Venice
January 1656

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Institute of Historical Research

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Allen B. Hinds (editor)

Year published

1930

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162-171

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'Venice: January 1656', Calendar of State Papers Relating to English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 30: 1655-1656 (1930), pp. 162-171. URL: http://british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=89815 Date accessed: 26 November 2014.


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January 1656

1656.
Jan. 4.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
219. Francesco Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
I enclose the articles of the peace made between France and England, though they are of no great importance being common to all peaces and not those of greater consequence which are believed to have been arranged between these kingdoms against Spain.
Paris, the 4th January, 1656.
[Italian.]
Enclosure.220. Articles of the Peace between France and England in the treaty made at Westminster on the 3rd November, 1655. (fn. 1)
[Italian, from the French; 18 pages.]
Jan. 4.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Napoli.
Venetian
Archives.
221. Andrea Rosso, Venetian Resident at Naples, to the Doge and Senate.
One of the English merchants here has asked for permission to trade freely in this kingdom, offering to 200,000 ducats' worth of goods to the custom house every year; but the Viceroy who moves very cautiously in this affair and has no orders from Spain, has refused him. Meanwhile the Flemings have taken up the business and have ordered the manufacture of a quantity of silk which they will afterwards send into England.
Naples, the 4th January, 1655. [M.V.]
[Italian.]
Jan. 7.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
222. Giovanni Sagredo, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The merchant shareholder, or owner as he calls himself, of a certain ship which was recently taken in the fight at the Dardanelles and brought to Venice, has been to see me. He told me that his ship did not join the Turkish fleet by any act of his or for any reward offered, but was obliged to serve by main force. (fn. 2) Obson had informed him that your Excellencies claimed the ship as a prize of war. He applied to me for its return, and if he could not obtain justice he would apply to his Highness. He claimed that the force used by the Turks exonerated him. I told him that the ship had been taken in fair fight and his claims could not be allowed. I knew that the Protector would never commend an action which discredits the whole English nation and is obnoxious to the name of Christian, which should lead men to fight the common enemy. I am quite sure that he will not have the effrontery to appeal to the government, indeed they would punish him in an exemplary manner for the honour of their arms and because of the numerous assurances given me by his Highness that he would forbid the ships of this nation, under the severest penalties, to take so dishonourable a service. With this reply he departed and although 15 days have passed no intimation on the subject has reached me from the government. If it comes before my permission to return I will defend the state action with all the warmth that so just a cause demands.
They spare no efforts to press forward their naval armaments. Fearing that to wait until the fleets were completely equipped might affect the speed of their preparation, orders are issued that those ships whose equipment is completed shall leave port and sail to the coasts of Spain.
The Swedish ambassador insists on the enlargement of his levy, but so far they only allow him to transport 1,000 men, and to complete it they are waiting for milder weather more propitious for navigation. The Dutch ambassador is always representing the injuries inflicted on the ships of his country but as yet with little profit. I have reported the choice of ambassadors extraordinary to the Catholic. To remove all suspicion about this mission they announce that the States General who desire nothing so much as the preservation of peace, have sent ministers to Madrid to confirm friendly relations with the Catholic and also to prepare the way for an accommodation with England when the moment shall appear favourable.
London, the 7th January, 1656.
[Italian.]
Jan. 8.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Corti.
Venetian
Archives.
223. To the Ambassador extraordinary in England.
Acknowledge receipt of his letters of the 26th November and the 3rd and 10th December. Glad to receive the articles of the peace with France. Sure that he will have made every effort to discover if there is any secret understanding. Commend his conduct with the Dutch ambassador on the question of title. Grant him the leave he asks after he has performed the office with the Protector as owing to the engagements to which the forces of England are committed there remains no room for hope of help from that quarter for the present. If he sees no opportunity for serving the public interests and no prospect of a change he is at liberty to take leave of the Protector with the proper compliments and set out for home. In order to keep up confidential relations with England, the Senate has decided to leave the secretary Giavarina in charge as resident, to whom Sagredo will give the necessary instructions.
