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Venice: August 1652

Pages 263-275

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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August 1652

Aug. 3.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Firenze. Venetian Archives.
634. Giovanni Ambrosio Sarotti, Venetian Resident at Florence, to the Doge and Senate.
The fourteen Dutch ships sailed from the port and were hanging about outside the Meloria, where they received letters and orders from their masters. Since then they have sent to the consul of their nation at Leghorn (fn. 1) to tell him that the squadron was sailing out to sea, without saying whither.
Florence, the 3rd August, 1652.
[Italian.]
Aug. 4.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Francia. Venetian Archives.
635. Lorenzo Paulucci, Venetian Secretary in England, to Giovanni Sagredo, Ambassador in France. (fn. 2)
As instructed I address myself to your lordship. Owing to the importance of state affairs and chiefly of matters connected with the Dutch war, all other private business was suspended for a fortnight by act of parliament. This exclusive attention is rendered necessary by bad news from General Blach. The season, his orders and the determination with which he sailed to the North make it probable that a battle has taken place, although little or nothing is said on the subject. The natural inference is that they have been worsted and that the government is occupied with providing the necessary supplies and reinforcements, putting everything else aside. But it is difficult to ascertain the truth here, as even if disagreeable it would be announced as favourable, to avoid encouraging the few secret royalists and to encourage the rest and keep them loyal. But I hear from more than one quarter that General Blach has put in to Scotland to repair damages and land numerous wounded. If this is true it will make the Dutch expect more success from hostilities than from negotiation. In Holland, Zeeland and all the other Provinces rancour against England increases daily, owing chiefly to the rich prizes she has already made. This strikes them to the quick as trade is the most essential part of their state, without which the Dutch would lose all their vigour. A fresh act of parliament has declared all the prizes lawful booty, which serves to exasperate the ill feeling and stir them to revenge.
Every effort is being put forth here to amass funds and forces, and were it not necessary to keep an efficient squadron at the mouth of the Thames the one commanded by General George Aseus would be expeditiously pushed forward ; but they are afraid that a Dutch fleet may come to block the mouth of the Thames as it did recently and so they keep it here fully equipped. The monthly subsidy has been increased from 90,000l. to 120,000l. and parliament has lately been discussing the sale of lands and property, still undisposed of, belonging to those guilty of high treason or rebellion. The first on the list is that of the Papists, for the disposal of which many orders have been issued, though the final decision is deferred until some more opportune and convenient moment.
The gravity of the present business renders the usual sittings of parliament lengthy and arduous and this war has increased fear and suspicion to such an extent that even the guards of parliament itself have been doubled. Its daily sessions are now served by two companies of horse and foot instead of one. The Speaker or President is more alarmed than the rest, as he showed himself one of the bitterest enemies of the late king, and a guard has been assigned for his coach. So, however great the rage and confusion of Holland may be, it scarcely surpasses the excitement in England, though all sensible persons are of opinion that the violence of this rupture cannot last, because of the increasing need and inconvenience it must cause the Dutch in their trade, and also on account of the naval stores required by the English, such as pitch, tar and cordage, which they received from the United Provinces and Denmark, whose king, by virtue of his alliance with the Dutch, will probably put some hindrance in the way of sending such supplies.
This week's letters from Ireland mention a victory gained by the army of the parliament over the so called rebels, 300 of whom were left dead on the field, 40 prisoners taken, almost all officers of rank, besides the loss of the arms of the infantry and the capture of 150 horses. General Lambert was to send a reinforcement of 800 men from Scotland immediately which was already near the place of debarcation. Since the capture of Sligo the commander there has laid siege to Ballimet, an important castle belonging to Lord Taff, a rebel, which he expects to take easily.
We hear from Sweden of the mission of an ambassador extraordinary here and that three large men of war have been appointed to bring him over. It seems that Sweden is beginning to be afraid of the empire, and desires a good understanding with them here to act as a counterpoise. The queen's resident had already left for Sweden and the appointment of an ambassador was announced, after he reached Stockholm, but the war with the Dutch may easily delay his coming.
I have again expressed my surprise at the delay in the formal presentation of the ducal missives. They asked me to have patience and to believe that the Commonwealth will never fail in what is due to the grandeur of the Signory.
