presumed to be there for the purpose of acknowledging the Commonwealth, the Senate ought to have performed the act in a more decorous form, and all my efforts and protestations to show that your Excellencies had no thought of taking such a step are rendered vain by the fact, which speaks for itself. But if the ministers here speak to me about it, I shall persist in my denial, as it would not do to publish the decision of your Excellencies at this Court until I am furnished with the necessary grounds.
I enclose a copy of my letter to Paulucci, my sole object being to let him know how wrongly he has acted. I could give him no orders, as my instructions merely direct me to report his proceedings, and because the nature of the case demands the supreme prudence of your Excellencies, although the mischief has risen solely from his extreme good faith. He has sent me the account for the 500 francs I paid him when he left, and I will not fail to keep him supplied.
St. Germain, the 15th May, 1652.
[Italian ; deciphered.]
Enclosure. 597. Michiel Morosini, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Secretary Paulucci in London.
I have two sets of your letters, relating the civilities you have received from Salvetti and particulars of your negotiations. God grant that they satisfy the Senate, for to tell the truth you have conducted yourself indifferently. Your instructions state clearly that you are on no account to speak of bias or intercourse unless provoked, and yet, without waiting for any advances you went and conferred with the Introducer thus unnecessarily exposing the state to disrespectful remarks. You had every reason to wait for his advances, when you might have told him that you merely had instructions to obtain ships or men, and then, if he had made overtures, you might, in a non committal way, have assured him of the esteem of the republic and the regard always felt for England. But now things are brought to such a pass that we can only expect them to drive you out of London ignominously or to give you a curt answer. Even if the laws of the Commonwealth forbid him to treat with foreign ministers, this did not affect you, who have no such character, and if the Council of State wished to see you I have no doubt they would have sent the Introducer to look for you. I need not dwell any more on a thing that is done, nor can I give you any orders, as by my instructions I must write to Venice and await more precise commands from thence.
St. Germain, the 15th May, 1652.
[Italian ; deciphered.]
May 20.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Zante. Venetian Archives.
598. Andrea Corner, Venetian Proveditore of Zante, to the Doge and Senate.
The attacks made by English ships in these waters upon French tartane are constantly becoming more and more outrageous, to the most serious prejudice of the fortresses of the kingdom of Candia. One English squadron left a frigate behind here as escort for the ship Persia, which took a cargo of currants from Cephalonia. Yesterday this frigate attacked a French tartana, the St. Anna, Captain Antonio Bonetti, and compelled the crew to abandon her as she was trying to enter the port. This tartana was subsequently brought into the port by the boats of the frigate.
I have sent for the English consul and merchants and have tried to persuade the captain of the frigate to restore the tartana and to leave the French alone who are taking supplies to Candia. Another tartana, also named the St. Anna, Captain Peter Brunon, has been plundered off Cerigo by an English squadron sailing for Smyrna. It is reported that two more English squadrons are about to arrive in these waters for the Levant, so more trouble is to be feared.
From the talk of the English merchants, they want to recall whenever they please the ships which are serving in the fleet.
Zante, the 10th May, 1652, old style.
May 21.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Francia. Venetian Archives.
599. Michiel Morosini, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
Encloses advices of London.
St. Germain, the 21st May, 1652.
Enclosure. 600. Advices from London, the 9th May, 1652.
Parliament has not yet decided about the affairs of Ireland. It has ordained that the Council of State shall draw up a memorandum of all the regulations that are required there, giving it authority to transport to foreign countries as many Irish as it considers advisable for the good of the republic.
They are still taking steps to fill up the vacancies in parliament. It is reported that the ambassadors extraordinary of Denmark have left their country, and quarters for them are already being prepared in London. The surrender of Barbadoes on terms is confirmed by letters recently arrived from Sir George Ayscue, commanding the fleet sent to America.
