11. Girolamo Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in France,
to the Doge and Senate.
They have decided to send the Count d'Harcourt to England as
ambassador. He was declared Grand Eeuyer these last days.
The common pretext is to treat for some adjustment in that
kingdom, but the real inner reason is supposed to be to deprive
the House of Guise of a very powerful instrument at Court.
But the count of Harcourt has not yet attached himself to the
Paris, the 1st September, 1643.
12. Gerolamo Agostini, Venetian Secretary in England, to
the Doge and Senate.
All ways to peace being abandoned and those of the people
who leaned that way being imprisoned or otherwise punished,
they are plunging headlong into war, which is vile and difficult,
since despair is their only goal and violence their guide. The city
of London has already usurped practically absolute power.
They have formed a council for the militia, composed of citizens
with supreme authority to do what is considered necessary for
self defence, while for the equipment of the army and its despatch
they are raising money and men, punishing those who refuse
obedience by way of court martial, even with death, an unprecedented
and illegal course. They have met and drawn up a new
oath worse than the first, which they impose one by one on those
whose loyalty they most suspect. All this week they have been
pressing men with so much inhumanity that many of the
objectors have been injured and five killed, not without serious
riots, in one part and another of this confused, divided and
Parliament also has selected 15 of its members to go into Kent
to ruin those who were involved or had a share in the late revolt
there, with authority to confiscate their goods and also to imprison.
They subject favour to the same disadvantage that justice allows
to penalties, since they state that whereas one alone may condemn,
three must be in agreement for an acquittal.
After numerous visits to General Essex the commissioners have
at last persuaded him to move to relieve Gloucester or to besiege
Oxford whichever he prefers. He asked for 5,000 men more,
10,000l. at once and a deputation of commissioners to assist him.
All was promptly granted as they sent two regiments of the
trained bands of the citizens here for the purpose, and on Wednesday
he set out with an army of over 10,000 men. On the road
he is to be joined by as many of the cavalry of the levy as are ready,
which the Earl of Manchester is raising in the counties near
Waller is still here with some troops, his numbers not yet being
filled up and his men refusing to serve in the army of Essex.
According to the issue of events they will decide whether he shall
take the field or remain for the defence of the city, whose fortifications
are now being most strictly guarded by the trained bands.
For this reason and for others which do not appear, all the shops
are kept shut by order of parliament, with loss to the merchants
and inconvenience to the inhabitants.
Letters have arrived from the commisioners who went to Scotland.
They report their arrival and courteous reception, as well
as the favourable disposition of the people to assist the English,
but that it cannot take effect in a brief space because of the
lack of all the needful provisions. They also report a protestation
by the queen mother of France of her hostility to the
commissioners of that nation who are there. So amid so many
difficulties and delays they have sent from here by sea 3,000 foot
to Farfax, in Uls, so that he may again take the field and harass
Yorkshire, or at least prevent Newcastle's forces from going
to join the king. They are also sending troops by sea to Plymouth,
with the idea of raising levies for the siege of Bristol, but
as the parliament has scarcely anything else in Cornwall besides
that town, a levy is likely to be a difficult matter.
When the six lords of the Upper House reached Oxford, the
queen would not receive them until the king returned from
Gloucester. He himself showed little satisfaction at their appearance,
since he knew it was due to their ill treatment here, and not
an acknowledgment of their duty or from true respect and loyalty
to him. After performing this function the king went back
immediately to Gloucester. Besides messages and protests, to
which he only received impertinent replies, he delivered three
general assaults last week, and was repulsed each time with loss,
and in their last sortie the besieged captured three guns. Yet
the siege is continued and it is thought that the place will be
taken soon. But it is not known whether they will wait for the
army of Essex there or come back to protect Oxford, from fear
that he may attack it. Exeter is also holding out, and although
abandoned of all succour, shows no sign of yielding.
The king followed the advice of true military counsellors in
undertaking the siege of these two places, to secure his rear,
before approaching, London. But the event, which is the real test
shows that the queen's advice, after the taking of Bristol, to move
straight to attack this city, was the more advantageous, as the confusion
among the people here was very great, nothing was provided, and this
is subsequently being made good, though by violent means.
The king has concluded a truce for a year between the rebels
in Ireland and the other side, imprisoning some of the magistrates
of Dublin who objected and restoring others who had been
excluded at the beginning by order of parliament, for their
devotion to his Majesty. Some are still opposed, but they have
not the power to resist. The object is to use the captured ports for
receiving reinforcements from that quarter in men for present needs
and in any case as a set off against the Scots. They say that some
barques have already reached Varmoud.
