Venice: June 1652

Pages 241-254

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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June 1652

June 1.
Senato, Secreta. Deliberazioni. Corti. Venetian Archives.
606. To the Ambassador in France. (fn. 1)
We received on the 27th your despatches of the 7th and 15th May. The last with regard to Pauluzzi is especially important. We recognise the desirability of his abiding by your instructions and our intention, but as what has been done is irremediable, the Senate has decided to attribute his error to zeal and to turn it to account, especially as we are assured that the English parliamentarians are anxious for intercourse with our republic. This may be inferred from the language, haughty as it is, of Fleming, the Master of the Ceremonies, when he told Pauluzzi that the Commonwealth was ready to embrace and esteem our friendship and intercourse and that if we should send a minister to England she would reciprocate.
If Pauluzzi is still in London, as seems probable seeing how urgent Fleming was with him to send you duplicates by way of Flanders, implying the expectation of replies, our orders are that after admonishing him to proceed with great moderation, lest he again overreach himself, you transmit to him the enclosed letter to the parliament, for him to present in our name, in the most fitting manner, so as to remove the bad impression which seems to have been made by his appearing without any acknowledgment of its supremacy, and so introduce the best understanding.
Pauluzzi will remain in London until further orders. That the pretext may not become manifest by his not negotiating for ships and levies, you will desire him, to make enquiries about the terms for troops and freight but without committing himself or arranging anything, and you will forward the results to us, that we may decide accordingly. If on the other hand parliament has expelled Pauluzzi and he is no longer in London, you will hold back these letters and send us word by an express.
Ayes, 148. Noes, 3. Neutral, 25.
607. To the Parliament of England.
Our ambassador in France, in accordance with his instructions to provide in all quarters for a vigorous resistance against the Turks, informs us that he has decided to send Lorenzo Pauluzzi, his secretary, to England to negotiate for ships and levies of soldiers. The Senate rejoices at this intelligence because it affords an opening to manifest our affectionate regard for parliament and our constant bias in favour of the English nation, so renowned through glory in war and prudence in council that it is especially admired by us. We ask that credit and favour may be extended to Pauluzzi for the objects aforesaid, until we can testify to you a true understanding and correspondence. Meantime we wish you all prosperity and every other happiness.
Ayes, 148. Noes, 3. Neutral, 25.
June 6.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Francia. Venetian Archives.
608. Lorenzo Pauluzzi, Venetian Secretary in England, to the Ambassador in France. (fn. 2)
I have little to add about my personal business, as I await instructions. As regards current events the engrossing topic here is the engagement between the Dutch and English ships almost at the very mouth of the river. (fn. 3) The best energies of the rulers here are being directed to discover its true causes, as it seems monstrous that while negotiations were pending here and so well advanced as to warrant hopes of a good understanding, events should take place elsewhere of a contrary nature, calculated to destroy it utterly.
For some time the Dutch General Tromp had been cruising off the coast of England, watching the evolutions of the English squadron, which for a long while had remained in sight of Dunkirk. Advancing thus with a few ships including a large one with sails all set and flag flying, he was saluted by the English General Brech in token of amity, but still more as a hint to strike, in acknowledgment of the supremacy of the sea claimed by the English. The Dutch General not being inclined to admit this, contented himself with returning the compliment by firing a single gun. Brech then repeated the warning by another discharge, and as that also was disregarded, he desired a shotted gun to be pointed at the flag itself. This so incensed Tromp that he began to fire shot after shot at the English. Both fleets being reinforced by other ships coming up, especially the Dutch, who outnumbered the English, a brisk engagement began, ending with the loss of a large English ship, mounting 60 guns, another having been captured, while several men were killed and captured on both sides.
This is one version of the affair, but another tells it quite differently, namely that the English had the advantage of the Dutch. But I must warn you that here in London it is more difficult to come at the truth than elsewhere, as passion and interest distort everything according as the individual wishes good or ill to the present government, so I cannot vouch positively for the victory of either side. I can only say that at this moment it is generally assigned to the Dutch.