That 430 ducats of lire 6 grossi 4 of good value be given to Francesco Giavarina, secretary of the Senate, for his equipment and to enable him to maintain himself suitably at the Court of England after the departure of the Ambassador Giovanni Sagredo.
That 680 ducats be paid him for 4 months' salary in advance at the rate of 170 ducats a month, in accordance with the regulation of 18 August, 1619, to begin from the day that the Ambassador Sagredo leaves London.
That 40 crowns of lire 7 be paid to him for four months for extraordinary expenses, except couriers and the carriage of letters, at the rate of 10 crowns a month, for which no account will be required of him.
That 150 ducats of lire 6 grossi 4 be paid him for couriers and the carriage of letters, for which he will render account.
For the chaplain and interpreter 186 and 100 ducats will be allowed respectively for table expenses and salary.
Ayes, 67. Noes, 12. Neutral, 24.
Second vote:
Ayes, 54. Noes, 9. Neutral, 86. Pending. (fn. 3)
[Italian.]
Jan. 12.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Corti.
Venetian
Archives.
224. To the Ambassador extraordinary in England.
Repetition of the letter of the 8th inst.
Ayes, 99. Noes, 6. Neutral, 32.
[Italian.]
Jan. 14.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
225. Giovanni Sagredo, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
They push on the equipment of their war ships with unrelaxed energy, furnishing them with bronze guns and the finest picked troops. The first fleet that leaves the English ports will sail for the Strait. The next one has orders to proceed to the Indies to encourage and reinforce their efforts there. Some believe that the fleet for the Strait has secret instructions for some design in Italy in concert with the French. I report this but I cannot vouch for its accuracy, though I have it from one who has more than a moderate share in the affairs of this country.
Bordeos is to return here at the beginning of next month with the orders and instructions received orally from the Cardinal, for which it is believed he went to France, rather than for his private affairs, which was announced as the chief cause of his going.
The reasons why I find it hard to believe in an enterprise for Italy in concert with the French is the offence it would give the pope and the strong impulse it would give him to unite more closely with the Spaniards, in order to repel the forces of heresy and to keep it away from that province. However, it is better to report what may not happen than to keep silent about what may.
Meanwhile though success in the Indies does not look hopeful their forces will not stand idle, but will be employed where advantage seems most easily to be gained. As the equipment of the ships is hindered by the lack of seamen, who object to serve in a war which promises much danger and scant advantage, the government has fallen back on vigorous orders and rigorous execution. They have robbed the merchant ships of the sailors required to manage the ships, taking them by force to make up the crews of the war fleets. As the soldiers did not show promptitude in coming forward, preferring comfortable quarters on land to the unpleasant agitations of the sea, they filled up their numbers by offering rewards to the colonels and by threatening to break them. Accordingly the ships will have a thoroughly war worn reinforcement.
As regard the affairs of the city, as the government dreads gathering of the people, all conventicles and meetings are forbidden, and plays and parties in particular, from fear that under the guise of recreation they may be plotting something against the present rulers. A countless number of public houses and taverns about the city have been suppressed for the same reason, and they have only left the inns, which serve for the requirements of travellers. Persons without employment are subjected to strict perquisition and are compelled to take up some trade or else they are subject to expulsion and chastisement.
Your Serenity asks me what has become of Paulucci. In truth I do not know. Before leaving he had some quarrel or suit with his house servant. I have heard since that he went to France and took a wife, a Frenchwoman.
The coadjutor Marini, who brought me the cipher by order of the Council of Ten, when in the company of Count Annibale Gambara, both on the way back to France, was attacked by robbers or highwaymen three leagues from London, and robbed of their money, clothes and other things to the amount of 300 doubles. There is a law in England, which admits of no exception, that when robberies take place in the country by day, the peasants of the district where the crime took place are bound to find the thieves and have them hanged, or to pay travellers the amount stolen from them. Steps are being taken to have this put into effect, but as foreigners are concerned it may be difficult and take a long time.
London, the 14th January, 1656.
[Italian.]
Jan. 15.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Germania.
Venetian
Archives.
226. Gio. Battista Nani, Venetian Ambassador in Germany, to the Doge and Senate.
