Venice: April 1648

Pages 52-56

Calendar of State Papers Relating To English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 28, 1647-1652. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1927.

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April 1648

April 7.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Francia. Venetian Archives.
114. Gio. Battista Nani, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
At the same time [the Spaniards] are also deprived of the great levy of English which was promised them with the permission of parliament, to be sent across to Flanders. But from this side they thwarted the design with every sort of office and the employment of various devices. Not only did they give assurances to the two Houses in the name of this crown that it would not meddle in their domestic troubles, but they have captivated the entire class of sailors and merchants. Thus the English had preyed upon a number of vessels of this nation, and reprisals were also committed in return ; but now, by order of the king, they have released the craft, the goods and the crews without anything being rendered by the parliament in return. Their reward has been the refusal given to the Spaniards of permission to take levies from the kingdom.
Encloses the advices of London.
Paris, the 7th April, 1648.
Enclosure. 115. Advices from London, the 26th March, 1648.
The people of Wales and Cornwall are rising in favour of the king, intimating that he must be set at liberty and a peace made upon terms honourable to him and his house. The governor of Pembroke has declared for the royal side. The Houses have been extremely moved by this news. They have thought of sending a portion of the army to put down the mischief at birth, but as the lower orders in London conspire to the same end it has been considered advisable not to send away the forces with which parliament keeps London itself in subjection. Some English royalists are now going to Scotland in the hope that parliament there may decide to uphold the name and honour of the royal house. Parliament in London has sent to its deputies to keep watch on a matter of such consequence and to request the Scots to have the malcontents sent back and consigned to the two Houses, to receive exemplary punishment. The deputies on both sides continue their conferences at Edinburgh, but no result is seen and the English cannot yet get a definite reply.
In Ireland Lord Inchequin has taken the field for parliament and stormed a small place. (fn. 1) He is levying contributions and pillaging the country. In London they have ordered the raising of some companies for requirements there.
April 14.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Francia. Venetian Archives.
116. Gio. Battista Nani, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
To gratify the English still more they have issued an announcement that all the parliamentary vessels may put in with perfect security at all the ports of the realm and traffic there and that these facilities will be refused to those which bear the name and patents of the king, as they cannot be anything but privateers, since the king has no longer any apparent forces of any sort of command.
Encloses the Spanish packet and the advices of London.
Paris, the 14th April, 1648.
Enclosure. 117. Advices from London, the 2nd April, 1648.
In spite of the divisions and parties that are forming in Scotland, animated by the voices of the preachers and ministers, it seems that the majority incline to the king's side and that they mean to ask the English to set his Majesty at liberty, restore him to the throne, permit him to reside in London and arrange a peace on moderate terms, otherwise they will break with England and appeal to arms. Three whole regiments have passed from England to Scotland with the intention of serving the royal party. The two Houses in London have sent to Edinburgh earnestly requesting parliament there not to receive them and they are waiting for the reply. Colonel Doyer (fn. 2) still holds out in Pembroke castle and declares that he will keep it for the king and his parliament. Colonel Fleming has demanded his surrender in the name of parliament, but without avail. The disturbances in favour of the king persist in that county and in the principality of Wales also. Gen. Fairfax is leaving London for Bury, his headquarters.
April 17.
Senato, Secreta. Deliberazioni. Corti. Venetian Archives.
118. To the Ambassador at Munster.
Acknowledge receipt of his letters of the 2nd and 27th March and the 4th April. Note the office of Salvetti to prevent help being given to the Turks. This has decided the Senate to write to Florence so that the Grand Duke may send orders to that minister to show renewed energy upon the same affair ; for which the ambassador also should renew his offices and encourage Salvetti, showing appreciation of what he has done and of the good results that may be hoped therefrom.
Ayes, 134. Noes, 2. Neutral, 3.
119. To the Resident at Florence.
Our Bailo reports the violence used by the Turks to obtain the services of the Dutch, English and French ships at the Porte in war against our republic, although considerations of piety and reason should prevail with the powers to prevent such a thing, happening, by stopping their shipping from going to Turkish ports. There being no minister of the republic in England, the Ambassador Contarini at Munster has availed himself of the offices of Salvetti, the Tuscan minister, who desires an assurance that the Grand Duke would approve of his intervening in the matter. You will speak to his Highness so that orders may be sent to his minister to act in so good a cause. We have sent orders to our Captain General to make known to those interested in the ships of every nation which go to those marts that in view of the violence and molestation suffered by ships in the Turkish ports, those which succeed in escaping and which reach our fleet will be allowed to keep everything which they bring away in which the Turks are interested, to serve as an incitement for them to stimulate their resolution. This also may be communicated by you to assist in getting the orders and facilitate the better conduct of the affair.
Ayes, 103. Noes, 0. Neutral, 0.
April 21.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Francia. Venetian Archives.
120. Gio. Battista Nani, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
