Venice
June 1658

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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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206-219

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'Venice: June 1658', Calendar of State Papers Relating to English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 31: 1657-1659 (1931), pp. 206-219. URL: http://british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=90011 Date accessed: 25 July 2014.


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June 1658

June 2.
Senato,
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
180. Francesco Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
The siege of Dunkirk, in which a squadron of English ships is taking part. Some of these frequently bring across from England various things necessary for the armies, which come thence with greater abundance and ease, in view of the difficulty of the passages and the scarcity of provisions experienced by the French there. From the direction of the sea the English ships furiously and incessantly bombard the place and the good garrison there, and hope to take it soon.
Knowing that this siege is for the benefit of the English, the Dutch manifest great discontent about it, and some assert that they are about to take some measures, on this occasion, for the relief of the Spaniards and themselves. But they recognise their weakness and the danger.
Calais, the 2nd June, 1658.
[Italian.]
June 5.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Corti.
Venetian
Archives.
181. To the Resident in England.
Acknowledge his letters of the 10th ult. He is to try and find out the cause of the serious sickness which prevails and if there is danger of infection.
On the 7th April a squadron of our ships, commanded by Admiral Priuli, encountered, in the waters of Tine, four ships which proved to be English ones, sailing to the West with rich cargoes from the East. Understanding that one of these carried a number of Turks with goods belonging to their nation, including a Capigi, sent by the Sultan to the king of Tunis with letters, the commander considered it his duty to ascertain this. Three of the ships, the Cavallo Volante, Zante frigate and Castello, submitted. The fourth, named Angelo, did its best to escape. The commander, therefore, suspected that it contained the Turks and sent some ships in pursuit. Being unable to get away, the captain (fn. 1) was sent for to the flagship and asked if he had Turks or their goods on board. He denied this stoutly, but Admiral Priuli felt sure that it was so and sent a small party to make search. The Turks resisted with muskets, and a lieutenant was wounded mortally. Admiral Priuli then came up; but the Turks fired on his ships, hitting many. Finally, they were reduced, after a threat to set fire to the munitions, and about a hundred were taken. The other ships, which had no Turks or Turkish goods, were immediately released with every courtesy. The captain of the Angelo was also courteously treated.
On receipt of the news, to show our regard for the Protector, we sent orders to the Captain General at Sea to release the ship, captain and crew, and only to detain the Turks and their goods. The information is sent in order that you may inform the secretary or ministers of state of the affair in the way you think best, so as to prevent mischief if the matter is reported differently, causing a bad impression. The Protector has frequently expressed his friendly sentiments towards our republic and we feel sure that he will give orders to prevent the recurrence of any such disagreeable incident, so prejudicial to our service and to the interests of Christendom in general. You will send a particular account of all that happens in this matter and of the views which the captains of the ships may be spreading on the subject.
Ayes, 110. Noes, 2. Neutral, 4.
[Italian.]
June 7.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
182. Francesco Giavarina, Venetian Resident in England, to the Doge and Senate.
By the sound measures taken the Protector has again dealt successfully with the conspiracy lately discovered, showing that it will be difficult for the royalists to contrive and carry out their very sanguinary designs. A great number of persons of all kinds has been secured daily. Houses are visited and searched at all times, causing inconvenience and offence to the inhabitants. Foot guards have been left at many posts until the suspicions aroused have been resolved. In short, nothing is left undone to deprive the contrary party of all hope and to cause all their machinations to redound to the advantage and glory of him against whom they had been prepared.
The depositions of those arrested have brought many things to light which were suspected. The fear of torture has opened the way to confession of all that had been entrusted to their knowledge and conscience. The tradesmen, who are mostly shop boys, say even more than they know, accusing many citizens who have never been for the king, and who have consequently been placed under arrest. Everyone is amazed that the royalists were so mad as to trust the secret of their plans to people of this sort, who are utterly cowardly and timid, so that nothing could be expected of them but the revelation of what was to be done and the naming of those who were to take part in the deed, which was of so ticklish a character that success would not be easy without the special aid and blessing of God.
