Venice: April 1649

Pages 93-97

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 1649

April 9.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Munster. Venetian Acrhives.
253. Alvise Contarini, Venetian Ambassador to the Congress of Munster, to the Doge and Senate.
The commissioners of Scotland for conducting the king of England to that kingdom have arrived at Rotterdam. But there are difficulties. First, because of the divisions which reign in the country itself, so that if the king makes a compact with one side the other will take offence and will unite with the parliament of England. Second, because the Scots pretend that the king shall confirm the covenant established between that country and England, which the late king chose rather to die than accept. In the mean time the English king is urging on the Netherlands the continuation of the alliance between the late king and these States ; ten ships armed at all points to proceed to Ireland, and a round sum of money as a loan to pay the debts contracted in those parts.
Munster, the 9th April, 1649.
April 10.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Spagna. Venetian Archives.
254. Piero Basadonna, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.
Celebrations at the news of the coronation of the king of Poland. (fn. 1) A fresh cause for expense has been given by the unfortunate end of the king of England, his Majesty's brother in law, (fn. 2) for whom the whole Court put on mourning, and we ambassadors had to follow the example.
Madrid, the 10th April, 1649.
April 13.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Munster. Venetian Archives.
255. Alvise Contarini, Venetian Ambassador to the Congress of Munster, to Michiel Morosini, his colleague in France.
The commissioners of Scotland have arrived at the Hague and they want to take away the king with them after he shall have consented to the conditions which they offered him. He had sent word of this there by a gentleman sent express, for the purpose of extracting advice and help as well, if the state of affairs should permit it, seeing that he cannot place absolute confidence in the Dutch, since they profess the same religion as the people of England, not to speak of commercial interests, which count for a great deal with that nation.
Munster, the 13th April, 1649.
April 14.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Costantinopoli. Venetian Archives.
256. Giovanni Soranzo, Venetian Bailo at Constantinople, to the Doge and Senate.
Letters of the 23rd ult. from Smyrna inform me that the captains there seem very averse from any idea of serving the Turks ; although it is intimated that they have been urged to do so by the ambassador here. In this place it is now stated that he has promised them 25 ships, though I do not see how they can be ready for this at all soon.
The Vigne di Pera, the 14th April, 1649.
[Italian ; deciphered.]
April 20.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Francia. Venetian Archives.
257. Michiel Morosini, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
Encloses advices of London.
Paris, the 20th April, 1649.
Enclosure. 258. Advices from London, of the 10th April, 1649.
By the last letters from England the people are quite determined in suppressing the ancient monarchy and parliament has issued an act declaring all the royal posterity incapable of the succession. They have also declared that all the people of England and Ireland, lands and lordships are released from any oath of allegiance or obligation to homage pertaining to the posterity of the late king, and that in future they are not called upon to obey the royal commands, and the dignity cannot be represented by any one soever. The same declaration proclaims that all who assist Charles Stuart, son of the late king, and the Duke of York in the prosecution of royal rights are guilty of treason to parliament and will be punished accordingly. They claim with the abolition of the royal authority that this nation is maintained in accordance with the ancient laws and just rights and governed by bodies of judicature representing the nation, or by national assemblies meeting in committes called parliaments, elected and convoked from time to time, to preserve equality among the people, continue liberty and uphold this order for ever.
Other letters of the 12th from London relate that the Commons have ordained that the Prince of Wales, the Dukes of York and Buckingham, the Earl of Bristol, Lord Digby and others mentioned shall be put to death if they are taken in England. The Commons have also issued an ample justification of the procedure against the late king and the changes introduced, to be printed in Latin, French, German and Italian.
A paper presented by one Captain Bray against Gen. Fairfax has also been condemned as scandalous, which accuses him of many crimes, and the captain has been sent prisoner to Windsor castle. (fn. 3)
A fresh order has been made for the sale of everything belonging to the late king, the queen and their children, for the good of the state, and the money used to pay those who have served well in the war and have proved their devotion to the republic. They have also issued an act for raising 90,000l. a month in the kingdom.
