Venice
November 16584

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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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257-269

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'Venice: November 16584', Calendar of State Papers Relating to English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 31: 1657-1659 (1931), pp. 257-269. URL: http://british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=90016 Date accessed: 25 October 2014.


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November 1658

Nov. 1.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
235. Francesco Giavarina, Venetian Resident in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The conventicles among the army officers have not yet ceased, and as great differences have appeared among them it is impossible to say what will happen as the result of their meetings. It remains obscure and ambiguous whether it will be in favour of or contrary to the Protector's wishes. As Flitud seems indisposed to take the generalship one might imagine that all would be well for his Highness; but as the somewhat discontented officers persist in their determination to demand a new general, there is good reason for believing that he will have to gratify them. Meanwhile, as he has sent for his brother Henry from Ireland, those who profess to have an infallible knowledge of the Court secrets, maintain that he has been summoned entirely to have the disputed office conferred upon him. This conjecture is not at all unlikely as Henry has always been much more popular with the army than Richard, and in this way it might be possible to give satisfaction to the ruffled officers and to further the interests of the Protector, as if the office is kept in the family and Henry does not waver in his affection (and he seems entirely devoted to the interests of his brother), it would be equivalent to both of them possessing it, and in this way the Protector would be relieved of the many intrigues, embarrassments and unpleasantnesses involved in the office and confident in the loyalty and benevolence of his brother, would be able to lead a quiet and tranquil life.
In spite of all this many are of opinion that the present innovations have been introduced designedly, and that Flitud and Desbero, Richard's brother-in-law and uncle, the leaders and promoters of these imbroglios, have started them in order to find out the sentiments of the officers and penetrating by this device into the very marrow of their thoughts, find out with absolute certainty if the protestations made by them are to be trusted, and to learn definitely who are really well disposed towards the Protector and who are undecided as to what course they shall pursue.
The time for choosing the new mayor for the city of London having arrived, the corporation has elected Sir John Jereton, one of the aldermen, who was presented to the Protector the day before yesterday for confirmation. Being approved in the usual way, he will enter upon his office a week hence with great pomp, which is customary at such functions.
In obedience to the orders of the government, last Wednesday was spent as a day of fasting and humiliation, which was celebrated in all England, and in Scotland and Ireland as well, submitting to the Divine will in the loss of the Protector Oliver and imploring God's grace and favour for the government of his successor Richard.
The Dutch ambassador Niuport had his second audience a week ago, but his departure for the Hague seems uncertain, or it is at least deferred, the reason not being known and nothing has transpired about the reason for seeing the Protector again. M. di Bordeos, the French ambassador, had audience on the Monday following, presenting two letters, one from the king and the other from the cardinal. Although they reached him some weeks ago he was unable to deliver them to the Protector owing to indisposition which confined him to his room for some days. His office was to express the sentiments of the king and his minister on the death of the late Protector and the accession of the present one, and their desire to continue the most intimate and friendly relations, to which his Highness made a suitable reply. To-day a minister of Sweden (fn. 1) has audience. He has newly arrived in London with the character of envoy extraordinary. He comes to offer condolences and congratulations. Other public ministers who have received fresh letters of credence from their masters, an envoy of the duke of Holstein (fn. 2) and a deputy of the city of Bremen, who arrived in Court these last days, are waiting for audience to perform the same offices, besides which these last two are apparently to implore the protection of this government.
London, the 1st November, 1658.
Postscript: When sealing the above the ducal missives of the 11th ult. reached me, with letters for the Protector. I will try to present them at the earliest opportunity, speaking as instructed by your Excellencies. I can say no more about the affair of Arson and Dorat as the vacation only ends to-morrow. When the court opens it will be possible to go on to a successful issue, of which the lawyers here give me good hope.
[Italian.]
Nov. 1.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Firenze.
Venetian
Archives.
236. Giuseppe Armeno, Venetian Consul at Leghorn, to the Doge and Senate.
Captain Rand landed from the Angelo, at the Lazaretto here, Colonel Lombardi, with 12 Greek soldiers, an Albanian captain, and 26 soldiers of other nations. Eight have gone to London and four remained on the ship, in which the Captain detains Sig. Alessandro Zane under the pretext of serious injury done to him, for which he demands compensation. Remonstrance has no effect on the English merchants here, as they say that the matter has been reported to London and they must await the reply.