I understand that the English merchants at Constantinople and of the Levant have sent home complaints of mal treatment from the Turks. Here they intend to protect them and to insist upon more respect and reverence than the Turks may feel inclined to concede. If anything more reaches me on the subject I shall not fail to report it.
Asks for provision of money. Encloses account for the third month of his sojourn, the three accounts together amounting to 1,080 lire for the three months.
London, the 4th August, 1652.
[Italian.]
Aug. 6.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Francia. Venetian Archives.
636. Giovanni Sagredo, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
I spoke to the Agent of England about the dismissal of the Resident at Venice, recounting his misdemeanours and the encouragement he gave to rogues and his protection of smugglers. It was not supposed that this would affect the confidential relations with his Majesty, for whom the republic continued to cherish peculiar regard. He promised to report my message, and I await the result.
Sintuin, the 6th August, 1652.
[Italian.]
Aug. 7.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Germania. Venetian Archives.
637. Girolamo Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in Germany, to the Doge and Senate.
The day before yesterday the Elector Palatine of Heidelberg received from the emperor the investiture of his dominions in the Lower Palatinate. There remains the dispute between Brandenburg and Sweden about Pomerania. Sweden, for her part, will facilitate the adjustment with Brandenburg, all her attention being fixed on the quarrel between England and Holland, to turn the balance to one side or the other according to the dictates of her own interests, either with a view to equilibrium between the powers, or with the intention to await the declaration of Denmark, which seems to speak in favour of England. In that case it is thought that Sweden will side with Holland.
Prague, the 7th August, 1652.
[Italian.]
Aug. 9.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Francia. Venetian Archives.
638. Lorenzo Paulucci, Venetian Secretary in England, to Giovanni Sagredo, the Ambassador in France. (fn. 3)
I find that the delay I am experiencing is due to the impression among some of the chief parliamentarians that my credentials are derogatory to the dignity of the parliament. I have been told that they know quite well that the most serene republic is not accustomed to send its ministers of similar rank, to princes, with letters of credence. However, I am assured that I shall be well received and have a satisfactory answer. I told my informant that this dilatoriness was a bad return to the sincerity of the state. He assured me again that the matter would be settled soon. I dare not press the business further, and shall not without express orders.
The report gains ground of a partial engagement between the Dutch and English to the north, and that Admiral Blach's squadron has suffered losses, though not serious ones. Eight of his ships are said to have been taken by the enemy. The truth cannot yet be ascertained, but as very little is said on the subject here one may infer that the advantage did not remain with this side, although the public press asserts the contrary. For the sole purpose of maintaining this belief an order has been issued prohibiting the publication of any statements concerning the present war, except by the privileged printer in ordinary to the parliament.
Both sides keep taking prizes and commerce is almost entirely destroyed, with mutual loss, though this affects the United Provinces more than it does England, as the Dutch subsist solely by trade, which has hitherto maintained them in wealth.
Hostilities afloat have also called the attention of the government to affairs on shore, where doubt and suspicion reign. Every possible effort is being made for the punctual payment of the troops in the ports and garrisons. This force amounts in England alone to 50,000 men, all of English nationality entirely dependent on parliament, a sufficient explanation of the strength of the present government, which is the only power in the world with an army of this kind composed entirely of its own countrymen. This adds greatly to its security and confidence.
When they learned here that a Dutch squadron had appeared in the Mediterranean to hunt down English ships trading in the Levant, and that it had made several rich prizes, parliament commissioned General George Asius, now at the mouth of this river, to sail with all speed in that direction, to protect the commerce of this country in those parts. Other ships are being fitted out to replace him here, together with the Great Sovereign of England, now ready for sea, and mounting 110 heavy guns. This will serve to secure the passage to and from this river. If Ascus appears in the Mediterranean at once and remains there, as seems likely, his presence cannot fail to prove very advantageous to the state, especially if the differences with Holland are settled soon, which God grant, for I can affirm that but for this unexpected crisis the disposition of the government here in aid of Venice would have been as good as possible in the teeth of all the monarchs of Christendom.