On Tuesday the court of Justice sat in the public tribunal set up in the great hall of Westminster, in the sight of all and before a large crowd of the people. Some of the accused and alleged rebels were brought out, and lots being drawn as to who should be taken first, Sir Henry Slingsby was taken, the others being sent back to prison. He was questioned upon the crimes with which he is charged, witnesses being produced to convict him of having tried to excite risings against the present government in favour of the king of Scotland, and a commission shown from his Majesty authorising him to try and draw away the governor of Hull from the service of the Protector and other officials of the state, by dint of promises and considerable offers. To these and similar accusations he answered quietly, not denying his intentions or sympathies. He raised objections at length to the powers of the Court, saying that if he was guilty of any misdeed it was reserved for the ordinary courts of law to judge him, in accordance with the fundamental laws of the realm, and not for a new one, which had no authority except what was conferred upon it by the Protector, and it was not reasonable that he and many other persons should have to perish miserably at the caprice of a man who, being eager to get hold of their goods, without regard or conscience, imputed as a great sin and crime the sentiments he cherished in his heart for Charles II, his true and legitimate king and lord.
The news from Dunkirk only reports the prosecution of the works begun. They do not seem to have found the task so easy as they expected, yet the lines are quite completed and the besiegers are slowly making their approaches to the fortress, though a good deal harassed by the guns of the defenders. They hope here that the besieged will not hold out long; but the number of men in Dunkirk, the abundant provisions with which the place is said to be provided and the energetic measures taken by the Spaniards in introducing succour and sending away all the women and useless persons make it likely that the capture will not be easy and that it will cost the besiegers more blood than they imagine.
In addition to what has already been sent to the English and French camp across the water, and the great quantities still being sent in consequence of the proclamation, some great mortars and other engines of war have been sent to Mardich this week to help bring about the surrender.
With a great and noble array and a suite entirely composed of persons of quality, the earl of Falcombrige set out the day before yesterday for Cales, where the French Court is. He is merely to pay his Highness's respects to his Majesty on his coming so near, and having no special character, he will return immediately to England, leaving some horses and hunting dogs as a present from Cromwell. The Protector did not really intend to send so distinguished a person on this mission, but as Falcombrige expressed a wish to go, he decided to gratify his son-in-law, the more readily as he went at his own cost, and the Protector did not have to spend a penny.
At a yard a few miles from this metropolis a great ship of war mounting over 100 guns has been building. (fn. 2) On Tuesday it was launched in the Thames in the presence of the Protector's eldest son Richard, in whose honour it was named. But the vessel being of excessive size and the river not at its highest, it could not be floated, and to get it off they will need one of those high tides which only occur rarely in winter, so that it may easily be a long time before it gets properly out of the dock, involving no slight loss and injury. The vessel is stated to be one of the largest and finest that has ever been launched by this state.
In accordance with my instructions I am dropping hints about the levies already proposed to your Serenity by Cuch and Pudsey, following the lines laid down by the Senate and the Savio alla Scrittura. I will try to keep them well disposed, and they seem ready to take up the task as soon as they are notified of the state's pleasure, either for the next campaign or when directed to do so, on such terms as may be agreed.
London, the 7th June, 1658.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
June 7.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Firenze.
Venetian
Archives.
183. Giuseppe Armeno, Venetian Consul at Leghorn, to Thadio Vico, the Resident at Florence.
In reply to instructions to find out the feeling here among the English upon the affair between their ships and the Venetian squadron, I have talked with some of these merchants and gather that according to the information they have, the ship Angelo and some others fell in with some ships of the Venetian guard. The Captain of the Angelo, who had embarked a Basha and 130 Turks, to be taken to Tunis, protested that he neither could nor would fight against the Venetians. Accordingly the Turks themselves took arms and prepared for defence and to fight, but after a few shots from the guns they surrendered. The merchants consider that the ship should have been released with all its cargo, except what belonged to the Turks, and be paid for the hire, in which case there would be no reason for discontent or dissatisfaction.
Leghorn, the 7th June, 1658.
[Italian; copy.]