Leghorn, the 1st November, 1658.
[Italian.
Nov. 5.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Spagna.
Venetian
Archives.
237. Francesco Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
After the Court had left the Ambassador Locart returned to his government at Dunkirk, as he does not like living in Paris.
Paris, the 5th November, 1658.
[Italian.
Nov. 8.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
238. Francesco Giavarina, Venetian Resident in England, to the Doge and Senate.
Although the conclusion of the meeting of the army officers has not yet appeared, it seems probable that no disturbance will result therefrom, as by procrastinating the Protector, aided by his representations and threats, has succeeded in forcing the malcontents to waive their opinions, and as these were by no means good, they could only generate evil consequences. These meetings, which used to be daily, are now only held once a week, and since it seems that they do not now speak with so much passion on the question of` the generalship, there is good reason to suppose that they are not disinclined to let it lapse, and so, for this time, the industry and vigilance of the Protector will have prevailed over the malice and insolence of the officers. The payment made to the army recently may easily have contributed much to this momentous change in the feelings of the malcontents, aided, no doubt, by a resolution lately passed in the Council to pay the troops all that is due to them, and to make arrangements that they shall receive in the future what is due to them without the slightest difficulty or delay.
Since this change became noticeable they do not speak so freely about the Protector's brother Henry coming from Ireland, and this may be abandoned altogether or at least postponed, until they see which way things are going, namely, whether the question is quite settled and forgotten, or become more troublesome; but many believe that it will be passed over in silence and that everything will go on as before. Time alone will show.
Leaving his governorship at Dunkirk Sir [William] Locart had time to pay his respects to the Most Christian and Cardinal Mazarini at Paris and have some conference with them about the plans for the coming campaign before the Court set out for Lyon, as they are still anxious here to complete what they were not able to do this year. I hear some talk of plans for sending considerable reinforcements to the squadron of their ships in the Mediterranean, in order to carry into effect their agreement for joint operations with the French in our province, which I have already indicated and need not repeat. I will watch closely what is done in the matter and report faithfully what I learn.
They are keeping some ships of war in the ports here, fully equipped and ready to sail as soon as the weather permits. Their probable destination is the Spanish coasts, to watch for the coming of the gold fleet, which the Catholic is expecting from the Indies, either at the end of December next or at the beginning of January, according to their reckoning here. The Spaniards feel confident that with its own strength and with the reinforcement of a fleet which they propose to send out of Cadiz to meet it and escort it home, it will strike such terror into the English frigates, which they imagine to be few in numbers, that they will not venture to attack it. However that may be they claim here to be strong enough to attack and that is why they are sending a strong squadron of ships to those coasts in good time. A portion of these will remain in the Bay to prevent the fleet from leaving Cadiz, and the others will cruise about to prevent the fleet from getting through, and if they meet it will dispute the passage and attempt to capture it. That would be an event of first class importance, both from the wealth it would bring and for the additional weakness it would mean for the monarchy of Spain, already languishing, and far from beneficial for the entire house of Austria.
Sir [George] Aschiu is on the point of starting for the Baltic, escorted by two good warships of this nation. (fn. 3) He has been engaged by the Swedish ministers here for the service of their master for a high naval appointment adequate to his skill and worth, for he has few equals in naval experience or in operations of war. He takes with him a number of valiant captains and other naval officers for employment in the Swedish navy, which is short of men with experience, and all are enlisted by the king of Sweden and draw their pay from him.
Some 1000 Spanish horse, coming out from St. Omer, have surprised from 2 to 300 English and Scottish infantry between Mardich and Gravelines, who were marching to recruit one of their regiments in the service of the Most Christian, taking them all prisoner, to the extreme disgust of this state. (fn. 4)
In obedience to my instructions, I have asked for audience to present your Serenity's letter to the Protector. I hope to obtain it next week, and in that case I will report upon it in my next.
London, the 8th November, 1658.