The parliamentarians remain utterly hostile to the nobility and great personages of the country, and the present state of affairs subjects those accused as delinquents to greater persecution than ever. Every other day one sees one of these despoiled of fortune and estates on mere suspicion, and reduced from great affluence to utter misery. Some of them find this so difficult to bear that they condescend to tender allegiance and obedience to parliament. This happened lately with the earl of Worcester, one of the leading nobles, formerly worth 50,000l., of which he must now, like others, rest content with such portion as parliament may choose to assign to him for his maintenance.
To ameliorate the condition of Ireland and render tenure there safer, an act has been passed (fn. 4) authorising allotments of lands there to such of the government contractors as shall accept them in payment of their credits, which would in this way be speedily liquidated. By such means they try to increase the supporters of the present government in that country and at the same time to depress the opposite party, who are still numerous and armed, thus giving good cause for anxiety and making parliament wish to reduce affairs to a desirable state of obedience.
To reduce the national debts and to meet the heavy current expenses, they are thinking of pulling down some of the cathedral churches here. Having disposed of the persons and property of the bishops, of whom the only visible memorials were these stones, they mean to sell these last as well, for the total destruction of episcopacy, without the slightest regard for the lustre these buildings shed on the capital. If they persevere in this project, as seems likely, it will first take effect on the famous church of St. Paul, for the mere stones and lead of which 120,000l. have already been offered.
In reply to responsible persons who in reward for services have been allowed to make a sale of levies, I answer briefly without pledging myself to anything. But I can assure your Excellency that the state might obtain any amount of men from here, as the government will always be glad to get rid of soldiers not suited to its own service by sending them to a friendly power. I have been told this several times, Meanwhile I may mention that a levy of 3,000 Scots and Irish has recently been granted to the Spanish ambassador. (fn. 5)
London, the 9th August, 1652.
[Italian.]
Aug. 10.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Firenze. Venetian Archives.
639. Giovanni Ambrosio Sarotti, Venetian Resident at Florence, to the Doge and Senate.
We hear from Leghorn that the fourteen Dutch ships of war have returned to these waters, and are coasting along la Gorgona, where they are expecting some more ships, some even from the port of Malamocco, to reinforce their squadron and render it formidable and then to proceed in chase of such English ships as there are, now that war has definitely broken out between the two republics.
Florence, the 10th August, 1652.
[Italian.]
Aug. 13.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Zante. Venetian Archives.
640. Andrea Corner, Venetian Proveditore of Zante, to the Doge and Senate.
News of the capture of the Lorica at Cape Matapan, by English ships, said to be manned by Frenchmen. Here the English have behaved with perfect courtesy and have met with the readiest response of the same character. They say that they mean to sail off at once to join with the other squadron which is waiting for them at Cephalonia of the one destined for Venice.
Zante, the 3rd August, 1652, old style.
[Italian.]
Aug. 13.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Francia. Venetian Archives.
641. Giovanni Sagredo, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
The English Agent has been to me with his king's reply to the communication. His Majesty wished to maintain the friendly relations which had always pertained between the republic and his predecessors. He was at present under the frown of fortune, but perhaps the Almighty will dispel the clouds. He never intended his minister to transgress the bounds of duty, though he was well aware that foreign ministers at Venice enjoyed certain immunities, and he could have wished that the state had addressed itself to him before taking action, as was customary with the ministers of other princes, when he would have removed his minister and punished him suitably.
I replied that his excesses had become intolerable. Foreign ministers were well received at Venice, but sometimes they take advantage of their position and commit excesses, as the Resident had done. He had been admonished, but in vain, so that your Excellencies were compelled to take steps to cure the disease, but without intending that this should affect your esteem for his Majesty.
The Agent rejoined, Report says there is a mutual understanding between the republic and the parliament of England, and that a minister has been sent to the parliament. I said I knew nothing of this except that my predecessor had sent to obtain ships and men, which were much needed for the war against the Turk. Turning the conversation to the present state of affairs in England I tried to cut short his remarks. He could not deny the stability of the new government, through the union of the three kingdoms and the numerous troops in garrison, which form a compact and efficient army, ready for every emergency.
