238. Gio. Battista Nani, Venetian Ambassador in France,
to the Doge and Senate.
In obedience to the instructions of the 27th May I gave the queen
of England the most ample assurances of your Serenity's perfect
disposition towards the king, her husband, telling her of the
communications made by Talbot and the replies. I impressed
on her how wrong it was of Talbot to complain of his reception,
which was quite in accordance with his credentials, and he had
never demanded more. I asked her to dissipate any prejudice
that might be occasioned by any contrary statement, when she
communicated with the king. Finally I congratulated her on
the successes of the royalists since the taking of Leicester.
The queen received my communication graciously and after
thanking your Excellencies for your good wishes said she fully
realised that the serious attack threatened by the Turk was a
sufficient reason to deprive his Majesty of any more positive help
from the ancient friendship of your Excellencies ; but for the rest
she was quite convinced of the republic's friendliness and neither
Talbot nor any one else would ever be able to hurt it, She would
tell her husband everything and he would certainly resent
Talbot's behaviour, about which she expressed great surprise.
She called it folly and said he knew he was in the wrong, as he
had arrived in Paris and never breathed a hint of it to her. She
was glad to know of it and would send for him and reprove him.
I said I was glad he was here, as her Majesty now knew the whole
truth and would impose silence on him, The queen assured me
she would, repeating that he was quite in the wrong and the king
should know of it.
The ducal missives of the 3rd ult. direct me to send advices
of London every week. They infer that I have already received
this command, but if I had, it should have been obeyed at once.
I enclose the advices for this week. I understand that Capello
has sent a request to Venice to be confirmed in the post of interpreter,
with the usual salary, and payment for his letters, offering
to send direct to your Excellencies and to the Courts. I do not
know what answer has been given him.
Paris, the 4th July, 1645.
239. Advices from London of the 21st June, 1645.
Colonel Goring, who is besieging Dampton, (fn. 1) has attacked the
parliamentarians, who had introduced succour. There was
loss on both sides and each claimed the advantage. The besieged,
owing to the additions received, are very short of powder and other
things and the succour has proved a burden rather than a relief
Since the capture of Leicester and other towns in the neighbourhood,
the king has greatly raised the spirits of his party, increased
his contributions and extended his quarters, and is marching in
haste to Oxford, whence the parliamentarians have completely
They have sent urgent messages to Scotland for powerful
assistance from that nation to relieve the present weakness of
the associated forces.
Meanwhile the city of London, more weary than ever of the
burden of the war and impatient of the uncertain issue, has been
pressing the Houses to give positive orders to General Fairfax
to fight a battle in which fate shall declare absolutely on one side
or the other. For this purpose they are raising troops to send
with reinforcements to the army, and have announced fasts and
prayers, from which they look for a successful issue, which is
most ardently desired.
Amid these preparations more violence than ever is shown in
raising money and men, and discord and confusion are making
headway among the people. The leading men are objects of
envy and suspicion to the common people, and rivalry and party
spirit are to be found in parliament itself.
The new Earl of Sussex, back from Oxford, has been arrested
and his papers seized, to bring his offences to light. The Earls
of Essex, Manchester and Warwick, who commanded the forces
of parliament, are accused of intelligence with Digby, the king's
secretary of state. The Spanish ambassador is also stated to
have had intelligence with them ; but Olis, accused by one of the
Lower House, has had his accuser sent to prison, on the charge of
calumny and imposture.
In Ireland the Catholics won advantages over the parliament
by the capture of some places. A conference has been held at
Dublin between the Catholics and Protestants to make some
compact, but it broke down as the latter would not grant freedom
of religion everywhere to the former.
In response to the energetic supplication of the Spanish
ambassador parliament has granted to Madame de Chevreuse the
passport requested, but they insisted on her crossing in one of
their own ships, this has not been settled on yet. In the meantime
she has sent jewels to the Spanish ambassador as a security for
the money which she is raising through him for her support.
240. Gio. Battista Nani, Venetian Ambassador in France,
to the Doge and Senate.
