464. Giovanni Battista Nani, Venetian Ambassador in
France, to the Doge and Senate.
The king has not yet issued patents for levies, but it is certain
that the armies cannot be filled up because last year they enlisted
foreigners from many parts, whereas at present not one has joined
and the French have all come to abhor the royal service, no pay
whatever having been issued in the last campaign of nearly
eight months. Some English were to have come to reinforce
the regiments now in France, but parliament had them stopped,
having become very suspicious since the command was conferred
on Prince Rupert.
The sheet of London is enclosed.
Paris, the 8th January, 1646. [M.V.]
465. Advices from London, the 27th December.
The Scottish commissioners have at length agreed with the
parliament deputies to accept the 200,000l. on account and to
evacuate the country and the English fortresses. The agreement
about the king is secret, but as the English will certainly enter
Newcastle, it is supposed that his Majesty will remain in their
power, but on condition that they shall not take him away or
dispose of him without the consent of both nations. The money
has been sent to York with a large convoy to protect it on the
way, and General Fairfax's lieutenant, in command of the escort,
will remain as governor of Newcastle and of a neighbouring
fort. (fn. 1)
For the remaining sum the Scots demand better security than
a mere promise and credit. They would like as security an
equivalent in the goods of Catholics and malignants, the name
given to the royalists who have not yet made their peace with
parliament. No decision has yet been taken about this, but they
have begun to sell some of such goods, in conformity with a
decree assigning them to those who have served well or who have
suffered notable injury in the war.
Owing to suspicions that the king is secretly distributing
commissions for levies, they have issued a severe decree that any
one who ventures to raise levies in the kingdom to disturb the
peace will be punished as a traitor in the first degree. As there
seemed to be a great influx of persons at Newcastle, everyone
has been removed from about the king, so that any party movement
may be put down.
In Ireland it has become plain that all that the marquis of
Ormond arranged with parliamentarians was a pure feint, to gain
time, just as the English believed that he helped the Catholics
to occupy several places about Dublin and that it was his intention
to cause all the succour sent to him to fall into the hands of these
466. To the Ambassador in France.
With regard to the levy of Duglas, we are inclined to accept it
if he will undertake to provide the men, all ready embarked at the
Texel, at the rate of 15 ducats a head ; you will be able to bargain
with him. If no agreement is reached we would accept his
personal service and give you power to offer him up to 150 ducats
a month, if he will undertake to go to Candia. The Ambassador
Contarini should provide him with facilities for embarcation at
the Texel, to avoid the lengthiness of other passages. You can
hold out hopes of advancement such as the republic grants to
those who labour well for her when their merits are well established.
Ayes, 149. Noes, 0. Neutral, 1.
467. Gio. Battista Nani, Venetian Ambassador in France,
to the Doge and Senate.
The cardinal also complains that the Spaniards obstruct peace
in the empire and that they are solely intent on making peace
with the States in order to be free to act against France in an endless
war. Through Lord Goring, who is in Holland under the
pretext of selling certain jewels of the queen of England, and who
is won by the ministers of Spain, they have induced the princess
of Orange to persuade Brandenburg to hold fast to his determination
not to give up half Pomerania to Sweden.
London advices enclosed.
Paris, the 15th January, 1646. [M.V.]
468. Advices from London, the 3rd January, 1647.
The Houses have resolved that those who have borne arms
against parliament and have not yet made peace shall be sought
out and arrested. The commissioners of Scotland have preferred
three requests. First, that a security be given them for the
remaining 200,000 Jacobus. This has been refused, as they
consider the public credit enough. Second, not to pay the debts
they have contracted where they kept garrisons. This also is
refused. Third, that the English shall continue to pay the army,
even in Scotland, until all the royalists are disarmed. They were
told that they must first leave the country and the rest would be
The city of London has at length presented to parliament a
paper which has long been under consideration. (fn. 2) It contains
the following heads : first, that the covenant be submitted to all,
without exception, punishing those who do not accept it, or at
least excluding them from all employment. Second, only to
allow those duly ordained to preach, and to provide these with
proper maintenance. Third, that the people shall elect members
to parliament freely, without use of force. Fourth, that the
committees which administered public affairs badly be forced to
render account. 5th, that the army be disbanded. 6th, that Ireland
be succoured. 7th, that peace and unity be preserved between
the two kingdoms. 8th, that what is realised from the sale of the
malignants' goods be devoted to making good public losses.
9th, that members of parliament be not exempt from judicial
process for the recovery of debt. This petition, in which the king
is not so much as mentioned, when they hoped that the mayor was
inclined to favour him, is a great blow to those who expected
something likely to help the royal interests.
