Venice
September 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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106-113

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'Venice: September 1657', Calendar of State Papers Relating to English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 31: 1657-1659 (1931), pp. 106-113. URL: http://british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=90002 Date accessed: 18 September 2014.


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September 1657

Sept. 1.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Corti.
Venetian
Archives.
82. To the Resident in England.
Acknowledge receipt of his letters. Note Blake's capture of the Dutch ship and about the Dutch ship taking gold from the Canaries. He must watch to see what comes of this. Our Captain of the Ships writes that an English ship has entered the service of the Turks and fought vigorously against us in the recent action at the Dardanelles. So improper an action merits deep consideration and a prompt remedy to prevent similar occasions in the future. You will cause this to reach the ears of the Protector as we feel sure that he will not suffer a thing so unheard of, and that he will cause the necessary orders to be issued.
Ayes, 114. Noes, 0. Neutral, 0.
[Italian.]
Sept. 7.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
83. Francesco Giavarina, Venetian Resident in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The Protector is still in the country, being obliged to stay at Hampton Court longer than he intended owing to a serious fluxion caused by the waters which he drinks there for his health. They carelessly made him drink these waters after the very heavy rains which have fallen these last weeks which stirred up the waters and diminished their efficacy. So instead of being benefited his Highness is rather the worse, and these last days has had some rather troublesome fever. He is now quite recovered and next Monday is expected in London to resume the management of the numerous important affairs which, in the absence of himself, the secretary of state, and many of the councillors have had more than two weeks' rest.
In addition to his bodily infirmity Cromwell has suffered from anxiety by reason of an accident to his eldest son Richard. While hunting deer in the country his horse stumbled and fell with him beneath, breaking a rib, to the concern of the whole Court. (fn. 1) He was immediately attended to by the physicians and surgeons and is already on the way to recovery.
The Portuguese ambassador being now quite ready his public entry is fixed for Monday next. For three days he will be lodged and defrayed by the Protector in the house usually devoted to ambassadors extraordinary, and in the middle of next week he will have his first audience. It may then be more easy to get enlightenment on some particulars of his negotiations, the sole object of which will be to obtain assistance. I will keep a close watch and report.
The ministers destined for Sweden and Denmark are now about to start. They will travel together on a ship of the state (fn. 2) as far as Hamburg and there separate. Giepson going to the Swede and Medoes to the Dane, wherever they may be. The Protector looks for a faithful performance of his instructions which aim at bringing about an adjustment, so that the two kings may act together in attacking the Pole and the House of Austria, and against the Roman Catholic faith which is so hated and persecuted by those who profess the false doctrines of Calvin and Luther and who desire nothing better than its utter extermination. Undoubtedly they will make every effort here to bring about peace between the two crowns, for it does not suit the English that Sweden should prosper and spread its conquests in the Baltic, in spite of the close friendship professed with that monarch. The Dutch also will contribute to facilitate this accommodation, and it is said that they urged the Protector to send this minister to Sweden as knowing the confidential relations between the Swede and England they imagined the latter would be more capable than any other potentate to induce that monarch to do what they desire for their trade in general and for the safety of their traffic in the Baltic.
The interpretation put on the departure of the minister of Brandenburg was wrong, as he really went to the baths, and this week he is back in London. As he does not seem to be conferring with the commissioners, after showing himself so anxious at the first to have them appointed, it is supposed that he is meeting with objections to his proposals or that they are not considered admissible.
The Dunkirkers, who are always escaping from port, evading the English who guard the mouth, slipping through some small opening when favoured by the dark nights, have recently taken a ship belonging to this mart, coming from the Indies. Although not one of the largest, it carried goods of great value. Another English ship sailing this way from the Canaries with a rich general cargo which it had loaded in the ports of Spain under a false flag, in spite of the prohibition of the Catholic and the danger of being forfeited if discovered, was met by ships of San Sebastiano, captured and taken into that port. The loss to this mart is considerable, and it suffers serious injury through the continuance of the breach with Spain.
London, the 7th September, 1657.
[Italian.]
