Venice
August 1657

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Institute of Historical Research

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Allen B. Hinds (editor)

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1931

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91-106

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'Venice: August 1657', Calendar of State Papers Relating to English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 31: 1657-1659 (1931), pp. 91-106. URL: http://british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=90001 Date accessed: 19 April 2014. Add to my bookshelf


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August 1657

Aug. 3.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
69. Francesco Giavarina, Venetian Resident in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The new fleet under General Montagu has sailed twice and twice returned. The first return was attributed to an unfavourable wind, but the second is for another reason which serves to indicate what their plans are. When they sailed for the second time they could not have had a wind more favourable for Spain, the Canaries, Portugal or any place they desired to touch in those parts. But these goings and comings make it fairly certain that their object is to observe the proceedings of the Dutch, who also have a powerful fleet at sea cruising about and doing exactly what the English are. Because of these and from fear of a rupture the Dutch wait and delay their voyage to Portugal though there is no doubt that this formidable collection of ships was destined to go and demand satisfaction of their claims on Brazil. Until the English leave these waters far behind or engage in some attack on the coast of Flanders, in accordance with the last agreements with the French, it seems probable that the Dutch will temporise and hang back, preferring to lose the favourable opportunity of enforcing their claims on Portugal rather than to give offence to England, knowing full well that a rupture with this nation is far from profitable and that nothing can do them greater hurt, since it interrupts their trade and diminishes the gains which are their sole support.
It is stated that 3000 men have been embarked on this English fleet, who were recently fetched from Ireland, and in addition a considerable body of troops with a great quantity of warlike instruments and other engines which would be required for some considerable enterprise. It has been suggested to me on good authority that they put all this apparatus on the fleet for some design in Flanders, but seeing the French move so slowly in the present campaign and not doing what is necessary to fulfil their promises, they remain here, not altogether satisfied, keeping the fleet back for this object, ready when the opportunity comes to act in concert with France. But in any case a successful issue does not seem probable seeing that the Spaniards have long been forewarned and have had plenty of time to provide the threatened places with all they need and there can be no doubt that they have taken the necessary measures of defence. If fortune does not permit the English to accomplish these designs they will certainly direct their stroke somewhere else, as they mean to inflict the greatest possible injury on the Spaniards. In that case they would attempt an attack on the Canaries, as the treasure preserved at Teneriffe weighs on the mind of the government here and they are most eager and ambitious to capture it.
The Swedish ministers here are extremely annoyed at the capture by Denmark of Bremenvord, a very strong place not far from Bremen while they are equally dissatisfied at seeing the vigorous forces here capable of any enterprise. They go frequently to audience of the Protector, representing their master's condition as not entirely satisfactory and making great efforts to induce his Highness to grant considerable assistance, and so they announce that they will have great help. On the other hand the resident of Denmark tries to prevent this. He says he feels confident that the Swedes will not receive help from this quarter. This confidence rests on his conversations with Cromwell who has many engagements on his hands so that it is unlikely he would involve himself in another great one, from which he would not find it easy to emerge with honour and credit. Opinions on the subject are guided by private sympathies and time alone can show what is true, for no one can penetrate the mind of his Highness who keeps his secret with the most jealous reserve.
Some other additional members have been nominated by the Protector for his privy Council, have taken the oath and their seat in it. Others from their scruples or other reasons have refused to obey and rather than take the oath they absent themselves from the meetings depriving themselves of the knowledge of the secret and important questions dealt with there. Thus they experience more difficulty than was expected in getting this body together; some of those considered most devoted to the government have withdrawn and refused the dignity of councillor; so they will have a difficulty in completing the number with loyal and able men. This keeps them worried and busy at the palace, most of the hours of the day being spent on this question alone, what they felt sure would be easy and simple having proved disastrous and intricate.
The appointments which were held by General Lambert have not yet been disposed of. There is a rumour that the lieutenant generalship of the army will be entrusted to General Flitud, son in-law of his Highness, and that his relations will get the rest, all the appointments being outstanding ones and very lucrative.
After receiving his passport for which he has been besieging the government for several weeks, the envoy of Courland is leaving to-day or to-morrow, after receiving a gold chain worth about 120l. sterling. (fn. 1) He came recently to inform me of his departure and to express the esteem of his master for your Serenity. I made a suitable reply.
London, the 3rd August, 1657.
[Italian.]