He said that Cromwell exercised the same authority over parliament as the Prince of Orange did in the United Provinces. He was a man equally wicked and daring ; but though he had disarmed the population to render it more subservient to his tyranny, he had not rid the people of their devotion to the king, which was engraved in all hearts. The enmity which had arisen between the English and the Dutch might possibly afford his Majesty some fine opportunity for recovering his kingdom, especially as a rupture had become inevitable through the seizure by the English of some fishing busses and by the Dutch of six British merchantmen. Both the Spaniards and the French are covertly fomenting this war ; France in order to repress this rising power, her ancient rival, of which she is now apprehensive, not only for herself but because of the protection she is obliged to afford to the king ; Spain rejoices to see the Provinces weakened by a great war in the hope of finding them more amenable to bit and bridle after excessive weariness.
I understand on good authority that while the Dutch were reluctant to enter on this struggle, now they are forced to it they mean to seize every advantage, uniting with the king's partisans in England, and by placing him at the head of an army they will try to alarm their enemies and do them serious damage. The king assuredly does not lack courage for this undertaking, but is animated by the desire to recover what nature gave him, of which fortune has deprived him. He will not shrink from any enterprise, however hazardous, but will display all the courage and resolution he has always shown. He is now at St. Germain, having left Paris, as he is unpopular with the princes, who consider him the author of the arrangement between the Duke of Lorraine and the Court. (fn. 6)
Letters from England have just reached me. In his account Pauluzzi refers to reports of an engagement between the English and the Dutch fleets, but says that he has been unable so far to obtain any particulars. But here we learn through letters from Rouen of the 6th and from Calais of the 7th inst. that Admiral Blach, with 50 English ships, attacked 25 Dutch ones who were escorting 400 fishing busses in the North Sea. After a prolonged struggle, in which the Dutch offered a vigorous resistance, they were defeated with the loss of twelve ships, the rest taking to flight and escaping with the majority of the busses. On hearing this news General Tromp, who was cruising about on the watch for Blach, fell in with him and a battle ensued ending in a victory for the Dutch. Further, that in the Mediterranean the Dutch have engaged and taken four English ships with valuable cargoes, which were trafficking there. Thus the quarrel between these two nations grows ever hotter, with no hope of an adjustment, indeed appearances indicate a hostility that becomes more and more irreconcileable.
Sintuin, the 13th August, 1652.
[Italian.]
Aug. 15.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Francia. Venetian Archives.
642. Lorenzo Paulucci, Venetian Secretary in England, to Giovanni Sagredo, the Ambassador in France. (fn. 7)
The news circulating here this week about the war is more contradictory than ever. Judging from appearances, especially the demeanour of the members of the government, who seem depressed rather than elated, it looks as if the parliament fleet had suffered considerable damage, if Blach gave battle to Tromp, for the hostile fleets were only 25 miles apart, the Dutch being in greatly superior numbers, though the English ships are better built. It is reported here at nothing less than the loss of 30 sail, including the flag ship, while the rest of the ships are said to have been dispersed. The printed accounts, on the other hand, proclaim the loss of the enemy to be enormous. As the state of parties renders all intelligence more liable to misrepresentation in England than elsewhere I cannot vouch for the details. If Blach has sustained damage the departure of the squadron for the Mediterranean will necessarily be delayed as he will require large reinforcements. Greater exertions than ever are now being made to raise both soldiers and sailors, for lack of which the great galleon of England, though completely found in every other respect, is yet unfit for service. This ship is now 25 miles from London, and one day this week the entire parliament went to inspect her, with the Generalissimo Cromwell, without whose aid or opinion all resolves and consultations seem defective.
Besides the war much anxiety is now caused by the presentation to parliament recently of a paper signed by all the leading military commanders, including Gen. Bambert, who is here in dudgeon, having been superseded in the chief command in Ireland by Flimut, who has lately become Cromwell's son in law. (fn. 8) The paper contains a number of clauses, but its chief object is to obtain the election of a new parliament. The present one has done everything for ten years running and begins to furnish subject for complaint and perhaps jealousy as well, as the government thus looks like personal sway and not to be acting by public authority, whereas the present constitution requires others as well to share in the rule and to be acquainted with state affairs. The paper was accepted, though all discussion upon it has been postponed until a more fitting moment. But the parties concerned are sure to press for a decision, especially on the clauses in which they demand security for their pay. It is supposed that parliament will try to do everything possible to satisfy these persons, as neither the times nor the nature of events admit of offending the military, whom it is essential to keep well affected. So the most intelligent persons foresee that if a new parliament is elected, it will consist chiefly of the military, as arms are and will be the arbiter of everything in England. The petitioners demand not a mere verbal promise, but an act establishing the new election for Michaelmas next. So between now and then many important events may be expected.
