Venice
January 1669

Sponsor

Institute of Historical Research

Publication

Author

Allen B. Hinds (editor)

Year published

1937

Pages

1-9

Annotate

Comment on this article
Double click anywhere on the text to add an annotation in-line

Citation Show another format:

'Venice: January 1669', Calendar of State Papers Relating to English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 36: 1669-1670 (1937), pp. 1-9. URL: http://british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=90257 Date accessed: 22 September 2014.


Highlight

(Min 3 characters)

January 1669

1669.
Jan. 4.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
1. Piero Mocenigo, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
At my audience I did not dwell for long on the motives which had induced me to ask for it. I first of all thanked his Majesty for the commissions to Harvis and for what had been done for Delfino. (fn. 1) The king replied that he had been glad to oblige your Serenity, directing Harvis to conform in all occurrences to the wishes of the republic's minister at Constantinople. I said then that the Senate relied on evidences of his regard in a matter so important as the defence of Candia. I cited the example of Rome, Germany, France and even Malta, urging him not to wait for the declarations of the Dutch, but to act speedily before the winter was over. The king assured me of his readiness to act upon the decree which had been communicated to me, and when I repeated some of the arguments he said he was very well informed of the importance of the cause and when he had the opportunity he would gladly show his esteem for your Excellencies.
When I saw Arlington later and expressed amazement at Temple delaying so long to carry out the repeated commissions of his Majesty, he said that Temple was so taken up with the affairs of the alliance and exceptional incidents of the sea, that he deserved to be pitied; but he would again urge him to confer with the Pensionary Vit and the replies were certain to come.
From these good intentions Arlington went on to speak of the jealousy caused by the operations of France, her strength at sea and her predominance on land, where, on every occasion, the king here found himself obliged with the other allies to oppose all changes with arms in their hands. I said I hoped there was no fear of this, but even if there was some trouble it ought not to be bad enough to prevent the succour, because of the importance of the cause. This crown already maintained a squadron of fourteen ships in the Mediterranean, and these might easily and without inconvenience proceed to the Archipelago under the flag of St. Mark. Arlington retired behind his usual defence and said that considerations of the Levant trade spoiled everything.
This is what I have got from my audience of the king and visit to Arlington. Though my offices have obtained the decree and the declaration reported I regret that my warmth cannot extend as far as Holland to inflame the Ambassador Temple as I could wish, though I do not neglect to keep the Secretary Marchesini informed.
I am still waiting for the ducali of the 30th, which I have not yet seen. There is nothing fresh in the matter of my visits with the Spanish ambassador, Colbert still adhering to his opinion and Molina says that the meeting matters little and it is better to forget it rather than bow to the will of France. To keep up good correspondence I sent a gentleman with good wishes for the season, so that the interruption of visits does not affect civilities, and even if the question remains unsettled your Serenity's minister will have upheld his position and at the same time have cultivated the most perfect relations with those of the crowns.
London, the 4th January, 1668. [M.V.]
[Italian.]
Jan. 4.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
2. Piero Mocenigo, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
Anxiety about the continuance of the triple alliance steadily increases in proportion to the danger of its breaking up, and the fear that they will all very soon be under the necessity of maintaining by arms what was established by negotiation in the last peace between the crowns. England and Holland having shown a readiness by their offices and undertakings to satisfy Sweden for the debt claimed from the Spaniards, it seems that the intimate circumstances of the alliance itself (fn. 2) jealousy caused by France, leaves them all united in great watchfulness. Some assembly of troops of the Most Christian and an abundant provision of cannon and munitions of war at Arras is reported at a time when the French deputies at Lille, after exchanging civilities with the Spaniards, have recently cut short the negotiations by announcing the confines of the new conquests. Moreover the power of France (fn. 2) move from La Rochelle of the Count of Estrees with six ships of war, increases the fear that the peace will not last long. (fn. 3) The abundant provision made there causes great searching of heart as it indicates a long voyage and a secret intention to make important surprises in America.
Amid these considerations Sweden is being watched. Holland is busy and England anxious, foreseeing that in case of a rupture they are obliged to come in, for the maintenance of what has been established (fn. 2) with excessive charge for important armaments. This is what troubles England, reduced as she is by the recent blows suffered in the encounters with the Dutch. The king foreseeing the danger of subjecting the patience of parliament to fresh outlay, has postponed their meeting until the 19th of October next, when it was appointed for the 1st of March. It is urgent necessity alone which has reduced him to have recourse to this last remedy, although it is a great proof from the slight (fn. 4) to fresh demands.