Aug. 7.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
70. Francesco Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
As instructed I called on Cromwell's minister and hinted at his affording naval help to the republic. He pointed out Cromwell's great need of ships for prosecuting the war with Spain, and the grounds for suspicion which the Dutch continued to give in all maritime trade, but particularly in their efforts to secure the Indian fleets of the Catholic. I replied that a small number of ships would suffice, and this could not hurt the Protector. The ambassador then let the matter drop, without even saying that he would write about it to his master, and went on to speak of other matters.
Sedan, the 7th August, 1657.
[Italian.]
Aug. 8.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Spagna.
Venetian
Archives.
71. Domenico Zane, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.
News arrived yesterday that Blach has arranged with the Moors of Africa to attack La Mamora, he by sea and they by land, at the same time. If this is true, as many fear, the place is lost. But these events do not suffice to hasten the arming of the ships at Cadiz. For eight days, and no more, they pushed on the work, and then suddenly abandoned it, and nothing what ever is being done. So the general opinion receives confirmation about their manner of offering resistance to the English, since this will be the third year that the Spaniards have found themselves without a force at sea.
Madrid, the 8th August, 1657.
[Italian.]
Aug. 10.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Corti.
Venetian
Archives.
72. To the Resident in England.
Acknowledge receipt of his letters No. 80 with particulars of the investiture of the Protector, the forms observed and why he did not attend. His conduct in this matter does not meet with the approval of the Senate. It is considered unlikely that questions of this character will arise in the future, but if they should it is necessary to avoid them with more propriety. In any sudden emergency he is to follow the instructions of the 31st March, of which a copy is enclosed. There would seem to be no doubt of his right to precedence over the Swedish commissioner; but in this also he must employ the utmost reserve and tact, to avoid any kind of prejudice to the interests of the state, as well as anything disagreeable and unseemly that might arise.
Ayes, 63. Noes, 3. Neutral, 61.
Second vote: Ayes, 77. Noes, void. Neutral, 66.
On the 11th, that a new vote be taken:
Ayes, 84. Noes, 3. Neutral, 51.
[Italian.]
Aug. 10.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Corti.
Venetian
Archives.
73. To the Resident in England.
These orders are to be carried out by you in the short time that you will remain in residence, wherein we are glad to feel assured that no incident will occur to you. In the course of time your successor will come to take charge from you. We shall proceed to elect him this evening, in accordance with your own request in recent despatches. Upon his arrival you will take leave in the usual way and return home.
That the Collegio have power to choose a secretary of the Senate to serve as resident in England, who shall set out as may be decreed by this Council, with a grant of 430 ducats for his equipment. He shall have the usual salary of 600 crowns a month, with four months' pay in advance, as well as 40 crowns for extraordinary expenses, except for couriers and the carriage of letters, for which he need not render account, and in addition 150 ducats for couriers and letters for which he will account, and an allowance for a chaplain and interpreter at the rate of 186 ducats and 100 ducats respectively.
Ayes, 16. Noes, 9.
[Italian.]
Aug. 10.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
74. Francesco Giavarina, Venetian Resident in England, to the Doge and Senate.
Following the proclamation of the Protector in London the same has been done in the provinces of this country, in Scotland and in Ireland. Reports of this arrive daily and they put it about that the proclamation was received with the greatest signs of rejoicing. They will not admit that in some places there was a disturbance that the people expressed their disapproval of the action of parliament, but let it pass, owing to necessity which knows no law, as they are unarmed and in no position to dispute with one who holds all power in his hands, and who is feared, not loved, hated but not respected and esteemed except through fear and terror.
Montagu's fleet remains motionless, at anchor in this strait, thus preventing the Dutch fleet from sailing, and that also lies at anchor; so they remain idle and inactive, watching each other. If the news is confirmed which circulates in London and is the talk of merchants, of the arrival at Amsterdam of two great Flemish ships laden with gold from the Canaries, of that which the Spaniards buried at Teneriffe, there is reason to foresee trouble between the two nations and the fleets may have waited so long for an opportunity to engage each other. The news is of no slight consequence and they await more certain information from the letters expected from those parts; but owing to contrary winds the passage from Dunkirk to Dover is interrupted and the courier is more than usually late.
