418. Gio. Battista Nani, Venetian Ambassador in France,
to the Doge and Senate.
The Ambassador Bellievre sent the Resident Montreuil to the
Court by sea from Newcastle, with ample despatches to inform
them of all that had happened and how he had not found the
Scots so devoted to the king as was supposed. Parliament,
being suspicious of this embassy and since at its arrival the king
rejected the peace, laid its snares so well that the ship fell into
their hands. (fn. 1) All the packets were taken, his person being left
at liberty. He wished to go on to London, but it availed him
nothing, as the letters were opened and read publicly. Here
they feel the affront but do not know how to resent it, since
nothing reasonable can be expected from men who despise both
God and the king, and who are not likely to respect the dignity
The advices thence are enclosed.
Moret, the 4th September, 1646.
419. Advices from London, the 23rd August, 1646.
The deputies sent to present the peace proposals to the king
are back from Newcastle and have made their report to the
Houses. They also presented a letter from his Majesty complaining
that the time given him was too short and that the commissioners
had no powers and could not remove certain doubts
which occurred to him. He says that to remove difficulties
he would like to come to London or some place in the neighbourhood,
where both sides could confer, and he promises to consent
to what both kingdoms consider opportune for the public good.
There has not been time for the Houses to decide upon this and
some important decision is expected. Meanwhile the Scots,
more united than ever with the parliament in London, have
presented a memorial so that if the peace is rejected by the king
the two kingdoms may themselves establish and uphold it ;
which means deciding whatever they think fit without his Majesty's
assent. The Lower House would not be sorry if his Majesty did
not sign the peace, as it would achieve its end in excluding him
from the treaty and remove the show of royal power from before
The Scots themselves have offered parliament to leave all
the places where they keep garrisons in England, but on condition,
as they have incurred great expenses and losses, that the sum
due to them shall be paid, one half in cash and the rest in good
News of the marquis of Montrose is still uncertain. Some say
he has made good terms separately and that on the 1st September
he is to leave the country. Others affirm that he has withdrawn
to the Highlands to see how the negotiations between the king
and parliament will turn out.
420. Gio. Battista Nani, Venetian Ambassador in France,
to the Doge and Senate.
Encloses advices of London.
Moret, the 11th September, 1646.
421. Advices from London, of the 30th August, 1646.
The Houses have answered the Scots' offer to evacuate the
places they occupy in England with hearty thanks, commending
their loyalty in maintaining unity and in fulfilling the treaties.
They have offered to pay them 100,000l. sterling down and the
rest after the accounts have been reviewed and the items adjusted.
To afford them every satisfaction, as reports and suspicions are
abroad among the vulgar that the Scots have an understanding
with the king, they have denounced severe penalties against all
who venture to say anything offensive against the Scottish nation.
The agreement arranged by Montrose is confirmed whereby
he lays down his arms and has the right to leave the country.
There are still a few of the royal party in Scotland who have
withdrawn to the Highlands and defer laying down their arms in
order to find better terms for themselves.
The king is still at Newcastle and the Houses have not yet
decided anything further about the peace. We hear that the
marquis of Ormond, who commanded the Protestants for the
king in Ireland, has made an agreement with the Catholics, so
that the general of the Scots, being unable to hold out any longer,
destitute as he is of provisions and food, has left the country.
422. Gio. Battista Nani, Venetian Ambassador in France,
to the Doge and Senate.
Advices of London enclosed as usual.
Moret, the 18th September, 1646.
423. Advices from London, the 6th September, 1646.
The two Houses in London are debating incessantly upon
two important points. First, that if the king refuses the peace
proposals they shall proceed to declare that in the future England
has no king either in name or in fact. Second, to intimate to the
Prince of Wales that he must return to the country, otherwise to
declare him incapable of the throne, and that the succession
devolves upon his brother, the duke of York. They have not
come to any positive decision upon either, but the populace and
the Lower House lean to the extreme course.
Meanwhile the agreement for the return of the places, between
the English and the Scots, has been arranged with perfect ease,
despite the idea that some quarrel must arise between the two
countries over an affair of such consequence. 200,000l. sterling
have been promised to the Scots, one half down and the rest one
year after they have begun to evacuate the country and withdraw
their troops. 300,000l. more have been promised on the public
credit, from which however they are to deduct such contributions
as the Scots have levied in the northern counties. As Newcastle
is one of the places to be given up it remains to be seen whether
the Scots will take the king with them or leave him in the custody
of the English.
General Montrose has completely disarmed and is to go to
France. Some others who are hiding in the mountains, are
treating about disarming, on obtaining assurances for their
persons and property.
424. Alvise Contarini, Venetian Ambassador at Rome, to
the Doge and Senate.
The pope has had 30,000 crowns remitted to the nuncio in
Ireland, so that they may be given to the Catholics there. He
declares that they are very well expended, as he is full of
enthusiasm over the victories and advantages which they are
constantly winning. There is a Franciscan friar of that nation
here, who is continually soliciting him. Digbi, the resident
of the King of England, is expected here soon from France.
They say he is coming to ask for money and that this has been
promised if they arrange to do certain things for the Catholic
religion which he has intimated are to be carried out.
Rome, the 22nd September, 1646.
425. Gio. Battista Nani, Venetian Ambassador in France,
to the Doge and Senate.
Montreuil has come from London, having recovered his mails,
though after the Lower House had broken the seals and read
them. At his departure the parliamentarians advised him not to
return to those parts, as he was personally suspect. In spite
of this they are sending him back (si riespedisce) to Newcastle
to the Ambassador Bellievre, of whom, and his negotiations, the
English grow more and more suspicious.
The Speaker of the Commons has written to the Secretary of
State here explaining and apologising for the action taken in
violating the despatches, but the agent who presented the letter
and the letter itself were refused, Brienne, on behalf of the queen,
breaking out into accusations and complaints.
The enclosed sheet contains the other news of England.
Moret, the 25th September, 1646.
426. Advices from London, the 13th September, 1646.
The treaty with the Scots for handing back the towns is
suspended for some days, as there has not been time to make the
payments and the bare word of the English is not considered
sufficient security. But the generality of the Scots, who want
the money, intend to carry it out, and so the delay is not likely
to cause an upset. By a tacit agreement between the two
countries the king will be handed over to the English, whose
garrison will enter Newcastle as the other goes out.
There are signs of dissension, however, in London and in the
government itself, and the party of the Independents, which is
less hostile to the king, seems to be constantly gaining ground.
It appears that the generals and commanders of the army are
disposed to favour this faction. In the Houses and the government
the Presbyterians have the upper hand and they contemplate
reforming the army and taking power from those who do not
share their opinions. Thus many would prefer that the Scots,
who are of the same faction, should not withdraw from England
so soon, to enable them to carry out this desire with more energy,
in case of opposition.
Some differences have also arisen between the two Houses, the
Upper having resolved that contributions should be collected
by its officers while the Lower has directed that the ministers
of the other who venture to meddle with a matter they claim as
their own shall be imprisoned. The dispute has grown warm and
no mutually satisfactory compromise has yet been found.
In Ireland peace has been concluded between the Catholics
and Protestants but its fulfilment is suspended because the rank
and file of the Catholics who claim that the treaty does not give
them the complete liberty which they demand, assert that their
deputies have exceeded their powers.