June 14.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
184. Francesco Giavarina, Venetian Resident in England, to the Doge and Senate.
Human conjectures usually prove fallacious and this has been the case with the interpretation given last week to the sudden dissolution of the court of Justice, since its sessions have not only been resumed but it has pronounced judgment against Slingsby and against the other person accused of participating in the sedition recently discovered. The judges met on Tuesday and opened the trial of Dr. Hewet and Mr. Mordant, a gentleman of standing. They set to work so energetically that, meeting again on Wednesday, they passed sentence against the one examined last week as well as against these two, and then adjourned until Thursday next. Sir [Henry] Slingsby, whose accusation and defence were reported, has been condemned to to taken from the Tower of London to the ordinary place of execution, about a mile outside, and there hanged and quartered, the parts to be set up where the Protector directs. Dr. Hewet received a similar sentence. He always refused to answer except to question the authority of the court, which he absolutely denied, refusing to submit to it. Mr. Mordant, although very young, defended himself so well that he was acquitted, but many say that being of a great family with numerous connections had more influence than his eloquence, and by making a fuss and expending some thousands of pounds he got sentence in his favour, to the delight of his friends and relations.
The two condemned are to be executed to-morrow. But though Slingsby's case seems desperate many believe that he will not suffer, for as he is uncle on the mother's side to the earl of Falcombrige, it is thought that the earl will ask his life and obtain it as a favour. But others maintain that this was attempted before the knight was brought into court and that Cromwell would not take any step in his favour, to avoid showing partiality and that this was the chief reason why the earl wanted to go to Cales to avoid being present at his uncle's end.
The doctor was accused, among other things of having lodged the earl of Ormond in his house when he came from Flanders to England these last months, as reported. It is commonly believed that although the earl was sent here by the king to perfect the arrangements and invigorate the king's party, he was the one who opened the designs of his master to the Protector. It is firmly believed that he was allowed to return to Flanders upon giving a promise to keep up the correspondence with his Highness and to keep him advised, secretly, of all that passed there. He could do this admirably as he has one of the first places in the council of King Charles, and being highly esteemed by his Majesty, is trusted with the knowledge of everything.
There certainly can be no doubt that Charles is betrayed by some of those who stand about him, otherwise it would be impossible for Cromwell to find out the secret plans he meditates. The reason for doubting the loyalty of Ormond is clear beyond all possibility of ambiguity. The goods of all the king's partisans are sequestrated, and they cannot enjoy anything of their own, so that their wives and children are reduced to a wretched state. After the departure of Ormond, the countess, his wife, recovered all his property in Ireland and remains in enjoyment of it there. Of all those who have pleaded with the Protector on this matter she is the only one who has proved successful, and no one knows how it was done. The argument is considered unanswerable by the generality, and it may well be so for no importance is attached to the conditions on which, it is said, the favour was granted, namely that she shall hold no communication with her husband, or else everything will be sequestrated again, since there is no doubt that this was made public with design, to give colour to the affair, and the more excuses they offer the greater reason there is for believing the charge true.

From Dunkirk we hear that in a sortie of the garrison the French suffered severely and would have been defeated without the help of the English. Twelve companies hastened to the fight, full of vigour and courage, driving back the Spaniards and forcing them to retreat. The besiegers have made such progress since the completion of the lines that an express to the Protector from the camp brings word that they have already got as far as the counterscarp, with every appearance and hope that the town will not hold out for long. We hear that the Spaniards are getting together all the garrisons of the country, leaving only a few soldiers in charge of the fortresses, and are advancing towards Dunkirk in great strength. This points to the possibility of some sanguinary battle, for there is no doubt that the Spaniards will do their utmost for the defence of a place of such importance, and that the Marquis of Leidem, who is the governor, knowing what is at stake, will employ all his industry to preserve it by hook or by crook.
To reinforce the army under Dunkirk they yesterday despatched a corps of 600 infantry from here, who will be followed by others each day, until they reach the number of 2000 whom they have decided to send from the companies of the guards here; and more still will be added in proportion to what is required and according to the duration of the siege. Ships also have been sent to Mardich, to the mouth of the port of Dunkirk, and to cruise off those coasts, these last weeks, to reinforce those previously stationed there and to take the place of some which have been damaged by storms these last days and which have had to be sent to England for repairs. General Montagu sailed on these ships, to command the fleet and take part in its actions in these waters.
The Dutch do not look with a friendly eye on this siege of Dunkirk, in view of the great prejudice which their own particular interests must suffer from the fall of the place. Accordingly they are trying to cultivate friendly relations here, and to infuse energy into these efforts they have directed Niuport, who was ambassador extraordinary in England, to return to London as speedily as possible. He is therefore expected in 12 or 15 days in the capacity of ordinary, conferred on him by the States before he left here.