All signs of the Prince of Orange moving have vanished. He
only remains at Bergobson to make a diversion for the French,
who continue their successes in Luxemburg. The States of the
Provinces have not yet dissolved. They keep restricting the
powers of the States General. The instructions for the plenipotentiaries
for Minister are not yet completed. Holland objects
to Count William of Nassau, and some provinces will not appoint
before the French start, who are to pass that way. Some think
that the arrival of the fleet in Spain, the successes in Catalonia
with some advantage of the emperor over the Swedes, may cheek
the desire of the Austrians for that Congress.
London, the 4th September, 1043.
[Italian ; the part in italics deciphered.]
13. The Resident of the King of England came into the
Collegio and spoke in conformity with the memorial presented.
The Doge replied : We have always wished his Majesty every
success, from our regard for that crown, and that he may regain
what has been usurped from him, returning to his previous
flourishing state. We are therefore very pleased at the news
and thank his Majesty for the communication, wishing him all
prosperity and content.
The Resident said, I had such a gracious reply from your
Serenity about the servant who is in prison, that I forgot his
interests, my own, and what is more important, his Majesty's,
to avoid being importunate. I would point out that this
gentleman has now been two months in a dark cell and his sufferings
have constituted a severe sentence. I should not wish the
like to befall any of the household of the ministers in England,
so I ask for a favourable and a speedy despatch.
The Doge said they would try to despatch it as soon as possible.
The replies have already been intimated to him so that everything
good that is possible may be done. With this the resident made
his bow and departed.
From the day when your Serenity's friendly demonstration of
the 13th June reached his Majesty his arms have visibly begun to
gain force. Of the three armies kept up by the rebels two have
been completely routed, while the third, under the Earl of Essex,
is so reduced and disheartened that instead of besieging his
Majesty in Oxford, as it was charged to do, it has thought it
safer to retire to within a short distance of London.
The queen has succeeded without great difficulty in uniting her
forces with the king. The towns of Bristol and Gloucester, after
London are the most important in the realm, and their Majesties
have marched there to receive the inhabitants into their favour.
Several counties, suffering from the rebels' tyranny, are beginning
to shake off the yoke and of these incendiaries some have fled
the realm and others are asking for peace.
While this success is due to the Divine protection, his Majesty
attributes not a little to the good wishes of your Serenity and
has directed me to thank you and wish equal felicity to the arms
of the republic. This has reached me very appropriately for
the recent victory over the enemy which will afford the greatest
pleasure to his Majesty, and upon which I congratulate you in
his name. It may be seen that the good wishes of my king to the
republic are not less cordial nor less efficacious.
14. Gerolamo Agostini, Venetian Secretary in England, to
the Doge and Senate.
Starting with a numerous army, although inexperienced, it
being mostly composed of the trained bands, Essex halted at
Colbruch, 17 miles from here. Dismissing the pressed men, from
whom he looked for no service, he made fresh demands for men,
money and clothing. These were partly met. They sent him
another regiment of the trained bands of the city ; and persuaded
by some of the commissioners of parliament who went there,
he resumed his march towards Oxford, from which he is only 15
miles distant, intending to pass it and take up his quarters between
it and Gloucester, to prevent a junction between the king and
queen, and consequently of the besieging army with the other.
The intention of parliament is that General Waller, who is busy
with his preparations, of other forces, shall take a position this
side of Oxford, and so hold it invested or cause apprehension that
it will be, and thereby bring about the abandonment of the siege
of Gloucester. Meanwhile Essex has sent forward some picked
horse to enter that town and encourage the besieged ; but this
is likely to be difficult, as the town has been very closely invested
since the move of these armies.
His Majesty now realises how much he has lost through the resolute
obstinacy of the governor and inhabitants of that place, of no great
consequence, by committing himself to this enterprise, whereby he has
let slip a great opportunity of ending the affair with advantage and
glory, since he did not help the rising in Kent, where they are now
ruined and incapable of stirring, while others are warned not to
follow their example. He might well have considered that time would
restore to some vigour the huge body of this city, which at that time
was distressed and abject through disturbing humours.
Waller is collecting his men with great energy. To complete
the number fixed and also to reduce the cost, they have had to
send several companies of the trained bands. Those who do not
want to go undertake to maintain a man in their place. As these
are not paid it causes great inconvenience and may be of little
good. It is uncertain precisely when he will move, but it should
be soon, although when Essex gave the patents in blank for him
to the commissioners of parliament he hinted that Waller was not
a person to be trusted.
