397. Gio. Battista Nani, Venetian Ambassador in France,
to the Doge and Senate.
With the Ambassador Bellievre on the point of starting for
London, they are sending the Resident Montreuil back to Scotland
to resume his negotiations there, showing clearly that France
had a hand in the king's taking refuge in those parts.
Apartments are being prepared in the Louvre for the Prince of
Wales. He is expected this week and some say that Montreuil
is to induce the Scots to accept the prince himself as the leader of
The news of England is enclosed.
Count Lesle, a member of one of the principal houses of Scotland,
now in exile owing to the present dissensions, (fn. 1) has come here to
offer to raise as many Irish and Germans as your Excellencies
may think fit. He produces proof of long service not only in
his own country but in Holland and later in Muscovy, where he
commanded the foreigners, as general. Not content with my
thanks, he asked me to inform your Serenity.
Paris, the 3rd July, 1646.
398. Advices from London, the 21st June, 1646.
Parliament has intercepted letters from the king written to
Ireland in which he explains his reasons for going to the Scots,
laying the blame on the two Houses for having refused him a pass,
access, asylum or any terms of peace, whereas he has arranged
with the Scots to withdraw with them to establish a settlement
on honourable conditions, and if the parliament of England will
not agree, to operate jointly by arms to compel them. This has
been immediately printed in London, and being contrary to
the assertions of the Scots, has not failed to sow jealousy between
the two countries. The Scottish commissioners deny it absolutely,
not without suspicion that it is an invention of the English.
The party of the Independents has presented a petition to the
two Houses about the form of religion that it wishes established
in the country but they do not attach much importance to it.
On the other hand, to satisfy the Council of London, Presbyterianism
has been confirmed, though not in the manner claimed by
the Scots, but dependent upon and subordinate to parliament.
The affairs of religion are so confused here that while it serves
as a pretext for war they are as yet by no means agreed upon the
form they will adopt with peace. So the door remains open to
countless sects and men live without knowing either what to
believe at the moment or what should be their tenets for the
future, faith depending upon the arbitrament of men and upon
what best suits the interests of the two kingdoms, a question not
The second companion of the king's flight, who is one of the
leading ministers of the kingdom, has been captured at a port as
he was trying to escape across the sea, and brought to London. (fn. 2)
He will be subjected to a very severe and searching examination.
A new conference has been opened about the surrender of
Oxford, which is not yet agreed. The king has sent orders to
Montrose in Scotland and to the others of his party to lay down
their arms and to abandon all further efforts. The result is not
The most elaborate preparations are being made in London for
the Ambassador Bellievre, parliament being well pleased that
France should render it this honour of such a conspicuous embassy.
For the rest his mediation is expected to be more show than
reality, because if peace is to be made, the two kingdoms will
make it for themselves and the Scots will be mediators and parties
to the treaty.
399. Gio. Battista Nani, Venetian Ambassador in France,
to the Doge and Senate.
A courier has come from the Resident Sabran in England
with news that peace is progressing favourably, the king submitting
to everything. They are sending off Bellievre at once
so that he may at least be present at the conclusion. Although
France appears to desire this end, yet it cannot altogether please
her, since disturbance and balanced parties suit her interests
better. They want at least to earn gratitude for their mediation
and by this obligation to render the English less disposed to take
any steps against them. There is some apprehension that if
Holland quiets down and England becomes united, the Spaniards
will try to make capital by suggesting to both objections to the
excessive progress of the French arms in Flanders. They have
sent orders to Sabran to return to Court at once and to confer
with Bellievre at Calais in passing. The ministry is dissatisfied
with him because it tried to raise some levies through him which
have not been realised, and because he has always shown a
propensity for the parliamentary party. The enclosed sheet
shows the state of affairs there.
The queen of England has been to Paris to see the regent,
deploring her state with tears, because Lord Germen has returned
without bringing the prince. He would not leave his island,
feeling himself safe there in the present lull of fighting. Those
with him represented that if he abandoned that corner of his
kingdom he might find it difficult to return. In France he would
be a foreigner, begging his bread, subject to the will of others.
Moreover the state of affairs and the signs of peace have induced
him to wait for the issue. So the queen has failed in the stroke
by which she hoped to improve her condition in the treaty, while
France also wished to have this hostage in her hands, enabling
her to use the name of the successor to the throne in opposition
to any measures taken by parliament.
Paris, the 10th July, 1646.
400. Advices from London of the 28th June, 1646.
The Scots have published an answer to the alleged intercepted
letter of the king, in which they state that the question of the
authenticity of the letter itself is a matter for his Majesty, but all
the agreements mentioned in it to the prejudice of the English
are false, and they prove this by many arguments.
The king has written again to the two Houses from Newcastle,
urging them to send him the peace proposals which they have
prepared, as soon as possible, to put an end to the turmoil.