Sept. 14.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
84. Francesco Giavarina, Venetian Resident in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The ambassador extraordinary of Portugal made his public entry on Monday after dinner. Fleming, Master of the Ceremonies, fetched him in the barques of the palace, from Grinvich to the Tower of London. There he entered the coaches of his Highness which awaited him with two councillors of state, as usual with ministers of crowned heads. He proceeded to Westminster followed by a number of coaches and six and was taken to the usual house and entertained at a magnificent banquet, being defrayed there for three days in the Protector's name. He informed all the foreign ministers here, except Denmark and myself, of his arrival and the day of his entry. Yesterday, after dinner, he should have had his public audience following the custom with other ambassadors, but as that day was appointed for a fast and thanksgiving for the victories won by his Highness at Dunbar and Worcester in 1650 and 1651, the date was anticipated and Wednesday was given him in the royal room at Whitehall, as usual with crowned heads. His Highness came up from Hampton Court on purpose to receive him and hear his office, which was in a few words, and the presentation of his credentials. Immediately after it, in the evening, the Protector went back to continue drinking the mineral waters. Having begun he cannot now leave off, as some old wounds have opened and he wants them cured; so he must submit his whole body to the treatment which lasts several weeks.
In a few days the ambassador will ask for a private audience to set forth the secret of his mission, the sole object of which is to ask for troops. This may easily be granted as in helping Portugal they help themselves in the present hostilities with Spain. Divers officers are already offering his Excellency levies. He intimates that they have no fear of the Spanish forces, saying that the Portuguese joined with the English are capable of repelling any attack from Spain, and his master has enough ships of war to face all that the enemy can send to sea.
An envoy extraordinary from Sweden arrived in London unexpectedly at the beginning of this week, (fn. 3) that monarch having chosen this way to communicate to the Protector particular secrets which he would not trust to letters for fear of their being intercepted. To-day he is to have audience of his Highness, who will come to London to receive him and then return to Hampton Court. After accomplishing his mission the envoy will leave the affair in the hands of General Flitud, who acts for Sweden without a title, and will go on to Portugal to act as minister in ordinary there for his master.
The ministers Giepson and Medoes have left for Sweden and Denmark respectively. They should be well on their way, and news of their arrival at Hamburg will soon come. The Court will then be anxious to learn the issue of their negotiations.
The portion of the Dutch fleet for Portugal recently passed through the Channel here on its way to Lisbon, taking the commissioners. When passing in sight of General Montagu, who is still anchored in the Downs, the commander rendered the usual tribute to England by lowering all the sails and firing his guns, as provided by the treaty with this government. The ambassador of the States expresses the hope that when the commissioners arrive in Portugal they will find the king there ready to satisfy the United Provinces in their demand for Brazil, and that they will not be obliged to come to an open rupture, thus undertaking a new and serious burden. But the Portuguese ambassador declares that his master has no fear, and as the Dutch have no ports to shelter in when they are off the coasts of Portugal they will go to destruction without gaining anything. But they will always be able to take refuge in the ports of Spain and provide themselves there with all that they require, for there can be no doubt left that Spanish encouragement besides their own interests induced them to make this expedition, so that the Catholic cannot refuse them shelter as it would show too great ingratitude.
The government has not yet made up its mind about the English ship taken by Turkish pirates, in spite of the efforts of the merchants concerned, who are much put out by the long stay of the Protector and ministers in the country, which holds up all business.
The son of the late Florentine resident Salvetti, having informed the Grand Duke of his father's death and reminded him of the suggestion that he should succeed to the post, has received confirmation with credentials qualifying him as resident here. (fn. 4) He is now asking for audience, which will not be granted until after the Protector's return to London. The date of this is uncertain because circumstances are detaining Cromwell in the country longer than he wishes.
The ducal missives of the 11th August have reached me this week, and I will punctually obey the commands of the Senate.
London, the 14th September, 1657.
[Italian.]
Sept. 21.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
85. Francesco Giavarina, Venetian Resident in England, to the Doge and Senate.
After a stay of three whole weeks at Hampton Court, drinking the waters prescribed by his physicians, the Protector returned to London on Tuesday evening in the enjoyment of perfect health. The secretary of state has also come back and the other privy councillors are following, who took advantage of Cromwell's absence to go and enjoy the delights of the country for a few days. So the meetings of the Council will begin again which have not taken place since his Highness's return for lack of the requisite number of ministers, and they will take up the many important affairs which require their attention.
The envoy extraordinary of Sweden, who arrived last week, besides his audience on Friday, had another on Wednesday, which was also attended by General Flitud. Their conference lasted over two hours, and though one cannot discover the real object of this mission it may be safely assumed that it is to procure assistance, especially as it is known that his Highness has granted the Swede 2,000 infantry to be selected from the English Regiments which are quartered round about this city. Sweden will pay them and officers are already approaching Flitud to be among the first chosen. They will embark shortly and cross the sea. Excellent results are expected and will doubtless be realised as they are all seasoned veteran troops.