In pursuance of the decision of the Dutch to prosecute the war with the Portuguese with energy, they have sent to sea a strong fleet of warships fully supplied with all requisites and with good sailors and brave soldiers. They are said to number forty. Twenty-four have already been seen passing through the Channel. One part was to sail towards Portugal and the other for Danzig to succour that town in case of need. As it was stated that before going they were to render some service to the Spaniards by secretly introducing munitions into Dunkirk, dispositions were immediately taken here to keep an eye on their proceedings. Thus, in some unknown way a barque with gunpowder and other munitions of war has entered that port, arousing their suspicions here so that they are making careful enquiry to make sure whether it is Spanish or Dutch.
News having come of the peace between the king of Sweden and the Grand Duke of Muscovy, the mission of Brascio to the latter is suspended, as its only object was to arrange this peace. The government rejoices at the reconciliation of those powers, and hopes to see them in the future united and of one mind in prosecuting the designs they meditate for the destruction of Catholicism, which is harassed and menaced on every side.
London, the 14th June, 1658.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
June 16. Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci
Francia
Venetian
Archives.
185. Francesco Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
Account of the battle fought near Dunkirk. The right wing Francia. commanded by Don John and consisting entirely of Spaniards, fought with the left of the English, drawn up by Locart and by the Sieur di Castelno. In the end the former was defeated by the latter and completely routed. It is said that the English refused to give quarter to the Spaniards.
Cales, the 16th June, 1658.
[Italian.]
June 16.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
186. Francesco Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
The Protector's son-in-law, sent to the Court to pay respects on Cromwell's behalf on the king's approaching England, landed recently partly indisposed because of a storm encountered on his passage, which kept him a long while at sea. Immediately he arrived he was received by the count of Sciarot, who conducted him to his quarters with the coaches of the king and cardinal. The duke of Crichi was afterwards sent there to compliment him in his Majesty's name, and he is lavishly entertained at the cost of his Eminence. He saw the cardinal first and afterwards paid his respects to their Majesties, who received him most graciously. He was covered, but the king was not, the queen being at his side and in her presence the king is accustomed to be uncovered. The Englishman brought some very fine horses with him, which he presented to his Majesty, to the cardinal, and to the marshal de Turenne; but he gave nothing to the queen, or to the duke of Anjou either, who seemed displeased about it. They say that Mancini, his Eminence's nephew, will go to London to return the compliment, but he will not start until the other has left.
Cales, the 16th June, 1658.
[Italian.]
June 21.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
187. Francesco Giavarina, Venetian Resident in England, to the Doge and Senate.
Sentence against Sir [Henry] Slingsby and Dr. Hewet having been pronounced by the high court of Justice, they should have been executed on Saturday, but it was postponed until Tuesday by the Protector, who commuted the horrible punishment to a milder and less infamous death. Instead of the hanging, drawing and quartering he had a scaffold set up in a large open space adjoining the Tower of London, on which they were both beheaded, their bodies being given to their relations for burial with the solemn rites customary here. In the presence of an enormous crowd and before several regiments of horse and foot, the sentence was carried out on Tuesday at mid-day. Both showed steadfastness and great courage. The knight made a short speech and refused to confer with the preachers sent to prepare him for death. In the common opinion he recanted his former profession and died a Roman Catholic, thus saving his soul. The doctor spent more than two hours in an elaborate and eloquent speech, and after many prayers, persisting in his original belief, lost both his life and his soul. Friends of the dead men, having taken down their speeches, took them to be printed, but by Cromwell's order these were torn up and destroyed, to prevent what they said being published, it being contrary to the present government, with exhortations to the people to pray for the return and prosperity of King Charles. The substance was issued yesterday in the ordinary gazettes, but with twisted meanings and malicious annotations, (fn. 3) entirely in accord with the sympathies of those who altered them. Yesterday the Court resumed its sittings, and as it is proceeding energetically with the trial of other prisoners, more examples are expected before long.
