Venice
July 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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219-228

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'Venice: July 1658', Calendar of State Papers Relating to English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 31: 1657-1659 (1931), pp. 219-228. URL: http://british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=90012 Date accessed: 20 April 2014. Add to my bookshelf


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July 1658

July 5.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
193. Francesco Giavarina, Venetian Resident in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The last sentence pronounced by the court of Justice against those convicted of complicity in the last discovered conspiracy has been suspended a few hours before it was to have been carried out, until further order, by authority of the Protector. As there is no limitation of time and no-day fixed for the execution it is believed that their lives will be spared for some time owing to the hope of obtaining information from their statements to the preachers sent to console and prepare them for death, about other things which still remain concealed, the knowledge of which would contribute wonderfully to the safety of the Protector's person and to the preservation of the present government, as they keep their eyes open and show the greatest energy and circumspection everywhere.
Last Saturday definite news reached London of the surrender of the important place of Dunkirk. M. Sanguin (fn. 1) was sent expressly by the Most Christian to bring the news to the Ambassador Bordeos, who did not lose a moment in imparting it to Cromwell, informing him that the place had been consigned by the French into the hands of Sir [William] Locart, who had entered as governor, introducing a garrison of English troops from those out there. Other troops will be sent from here to defend the place and hold it for this government, which is extremely delighted at the news, seeing that they have established a firm footing in Flanders, opening the way to greater conquests and even more momentous consequences. Besides the infantry they propose to send some regiments of horse to Dunkirk, and some troops have already begun their march for the coast, to be taken across. There can be no doubt that they will take the utmost pains to preserve a position of such importance, of so much consequence to the interests of this nation, and to push forward vigorously so long as fortune continues in their favour.
The merchants of this mart also are pleased at the capture of Dunkirk, as now they are safe from further molestation from the corsairs of that place who did no small damage to their ships. It is also a serious matter for the Dutch to see this place in the hands of this nation, as it shuts them in completely and they cannot cross these seas except under the English, who, with ports and forts on both, sides, will undoubtedly keep a bridle on their neighbours.
It will be interesting to see what happens at Dunkirk in the matter of religion and to the various convents of friars and nuns founded there. There should be no change if the fourth article of the capitulation is observed. The printed copy which is being sold in London shows that the inhabitants are not to suffer any detriment in their persons or goods, and may enjoy their ancient customs and privileges for the space of two years, and that there shall be no interference whatever in the exercise of their religion. In fulfilment of this it is said that two soldiers who went into one of the churches without the respect due to the Divine worship, but merely to mock at the images and ceremonies of the Catholics, have been hanged at the gate by Sir [William] Locart. Having recently obtained the actual title of general of the English army of Flanders he now holds three most important posts, that of ambassador to the Most Christian, and governor of Dunkirk, greatly to the enhancement of his reputation.
News arrived yesterday that the allied forces had taken possession, with very slight trouble, of Bergh St. Wynox, not far from Dunkirk and of no great consequence, the Spaniards offering little or no resistance. A French governor established himself there and the army marched on to further important conquests. Major-General Morgan has orders to advance with 4000 English to observe the proceedings of the Spaniards, encamped in the neighbourhood of Furne, and in case of need to go and lend a hand to the marshal de la Ferte Seneterre, who is said to be sitting down under Rocroe to invest it.
The Duke of Crechi, Mancini, and other French gentlemen who came to England, left on Monday, loaded with honours and presents. They will cross the sea in ships granted them by the state. Before starting from London they took leave of the Protector, expressing their gratitude for the numerous favours received. On this occasion, as a mark of special respect for the Most Christian and his prime minister, his Highness conducted them across the audience chamber and another as far as the door of the room where the guards are stationed, which all remarked as a transcendent courtesy never before used with any minister of a crowned head. Out of curiosity Cardinal Mazarini went over the English flagship Nesbi which is before Mardich, where he was received and lavishly entertained by General Montagu, to the great content of his Eminence, who then returned to the French Court at Cales accompanied by a number of leading French gentlemen.
