Venice
July 1669

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Institute of Historical Research

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Allen B. Hinds (editor)

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1937

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71-81

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'Venice: July 1669', Calendar of State Papers Relating to English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 36: 1669-1670 (1937), pp. 71-81. URL: http://british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=90263 Date accessed: 23 August 2014.


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July 1669

July 3.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
84. Zuane Moresini, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
Two leading English gentlemen have been attacked against all reason in the theatre of the palace of Orleans by eight officers of the royal guards. Having received several sword thrusts the more distinguished of them is suffering from wounds which leave him in manifest peril of his life; the other, by retreating, extricated himself from a violence at once barbarous and out of all proportion. That same night the British ambassador proceeded to St. Germain to demand justice of his Majesty. This incident is felt very keenly by the king upon every account, chiefly because of his desire, so far as the dignity of this monarchy permits, not to alienate further the feelings of that nation or estrange them from their interests over here. (fn. 1)
This Court has learned with bitter feeling of the instructions issued by the British king to the commander of his squadrons destined for the Mediterranean, to compel French vessels to lower their flag when they meet with those of England, who claim the superiority. Difficulties over trade between the two nations are constantly cropping up and becoming greater. The government here is very indignant at the present opposition that is being offered to what it was hoped to establish for the union and greater convenience of both parties.
Some days ago the earl of Veneslei arrived in this city, the one who has been resident for a long time at Constantinople in the capacity of British ambassador at the Porte. He is staying here, observing incognito what is most worthy of remark. He does not allow any formalities and is only impatient to return with all speed to his native land.
Paris, the 3rd July, 1669.
[Italian.]
July 5.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
85. Piero Mocenigo, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The attention of the government here is now called away from external affairs and all the energies of the most confidential members of the Privy Council are called upon to meditate upon the future. They have sought for precedents in history and seasonable advice from the prudence of contemporaries in order to be prepared and to make provision for the king's service at the coming assembly of the parliament of England. Some differencies of long standing and never settled between the parliaments of England and Scotland has afforded his Majesty a sufficient motive for commanding that the latter shall meet at the same time as the former so that both will be assembled in the month of October next.
The guilty conscience of the members of the English parliament leads them to put a sinister interpretation upon this order which has come out unexpectedly. They cannot conceal their suspicions, believing that the king has set up that body for no other purpose than to have a shelter and place of refuge in the event of their obstinate resistance to his demands or refusal to give him satisfaction.
This rumour which becomes magnified as it passes from mouth to mouth affords an argument to those who love quiet and who profess loyalty to the king, for hastening to put an end to the differences over trade between the two kingdoms. Others maintain that it is the object of the ministers to stir up disputes among the members of parliament and so between two litigants to escape the peril of being brought to trial and held to render account for bad advice given and for money ill spent. They afford grounds to the more turbulent and unquiet spirits for suspecting that the king means to favour the Scottish parliament if the English one opposes fresh assignments of money, obliging it more by fear of prejudice than from zeal to promise fresh grants. With these his Majesty will be able to pay his debts and maintain his dignity and authority.
All these suppositions rest upon a foundation of which nothing is as yet definitely known. But the truth is that the earl Auderdaile, who will proceed to the parliament of his own country with the office of the king's lieutenant general, has always proved his loyalty; and the fact of the union of the parliaments points to well founded hopes in the king of obtaining money. This would for the moment bury all projects of getting cash from France if St. Albans ever had any commission to offer it to his Majesty. The duke of Hiorch, who participates in all decisions, will not offer the slightest opposition until the issue. In the mean time he is relieved that God Almighty is gradually restoring his son, the duke of Cambridge, to his usual health.