Such an unexpected encounter has greatly perplexed the public mind, as people do not know what to think, and suspect that the orders of General Tromp were at variance with the instructions given to the Dutch ambassadors. However, their persons and residence will be respected, as immediately the news arrived, two troops of horse were appointed to defend the Dutch embassy from any insult which the populace might have perpetrated, in revenge for what was done to the parliament's minister at the Hague. The ambassadors have not shown themselves for several days, but the Master of the Ceremonies has been to them, by order of the parliament, on some errand or other. It is generally supposed that he appointed an audience, and if this is so, it will, of course, relate to the fight. The essential point is to ascertain whether the Dutch General acted by order or on his own responsibility, as one explanation or the other would serve either to foment the distrust and hostilities between the two nations, or to allay everything by disapproval.
Some here believe that this event will contribute to a more speedy adjustment, which the Dutch will readily embrace, owing to their need of England on many accounts and because of the near approach of the fishing season, which generally begins next month. To avoid losing this great resource they may drink the dregs for the moment, with a view to prolonging the negotiations until they have netted the herrings, and then speak out more plainly. Although interest and advantage make them use high language here, yet they recognise that the happiness of England or the reverse depends on good or bad relations with Holland, and the knowledge of this may perhaps induce a greater disposition to give satisfaction than has hitherto existed, as they are increasing their efforts for the firmer establishment of the Commonwealth. At the same time nothing is omitted to secure a prosperous issue to these unexpected hostilities. To this end the Generalissimo Cromwell went post by night to Dover to give assistance and provide for all possible contingencies. All the war ships in the river, numbering nearly one hundred, have been ordered to drop down to its mouth, and would be there by this time, had the wind proved favourable ; as good policy requires that warlike measures shall not be neglected during the progress of an adjustment, and this is rendered the more necessary by the recent collision.
Two ambassadors extraordinary from Denmark have lately made their state entry into London, (fn. 4) being met by a deputation from the parliament, in its coaches followed by a number of other equipages, which accompanied them to their dwelling. They are to have their first audience some day soon and it is believed that when one of them leaves the other will remain as ambassador in ordinary. I may observe that the appearance of these envoys is considered by well informed persons as a sure sign of reconciliation with the Dutch, as owing to the friendly understanding between Denmark and the States, they would not have come so speedily if things were tending to an open rupture. In consequence the ambassadors have met with a remarkably cordial greeting, especially as the ties of kindred between their sovereign and the late King Charles did not promise so speedy a decision. This is a source of great satisfaction and comfort to the whole government. An ambassador is also expected soon from Portugal, a person of quality and illustrious birth having been already appointed to this post. (fn. 5)
With your Excellency's last letters of the 1st I received the remittance of 500 livres Tournois, which will serve for my expenses from the 6th of May last to the 6th June. I shall keep careful account of the small balance, and enclose the account of my expenditure during that period.
London, the 6th June, 1652.
June 11.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Francia. Venetian Archives.
609. Michiel Morosini, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
The Spaniards are getting ready in Flanders all that they will need to enable them, without loss of time, to take advantage of the civil discords of the French. It would appear at the moment as if Dunkirk was the principal object of their attentions. The Court, knowing the importance of the place but also that if it were seriously attacked there would not be much hope of relieving it, have had it offered to the English in satisfaction of their alleged claims. The parliament of London, after deliberating on the subject, have sent word that the place was not so much a possession of the French as to give them the right to offer it to others. Its true sovereign was the Catholic king, with whom they enjoy peculiarly friendly relations and they did not intend to put this affront on him. With regard to paying the satisfaction that was due to them, it was necessary to think of something bigger, since the total ran into several millions.
A naval encounter of some kind has taken place between the Dutch and the English, in which the latter had the worse of it, losing some ships, being overcome by numbers and surprised by their determination.
Letters from Pauluzzi are enclosed.
Paris, the 11th June, 1652.
June 13.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Francia. Venetian Archives.
610. Lorenzo Paulucci, Venetian Secretary in England, to the Ambassador in France. (fn. 6)
Since the sea fight frequent consultations have been held to investigate the matter thoroughly. To do this the better the Generalissimo Cromwell has returned from Dover. As the chief luminary of the body politic here he took part at all the meetings which, owing to the importance of the business, were held even on Sunday, although that day is generally observed here with extraordinary piety and respect. Opinion in parliament was divided, some inclining to an open breach while others advocated moderation, as extreme measures could be adopted at any time. Accordingly votes were taken on two principal points : first whether war should be declared immediately, and second whether the Dutch ambassadors should be simultaneously desired to quit England within 24 hours. Both proposals were defeated by only two votes, but anyhow, mildness has gained the day, and they decided, before taking other steps, to send to Holland on purpose to learn the truth of the affair and the intentions of the States. Their ambassadors, who obtained audience with difficulty, disavowed the attack strenuously, maintaining that it was utterly at variance with the wishes of their masters, who would regret it particularly. Such admissions only make them more clamorous here in their demands for satisfaction. If the Dutch admit that the battle was unintentional on their part, a thing difficult to believe from appearances and the junction of the ships, the Commonwealth will then insist that the General shall be held responsible, and if that is refused they intend to repel force by force, to the detriment of those who disturb the quiet of England and who apparently do not value her friendship.