From Scotland the surrender of Brydick castle in Arran is also confirmed, and that the natives of the island showed little love for the Marquis of Argyle, but were very friendly with the parliamentary soldiers. The Highlanders continue their raids into the plains, and constant efforts are being made to prevent the devotion of the people to parliament, which does not meet with the acclaim that was expected in that nation.
May 23.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Francia. Venetian Archives.
601. Lorenzo Paulucci, Venetian Secretary in England, to Michiel Morosini, the Ambassador in France. (fn. 14)
Nothing having reached me from the rulers here I contrived to meet Sir [Oliver] Fleming, as if by chance, and asked him if the ministers had said anything about me. He said, No and thought it was best so, expressing his desire to serve Venice from a recollection of the favours received during his stay there. In reply to his enquiries I told him my letters had been forwarded to Venice with your Excellency's comments. He said he wished the republic would make up its mind speedily, establishing a good understanding with the Commonwealth and so render trade in the Mediterranean free and secure for both parties. If the republic chose she could establish such a friendship with England as would be greater than ever before. They felt much sympathy for her, engaged in so fierce and barbarous a war, borne with incomparable courage, and wished to help. They could easily do this, as England never knew her strength until now. The irresolution of the Signory had injured their own interests. After more assurances of goodwill he told me at parting that if he heard any news about myself he would let me know, and to this end we might meet in the park as usual. Throughout the conversation of this person I have remarked a desire to render assistance, and he seems to speak as the organ of some leading member of the government, whose confidence he enjoys. If he is sincere I shall hope to see his statements corroborated by facts.
The negotiations with the Dutch ambassadors are incessant, as the ministry is well aware that by a good understanding with them the security of the present government will be to a great extent established, a vigorous defence being thereby secured for whatever may occur. The inclination is mutual though their demands are antagonistic. But in spite of all it is believed that these will be adjusted successfully because of interest and national sympathies. The Dutch insist on the repeal of the act of parliament forbidding them to import foreign merchandise. This meets with great, not to say insurmountable difficulties. The English feel that the Dutch ought to have the trade free and would therefore willingly concede all such privileges as are exercised by native Englishmen to the Dutch resident in England, with a view to destroying the trade of Amsterdam, and removing it by these very politic means, to this country. For those Dutchmen who might wish to continue their English business, being unable to do so at home because of the navigation Act, would emigrate in order to avail themselves of English immunities. But this proposal offers scant temptation to the Dutch government, which is aware of the injury such a system would inflict upon their Provinces, and so they try to elude rather than accept it.
The Swedish Resident has recently had his first audience, but from what I can gather it was merely complimentary. Mons. de la Barrière has presented in private a letter from his master, the Prince of Condé, which was subsequently laid before the House. It relates to a proposal for an alliance and asks help, but in vain, for as already reported, the English do not build much on the domestic troubles of France, merely stating that in due time they will make fair demands and enforce them resolutely by hostilities.
The affairs of Ireland are a source of anxiety for it seems that the parliament here is not inclined fully to ratify the capitulations made with the inhabitants of Galves, who insist on their validity. The catholics and bishops, who abound in that island, dreading the fate of the English bishops and Presbyterians, prefer resistance to submission ; so they are contemplating reinforcing the army there. For this purpose 20 men will be drafted from each regiment in Scotland, recruits being raised here in London as well for those parts, with promises of punctual pay and the best possible treatment. It was reported that Gen. Cromwell might go thither, but I hear from another quarter that he is not likely to leave England, so as not to risk the glory and reputation which he claims for having brought affairs here and in Scotland to their present state of utter and absolute obedience and dependence.
I have nothing further to report. I can assure your Excellency that my intercourse with Sir [Oliver] Fleming has been conducted with due caution. It was impossible for me to present myself to any of the members of the parliament ; but from him I learned the views of the Commonwealth. If I had conferred with no one and omitted to announce my arrival, they would have dealt with me in another fashion, from resentment at my lack of credentials, and I should have experienced the same severe treatment as has been meted out to other ministers of the great powers. I have tried to act for the best according to my lights, soothing irritation and warding off a catastrophe, which would have been disagreeable both to myself and to your Excellency.