The Spaniards, considering the dreadful consequences to all Flanders of the fall of Dunkirk, especially if it should come into the hands of this nation, have been collecting all their garrisons to attempt its relief. They got together a strong army of the flower of their troops, and with 14 to 15,000 combatants, marched towards Dunkirk on Friday in last week. The English and French, having discovered their intention, left a sufficient number to defend the lines and maintain the siege, and went out with a considerable force to give them battle. They attacked the enemy, and after a fierce combat threw them into disorder, over 4000 being taken and slain. The marshal d'Achincurt fell dead when going to reconnoitre the position of the besiegers. Buteville, Condé's cousin, sacrificed himself for the prince; the latter had fallen under his horse and Buteville gave him his own, himself being surprised and taken by the enemy. The marquis of Caracena was also taken prisoner, but by giving 100 doubles which he had in his pocket and the promise of a much larger sum, he obtained his liberty from the soldier who took him. The duke of York is said to be wounded, but this is not certain; his coach was taken. Many other persons of rank and a large number of the chief officers, both of the Spanish army and of the regiments of the king of Scotland were either slain or taken.
The losses of the English and French are not known, or they will not publish them; but as the conflict was bloody and lasted several hours, they also must have suffered considerably. Almost all the English officers have been killed, and it is believed that their losses and those of the French are scarcely inferior to those of the Spaniards. It is true that in view of the inequality of strength and the weakness of the Spanish army, they should have suffered much more than the others, for it is only reasonable to expect two very strong army corps to have the best of it always against one very weak one.
The news reached the Protector and the French ambassador on Sunday morning by couriers, who arrived one on the top of the other. They are extremely gratified, especially as they feel sure that this affair will discourage the defenders of Dunkirk and consequently hasten the fall of that place. Their hopes are increased by further news which came yesterday morning, that after the victory the English and French had taken a considerable fort commanding the streets of the town, (fn. 4) and from this they expect that the place will fall before the month is out.
With Dunkirk so hard pressed the Ambassador Bordeos has been observed going secretly and inconspicuously to Whitehall, more than once. The real reason cannot be discovered, but it is conjectured that it will be to arrange in whose hands the place shall be left. The point is important as both have pretensions, and it will be interesting to see what they decide, for ill-will between the two powers might easily be generated over this question. I will keep a look-out and report fully.
Dutch ships of war continue to pass through these waters, well furnished for all emergencies. So far they have attempted nothing, although they view with disfavour the loss of Dunkirk, especially if it is to remain in the hands of this nation, as they claim, saying that they do not keep 9000 soldiers in Flanders for nothing. The Dutch would then be shut up as in a cage, and their ships would have to render tribute more than they do at present, by lowering their flag at once when they sight an English ship of war.
The power of this state hinders them from acting as they would were it not for their fear of it. That is why the States' preoccupation is to remain at peace with this government, and it is said that the Ambassador Niuport, who is expected at Court soon, will come with orders which have been on the carpet a long while, and if he finds no readiness to meet him there, he is quietly to let the matter drop. It is also said that he brings commissions to propose and do everything possible to arrange a defensive and offensive alliance with this state for the maintenance of the trade of the Baltic Sea. If this is correct the States have been led to this decision by the danger in which they find themselves of losing that trade, which is most important to them, owing to the successes of the king of Sweden. From that trade, from the herring fisheries off the English coast and from the spices of the Indies the Dutch derive their wealth, and without these they would perish miserably. It is accordingly to their interest to keep on good terms with this government on which might depend any injury inflicted on them by Sweden, in view of the close union of interest between that monarch and this state, which grows steadily stronger.
Having accomplished his mission to Cales to pay respects to the French Court, the earl of Falcombrige has recently returned to London, having been magnificiently entertained by the king and Cardinal Mazarini. They are now expecting the arrival of some one from that Court to respond to Cromwell's advances. They say that Mancini, the cardinal's nephew, is coming, but it is not known whether it will be as ambassador or simple envoy. He may arrive any day and is expected to come next week.
Jepson, the resident of his Highness in Sweden, having been sent to the elector of Brandenburg as reported, Medoes, hitherto resident in Denmark, has received orders to proceed to that monarch. He has already left Copenhagen, laden with honours from the Danish king and decorated with the title of knight of the Elephant, his Majesty's own order.
London, the 21st June, 1658.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
June 23.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
188. Francesco Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
The Protector's envoy has started for London. Before going he came again to pay his respects to the king and to take leave. At this audience he said that his master was exceedingly obliged to his Majesty for having come in person to give zest to the siege of Dunkirk and for punctually fulfilling all the other articles of agreement. He thanked his Majesty, and protested that the Protector on his side would be equally scrupulous in the interests of that crown. He enlarged considerably upon this and in a style that looked as if the French and English were to divide the rest of Europe between them.