The Dutch ambassador here is in a better position to know than any one else, but no one can extract anything definite from what he says. So more certainty depends on the wind which does not show much sign of becoming favourable, and there is little hope of getting the letters for some days. If nothing happens between the two fleets it is considered certain that the English will devote itself to some attack on the coasts of Flanders for which so much material has been embarked. The Dutch would then be left at liberty to proceed to Portugal and demand the restoration of Brazil for there can be no doubt that the English are rendering great service to Portugal by keeping the Dutch in their ports and preventing them leaving.
It is said that when the French have taken Monmedi, (fn. 2) under which they have been toiling so many weeks; the news of whose surrender is expected by the first from Flanders, as the French had already captured the demi-lune and were established in the fosse, they will descend upon the coast to carry out their arrangements with the English, the one by land the other by sea, by attacking one of the coast towns, Gravelines and Dunkirk being the objectives. But those towns are well supplied to offer a stout resistance and it will not be so easy to take them as they imagine.
A brigantine sent expressly by General Blake which anchored in the river at the end of last week brings word of the capture by his ships of a large Dutch vessel which had left Port Santa Croce in Teneriffe and was sailing towards Spain with a precious cargo. It had on board over 300 Spaniards, almost all of them officers of the ships which were recently destroyed there by the English, who were proceeding to Spain to take fresh posts in other ships which the Catholic king is preparing at Cadiz. Some money in coin was also found on the ship, but the sailors stole nearly the whole of it in the confusion. The government is highly delighted at the news and only wishes that Blake had fallen in with the other two ships which are said to have arrived in Holland with Spanish money. It is stated that they left Teneriffe in company with the one captured by the English, from which they were separated by a storm and so were able to escape and get safe to the port of Amsterdam, for which they sailed.
In spite of the powerful English frigates kept off the ports of Dunkirk and Ostend, some of those corsairs are at sea, having escaped at night favoured by calm weather. They make prizes having recently captured some mercantile barques of different sorts and two vessels besides, one of 6 guns and the other of 30. The Dunkirkers have also committed a very audacious act. Some 40 men crossed in a small boat to the isle of Thanet and after running along the coast they landed without noise or resistance, marching straight to the house of a rich gentleman named Crips. By a ruse they induced him to open the gates, and entering they stripped the house of all its furniture and carried off over 3000l. sterling in money which they found in a hidden chest. They also carried off the gentleman himself and his infirm father, but left his wife because she was ill in bed. They returned to the shore, having met with no opposition, and re-entering their boat took the old gentleman with them to return to Dunkirk. With great difficulty they left the gentleman himself behind under a promise to furnish them with 1000l. sterling at Dunkirk to ransom his father, whom they intend to keep prisoner until this sum is paid. (fn. 3)
They proceed slowly to fill up the numbers required to form the Council as many others have this last week also shown reluctance to take the oath. Many officers of the army who have always been partisans of General Lambert, now in disgrace, continue to show their affection and a desire to prove it by doing something for him. Cromwell fears that Lambert in conjunction with these may contrive something against the present state which will disturb the quiet he desires to keep, contemplates dismissing some of these officers and he is expected to take action in a few days. It is stated that Lambert has earnestly besought his Highness not to do so, promising that he will make no move of any kind and that he has not the slightest idea of doing any such thing.
Colonel Sesbi, formerly an officer of this army, by reason of some offence, proceeded to Flanders and joined the party of King Charles. He promised his Majesty great things on this side and came back to England to carry them into effect. Last Saturday he was about to embark in the Thames on a Dutch ship to return to Bruges via Flushing. Although disguised as a countryman and in his face and hair, he was arrested as suspect and brought before the Protector, who questioned him awhile; after which he was sent prisoner to the Tower. He is now being examined and they hope to get a great deal out of him and all the plans of King Charles.
London, the 10th August, 1657.
[Italian.]
Aug. 14.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Corti.
Venetian
Archives.
75. The Savii ai Ordini submit as follows:
There is little sign of the war ending. It is necessary to prepare a strong defence and to try and obtain all the help possible. Among all the powers England stands out as strong and abounding in ships and war seasoned troops, free from troubles of her own and being readily able to supply these resources in quantity. There is no hope of obtaining any help from Italy or from over the Alps. To achieve this result and persuade Cromwell to succour the republic nothing can be more effective than an embassy, and it would be particularly opportune at this moment now that he has assumed the sceptre, while the appearance of an ambassador at that Court may at the same time put a stop to those harmful proceedings at the Porte so injurious to the royal dignity of our country.