The Dutch who are not so short of ready money and more ready to meet emergencies, seem determined to arm forty ships of war for the coming season. This is what they are discussing in the Council and considering in the cabinets; but God grant that their fear is only magnifying shadows.
If the news recently come from San Christoforo is confirmed, occasions for trouble will be removed, but not a certain amount of ill feeling, which is entertained here against France because of the delay in restoring half of the island. It is understood that the French have obeyed the orders of the Most Christian, abandoning the position, which they had left there with nothing but the bare soil (fn. 4) carrying away the rest, destroying the houses and laying waste the country, seeing that the English have refused to give them the benefit of any improvement.
Other news comes from America of a landing and surprise made by the English of Jamaica at Porto Vello in Peru. When the Spanish ambassador has received more definite information about it he is preparing to make complaint and ask for reparation.
From Sweden there are coming here (fn. 4) for Portugal, Count Oxesterne who has brought letters for the king here, so that, jointly with Holland they may be mediators with Muscovy and adjust the differences, because of charges which that crown pretends are being laid upon it by the Grand Duke. Oxesterne does not know if he is to wait for an answer and the decision, seeing that the usual resident is here, (fn. 5) and it seems that he is thinking of continuing his voyage to Lisbon very soon.
The envoy of Portugal (fn. 6) remains idle in London and has no commissions except to cultivate good relations. A minister of the Court has in his hands a letter with news which is claimed to be known to the king of France alone, which is that King Alfonso of Portugal has been dead for four months, by the work of his brother, Don Pietro, who has the house still guarded by the usual guards and the apartments by three trusty persons who keep the secret. This has reached me at second hand.
London, the 4th January, 1668. [M.V.]
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Jan. 11.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
3. Piero Mocenigo, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
With the rapid passage of time my impatience grows at being prevented from doing anything for succour to Candia. Your Serenity's appreciation adds to my confusion, as I am hardly able to play my own part, without speaking of extending my efforts elsewhere. I have, however, had a long conversation with the Dutch ambassador about help for your Serenity. He assured me that whenever the question was raised in Holland the most prompt results would appear, but he evaded my suggestion that he should write and urge them to make a declaration. From this I conclude that they want to have the ministers and the negotiations at the Hague, and so I have the mortification of being unable to act by means of Borel, with Marchesini far away. Personally I should not object to sharing the credit provided that great succours reached your Serenity.
In addition to the advices contained in the ducali about fears for Dalmatia I have received others this week of the events of
(fn. 7) [which] I communicated to the duke of Hiorch, as a sign of confidence, to move him to urge the king to help. I congratulated the French ambassador on the safe arrival of the volunteers. I have increased friendly relations with the Spanish ambassador and am cultivating the Secretary Arlinton until the arrival of the replies from Holland, for which I am pressing. They do not come but I must admit that other impediments stand in the way and that public affairs are holding back the Ambassador Temple from his conversations with the Pensionary Vit.
Public report increases the fear about the instability of the peace between France and Spain. That your Excellencies may see how this affects the question of succour I will enlarge only upon the apprehension of the powers of the triple alliance, who are in danger of losing by the suspension (fn. 7) the quiet of the peace to which they are so much attached. Sweden, influenced by the debt due from Spain, will join with the allies if it proves profitable, and the king of England, more apprehensive about the danger of trying the patience of his own subjects by new taxes than by jealousy of the progress of France, will be induced very reluctantly to have recourse to parliament. Thus the Dutch will find it necessary (fn. 7) the others. They have directed the Ambassador Borel to stay on here at Court, and yesterday he came to tell me about it. But the Spanish ambassador values such diligence very slightly, and has still less confidence in support in case of need, having no better opinion of this alliance than of the others, which generally consist of noise rather than of substance.
The noise, however, has roused the French ambassador, who told me that he was afraid that in the (fn. 8) the Protestant princes of Germany, Brandenburg, Saxony and in particular the princes of the circle of Westphalia and he feared that the emperor himself, who ought to make himself head of a Christian league, would enter as chief of an alliance of heretics.
The French having restored half of the island of San Christoforo in the condition reported, Colbert told me that they have no reason to complain here. It was arranged at Breda that the English should pay for the improvements; but as the treaty was in Latin and the word bona was used he said that the English pretended that the word signified moveables and not immovables, and that they were not bound to make any payment for the latter. In spite of this the English complain about it, and the proposal for reciprocal trade between the two countries grows ever more remote. Colbert is unable to accept what they would prefer
(fn. 8) gain the lead in trade from Holland, rather than take the sea trade jointly with France, winning for themselves such advantage and glory.