[Italian.]
Nov. 9.
Senato,
Secrete.
Deliberazioni.
Corti.
Venetian
Archives.
239. To the Resident in England.
Upon the matter of the ship Angelo. The Consul Armano reports that the captain has landed the soldiers but detains Commander Zane. He is to obtain audience at once of the Protector and represent how the English ships and goods had been released at once, except the persons and goods of Turks, even before orders had reached the Captain General. The captain behaved very badly in escaping from the fleet and carrying away troops at a time of great need, and in taking captive the commander. He had no cause to act thus, but it is quite clear that his sole object was to get possession of the goods in question. He is to make strong representations for the release of the commander and of the Turkish goods. The captain can have no claim to them himself, and if he claims anything, he shall have justice, but it is not right or proper that he should take the law into his own hands. All the merchants at Venice detest so improper and violent an action. He is to try and get the captain punished, for the sake of the example.
Ayes, 99. Noes, 0. Neutral, 1.
[Italian.]
Nov. 15.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
240. Francesco Giavarina, Venetian Resident in England, to the Doge and Senate.
They are unable to despatch anything speedily at this Court, and when every decision involves so much delay and meets with so many obstacles it produces a situation as tiresome and tedious as it is remarkable. Thus the thorny question of the generalship still remains unsettled, and no one can guess what the issue will be. It is true that the meetings of the disaffected officers are less frequent than they used to be, but as they are not given up there is still good reason for apprehension until they have ceased altogether. By representations and threats the Protector is able to persuade some to abandon their wrong headed opinions, but others offer an obstinate and uncomprimising resistance. He on his side is determined not to give way and to maintain what his father has left him, and to assert himself by force if he is provoked further. Thus this question which seemed much softened last week, is not a little inflamed in this and may even yet provoke some strange and unexpected accident. However, there is nothing definite to go upon until these meetings cease, and it is desirable that they should conclude in a manner conformable to the wishes of his Highness, if these realms are to avoid fresh conflagrations, by which they have been overmuch afflicted and exhausted.
It being recognised as necessary that parliament should be summoned to deal with present emergencies, to find some means of collecting money, of which the exchequer is bare, and to provide for all that is necessary to carry on the war with Spain as well as the other numerous obligations with which they are charged, the government is desirous that it should assemble at the earliest possible date. It is not considered proper that it should meet before the body of the late Protector is buried, and so the meeting is deferred because they have not yet been able to get ready all the things required for that function. We hear, however, that everything is practically ready now for the funeral, which will be most stately, and it is expected to take place next week, when the foreign ministers are expected to be invited to take part.
I have received confirmation of the intention to reinforce the squadron of English ships in the Mediterranean. As this cannot happen before the spring the reinforcement will serve for carrying into effect the designs arranged in concert with France, and to watch over and protect the merchantmen of this nation from possible attacks of the corsairs of Majorca, and those which are left of the squadron of Monte Sarchio from Naples.
Meanwhile, they are eagerly waiting for news of the numerous and well equipped fleet recently sent by the Dutch to the Baltic. Some contend that it is to fight the Swedes, others that it has orders from the States merely to introduce the troops on board into Copenhagen, without engaging the Swedish fleet. A ship which has recently arrived in England from the Sound sighted the Dutch fleet at no great distance from that passage where the ships of Sweden were waiting to dispute the way, and this makes them the more eager for news from that quarter. It is of great importance since it is quite likely that on the issue of that affair will depend a rupture or the maintenance of the peace between the Dutch and this country, as if the Swedes come to a conflict with the Dutch it is much to be feared that the clash of arms will spread to the Channel here between the English and the States. Yet the Ambassador Niuport remains in London, and his journey to the Hague seems to be put off or given up. Lack of money, however, may restrain this government from breaking the peace, though it would not be unwelcome to the merchants of this mart provided it was preceded by an adjustment with Spain, for which they are passionately eager.
Although various foreign ministers were expecting audience of the Protector last week to present new credentials, only the Portuguese ambassador has succeeded in getting his wish, and he is to see his Highness to-day. The others, including myself, will have to wait before they can fulfil their instructions until after the interment of the late Protector, the most serious preoccupations which at present weigh upon Richard having prevented the granting of any other audiences, although they were as good as promised.
