Venice
August 1669

Sponsor

Institute of Historical Research

Publication

Author

Allen B. Hinds (editor)

Year published

1937

Pages

81-97

Annotate

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

Citation Show another format:

'Venice: August 1669', Calendar of State Papers Relating to English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 36: 1669-1670 (1937), pp. 81-97. URL: http://british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=90264 Date accessed: 30 September 2014.


Highlight

(Min 3 characters)

August 1669

Aug. 2.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
95. Piero Mocenigo, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
With so few openings allowed me to serve the state the gracious ducali of your Serenity always come to afford me relief. Those of the 11th July gave me a chance to do what I always have at heart, namely to cultivate the best correspondence at this Court. I have seen the brothers of Lord Arondel, the ambassador to Taffilet, and have renewed the assurances of your Serenity's regard for them personally and for the most distinguished house of Howard. I went on to acquaint one of the brothers, grand almoner to the queen, that I had a brief for her Majesty which had been consigned by the pope to the ambassador of your Serenity at Rome. By introducing gentle intimations of opportunities for this fresh way of correspondence it will all serve to render the minister of your Excellencies more acceptable here for having had some share in the favours and acts of esteem that her Majesty receives from the Holy See.
But as the sole means of rendering the correspondence mutual is the despatch of an ambassador from here, I adroitly let fall remarks about the forwardness of your Excellencies to receive the person appointed with every mark of esteem and satisfaction. In the mean time I paid my respects to the king in the queen's chamber one evening recently with the advices from Candia. He rejoiced extremely to hear of the approaching arrival of the auxiliary force. He took pleasure in listening to me describe to him in the presence of the Ambassador Colbert the unanimity and courage with which the most valiant leaders and a body of the most tried troops of France had advanced in Candia. The Most Christian had entrusted to these the reputation of his arms in the sight of the whole world in the face of the Turks. With such a pledge and after so great an outlay they could not possibly venture to appear before his Majesty without having attempted some glorious enterprise or they would all prefer to lay down their lives there gloriously on that bulwark of Christendom.
His Majesty was much edified by this account and the French ambassador afterwards expressed his appreciation as he was glad to hear the sincere generosity of his king made known as well as the high courage of the commanders among whom his own brother is conspicuous.
The sore of the merchant Tomaso Galileo still remains open. He is father of the captain of the ship Relief who was made captive by the Turks when his ship was burned in the Dardanelles in the year 1652. He has again appealed to the king, making the most highly coloured representations. He says that without the influence of your Serenity it will be impossible for him to get his son back and without urgent pressure from his Majesty the recovery of the great amounts due for the hire of the ship would be hopeless. His petition was examined by the Council and stirred his Majesty's compassion. By means of Lord Arlington, the secretary of state, he is pressing me strongly to write to your Serenity to obtain consolation for this poor old man. I assured him that the grateful memory of your Excellencies would never forget such deserving persons. Fresh instructions would be issued for ransoming this Tomaso Galileo by the captainship of the galleys. I also offered to write about the money due. The good old man is so advanced in years that he well deserves the consolation of seeing his son again.
In the interest of your Serenity I have since taken another step to stop a number of merchants who were hastening to his Majesty with a petition asking him to oblige me to write to the Senate about the extraordinary charges which they have to pay at the islands when they take away currants, so that your Excellencies being informed may enjoin moderation on your subordinate ministers who exact a real per thousand besides the duties justly imposed by the authority of the state. At my assurances that such extortions would be stopped, the merchants were readily appeased, being pleased to receive direct the favour which they proposed to seek by means of the king, and they are preparing to make trial of it. I pledged myself so far because the ducali of the 17th November last direct me to do so. I will advise the Proveditore General of the three islands of everything so that he may take proper steps against irregularities in good time.
As the sale of the currants would be increased by an increase in the number of ships going to Venice with the need of a cargo for the return journey and this concourse has diminished of late years owing to the small quantity of salt fish which goes there, since it is taken more readily to Leghorn, where the charges are not so heavy, I have something to add to what I wrote on the 20th March last. This is that the merchants here, having heard of a disposition to make a considerable reduction in the duty on salt fish, are taking heart and are preparing to send a great quantity which would supply an abundance for the whole state and which might be distributed through the whole of Lombardy through the advantage afforded by the rivers instead of going to Leghorn and being sent from there to the state of your Serenity. But a serious apprehension checks them and damps the hopes which they have conceived from this reduction of the duty. It is this: that the guild of the salt fishmongers at Venice enjoys divers privileges and they fear it may abuse them and tyrannise over the merchants to such an extent that the goods will deteriorate and they will suffer serious losses. The leading gentlemen, George Hailes and John Dryvestein, will appear at the feet of your Serenity with a humble petition and I shall have done my part, as I well know how advantageous it would be to attract this trade as it would provide your Serenity with a quantity of ships for transport and would afford the state and the islands a vent for their goods to the profit of the subjects of the most serene republic.