That at the next meeting of this Council a noble be chosen to go as ambassador extraordinary to England, under the usual penalty for refusing an embassy to a crowned head. He shall receive his instructions from this Council, and be paid a salary of 600 gold ducats a month for which he need not render account, four months being paid in advance, together with 1500 gold ducats as a grant for his equipment, horses, trappings, etc. with 300 ducats to spend on gratuities. He shall take with him a secretary of the ducal chancery, who will receive a grant of 200 ducats and a salary of 25 ducats a month. For the interpreter and chaplain he shall receive 10 crowns a month each, and 30 ducats each for two couriers.
Ayes, 40.
[Italian.]
Aug. 17.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
76. Francesco Giavarina, Venetian Resident in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The fleet under the command of General Montagu has not yet weighed anchor or moved from the English coasts. The commander is one of whose wisdom and experience the government has had sufficient evidence, he has always been faithful to the present rule and all his efforts have been devoted to the good of the nation and the preservation and exaltation of its present ruler. This long delay in starting excites general attention and stimulates conjectures, but no one can be certain of the plans they are meditating, which may be changed from moment to moment in accordance with the information which arrives from the parts for which these forces are destined and with the preventive measures taken by the enemy who have long been warned of the preparations which were going forward in the arsenals here, so that they are certain to be prepared to offer a stout resistance.
The delay in the surrender of Monmedi, of which no definite news has yet arrived, puts a considerable obstacle in the way of effecting the designs which they contemplate. Another reason for supposing that they have to a great extent evaporated is the considerable diminution of the French army under Monmedi. It has been engaged two months on the siege with constant desertions of the soldiers, especially of the English under General Rinaldi, who in great bands try to take refuge under the Spanish flag, expecting to improve their fortunes, as the French only give or rather promise them 2 sous tournois a day, very badly paid; storms also are beginning to be experienced on those coasts, all these things being unfavourable portents for the achievement of their hopes.
The Ambassador Bordeos has conferred several times this week with the secretary of state. Appearances indicate that this is in order to cultivate the good will of this government towards the Most Christian, to keep it favourable to the agreements concluded and to remove any feeling of resentment that might be entertained here in view of the lukewarm manner in which France is conducting the present campaign, by representing the necessity and the situation of the place besieged which makes it difficult for the French to do what is wanted with the speed that is desirable.
In spite of this many are of opinion that these conferences of Bordeos have some other object and are devoted to suggesting and obtaining help for Sweden who, since the open declaration of Denmark and the junction of the Austrian forces with King Casimir seems to be in some apprehension about the issue of his enterprises and of success in his conquests which at the outset he expected to be easy and certain. Although with respect to Denmark the Protector has not yet shown any definite propensity in favour of the Swede yet it seems very likely that with pressure from France, the urgent importunity of the Swedish ministers and the desire which is entertained and cherished by these three powers to destroy the House of Austria by the Swedish arms, Cromwell will promise some considerable assistance.
This belief is confirmed by the sudden and unexpected departure last Saturday of the Swedish commissioner Barchman, who sailed towards Dunkirk. They say he will travel thence to his king by way of Holland and Westphalia, being charged to assure his Majesty that his Highness here is ready to supply him with vigorous assistance if Sweden will pay the men promptly as well as give them special and distinctive treatment different from the other soldiers.
Many think that this move was prompted by other motives, concerning Barchman personally, to escape some evil chance which might overtake him because of the numerous debts he has contracted in this city and the impossibility of discharging them owing to the slenderness of his remittances from the Court. But it is more likely that it is for the reason given above, especially as it is established that Colonel Giepson has been nominated to proceed shortly to the king of Sweden. His instructions are secret and impenetrable; he will have no official character for greater security on the road, to excite less attention in the places he passes through and to make it unnecessary to have a large suite which would serve to draw attention to his mission. He will take credentials to qualify him as minister of the Protector when he arrives at the Swedish Court, giving him a great title since he is to be ambassador extraordinary. They only sent on Barchman to announce him and for greater speed, the conduct of the rest of the most important business being entrusted to the ability and address of Giepson. His negotiations will always be directed to the destruction of the House of Austria, which means the extirpation of the Catholic faith with the increase and propagation of Lutheranism. Cromwell selected Giepson for this task because of his knowledge of the art of war, to the end that he might judge with his own eyes and on the spot the true state of Sweden and advise his Highness how best to support the cause of the Swede against the numerous hostile armies that he now has on his hands. The Protector has complete confidence in Giepson from his peculiar experience of war and by his special devotion to his Highness. The partisans of Sweden who are numerous in this city insist that a squadron of ships will also be sent to assist that crown; but if they are right and the expedition takes place it will always be difficult to enter the Baltic because of the opposition offered by the Danish fleet which is certain to resist their entry.