In obedience to the instructions received a week ago I have given the secretary of state a full account of all that happened with the four English ships encountered in the Archipelago by the Venetian squadron and left him a memorial with the particulars, the better to acquaint him with the facts. He told me that he had heard nothing about the matter. He would inform his Highness. While it was certain that the Protector cherished the most friendly sentiments towards your Excellencies he could not say what he would think of Sig. Priuli's making search, in the ships of this nation, which are respected and allowed to pass freely in all the seas of the world. In response to my request he would see that orders were issued to prevent similar irregularities in the future. I urged this point strongly, representing how convenient it would be, and trying to impress on him the straightforward nature of the affair, so that his report to the Protector might advance rather than injure the interests of your Serenity. I will keep on insisting that these orders may be issued, and send a full report to the Senate of what ensues. But I feel sure that his Highness will take the incident in good part, especially as the ship will be set free, although his ambition to rule all the world, claiming the right to search all ships of any other power, but not suffering his own to be searched by any, and to make himself respected by all may induce him to express some resentment; but in any case it will be spoken more for prestige and to keep them in countenance, rather than from a sense of any right or justice on their side.
To stop any ill-informed talk on the part of the merchants interested in the ship Angelo I thought it advisable to make known the decree of the Senate announcing their predilection, in order that the good news might prevent anything being said at the palace, since their silence could not fail to be advantageous, and excellent for preventing the Protector from opening his mouth. The most prudent of the interested parties speak highly of the munificence of your Excellencies, but those who think more of gain than of anything else lament the loss of the hire which they would have received from the Turks for the transport of the goods.
London, the 5th July, 1658.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
July 5.
Cons. di X.
Lettere.
Venetian
Archives.
194. The Heads of the Council of Ten to Alvise Thiepolo, Proveditore and Captain of Rhodes.
The Council of Ten has considered your letters of the 25th June informing us of the arrest of Francis Salvini, an Englishman, with two flint-lock pistols in his pocket, but in view of the quality of the individual, the frequenting of our Collegio by the English nation and in particular the deserts of that nation from our republic in the long course of the present war, we have decided in the interest of the public service and as a favour to a nation so deserving to grant the release of this Francis. You will inform him of the very special nature of the favour which he is receiving from the public goodwill, due to the merits of his nation, seeing that his most detestable offence is usually punished with the utmost severity.
Dated the 5th July.
On the 6th July, 1658.
The Podesta having received the above letter directed the release from prison of the said Francis Salvini, Englishman, and this was done forthwith.
[Italian.]
July 7.
Senato
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
195. Francesco Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
Particulars have arrived of the terms on which Dunkirk surrendered, and that the place was received in the Protector's name by the Ambassador Locart, who promised to maintain all the privileges granted to the town by the French and all the rights of the Catholic religion, and that Cromwell will ratify this. There is no prejudice to the Catholic religion at present except the opening of a solitary temple for the Huguenots. At the outset Locart has certainly shown himself very severe to his own men, having had some Englishmen hanged immediately before the door of a church for some insolence committed there.
Cales, the 7th July, 1658.
[Italian.]
July 12.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
196. Francesco Giavarina, Venetian Resident in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The high court of Justice began its operations with great energy, meeting frequently and pressing on the trials of those accused of high treason. Now their sittings are put off from day to day, and one hears of no more convictions, indeed, the sentences last pronounced have not been carried out because of orders from the Protector, as reported, and possibly this supreme tribunal will now move slowly, satisfied that the blood shed at the beginning will serve as an example to restrain others from plotting against the present government.
The Protector and the Court are extremely delighted at the news, which reaches them daily, of successes won by the allied forces in Flanders. They have now taken Furne, which the Spaniards abandoned on the approach of the conquerors, to escape the fate of those at Berghen who, with the exception of the governor and three chosen by him, all became prisoners of war, comprising five regiments of infantry and some cavalry. But they are greatly distressed over the illness of the Most Christian, who is said to be suffering from constant high fever, though by the last letters from Cales this seems to have abated somewhat owing to much letting of blood, which was taken in one day from both his Majesty's arm and leg. With care and the remedies applied they hope to hear soon of his complete recovery. News is expected that the English and French have begun the siege of some other important place, and as the letters from Flanders are delayed this week it is supposed that another coast town has been invested. They talk of Niuport, but nothing can be certain until news comes from the other side.