The Portuguese ambassador had another audience yesterday. He presses for succour, and they say he will be granted 2,000 men for the present, with a promise of more in the spring. There is no doubt that Sweden and Portugal will receive assistance from this state, owing to England's concern for their interests, with the former on the score of religion and a general desire for their prosperity, with the other to keep open the breach with the king of Spain, which the English encourage for their own particular interests.
A Hamburg gentleman who formerly acted here as resident for the Hanse Towns arrived in London this week. (fn. 5) He comes for the affairs of Hamburg alone in connection with the sea and trade, but it is not known in what capacity.
No sooner was his Highness back in London than the presidents of the Turkey Company presented themselves before him to represent the injury done them by the delay over the matter of the ship taken by Tripoli pirates. (fn. 6) Cromwell gave them fair words and promised that at the next meeting of the Council the affair should be despatched, intimating that it would be favourable to their interests; so they feel hopeful and expect to get ships of war to convoy the merchantmen of this mart which pass the Strait of Gibraltar, as well as letters of reprisal against the Tripolitans. This may easily be, specially as the merchants have word that two great English ships sailing homewards from the Levant with valuable cargoes have been captured by pirates of Majorca. They will make reclamation to the Protector for this also, and will require him to grant them a squadron to sail the Mediterranean to give them security and enable them to transport their goods to places not forbidden without hindrance or danger.
The Protector's eldest son, who broke a rib by falling from his horse, has been in great danger of his life through inflammation of the part affected. He now seems on the mend, so they hope he will live, but as the fracture is in a part most difficult to heal it is feared it may incommode him for the rest of his days.
A week to-day they celebrated the obsequies of General Blake. The body was taken from Greenwich castle in a draped barque, followed by so many boats of every sort that the whole river seemed covered in mourning, to Westminster Abbey, where it was buried in a tomb erected for the purpose, in the chapel of Henry VII. During the transit the Tower of London fired all its guns and so did all the ships anchored in the Thames, including the Dutch, and 60 large pieces expressly mounted opposite Whitehall, as well as all the musketry drawn up in line before the Abbey.
To the general astonishment no news comes of the English fleet off the Spanish coasts; the cause is not known. Some more ships have recently been sent to it to keep it supplied with munitions of war and food, to enable it to keep its station. Montagu still remains stationary, looking to see if they can carry out their plans. But these are forestalled by the preparations of the Spaniards to safeguard the towns in Flanders that are most exposed to danger against which the French seemed to be aiming. But if the English see the Most Christian forces in a position to make some effort they will spread their sails without delay to go in support of the conquests arranged between them and which at first they felt sure would be easy.
London, the 21st September, 1657.
[Italian.]
Sept. 26.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
86. Francesco Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
Cromwell's ambassador has come post to Court from the army, urging that before finishing the campaign they shall decide on a maritime attack. He conferred with the Cardinal and then returned at once to the army. We hear from there that Turenne with his troops and the English has occupied some positions along the sea road. The Spaniards have abandoned the country and have shut themselves up in the fortresses, and as no important siege is to be expected, the end of the campaign is probably near.
Metz, the 26th September, 1657.
[Italian.]
Sept. 28.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
87. Francesco Giavarina, Venetian Resident in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The English fleet, commanded by General Montagu, which has ridden at anchor so many weeks, has at last sailed for the coast of Flanders and taken station off Dunkirk at a time when every one thought their designs had evaporated owing to Spanish preparations and because the season is unfavourable for ships to lie off that coast owing to the fury of the Ocean in the winter. Very late Sunday evening came the certainty of Montagu's move and at the same time General Rinaldi, commander of the English forces in the service of the Most Christian, arrived unexpectedly at Court. He brought with him a commissary of the king of France (fn. 7) to inform his Highness of the advance of the French army towards Dunkirk to blockade it on the land side while Montagu does the same from the sea, also firing some shots at the fort of Mardich, which is only a league from Dunkirk. Rinaldi was at once received by the Protector and an express was sent forthwith to fetch the Ambassador Bordeos who was staying in the country some miles from London. He returned on Monday evening, and at nine that night had a conference with the Protector. He had another on Tuesday morning and a third on Wednesday after dinner, at which Rinaldi and the commissary were also present. They spent more than two hours together, and it was decided to lay formal siege to Dunkirk, which is now blockaded to this end. They propose to send some more regiments of infantry from here to reinforce the English who are already joined with the French army. The French will furnish all the supplies required to enable them to subsist a long time without going into winter quarters, by forming them under Dunkirk. Before capturing this considerable place they must first capture the sea fort, and as this is prepared for a stout resistance it might frustrate the plans of the French and English against the place, and besides wasting a great deal of time might ruin the army set before a strong fortress at an unsuitable season and force it to retreat with loss of reputation.