Finally, Colbert told me that for the election of the king of Poland the Most Christian having gone to the utmost limit in favour of Neuburgh without result, would give his support to the prince of Condé, and it would be greatly to the advantage of the most serene republic to have a king in that country who would combine for the hurt of the common enemy.
London, the 11th January, 1668. [M.V.]
[Italian.]
Jan. 18.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
4. Piero Mocenigo, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The Ambassador Temple has at last written from the Hague that he has conferred with the Pensionary Vit about the matter of succour for your Serenity. I reckon that this is the result of my last conversation with the Secretary Arlinton, since it becomes more and more clear that the first commissions met with other opposition besides the unsuitableness of the time and Temple's occupations. In his desire to serve the republic Arlinton immediately communicated to me the contents of the letters from the Hague, regretting that the Pensionary Vit could not hasten the resolutions by definite replies. When Temple spoke of the readiness of the king here to join with the States in succouring the republic, the Pensionary declared that Holland had the same good will. He promised to lay the matter before the next Assembly General of the Provinces, and to report their resolutions forthwith so as to act with equal solicitude. I thanked Arlinton for the communication and urged him to move the king to set the example himself. Arlinton answered that by acting jointly with the Dutch the king claimed to surpass them in his regard for the republic, as this country had a positive treaty of peace with the Porte while Holland was not committed at all, so that they were drawing down on themselves alone the vindictive wrath of the Turks. He went on to say that no country had such rich and abundant capital in the states of the Ottoman, by a long way, as England, and that was why they contemplated joint action. He would write again to Temple and your Excellencies should have the Pensionary Vit solicited, because the resolution of the States will give life to what his Majesty can do.
I bowed to his arguments of necessity, but if it has taken so much time for this conversation with Temple I do not know how long it will be necessary to wait for the operations of Vit, as I do not know what means he has of himself to stir the States to help though he has always seemed most forward when appealed to; and though I will do what I can with the Ambassador Borel here, I know that the impulse is too cold where they need the live voice of a zealous minister.
I am also afraid that the anxiety about a rupture of the peace between the crowns will damp their good will towards succour. But the Spaniards have warmed up and being dictated to by necessity, show themselves ready to pay the debt for the troops of Brem. Corresponding with their efforts to tighten the alliance it is suspected that the French are constantly doing their best to dissolve it. Treating with all the parties they tell one that they have confidential relations with the others, showing papers and proposals that are expected, whereby they stir up jealousy and try to divide the members of this body, which has nothing but a shadow, incapable of resisting when the fire of war is lighted. In Holland they are expecting the baron dell' Isola, ambassador of the emperor, and the opinion is strengthened that he will express the good will of the emperor to enter the triple alliance. It is believed that Isola will come to this Court also.
The French ambassador has told me that the Most Christian, not having found his words sufficient to persuade the duke of Lorraine to cease hostilities and receive an accommodation with the Palatine, has sent 6000 men in that direction, to be followed by a like number (fn. 9) the forces which he cannot keep on foot by virtue of the last treaties concluded with him. The move is known, but not the event or its object. Your Serenity will be informed of these from the proper quarter. After many months and various discussions of the differences between England and Denmark, while the latter has continued to exact extraordinary tolls from the ships of this nation, the king has learned from Copenhagen that the satisfaction requested has been denied. There is some idea that reprisals may be permitted against the ships of the king of Denmark.
London, the 18th January, 1668. [M.V.]
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Jan. 25.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
5. Piero Mocenigo, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The affairs of the North and the bordering princes being brought to a dangerous pitch, between the doubts of a tottering peace and the dread of a war at hand, curiosity knows no restraint. All are agreed that political thieves had a hand in the two noted robberies which took place near Brussels, and that the prince who rules in those parts is not to be blamed, but that he suffers from the propinquity of others.
From the ducali of the 27th December I learn the loss of mine of the 23rd and 30th November, of which I enclose duplicates as I will of another which I fear is also lost by the robbery of the third courier in Flanders. With the uncertainty of transit and the danger of loss, it behoves me to postpone advices from here and to repeat things out of season. I shall also make a more frequent use of the cipher.
I will make use of the advices sent, drawing attention to the important diversion (fn. 10) Turks introduced (fn. 10) If I have not obtained succour I have at least followed the path laid out for me, to unite suavity with importunity as I shall continue to do.