London, the 15th November, 1658.
[Italian.]
Nov. 15.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci.
Firenze.
Venetian.
Archives.
241. Giuseppe Armeno, Venetian Consul at Leghorn, to the Doge and Senate.
The offices of your Serenity with the Grand Duke may obtain the release of Commander Zane. The English captain keeps outside, beyond the range of the guns. All the English here disapprove of his action. But this Captain Rand now excuses himself on the ground that he has reported to London, and that without orders and an answer he can do nothing.
Leghorn, the 15th November, 1658.
[Italian.]
Nov. 22.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
242. Francesco Giavarina, Venetian Resident in England, to the Doge and Senate.
In obedience to your Serenity's instructions of the 11th October, and following the example of the other foreign ministers, I also asked audience to present my new credentials to his Highness. Yesterday at 2 in the afternoon was appointed for me. They observed all the formalities customary with the residents of crowned heads. Five six-horse coaches of the palace came to fetch me to Whitehall, and more followed as well as several gentlemen to show respect to the republic. I was introduced by the master of the ceremonies, Fleming, to the Protector. I presented him the letter, and told him of the grief of the republic at his father's death and its satisfaction at his accession, with wishes for the utmost felicity. I enlarged on the desire of the Senate to continue and increase the friendly relations enjoyed with his father and their desire to show their regard and esteem for him and all this most noble nation, and their assurance that he would reciprocate these feelings.
The Protector replied expressing his esteem for the republic and his cordial thanks. Your Excellencies had lost a sincere friend in his father, who had always professed the highest regard for that most august republic, the sole bulwark of Christendom against a powerful and formidable enemy. With regard to friendly relations he said that what was single in his father would be threefold in himself. He would always be ready to give proof of this and to join forces against the common enemy, and that whenever your minister chose to ask he would appoint commissioners of his Council to hear and weigh any proposals and commissions which I might have to impart from time to time. He also spoke of the satisfaction of the government at the manner in which I discharged my office, with more to the same purpose, showing his friendly disposition. After this I was taken back by the palace coaches and the whole company.
Verily his Highness could not have shown a more friendly disposition. The point is whether the declarations which came so easily proceeded from a pure heart, free from affectation and dissimulation, and it would be a great thing if these fair words were matched by deeds. There is no doubt that his reply was premeditated and discussed beforehand, since before I was admitted he saw my exposition, in the usual way. I devoutly hope it was sincere, but I would not venture to affirm it. He has the same obligations as his father and the same reasons which impelled Oliver not to refuse absolutely, but to apologise for the impossibility of succouring your Excellencies, militate as strongly now, and Richard has not given any indication that he wishes to come to an open rupture with the Turks unless they afford the provocation, to the injury of so many of his subjects and the prejudice of a trade which brings such profit to the nation and brings in so much money to the exchequer through the duties paid on all goods coming from the Ottoman dominions.
As in duty bound I must give your Serenity my humble opinion upon this particular. This government is very anxious that the new Protector should be recognised by all the foreign powers by the despatch of ambassadors extraordinary. In a former despatch I reported the intimation made by the government to all the foreign ministers. Perceiving that no one has yet taken this step, not even their closest allies, they are afraid that their pretensions will prove empty. Prance has discussed the matter, but the Court has since left for Lyon without coming to any decision, putting it off and getting M. de Bordeos to perform the necessary offices in the mean time. Sweden has charged a gentleman who was in Flanders travelling about for his own amusement, (fn. 5) to proceed to England and perform the formalities. He was certainly sent on purpose, but he only has the character of envoy extraordinary, not of ambassador. Denmark so far has not even sent fresh credentials to his resident. Portugal got his ambassador to act, and we hear nothing of any other mission. Holland has done no more than write and instruct Niuport to perform the office. In short, no one has yet appointed the mission which they so eagerly desire here. As they fear that delay will bring forgetfulness and that nothing will be done to satisfy the pretensions of this government, I think one may conjecture that the Protector made his declaration rather as an inducement for your Serenity to take a step which would serve as an example, than from any real inclination to do what he said, and once he has got what he wants they will do nothing in respect of the offers, as has happened before. I feel sure that this is the real object of the Protector's remarks and the absence of any indication that the government desires a rupture with the Turks serves to confirm my conviction. I leave the matter to the wisdom of the state, ready to fulfil any instructions that may be sent to me.