The king of Denmark has sent Count Hannibal Jeestein, his principal minister, to the king of England at Cologne. He will go on afterwards to Holland and proceed by that route to Brussels. It is all for the treaty between Spain, the States and that kingdom of which I have written before. The Spaniards in particular propose a union for the sake of the war and the affairs of the English; but the king is irresolute, he treats and does not know what to decide. On the other hand Sweden also offers a treaty to the king of Denmark to keep him irresolute and among the conditions offered there is one for an offensive and defensive alliance against all those who wish to oppose their religion. From this it is concluded that the king of Sweden has concluded the same with the English.
Vienna, the 15th January, 1655. [M.V.]
[Italian.]
Jan. 15.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Roma.
Venetian
Archives.
227. Gerolamo Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador at Rome, to the Doge and Senate.
The pope is very apprehensive over the present movements among the Swiss. He sees that it is a question of religion and is afraid that these first sparks may cause a conflagration which would consequently spread to Italy. The succour given by Cromwell to those parts only increases the misgivings of his Holiness. The sight of the Spaniards interesting themselves with the Catholic cantons makes him fear complications. The pope revolves these troubles in his mind and seeing them so close to the gates of Italy he shows the more anxiety to pacify this movement of the Swiss and to conciliate the feelings of the crowns.
Rome, the 15th January, 1656.
[Italian.]
Jan. 19.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Spagna.
Venetian
Archives.
228. Giacomo Quirini, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.
Your Excellencies will have heard of the Dutch embassy to the Spanish crown. Their commissions will be full of offers and intimations of peace between the two crowns. This Dutch gentleman says that the forces and assistance of the States will be more ready and adequate for opposing the arms of England than the faint words and feeble promises of the pope. The Dutch will also propose to set up the king of England by their joint efforts. It seems to me that this business is making great progress in every direction, because Lambergh, the imperial ambassador, one day recently presented a paper notifying his Majesty the king that the States of the Empire had bound themselves to contribute 400,000 thalers for any enterprise that the king of England might contrive against Cromwell. No reply has yet been given to this intimation and hint, but it has been said to this same ambassador that by every consideration of state and of religion the emperor was bound to break with Sweden.
Madrid, the 19th January, 1656.
[Italian.]
Jan. 21.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
229. Giovanni Sagredo, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The ambassador of Sweden has been to see me to impart the news of the birth of an eldest son to his king (fn. 4) to confirm possession of the conquest granted to him by the Almighty. I thanked him and promised to impart the news to your Serenity who always rejoiced to hear of any good fortune to Sweden and to a king so generous and warlike. This ambassador had two audiences this week within closed doors. I hear that at one of them he represented to the Protector that if matters come to a rupture in Helvetia his honour is concerned not to leave the Protestant Cantons without support and protection. Your Excellencies may imagine the scope of these designs and what will one day take place in this matter, unless God intervenes.
In Holland they are equipping 50 very powerful ships of war. The ambassador says this is a mere precaution; but I believe that the Dutch foresee in the rupture between the English and Spaniards, that the fleets of the former will cause no small vexation to their merchantmen, who at present have the whole transport of all the goods which come from the dominions of the Catholic. Accordingly they do not want to be taken unawares but to have a strong fleet at hand for all future emergencies to use according to circumstances.
The preparation of the fleets here goes on without respite but they will not be completely ready for another four weeks at least. A letter from a leading merchant trading at Amsterdam reports the arrival of the fleet in Spain, consisting of 10 galleons. The news came from a Dutch ship newly arrived at that port, which said it had met them off the coast of Spain. Yet recent letters from the Ambassador Quirini in Spain say nothing about it, so I am awaiting confirmation. Another important piece of news is current among the merchants, although the government has not yet admitted it, that the English force landed in Jamaica has abandoned the enterprise and sailed to the Barbados islands. This would render the prospect of conquests in the Indies more hopeless and make futile the costly preparation of the fleets assembling for these designs.
The breach with Spain has stirred up the Highlanders of Scotland who have appeared in arms in the hope of some encouragement and help from the king at the cost of the Spaniards at the opening of the next campaign.