With regard to external affairs there is nothing that touches them more nearly than the preservation of Tanger. As this is now furnished with good walls on the land side they are devising how to protect it better by treaty of peace and amity with Tafilet. As he has a force of 100,000 Moors in the field nothing else can restrain him from conquering it. Lord Arondel has already left the Court and is urged to make sail with the first wind. Very soon the Vice Admiral Allen will also be ready as he is only waiting for some provision of money.
The Danish Ambassador Guldelence, having left that country, is already off these shores with his own ships. It is believed that he will very soon be at Court ready to perform his functions as extraordinary and to confirm the last agreements about facilities for trade and the passage of the Sound.
The duke of Savoy, anxious to attract to his ports the correspondence of this kingdom and to unburden his state of the good and abundant wines which he has there, has sent some samples as a present to the king and a great quantity of casks is in the river. If they are found to be good by him and able to stand the voyage the merchants will not fail to make trial of them.
With regard to the common interests of the triple alliance, things remain in suspense as reported. The ship with the Spanish money is stranded on the shores of Spain. In Holland the replies of the Swedes to the proposals of the Spaniards are delayed, as the latter wish to obtain a declaration of the succour of the allies. But, unless Carlise the ambassador in Sweden is deceived, that crown will not take any further steps. He writes here that even if it should pledge itself to the guarantee it will always prove more difficult to take action than it has ever been to make promises.
The minister of the princes of Brunswick and Lunemburg has been to the embassy here to wish their friends all prosperity and to recognise the minister of your Excellencies. The only thing for which he came here was to present to the king a hundred of stags sent to him as a present by those princes. He will leave here well satisfied with the good treatment received and with the royal munificence. (fn. 2)
The ducali of the 8th and 14th June have reached me this week and I have punctually carried out my instructions, particularly with the French ambassador, turning the conversation dexterously where I thought it most opportune, to the falsehood published about the ulterior intentions of the Most Christian in succouring the town of Candia. I subsequently spoke very confidentially with the Ambassador Colbert, asking him to point out to me the way to carry out the commissions of your Excellencies, for which he thanked me very heartily.
London, the 5th July, 1669.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
July 10.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Spagna.
Venetian
Archives.
86. Catterin Belegno, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.
A gentleman sent by the king of England, after having been at Lisbon with complimentary offices has come on here to reside at this Court. He is the secretary of state Godolfino, who served in the embassy of the earl of Sciandovich. He is a young man of ability who succeeded in the late negotiations in winning the confidence and esteem of this Court. He is at present incognito and is busy arranging his affairs for the first audience; but I believe that he will not treat the ambassadors di cappella because of the consideration of the hand which is denied to his rank.
Madrid, the 10th July, 1669.
[Italian.]
July 11.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni,
Corti.
Venetian
Archives.
87. To the Ambassador in England.
Acknowledge his letters of the 21st ult. He is to assure the earl of Arundel and his brothers of the republic's regard. With regard to the ambassador for Venice and the possible choice of Sir John Finch, at present resident in Tuscany, the sentiment of the Senate is to accept with indifference whoever may be selected to take this post and to welcome and honour him in the manner due to the old standing friendship between the republic and the British crown. He will know how to express himself to this effect when occasion arises.
Another brief of the pope has been received and is attached. It has been sent by the ambassador at Rome to be passed on to the queen. He will see that this is done. It does not concern the interests of the republic.
Ayes, 114. Noes, 0. Neutral, 0.
[Italian.]
July 12.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
88. Piero Mocenigo, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The Algerian corsairs having rendered themselves worthy of the ire of the king of England by a breach of faith in the face of the world in respect of the peace solemnly sworn, his Majesty, in the first fury, was preparing to express an exceptional resentment. He ordered the arming of twenty frigates. The cost immediately rose and it now exceeds every estimate and the completion of the equipment will amount to more than 50,000l. sterling. This very heavy outlay in the present shortage at the treasury was laid before the eyes of the Council when in the act of drawing up the instructions for Vice Admiral Alen. It did not influence their opinion, which is much stirred against the insolence of those corsairs. They all agreed unanimously to declare resolutely to the Algerines that this crown will make war on them if they do not promptly restore the money, the capital and the Spanish slaves taken on English ships since the last peace.
Such are Alen's instructions so far and as the king expressed himself to me in like sentiments I venture to hope that, regardless of the cost, they will not allow themselves to be deluded with apparent satisfaction from those barbarians for the insolence and scant respect which they have shown for his Majesty. An open war would serve to divert the forces of those infidels from acting against the Christian arms and especially in the Levant. As the departure of the Vice Admiral will follow very soon and Lord Arondel is already at the port waiting for him we shall very soon know about the negotiations of the one and the operations of the other.
It is impossible to foresee what will happen at the meetings of the parliaments of England and Scotland next October, since the most dangerous resolutions do not issue from the mouths of those members who may contrive them and very often, when the time comes to carry them into effect, they change their aspect with the majority of votes (cambiano faccia nella pluralita de parari). I will accordingly confine my attention to what is founded on some solid basis of fact (ristretta l' attentione di cio che si sussitasse con qualche corpo di verita), and I will keep your Excellencies informed. The goodness of the king deserves the quiet possession of these realms, from which he was unjustly shut out for many years.
The French ambassador, cultivating the duke of Hiorch, had the honour to entertain him three evenings ago at a most sumptous banquet, with the duchess at his own house. Although assisted by the generosity of his king the burden of embassies is ever being rendered more intolerable by such exorbitant and constant examples.
I was waiting to make known to the minister of the princes of Lunenburg the esteem and gratitude of your Excellencies for the zeal with which they have hastened to the defence of Candia. I went to return his visit and after exchanging compliments he entered with some heat into the affair of the alliance. He said that his princes had been invited to join it by England but they would not do so before they received satisfaction from Holland for what was due for past armaments; Sweden would receive money from Spain and without it they certainly would not have pledged themselves in any way. He ended with some bitter remarks against the Dutch. He said that every one was disgusted at their egoistical behaviour, to such a point that Brandenburg was too offended to apply to be included in the alliance.
In respect of the triple alliance they have been glad here to learn of the nomination of Prince Wisniewieschi to the crown of Poland as they would have been correspondingly depressed to see that crown on the head of a foreigner owing to the dependence on the crowns, which would have upset the constitution of the alliance.
The French complain of Niuburgh, the supposed author of the exclusion of Condé. This is to take offence without cause, as this time he was far from having any claim. Thus Colbert says that the Most Christian would have no reason to regret such a choice. With Lorraine excluded as a declared dependent of the House of Austria and Niuburgh rejected, having become suspect to France, a third appears on the scene, who would in no wise improve the state of the alliance, leaving it to its confusions. Colbert speaks to this effect judging that Spain is impotent, having become mistrustful, and does not forward anything that she desires and when the time of stress comes she will not find her friends ready to help her.
The Danish Ambassador Guldeleun has come ashore from his ship and has shut himself up in his own house in London where he is getting ready his train for the public entry. His Excellency would like to have a private audience. Your Excellencies, recalling the recent difficulties in the case of the French ambassador and myself, will not expect him to succeed in this. Yet the Secretary Arlington does not fail to give him some hope of favourable consideration notwithstanding the determination not to alter the Court ceremonial.
London, the 12th July, 1669.
[Italian.]
July 15.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni,