London, the 2nd August, 1669.
[Italian.]
Aug. 2.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
96. Piero Mocenigo, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge & Senate.
If differences over the frontiers of the new conquests made by the Most Christian in the Low Countries are likely to serve as a pretext for a rupture of the peace between the crowns one would be unable to make a favourable forecast for the coming year as there is an equal lack of attention on both sides towards the establishment of what might fix them more precisely. Mons. di Bariglon, one of the French commissioners (fn. 1) , came here from Lille to amuse himself in London. He spoke of those affairs in a way that showed little indication of a solution by negotiation, for which he returned to Flanders five days ago. With him went the earl of St. Albans who is returning to the queen mother in France. He will not be able to give her better assurances about her appanages as he did not succeed in settling anything, in the present state of affairs.
The day for the assembly of parliament draws ever nearer. In this the Presbyterians, of a religion utterly opposed to the episcopal hierarchy, are hoping to propose and carry liberty of conscience, regardless of consequences. They are in communication with the other sects, who are much further than themselves from the Protestant Anglican church, to form a numerous body and achieve their intent with greater ease. This insolence has been noticed by his Majesty the king, who by connivance tolerates the nonconformists, that is the sectaries outside the lap of the Anglican church. He is renewing, by orders more severe than in the past, the execution of the laws against them. Search having been made in several conventicles several preachers & ministers have been arrested and this diligence will serve to divert for the moment new & dangerous combinations. From the western parts of the kingdom it is known that more than sixty master cloth workers have signed a petition to parliament for their liberty of conscience. (fn. 2) If the alarm felt does not unduly exaggerate their estimates it is reckoned that the sixty masters will have under them 600 leading workmen and that these will have 6000 men who will all with one voice and with open hands demand liberty of conscience. This liberty aims at nothing less than to relieve themselves from subjection to the bishops who are judged to be the destroyers of the churches upon which their wives & families live, as there are no longer any works or charity in almsgiving (questa liberta non mira ad altro che a levarsi dalla soggettione de' vescovi, giudicati distruttori delle chiese, sopra le quali vivono le moglie e famiglie, non vi essendo pin opere ue carita d'elemosine).
The bishops, on their side, seeing that the Lower Chamber is entirely favourable to the Presbyterians and fearing that liberty of conscience may render them as contemptible to the people as they are now hateful, are apprehensive of a mortal stroke. If, after liberty of conscience, the king finds them useless, all ecclesiastical property may be taken away for the royal interests, to be used for war and to pay off debts leaving the dignity stripped of its revenues for any one who might like to take them. Faced by the prospect of this ruin the bishops are working desperately. They tell the king that they are members of the Upper Chamber, dependent on his Majesty, who appoints them, proving to him that their ruin would have consequences too injurious to his authority. To allow liberty of conscience would be to open the gates to the secretaries who are practically all opposed to the royal authority and inclined to perpetual disorder.
This matter of liberty of conscience is certain to be discussed in parliament as it is an ancient subject of controversy. If the Catholic faith is not excluded, marvellous progress will very soon be seen. It may be noticed even now both in this country and in Scotland, notwithstanding the sanguinary laws against life and property.
The superstitious consider as a divine warning the ebb & flow of the tide which took place seven times on the morning of the 20th July in the port of Weymouth in only two hours. (fn. 3) They interpret it as a prediction of evil things to come. A similar strange phenomenon three years ago was followed by the war, the plague and the fire. But it would be better if they received it as punishment from God and that in penitence & contrition for the errors committed they should return of their own accord to the bosom of the church of Rome in humble obedience.
London, the 2nd August, 1669.
[Italian.]
Aug. 3.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni,
Corti.
Venetian
Archives.
97. To the Ambassador in England.
It is desirable that the British forces should move against the Algerines in order to divert from the Levant the reinforcements which are at present to be found there against us. We shall be glad if you will watch this and report. It will be for your diligence to discover what precisely is the business which the ambassador who has arrived from Denmark is to propose.