I have had to pay the money for the arms to M. de la Valetta. I only wanted to give it for the 1,000 Irish, because that is finished so far as he is concerned, but he induced me to do it for the English also, having shown me two deeds by which it appears that for the English levy he has paid out 20,000 crowns to Colonel Paccadin and 23,000 to Colonel Aurely. He also showed me letters from the latter reporting that he had obtained permission for the levy from Gen. Fairfax and from Cromwell, and the letters of this week state that he has it from parliament also, but he wants a certificate from me that the levy is for your Serenity, because the Houses suspect that others have enlisted soldiers under the name of France and Spain, who have gone to Scotland to help the royalists. I have sent the certificates in a general form which means nothing, but I do not know if they will consider a sheet of paper enough.
The deputy of the Irish clergy (fn. 3) come to treat with the queen of England has been to see me and told me that the Catholics there have considered your Serenity's need of men and their own need of money, and are disposed to listen to overtures, as they consider war against the Turk and against the heretic as equally important. They felt sure that as many could be supplied as the most serene republic would pay for. In past years they had allowed Spain and France to compete for troops, but now the country was without the men and without the money it had become an affair of private profit. Their complacency had not disposed any of the crowns to afford them assistance, which was denied them at present by all, although their cause was that of God and the faith. Accordingly they have decided that for the future, when anyone desires troops he must pass the money through their hands. They gave your Serenity the first offer on the understanding that when the war with the Turk is over the republic will not refuse to render such pious assistance, the affairs of the faith being reduced to very great straits. On their side they promise to hand over to the republic as a security the most important fortresses and ports of the kingdom. In reply I thanked them warmly for the offer, commending their courage and zeal, but told them that the season was now too far advanced for anything to be done this year.
The advices of London are attached.
Paris, the 21st April, 1648.
Enclosure. 121. Advices from London, the 9th April, 1648.
The divisions in the Scottish parliament persist, the Marquis of Argyle leading the party that favours the English and Hamilton the royal side. Although the majority leans to the king the Houses in London do not seem very apprehensive as before the Scots declare against England they must be agreed among themselves, or decide who is to prevail by force. The ecclesiastical ministers have issued a declaration condemning war and reproving those who, without having first settled any point of agreement with the king, are anxious to go to his Majesty's service. They commend the others who incline to interpose to bring about a peace on suitable terms. Ten members have been expelled from parliament as not having been introduced legitimately. The English troops who entered Scotland to support the royal party have been quartered in different places and no answer has yet been given to the requests of the two Houses, which have been repeated.
In London the two Houses have examined a confession of faith which the preachers have newly published. As regards doctrine they are all agreed, but upon discipline there is still a great discrepancy.
Divers counties have complained of the extortions of the soldiers living at discretion in their quarters, but they have been told that they must first pay the taxes due in order that the soldiers may be satisfied. Some troops in Cornwall were accused of holding out a hand to the governor of Pembroke, but they have protested their obedience to the two Houses and their general, but on condition that they are all assembled in one corps and that they receive two months' pay in cash.
April 25.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Firenze. Venetian Archives.
122. Zuanne Zon, Venetian Secretary at Florence, to the Doge and Senate.
Encloses the papers sent to him that evening by the Bali Gondi touching the orders given to Salvetti.
Florence, the 25th April, 1648.
Enclosure. 123. The Bali Gondi, to Amerigo Salvetti, Tuscan Resident in England.
Order to perform such offices as he sees fit in response to the appeal of the Ambassador Contarini about the help given to the Grand Turk by the English.
Florence, the 25th March, 1648.
[Italian ; copy.]
124. The Grand Duke of Tuscany, to his minister Salvetti.
Instructions to perform offices with the parliament and the Levant company to the end that English ships may not help the Turks.
Florence, the 21st April, 1648.
[Italian ; copy.]
April 28.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Francia. Venetian Archives.
125. Gio. Battista Nani, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
Encloses advices of London.
Paris, the 28th April, 1648.
Enclosure. 126. Advices from London, the 16th April, 1648.
The Scots are still disputing and the end of their parliament cannot be foreseen with certainty. The English deputies are labouring not only to foment discord among them but to win over the opposite side by large offers of gold.
The governor of Pembroke still holds fast for the king. A parliamentary force gathered to attack him, but Major General Langhorne, who also declared for the king, attacked and defeated it. The insurrection is spreading throughout the whole province and many are joining the royal party. The two Houses have accordingly decided to send an army corps of 6,000 foot in that direction so that the mischief may not spread further.
In Ireland things are going badly for both sides, as the country is ruined and cannot support either. Lord Inchquin asks help from parliament, and to satisfy him they are hastening to raise 8,000l. sterling in London upon the 20,000l. which were set apart every month for those requirements.
They have discovered a plot against the Tower of London, which nearly succeeded, but they have made better arrangements for its custody.


  • 1. The rock of Cashel on the 4/14 September, 1647.
  • 2. Col. John Poyer.
  • 3. See No. 109 above. He was Abbot Patrick Crelly, a familiar of Antrim. Bagni to Panzirolo, 15 June, 1648. P.R.O. Rome Transcripts.