London, the 23rd May, 1652.
May 25.
Senato, Secreta. Deliberazioni. Corti. Venetian Archives.
602. To the Ambassador in France.
Commend his promptness in seeing the English resident and the adroitness since showed by him in covering the journey of Pauluzzi under the pretexts already indicated.
Ayes, 148. Noes, 3. Neutral, 4.
May 28.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Francia. Venetian Archives.
603. Michiel Morosini, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
The opportunity enjoyed by the English of going yearly to Bordeaux in order to ship wines, has given them ample means not only of establishing many connections there, but, under existing circumstances, of impressing their own opinions on the inhabitants of that city. The people there used to assemble daily at a certain spot, more to hear the news than from any idea of insurrection or of anything else. But meeting there in great numbers, they began to discuss the badness of the times, contrasting it with the peculiar prosperity of England. This seems to have led to speeches in favour of liberty, advocating the expulsion of the parliament and the forming of a more popular one, and, in short governing themselves. This talk is said to have been encouraged by Madame de Longueville (fn. 15) ; but although it may all proceed from the malice of a single person, it is also true that, with the example of England, such appeals flatter the public taste. Liberty is already so rife in Paris that everyone not only talks but acts as he pleases.
[Advices of London enclosed.]
St. Germain, the 28th May, 1652.
Enclosure. 604. Advices from London, the 16th May, 1652.
After the regulation of the most important matters parliament is bringing the ordinary affairs also under its control. After creating tribunals for the investigation of civil affairs, it has turned to the relief of the poor and provided by a special tribunal that there shall be no beggars in the city. They have also listened to the letters of credit brought by the envoy of the queen of Sweden, giving him his first audience in the former House of Lords. They have set up a committee to hear proposals for a better propagation of the gospel and to form a fund that will suffice without asking for tithes and exactions of the state. (fn. 16)
The Dutch ambassadors have held three different conferences with their commissioners. The arrival of the other ambassadors is expected, and the news of the serious illness of the king of Spain is confirmed.
The declaration of the parliament commissioners in divers places of Scotland for its incorporation to the parliament, has already been sent, and they ordain that the people of the whole island of Great Britain shall be represented in the same parliament, that Scotland shall send members to take part with a deliberative vote, in numbers and at such time as parliament shall consider proper. That deputies shall be appointed for the general affairs of Scotland and other matters affecting the establishment and authority of that republic.
The parliament commissioners in Ireland, by fresh protestations and by force have reduced that country to complete obedience. The very Tories, desperate men who have retreated to continue their resistance, are taken from time to time by the English officials and must either submit or die. We hear that the plague has recently made its appearance at Liverpool.
May 30.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Francia. Venetian Archives.
605. Lorenzo Paulucci, Venetian Secretary in England, to the Ambassador in France. (fn. 17)
Although I still keep in the background, as I think it the best policy, I contrive to see Mr. Fleming occasionally, more to learn the news than for anything else, as until fresh instructions from your Excellency arrive further negotiation and intercourse are entirely forbidden me. I can safely say that the rulers here feel almost certain of the establishment of friendly relations with Venice, which is what they seem to desire most. At the same time they will always act with great reserve, on the score of reputation. Salvetti, whose opinion is valuable on account of his long stay here, and some others believe that once intercourse is established the Commonwealth will show itself the friend of Venice and contribute so far as it can, to her relief, because of the justice of our cause and from the bias of the English towards the character of our government, the justice and prudence of which they particularly admire.
The Dutch ambassadors have received an express with fresh instructions from their High Mightinesses desiring them to insist on the repeal of the Navigation Act. It is thought that this will be difficult to obtain and that the rulers here will maintain the justice of their pretensions and demands. To avoid a rupture it is said that the Commonwealth will make some concessions and permit transit and shelter to Dutch bottoms freighted with foreign produce in the ports of England, Scotland and Ireland, whereas it had been originally intended to exclude them entirely. So the symptoms are now somewhat mitigated, which at first threatened an open rupture.