The queen of England has gone to St. Germain for her health.
The regent has sent her the news of the defeat of the king, related
in the enclosed sheet, toned down as much as possible. But
here the event has made a great impression and they fear the
consequences if parliament remains the sole master of the kingdom.
A member of the council did not conceal from me that they foresee
an imminent union of all the Protestants, and that when the
peace is made the allies of France will be the first to set about
fomenting the Huguenots, and so France will be surrounded and
attacked by all without any of the Catholic states coming to her
rescue, the Austrians being more apt to execute their own
vendettas and to lend a hand to keep that crown down.
Paris, the 14th July, 1645.
241. Advices from London, the 29th June, 1645.
The king's successes were ephemeral, fortune having very
quickly changed the scene and reduced his affairs to extremities.
The battle desired by parliament was fought on the 22nd June a
short distance from Northampton, where the king's army was
worsted, losing its camp, guns and baggage. The parliamentary
army suffered scarcely any loss. It is thought that the king,
who had the larger numbers, had fraud and treason among his
own followers to contend with more than the hostile forces. The
cavalry in particular, abandoned the field at once, leaving the
rest at the mercy of the enemy. The killed are few, on his
Majesty's side not a thousand, and on the parliament side little
more than a hundred, but 4,000 royalists have been taken
prisoner. The king showed great courage everywhere and twice
rallied his fleeing troops, but was obliged at length to run with
the rest, being slightly wounded in the arm with the point of a
sword. Prince Rupert was also wounded and had to take refuge
in flight. On the king's side no other person of quality or
importance has been slain or taken. On the other a lieutenant
general of Fairfax, a person of courage and worth has been slain.
The booty which has pleased the parliamentarians most, and
which may do the king an immense amount of harm, is his coach,
which was captured with a chest containing the most important
papers, the letters of the queen and others, which will make it
easy for parliament to discover the secret correspondence and
intelligence which his Majesty may have inside and outside the
In consequence of the victory, General Fairfax has recovered
the important town of Leicester and the neighbouring places,
which had shortly before fallen into his Majesty's hands and so
greatly raised his fortunes. Parliament is pressing its advantage
and the king will have great difficulty in restoring his army.
Colonel Goring, who was besieging Taunton gives him hopes of
considerable reinforcements, and various reports have reached
London about the surrender or resistance of that town.
12,000 Scots have entered the kingdom from the other side,
so the king is caught between them, with little hope of reestablishing
himself or taking the field again.
242. Gio. Battista Nani, Venetian Ambassador in France,
to the Doge and Senate.
From all parts they are hurrying in levies and 1,500 Irish have
arrived on the shores of the kingdom. I enclose the advices from
Various ships which landed the Irish mentioned above, having
cast anchor in Britanny the Cardinal has taken it upon him to
intimate to Monsignor Ranuccini that he must leave at the
beginning of next month for the exercise of his functions in
Ireland. This intimation is a severe blow to the nuncio because
he will either have to undertake the journey or return to Rome,
all the doors being closed against him by which he might hope to
be able to enter upon negotiations and confirm his position at
the Court. Yet he will take away with him the golden rose
which was secretly entrusted to him by the pope to be presented
to the queen, with secret orders not to unpack it until he had first
ascertained that it would be well received. He was flatly told
that it would be refused.
Paris, the 18th July, 1645.
243. Advices from London, the 6th July, 1645.
The report that the king was wounded in the battle proves
false, but his reverse is confirmed. General Fairfax, after taking
Leicester has invested Ashby and leaving a part of his men there
is pursuing the king, so that he may not be able to collect his
forces. His Majesty after going first to Hereford has proceeded
post to Bristol, calling to him Colonel Goring and all the others
who are devoted to his party. Colonel Gerard joined him at once
with a few troops and Goring holds out hopes of powerful
reinforcements. It is uncertain whether Tampton has surrendered
to this officer, but beyond a doubt the detachment of those forces
was fatal to the king, and if they had all been with him he might
possibly have beaten the enemy. If Goring has not succeeded by
this time he will have to break camp at once.
