Venice: June 1648

Pages 60-65

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.

This free content was digitised by double rekeying and sponsored by the Arts and Humanities Research Council. All rights reserved.


June 1648

June 2.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Francia. Venetian Archives.
139. Gio. Battista Nani and Michiel Morosini, Venetian Ambassadors in France, to the Doge and Senate.
The gentleman I sent to London has arrived and tells me that Colonel Pannatin gave him to expect that the men would be ready to embark in a very few days. The first ordinary will report if this is so.
Scottish deputies have come here to invite the Prince of Wales, who will soon set out for that country, the news of which is in the enclosed sheet.
Paris, the 2nd June, 1648.
Enclosure. 140. Advices from London, the 21st May, 1648.
On the news of the defeat of Colonel Flemingh the Houses sent troops to Wales who totally routed those of Pogyer, the royalist commander. (fn. 1) This good news is counterbalanced by the revolt of Bristol and other important towns who all shout for the king and his liberty. About 12,000 Scots have approached the frontier to support those who have occupied Varvich and Carlisle. Parliament is busily fortifying Newcastle, which is the best town that remains to them in that district. It has also blockaded Varvich from the sea and ordained that the northern counties shall continue the union for their defence and shall enlist troops. To the city of London they have granted the direction of its troops. Fairfax has also agreed to take troops away from there and he has already given up two posts. It is said he will hand over the Tower, of which he is governor, to the custody of the citizens.
They have completely exonerated the Earl of Northumberland about the flight of the Duke of York, and he remains governor of the Duke of Gloucester and of a daughter of the king, who are still in London.
June 4.
Senato, Secreta. Deliberazioni. Costantinopoli. Venetian Archives.
141. To the Bailo at Constantinople.
To thank the English ambassador for his spirited action to prevent the Turks from having his ships, telling him that the memory of this should live throughout the ages to the enhancement of his merits. No other behaviour could be expected from the minister of a Christian prince for the defence of the faith. To try to keep him firm to his resolution.
Ayes, 109. Noes, 1. Neutral, 15.
June 9.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Francia. Venetian Archives.
142. Gio. Battista Nani and Michiel Morosini, Venetian Ambassadors in France, to the Doge and Senate.
The queen of England has assembled all those of her nation of the highest rank, of whom a great number have taken refuge at this Court, and informed them of the state of affairs. After all had given their opinions it was resolved unanimously that the Prince of Wales should leave France and go to Holland, as the best place for proceeding to Scotland when occasion requires and at short notice, the better to avoid the snares that parliament may spread for him.
The enclosed sheet contains the chief news from London. Castelli writes from there that as usual Colonel Pannatin held out hopes of embarking soon, but keeps putting off. If he does not begin this month Castelli will return here to avoid the useless expense.
Paris, the 9th June, 1648.
Enclosure. 143. Advices from London, the 28th May, 1648.
In various counties many are rising and acclaiming the king. But the declaration seems premature for as the Scottish army has not yet entered the kingdom there is no body of troops to support them, and it is thought that they may suffer the same disaster as happened in Wales.
A large number of men from Surrey with arms in their hands, has entered London and gone to parliament demanding liberty for the king, the preservation of the privileges of the realm and to be relieved of the billeting at discretion of the soldiers. The Lower House would not answer, so that these men in their irritation had a scuffle with some companies of the guards, killing a soldier or two, and left London. (fn. 2)
In handing over the Tower to the citizens of London Gen. Fairfax has stripped it of the arms and munitions there and taken them all away to Windsor castle. They do not much like this, the less because the army has nominated deputies to treat with the mayor and sheriffs of London and demand 30,000l. sterling and other assignments every month.
June 10.
Cinque Savii alla Mercanzia. Venetian Archives.