Sir [Oliver] Fleming, whom I met unexpectedly, spoke to me in the same sense. We also talked of the battle. This took place as I reported, but it seems I was wrong about the result, for he says positively that the advantage remained with this side. As the Dutch may not have expected this he thinks it will make them pause, and possibly render them more inclined to give satisfaction. He said there were other excellent reasons, pointing out with much ostentation the need which the States have of England. He assured me that in the event of open war from 5,000 to 6,000 English sailors will be recalled from the Dutch service and made to enter that of their own country. He said that when the Dutch ambassadors had audience they execrated the conduct of their general, but as the facts did not tally with their language it was necessary to keep on the alert. He said that the guard appointed by parliament continues its service, and from another quarter I have heard that they are watched most closely, and when on their way from their quarters, 4 miles off (fn. 7) to the audience in question, they met two troops of horse which would not allow them to pass until Fleming produced the very order of parliament itself directing him to conduct them. The captains kept this as their guarantee. Fleming declares that the order for all the ships of war to drop down and join the fleet will be enforced so that they need have no fear of the Dutch. So while anticipating satisfaction they do not neglect the appliances for war. According to report an embargo has been laid on the Flemish, Dutch and Hamburg ships in the Thames ; so the outlook is stormy, though it may change to fair as suddenly as it has become overcast. Meanwhile it is impossible to draw any positive conclusions.
Before I took leave of Sir Oliver he told me that they are in expectation here of the Signory's decision, which he said was expected to be entirely satisfactory to them here, as well as advantageous to herself, as the mere voice of England might suffice to give the Turks pause. The English ambassador at the Porte is on the point of being changed, and both he and his successor might have instructions to speak in favour of the republic. But as matters now stand they can only play the part of spectators or offer prayers for her success. I made a suitable response and we parted.
Mons. de la Barrière is still pressing for an answer and urging his negotiations, though he does not make much progress in either. However, parliament is very well inclined towards a good understanding with the people of Bordeaux, and this tendency, induced by self interest, may possibly cause some step to be taken in favour of that province while assisting the Prince of Condé personally at the same time. But as the government here moves at a slow pace in matters affecting it vitally, those which concern it more remotely are likely to be dealt with in even more leisurely fashion.
A few days ago a gentleman arrived here for the Count of Ognon, for some business whose object has not yet transpired. (fn. 8) As his reception is flattering it seems likely that his proposals are not distasteful. He has also brought two very fine horses with him as a present from the Count to the Generalissimo Cromwell.
The reinforcements for Ireland have slackened, the brush with the Dutch having allayed anxiety about events there. If it comes to a breach the more immediate and important mischief will receive greater attention than the lesser and more remote evil.
This is as much as I chanced to hear in my interview with the Master of the Ceremonies, which I report as in duty bound.
London, the 13th June, 1652.
June 20.
Collegio, Secreta. Esposizioni, Principi. Venetian Archives.
611. We the Proveditori over the slaughter houses have to inform your Serenity that in the house of the English Resident at S. Fantino a gang of smugglers has established itself, setting up a public butchery and selling a quantity of beef and veal at most exorbitant prices, to the detriment of the people and prejudice to the customs, causing general scandal. As we cannot enforce the legal means of suppression at that house we have thought fit to put the facts before your Serenity, to decide what may seem proper.
Given on the 20th June, 1652.
Francesco Querini, Proveditori.
Alvise Pisani,
June 20[? 23].
Collegio, Secreta. Esposizioni Principi. Venetian Archives.