The sending of a minister to Denmark which was decided some months ago when Medoes was nominated to go with all speed, has since been suspended, but now the idea seems to be revived, and he will leave here in great haste to carry out the commissions with which he is charged. They will be directed to moderate the animosity against Sweden and to other matters already reported. If this mission takes place and is not held up, it will point to a rupture here with Denmark before very long, for that king will not draw back now he is engaged in hostilities with Sweden with some advantage, and cut short his victories, especially as he is considered strong enough to defend himself against all attacks, even by sea, which might be made against him from this quarter.
As the news of the arrival at Amsterdam of two ships with silver belonging to the Spaniards is not confirmed, the rumour of last week is assumed to be false, so the idea of an engagement between Montagu's fleet and the Dutch vanishes. The former still lies at anchor, but the latest letters from those parts state that with the first favourable wind it will spread its sails and steer towards Portugal, for which it has been equipped, with the intentions already indicated.
The one who arrived here last week in the name of the elector Palatine had his first audience of the Protector on Wednesday. Flemingh, the Master of the Ceremonies, fetched him from his house in the palace coach, in which he took him back after the interview. It consisted of compliments and a request for commissioners to treat of some business. The Protector received him graciously, expressed his regard for the elector and promised to appoint a deputation soon to deal with his affairs. This minister has the title of envoy and in his credentials the elector calls him gentleman of his chamber. He is a Swiss by birth, of the canton of Berne, more of a soldier than a politician, having spent all his time amid arms. (fn. 4) He has no suite, a clear sign that he will not stay long at this Court. The chief object of his mission is to keep up good relations with this state and to beg for its assistance in all eventualities, a thing that is valued and sought after by everyone in these days. With the same objects the minister of Brandenburg, after a long while, has recently obtained commissioners with whom he confers almost daily, discussing the questions he brings forward and trying to resolve them in the interests of his master.
An English ship of some 230 tons, (fn. 5) carrying only 18 guns, took out from here a cargo of over 300 bales of cloth. It disposed of the bulk of this at Cadiz and other ports of Spain. With over 200,000 pieces of eight on board, besides the remainder of its cargo, it was attacked by Tripoli pirates when on its way to Smyrna, and after a fight lasting 24 hours it had to surrender, a very serious loss to this mart. The pirates took their prize to the port of Rhodes, where the Pasha made much of them, receiving a tenth of the booty and giving them authority to sell the rest of the cargo and the ship as well, all bought by the Jews of the place. The merchants received the news through their correspondents at Smyrna, which reached them on Monday by way of France as well as from Leghorn. They feel the blow severely and mean to be avenged on the Turks; so they are trying to devise some way for abating the pride of those barbarians. The Protector also is much incensed at the audacity of the Turks, so perhaps this incident may produce good fruit for your Serenity. The merchants will now support it, whereas they have always opposed any disposition in his Highness to assist the most serene republic, for reasons of trade, and have in this shown themselves as much the enemies of Christianity as the Turks themselves.
Considering the moment a favourable one to do something for my country I went yesterday to see the secretary of state. I represented what glory and reputation in all Christendom it would bring the Protector and the entire English nation if his Highness sent some ships of this state to reinforce the fleet of the most serene republic. I enlarged upon this on the lines of my instructions and left a copy with him in writing. The secretary heard me with much more attention than he has shown on other occasions when I dropped some gentle hints in passing, to sound his leanings and opinions, to which they attach great weight in the secret council, and this time he gave me a precise and definite reply. He did not disapprove of the idea, though he said nothing about this incident with the Turks, and he promised to consider the question and to let me know soon what can be done for the advantage of your Serenity. On previous occasions when this question has been mentioned he has kept silence, but now he has given so positive an answer I feel hopeful, in view of the strong feeling the merchants now have against the Turks, and on this question they can do much to injure or to help your Serenity at this Court. I shall watch to see what steps they take, adroitly fomenting the bitter feeling of the traders and the government. God grant that it may all tend to relieve the most serene republic, while I shall hope to receive further instructions in the matter.
London, the 17th August, 1657.