Fairfax sallied out of Uls with a few men against Newcastle,
but his forces were destroyed in a flash by the power of the
royalists in Yorkshire, so he had to return to his original quarters
to wait for better help, either from the people sent him from here
or through the appearance of the Scottish army.
The English commissioners in that country, to prove the
readiness of that nation to assist this, have sent a covenant
suggested by the parliament there, for confirmation. It serves
for nothing except for a renewal of the alliance already made
between the two countries, under cover of maintaining the
Protestant religion, but actually to reduce it to the most rigid
Puritanism, and to preserve the privileges of both parliaments
in general, a head under which they can bring any decisions they
choose. In the matter of assistance, so urgently requested, they
will agree upon special conditions, for which I shall watch.
The old Walloons, who are numerous in this kingdom, being
gathered in places contiguous to the city, have entered it in
considerable numbers bearing aloft crucifixes and images.
Appearing at the Houses of Parliament they demanded the utmost
severity against the Popish idolaters, and the abolition everywhere
of images and figures of every sort. To please them parliament,
which has constituted itself the stoutest and most trustworthy support
of sedition, has decreed that in every church in the realm the monuments
and every sort of figure found there shall be destroyed. This
would seem a very inopportune moment for the coming of the Count of
Harcourt as ambassador extraordinary of the Most Christian, to
arrange an adjustment for the restoration of the Capuchins and raise
the condition of the Catholics, but the private interests of the one who
now governs at that Court induce him to get the Count away, as being
the most considerable member of the House of Lorraine, especially
in the present disturbances. Neither do they show the respect due
to the reputation of France, sufficiently injured in the person of
the Sieur de Cressi, who in his eagerness for an ambassadorship, is
content to come privately as a courier for Harcourt, merely with the
hope of remaining as ordinary when the Count leaves, if he arranges
some adjustment, though this is extremely unlikely, especially as they
lack the support of the French pensioners, who fled from here and
were ill received at Court.
The Resident Molino has informed the king of this choice, by
an express, and it has caused him great satisfaction, as in the
somewhat disadvantageous position to which he has relapsed,
he hopes to receive vigorous assistance without incurring responsibility.
M. de San Ravi has crossed the sea and arrived at the
French Court to respond to the office performed by Cressi, and to
take some commissions from the queen here to her Majesty. Lord
Gorin has been appointed ambassador in ordinary, a man more
given to joking than to affairs (sogetto piu da facetie che da negotii).
The Prince of Orange thinks only of retiring, and his army has
done nothing but defeat some companies of Don Andrea Cantelmo
near Antwerp. The French ambassador Tullerie complained in the
Assembly of the States General of the loss of such a promising
campaign, but this did not prevent him swearing the new
subsidiary alliance in the name of the new French king.
London, the 11th September, 1643.
[Italian ; the part in italics deciphered.]
15. To the Secretary Agostini in London.
Order to proceed to the Hague in the way he finds most
convenient, and presenting to their High Mightinesses his.
credentials to try and obtain from them through the ministers
or other persons in authority a levy of 2,000 Dutch soldiers, upon
the same conditions and at the same pay as on previous occasions,
advising the Senate with all diligence of what he has done in the
matter since the business is most urgent. He is to pay the usual
respects to the king for taking leave, assuring his Majesty of the
constant regard of the republic.
[Italian ; the vote is lacking.]
16. Gerolamo Agostini, Venetian Secretary in England, to
the Doge and Senate.
The siege of Gloucester occupies the attention of all. Although
success would not indemnify the king for his lost opportunities,
yet it will give his arms a considerable advantage, or at least
prevent the very great mischief that would result were the issue
different. Neither bombs, mines nor repeated assaults have been
able to shake the besieged, whose obstinate resistance is making
the attack lose heart, and in the last assault they would not expose
themselves, so the very cavalry had to dismount. The king being
personally engaged under that place, while Essex is advancing
towards Oxford with a large army, he has had to increase the
garrison there out of his own army. To replace these and to
ensure a stout resistance, he has called off numbers of troops from
the siege of Exeter, leaving only a few to blockade the place, who
will hardly suffice to prevent the entry of food and munitions of
war. He has fetched reinforcements from other places as well,
giving him over 12,000 combatants in a single body.