A printed declaration has appeared of Prince Rupert, admiral of the king's naval force, against the procedure and pretensions of parliament, in which he shows his determination to support the just claims of the Prince of Wales, to punish his rebellious subjects and restore him to his legitimate royal authority. The prince has been proclaimed in some parts of the realm as legitimate successor and king of England, but this has occasioned greater confusion and turmoil.
April 23.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Munster. Venetian Archives.
259. Alvise Contarini, Venetian Ambassador to the Congress of Munster, to the Doge and Senate.
I have received a memorial from Salvetti about the detention of English ships at the Dardanelles. I will answer him by the next ordinary. My design is to promote the giving of every satisfaction to the Levant Company for fear that these complaints may serve as a pretext for giving some ships to the Turks more openly, since in the same despatches of the Bailo I see that he is not without apprehension that the ministers of France and England may have entered into some engagement to cause a certain number of their ships to come for the service of the Turks. I would suggest asking, supposing entry to be allowed, what security the republic can have that the ships will not be forcibly detained by the Turks. This will show that the republic has reason on its side.
The Scots are becoming more insistent than ever to get the king of England to consent to those conditions from which the late King was always averse. He keeps putting them off to gain time, at once to avoid offending them and because some rumour is circulating here that the duke of Chrichi might be nominated by France ambassador extraordinary to his Majesty, an example which others would follow, and very advantageous to the king as well.
Munster, the 23rd April, 1649.
Enclosure. 260. Memorial of the Levant Company, forwarded by Amerigo Salvetti, Tuscan Resident in England, to the Ambassador Contarini, on the 16th April, 1649. (fn. 4)
In spite of the help afforded to the republic and the danger to which they are exposed by refusing to serve the Turks, the Company are much prejudiced by the detention of various ships by the Venetian fleet, for example, the Samson, for no reason except that it belonged to the Company. The Laurel was turned back twice. The Thomas and William and other ships were forced to land their goods at Smyrna and forward them by land, at much inconvenience and expense. The Company ask that their ships may have a free passage in order to carry on their trade.
[Italian ; copy.]
April 25.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Costantinopoli. Venetian Archives.
261. Giovanni Soranzo, Venetian Bailo at Constantinople, to the Doge and Senate.
I hear from Smyrna that there are 14 English and 2 Flemish ships in the port, all powerful vessels, and others are expected. The report grows more and more positive here that the English ambassador has brought himself to promise up to 25 ships. He has certainly had private audiences and has been exceedingly well treated. In addition to the release of all his ships which were here he has further obtained exemption from the duties on the goods unladed at Smyrna, and subsequently brought here, notwithstanding the most vigorous opposition of the Emino. This is quite contrary to the general rule and it happened after the despatch to Smyrna of a certain Bairan, a French renegade. It has been stated that he took orders to the Emino there to pay the captains at the rate, some say 3,000, and some 5,000 reals for each ship. It has been stated here that they have given 125,000 reals to the ambassador himself for this service. The captains seem to object, but the Turks assert that they have the promise of the ambassador. The dragomans and merchants deny this absolutely and protest that in any case the ambassador has no authority to give such a promise. The French ambassador seems to think the promise beyond question. It is difficult to find out the truth.
The Vigne di Pera, the 25th April, 1649.
[Italian ; deciphered.]
April 27.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Francia. Venetian Archives.
262. Michiel Morosini, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
Encloses advices of London.
Paris, the 27th April, 1649.
Enclosure. 263. Advices from London, of the 20th April, 1649.
News has come that Prince Rupert is at sea with 16 ships of war and in 8 days has captured 22 vessels coming from different places, and notably one called the Captain Thomas coming from San Lucar, which was taken to the Sulli Islands, on which they found 60,000l. in reals and a quantity of rich merchandise. Pontefract castle has surrendered to parliament, the governor having fled. (fn. 5) There is no further news this week.
The queen of England is to go to Dieppe with the Duke of York. The king will go there to fetch her and take her to Ireland, it is thought, incited by the promises of Ormond, who holds out hopes of the greatest assistance.


  • 1. John Casimir, crowned the 17th January.
  • 2. Queen Isabella of Spain and Henrietta Maria were sisters.
  • 3. "An appeal in the humble claim of justice against Thomas Lord Fairfax," etc., by Capt. William Bray. He was committed on 19/29 March to Windsor castle during the pleasure of the House. Journals of the House of Commons, Vol. VI, pages 167, 168.
  • 4. Delivered to Salvetti on the 1/11 April. Entered in the Register Book of the Company. S.P. For. Archives, Vol. 144, fol. 11.
  • 5. On 21/31 March. The governor was John Morris.