Parliament has discovered a plot for the escape of the duke of
York from London, and to take him either to Newcastle or to
France. Two persons have been arrested for this, (fn. 3) and when the
duke was asked why he had not disclosed this long before to the
Houses, he replied that as it was suggested to him on behalf of
his father, he had not dared to refuse his consent to the flight.
469. Gio. Battista Nani, Venetian Ambassador in France,
to the Doge and Senate.
Encloses advices of London.
Paris, the 22nd January, 1647. [M.V.]
470. Advices from London, the 10th January, 1647.
The king, perceiving that with the exchanges between the Scots
and the English he must eventually come into the power of the
latter, has written a strong letter to the two Houses, dated the
20th December. He recounts his various proposals for peace,
to which parliament has returned no answer, points out that
peace can never be established unless they confer together at
close quarters, to remove all differences and suspicions. He
therefore suggested he should be allowed to come to London or to
some house of his near, with a safe conduct from the two Houses
and the Scottish commissioners that he shall stay there honourably
with full liberty and security. He is sure, if this is done, that
they will easily find the way to peace, and he will agree to everything
that may remove the suspicions of his subjects and which
will establish tranquillity in the kingdom.
The Upper House decided to accept this proposal. The Lower
considered it a long while, but in the end came to the same
decision. By common accord they have consented to his Majesty
going to Humby, which is one of his royal houses 60 miles from
London, where he can stay in honour and safety, attended as
parliament may decide. This will remove any uneasiness
of the parliamentarians from seeing the king in the hands of the
Scots, and it also makes it clear that his Majesty has no longer
any hope of setting his party on its legs, and that he must accept
so much of his name and authority as the two Houses choose.
News has arrived, though not confirmed, that Dublin has fallen,
into the hands of the Catholics. Parliament has been greatly
perturbed by the mere report and utters furious threats against
the marquis of Ormond, who pretended to make a treaty with
them and then held out his hand to the Catholics, to help them to
make such an important capture.
471. Zuanne Zon, Venetian Secretary at Florence, to the
Doge and Senate.
The French are arranging here with the captains for a levy of
1,500 English, which they promise to conduct to Leghorn before
the end of April next.
Pisa, the 26th January, 1647. [M.V.]
472. Gio. Battista Nani, Venetian Ambassador in France,
to the Doge and Senate.
I have not been able to dismiss from my mind the assertions
of more than one of the ministers here of the great things they
would do in the future, in the event of peace, for the unhappy case
of the king of England. After being fed on high though distant
hopes and dissuaded by embassies sent on purpose from making
peace and accepting the proposals which were offered to him, he
now finds himself abandoned by all and before the gates of a prison,
as your Excellencies will learn from the enclosed sheet, notwithstanding
that religion, interest and proximity constitute so
strong a claim on the French to sustain him, and that there
is a queen here who weeps every day and an innocent prince who
would move the stones to pity.
Paris, the 30th January, 1647. [M.V.]
473. Advices from London, the 17th January, 1647.
The king's last hopes rested on the Scottish parliament
assembled at Edinburgh. This has finally dissolved with
decisions utterly contrary to his Majesty's expectations, thus
destroying all hope. Their resolutions are under 7 heads. (1)
That Scotland shall be governed as it has been during the last
5 years and that every means shall be tried to induce the king
to sign the covenant and accept the proposals. (2) Even if the
king accepts, the Scots will not help him against the English.
(3) If he accepts the covenant but not the proposals he shall not
be received in Scotland. (4) The clause in the covenant about
defending his Majesty is understood as applying only so far as
the preservation of the two kingdoms is concerned. (5) That the
king shall not exercise any authority in Scotland until he has
accepted the covenant and proposals and given a satisfactory
answer to the two kingdoms upon the proposals made to him at
Newcastle. (6) If he refuses to sign they will dispose of him
according to the treaties between the two kingdoms. (7) That
the union between the two kingdoms shall be inviolable.
The king being obliged to go to the house assigned to him as a
prison, the Ambassador Bellievre, to avoid sharing the affront,
has left him and is coming to London, possibly to make some
representations about peace, though some say he will go direct
to Holland without touching London.
It was suspected that the king contemplated flight and a ship
off the coast aroused suspicion. But they have sent vessels
of all kinds away, and the Scots, for greater security have doubled
the guards about the royal person. Parliament has exhorted
the Scottish general to exercise the greatest care and he has
promised the utmost attention. Parliament has appointed
three members of the Upper and six of the Lower House to
conduct the king from Newcastle to Humby and has sent letters
to the Scottish general and to their own commissioners at
Newcastle. It is said that their only reply to the king's letter
is a note directing those concerned to arrange for conducting
his Majesty to one of his houses.