Corti.
Venetian
Archives.
89. To the Resident at Florence.
With regard to the offer made by the resident of England of ships with munitions for Candia he is to express appreciation but to point out with respect to the article about allowing the ships to depart directly they have done their business, that while it may be possible to gratify this wish by the issue of definite orders it is not practicable to depart from what has been the custom with all the ships of Provence and from many other parts who at their own risk and fortune, ply there with similar succour. As a matter of fact the merchants find that it is greatly to their advantage to continue that traffic, owing to the considerable gains, to the short time in which they can despatch it and to the excellent treatment they receive. For the rest he can promise every possible assistance and facility.
Ayes, 113. Noes, 0. Neutral, 1.
[Italian.]
July 17.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Spagna.
Venetian
Archives.
90. Tomaso Rudio, Venetian Secretary in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.
A ship which has reached Cadiz from Havana reports that the fleet coming from New Spain had arrived at Teneriffe, but as a number of English piratical craft were scouring those seas they were fearful about continuing their voyage, thinking it too insecure. For this reason seven ships of the royal navy were being prepared at San Lucar to go out to meet the fleet and escort it home.
Madrid, the 17th July, 1669.
[Italian.]
July 19.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
91. Piero Mocenigo, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
With resolute protests the French are pressing repeated demands on the Spaniards in Flanders for the free passage of coal in bulk into the recently conquered part of the Low Countries for use upon the new fortifications. They also keep the mind of the constable governor and of the other leading ministers in constant agitation by considerable changes of the garrisons from one place to another. The Dutch being instant to bring fresh pressure to bear on the Spaniards amid their numerous difficulties, their minister at Antwerp said recently to the constable that this coal might easily become the material to start the blaze. His Excellency should study the means to deal with this and to join up the alliance at all costs. The lack of money ought not to confound him as they would provide him with a sufficiency. The constable, refusing assistance from that quarter which would oblige him to leave the strong places in Guelderland in pawn to the States, ordered a free passage for the future for the coal barges for the French, and taking his courage in both hands insists that the alliance shall pledge itself as to the nature of their succour. He promises money and in conclusion says that this is for the service alike of the Catholic king as of the others.
It seems that he is incensed against the Dutch who are chaffering with the Spaniards over a service which is common and against Sweden whose sole idea is to extract money for its own interests with little indication that it will do its duty when the time comes. The ambassador of Denmark said as much to me, expressing himself with some amount of freedom. He pointed out that that crown could not do otherwise than take money from the one who offered most, as all the ministers were taking advantage of it during the minority. The king was no longer recognised as the head of the reformed religion by the Protestant towns of Germany which made a large contribution in cash. That crown was obliged to maintain 14,000 men in Germany for the perpetual custody of the frontiers. The territory of Brem made no contribution nor did the states of Pomerania, while Livonia was hardly strong enough to keep up its own garrisons facing Muscovy. The king of Denmark had been invited to enter the alliance; but he could not join an association which included Sweden, as their interests were at variance. Besides this there was a debt due by the Dutch for armaments which had not been paid and there was scant hope of recovering any money paid. So his king was persuaded to hold himself aloof from any entanglement. Thus all fight shy of this triple union unless they first see themselves assured of manifest advantage. France encourages them, and also complains modestly of the refusal here of her wheat, preparing the way quietly for the commercial union.
The ambassador of Denmark having insistently pressed the Secretary Arlington for a secret audience of his Majesty at length obtained it of the king, the queen and the duke and duchess of Hiorch, being received with the usual formalities. After this, the ambassadors being informed, performed their offices by sending gentlemen. Following the example of Mons. Colbert I went to call on him incognito. On the return visits the encounters on the stairs were equal as I thought that I should not yet alter the use in public functions.
The prince of Denmark is expected at any moment. He has already embarked at Calais and will be worthily received at this Court with every possible civility. The minister of the Palatine was also received with due courtesy but they are now correspondingly anxious to get him away. He was formerly a subject of the king here, a Catholic and a religious but now apostate. (fn. 3) He has come to urge Prince Roberto here to receive a competent appanage from the Palatine, his brother, and to restore the jewels taken from their mother. This request meets with no response from the heart of the prince and it is not favoured by the king, who remembers the efforts made by the Palatine to obtain the crown of these realms during the late troubles with the parliament. (fn. 4) It is not yet known whether these sentiments will permit his Majesty to write a letter to the emperor, as the Palatine petitions, for his interests with the duke of Lorraine.
Two days ago the earl of Vinchelsea arrived here safely from France back from his embassy at Constantinople. The king saw him at the same moment and he was congratulated by all the Court. I went to see his Excellency and carried out the old and new commissions of the Senate. He responded most effusively. Dilating with satisfaction on the decadence of the Turkish empire he said he hoped that the disturbances at Constantinople would continue. He had not forgotten, even without incitement from the minister of your Excellencies and without his knowledge, to speak strongly to the Vizier in favour of peace. I will take care to find out what he says in his relation to the king so that your Excellencies may know the opinions expressed by the ministers of foreign powers about the state of affairs in the Levant.
Acknowledges receipt of the ducali of the 28th June. Begs the Senate to release him from his present service.
London, the 19th July, 1669.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
July 26.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
92. Piero Mocenigo, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The assembling of the parliaments of England and Scotland is rapidly drawing near. It will not seem at all novel to your Excellencies that they are heavily mysterious about it all, since you are well informed about the nature of this government. You know of the disproportionate disposition of authority between the king and parliament the former having the control of war and of peace with the foreign powers while the latter is able to increase or diminish the means for this by the imposition of taxes which is reserved to it. With the king's hands tied by shortage of ready money it is difficult to discern whether the head is superior to the members, who constitute a body so contrary and jealous of his authority.
In spite of all this, when they heard here that the parliament of Scotland was summoned at the same time they could not rest satisfied in the disquietude of their minds that the sole reason was to settle some differences about trade. Thus a universal whisper went round which I report in the terms in which it is conceived as I do not wish to be positive where I have no certainty. Some claim to have penetrated into the king's heart. Others that the duke of Hiorch is adroitly disclosing his Majesty's design lo have it declared that the duke of Monmouth was born of true and lawful wedlock. This duke has hitherto been believed to be the king's natural son by a lady of good birth if not of good morals at the time when he was in retirement in the Low Countries, Some base their statements on his Majesty's prudence who, seeing the queen sterile, is trying to prevent fresh calamities to his house and the kingdom from the objection that is felt against the children of the duke of Hiorch coming to the throne, as the offspring of the daughter of the lord chancellor, who is universally denounced as unworthy of the office and of such honour. Others say that the duke of Hiorch, having meditated upon this blow, by making it known and fomenting opposition, is studying prematurely to divert the king from this course and is willing rather to run the risk of disturbances than allow the crown voluntarily to escape from the head of his own son, who at the present moment is the only authentic heir to these realms. The report
(voce) is universal.
Both parties may be in the wrong but in the mean time I take consolation for not having erred in my judgment about the transactions of the earl of St. Albans, who was credited with having more secret commissions, when he only treated about the appanages of the queen mother. He will leave here in a few days time, ill satisfied with the instability of affairs, in which they will remain, in their original condition.