News of the arrival of the French force at Candia.
Ayes, 120. Noes, 1. Neutral, 1.
[Italian.]
Aug. 9.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
98. Piero Mocenigo, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge & Senate.
It is already six days since Vice Admiral Alen set sail with a favourable wind. He commands twenty well furnished frigates and some fire ships. He goes to throw himself upon the Algerines and by fire & sword to extort rights from them which those infidels did not observe with his Majesty and which it was impossible to obtain by any means short of violence. The royal instructions to Alen are of the most determined character, being issued by the Council; but I fancy that Alen will think that he has done enough to please the government if he exacts respect and the greater part of the plunder, if he finds himself unable to get the whole. So I am not sure if I can promise myself that these forces will serve to occupy those of the infidels, though I am not without hope that they may divert them. Reports have come that those corsairs are in great alarm about this armament of England, apprehending that it may disturb the quiet with which they pursue their depredations.
With this Vice Admiral Alen the ambassador Lord Arondel has joined himself, served by three royal ships. (fn. 4) He will hasten the voyage as much as possible and his arrival at Tanger. From thence he will send his secretary and will endeavour by treaties to divert Taffilet from making any attempt on that place and will afterwards devote himself to establishing trade.
No fresh instructions have been given to this body of the royal squadron about ceremonial in the event of meeting with French ships. The Ambassador Colbert as good as promised himself that he had removed the difficulties of precedence in salutes by abolishing the use of them in all the seas, in accordance with a project which he submitted to the king and the duke of Hiorch and which the king and his Highness approved when they first saw it. But when the matter was discussed in the Council the alteration was not approved for the Ocean and the English Channel where particularly the English kings were in possession of superiority, the flag being lowered by Philip the Second. With this Mons. Colbert would not agree to speak of the Mediterranean so as not to yield anything of the pretensions of the Most Christian if he could not obtain any abatement of those of England. Accordingly the question is buried for the moment and the door left open for fresh encounters, clashes and quarrels.
In spite of all this, discussion continues on both sides for a union of interchangeable trade; but so far no definite proposals have been made. It is a most probable conjecture that this thread of negotiation will serve the English to keep alive their negotiation and confidence with France in order to tack on to it transactions of greater weight when occasion calls for it.
Ill feeling is becoming accentuated against the States of Holland on matters of trade. In a very stiff letter the king here complains that they never seem to arrive at an agreement about the treaty for sea affairs upon which the Ambassador Temple has been labouring for so long. The trade of the Indies is what touches them most nearly. Every day the English are being squeezed out of these by the Dutch company which occupies the best positions by force and destroys the others. It is difficult as yet to see what will happen owing to the deliberation of their proceedings in Holland and the great interests which will contend with the States, who are attached to the interests of that trade and anxious to cultivate peace if not confidence with England.
With regard to the concerns of the triple alliance, no favourable augury can be based on the accounts of the Ambassador Carlise. He writes from Sweden that the government there has reached the very limits of its patience after waiting more than a year for the money from Spain. Experience advised them to change sides and necessity would compel them to have recourse to arms again. The spoils which they had won from the wars of Germany were consumed and it behoved that kingdom, which had no other wealth than its people, to make profit of this asset and to find its advantage and wealth by an inundation. The Spaniards had thought to (fn. 5) the ministers for that year during the minority of the king and avail themselves of the forces of that crown and of being allied with it; because it was very near to breaking all treaties.
Arlington communicated this much to me in his own cabinet. He expressed his amazement that the Spaniards should be willing to lose these confidential relations without negotiation and with the weakness of their forces; all owing to a destructive suspicion. He went on to say more; but all may be referred to what I have written in several previous despatches.
With regard to his Majesty's own particular affairs Arlinton told me that he had some hope of seeing very soon the payment of the remainder of the queen's dowry which is due from Portugal. If Don Pietro intimates that he will do this it will be contrary to his principles which are against paying a debt now grown old, on account of this dowry, since there is no security and with the queen's sterility and the chances of life it is more than ordinarily subject to unlucky accidents. If in spite of all this that monarch makes the sacrifice of this very considerable sum of money it will be for the sole object of obliging the king here to procure for him from Spain the authentication of the peace in his own name in the absence of the king Don Alfonso.