612. In obedience to the commands of the Savii I went on Sunday at the third hour to the house of the Resident of England at San Fantin to inform him of the Senate's decision of the 22nd inst. A man who was carving the meat at this same house told me, since there was no one else to ask, that the Resident had not yet come to live at that house, and was still at his old quarters at San Cassano. I found him out, but one of his secretaries whom I saw at the door, told me he would not be back before the evening, as he was dining at Murano with some captains, friends of his. I went away intending to return in the evening, but as I was passing through the Rialto canal at the dinner hour I chanced to see the Resident at his pergola and decided not to lose the opportunity. There was no one in the lower apartments, so I sent up one of my gentlemen to take him word that I should like to see him. A butcher came down and asked me to wait a little because the Resident was not dressed, and soon after he came back to take me in. The Resident met me at the stairs and received me with every courtesy. I informed him in the nicest possible manner of the decree of the Senate and his dismissal. From the change in his countenance I noticed how bitter this was to him. Almost with tears in his eyes he remarked that he had received hard and cruel blows in his life but this was the worst thing that had ever happened to him. He was innocent of all the things he knew were spread abroad about him, and he called God to witness. He had the bad name but it was the other ministers who did injury to the state ; however, he must have patience. It was true he did a little slaughtering to gain a living but this only inflicted the minutest injury on the duties. He paused a little and his perturbation having somewhat abated he added that four days ago a letter had reached him from his king in France, recalling him, to be presented in the Collegio. He desired me to read this letter, which was sealed, as well as the exposition which he proposed to make in the Collegio. I noticed that, besides taking leave, he was to present the consul of the English nation with the title of secretary of the English embassy, until his king should be able to send another minister. (fn. 9) After I had read it he asked, What must I do? shall I go to the Collegio? I replied that I could not advise him to go to the Collegio since I had come to tell him not to, and I felt sure he would know what course he should pursue in order to fall in with the wishes of the state which I had communicated. As I was about to go he stopped me saying, Your Lordship is leaving me nothing in writing. Previously, when the Senate has honoured me with its commands, they have always been left in writing. I told him that previously youths of the ducal chancery must have been to him, who did not go into the Senate and consequently were not fully informed of the state's intentions, and so took them in writing to avoid mistakes. But in the present case the Senate had decided to employ one of its secretaries, who were under no such necessity and my words must serve as an official document. This seemed to satisfy him and he then enlarged upon his innocence. He wound up by saying, I can say no more except that I am the minister of an unfortunate king, and provided he does not lose the esteem and protection of the republic, which he values so highly, it matters little what misfortunes descend upon me. I told him that suitable offices had been performed with his king, and so took leave, the resident accompanying me to the gondola. When we were coming down the stairs he told me he had found another and less expensive house at San Fantino, where he intended to dwell, upon which I reflected that this did not agree with his having to take leave and depart at once by order of his king.
Alessandro Busenello, Secretary.
June 21.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Francia. Venetian Archives.
613. Lorenzo Paulucci, Venetian Secretary in England, to the Ambassador in France. (fn. 10)
While awaiting my instructions I contrive occasionally to meet Sir Oliver Fleming, chiefly to learn the news. The other day, directly he saw me, after saying it was high time my instructions arrived, and referring to his exertions to quiet the rulers here, he said he hoped they would be satisfactory so that the most serene republic might experience the effects of a true friendship. Speaking of the demands of other powers for Scottish and Irish regiments he said they would prefer to grant them to the most serene republic. A number of prisoners taken in Scotland had been offered as merchandise, but for the defence of the Christian faith they would rather grant them without costing a penny. But in the absence of any minister to treat with the government regretted its inability to show its goodwill, while the men died of hunger and suffering. I thanked him suitably.
In reply to my enquiries about the news from Holland he said the action of General Tromp had been disapproved at the Hague ; the States were disposed to give proper satisfaction and there would be no war. They would acknowledge the maritime supremacy of England and intended to send an ambassador extraordinary, who arrived at Gravesend two days after this conversation. (fn. 11) It is understood that his mission was proposed and acted upon simultaneously. No time was lost on the voyage, the weather was propitious, and so he arrived here unexpectedly. Much irritation and excitement prevail and this mission is approved by some and disliked by others, though it has not yet been possible to discover its true drift, whether it is to help the adjustment or to push matters to extremes. As the envoy is all address and experience, acquired in other important negotiations in France and recently, at the congress of Munster, hopes are entertained of a good result. If he finds that their claims and intentions here are too high, which does not seem likely, it is possible that he may speak in the same tone. On the other hand if the rulers here display the moderation expected and show themselves inclined to peace, his policy will correspond. Thus this mission may neither make things worse or clear away the clouds which now overhang this very important matter.