General Essex, passing by Oxford, is now at Staun, a few miles
from the royal army, so a battle is expected, although it is thought
that the king will avoid one at all costs, in the expectation that
the hardships of those inexperienced troops will give him the
victory with less risk.
Meanwhile Commissioner Wilmot with 2,000 horse has fallen
upon 15 companies of trained bands proceeding from Surrey to
join Essex, a short distance from Oxford, but he only scattered a
part of them because the news reached him too late.
General Waller remains here, and although they talk of his
starting any day, there is no sign of it as yet, since his army has
more officers than soldiers so far. In the difficulty of obtaining
volunteers and the unsatisfactory service to be expected from the
pressed men, they have sent for all the river boatmen, who are
extremely numerous, and tried to persuade a part of them to take
arms ; but they did not favour the occupation and so the results
are like to be scanty.
The Earl of Manchester who went to Norfolk to raise men,
finding the town of Lin, important for its nearness to the sea, on
the king's side, is laying siege to it with his first scanty forces.
The defenders display great steadfastness and have sent to his
Majesty for help, but in the present crisis he is unlikely to send
The Lords who went to Oxford have not been able to see the
queen yet and have not even been admitted to general intercourse.
The king has stated that he wishes them first to denounce the oath
taken for the parliament and to renew solemnly that of allegiance
to himself. They have proceeded for this purpose to the camp
The covenant sent here by the Scots has been referred to the
synod, to relieve the parliamentarians of all scruple about swearing
it, touching the rites of the religion which were established by
ancient parliaments in the time of Queen Elizabeth, different in
this kingdom from those in Scotland. Some of the theologians have
consequently refused to accept it and have been expelled from the
synod. So religion and the laws have no other ritual at present
than the will of the rebels. Meanwhile the Scots have publicly
announced their readiness to give help here, but this will not come
to deeds without the advantages which they have set forth. They
have issued a proclamation that everyone under obligation to
serve is to hold himself in readiness to take arms for the two
parliaments when called upon. The Earl of Newcastle, who
keeps a strong army, has moved to the northern frontier and is
trying by threats to obtain a declaration at least of neutrality
from Lancashire, which has hitherto seemed to object.
The Sieur di Cressi has returned here without other title than
that of gentleman, sent as before, and he went on at once to
Court with a passport from parliament. He reports that the
Count of Harcourt, the ambassador extraordinary designate, is
all ready to start as soon as he hears from him. Cressi told me
himself that he sees that the position is unfavourable for peace,
but one must do one's best. He will show great energy in this
business because he has the promise of the queen mother to
remain as ambassador in ordinary, if an adjustment ensues, and
he desires this exceedingly.
London, the 18th September, 1643.
[Italian ; the part in italics deciphered.]
17. In the Pregadi on the 19th September.
With respect to the representations made by the people of the
island of Cephalonia who state that they have no market for their
currants, since, owing to the wars of England, no ships arrive
from the West to buy them :
That to revive the trade the duty of 10 ducats per thousand be
reduced to 8 ducats, to begin from the date of the arrival of these
present at the island.
That it is not desirable at present to direct the Secretary in
England to treat about a fixed price.
That the recall of the Englishman, Henry Hider, as being able
to help the export of currants, be referred to another time.
Ayes, 80. Noes, 4. Neutral 2.
|18. To the Proveditore of Zante.
Enclose copy of the deliberation of the Senate touching the
reduction of the duty on currants from 10 to 8 ducats.
19. Girolamo Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in France,
to the Doge and Senate.
The individual Crassi, who was despatched to England, has sent
word by an express of the eagerness with which the Count
d'Harcourt is awaited both by the king and by the parliament ;
accordingly Harcourt is hastening his departure.
Paris, the 22nd September, 1643.
20. Alvise Contarini, Venetian Ambassador to the Congress
at Munster, to the Doge and Senate.
The Resident of the king of England, who looks after the
affairs of the Palatine (fn. 1) here, has been to visit me, with terms of
respect and of friendly confidence and with insinuations in the
interests of that House. He told me that in this Assembly the
interests of the Palatine are supported by the general body of the
Electors and Princes, and are only contested by the duke of
Bavaria, whose influence prevails over that of all the others
from the advantage of the army, which depends on him, and which
causes all the others to take his side. He refuses absolutely to
allow that the Palatinate shall be discussed in the general congress
at Munster, especially since France has written a letter to the king
of Denmark dated the 28th of August last, inciting him to procure
the reinstatement of the Palatine. But Bavaria wishes that affair
to be dealt with separately, or to have it referred to the conference
of Frankfort, but all in order to gain time, as he has been doing for
practically twenty years, constantly ringing the changes in his
offers and promises.