144. With respect to the petition of the English merchant John Obson about the consulship of his nation, there are four heads : (1) if the English are accustomed to have a consul here ; (2) how long the post has been vacant ; (3) who chooses the consul ; and (4) if Obson has the necessary things (le requisiti) about the choice of his predecessors. We find that (1) there has been a consul for the English for 40 years and more. His duty is solely to protect the ships and captains that come from England, with the emolument of 10 ducats per ship, paid by the captains. (2) Michael Frances, the Englishman who exercised the charge, left this city about three months ago, a bankrupt and liable to prosecution, as is notorious in the mart. (3) The choice is usually made by the English merchants trading here. On the 17th October, 1620, they chose Thomas Guther, on the death of the preceding consul. We note that they assume the approval of the ambassador and of the company of merchants which we are informed is the Trinity House. We also learn that Thomas Lorenzon a Venetian performed the duties of consul while he was resident here, and when Lord Fielding came he nominated a member of his household, having the business connected with the ships performed by Ottavio Xobazzi, who did this until recently. Finally the Trinity Company chose Obson. He could not attend to it then, because of his affairs, and by arrangement with the Resident he introduced Frances. Finally there are Obson's patents from the Trinity Company assigning to him the ordinary emoluments. We report him competent for the post and consider him worthy of the appointment.
Dated the 10th June, 1648.
Vicenzo Correr, Savii.
Antonio Moro,
Andrea Pisani,
June 16.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Francia. Venetian Archives.
145. Gio. Battista Nani, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
No further news has come about the levy of M. de la Valette in Ireland. Castelli writes that the ships are ready to leave Bristol, but the confusion in that kingdom is so great that there is no assurance of anything. The advices of London are enclosed.
Paris, the 16th June, 1648.
Enclosure. 146. Advices from London, the 4th June, 1648.
The Scots have published a manifesto containing their reasons for taking arms if the English will not amicably do what they ask, which is, observance of the covenant, release of the king, abolition of bishops, establishment of the Presbyterian religion, disbanding the army, and the extirpation of the Independents and other sects which prevail in that army. They have ordered their troops to assemble on the frontier on the 3rd inst. and in the middle of the month those of the north should also be there, to attack England on two sides and with two army corps.
In London they have arrested some of those of the royal party to keep the others in check, but in the provinces all is tumult and revolt. The men of Surrey, who were sent out of London last week, are greatly incensed and threaten further revenge. Essex is already in arms. Kent, at the very gates of London, has risen and the royalists have occupied Rochester which is the port where the large ships abound, containing the magazines of the navy and arms. In Ireland the parliamentary party has lost more towns, and not having succour, is hard pressed.
London, the 4th June, 1648.
June 19.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Munster. Venetian Archives.
147. Alvise Contarini, Venetian Ambassador at the Congress of Munster, to the Doge and Senate.
Encloses letter received from Salvetti.
Munster, the 19th June, 1648.
Enclosure. 148. Amerigo Salvetti, Tuscan Resident in England, to the Ambassador Contarini.
Has seen the body of the Levant Company. They assured him that it was never their intention that any of the Company's ships should serve the Turks against any Christian prince. Their people have orders to avoid all chances of undergoing compulsion, such as might happen if the ships were under the command of Turkish guns. They promised to issue fresh orders for the avoidance of such places. Their ships had been stopped by General Grimani at the Dardanelles, and they intimated that Venice should allow them to enter and to leave Constantinople.
London, the 22nd May, 1648.
[Italian ; copy.]
June 23.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Francia. Venetian Archives.
149. Gio. Battista Nani and Michiel Morosini, Venetian Ambassadors in France, to the Doge and Senate.
The Prince of Wales has arrived in Paris to take leave of their Majesties and go on straight to England, because the county of Kent having risen opens the way, as your Excellencies will see from the attached sheet.
Paris, the 23rd June, 1648.