The second son of the king of Denmark, Prince George, having arrived in London wished to see their Majesties. Being introduced to both, incognito, he was received by the king with uncovered head and by the queen without the kiss of welcome, her Majesty remaining seated during the compliment. Following the example of the French ambassador I sent a gentleman to pay my respects. If Mons. Colbert goes to the house to visit the ambassador and then, as it were casually asks to see the Prince of Denmark, I shall follow in his steps and will send your Serenity an account of it.
London, the 9th August, 1669.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Aug. 10.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni
Corti.
Venetian
Archives.
99. To the Ambassador in England.
Acknowledgment of the receipt of his letters, with approval of his operations. With regard to the relief for which he asks the Senate commiserates with him over his expenditure and is still well inclined to satisfy his requests when it is sure that the right moment has come. But there is the question of the possible appointment of an ambassador there to reside at Venice and while this is being held up the Senate wishes to see what will happen and more sign of something being done. After this breathing space it will come to a suitable decision.
Ayes, 160. Noes, 1. Neutral, 1.
[Italian.]
Aug. 10.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Firenze.
Venetian
Archives.
100. Ottavian Valier, Venetian Secretary at Florence, to the Doge & Senate.
I made a call at the English resident's house and told him how much the republic appreciated what he had done. I aim at cultivating his goodwill, the more because of a rumour current at this Court, I do not know on what foundation, that his king is inclined to send him to your Serenity in the capacity of his ambassador. He is a leading man of those dominions, with a good fortune, upright and agreeable, while in his youth he studied at Padua. He is of the age of 36 years; he carries himself here in a dignified manner and with me he has always cultivated the most courteous relations. He expressed his desire to serve the most serene republic and said that he would devote his energies to the despatch of convoys.
Florence, the 10th August, 1669.
[Italian.]
Aug. 16.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni,
Corti.
Venetian
Archives.
101. To the Ambassador in England.
Acknowledge his letters of the 26th ult. The points which seem likely to be proposed at the coming meeting of parliament are of importance. He will be able to send word of what ensues and also to observe what decision is taken about the request of Portugal, to report thereupon. Enclose the news from Candia up to the 2nd ult. He is to communicate this to the Court in the usual way and also to express regret at the loss of the duke of Bofort. (fn. 6)
Ayes, 167. Noes, 2. Neutral, 1.
[Italian.]
Aug. 16.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
102. Piero Mocenigo, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge & Senate.
The Ambassador Carlise has at last made his public entry at Stocolm. The deeper he dives into a knowledge of the opinions & feelings of that government the more he finds that they are greatly incensed against Spain over the delay in the promised payment and very much disposed to abandon the triple alliance very soon. The Dutch minister makes use of similar ideas in the information he sends the States and I am advised that at the Hague they are speaking very frankly to the Spanish ambassador and foretelling disconcerting events in the future. The Spaniards are deaf to the warnings and immoveable, as in a trance. What they are most concerned about is that the point of what the allies shall be pledged to supply shall be well digested. In this way they are steadily diminishing the disposition to help, some of them seeing the abandonment by the Catholic and his failure, while Sweden is distracted by his own interests, as recorded last week.
Sir Thomas Ighison has returned from Saxony, having taken the order of the garter to the elector there on behalf of the king here. (fn. 7) He reports the aversion of that Circle from the alliance, which it interprets as an encouragement to Sweden to maintain too large a force of troops in Germany.
Three evenings ago in the queen's chamber the Ambassador Colbert spoke to the king by order of the Most Christian. He told him that the ministers of his Majesty were under an immediate necessity to transport by land a quantity of coal through the dominions of the Catholic since the breaking of the dyke. They would be obliged in the future to escort the waggons by a good number of troops to secure them against any fresh charge, hindrance and delay. They had not asked permission for this from the constable governor, as France remembered the example of Spain who, upon other occasions did not inform the French governors of the passage of troops from Flanders to Franche Comté. This could not possibly disturb the peace except in the event of the Spaniards being stiff. The king received the news with indifference. He answered soberly with thanks for the communication and confining himself to ambiguous expressions in order to avoid committing himself to either approval or blame, which might not be in accordance with the policy of his own government.
The ministers here are entirely taken up with the affairs of the coming parliaments. As the question of money will be the most important among all those to which reference has been made it is necessary that your Excellencies should know about the inquiries instituted against ministers in Ireland. To this end, gathering up all the particulars already reported, I will set forth the issue according to the course which matters may take in the parliaments. The administrators of the public money in Ireland appeared before the king with credits of 40,000l. sterling. The exorbitance of the amount stirred them to look into the matter. An inquiry was made and after some months they found a mistake of double the amount. The king being thus declared creditor for 40,000l. sterling, they are completing the inquiry in order to liquidate the whole of this greater charge on the royal exchequer.