(fn. 6)
Besides the palace coaches, ten or twelve others, also six-horsed, took part in the function recorded above. According to the custom I had to give gratuities to all, to the Protector's footmen and others. On returning from the audience I could not avoid another custom, even for ministers of inferior rank, in offering a collation of sweetmeats to the gentlemen of the palace and others who accompanied me. The total expense will not exceed 25l. sterling, which I hope will be allowed as extraordinary expenditure, as my private purse is exhausted by maintaining this charge with becoming dignity.
London, the 22nd November, 1658.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Nov. 22.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
243. Francesco Giavarina, Venetion Resident in England, to the Doge and Senate.
After mine yesterday the envoy of the duke of Holstein had audience of the Protector in the evening. He is a leading gentleman of the country. Although he made strenuous efforts to be treated like your Serenity's minister, employing the offices of the Swedish ministers, whose master has married the duke's daughter, he was dealt with very differently, as he was conducted to Whitehall by only two palace coaches and by a simple gentleman.
While I was returning home and Holstein was on his way to the palace, the Protector saw the gentleman who acts as delegate for Hamburg and all the Hanse Towns; but though he has waited five months for his first audience he was not fetched or taken back, and there were no formalities of any kind.
No adjustment of the differences between the Protector and the army officers has yet taken place and there is no sign of one; no one can foretell the issue of this thorny and important question.
Last Saturday it was arranged at the palace that the funeral of the late Protector should take place on the following Tuesday, but a few hours later it was put off because everything was not ready for the function. But those outside will have it the postponement is due to the fear of some disturbance on that day, as a quantity of gentlemen have come to the city on purpose to see the funeral, and many of these are attached to the interests of King Charles, who had been withdrawn to their country houses. It was feared that the occasion might be propitious for them to make some disturbance, and accordingly they postponed the ceremony. It is not known when it will take place, indeed, many assert that it is not only postponed but given up altogether, in spite of all the preparations and expense, as they would rather have it privately with quiet than ceremoniously with a disturbance. Time will show. Meanwhile, two persons of rank, (fn. 7) considered to be likely to cause some disturbance, have recently been sent to the Tower. Others are being watched, and many others may easily be imprisoned upon similar suspicion.
The eagerness of the government here for news of the king of Sweden's doing in Denmark is matched by their distress at the tarrying of the news which they are extremely anxious to hear.
London, the 22nd November, 1658.
[Italian.]
Nov. 29.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
244. Francesco Giavarina, Venetian Resident in England, to the Doge and Senate.
This government is more anxious for news of the king of Sweden's doings in Denmark than anything else. It has been able to satisfy its curiosity with the last post from those parts as it brings recent letters relating that the Dutch fleet had not only succeeded in throwing a very respectable body of troops into Copenhagen, but had also engaged the Swedish fleet in an action which lasted all day on the 29th ult. with no little bloodshed on both sides. (fn. 8) On which side victory remained cannot be ascertained with certainty. The ministers of Denmark and Holland here claim it for theirs and show letters confirming this. The Swedish ministers deny it and assert that the Dutch fleet had the worst of it, showing papers to justify their assertion. The government has had a full account of the affair inserted in the ordinary prints of the week, said to have come from the English minister with the Swede, which favours the Swedes rather than the Danes. So the real facts cannot be ascertained, and further letters are impatiently awaited to lighten the darkness and ambiguity which envelop the affair.
Be that as it may, since the arrival of the news the Council here has spent many hours in long discussions, after which they decided to send a squadron of 25 well furnished ships of war to the Sound. These are the ones which were to have sailed for the coasts of Spain, and they will have to find others to send there unless they wish to give the Spanish silver fleet a free passage. This squadron is commanded by Admiral Gudson, and if he did not sail yesterday evening he is only waiting for a favourable wind to leave the Downs. His instructions from the government were handed to him under seal with orders not to open them until he reaches the coast of Dunkirk, when they will regulate his action.