Parliament does not rely on its good fortune, but redoubles its
efforts to send fresh reinforcements to the army, using violence
and force to compel persons of every sort to take arms. From
this remarkable energy it is concluded either that they think the
other side strong enough to set itself up again, or they hope by a
mighty effort to terminate the war in this campaign, reducing
the king to such straits as will oblige him to withdraw and leave
They have brought to London in triumph 3,000 prisoners, 3
carts of wounded, 30 stand of cavalry colours and a like number of
the foot, spoils of the late battle.
They have set to work eagerly to examine the papers and have
found 36 copies of letters from the king to his wife, and some of
her replies. They are discovering various intelligences which
will very quickly fill the prisons in a matter so jealous that
suspicion is as bad as the crime. The Resident of Portugal is
one of the first to be hit, because among the king's letters mention
is made of a letter of his with some proposals for a marriage and
pecuniary assistance. The Resident denies it, but admits that
his master asked the king of England to interpose with the
king of Spain for the release of his brother, offering him 60,000
Jacobus if this was achieved by his means. But the suspicion
against this minister is augmented by the discovery that he
served as intermediary in the correspondence between the king
and the queen. The parliamentarians are correspondingly
pleased with France, as apart from the welcome to the queen
they do not find a trace of any actual succour from that crown for
244. Giovanni Ambrogio Sarotti, Venetian Resident at
Florence, to the Doge and Senate.
Reports the hiring of six large ships of war, English and
Flemish ; the terms of hiring are enclosed. Obliged to go
somewhat beyond his commissions with the ship Sarah and
Judith, an English one, which, truth to tell, is by universal estimation
the queen of ships for war purposes of all those that sail
the seas. It was built expressly for war and is of 3,000 salme
burthen, with 65 sailors and 30 large pieces of artillery, to which
8 might be added, with a valorous captain. It was a very hard
matter to induce him to accept conditions which were only 200
ducats a month beyond the highest price given by the Signory.
Indeed it was only possible to induce him to agree to give up the
voyage to Tunis, with lead and other contraband, most prejudicial
to Christendom, to proceed subsequently with goods to Constantinople,
where he might possibly be constrained by the Turks
to transport at least munitions and troops, by promising him that
he should receive a donation of 250 reals on his arrival at Corfu.
Leghorn, the 18th July, 1645.
245. To the Proveditore General da Mar.
Order to cause a donation of 250 reals to be paid to the captain
of the English ship Sarah and Judith as soon as it arrives at that
place, in accordance with the arrangement made at Leghorn
by the Resident Sarotti.
Ayes, 170. Noes, 0. Neutral, 0.
246. Alvise Contarini, Venetian Ambassador at Rome, to
the Doge and Senate.
The Agent of the Queen of England made an effort recently
to visit the Count of Sirvela, the Spanish ambassador. To save
him inconvenience he asked the ambassador to appoint him some
convenient hour. Sirvela sent him word that he should go to
his ante chamber when he could easily find out when it would
be convenient for his Excellency to see and hear him. This
curt behaviour greatly offended the Agent, so when he met
Sirvela in his coach the day before yesterday he did not stop, and
it is considered certain that this Spanish ambassador will have
to leave this Court very soon.
Rome, the 22nd July, 1645.
247. Giovanni Ambrogio Sarotti, Venetian Resident at
Florence, to the Doge and Senate.
Efforts to hire other four ships have so far proved unsuccessful.
The English ships Defence and St. George were determined to
proceed empty to Zante to lade currants, though the Senate
might send orders to stop them. The English ship Dragon has
decided to lade for Tunis the contraband of the Sarah and Judith.
There are momentarily expected from Constantinople the English
ship Marie, and the English ship Rainbow of London, a very
powerful vessel. Also the English ship Golden Fleece which has
already reached Genoa from Lisbon, and the English ship Anna
Buonaventura from Apulia with grain. Has no doubt but he
can get the four in a few days.
Leghorn, the 22nd July, 1645.
248. Giovanni Soranzo, Venetian Bailo at Constantinople,
to the Doge and Senate.