The instructions about Harvis have been punctually carried out. My insistence to have fresh commissions sent to him was to show the republic's true regard for this crown and to remove the bad impression which was derived from Leghorn. (fn. 11)
Fully primed with all the reasons which should induce the Lords States to withdraw the sequestration made by Sautino upon the money & effects of the most serene republic at Amsterdam, I went to see the Dutch ambassador. I found him already informed about the matter and fully impressed with the propriety of giving satisfaction to your Serenity. He promised to write to his masters, rather to gratify me than from any need. He said there was no doubt of their obliging the Senate, especially in this claim of a private individual, supposed to be unfounded, when the Dutch enjoyed such distinguished justice and protection at Venice. I said that your Excellencies rendered not only justice but favour in releasing for the States steel and tin arrested in the Archipelago, although they were all to be used in war against the republic itself. Borel said that this favour laid the States under an obligation. On the other hand the sequestration was not so offensive in fact as in appearance, as the tribunals show the same facility in granting the demands of their subjects as they do in withdrawing at the just instance of the other party. Quite recently three royal ships of Spain had been sequestrated at Flushing and two in Zeeland. While the former had been released at the instance of the Ambassador Gamara, the other two would be detained until the queen of Spain should issue orders to the governors of Biscay for the administration of justice in the matter of reprisals made on the effects of Dutch merchants in those ports.
London, the 25th January, 1668. [M.V.]
[Italian.]
Jan. 25.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
6. Piero Mocenigo, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
In cultivating the Spanish ambassador I have so far succeeded through several civilities and visits from the Secretary Alberti, that in the queen's chamber he came over to me and delivered himself in the most confidential manner. He said that the king of France was moving against Lorraine, and besides the pretext that he has given to the troops for Franche Comté and that he cannot keep troops on foot, one may reproach him with the aid in offices and ships which he supplies to his nephew, and with his competition for the kingdom of Poland, as if all should withdraw and yield to the arbitrament of his Majesty. There were 20,000 men, and it might well happen that they would fall (fn. 12) until they accept the enlarged boundaries of the last conquests, about which they are constantly adding to the difficulties of an adjustment. In this connection it has been suggested to the constable of Castile that he shall oblige the French commissioners at Lille to put all the demands in writing, so as to have an end, once and for all.
In the greatest apprehension, owing to the warlike movements of the king of France against Lorraine, and with the universal opinion that so many troops are not required for such trifling enterprises, with the proximity of such combustible material (fn. 12) [Colbert] asked audience of the king and informed him of the decision of the Most Christian against Lorraine, justifying it for reasons known to your Serenity. The king received the information with great frankness and indifference, not making the smallest objection to the causes which the Most Christian had for it, and showing equal confidence that when the result had been achieved the movement would cease. Colbert replied that his king was so deeply pledged to stop Lorraine, that in case of need he would have gone thither in person. For the rest he was so far from disturbing the quiet and breaking the peace with the Spaniards that if necessary he would pledge his royal word, even in writing. (fn. 13)
The French ambassador said as much to me himself, but these assertions do not suffice to remove the bad impression or to stay the preparations (fn. 14) by arms and by negotiation.
The core of the affair consists in (fn. 14) alliance for which they are working hard. The baron dell' Isola has left Malines after intimate negotiations with the governor. He is proceeding to the Hague and will exert himself so that Flanders may enjoy the guarantee of the triple alliance. According to the turn the negotiations take he will be guided in this direction or towards Sweden.
To prevent the diversion of the crown of Sweden through its differences with the Muscovite, Holland has (fn. 14) Here they have chosen Major Mood, (fn. 15) who will proceed to Muscovy in the capacity of envoy, going first with the Ambassador Carlisse to receive more definite instructions for this same affair.
In Holland they are raising some body of troops and they are causing the old garrisons to pass to places where the need seems greater. It seems that their High Mightinesses are intent on increasing their forces at sea with a good number of ships.
(fn. 14) by existing contingencies, at Brussels they have admitted a terzo of the Spanish garrison into the city, contrary to the strict rule of their privileges, and the provinces of Flanders and Brabant are preparing to submit to fresh demands for the payment of considerable sums of money.
Three days ago the duchess of York was delivered of a daughter. (fn. 16) This is the third girl, with only one boy, of not very robust health, obliged to live in France (fn. 14) the queen mother, to escape the air here, which causes his bowels to act. The mother and daughter are in perfect health and the foreign ministers have offered their congratulations to the king and the duke of Hiorch. These have been welcomed rather as a sign of respect for them personally than for the cause itself, as they would have preferred an increase of male issue.
London, the 25th January, 1668. [M.V.]
[Italian; the part in italics eciphered.]