Francfort, the 22nd September, 1643.
21. Gerolamo Agostini, Venetian Secretary in England, to
the Doge and Senate.
Amid the uncertainty that ruled after the departure of the army
of Essex to relieve Gloucester, reports most prejudicial to the
king were circulated here. But yesterday definite information
arrived that although at the appearance of this army his Majesty
raised the siege and left the way clear for Essex to enter Gloucester,
yet he now holds him besieged with powerful forces, and hopes
soon to secure his defeat without risk to himself. It is true that
the decision not to contest the entry is not approved by all the
king's partisans. Essex writes to parliament that unless prompt
succour reaches him he will be in some danger, and so they are
urging on Waller. But he has no wish to see his enemy Essex
successful, and from fear of losing that reputation which is
commonly entertained, without any merit or courage to support
it, will not easily be induced to expose himself. Meanwhile the
king has his successes, as Barnstable and Bideford have voluntarily
submitted to him, and although of slight importance, they are
by the sea and afford a capacious and convenient port.
His Majesty's forces under Exeter, seeing the city reduced to
extremity, preferred to postpone their obedience to the royal
commands about joining him, to losing the opportunity of taking
it. The place surrendered with the usual honourable terms for
the defenders. (fn. 2) The capture is of very great importance, but the
expectation of even greater dims its lustre.
With matters in this state they do not lose heart here, and above
all they are urging from the city the collection of the 50 subsidies
and the other taxes, though payment is hindered not only by lack
of will but by lack of means.
A part of the boatmen enlisted have been sent by sea to Plymouth
to secure that strong place, the only one left to parliament
in Cornwall. Sciomle, originally a parliamentary leader, but long
since returned to his loyalty, with troops given him by Newcastle
has taken Beverley in Yorkshire, opening a way to lay siege to
Uls. It is stated that Newcastle with all his forces is on the way
thither, having some intelligence with the inhabitants. This will
help the success of a difficult enterprise, but necessary, to resist
an advance of the Scots, if they enter this kingdom. These are
moving very slowly in action though they express readiness to
assist, either because they see the exhausted state in which they
are here for money, or because they fear a rising in the counties
of Northumberland and Cumberland, which are still suffering
from the harm done when they were last there. In spite of this
they have sent commissioners here, under pretence of taking part
in the synod, to give information about the rites, so that the
church here may be regulated to their taste, but they will also
interest themselves in political matters, while the new alliance
sent by the Scots has been sworn, in spite of the opposition of the
When the king of Denmark heard the news of the capture by
the parliamentary fleet of his ship with arms for the king, and of
the contempt shown for his device, he had an English ship seized
at the Sound, laden with cloth of the value of 50,000l. sterling,
and further imprisoned two English merchants who went to
him from Hamburg for its release, Those concerned, stunned by
such action, have applied to parliament, which has directed them
to select two of the most expert of their number, whom it thinks
of sending in their name, not to the king, but to the estates
of Denmark. The choice is made, but greater severity is promised
to them than to those already imprisoned, since a mission from
parliament to king is not lawful, and their recourse to the estates
is not welcome. (fn. 3)
M. di Cressi has returned from Court and at once sent a courier
to France. He has proceeded to Dover to await the Ambassador
Harcourt. He has not yet begun any negotiations, but only
heard the king's pleasure to receive Harcourt, who will stay with
his Majesty, to negotiate upon what is sent him by Cressi, who
without any title, will treat with the parliament.
The troops have gone to garrison and the Prince of Orange
returned to the Hague, at which the Ambassador Tullerie makes
great commotion. He had orders by express from France to
procure, a diversion for some weeks longer. Two things influenced
his Highness, the bold demands of officers for their pay, and the
winding up of the Assembly of the Provinces, to prevent the
mischief with which he is threatened. The Assembly, after a
pause, resumed its session to decide about the plenipotentiaries as
the French are already on the way, and the Province of Guelders
has given up its claims. I understand they will be instructed
to act in concert with France.
London, the 23rd September, 1643.
|22. Gerolamo Agostini, Venetian Secretary in England, to
the Doge and Senate.
It is many weeks since some English ships appeared in the
Downs laden with two millions of currants from your Serenity's
islands, for Flemish merchants. These petitioned parliament
for leave to unlade them, but the Levant Company opposed this
vigorously and obtained a decree confirming the old prohibition.