The absence of the Spanish ambassador from this city has resulted in my house being frequented by a large number of Catholics. The subsequent departure of the French one has increased the crowd to such an extent that it causes no small umbrage to the preachers and Protestant ministers here who represent to the Protector the consequences and the advantages which the Catholic faith derives therefrom. It was proposed in the Council that I should be warned to have the mass for myself and my household, but not to admit any English. His Highness did not approve of the suggestion, as depriving me of the liberty enjoyed by other ambassadors and so might cause me offence. But he remarked that while I, by keeping my doors open was acting like other ambassadors, the fault was committed solely by the English, who dared to go to mass in spite of the prohibition. Accordingly it was decided that on Sunday last they should send a corps de garde to take up a position out of sight of my house, but by which the Catholics coming away from mass were obliged to pass, with orders to arrest all who came that way. This was done and over 400 Catholics were arrested, who were afterwards released on paying according to their means (con il mezo proportionato esborso). (fn. 5)
I reported the robbing of the coadjutor Marini, and the hope of recovering what was lost. Many difficulties have now arisen in the conduct of this affair and particularly that to prosecute his suit against the commons who are implicated he will have to devote a great deal of time, which will interfere with the prompt service which he ought to render to the Ambassador Giustinian in France, so unless the state considers the question of his losses compassionately, I am afraid they are beyond remedy.
London, the 21st January, 1656.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Jan. 22.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Corti.
Venetian
Archives.
230. To the Ambassador extraordinary in England.
Notification of the choice of Francesco Giavarina, secretary to the Senate to be resident in England. The best results are anticipated from his ability and zeal. When Sagredo leaves he will hand him the instructions and other papers necessary for that service. He will also inform the Protector of the appointment as evidence of the disposition of the Senate not to delay or suspend even for a moment the shows of the confidence and regard which it cherishes for his person.
Ayes, 136. Noes, 1. Neutral, 8.
[Italian.]
Jan. 26.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Spagna.
Venetian
Archives.
231. Giacomo Quirini and Domenico Zane, Venetian Ambassadors in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.
Yesterday an English Catholic arrived secretly at the house of a secretary of state. He asserts positively that by the end of March Cromwell will be sending the fleet to the Indies and the first landing and attack will be at the island of San Domingo. These particulars have roused the government considerably. Admiral Bagnolo (fn. 6) has set out for Cadiz with instructions to arm some Dutch ships.
On the coasts of Spain they are repairing the old fortifications and are raising new batteries, recognising that the points which are in most danger and which need most care are the ports of Santa Maria, Cadiz and San Lucar.
Madrid, the 26th January, 1656.
[Italian.]
Jan. 28.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
232. Giovanni Sagredo, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
In his careful watch over the proceedings of the king of Scotland to get to the bottom of the schemes and plans he is contriving with those of his party, besides winning over by gold those most in his Majesty's confidence and particularly those who adhere to him most closely and who share his secrets, the Protector sent from here some months ago a gentleman named Manin, a Catholic by profession. This man proceeded to Cologne, and the better to worm himself into the king's confidence, he feigned to be an enemy of this government, enlarged upon the universal detestation of Cromwell personally and produced forged letters in his possession from various malcontents in this kingdom. The king, believing his professions to be true, admitted him to the most confidential intimacy and to the knowledge of his most secret plans. Manin thus made his soundings and learned about the correspondence of the king with the supporters of his cause, acquainting the Protector by cipher of the results. In consequence his Highness imposed the tax of 10 per cent. reported, upon all those who fought for the king in the civil wars, and by a later order caused them all to be disarmed, so that they were obliged to surrender not only the arms in their houses, but the very swords they wore.
The king, becoming aware that he had in his house double spies who reported his smallest proceedings and not knowing what steps to take, spoke to his secretary. He steadfastly affirmed his unspotted loyalty. But during the jollity of a dinner he forced this Manin to respond, against his will, to numerous toasts. The fumes of the wine mounted to his head and he fell asleep. While he was sleeping soundly they took from him the keys in his wallet, opened his trunks and there hidden away most secretly they found ciphers and letters from which the correspondence with the Protector came to light. After this the king had him seized and he was condemned to death by a council of war. But the Elector of Cologne, for some unknown reason, would not permit the sentence to be carried out in his dominions, so the king of England applied to the Duke of Brandenburg who finally consented to allow the punishment to be carried out in his territory. (fn. 7) For this reason the government here is very deeply incensed against the duke.