The ambassador of Denmark has been obliged by the dilatoriness of the work people to postpone his public entry until they have got every thing ready for his pompous train. He has insinuated himself at Court and pressing on with his business he has asked for commissioners to treat about some outstanding differences about trade between this country and Denmark. The ministers, jealous about dissipating their authority and control among many, are thwarting the project, converting a somewhat favourable inclination of the king into a direct refusal. They allege that it is desirable not to make innovations, which might be asked by other ministers and introduce confusion into the government.
The prince of Denmark does not interfere in the least in such matters, being intent on satisfying his own curiosity. Following the example of the Ambassador Colbert, who took no step before he had heard from France, I went unofficially to visit the ambassador. He introduced me to the apartment of the prince. There I met the tutor and was received by his Highness with the greatest courtesy, equal to that shown to France. He spoke willingly of the affairs of Candia and went on to show a well grounded acquaintance with several sciences, in spite of his being only fifteen years of age. (fn. 8)
The ducali of the 26th July reached me this week and with the news of Candia I have, as usual, cultivated the curiosity of the king and the confidence of the French ambassador. I discharged the offices that I was instructed to perform with him and he responded with all punctuality. He gave me the news of events and of peace between your Serenity and the Turks being at hand. But I made much of the respect and fear with which the Turks had recently seen the French nation facing them and enlarged on the gratitude felt by the most serene republic for his Majesty.
I have given an intimation to the merchant who supplied the 800 barrels of powder for your Serenity (fn. 9) that when his ship reaches Zante it will be able to leave with the exemptions permitted to others and I have encouraged him to send a fresh supply of powder for the service of the republic. I will take the first opportunity to speak to the Dutch ambassador for the release of the money sequestrated by Sautin.
London, the 16th August, 1669.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Aug. 23.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni,
Corti.
Venetian
Archives.
103. To the Ambassador in England.
Acknowledge receipt of his letters of the 2nd. Commendation of his office with the Arondel brothers. He will do well to frequent them, to foster the friendliness of that house and to show esteem and gratitude for their partiality. He is to profit by the occasion of taking the pope's brief to the queen to increase confidential relations.
The Senate notes the representations of Arlinton about Captain Galileo. He is to confirm the readiness of the Senate to hear Galileo's agents and to seize upon opportunities for affording him relief.
He did well to prevent the merchants from appealing to the king about their grievances over the currants and in persuading them to crowd out there with their ships, since the ordinances of the state have already removed all irregularities. As this matter is of great urgency because of its importance the Senate has decided to repeat its orders with an instruction to punish severely those who infringe them.
With regard to the question of the importation of salt fish at Venice, the Senate has the matter under consideration and is ready to hear Hailes and Devestein.
Ayes, 16. Noes, 0. Neutral, 0.
[Italian.]
Aug. 23.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni,
Corti.
Venetian
Archives.
104. To the Proveditore General of the Three Islands.
Repetition of the order for the strict observation of the decrees against extortionate charges of which the merchants complain, so that English ships may have occasion to come and take away currants and confer that benefit on the public interests.
Ayes, 16. Noes, 0. Neutral, 0.
[Italian.]
Aug. 23.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
105. Piero Mocenigo, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge & Senate.
The commissions of the emperor to the baron del l'Isola in Flanders to proceed immediately to the Hague and arrange for the inclusion of his Majesty in the triple alliance breathe fresh life into that affair just at the moment when such a result seemed more remote than ever. L'Isola has torn himself away from the side of the constable governor and at this moment will be at the ear of the States and face to face with the ministers of Sweden, who will continue with the usual complaints. Last week I reported the freedom with which the ministers in Holland spoke to the Spanish Ambassador Gamarra about the dissatisfaction of Sweden. To this I may now add that from the mouths of the Spaniards themselves news has lately come that 200,000 crowns have left Cadiz for the first instalment, with the circumstance that the duke of Alcala has had them laded on the Dutch convoy returning from the Levant. The delays of such expeditions which have been announced upon other occasions and proved to be vain prevent this from being accepted as absolutely certain. Some suspect that it is a stroke of the Spaniards to gain time and a trick to quiet Sweden. In the mean time it is certain that before paying the money the Spaniards claim to have a positive declaration about the quality and quantity of the succour of the allies. As this point has not yet been negotiated, and time is flying the difficulties will increase with the number of words devoted to reaching an agreement, as is the case at present with the emperor. Time will disclose the truth. For my part I believe that the Dutch ambassador will throw light on the subject, as they are beginning to announce at the Court, by offices at the palace and with the royal ambassadors.