Cromwell would not sign this paper, though it is supposed that he consented to its being drawn up and presented, for consistency's sake, as it demands a new parliament, of which he entirely approves. Some indeed believe that the first idea proceeded from him, but as his sagacity and daring are extreme so he has the skill to parry every attack and maintain himself in favour with both parties. He thus keeps in his hands an independent authority which he exercises in the distribution of all military appointments, while his unpretending manner of life, remote from all display and pomp, so different from the former fashion of this kingdom, wins him universal applause, though he is not generally loved. Meanwhile his wealth, or rather his treasure in this sense, increases daily and he will thereby aim at establishing his authority more and more.
Besides the impost of 90,000l. for the army a fresh tax is now being devised for the navy. Moreover the property of a great number of nobles and gentry of England who have been denounced as delinquents, will be put up for sale, to meet its expenses. First of all that of Lord Creven, who having gone over to Holland at the very beginning of the war is now employing his energies and military experience to the hurt of this country.
Five large merchantmen have arrived at Plymouth from the Indies with spices and other produce, this being the usual fleet which comes to England every year from those parts. It is estimated at upwards of a million of gold, and the news has caused great rejoicing on Change here.
From Ireland news has come of the articles granted to the inhabitants of Ross, which has surrendered to parliament.
The earl of Worcester, of whom I wrote, is discovered to have come to London for something besides mere submission, so he has been sent prisoner to the Tower. The Council of State has given orders to have his trial instituted as speedily as possible. It is thought that he may be condemned to death, owing to his retainers in the country, his influence and still more, his wealth.
I heard to-day that they will decide this evening about my reception, and so I am waiting passively, as instructed. I know that they adopted this irresolute line of action from mere punctilio.
Acknowledges receipt of 500 lire for his support, and of letters of the 12th inst.
London, the 15th August, 1652.
[Italian.]
Aug. 17.
Senato, Secreta. Deliberazioni. Corti. Venetian Archives.
643. To the Ambassadors Morosini and Sagredo, in France.
We observe that Pauluzzi is unable to do anything because parliament is occupied over the outbreak of war with the Dutch. This is confirmed from several quarters. The English ships which have arrived at Malamocco have been recalled to be employed in that war, and notably a squadron of Dutch ships which has arrived at Porto di Levante is carrying on negotiations with the ships of their countrymen which may be coming to our service, to induce them to unite with the rest in the Tyrhennian sea. You will perceive how much harm this would do to our affairs if it proves successful. You will therefore communicate these particulars to Pauluzzi, not only for information, but in order that when he has presented the state's letters, as we imagine he will have done by this time, and succeeded in giving them some friendly hint in our interest, he may lead the conversation on to this subject, with Sir Oliver Fleming or some other person whom he knows to be well disposed to the republic, as well as with the leading men of the Levant Company, pointing out to them that 4, 6 or 8 ships more will make very little difference to them, in the amplitude of their strength and the great number of their vessels, while on the other hand to take away a single one from our fleet will do us a serious injury, owing to the present weakness of its condition and the necessity for resisting the common enemy of our faith and religion.
Ayes, 125. Noes, 1. Neutral, 2.
[Italian.]
Aug. 17.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Firenze. Venetian Archives.
644. Giovanni Ambrosio Sarotti, Venetian Resident at Florence, to the Doge and Senate.
I asked the opinion of his Highness about the war between the two republics, because it will certainly upset all mercantile business. Thus the captains of the fourteen ships which are stationed off the port of Leghorn, who have come to Florence for reasons given below, have told his Highness quite distinctly that they are expecting 36 more powerful ships, so that all fifty may be constantly cruising in the Mediterranean to prevent transit between London and the Levant and this province of Italy as well of their cloth and the return with silk and wool, capturing all the English ships they find. With another great squadron they intend moreover to prevent them from carrying on any trade with the Indies. Besides these they have ready a fleet of more than 100 ships of war, with 50 others in Amsterdam, ready as a reinforcement.