He promises to accept all that the two parliaments judge
opportune, in the hope that the proposals will be such as to save
his honour, dignity and rights. He says specifically that he will
agree to all that the two kingdoms desire in religion, the control
of the army etc. and offers, when the terms are settled, to bring
the Prince of Wales back to the country. The Scots have sent
commissioners to learn his Majesty's opinions on four points :
first, the approval of the treaty they call the Covenant, in operation
between the two countries ; second, to submit to the direction
set up in Scotland for religion ; third, to join with the parliament
and follow their advice in all things affecting arms, money and
the most essential matters of control ; fourth, to bring back the
Prince of Wales to the country. Something has been put in
writing on both sides and since the king must submit to everything
it looks as if peace is not far off.
Oxford has agreed to surrender, but we have not yet heard the
terms. A part of the English army is going towards Worcester
which, with the other places having royalist garrisons, is only
waiting to be confronted by force to surrender with more honour
and upon more honourable terms. Many troops from these
garrisons are being disbanded and the ministers of France and
Spain are competing with each other to get them for their
In Ireland the parliamentarians have suffered a great defeat
from the Catholics, 5 to 6,000 being slain. (fn. 3) But if peace comes
in England the united forces of the two kingdoms will go to
subdue the scanty remnants of religion in Ireland.
401. Giovanni Soranzo, Venetian Bailo at Constantinople,
to the Doge and Senate.
The English ambassador has had a serious and scandalous
difference with his merchants. He claimed the right to exact from
them 200,000 reals, ostensibly for expenses incurred in the embassy,
but the greater part of it because he has been adjudged by parliament
to be of the royalist party and all his property confiscated in consequence. (fn. 4)
He had raised more than 100,000 reals of this ; for the
rest, as the merchants proved recalcitrant, he proceeded to put a seal
on all their goods and to the arrest of their persons, and he even
sent a Chiaussi to Smyrna to bring here all those of his nation,
who have increased enormously because of the great trade (a far
condur qui tutti quelli della nation, che per il grande traffico e
fatta grossissima). He has kept many of them prisoners in his
own house. But possibly being treated with too great severity, they
have bestirred themselves and determined to have nothing more to do
with him and have put themselves under the protection of the Resident
of Holland, who has besides swallowed some thousands of reals and
cares for nothing in the world except to accept gladly such advantageous
proposals, without a thought of what is honourable or becoming.
For an outlay of 20,000 reals they obtained an order from the army
for the release of the prisoners and for the unsealing of the goods,
with the declaration moreover of an intention to have the ambassador
put on a ship and sent to England. In the midst of this great
uproar the ambassador has been abandoned also by his secretary
and by the dragoman grande, who after advising him to take all the
measures aforesaid, have taken up the protection and defence of
the merchants, who have summoned the ambassador to appear to
answer before the Vizier and the Cadaleschieri. This has all caused
a most serious disturbance and affords an example of the worst
kind. The merchants are also favoured by the whole body of the
Jews because they have borrowed more than 150,000 reals from them
at interest. Although the ambassador has most advantageous
capitulations he has lost courage and thrown himself into the arms of
the French ambassador, through whose efforts he has escaped from
appearing for judgment. The French ambassador sent to inform me
of this affair and to ask my opinion. Although I have no reason
for satisfaction with England I advised France to support him and
not allow such an example to run the lengths it might easily go to.
He has asked audience of the Vizier several times, but without
success, because the merchants spend lavishly and it is not easy to
see what the end of this affair will be.
The Vigne di Pera, the 12th July, 1646.
[Italian ; deciphered.]
402. Gio. Battista Nani, Venetian Ambassador in France,
to the Doge and Senate.
The persistence of the queen of England has at last brought
the Prince of Wales to France. He is with her at St. Germain,
having left the islands of Gerze and Granze well supplied. Almost
all those who were with him have decided to remain, fearing the
wrath and severity of parliament, which has enacted that under
pain of rebellion the heir to the crown shall not be withdrawn
from the kingdom without the consent of the Houses. 8,000 crowns
a month have been assigned for the prince's maintenance. He
will have trouble in getting them, as the queen herself has
experienced with her own assignment. In visiting the king he
claimed the right hand, based on what happened with his father
at the Court of Spain, to whom by exceptional favour this was
readily granted. But here they told him that France did not
need to take example from others, and the privilege can only
be given by kings mutually to each other. It has been arranged,
however, that the queen of England shall go to visit the regent
taking the prince with her, and the king will be there as if by
chance, when the prince will have a seat on an equality with the
king, who will keep on the right, and who will then return the
visit at St. Germain also accompanied by his mother. The
prince wishes to preserve his incognito here. As it is uncertain
whether the compliments of ministers will be received I shall
follow the example of the others.
I enclose the advices from London.