The cavalry for Dunkirk continues on its way, and more is being got ready to meet emergencies and be sent at the earliest possible moment to its destined post. A thousand foot are also fully equipped ready for embarcation to those parts. More will follow as they are required, the Protector being determined to send to Flanders a force sufficient to secure what has been taken and to facilitate further conquests for himself and his allies.
The Dutch ambassador, Niuport, who has been expected in London for several weeks, still tarries, nor is the reason known. He may be detained by the meeting at the Hague of all the States, and may not come on here until they have separated. When he comes he will undoubtedly bring matters of consequence, and I will try to find out all about them and make report to the Senate.
London, the 12th July, 1658.
Postcript. As I was sealing the above, letters arrived from Flanders reporting the capture by the English and French of Dismuda, a place of consideration, enabling them to scour the country and raise contributions; indeed, the allies can now penetrate almost as far as Brussels. After this success they are advancing on Ypre, with the hope of taking it soon. The ruler is delighted with this news, which I have thought it my duty to forward.
[Italian.]
July 13.
Senato,
Secreta.,
Dispacci,
Zurigo.
Venetian
Archives.
197. Paolo Sarotti, Venetian Secretary at Zurich, to the Doge and Senate.
After having remained here for more than four years, M. dt Pel, the resident of England, has been suddenly recalled by the Protector, without indicating a successor for him and without his knowing the motive for this resolution. Accordingly, he set out at once, apparently delighted to do so and with the hope that the Protector means to give him some better employment as he is very short of ministers in whom he can confide. This minister has always lived in friendly correspondence with me and has expressed to me great devotion to the most serene republic.
Zurich, the 13th July, 1658.
[Italian.]
July 14.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
198. Francesco Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
The Dutch ambassador visited me lately. About Dunkirk he expressed himself with great passion, accusing France of not knowing her own true interests and her real enemies. He intimated that to bridle Cromwell it will be necessary for the United Provinces to establish a neutrality with the other provinces of Flanders, the States having remained idle spectators of the affair of Dunkirk, without stirring a finger, to their extreme disgust and loss. Such a neutrality would be difficult to manage, and it is probably only an idea of the ambassador, not of his government.
Cales, the 14th July, 1658.
[Italian.]
July 19.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archive.
199. Francesco Giavarina, Venetian Resident in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The severity shown by the court of Justice, which latterly seemed to have slackened, has now been resumed and if anything increased. Besides those already sentenced and reprieved, six other alleged rebels have been condemned to death. Two suffered ignominiously the day before yesterday, being hanged, drawn and quartered. Three are to undergo the same fate to-day. The life of the sixth has been prolonged for some time by the Protector's authority, the order arriving after the executioner had actually passed the noose over his neck. (fn. 2) Some suspected of complicity in the late conspiracy and believed to be the ringleaders who originated and fomented the sedition plotted in the county of Sussex, not having been found at their homes or elsewhere in the kingdom, were recently summoned to give themselves up at London to clear themselves of the charge of rebellion. As they did not appear within the limits of time contained in the proclamation they have recently been proscribed for ever in all three kingdoms of England, Scotland and Ireland, without any loophole to afford them the slightest hope of returning to their homes during the present rule.
No further places in Flanders besides those already reported have been taken by the English and French forces. The illness of the Most Christian seems to have hindered further progress, much to the disgust of this government, which would like to be hearing of victories and triumphs at every moment. Nothing is known of the results of the advance of the allied armies on Ypre, as up to this moment no news has reached the Protector from the camp.
To render thanks to the Most High for the blessings He has been pleased to vouchsafe to their forces in the present campaign across the water the Council has set apart a day in the coming week to be spent in prayers and preaching, after the manner of this people.
The Protector has heard from General Montagu, who commands a strong squadron of warships in the Channel, that he had seized seven Dutch vessels in the Downs, because of suspicions he conceived at their appearance and stay in that place. His Highness at once sent express orders to release them and allow them to continue their voyage, as they have done without the slightest molestation. This incident will no doubt lead to remonstrances from the States, and when the Ambassador Niuport arrives we shall hear what they are. I will keep my eyes open in order to report everything to your Excellencies.