Some months ago I mentioned a report about the arrival here of some one dressed as a merchant, sent from Spain to facilitate or set on foot some treaty of adjustment with this government. The Ambassador Quirini sends me some reference to this design, from Spain, but with all my efforts I have not succeeded in finding any trace of this, nor do I know of any treaty on the carpet or of any one sent for the purpose. I know in general that since this government can hardly subsist without foreign employment or war, the conclusion of the peace with France is a clear argument for the continuation of the war with Spain.
The latest news from the Indies report the evacuation of Jamaica by their forces here. This would be a success for the Spaniards if they have been able to get the fleet through to Spain, as reported in Holland and in England too, though without confirmation. Undoubtedly if the Spaniards cannot manage to hasten this passage during the present pause and truce of the naval forces, before the loosing of the squadrons which are being equipped with all speed, the fleet either will not pass again, or will run manifest risk of loss, because 40 powerful ships, which are to sail within three weeks, will cross their route, united with others which are stationed in the Indies waiting for the advance of this new squadron. As the fleet in question is for two years, its value amounts to many millions. All the marts of Europe are interested in it and its loss would be a most severe blow. Many English merchants are anxious to hear that it has got to Spain, otherwise countless failures will ensue, the more so because the leading merchants have furnished the Spaniards with great sums of ready money on the expectation of the fleet. Now that hopes of success and profit from the enterprise of the Indies are dwindling, the plan to capture the fleet is revived. All their preparations are directed to this end and everything is done to secure success. This is encouraged by France which derives very substantial advantage even from the delay in the passage of the fleet, without speaking of its total loss, because of the lack of money which renders all the efforts of the Spaniards languid and inadequate and leaves the army of Flanders without reinforcement or vigour.
The 50 ships of war preparing in Holland are destined for the Baltic for the purpose of securing navigation there, since owing to the success of Sweden they fear the imposition of exorbitant duties, which would strike a vital blow at their profits and interests.
London, the 28th January, 1656.
[Italian.]
Jan. 29.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Corti.
Venetian
Archives.
233. To the Ambassadors Quirini and Zane in Spain.
Permission to take leave has been granted to the Ambassador Sagredo. It is therefore the more necessary for you to persevere in your close attention for the purpose of keeping us informed of what is being done there from time to time with reference to their relations with England.
Ayes, 131. Noes, 1. Neutral, 0.
[Italian.]
Jan. 29.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Germania.
Venetian
Archives.
234. Gio. Battista Nani, Venetian Ambassador in Germany, to the Doge and Senate.
L'Isola reports that in addition to the levies which he has promised in Scotland Cromwell is offering forty ships to the king of Sweden. These can only be of use against Denmark and the States, if they should wish to disturb the possession and dominion of the sea, because among the secret understandings between these two great powers it is believed that the chief is for sharing the dominion of the sea and trade, Sweden having the northern section and the rest, to the south and west, going to England.
Vienna, the 29th January, 1655. [M.V.]
[Italian.]
Jan. 29.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Germania.
Venetian
Archives.
235. Gio. Battista Nani, Venetian Ambassador in Germany, to the Doge and Senate.
The ambassador of Denmark is busy at Cologne negotiating with the king of England. The arrangements between the Swedes and the English preoccupy all the northern powers, because if they succeed in establishing their dominion over the sea they will as a consequence become the arbiters of a great part of the world. The Dutch also are perturbed over this and very apprehensive. They are sending embassies to Brandenburg, to Denmark and to the Swedish estates. Here they give no encouragement to Denmark beyond general exhortations.
Vienna, the 29th January, 1655. [M.V.]
[Italian.]

Footnotes

1 Dumont: Corps Diplomatique, Vol. vi., part ii., pages 121–124.
2 The Principe di Toscana, or Gran Principe, taken in the fight at the Dardanelles on 21st June, 1655. See page 70 above. Nani, reporting the fight says, “un' Inglese, che per forza a' Turchi serviva, facilmente s'arrese.” Hist. della Republica Veneta Vol. ii., page 401.
3 The resolution, without the votes, printed by Barozzi e Berchet: Relazioni, Inghilterra, page 405.
4 Charles, afterwards King Charles XI., born 24th November, 1655.
5 It happened on Sunday 6–16th January. The foreigners arrested were released on bail. Cal. S.P. Dom. 1655–6, pages 109–10. Mercurius Politicus, Jan. 10–17. Salvetti on 21 Jan. Brit Mus. Add MSS. 27962 P, f. 2d.
6 Manuel Bañuelos, marquis of Ontiveros.
7 He was put to death at Duynwald in the territory of Juliers. Whitelocke: Memorials, page 633. This belonged not to Brandenburg, but to Philip William, Count Palatine of Neuburg.