To engage Cromwell to support the French it is said that Cardinal Mazarini promises to hand Dunkirk over to England if it is taken. Nothing was said upon this point in the articles agreed between the two countries, which I reported. But the offer might easily be made now to constrain the Protector not to abandon the allies, as they may not consider the forces of France strong enough for such an undertaking unless England takes a strong hand in it. If the French take Dunkirk it certainly will not be in their interest to hand it to the English. The Protector undoubtedly would like it and value it highly as opening a way to great conquests and the realisation of the vast designs meditated by the Protestant powers against the Catholic faith. With Dunkirk the English would have the key to enter France, and the possession of ports on each side of the sea would render them more formidable, more proud and more unbearable
(insostentibili). In short, much harm would result, as the Cardinal has doubtless seen and considered, but present interest without regard for the future may have induced him to take a step so disadvantageous to the Most Christian crown.
With the French so near Dunkirk the usual couriers from Flanders do not arrive here. They have usually collected at that town all the letters of that province, Holland, Germany, Italy, and many other parts, and brought them over by sea to Dover. That way being no longer safe it will be better to send letters by some other less exposed to danger. They feel sure the French will seize them and expresses have been sent from here to Tatis, master of the posts in Flanders, to know what has become of the letters and to arrange for their safe transit. The master of the posts here assures me that from this side the letters will pass safely, as he will send them to Ostend instead of Dunkirk, to be despatched to their destinations. I will wait to see what happens, venturing this despatch and using the cipher. If this way is blocked I will try France, which, if longer, will be more secure.
In the absence of these letters for two weeks many declare that the French have been beaten by the Spaniards on their way to the coast and a report from Cales this week states that in addition over
600 French and 400 English have been defeated with other particulars which make the report seem likely, though it may be baseless and put about by those who wish it so. Appearances do indicate that something disavantageous to the French has happened since there was no need for them to stop the letters as their designs on Dunkirk were not known and are now manifest to all, whereas if they have been defeated they will want to keep it secret as long as possible and until the strong reinforcements are sent from England.
This important business has occupied the Council the whole of the present week so that it has considered nothing else. They are hastening the collection of troops for Sweden, now raised to
4,000 infantry. They have held a muster of all the regiments here and are selecting ten men from each company to complete the numbers promised to the Swede. When completed they will be sent to the Baltic unless the present commitment in Flanders causes some delay, though the Swedish ministers are urging the utmost despatch.
The ambassador extraordinary of Portugal makes no progress; he wants troops, but money seems to be short and without it he cannot hope to do much.
They are waiting with curiosity for news of the arrival at Lisbon of the Dutch fleet, which should have reached the Portuguese coast by this time. It is certain to be noteworthy, and when it comes I will report it.
I have your Excellencies' letters of the 25th August, by way of France, enclosing the letter of the General of Malta to the Proveditore of Zante upon the last victory gained by the public forces against the Ottoman. I thank God for granting this boon to the republic which alone has stood against this powerful enemy for so many years. I shall await further particulars, which should arrive soon, before imparting the news to the Protector and others.
London, the 28th September, 1657.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]

Footnotes

1 The accident happened early in August. Richard fell with his horse while hunting in the New Forest, and broke his thigh and put his knee out of joint. Thurloe: State Papers, Vol. vi., page 455. Cal. S.P. Dom., 1657–8, pp. 84, 87.
2 Apparently they sailed in the Assistance, Capt. Thomas Sparling. Cal. S.P. Dom., 1657–8, page 429.
3 Johan Frederick von Frisendorff. He arrived on the 9th September, Thurloe to Henry Cromwell. Thurloe: State Papers, Vol. vi., page 493.
4 See note at page 84 above.
5 Hans Petersen. Cal. S.P. Dom., 1658–9, page 23. He had been in England in 1653. See Vol. xxix. of this Calendar, page 17.
6 The Resolution. See page 100 above.
7 Philippe Talon, intendant of the army of Flanders. Bourelly: Deux Campagnes de Turenne en Flandre, page 34.