Postscript: a confidant has just informed me that to-day the presidents of the Turkey Company have been before the Protector to inform him of the capture made by the Tripoli pirates and its reception at Rhodes, all having taken place with the consent of the Divan of Constantinople, as the Tripoli ships are in the pay of the Sultan. They claim restitution of the ship and compensation for what the Company has lost, asking his Highness for two letters, one to the Sultan and the other to the Vizier, and also for a fleet to go against the Tripolitans. His Highness spoke them fair and promised a speedy answer after the matter had been discussed with his Council. May God inspire them with the utmost ill will and revenge against those inhuman barbarians.
[Italian.]
Aug. 22.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Spagna.
Venetian
Archives.
77. Domenico Zane, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.
After a stay in Portugal where they were very well received the English returned last week to their usual station off Cadiz. The arming of the ships against them proceeds very slowly. This will be the fourth year that the Spaniards have been without a fleet; yet never has she needed one so much, as besides the interruption of her trade with the Indies, Spain itself is ignominiously besieged without the slightest power of resistance.
Madrid, the 22nd August, 1657.
[Italian.]
Aug. 22.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Germania.
Venetian
Archives.
78. Gio. Battista Nani, Venetian Ambassador in Germany, to the Doge and Senate.
If the English fleet, as is suspected here, steers in this direction in order to close the passage of the Sound, the situation might become extremely difficult owing to the poverty in which the king of Denmark finds himself, as he strained his resources to the utmost for these forces and consumed the substance of all his subjects.
Prague, the 22nd August, 1657.
[Italian.]
Aug. 24.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
79. Francesco Giavarina, Venetian Resident in England, to the Doge and Senate.
I have reported that the Protector gave General Blake leave to return home when he pleased in consideration of his advanced age and the weak state of his health. The general accepted and recently set out for England, leaving the Vice-Admiral in command of the fleet, and bringing with him some ships needing repair. He had a prosperous voyage, though always ill in bed, but when only 10 miles from his anchorage at Portsmouth he breathed his last, (fn. 6) leaving a name celebrated for many distinguished actions. The government heard the news with the regret due to the loss of so worthy a man, who on every occasion had proved his capacity and loyalty and an unswerving devotion to the present regime. They are now considering the choice of another general to take his place. Many are competent to fill it, but Cromwell cannot entirely trust the all. Montagu is employed on the command of the new fleet, still anchored off these shores. Aschue, who would be ideal, does not seem to want it, and as he has previously refused the post it is unlikely that he would take it now. There is the earl of Warwick, who was appointed Admiral by the long parliament. He is spoken of more than anyone else. His advanced years might stand in the way, but he is a brave commander, experienced in military affairs and acquainted with the sea, having spent a good part of his life on the water.
The ship where Blake's body lies (fn. 7) has brought several Spanish prisoners and over 80,000l. sterling in plate, taken on several occasions from the enemy. The body has not yet arrived in London, but when it does it will be buried with great pomp and ceremony, which is customary with such persons. They say that a statue will be set up in a prominent place to celebrate his glorious actions and perpetuate his name. The Spaniards must be very glad of Blake's death, for he was the fiercest of their enemies, with an implacable and unreasoning hatred against them.
Monmedi has fallen to the French arms, but Montagu's fleet has not yet spread its sails to carry out the joint operations arranged with the French, and with the season already advanced and nothing attempted there is good reason to suppose that their plans are seriously checked if they have not evaporated altogether.
Colonel Giebson and Medoes are preparing to start at the earliest moment, the former for Sweden and the latter for Denmark, with the commissions already indicated. The resident of Brandenburg left London at the beginning of this week, giving out that he was going to some place 30 miles off to drink the waters. (fn. 8) But the curious remark that this is not the season for that medicine, and his departure at a time when he has commissioners to deal with his business is not very courteous, and they put a different interpretation on his departure, saying that he will not come back again. They are confirmed in this opinion by well authenticated reports of the approaching retirement of the elector of Brandenburg from the Swedish party. If this should occur the elector would no doubt remove his minister from here without fuss or observation, on many grounds. The truth should soon be apparent.
The envoy of the Palatine is asking for a second audience and expects to have it soon. Meanwhile, he makes known his hopes of success in his negotiations and that his master will have support from this side.
The long expected ambassador extraordinary of Portugal has at length reached these shores, Don Francesco di Melo, General of the Ordnance of that country, a man of high birth, greatly esteemed and respected. He has not yet arrived in London, but is sure to come. In a few days he will make his public entry and then his business will come to light. It would appear that it is merely to ask for help in the present war which his master is obliged to wage with the Spaniards.