The English ambassador maintains his usual reserve. I heard
lately that by two ships which recently arrived at Smyrna an English
merchant had received news very advantageous to your Excellencies.
As the English ambassador made no sign, I sent Dr. Scocardi to
make enquiries, but the ambassador pretended that he knew nothing.
In such cases the ambassador is generally accustomed to broadcast
news rather than to keep it close. Nevertheless it has been said to
me that he is greatly afraid of its being known here that among the
armed vessels of your Excellencies there are some English ones.
This does indeed seem an excess of caution, yet it must be admitted,
from what one sees and hears every day, that the times could not be
The Vigne di Pera, the 25th July, 1645.
[Italian ; deciphered.]
249. Gio. Battista Nani, Venetian Ambassador in France,
to the Doge and Senate.
Some remains still exist of the association formed by the late
duke of Nevers against the Turks. They have never given up
their idea of serving religion in some important enterprise. The
queen of England found out about this sentiment and some
months ago she requested them to serve the Catholic religion by
some assistance to those in Ireland. They were on the point of
agreeing to this, but on further reflection and the consideration
that it would all turn in the end to the profit of the king, which is
as much as to say of the Protestants, they gave up the idea.
Paris, the 27th July, 1645.
|250. Giovanni Battista Nani, Venetian Ambassador in
France, to the Doge and Senate.
It has been decided to send a minister to reside in Scotland
for this crown, lest in civil strife all recollection of the ancient
and uninterrupted alliance between the two kingdoms should
disappear. It is possible that higher motives may have led to the
decision, such as covertly favouring the royal cause, or if that is
desperate, to sow the seeds of discord between the English and
Scottish parliaments, and by means of that friendship which
inclination and time have rooted between France and Scotland
to revive the ancient jealousy and counterpoise which was always
set up against the power of the English. Encloses usual sheet of
The Duchess of Chevreuse has at last crossed the Channel and
is now at Brussels.
Paris, the 27th July, 1645.
251. Advices from London, the 13th July, 1645.
The suspicions aroused in the parliamentarians since the capture
of the king's papers have begun to show their effects and the
foreign ministers are the first to be affected. The Resident of
Portugal, suspected of marriage negotiations and convicted of
acting as mediary for the correspondence between the king and
the queen is on the point of being expelled from the country,
parliament not having yet decided about it, after long discussion.
But the ministers of the emperor and Lorraine have suffered
worse insults. The first, who promised the king liberal assistance
if he would use his warships to stop French progress in Flanders,
had his doors broken open by troops sent by the Chambers, the
place sacked and two English priests arrested. (fn. 2) The minister of
Lorraine has also had his house violated and received orders
to leave the kingdom within ten days, because a copy of a letter
from the king to the queen has disclosed that his Majesty urged
his wife to press Duke Charles to send him the succour in cavalry
that he had promised.
The minister of France, on the other hand, is more respected
than before because the same papers have disclosed that the king
warned his wife not to trust him on any account. As a mark of
confidence and to gratify him the Chambers have shown him
the originals, and to show him the esteem resulting from the king's
dislike, when parliament had all the letters opened which were
brought by the last ordinary from France, his alone were left
with the seals intact. The others were delivered, though open,
except those of the Resident of Portugal, which have been
Three points prejudicial to the interests of the king have been
found of which they are making the most among the people.
First, his inclination towards the Catholics, which has grown more
lively, promising the queen to restore them to a more tranquil
condition with more consideration. The second is an assurance
to the queen that he will conclude no treaty without her consent
or without consulting her. The third, also to the queen, that if
ever he recovers his original power he will take the most complete
revenge on his enemies.
Small but frequent, skirmishes are taking place between the
troops on both sides. The king's forces nearly always get the
worse, from the fortune and strength of the others.
Prince Maurice is hurriedly collecting new troops about
Worcester to oppose to the invasion of the Scots. Their army, by
order of the two chambers is advancing further into the kingdom,
to surround the king's forces, which are now between Monmouth
and Hereford in good quarters.