This same baron dell' Isola has made himself such a reputation by the knowledge he possesses and is so devoted to the interests of the Catholic that at the moment he has drawn down on himself the wrath of the king of France. He is supposed to be the author of a book which has been printed at Cologne and entitled “French Policy.” (fn. 10) It calls the attention of princes to what is noticeable to them and hateful to their subjects in the policy and direction of the Most Christian king and it enlarges more particularly upon England, stirring up her suspicions of French understandings in the kingdoms of Scotland & Ireland. The Ambassador Colbert spoke about it indignantly to the king in the queen's chamber, deploring the exhibition of so much hatred & malice. Declaring the statements to be false he stated publicly that baron dell' Isola was the author. One can feel absolutely certain that a step so extreme was prompted by his king's instructions.
Five days ago the prince of Catholic Saxony (fn. 11) arrived here and he is still absolutely incognito at the Court as he wishes first to know what reception he will have from the king. The replies about this have not yet been settled but if the prince wishes to cut a public figure at the Court I believe that he will cover before the king; but if he elects to remain incognito he will be uncovered, following the example of the prince of Denmark and, more recently, of the son of the king of Denmark.
The ambassador of Denmark will make his public entry on Tuesday, not being able to wait any longer on the dilatoriness of the work people the more so because he was preparing to make an exceptional appearance. He has been disappointed at being refused the commissioners when he hoped in that way to discharge his duties with speed. He now realises that there will be no lack of delays in negotiating for the concession of some faculties to the Danes when the company of England was re-established there with so many privileges.
The queen being now restored in health and at liberty, after many baths taken in her own apartments, I presented the pope's brief sent by your Serenity some weeks ago. It was received with expressions of appreciation of your minister clearly indicating the value set on such mediation, as her Majesty recognised that she owed to the ambassadors of your Excellencies the reintroduction of correspondence with the Court of Rome which had been interrupted on the score of ceremonial. Her Majesty also interested herself in the events of Candia and in the question of succour, but she confined her remarks entirely to expressions of goodwill. This may serve as an assurance to the Senate.
London, the 23rd August, 1669.
[Italian.]
Aug. 30. Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Inghilterra. Venetian Archives.106. Piero Mocenigo, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge & Senate.
Viscount Faulcombridge will be coming at last as ambassador to your Serenity. His Majesty honours him with this character in response to the tokens of esteem received from the republic and as one well qualified by his condition. He has a place in parliament among the peers of the realm and by his ability and high spirit he is worthy to make known the king's gratitude to the Senate and to uphold the greatness & dignity of this crown. Your Serenity had expected this appointment long before this and yet it will come contrary to expectation, after the proposals advanced almost amounting to positive pledges of the selection of Sir John Finch, the resident at Florence. He had the advantage of his own position, the favour of his brother, the attorney general as well as the circumstance of his being near Venice and thus of relieving the public exchequer of the heavy cost of a special mission. In spite of all this the attached note, which the Secretary Arlington handed to me to day, confirms the appointment of Faulcombridge. He intimates to me that the viscount will be getting ready to start. To explain the delay since the proposal was last made in the Privy Council I will give your Excellencies a detailed account of what happened and of what led to the change in the person.
When Viscount Falcombridge had got word of the king's fixed determination to send an ambassador to Venice, and that they were thinking of sending Finch he hastened to the king. He asked that they should not be choosing others in his very face when he had for so long enjoyed the honour of the appointment. If it were taken from him his reputation would suffer irreparably. In spite of this reminder the king continued for some days to stand fast by Finch. But Faulcombridge had recourse to the duke of Hiorch to act as his protector, and relying on the goods & fortune of his wife and their capacity to take every burden off his shoulders, he insisted so strongly that it was finally decided that he should go to the embassy with your Serenity. This is the reason for the delay over the appointment, and such are the reasons for the change after they had practically decided to send Sir John Finch.
I shall be seeing the Secretary Arlington to morrow and shall afterwards go to audience of his Majesty to thank him formally. When Faulcombridge arrives in the city and when we exchange visits and formal courtesies I shall try and get something more definite out of him about his departure. I should hope that the eagerness of his wife for such an employment is matched by an equal desire to get away. She is the daughter of Cromwell and as such is looked on askance at Court. So she is longing to leave the kingdom with decorum and support the burden of the office with her money. The post is, for the rest, well deserved by the viscount who married in order not to lose the property usurped from him by Cromwell and who has given proofs of his loyalty to the king.
God grant that the resolution with which the Vice Admiral is proceeding against Algiers may prevent those corsairs from sending succour to the Turks and that his Majesty may not abate his severity against those infidels. At present they are treating English ships with every respect. With humble flatteries they would like to set on foot a new peace, but before that they will have to render a good account of the robberies committed since the last ratification.