Meanwhile no measures are neglected for waging the war, if need be, although the most level headed people maintain that everything will be done to facilitate an adjustment and to remove fuel rather than add it to the flames. If once kindled, with all their strength and advantage here, they could only lead to doubt and disaster owing to the uncertainty of events and must infallibly render the present calm liable to great convulsions. To avert such a calamity public prayers and fasts were observed here yesterday, the day being solemnized like the closest holy day, and all the other towns of England will follow the example set by this city.
A general census has been taken of all the watermen on the Thames, capable of serving in the fleet. Many of them have already been compelled to go on board the men of war, which by order of the parliament are now at the mouth of the river, to be ready to join the fleet outside on any emergency.
The Dutch ambassador extraordinary Pauw made his public entry into London this morning in the parliament's coaches, with a long string of others, which accompanied him to his dwelling. He is to have audience at once after which it will be easier to weigh the chances of peace or war.
As the whole of yesterday was strictly dedicated to devotion and prayers for peace, I have only just received your Excellency's despatches of the 15th with enclosures and the letter for the parliament. I assure you I will do my utmost in this important affair.
London, the 21st June, 1652.
June 22.
Senato, Secreta. Deliberazioni. Corti. Venetian Archives.
614. That to-morrow morning a Secretary of this Council shall inform the English Resident as follows, without leaving the voucher.
That as the complaints of the magistrates multiply concerning the continuation in his house of the abuse of smuggling, to the prejudice of our subjects and customs ; and as he has not chosen to heed the warnings received from the state on several occasions, the Senate has resolved to dismiss him, and accordingly that he shall depart speedily, as he has fulfilled all that is necessary in respect of the commissions of his king.
Alessandro Busenello, Secretary.
Ayes, 135. Noes, 0. Neutral, 15.
615. To the Ambassadors Morosini and Sagredo in France.
We are glad to hear that Flemin continues to show favour to Pauluzzi, so that we feel sure he will be able to stay on until the instructions sent arrive. That you may be fully informed about the intentions of the state we must now acquaint you with what has been done at Venice concerning this affair of England.
The Senate seeing that the parliamentarians would be pleased at the departure of the royalist Resident, and to avoid the appearance of dismissing him at their request, has decided to send him away, the smuggling at his house affording a pretext. To-morrow he will receive notice of this decision, as the accompanying sheet shows. If any one speaks to you on the subject, or if the report reaches the king, you will employ your usual address and justify the action, alleging the laxity of Mr. Killigrew, who made his house an asylum for prohibited goods as well as for outlaws and rogues, to the detriment of the Signory, who frequently warned him, and affording a pernicious example for other foreign ministers, who might allow themselves any liberties. As able ministers you will understand the intention of the state. If a hint be given you of the possibility of appointing another minister you will evade the subject parrying any such project with such cautious address as your own prudence will suggest to you.
Ayes, 130. Noes, 0. Neutral, 15.
June 22.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Zurigo. Venetian Archives.
616. Geronimo Giavarina, Venetian Secretary with the Swiss, to the Doge and Senate.
Some weeks ago their lordships here wrote with the assent and in the name of the four Evangelical Cantons to the parliament of England. Their chief object was to recognise it for a republic, but they also went on at some length in urging them to settle their differences with the Dutch with whom they passed a similar office in like manner. They pointed out to both parties the injuries of the war and the benefits of peace, the advantages moreover that might result to both republics if they were united and the consideration which they ought to have for the preservation and the increase of their religion. It was this last consideration, they said, and the fact that these Cantons are also republican, that made them decide to write. The title given to the English was "Most Illustrious and Most Potent Lords."
So far no reply has arrived and they do not even know if their letter has been received over there. They have only heard from confidants that it possibly may not be received even if it gets there ; it certainly will not be acceptable because they do not desire any title from their lordships here. Taking this into consideration they have decided in the congress that Burgomaster Hirzel shall write a private letter to a gentleman with whom he is very intimate in London begging him, in any case, to take steps to see that the public letter already sent is received and favoured with a reply, promising to send another letter afterwards in a form which will be more acceptable, and asking also whether the address should be perfectly plain. In short these Evangelical Cantons show a great desire to embrace the friendship of that body and for smooth relations between those two nations. Thus they express keen regret at an encounter which is said to have taken place at sea between them, as likely to upset the peace which was understood to be well advanced.
Zurich, the 22nd June, 1652.
June 27.
Collegio, Secreta. Esposizioni Principi. Venetian Archives.