The duke of Chrichi for the king, and Mancini for the cardinal, have been sent to reciprocate Cromwell's offices. They have embarked with great pomp and a large following.
Cales, the 23rd June, 1658.
[Italian.]
June 28.
Senato,
Secreta.
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
189. Francesco Giavarina, Venetian Resident in England, to the Doge and Senate.
Besides those already reported the high court of Justice has held several other sessions in the present week, in which some more of the numerous prisoners accused of high treason have been tried. Some have succeeded in persuading the judges to acquit them, through the force of their arguments to prove their innocence. Others have been convicted, some having confessed and admitted their fault, if it be a fault to be loyal to their natural prince, and have been sentenced to death, which is to be carried out accordingly in these days.
The English and French having taken Fort Leon, as reported, the courage of the defenders oozed away, with the defeat of the force sent to their relief, together with the death of their governor, the marquis de Leidem, as the result of wounds received in a sortie which he decided to take part in personally, perhaps thinking it necessary to hearten the soldiers. News has reached the Protector that they are parleying, indeed it is asserted that by now the place has been handed over to the English, to whom apparently it is to be consigned, although they say that the capitulations were signed by the Most Christian king and the Ambassador Locart in the name of the Protector, and that his Majesty was to enter the town last Tuesday.
Such is the most recent news from the camp. More is expected at any moment to confirm the surrender of the place, after which they will lose no time in turning their arms against some other, for it is certain that these united forces mean to do great things in Flanders this year. It is expected that after this all their efforts will be directed against Edin, to recover it for the Most Christian, from whom it was taken, being handed to the Spaniards or the Prince of Condé. The marshal d'Ochincurt, who was the chief instrument of that revolt, being dead, it is hoped that it will return to its allegiance to the king of France with very slight resistance, and allow them to devote themselves with more energy to other enterprises of greater consequence.
The fall of Gravelines will follow that of Dunkirk after a short interval, seeing that the Spaniards cannot relieve or victual the place so long as Dunkirk, Borburg, and other places now in the hands of the enemy, are still occupied by them, as they close the only way for succour, and once the provisions in the town are consumed they will be obliged to submit to the conquerors and arrange the surrender with them.
The losses of the English in the action under Dunkirk having been very high, they are filling the gaps by sending more men to take the places of the killed. A considerable number of sailors from the ships were also slain, as they landed to assist the troops. To make this good they are pressing by force and sending out the boatmen from this river, who ply the ordinary ferries. This occasions some grumbling as people of this sort would rather remain at home than go elsewhere with the certainty of ending their days miserably far from their own families.
General Montagu having kept a close watch on the proceedings of the Dutch ships which recently passed through and anchored in the Downs, has not been able to find that they have tried to do anything to help the Spaniards. Yet their suspicions here persist because another barque, of unknown nationality, has succeeded recently in getting into the port of Dunkirk with gunpowder and other munitions of war. All the 24 ships of the States have left this Channel and apparently they have sailed away in the direction of Portugal.
The Dutch ambassador, Niuport, is expected this week; a minister extraordinary from Denmark is also expected in a few days, but his character and his business are not known. On Tuesday there arrived the French mission in response to the courtesies conveyed by the earl of Falcombrige. The cardinal's nephew, Mancini, is in it, but the chief is the duke of Crechi, who has come with a suite of over 120 persons, of whom the most conspicuous are this Mancini, the chevalier de Gramont, and other French gentlemen of high rank and birth. On Wednesday he had audience of his Highness, not in the great hall which is generally used for public audiences, but in a private room. He and the Protector both remained uncovered while the duke, in the king's name, thanked Cromwell for Falcombrige's offices at Cales, congratulated him on the success in Flanders, assured him of the esteem and respect of the king for his Highness, and concluded by expressing his Majesty's desire to continue his friendship and correspondence with this power, to keep strictly to the agreements concluded and to cherish the alliance with England. After Crechi Mancini spoke a few words in the name of his uncle. The Protector made a short reply to both, enlarging on his obligations to the king and his esteem for the king and his prime minister.
