Venice: January 1649

Pages 84-86

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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January 1649

1649. Jan. 1.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Munster. Venetian Archives.
224. Alvise Contarini, Venetian Ambassador to the Congress at Munster, to the Doge and Senate.
The affairs of England grow ever worse for the king. The military control everything. They are masters in London and have placed under arrest sixty members of parliament, the majority of them belonging to the Upper House. Fairfax has great pretensions. The Prince of Wales and the duke of York have nothing to live on at the Hague and accordingly they are dismissing their followers and reducing themselves to a private life while waiting for a wind more favourable to their affairs.
Munster, the 1st January, 1649.
Jan. 12.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Munster. Venetian Archives.
225. Alvise Contarini, Venetian Ambassador at Munster, to Michiel Morosini, his colleague in France.
The Duke of York is on his way to Paris. His creditors seized his baggage, but the States caused it to be released at once. Prince Rupert is on the point of setting sail for Ireland with the fleet, to see whether he can in any way avert the perils now threatening the king of England.
Munster, the 12th January, 1649.
[Italian ; copy.]
Jan. 19.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Munster. Venetian Archives.
226. Alvise Contarini, Venetian Ambassador at Munster, to Michiel Morosini, his colleague in France.
The Duke of York will have reached Paris by the time this letter gets there. The Prince of Orange has given him 30,000 florins to defray the expenses of his journey, and when he passed through Brussels the Archduke showed him every consideration and honour. The dangers to his father, family and country continue to increase, as your Excellency will perceive from the enclosed summary, which comes from a trustworthy source, although late in date.
Munster, the 19th January, 1649.
[Italian ; copy.]
Jan. 20.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Costantinopoli. Venetian Archives.
227. Giovanni Soranzo, Venetian Bailo at Constantinople, to the Doge and Senate.
The English ambassador presses that his ships may be allowed to enter, particularly the Alloro, of which I have sent all particulars to his Excellency Riva. The French ambassador told me that at a consulta about the estimates of the Arsenal the Grand Vizier had produced an undertaking by the English ambassador to cause 25 of their ships to come to the service of the Sultan, but as England said the same of France I do not know what to believe.
The Vigne di Pera, the 20th January, 1648. [M.V.]
Jan. 22.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Munster. Venetian Archives.
228. Alvise Contarini, Venetian Ambassador to the Congress at Munster, to the Doge and Senate.
Encloses advices from London.
Munster, the 22nd January, 1649.
Enclosure. 229. Advices from London, the 15th December, 1648.
The military having required Gen. Cromwell to suspend all treaties with the king as destructive of the liberty bought with their blood, he convoked the Council of war on the subject. After deliberating for several days they declared that the king had been the origin of all the mischief and that the treaty begun with him was pestilential to the republic. Accordingly they decreed :
(1) that the treaty be broken off, as it has been, the parliament commissioners with his Majesty having been recalled.
(2) that the king receive due punishment, as the cause of so much bloodshed, as he himself has confessed.
(3) that a date be given to the Prince of Wales and the Duke of York, and if they do not surrender by that time they shall be declared incapable of any share in the government, banished for ever and condemned as traitors and enemies of the country.
(4) that a certain number of royalists, many of whom are already prisoners of parliament, shall be put to death at once ; the others, after making due submission and paying a fine, to be granted their lives as a boon, on condition of never again being eligible to government offices.
(5) that the army receive its promised arrears.
(6) that a day be assigned for parliament to surrender to the people the authority hitherto exercised by it.
(7) that a republic be constituted as right and proper for the liberty of the subject, in the following manner.
(a) that parliaments be annual or biennial at most.
(b) that henceforth there be no king save by election of parliament, which represents the people, without any other authority than that of chief of the people, and without any vote in parliament.
When the king was informed of these proposals he shut himself up for half a day, and then appeared, saying that he had conceded too much, and even so had failed to give satisfaction, and he was resolved to die rather than lay any further burden on his conscience.
Meanwhile the king no longer receives the title either of king or Majesty, and is merely called Charles Stuart, so that in putting him to death the victim may not be the king, the act being too abominable, but the private individual so called.
Jan. 26.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Francia. Venetian Archives.
230. Michiel Morosini, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
Encloses usual sheet of London.
Paris, the 26th January, 1648. [M.V.]
Enclosure. 231. Advices from London, the 20th January, 1649.
After several weeks without news letters arrived from England last Friday with news that when parliament wished to try the king the Upper House opposed, so that parliament had to issue an order that for the future all that is decided by the House of Commons shall be exempt from opposition of the Upper House ; after which they drew up the process and had the king brought from Windsor to Whitehall and then to London, parliament having resolved to proceed against the king personally. His army is dwindling daily, both from lack of money and of everything necessary for its support.
Jan. 29.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Munster. Venetian Archives.
232. Alvise Contarini, Venetian Ambassador at Munster, to the Doge and Senate.
At the suit of the Prince of Wales in the full assembly, representing the perilous situation of his father and urging them to send an ambassador extraordinary, to save at least his life, if possible, the States General immediately appointed Pauw, who had been at this Congress, as chief plenipotentiary. It will be astonishing if he arrives in time as the process is believed to be already drawn up, although the sentence, which will doubtless be capital, has not yet been passed.
Munster, the 29th January, 1649.