617. Most Serene Prince :
I intended yesterday morning to present myself to your Serenity to acquaint you with my king's command to go with all speed to Paris to receive his instructions, and to clear myself from the false accusations made by my personal enemies. But owing to the denial of entry into the Collegio and desiring to obey my master with all diligence, I avail myself of the present means, begging your Serenity to believe that I have never willingly offended and that I shall ever have graven on my heart the infinite obligations I owe to the most serene republic, to which I pray that God will grant all felicity.
Thomas Chilegreus.
Venice, the 27th June, 1652.
Brought to the doors of the Collegio with a cover directed to the Doge.
Public Record Office. Venetian Transcripts. 618. Carolus D.G.Mag., Brit. etc., Rex etc. Ser. Principi Dom. Francisco Molino Venetiarum Duci etc. Salutem etc. (fn. 12)
Serenissime Princeps consanguinee et amice charissime :
Cum Dom. Killigreus Residens noster nos crebris litteris certiores fecerit quam benevolo et amico in nos et res nostras animo celsitudo vestra et ser. Repub. affectae sint illum sine debita reciprocae benivolentiae nostrae significatione a munere revocare voluimus, sed Cel. V. grates debere nos sicuti sentimus, ita palam profiteri voluimus, et presentibus litteris fidem facere nos quotiescunque Deus Opt. Max. facultatem dederit, omnibus grati animi et sincerae amicitiae officiis Cel. V. et Ser. rempub. prosequuturos, quibus interim omnimodam felicitatem et prosperos rerum successus ex animo vovemus.
Datae Lutesiae Parisiorum XIV die Martii MDCLII.
Cel. Vestrae bonus consanguineus et amicus Carolus R.
June 29.
Senato, Secreta. Deliberazioni. Corti. Venetian Archives.
619. To the Ambassadors Morosini and Sagredo in France.
As we wrote last week, we made a secretary dismiss the English Resident. When the announcement was made he said that he had been recalled by his Majesty, and one day this week he tried to obtain audience. It was impossible to admit him to the Collegio, as he was already dismissed, so he sent a letter addressed to the doge, announcing his recall, which is dated as far back as the 14th March. Meanwhile you will acquaint us with what you have contrived to intimate to the king on this subject, which may help us in our decisions.
Ayes, 147. Noes, 0. Neutral, 0.
620. On the 29th June :
There being some doubt whether the noble Vicenzo Contarini, son of Sig. Gasparo, nominated for the position of Savio del Consiglio can be balloted on or no, seeing that he has been chosen ambassador to the king of England and has not gone, and letters of credence have been written to the parliament there, it is arranged as follows : if he to is be considered as ambassador elect and as such though not gone can be ballotted, a white ball ; if his election is lapsed and he can be balloted, a green ball ; and a red ball for neutral.
The voting was White, 1. Green, 1. Neutral, 4.
As there are not four councillors with a positive opinion, that the vote be given in the same form.
The vote being taken the green carried it, as follows :
White, 55. Green, 159. Red, 8.
June 29.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Francia. Venetian Archvies.
621. Lorenzo Paulucci, Venetian Secretary in England, to the Ambassador in France. (fn. 13)
Since receiving the instructions of the 22nd I have spoken with Sir [Oliver] Fleming who suggested I should follow the example of other foreign ministers. He said I should have them translated and take them to the Speaker, who, by virtue of his office, gives audience and reads the parliament's letters. I did this and told the Speaker that I had come to London on business of the republic of Venice which had given me letters to present to parliament and so I had come to him to receive his directions. He received me graciously and immediately asked for the letter, which I presented without the translation. He opened and read it attentively, and seemed pleased. He told me he would communicate it to parliament whose intentions would be announced to me by the Master of the Ceremonies. I await the result but I do not think they will adopt the form usual with foreign ministers as they look on me as a private secretary of the most serene republic sent on a particular state business, as the letter itself states. Fleming told me that the Council of State was favourably disposed to help the republic, and if an adjustment is effected with the Dutch we might hope for the best. In such case the Signory might obtain on advantageous terms as many Scottish and Irish troops as they wanted, as well as ships. In supplying mercenaries to the powers the Council of State intended to give a preference to Venice. It will therefore be advisable for me to have credits here. In the mean time I avoid committing myself. Your Excellency may judge that when the letter is presented in parliament there will be no lack of offers and proposals, especially as the tendency in our favour is notorious.