Paris, the 17th July, 1646.
403. Advices from London, the 5th July, 1646.
In the conference about the surrender of Oxford the following
terms were agreed upon : the duke of York to be taken to London,
to stay there until his Majesty disposes otherwise. The Princes
Rupert and Maurice to have a pass to cross the sea within six
months, during which they must not live in any place where there
is a garrison or come within 20 miles of London. The city, its
magistrate and the chancery shall remain as before, with all
immunities and privileges. By this treaty parliament gets in
to its hands two of his Majesty's children, the third son having
been kept in London since the beginning of the troubles, as well
as all the remaining strength of the royal party in England.
Hudson, the minister who accompanied the king in his flight,
has been examined by the special commissioners appointed, but
we do not yet know whether he has disclosed anything of importance.
A gentleman sent by the king to order Montrose to disarm
reports that he is ready to dismiss his troops provided they are
granted honourable terms. Those who do not want peace, because
of the profit they derive from turmoil, are busy sowing dissension
between the two countries, and it looks as if feeling is becoming
embittered, the press affording every day matter for offence
and suspicion between the two countries. The parliament of
London has intimated to the Scots that it will appoint commissioners
for the settlement of accounts so that the Scots may
cease their incessant cry about what is due to them.
The victory of the Catholics in Ireland is confirmed with an
even heavier slaughter of the Protestants. Parliament has
arranged for fresh troops to go to that country, but it is thought
that the Catholics will make the most of their advantage and of
time. Accordingly a fast has been announced in London that
the remnants of the parliament faction in Ireland may not be
404. Gio. Battista Nani, Venetian Ambassador in France,
to the Doge and Senate.
The Prince Rupert, being compelled to leave England, has
landed at Calais. His brother Maurice, has gone to Holland.
The news of London is attached as usual.
Paris, the 24th July, 1646.
405. Advices from London, of the 12th July, 1646.
The garrison of Oxford came out on the 4th, yielding the place
to General Fairfax. The soldiers would not go away before
they had received their full pay. As there was no ready money,
the parliamentarians, to prevent a disturbance, were obliged
to agree to the sale to the inhabitants of all the food in the
magazines, which were supplied for six months. Satisfied with
this the troops came out without further difficulty. 38 guns were
found, besides many other arms and abundant munitions. The
Princes Palatine went to a small place not far from London,
outside the 20 mile limit assigned to them, but received orders,
by an express courier, to leave the country without delay, and they
must obey this. (fn. 5) When a party of the parliamentarians reached
Worcester, the governor, in conformity with orders sent by the
king to all commanders of fortresses, deputed commissioners
to arrange the surrender. All the towns and strong castles are
doing the same. Pendennis and a few others hold out, but they
cannot do so for long.
The Scottish commissioners have renewed their demands to
the two Houses for the publication of the terms of peace, which
have been under consideration so long, and for the satisfaction
claimed for their army. In Ireland parliament is trying to restore
its forces. Meanwhile the general of the Catholics has taken
a few places and pillaged the country.
In London Father Morgan, a Benedictine, has been publicly
executed for practising the Catholic faith, which he refused to
renounce. He died with every mark of piety and constancy. (fn. 6)
406. Gio. Battista Nani, Venetian Ambassador in France,
to the Doge and Senate.
Prince Maurice has arrived at St. Germain, where he has joined
the Prince of Wales, the arrangements for his appearance at
Court not having been completely settled as yet.
Paris, the 31st July, 1646.
407. Advices from London, the 19th July, 1646.
The terms of peace have been set out by parliament and the
Scots to whom they were communicated have approved. It was
believed that they would be sent to the king without further
delay by a deputation of leading men, but this has been suspended
at the last moment, as the journey of the Prince of Wales to France
seems to have made a great change in affairs and to have aroused
suspicion. Meanwhile the general Assembly of the Scots has
sent various ministers to his Majesty to urge him to embrace the
covenant, agreed between the two kingdoms, especially in the
matter of religion.
The king has assured the Houses in a special letter that he has
ordered the Marquis of Ormond to abstain from any further
understanding or communication with the Catholics in Ireland.
He sent a copy of the order itself, which was read publicly in
parliament and gave satisfaction to many. Not entirely content
the Houses have asked his Majesty to direct the Marquis to hand
over to parliament all the places he holds in the king's name.
The governor of Worcester has begun to parley with Colonel
Valler. The island of Anglesea has followed the same course,
and Colonel Mutton, who went against it, is governor. The Duke
of York is still at Oxford, where General Fairfax is preparing
to take him to London in state. The French ambassador
Bellievre has arrived at Dover. He has not yet informed the
Houses of his coming, although at London they are preparing
his apartments and a stately reception. The Resident Sabran
has gone to meet him and to confer with him. He will then go
on to Paris.