It is necessary to use another kind of force against the Moors. On two occasions they have appeared before the walls of Tanger and now they are getting ready everything required for a general assault. The last letters of the 24th July bring similar news from that place. The governor (fn. 12) writes that the Moors have come down in great numbers from the neighbouring mountain of Moxfen. They had taken up their quarters between the forts outside the lines; but he succeeded in driving them away by heavy salvoes of musketry and by a prompt sortie of a part of the garrison. Here they would much prefer that the Ambassador Arondel should prevent a conflict by negotiation. They have heard how the fortunes of Taffilet are in the ascendent and how he subdues contumacious peoples and the neighbouring princes; but they fear that his arrival may be delayed.. In the mean time they are hastening the departure from London of the new governor of Tanger, Sir [John] Midleton who will take with him a quantity of munitions of war.
In the uncertainty about the advantage to be derived from the use of galleys in the port of Tanger they have directed Finch at Florence to provide a hull from one of the ports of Italy and to send it bare to Tanger. The furnishings will be sent thither from here, the expense being set off against the advantage and they will take measures for greater provision.
London, the 30th August, 1669.
[Italian.]
Aug. 30.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
107. Piero Mocenigo, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge & Senate.
Two fresh circumstances in the affair of the triple alliance are putting new life into it. One is the mission of the baron dell' Isola, sent to the Hague by the emperor to have his Majesty included in the alliance; the other the lading of 200,000 crowns on the Dutch fleet at Cadiz, as announced by the Spaniards. A careful discussion of both the points in the Privy Council has not made the least change in the policy of the government here of impartial watching. Owing to confidential advices some of them are beginning to suspect that baron dell' Isola has commissions to treat but has no authority, in the case of a conclusion, to include the emperor in the guarantee, although it will take a long time to verify this reserve on the part of the emperor because the difficulties of the negotiations will greatly delay a conclusion and not until they have reached that point will the reserves of Caesar become manifest.
The 200,000 crowns will make a great stir if they actually arrive with the convoy of Holland. This is said to have arrived in the English Channel, but as the Swedes cannot touch the money until after the declarations of the allies about the quality & quantity of their succours, this business also will require time. In the mean time the Spaniards, with the money in hand, will wait for the moment of necessity before paying it. Some are hinting that they should apply it to other purposes than those of arms, for their own defence. The truth is that the constable governor has increased the new duty for the export of the coal taken by the French for the purpose of the new fortifications. As your Excellencies will have learned from the Ambassador Morosini, the Most Christian has stopped the courier coming from Spain, obliging him to pay 1000 doubles for his passage into France. At the first blush such an unusual action would have the most sinister appearance, but the Ambassador Colbert has told the king that this severity is only in answer to that of the constable and to oblige him to desist from putting fresh charges upon that coal. On the other hand the Spaniards complain that the French have exported goods from England under the guise of coal and in this character have transported it under armed guard from Dunkirk through the dominions of the Catholic and across the French frontier. They thus escape the duties, because coal does not count as merchandise.
Such are the recriminations from one side to the other. At this Court they listen to everything but their ears will be closed to fresh lamentations of the Spaniards, even if fresh reports from America are verified about encounters between Spanish and English ships. These all differ in the circumstances, but all agree in the fact that the Spaniards had the worst of it. The ministers here are sceptical about the facts and deny that the governor of Jamaica had any such instructions. He acts on his own initiative, saying that to accustom the people there to plunder was to take them away from work and accordingly, to put an end to a common disadvantage, the Spaniards ought to remove the cause.
To the courtesy of the new king of Poland (fn. 13) who sent letters to the king here announcing his assumption of the crown, they propose to respond in the best manner and to return the expressions of a desire for good correspondence made by the Pole. The king here will reply merely by letter to the thanks offered by the Grand Duke for the favours extended to the Grand Prince. The queen has done the same with the Grand Prince who from Holland sent the news of his arrival there with renewed thanks.
On Tuesday after dinner the ambassador of Denmark made his public entry with extraordinary pomp. The coaches of the ambassadors took no part in it because they both had received a copy of the royal decree which forbids this, since the affair of the Spanish Ambassador Batteville. (fn. 14) To day this Danish ambassador had his first audience and with that ceases the privilege of being defrayed at the royal expense as ambassador extraordinary. He returns this evening from the royal house to his own, where he will receive the visits of the ambassadors and of distinguished persons of the Court.
The prince of Saxony, to avoid any sort of ceremonial has decided to remain incognito at Court. Under this cloak he has been to audience of the king & queen, being received as a private person, without covering according to the recent practice with the son of the king of Denmark and the Grand Prince of Tuscany.
London, the 30th August, 1669.
[Italian.]
Enclosure.108. Lord Arlington to the Ambassador Mocenigo.
Le Roy, mon maistre a trouvé bon de nommer Mons. le Vicomte de Faulcombridge pour aller a la serenissime republique de Venise en qualité de son ambassadeur. C'est ce que Sa Majesté m'a commandé de faire scavoir a Vostre Excellence et le dit Vicomte me mande de la campagne qu'il sera bientost ici en ville pour faire les aprests pour son voyage a Venise.
Signed: Arlington.