The Dutch ambassador extraordinary has audience of the Council of State every day, the conferences lasting many hours. His language is soothing and by order of his masters he disavows the conduct of General Tromp, for which the rulers here demand satisfaction with increasing insistence. If an adjustment takes place this point will be settled first. But appearances cause apprehension for the result, against the wish of the majority here and to general report. Although the negotiations are being conducted pacifically, their proceedings here do not correspond. The English fleet, being considerably reinforced, decided lately to detach a squadron of some 20 sail of the best and heaviest armed to meet another of 16 Dutchmen, of whose approach they had word. They fell in with each other and the Dutch surrendered without firing a shot, being laden with merchandise for various parts. Some others were taken later, the number of Dutch ships in the hands of the English so far amounting to nearly forty. The owners in Holland and indeed the whole population clamour loudly, and so these acts of hostility confirm the belief in war and frustrate the negotiations, during the progress of which the English mean to have these advantages at their disposal. Orders have also been sent for the seizure of all such Dutchmen as may reach the ports of Scotland and Ireland. So this side employs bitters rather than sweets, possibly with a view to gaining vantage ground, and to show the Dutch clearly how much they are dependent on England and the necessity for continuing to acknowledge the supremacy of the British flag.
It is said that the ambassador extraordinary is limited to time and his ceaseless negotiations and his personal importance make this very likely. So a decision one way or the other will soon be made. On the other hand the validity of any agreement signed by him seems doubtful, as his credentials were not confirmed by all the authorities of the Provinces. Meanwhile they strain every nerve here to reinforce the fleet with troops and other necessaries, and 16,000 sailors have been already embarked with provisions of every description, to enable it to keep at sea for a long while.
News has come from Ireland of an encounter between the parliament forces and their enemy, when 300 were left dead on the field. Reinforcements for those parts are now less attended to as the incredible importance of the Dutch affair causes everything else to be put aside.
There is a dispute between parliament and the body of English merchants about the appointment of a new ambassador at Constantinople. The latter, who pay him, claim their ancient privilege of choosing one to their mind, whereas parliament insists not merely on choosing him, but on making the merchants pay his salary. The point remains undecided but it may be supposed that the parliamentarians will always seek to extend rather than contract their authority, and indeed they say that position, duty and power enable them to do so. (fn. 14)
The Portuguese ambassador is expected here any day. He is said to be coming with a numerous train and determined to make a gorgeous display. Another from Genoa will also arrive shortly and by the time he is appointed I trust your Excellency will have received full powers from the state. I hope to receive money for my ordinary expenses for the current month, for which I send the account.
London, the 29th June, 1652.


  • 1. This and the following number are printed by Barozzi and Berchet : Relazioni Venete, Inghilterra, pages 349-50.
  • 2. Forwarded by Morosini on the 18th June.
  • 3. On the 19/29 May.
  • 4. Eric Rosencranz and P. Reed according to their letter of the 18th Oct., 1652. S.P. For., Denmark.
  • 5. The count of Peneguiao.
  • 6. Forwarded by Morosini on the 25th June.
  • 7. At Chelsea. Whitelock : Memorials, Vol. III, page 424.
  • 8. M. St. Thomas came for Louis de Foucault, comte de Daugnon, governor of Brouage, who had declared for the Princes. Cheruel : Lettres du Cardinal Mazarin, Vol V, pages 155, 511.
  • 9. John Hobson was acting as consul, but no one had held the post officially for some time past. Cal. S. P. Dom., 1651-2, page 399.
  • 10. Forwarded by Morosini on the 2nd July.
  • 11. Adrian Pauw. He was at Gravesend on the 8/18 June. Cal. S.P. Dom., 1651-2, page 282.
  • 12. Not found in either register or filza of the Esposizioni Principi.
  • 13. Forwarded by Morosini on the 9th July.
  • 14. A Mr. Walwyn presented a paper to the Committee for Trade and Foreign Affairs in favour of free trade as against trading by Companies, which the Levant Co. were required to answer. Cal. S.P. Dom. 1651-2, page 235. The paper and answer were entered in the Company's Register Book, fols. 68-89, dated 7th May. S.P. For. Archives, Vol. 144. William Methwold was chosen to be agent at Constantinople at a Court held on the 20th January, but declined the office in March. Levant Co. Court Book, fols. 140, 147. S.P. For. Archives, Vol. 151. Cf. Cal. S.P. Dom., 1651-2, page 157.