Colonel Bright, governor of Hull, an important fortress on the Ocean, a favourite of General Lambert, lately disgraced, has resigned his commissions this week. (fn. 9) He is now out of that office and is succeeded by a captain of his Highness's body guard, named Paizeley. They made this change because of some suspicion of Bright's loyalty. Thus little by little they are depriving Lambert of all hope of support and in this way render him incapable of any kind of attack against the present rule. In spite of this his friends continue to boast that when parliament meets again and the question of the royal title is brought up once more Lambert, who is still a member, will oppose it and regain all his old popularity with the army, and in this way will recover his position. But these hopes are vain, for if Cromwell is still suspicious of Lambert, he will be able to drive him out of parliament and ruin him utterly, just as he has stripped him of all the offices which he enjoyed.
When his Highness went recently to Hampton Court he was to have been murdered by some desperate fellow. Some questions asked by him at that place about the Protector aroused suspicion and he was arrested and imprisoned. In his pockets they found two pistols and a dagger to be used on his wicked designs. He has been examined and a confession of his intentions obtained. (fn. 10) He declares that he regrets nothing so much in his life as his failure to carry out his intentions. He admits having received a pension for this from the Spaniards and that there are many others in London who receive money for the same purpose, who have sworn the death of the Protector and who are seeking ways to carry it into effect. He will not give any names or indicate where these assassins are lodged, although the government is employing torture and every other means to extort a confession (per via di tortura e di ogni altro tormento).
The Council has not yet come to any decision about the ship taken by the Turks, but the merchants do not relax their pressure to prevent the matter growing old. In the interests of your Serenity I will try to inflame them against those barbarians. This week again I have seen the secretary of state to learn the result of his reflections on my proposals. He told me that after turning the matter over he thought my suggestion plausible and decided to lay it before the Council. They did not consider that they could come to any decision on the matter at present, but they did not disapprove or think the idea out of the question. He would bring the matter forward again and I should hear in due course. In the meantime I will not cease my efforts to gather some fruit from the present situation which is entirely favourable to the interests of the most serene republic.
London, the 24th August, 1657.
[Italian.]
Aug. 25.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Corti.
Venetian
Archives.
80. To the Resident in England.
Acknowledge receipt of his letters No. 83. Approval of his office with the envoy of Courland. Yesterday evening, via Zante, the Senate received news of a considerable victory over the Turkish fleet in the Dardanelles. (fn. 11) Enclose a copy of the report.
Ayes, 114. Noes, 0. Neutral, 3.
[Italian.]
Aug. 31.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
81. Francesco Giavarina, Venetian Resident in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The Protector left London a week ago and is staying at Hampton Court. He went there for more rest and to be away from affairs of state, a slight purge being ordered by the physicians, and to drink some medicinal waters not far from that spot, for the sake of his health which has not been entirely satisfactory for some time past, as he is subject to frequent catarrhs which weaken him considerably and cause him a good deal of inconvenience and disturbance. For this reason nothing special is happening at Court and business is suspended, even by the secretary of state, who has taken advantage of his Highness's absence and gone to the country for some days' holiday and get some relief from the mass of important business which requires his attention in London.
The merchants interested in the ship taken by the Tripoli corsairs would like some decision from his Highness in response to their representations. They press the matter actively, but, like the rest, have to put up with the delays habitual in this country in all matters. All is unsettled and nothing will be decided until Cromwell returns to London and business is resumed, which at present lies sleeping.
The ambassador extraordinary of Portugal, who arrived recently, still remains incognito. He is preparing his equipage and everything necessary for his public entry, which is expected in a few days, unless the Protector's absence delays it. The audience of the elector Palatine's envoy has been postponed, to his extreme disgust. Meanwhile, he is showing a manifesto setting forth the arguments in favour of his master's claim to the vicarship of the empire, refuting those of the elector of Bavaria, and protesting that he will seek every means to defend his rights against those who endeavour to prevent him from exercising them.
This country is troubled by a malady which causes death immediately in those affected. To-day, by order of the Protector and Council, is set apart for a solemn fast and humiliation before God to implore deliverance from this scourge which as spread over all England. (fn. 12) The malady is not contagious but violent and is more destructive in the country than in this city. It consists of pains in the bowels which cause vomiting and diarrhœa with immediately fatal results. The disease has spread in this country from only a few years back, but it is much more serious this year than previously and very deplorable.