Mons. de la Barrière is pressing for a reply to the letter he presented to parliament from the Prince of Condé, but with scant success. It becomes increasingly evident that they have little inclination here to make alliances and declarations, though it is supposed that if the prince wants to hire English troops and will pay for them in ready money permission will readily be granted to him. Besides this business La Barrière is believed to be negotiating something particular about the wine trade between Bordeaux and this country. At present all French wines are excluded, including those of Guienne, the bulk of which used to come to this kingdom, and it will not be easy to make an exception in favour of that district alone, without letting in all. La Barrière is labouring incessantly for this, both for his own advantage and that of his master. Meanwhile as ships are constantly arriving with clarets, pretending they are prizes made by reprisal, London has not yet experienced any scarcity, though the possibility of inconvenience demands the attention of the government, so that a remedy of some sort may be devised.
The most important business now going on here is that of filling the vacant seats in parliament. The government seems inclined to admit those members who were forcibly expelled for their royalist opinions, but the terms proposed are so hard that many would not accept them, for a general approval is required to all the acts of the parliament, including the execution of his late Majesty.
Attention is particularly directed to Ireland and it is said that reinforcements will be sent thither to the amount of 10,000 men, part of whom will proceed from Scotland under the command of General Lambert who has lately been appointed Viceroy of that island. It is said that with this title he will go gladly and think it a boon. Meanwhile other troops are being enlisted here to replace this reinforcement of 10,000 men, but few recruits offer themselves, as almost all those who went over to Ireland in the past died there from bad treatment and from the nature of the country, which is quite different from England. So if necessary, the government will employ compulsion as the importance of the matter demands firm decision, sufficient to avert any checks which might easily be experienced unless a speedy remedy be applied.
They are expecting to hear daily of the coming of an ambassador from Denmark. I am told he will come as ambassador extraordinary. I hope to send particulars in due course.
London, the 30th May, 1652.


  • 1. These three despatches (Nos. 586-8) were forwarded by Morosini from Paris on the 15th May.
  • 2. Francis Barnardi. But commissioners had been appointed to receive him on the 16th September, 1651. Journals of the House of Commons, Vol. VII, page 19.
  • 3. M. Gentillot on the 27th March, 1651. See No, 473 at page 176 above, and note.
  • 4. The Secretary Suriano, sent to England for levies in 1646. See the preceding Vol. of this Calendar, page 237, etc.
  • 5. A small portion of the despatch has been printed, Barozzi e Berchet ; Relazioni Venete, Inghilterra, page 347.
  • 6. Forwarded by Morosini on the 28th May.
  • 7. Godefroy, comte d'Estrades.
  • 8. Galloway did not actually surrender until the 12/22 May.
  • 9. It would appear from this that the officer was Capt. Henry Appleton, commanding in the Leopard, with the Bonaventure and Constant Warwick in company. Cal. S.P. Dom., 1651-2, pages 112, 237, 240.
  • 10. Captain Richard Badiley in the Paragon.
  • 11. Forwarded by Morosini on the 28th May.
  • 12. Henry de Taillefer, seigneur de la Barrière.
  • 13. Hareldus Applebone ; his letters of credence were read on the 4/14 May. Whitelock ; Memorials, Oxf., 1853, Vol. III, page 419.
  • 14. Forwarded by Morosini on the 4th June.
  • 15. Anne Genevieve de Bourbon, daughter of the Prince of Condé, second wife of the due de Longueville.
  • 16. By order of the House of Commons of the 6th May, O.S., the Committee for the Propagation of the Gospel was to meet daily. Journals of the House of Commons, Vol. VII, page 130.
  • 17. Forwarded by Morosini on the 11th June.