The English, for their part, are expecting to increase their numbers, having written with this object to every place where the ships of their nation are found, and it is reported here that more than seventy great ships of war are at sea to try conclusions with the Dutch.
The visit of the Dutch captains to Florence was undertaken because they have renewed their demands on the Grand Duke to make the English ships leave the port, with an offer that they will not give chase to them for three days. Finally they made an offer to his Highness to go away if he would give them his word that the English, who remain behind will not molest any Dutch craft that happen to arrive in the port after their departure. If not they will take their revenge upon all vessels, no matter what their nationality may be, which they find sailing for Leghorn. On this understanding they struck a bargain and took their departure, but in order to go and cruise about these waters.
Florence, the 17th August, 1652.
[Italian.]
Aug. 20.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Francia. Venetian Archives.
645. Giovanni Sagredo, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
His Eminence having failed to secure an adjustment with the Princes, and seeing himself held up to the detestation of the people, while his position at Court remains precarious, has decided to adapt himself to circumstances and to bow to the storm, so that he may be able to come back to this Ocean again when it has become somewhat calmer and when he can count upon the favouring wind of the queen's favour. Accordingly he had a luxurious banquet spread in Montagu's residence, to which he invited the two kings, of France and England, in the hope of making a good impression upon the former.
Sintuin, the 20th August, 1652.
[Italian.]
646. Giovanni Sagredo, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
Pauluzzi is still without authentic particulars of the sea fight. But the truth is that the engagement has taken place. General Blach having divided the English fleet into two squadrons, the Dutch commander Tromp fell upon one of these with 107 ships of war. At the very outset he threw them into disorder and overwhelming them captured 34 ships, including those sunk, handling the rest very severely. Following up his victory he was looking for the other squadron, in the hope of achieving a similar success.
Sintuin, the 20th August, 1652.
[Italian.]
Aug. 23.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Francia. Venetian Archives.
647. Lorenzo Paulucci, Venetian Secretary in England, to Giovanni Sagredo, the Ambassador in France. (fn. 9)
At Fleming's request I wrote to answer some letters of Count Galeazzo Gualdo for him, and took the opportunity to remonsstrate about the delay over the state missive. He assured me that I should receive satisfaction and when I objected that the facts did not bear this out he repeated the assurance and promised that the course adopted by the Commonwealth would be explained in due season, which was all he could say for the present. I could get no more out of him, but I fancy that there has been some misunderstanding owing to the officiousness of somebody, or due to false information.
Little is said here about the sea fight, but what I wrote seems confirmed that the English came off worse, the Dutch having captured fifteen large men of war, five or six lesser ones, and sunk some thirty of the rest. In London, however, a list circulates of 10 Dutchmen captured by the English ; but the statement is considered a political artifice, while the retreat into harbour of General Blach proves the damage sustained by him. He is now repairing this, collecting the fleet and victualling it. The lack of provisions has already been much felt and the Council of State has appointed three commissioners to go down and supply all the things that are most requisite and to ascertain the real state of the ships, which are said to have been beaten and dispersed, and to have taken refuge in the ports of England and Scotland. So with as little show as possible every effort is being made to reinforce and unite the fleet, lest the Dutch follow up their good fortune and return to the attack. Indeed to-day a report prevails that they are not far off and that their preparations for combined attack grow with every hour, so parliament occupies itself exclusively with measures of defence, to the neglect of other business, however important.
The two envoys from the parliament have recently returned from Sweden (fn. 10) and have brought an account of their cordial reception by the queen and her ministers and a letter from the Queen to the Commonwealth couched in the most loving terms and signed, "votre bonne amie Christine." They held long and secret conferences with her Majesty and her Council, and express themselves well satisfied. They confirm the nomination of a Swedish senator as ambassador extraordinary, who is expected soon, unless the mission is affected by this war, which is capable of upsetting all current affairs. It is also reported that parliament is sending an ambassador extraordinary to Spain. I will send word if this is verified.