Enclosure. 150. Advices from London, the 11th June, 1648.
The Scots are not hastening to arm as was supposed, because the preachers are doing their utmost to prevent this war, holding forth from their pulpits and influencing whole towns from providing assistance.
The men of Kent are gathered in large masses, and armed, and are fortifying themselves in Rochester, some of the parliament ships having declared for the royalists. Fairfax has arrived with troops to try and scatter them, but he did not succeed and was repulsed with some loss. Dover castle, besieged by the royalists has been relieved and they were forced to retire.
The city of London has refused to lend 300,000l. sterling for which the Lower House asked, and the people do not seem hostile to the royal name. Unable to resist the flood parliament has decided to consider a conference which the king will attend in person, to discuss terms of peace, but laying down some fundamental points, i.e. that parliament keeps control of the militia, that the king revokes all declarations against it, and that Presbyterianism shall be the established religion.
The king had secretly left the place where he was kept prisoner, but being discovered by a sentinel, he had to go back to the castle.
June 27.
Senato, Secreta. Deliberazioni. Corti. Venetian Archives.
151. To the Ambassador in France.
The Senate is waiting for news about the levy from England.
Ayes, 114. Noes, 0. Neutral, 0.
June 30.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Francia. Venetian Archives.
152. Michiel Morosini and Giovanni Battista Nani, Venetian Ambassadors in France, to the Doge and Senate.
The Marquis of Ormont has sent a gentleman to me to offer a regiment of 4,000 Irish. He begged me, above everything else, for the most precise and complete secrecy until an agreement was fully concluded, as this was demanded by the nature of his particular interests. After a long rigmarole of phrases I found that he would accept the same terms as the Sieur de la Valette. He may call on me personally one day. He is obliged to go with the Prince of Wales to Scotland, but he will leave some one here to treat for him. As a matter of fact there are no drawbacks in his case. He can carry out this levy with the greatest ease owing to the numerous following which he has in Ireland and because of the nature of his rank and position there, so that without the necessity of asking permission of any one he can, at his pleasure, send any number of his own vassals to fill up the levy.
Enclose sheet of the events in England for this week.
Paris, the 30th June, 1648.
Enclosure. 153. Advices from England.
A courier sent express by the Duke of York, now in Holland, brings letters to the queen of England with news that eight ships of war of the parliament, well armed, have come over to him to share the fortunes of the royal party. (fn. 3) At this good news the Prince of Wales decided not to wait any longer, so he will doubtless set out for Calais on Thursday to embark on these ships and sail to Scotland with greater security, there being more than 20,000 men armed there for the king, and 10,000 more are said to be ready with arms in Yorkshire.
In Cheshire a great number of the people have risen, being overburdened by the constant impositions of parliament, but many of them being cut to pieces by Gen. Fairfax, the others have returned to their obedience.
Colonel Rainsborough, the Vice Admiral, has gone to the North to take possession of ships there and to prevent them from declaring for that party, already powerful, where Sir — Langdale and Sir — Musgrove were ready to march with a considerable army corps. It is established that the royalists have surprised Pontefract castle, taking 10 pieces of artillery, 80 barrels of powder and other provisions of war in no small quantity. (fn. 4)
The seven members of the House of Commons, who had been a long time prisoners in the Tower, with four other leading ministers, have been released by parliament and cleared of the charges against them. (fn. 5)


  • 1. Apparently refers to Col. Horton's victory at St. Fagan's on 8/18 May over the Welsh under Col. Laugharne.
  • 2. On the 16/26 May.
  • 3. Six ships in the Downs declared for the king on the 27th May, O.S., but others followed Batten to Holland. See Oppenheim : Administration of the Royal Navy, page 249.
  • 4. On 11 June by Col. John Morris.
  • 5. By a vote of the 3rd June, discharging Denzil Holles, Sir John Maynard, Sir William Waller, Sir William Lewes, Col. Edward Massey, Sir John Clotworthy, Antony Nicholls, Walter Long, with Aldermen Gayer, Langham, and Bunce.