Three Catholic gentlemen of Shropshire, known to be concerned in some design they were contriving in those parts against the state, have been arrested, brought here and put in the Tower. (fn. 13) On examination they confessed their intentions, which were in obedience to instructions from King Charles, which have been found on them. It seems that the government will punish them and put them to the torture.
They are preparing the funeral of General Blake, which will be magnificent. His successor to command the fleet is not yet nominated; one hears the same opinion as I reported last week. Montagu with all his ships remains at anchor. Everyone remarks on the long delay, which may easily be extended since there is little likelihood of those operations on the Flanders coast which were concerted between the French and English, because the Spaniards are forewarned and on account of the weakness of the French army.
The powerful fleet which the Dutch have ready for sea remains immoveable because of contrary winds; when there is a change it will undoubtedly sail from those shores. It is reported that it will separate into two squadrons, one of which is to proceed to Portugal with commissioners on board who have instructions to demand the restitution of Brazil, and if this is refused to protest that the States will take it by force. The second, according to some, is for the Baltic, to others for the Canaries, to transport the Spanish silver. This is uncertain, but the destination of the first to Portugal should not be in doubt, especially now that the adjustment between the French and Dutch is entirely established and ratified. (fn. 14) It is stated that the fleet has remained so long in port solely to see the issue of this affair.
I humbly acknowledge the honour done me by the Senate, announced in the missives of the 28th July, received this week, in paying my agents 400 ducats in relief of my estate. I pray that I may continue to deserve the public regard.
London, the 31st August, 1657.
[Italian.]

Footnotes

1 The Council answered a memorial he had presented and resolved that a gold chain and medal worth 100l. should be given him, on 14–24 July. Cal. S.P. Dom., 1657–8, page 27.
2 The citadel surrendered on 6 August.
3 The raid took place on 17 July o.s. at Quex, near Birchington, and was carried out by a Capt. R. Lendall an Englishman. He carried off Henry Crisp and demanded ransom of his son, Sir Nicholas Crisp. Cal. S.P. Dom., 1657–8, pp. 80, 97–8, 105. According to another account the raid was planned and carried out by Captain Golding of Ramsgate, a royalist gentleman. Hasted: History of Kent, Vol. x., pp. 299–300.
4 At a later date Giavarina reports that he left London on Monday [16–26 Nov.] and was travelling by way of France. He may therefore be identified as George Frederick, baron of Eilenburg, who received a pass to France on 17 Nov. Cal. S.P. Dom., 1657–8, p. 550.
5 The Levant Company's ship Resolution. Cal. S.P. Dom., 1657–8, page 55. The news has been reported by Bendish from Constantinople in letters of 5 June. Levant Co. Letter Book, p. 292. S.P. For. Archives, Vol. 112.
6 He died on 7 August o.s., off Plymouth.
7 The George.
8 He wrote on the 12th and 20th August from Rushall. Urkunden und Aktenstucken zur Gesch. F.W. von Brandenburg Vol. vii., page 780. Possibly Rusthall near Tunbridge Wells, which is about the distance indicated.
9 He does not seem to have resigned his commission before 6 February following. Thurloe: State Papers, Vol. vi., page 784.
10 Thomas Gardiner. Thurloe: State Papers, Vol. vi., pp. 441–2, 447. See Firth: Last Year of the Protectorate, Vol. i., page 234.
11 On 17 July. See page 87 above.
12 By order of the Council dated 13–23 August. Cal. S.P. Dom., 1657–8, page 61. Mercurius Politicus, Aug. 13–20. This was chiefly for London and Westminster; but on Sept. 10–20 an order was issued for a fast day to be observed on 30 Sept. o.s. throughout England and Wales. Cal. S.P. Dom., 1657–8, page 94.
13 Order was issued to Serg. Dendy to bring William Astley, Charles Gifford and — Allanson, prisoners in Shrewsbury Castle, in safe custody before the Council. They were accused of having received commissions from Charles to levy war on the Protector. Cal. S.P. Dom., 1657–8, pp. 51, 105, 549. Astley and Gifford belonged to Staffordshire and only Allanson was from Shropshire. Mercurius Politicus, August 20–27.
14 This was hardly the case. Apparently referring to W. de Thou's letters of 6 August. See Aitzema: Saken von Staet en Oorlogh, Vol. iv., page 62.