The duke bore no character of any sort. He made no intimation to the foreign ministers, and so no one visited him. He is magnificently entertained and defrayed at the cost of the Protector. Yesterday he spent hunting at Hampton Court; to-day he is passing at another charming country place; to-morrow he will have other diversions. On Sunday he can have no enjoyment because this people spends that day in church, as the only festival they observe, and any kind of recreation is forbidden. On Monday he will set out to return to the Court, receiving presents corresponding to those given by the king to Falcombrige. The Ambassador Bordeos, was not present at the audience with Checchi and did not attend the banquets or other functions with him, seeing that the duke has no character. He sees him privately, but not in public.
After all the months that have passed since a resident of the duke of Curlandia appeared here, he has not been able to obtain audience yet of the Protector to present his credentials. He importunes to have it, but in vain. He is greatly annoyed at the delay, especially because the government here, on some occasion arising to write to his master upon the interests of some private merchants, a letter was drawn up without letting him know anything about it. As this state has no minister in Curlandia, they sent the letter to the resident asking him to forward it to his master, without giving him a copy or saying a word about the contents. The government here usually acts in this way, as they are ignorant of the formalities observed by other princes. But the resident is unaware of this and is greatly upset, fearing that the postponement of an audience will be attributed to his negligence.
The ducal missives of the 5th inst. have reached me this morning by way of Flanders, with a full account of the incident in the waters of Tine between a squadron of the most serene republic and ships of this nation. I set out at once for the palace, and being unable to see the secretary of state, who was engaged in the secret council, I imparted the whole to Sir [Oliver] Fleming, master of the ceremonies, who professes great regard for the Signory, so that I feel sure he will dissipate any evil impressions which the interested parties may try to instil into the government. So far no news has reached them on the subject. The merchants indeed have heard something from the ordinary of last week, and an individual interested in the ship Angelo, referred to it in conversation with me lately. Being utterly ignorant of the matter I did my best to assuage his bitter feeling, assuring him of the special regard that is entertained for his most valiant country and of the great liberality of the republic, which certainly would not fail to show its cordiality on this occasion. From what he said I gathered that he had not the full particulars, since he intimated that he was waiting for further information before applying to the Protector, so I shall have forestalled any coloured account which may have been made. Besides Fleming I will also speak to the secretary of state, and duly report what happens to the Senate.
London, the 28th June, 1658.
[Italian.]
June 29.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Corti.
Venetian
Archives.
190. To the Resident in England.
Acknowledge receipt of his letters. The English consul for the Morea has arrived at Venice with letters from his Highness, and has been in the Collegio asking for letters of recommendation to the Proveditori at Zante and Cephalonia. A reply to the Protector is enclosed, to be handed to him with a suitable office.
Ayes, 116. Noes, 1. Neutral, 1.
[Italian.]
June 29.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Corti.
Venetian
Archives.
191. To the Protector of England.
The consul has arrived and presented his letters. The republic has welcomed him gladly and is complying with his requests. His Highness may be sure of perfect correspondence on their part. Compliments.
Ayes, 116. Noes, 1. Neutral, 1.
[Italian.]
June 30.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
192. Francesco Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
The surrender of Dunkirk. Some 600 horse and 1200 foot came out of the place, besides a number of wounded. They brought two pieces of artillery and were accompanied with all the most honourable military ceremonies. It cannot yet be discovered what will be decided about the consignment of the place to the English, or about religion, and everyone is waiting eagerly to hear what will be done. Meanwhile, the number of those who deplore the capture is greater than of those who rejoice at it, and the Court itself is divided in opinion.
Cales, the 30th June, 1658.
[Italian.]

Footnotes

1 Captain William Rand.
2 The Richard was built at Woolwich. The date here agrees with that in the Mercurius Politicus (May 20–7). According to the Domestic Cal. she was launched on the 26 May, which would be a Wednesday, old style. Cal. S.P. Dom., 1658–9, page 403. Possibly this was a second attempt. Oppenheim gives her gross tonnage as 1477, with only 70 guns. Administration of the Royal Navy, pages 336–7.
3 The speeches are in the Mercurius Politicus of June 3–10. Slingsby's occupies only 13 lines, Hewet's nearly two pages, included the comments referred to, in brackets.
4 Fort Leon taken on the 19th June. Bourelly: Deux Campagnes de Turenne, page 228.


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