Another important affair comes from Portugal. Don Pietro is making urgent representations to the king here, who is so deeply committed in the war and peace between that crown and Spain. He now wishes to dig out the roots of fresh troubles and induce the Catholic Court to sign the peace also in the name of himself, Don Pietro, seeing that the king, Don Alfonso was obliged to go into retirement because of his infirmities. The king is not at present disposed to make such an office and this envoy is awaiting a decision on the subject. He fears that it will be long and difficult, being well aware that as yet his Majesty has not agreed to that change by any public act and in private has accused him quite outspokenly of being tyrannical and violent.
On the other hand the king here is pressing Don Pietro for the remainder of the dowry promised to the queen. But the envoy, Sir Robert Southwel, so far only sends curt answers with scant hope and it is feared that there will be no improvement unless they respond here with the offices and satisfaction required.
In the mean time for the preservation of the capital they hold in the fortress of Tanger, they are hastening the embassy of the earl of Arondel to Taffilet. This is accompanied by Alen's squadron taking a quantity of victuals and munitions of war. The Vice Admiral has already left the Court and they will soon be all under sail.
In the Council of State they have discussed and apparently decided upon the building at Leghorn of two galleys to be kept in the port of Tanger and to guard those shores from corsairs. The earl of Vinchelse encourages this design and he will rejoice if it is carried out, as it is the fruit of his advice born of his experience, as I wrote in my despatch of the 26th October of last year.
Your Excellencies' letters of the 5th July enlighten me as to the wishes of the Senate about the choice of an ambassador for Venice. It is said everywhere that the appointment will be made soon and I rejoice that, amid so many necessities the king is disposed to show the gratitude which your Serenity earned long since.
London, the 26th July, 1669.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
July 27.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni,
Corti.
Venetian
Archives.
93. To the Resident at Florence.
When you happen to meet the resident of England you will express to him our appreciation of his good offices for the passage of food stuffs to Candia and you will intimate to him that those ships that have succoured the fortress of Candia will be allowed to enjoy the usual facilities at Zante.
Ayes, 85. Noes, 0. Neutral, 0.
[Italian.]
July 31.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
94. Zuane Moresini, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
The offer made by the English envoy to the regent at Madrid of mediation about the exchange of the county of Burgundy for some of the minor places recently conquered, is being carefully considered by the government here. It is believed to be a suggestion of the Dutch who, by the most strenuous efforts, are seeking to keep France at a distance from their frontiers. Villar, the royal envoy at Madrid, does not report the final resolution of the queen upon this point. In the mean time the king and the ministers here are devoting their attention to find out how far this would be to the advantage of their interests here, and their decision will be in accordance with the result of this inquiry when the proposal is made at this Court in the name of his Britannic Majesty.
Paris, the 31st July, 1669.
[Italian.]