The Dutch ambassador is astonished at the Protector's decision to send this powerful reinforcement to the Swede, especially as he had previously assured his masters that they might succour Denmark with an easy mind, as he saw no sign that Sweden would get anything but words from here; but he was quite wrong. Those who were ready to predict from the proceedings of the Dutch fleet at the Sound whether there would be peace or war between England and the States, since this action are more confident than ever of war between these two neighbours. Although at Whitehall they announce that this expedition will do nothing to prejudice the friendship and good relations with the Dutch, and that it is merely to thwart the intrigues over the Baltic made by the House of Austria jointly with the Spaniards, the Dutch and some of the princes of Germany, yet I have learned definitely on good authority that the government has sent orders to Douning, the English resident at the Hague, to withdraw with the utmost promptitude and secrecy the capital which the merchants of this country hold in the Dutch dominions, which is only too evident a sign that the peace will soon be broken.
As the Ambassador Bordeos sent off his secretary la Bastida to France this week with all speed, it is confidently believed that the reason is to communicate to the king the decision of this government to assist the Swedes so vigorously, and to urge Mazarini to take similar measures by virtue of promises already given and to fulfil the agreements made together.
Although at the palace they frankly admit the reinforcement sent by the Protector to Sweden, yet there are some who assert that the squadron in question only has orders to go to the coasts of Spain, and that the other report is spread to give confidence to the Spaniards and encourage them to let their silver fleet sail without fear of the English. But since it is known that all the sailors with most knowledge of the Baltic have gone with this squadron, that should be sufficient evidence that it will not go elsewhere than to the Sound. It cannot be long before the question is placed beyond a doubt.
Sir [William] Locart is expected in London from Dunkirk from one day to another. He returned to that town from France a little while ago, and if he had not had a strong cavalry escort he would have fallen into an ambush laid for him by a portion of the garrison of St. Omer. During his absence from Dunkirk, one market day, the troops there robbed all the peasants who had gone there with provisions in the usual way, and other disorderliness also occurred among the garrison, which cannot be called a good sign.
It is announced that the funeral of the late Protector will take place next week, but this is not yet certain. These last days the resident of Denmark had audience of the new Protector, to whom he presented letters from his king. The resident of Florence was to have had his on Wednesday after dinner. He received warning from the master of the ceremonies, but was kept waiting until night, and never went, so he has not yet had it. He complains about this, but without hope of satisfaction, as there is no sort of order here in anything.
London, the 29th November, 1658.
[Italian.]
Nov. 30.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Corti.
Venetian
Archives.
245. To the Resident in England.
Acknowledge receipt of his letters. He will do well to procure audience of the Protector to present the letters of credence and the Senate will be glad to hear how it passed off and what reply his Highness gave. From the Consul Armeno at Leghorn the Senate learns that there is some hope the captain of the ship Angelo may decide to land the Commander Zane and set him at liberty.
Ayes, 139. Noes, 0. Neutral, 5.
[Italian.]

Footnotes

1 Sir Gustavus Duval. Mercurius Politicus, Nov. 11–8.
2 In the Council proceedings he is called M. Kilman. Cal. S.P. Dom., 1658–9, page 227.
3 He sailed in the Maidstone, Capt. Thomas Penrose, and the Essex was appointed for convoy. Cal. S.P. Dom., 1658–9, page 182.
4 On Tuesday, 28 October, only 2 miles from Mardick. They were recruits marching to join the regiment of Sir Herbert Lunsford. Mercurius Politicus, Oct. 21–8.
5 Sir Gustavus Duval.
6 The text to this point printed by Barozzi e Berchet: Relazioni, Inghilterra, pages 411–3.
7 Francis Lovelace and Arthur Arscott, sent to the Tower on 6–16 November for high treason. Thurloe: State Papers, Vol. vii, pages 598–9.
8 This date is old style. The action took place in the Sound, the Dutch being commanded by Opdam.