Keeping on the watch, as I do, for a favorable opportunity for
reopening this trade, I took occasion to write to the secretary,
copy enclosed, to congratulate his Majesty on the capture of
Bristol, and to suggest giving permission to the people there to
go with their own ships to lade currants in those islands. I was
not without hope that when this came to the ears of the Levant
Company, who have the privilege, they might petition parliament
for the permission, moved by interest when they are not accessible
to argument. I enclose a copy of the secretary's reply, showing
that his Majesty approves and has ordered him to carry it into
effect, with the consent of the merchants of the place. It now
seems as if my efforts will not prove unavailing, as the Company,
aware of his Majesty's attention to this matter, is contemplating,
so I am assured, a meeting of those interested to make such a
petition, foreseeing the loss they would suffer if others took up the
trade. Alive to the advantages of competition to our public and
private interests, I will await the royal decisions, while I will not
neglect to stir them up here, until such time as definite instructions
reach me from your Excellencies. In a postscript the secretary
asks me in his Majesty's name to recommend Mr. Talbot's secretary
to the clemency of your Excellencies.
London, the 25th September, 1643.
23. Gerolamo Agostini to the Secretary of State Nicolas,
the 28th July, 1643.
Request to offer congratulations to the king on the taking of
Bristol as such would be the desire of the Signory. As his Majesty
has always favoured trade between the two states, the opportunity
seems favourable with the acquisition of a wealthy mercantile
town, with abundant ships and near the Strait, to renew the free
commerce in currants, granting permission to the Bristol men to
go to Zante and Cephalonia to fetch them. This would aggrandise
the city, enrich the port with ships, prove very advantageous
to the duties and provide the whole kingdom at a cheaper price.
|24. The Secretary Nicolas to Gerolamo Agostini, the 12th
September, 1643, old style.
Would have replied sooner, if the commissioners and merchants
with whom he had communicated by his Majesty's order had sent
their decision. This has not yet come, but will do what he can,
as the matter will serve the republic as well as his Majesty.
Postscript : The king has driven the rebel Earl of Essex into
Gloucester, and now has over 6,000 horse and 9,000 foot with
which he has no doubt he will soon destroy the rebel army.
Asks for a word in favour of the Secretary of Signor Talbot,
who has fallen into the hands of the law through the arts of a bad
woman. He is young and it is very excusable, as the affair is
reported. The king's honour is concerned in his sufferings.
[Italian from the French.]
25. Antonio Molino, Venetian Proveditore of Zante, to the
Doge and Senate.
The English ship Golden Falcon cast anchor in this port these
last days, come from Leghorn to lade currants of the Morea. From
this city she wished to take cooperage and bombasine (botterie
et botane (fn. 4) ) ; but in view of the perfidy with which the parliament
of England is seeking to destroy the main support of these islands,
I did not think fit to permit it. None the less he has gone to the
Morea to fetch the currants of Anatolia. But as that will not
suffice for the cargo of a vessel capable of taking a million or
thereabouts, it is necessary to suppose that he may open negotiations
to take away a certain quantity from these islands for the
completion of his cargo, even if he does not take away oil, wool and
other goods. I have taken the requisite measures to prevent
this. Nevertheless I understand that two Cephalonian frigates
were on the lee of the ship laden with currants which were being
received by those of the ship. I will warn the Proveditore of
Cephalonia. I think, however, that exportation is unlikely, as
currants this year are very scarce and many have been turned
I wanted to intervene to prevent this traffic but considering the
obstinacy of the English, who will not have the currants in London,
the short life of the fruit, which cannot be preserved from one year
to another and the poverty of the islanders here, who are so
reduced that they have not so much as a farthing, I did not think
it advisable to bear more hardly upon them.
With regard to the trade of the Morea, the merchant Hyder
is the cause of all the mischief. As I have written so many times
some determined step is required to remove him from there or
otherwise cause him to disappear (che si vuole qualche risoluta
risolutione per levarlo di la o altrimente far suanire) ; there is
absolutely no other expedient which can serve to redeem the
interests of the state. As I have said, it is not only currants of
the Morea, but oil, wool, wheat, etc., which should all, for the
most part, derive from here and subsequently go to Venice, with
no slight advantage to the state. To all this must be added the
prejudice which the public customs duties are constantly receiving
from the unloading and the disposal of Londons and other cloths
which the English bring, whereas previously this business was
for the most part transacted by the merchants here.
Zante, the 19th September, 1643, old style.