London, the 19th July, 1658.
[Italian.]
July 20.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Genoa.
Venetian
Archives.
200. Paris Tasca, Venetian Consul at Genoa, to the Doge and Senate.
Of the thirteen English frigates which were careening at Toulon, with the commander of the squadron have proceeded towards Leghorn; two have put in at this port to present a letter from the Protector Cromwell to the state here, and when they have received the answer they will leave to go after the others. The remaining five frigates of the squadron have remained at Toulon (fn. 3) to unite with the French ships which, to the number of twenty, are making ready with all speed to put to sea. In the meantime, by special orders from the Court, they are assembling a strong body of troops in Provence to be embarked upon these vessels, though what their intentions may be does not transpire.
The contents of the state letter from London was found to be very strong remonstrances because an English ship which was loading oil at Diano was allowed to be plundered on these coasts by Majorcans. The Signory replied that the ship had been taken by pirates at a place which has no fortress. As soon as they heard the news they sent out three galleys, but owing to unfavourable weather these were unable to do what they had been ordered.
Genoa, the 20th July, 1658.
[Italian.]
July 26.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
201. Francesco Giavarina, Venetian Resident in England, to the Doge and Senate.
On Saturday the Protector proceeded to Hampton Court with all the Court, and is staying there beyond his wont, which is to go there on the last day of every week and return to London on Monday. The absence of his Highness causes a truce to all business, since nothing is done that requires consideration. As the Council of State has been summoned to Hampton Court to hold its usual meetings there, the palace of Whitehall is left quite empty and is inhabited by no one at present except the guards. From the talk that one hears it is supposed that the Court will remain a long while in the country to enjoy the weather which has tempted everyone to go outside to enjoy the recreations and delights, leaving the city quite desolate.
It is believed that the Protector will stay at Hampton Court until Michaelmas, and if he comes to London in the interval it will only be for a few hours, so that in the two coming months there will be little hope for anyone to get on with his business, for when in the country they will not listen to any particular affairs unless their own interest and advantage are concerned. The foreign ministers who have business are distressed at this, especially the resident of Courland who now thinks that his hopes of a first audience have entirely vanished away, for which he has been languishing for six months, although the secretary of state held out hopes to him these last days. He complained bitterly of the delay, since as he is not yet properly accredited at this Court, no one will treat or converse with him, and he does not venture to show himself anywhere. He told me this himself the day before yesterday when I chanced to meet him in a certain passage. He took the opportunity to express the regard of his master for the republic, to which I made a suitable reply.
The absence of the Court has involved that of some of the foreign ministers. Some have already left London to divert themselves in pleasure resorts, some to drink medicinal waters, and some are about to set out for the same purpose. The French ambassador, who has most business at this court at present, is going in a few days to Tumbridge, 26 or 30 miles away, to drink the mineral waters there for his health's sake.
The court of Justice has not pronounced any more sentences. They met last Tuesday and dissolved without doing anything of moment besides a resolution not to resume their sittings until the 1st of November next. So that three whole months will pass before the numerous persons who are in prison under suspicion of rebellion and treason are brought to trial.
Before that date there may be another assembly. They say that before the end of next September a new parliament is to meet. They decided to convoke one many months ago but kept putting it off. It will not be postponed any longer because the great shortage of money and the need for raising immense sums to support their numerous naval and military forces make it a matter of the greatest urgency. Parliament is also necessary to devise a means for keeping the places conquered and those which they expect to take during the present campaign in Flanders, as well as the means for pursuing their enterprises with energy beyond the sea, and this will be considerable, to match the vast designs they have in mind, unless God grants the boon, so much desired, of a peace between the crowns; but this will always seem far away so long as the alliance between France and this power remains in force.