Footnotes

1 Paul de Barrillon, later ambassador extraordinary in England from 1677 to 1688. Recueil des Instructions aux Ambassadeurs Angleterre. ed. Jusserand, Vol. ii, p. 244.
2 According to Colbert a petition was to be presented on the 26th July by the leading master manufacturers of London in the name of over 20,000 Presbyterians of the West of England and the county of York, for liberty of conscience, with a threat to leave the country if it was not granted. Colbert to Lionne, the 25th July. P.R.O. Paris Transcripts.
3 Between 6 and 9 in the morning, according to Geo. Pley and Rugge. The weather was fair and calm and the tide low. Both say that it had only happened once, three years before. Cal. S.P. Dom. 1668–9, page 410. Brit. Mus. Add. MSS. 10117, fol. 230 d.
4 Lord Howard embarked on the Mary Rose on the 22nd July, old style. The ketch Roe was in attendance. Cal. S.P. Dom. 1668–9, pp. 402, 422.
5 Obliterated.
6 Killed in a sortie from Candia on the 24th July. There is an account of the circumstances in the London Gazette, Aug. 12–16. See also Guerin: Hist. Maritime de la France, Vol. i. pp. 421–2.
7 Sir Thomas Higgons who was accompanied by Thomas St. George, Somerset herald. The investiture took place on the 8/18 April. Ashmole: Order of the Garter, page 424.
8 Prince George of Denmark was born on 21 April, 1653, and was therefore over sixteen at this date. Fourteen years later he married the Princess Anne, afterwards queen of England.
9 Thomas Warren.
10 Il court ici un mechant livre sous le nom de la “Politique Francaise,” qui commence a faire grand bruit … c'est un long vomissement d'injures contre les Anglais et un proposition qu'il fait au roy, notre maître, de plusieurs moyens … pour exciter des guerres civiles en Angleterre, Ecosse et Irelande.” Colbert to Lionne, 22 August. P.R.O. Paris Transcripts. Charles said it was undoubtedly by Lisola, but it is not in the list given by Pribram: Freiherr von Lisola, page 353, note.
11 Julius Francis, the last duke of Saxe Lauenburg. Colbert reported on the 5th Sept. that the king was hunting with him all day. Colbert to Bellefonds. P.R.O. Paris Transcripts.
12 Colonel Norwood, the lieutenant governor. John, earl of Middleton, though appointed governor in May 1668, did not go out until October 1669. Routh: Tangier, pp. 126–6.
13 Michael Wisniowiecki, elected 19 June, 1669.
14 The affray with the French ambassador Estrades on the occasion of the entry of the Swedish ambassador Brahe on 30 Sept. 1661, o.s. See Vol. xxxiii of this Calendar, pp. 54–5.