Footnotes

1 The incident occurred on 1st July n.s. in the theatre du Palais Royal. Viscount Cavendish, son of the earl of Devon, was attacked there by some French officers, apparently the worse for drink, and his countryman, Lord Rochester, went to his assistance. Cavendish was severely wounded but recovered. The king punished the French officers, whom he considered entirely to blame. Petit to Williamson, 3 July. S.P. France, Vol. cxxvi. Williamson's Diary, 30 June. S.P. Dom. Chas. II., Vol, cclxxi. Colbert to Lionne, 8 July. P.R.O. Paris Transcripts,
2 The minister was the Sieur Levin Adam Hague or Hasque. In S.P. Germany, States, Vol. lviii, there is a letter from George William, duke of Brunswick and Luneburg (received in May), announcing the present and introducing the envoy. He was sent back with a present of English horses and dogs. Cal. S,P. Dom., 1668–9, p. 455.
3 Robert Rockwood of Stanningfield, councillor and grand bailiff of Oppenheim. There is a letter of the Elector Palatine, Charles Louis, to Arlington of 30 April, recommending him. S.P. Germany, States, Vol. lviii. Salvetti, writing on 28 June, says he was ordered to leave the country because, in times past, he had revealed the king's secrets to Cromwell. Brit. Mus. Add. MSS. 27962 S., fol. 384 d.
4 On his visit to England in August and September, 1644. See Vol. xxvii of this Calendar, p. xxv; Gardiner: Hist. of the Great Civil War, Vol. ii, p. 28.


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