Footnotes

1 Marc Antonio Delfino, a Venetian noble, a prisoner at Constantinople, recently deceased.
2 The last one or two lines of each page of this despatch are obliterated.
3 According to the London Gazette of Dec. 14–7 there were 5 men of war at Rochelle under the Comte d'Estrées, ready to sail for the W. Indies.
4 The last one or two lines of each page of this despatch are obliterated.
5 John Barkman Leyonberg.
6 Gaspar de Abreu de Frietas.
7 The last two lines of each page of this despatch are obliterated.
8 The last two lines of each page of this despatch are obliterated.
9 Obliterated.
10 4 lines obliterated.
11 When Sir D. Harvey went to Constantinople he expected to be employed to mediate peace between Venice and the Porte. On his way out he called at Leghorn to discuss the matter with Sir John Finch and get further instructions. He was amazed to learn from Finch that Venice disapproved of the whole idea of mediation and did not wish to place her affairs in the hands of foreign ministers. See the preceding Vol. of this Calendar, page 322. Mocenigo was at great pains to remove the bad impression caused by this incident.
12 Illegible.
13 Colbert refers to the alarm caused by the reports about Lorraine … he writes: “le roi m'a temoigne par deux fois qu'il approuvait fort la resolution que votre Maj. a pris de contraindre le dit duc a desarmer.” Colbert to the king, 22 Jan. 1669. P,R.O. Paris Transcripts.
14 Illegible.
15 the envoy was Sir Peter Wyche. He took a letter for the Czar. Cal. S.P. Dom., 1668–9, page 163.
16 Born on Wednesday the 23rd and christened Henrietta on the 25th, N.S. London Gazette, Jan 14–9. She died towards the end of the year. Salvetti on 6 Dec., Brit. Mus. Add. MSS. 27962 S.


<--Previous:
Preface