The news this week from Scotland and Ireland is satisfactory as they announce an advantage gained over the so called rebels and that many of the chiefs have adhered to parliament.
London, the 23rd August, 1652.
[Italian.]
Aug. 24.
Senato, Secreta. Deliberazioni. Corti. Venetian Archives.
648. To the Resident at Florence.
Commend the punctuality of his advices. It is necessary to continue this with the utmost exactness concerning the proceedings and intentions of the Dutch and English squadrons now in the Mediterranean, or which may arrive there.
Ayes, 131. Noes, 1. Neutral, 12.
[Italian.]
Aug. 27.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Francia. Venetian Archives.
649. Giovanni Sagredo, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
The letters from England this week serve to confirm the success of the Dutch fleet. Reports to this effect and even stronger were current here last week and, relying upon the numerous letters which I saw giving an account of the circumstances, I forwarded the news. But learning to-day that the Dutch ambassador has apparently received no confirmation of all this I begin to doubt whether the account, accepted generally and as given in private letters, really represents what actually happened. One would naturally expect that the Dutch would be the first to celebrate a famous victory of such importance.
Sintuin, the 27th August, 1652.
[Italian.]
Aug. 31.
Senato, Secreta. Deliberazioni. Corti. Venetian Archives.
650. To the Ambassador in France.
Acknowledge receipt of his letters, with two from Paulucci. Fully satisfied with what he has done and hope very soon to hear something definite concerning the object of his mission.
An English ship has taken offence because it was not allowed pratique. This was due to the jealous requirements of the Sanità. To inform Paulucci of this and instruct him to point out with all suavity that our generals could not act otherwise, seeing the great importance of the Sanità.
Ayes, 123. Noes, 2. Neutral, 2.
[Italian.]
Aug. 31.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Firenze. Venetian Archives.
651. Giovanni Ambrosio Sarotti, Venetian Resident at Florence, to the Doge and Senate.
The Dutch ships which are cruising about in these waters lay in wait for and attacked an English ship which sailed from Leghorn off La Gorgona. It was reported that she was going to Candia, but her cargo of all sorts of arms and munitions of war was actually destined for Tripoli. Being a good sailer she was able to escape the danger and get away. The commander at Leghorn, however, has found out about the infringement of the order against taking munitions to the Turks, and I do not fail to make representations.
The general of these Dutch ships has been recalled to Holland, (fn. 11) but it only applies to him personally. He leaves in command of the squadron a lieutenant who has recently hired two great ships of his nation which were in the port of Leghorn. Five more are expected from Toulon and others from the port of Venice, to swell their numbers and forbid to the English the trade with the Levant.
The five English ships which discharged their silk in the Lazaretto are now arranging to pay off their crews, to avoid the heavy expense, seeing that they are not strong enough in numbers or condition to go out very soon to grapple with the Dutch squadron.
Florence, the last day of August, 1652.
[Italian.]

Footnotes

  • 1. Peter Vanderstraten.
  • 2. Forwarded from Paris on the 6th August.
  • 3. Forwarded by Sagredo on the 13th August.
  • 4. On the 13/23 July.
  • 5. On the 30th July the Council of State authorised Col. Thomas Plunkett to transport 3,000 or more Irish for the service of Spain, upon the ambassador engaging that they should not return or be employed to the prejudice of the commonwealth. Cal. S.P. Dom., 1651-2, pages 351, 374.
  • 6. At Paris on the 6th June by which this duke separated himself from the party of the princes. Houssaye : Reunion de la Lorraine a la France, Vol. II, pages 484-5.
  • 7. Forwarded by Sagredo on the 20th August.
  • 8. Fleetwood was appointed commander in chief in Ireland on the 9/19 July. He had married Cromwell's daughter Bridget, Ireton's widow, on the 8/18 June. The petition was drawn up on the 2/12 August, and presented on the following day.
  • 9. Forwarded by Soranzo on the 27th August.
  • 10. Daniel Lisle and John Durie.
  • 11. Commander Catz.