Parliament will also take up again the question of conferring the royal title on the Protector, which has been under discussion such a long time though nothing has yet been done. This time it is considered certain to be carried through. I know on good authority that the question was recently raised in the secret Council; when some were of opinion that the Protector will assume the title before parliament meets in virtue of the thrice repeated offer made in the past. Others maintain that this is not reasonable and that he must wait for the meeting since it would not do for him to affront so openly the authority of parliament after so many refusals, so it is evident there is an inclination that way and that in the end Cromwell will yield in order to conform with the wishes of the people.
The absence of further news from the armies in Flanders causes great astonishment and no one knows the reason. There is much talk but nothing to go upon as nothing definite is known about sieges or other operations. There is also the illness of the Most Christian, whose recovery has not been announced, indeed some talk of a relapse, and this may have afforded an opportunity to the English and French armies to recover from their hardships. There are two other reasons which may have stopped further progress. The first is some differences between the allies, since the French have entered Vinoxbergh and Forno, which the others claim, although of no great consequence, as well as Dixmuda, which is usually held by the ruler of the country. It is reported that General Locart has arrived, although it is absolutely denied at Court, either because it is not true or because they wish to keep it secret, and some assert that it is for this alone that the Council has been summoned to Hampton Court. If this is true there must be something, though it will be most difficult to find out what it is. The other reason is that the Spaniards have abandoned the open country and withdrawn to the important fortresses of Ipre, Niuport, Ostend and Bruges, and as these are well defended and supplied it may upset the plans of the allies. This also may have led to Locart's coming if he has come.
Some French who have been in Mardich since its capture, together with the English, have recently withdrawn by order of the Most Christian Court, so that place, like Dunkirk, is now entirely in the control of this government. The capitulations at the latter place are being scrupulously observed by the Governor Locart, much to the delight of the people there, who are pleased to see the soldiers punished who commit outrages in their churches and sacred places, and at being able to practise the Catholic faith without hindrance, making it likely that this will be continued, especially as the English have recalled the Jesuits whom the French expelled immediately after the surrender, in order to use their monasteries.
In the absence of letters from France this week I am without the ducal missives of the 22nd June. The failure is attributed to the curiosity of Cardinal Mazarini, as they say that his Eminence detained at Cales all the letters which should have reached London on Monday to see what was written from Paris about the king's illness and so discover the sentiments of the people, as he knows that the king's death has been reported by several ordinaries. I report this so that a duplicate may be sent and that I may receive the instructions which the Senate is pleased to send.
London, the 26th July, 1658.
[Italian.]
July 26.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Firenze.
Venetian
Archives.
202. Giuseppe Armeno, Venetian Consul at Leghorn, to the Doge and Senate.
The English Admiral Stocks, has left the port without saluting or being saluted, though he was treated courteously by the Grand Duke and the governor. In respect of the offence alleged to have been committed by the fortress Cromwell has demanded the punishment of the castellan, if he is found to be in the wrong. To pacify the resentment of one who makes himself so much respected and feared it is believed that the Grand Duke will despatch a gentleman to London, especially as there are some other claims to be settled for injuries inflicted by corsairs of Leghorn on English ships, for which Cromwell demands compensation.
So far as I can ascertain the deputies of the English nation are keeping quiet about the affair of the ship Angelo. Admiral Stocks is said to be going to Tripoli to co-operate with the French, with whom there is a good understanding.
Leghorn, the 26th July, 1658.
[Italian.]

Footnotes

1 Louis Sanguin, marquis de Livry. Avenel: Lettres du Card. Mazarin, Vol. viii, pp. 458, 476.
2 Col. Edward Ashton and John Betteley were executed on the 17th. Henry Fryer received a pardon when actually on the ladder. Edmund Stacey suffered on the 19th, but the other two, Sumner and Allen, were pardoned. Bernardi on 18 and 25 July. Atti della Societa Ligure di Storia Patria, Vol. xvi, pages 492–3. Mercurius Politicus July 1–8; 8–15.
3 Stoakes went to Leghorn with the Lyme, Torrington, Taunton, Dover, Guinea and a prize. He sent Whetstone to Toulon with the Fairfax, Bristol, Kent, Hampshire and Phoœnix. Thurloe: State Papers, Vol. vii, page 189. Brit. Mus. Add. MSS. 9304, on 29 June.


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