Venice
January 1670

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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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146-155

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'Venice: January 1670', Calendar of State Papers Relating to English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 36: 1669-1670 (1937), pp. 146-155. URL: http://british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=90269 Date accessed: 23 October 2014.


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January 1670

Jan. 2.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Savoia.
Venetian
Archives.
160. Francesco Michieli, Venetian Ambassador in Savoy. to the Doge and Senate.
The trade of Villafranca, which they are considering how to reinvigorate through the correspondence with the English, is not considered by men of judgment to be so likely to rise again as they are disposed to believe here. The state of the port, the poverty of the neighbouring districts, the total absence of mercantile houses are the chief impediments that stand in its way. There is moreover the vicinity of the port of Marseilles, which has made itself the most considerable in that part of the Mediterranean, not less because of the respectable number of ships which go there for trade under the flag of the Most Christian than from the opulence of the private merchants. However they are looking for the British ambassador, Falcombrighe, with quite exceptional eagerness in the hope that, in the capacity of ambassador extraordinary, he may introduce some seed of good and manifest correspondence, although they are in some doubt about his character which has been only vaguely reported.
Turin, the 2nd January, 1670.
[Italian.]
Jan. 3.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
161. Piero Mocenigo, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
I wrote to your Serenity that the triple alliance would have a great part in the proceedings of this parliament. This is proved by the very close attention paid to the movements of the Spanish ministers at Brussels and the Hague. Under the pretext of going to take his wife, who had come to Franche Comté, the Baron dell' Isola has proceeded to Brussels. After several conferences with the constable governor, that superfine minister tried to impress on his Excellency the danger to all the transactions discussed at the Hague if they did not come to a speedy decision and so deprive the allies of any further pretext for astonishment over the numerous Spanish delays.
So far we have not learned what L'Isola got out of this conference, after which he returned immediately to the Hague. What he said to his intimates is that the alliance and the guarantee could easily be concluded seeing that the Dutch were quite ready to have a force of 70,000 men, foot and horse, without counting the fleet; and the allies were ready as agreed in the papers drawn up in the interest of Spain, to hasten to the rescue with their forces at any move made by the French against Flanders. Of the offensive alliance desired by the Spaniards the baron said nothing or about the inclusion of the emperor either, since it is not known at present whether the constable is insisting upon this and whether he is satisfied with the promise of a guarantee as a security for the money paid out. The truth is that Baron dell' Isola, brought to advise the consolidation of the alliance, either from hearing the reports of exchanges between the Spaniards and the French, or because he has allowed himself to be persuaded to it in Holland, has chosen to run his own course, after having heard from the Ambassador Gomara, and has gone to be the first to sound the mind of the constable. According to information in the secretariat of state, he only met with the customary evasions and after a while the confirmation of the repeated reports of an exchange of fortresses between the crowns. A few days will disclose the truth, or otherwise of this, and your Serenity will hear it from the proper places. I should not venture to discredit the information of these ministers or anticipate what others may possibly disclose, to give a push and an end to the alliance.
The Dutch, although their attention is distracted by such great military preparations for forthcoming events, are thinking in the mean time about the Levant trade. This is most seriously injured by the corsairs in the Mediterranean, so that they find themselves under the necessity of arming a squadron of ships of war in order to take their share with the English for the protection of trade and for the disruption of the corsairs. The matter is not yet decided, but frequent consultations are being held. It would seem that their policy is to make themselves so strong in the Mediterranean that they will have no reason to fear any mishap to their rich convoys which might be attacked on their voyage to the Levant.
Vice Admiral Alen confirms his withdrawal from before Algiers. Confirmation has arrived from several quarters of the news that six English fishing ships have fallen into the hands of the Algerines. (fn. 1) News has also come that these same corsairs are coming out from their port thirty five sail strong, a few caravels and ships with up to 40 guns, but all together they will not venture to encounter the English squadrons, knowing themselves to be too weak to engage such strong frigates.
From Scotland comes word of a new act passed by the parliament there in favour of foreigners of the Protestant religion who care to go and live there with their families and introduce their industries into that country, declaring that whenever they ask it they will be admitted to naturalisation, for nothing but the slight cost of the royal patents which will be distributed by the ministers there. (fn. 2) This resolution is of great importance and it redounds to the credit of the Commissioner Lauderdaile, who seconds the king's intentions so well, in his intention to open the correspondence between the two countries by several means.
Orders have reached Count Maffei, the envoy of Savoy, to visit the royal ambassadors without claiming the hand in the house as he has done hitherto; he came accordingly to this house three evenings ago. Information has arrived from Paris about the style and title practised by the Most Christian with the duke of Savoy. As no marks of royalty are to be seen the count has good reason to fear that the letter of the king here will be, as usual, in the French tongue and that titles will be left out.
London, the 3rd January, 1669. [M.V.]
[Italian, the part in italics deciphered.]
Jan. 4.
Senato,
Secreta,
Dispacci,
Genoa.
Venetian
Archives.
162. Paris Tasca, Venetian Consul at Genoa, to the Doge and Senate.
The duke of Savoy sent Count Maffei to London upon the death of the queen mother and took occasion to suggest the appointment of a consul for London and Villafranca. Here, feeling apprehensive about their trade, they have chosen for their consul in London Signor Agostino Ottone, with an honorarium of 1,200 pieces of eight in addition to the perquisites belonging to the consulship.
Genoa, the 4th January, 1669. [M.V.]
[Italian.]
Jan. 8.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia,
Venetian
Archives.
163. Zuane Moresini, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
Monsieur di Martel is staying in the Mediterranean with a large squadron of royal ships for the purpose, so they assure me, of inflicting injury on the Algerine corsairs. (fn. 3) This may possibly result in open war against them at an early date and even in the siege of Algiers itself, if the English make no objection, for they also are in the neighbourhood of that town with considerable forces.
Paris, the 8th January, 1669. [M.V.]
[Italian.]
Jan. 9.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni,
Corti.
Venetian
Archives.
164. To the Ambassador in England.
The Ambassador Falcombrighe will always be welcome; and as we note that he may have commissions to put on the table a treaty on maritime affairs it will be of great advantage to us to be informed of any commissions that may be given to him on this subject.
Ayes, 118. Noes, 1. Neutral, 1.
[Italian.]
Jan. 10.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
165. Piero Mocenigo, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
Your Serenity is aware of the great importance of the meeting of parliament in England and you have been kept informed of its proceedings. A matter worthy of the attention of your Excellencies is the royal prevention against all disorders such as might upset the greater good if not cause mischief in present circumstances. In the interval before the opening of the new session the king is consulting with his intimates and with the Council he decides what he thinks to be fitting. Taking past examples as his guide, in which it is found that the absence of good men from the meetings of that parliament caused the fatal disasters, he now issues a strict order obliging the members of the Upper House and those of the Lower to be all present on the 14th February and to take their places in the assembly, on pain of the penalties already established by the laws. (fn. 4) The fear of punishment will overcome the scruples of the good who in the past preferred to absent themselves from the Houses rather than take part there where unruly spirits were proposing scandalous matters. Now that they are obliged to take part in all the debates the king will have his side assured by a majority of votes, as the good ones are the more numerous and the reins will no more be left in the hands of the unquiet spirits who used to have the more important resolutions to themselves.
This decree issued from the Council after another important affair had reached them. The Lord Mayor, governor of London, presented to them urgently a letter written to him by an individual living at Amsterdam. (fn. 5) This person is unknown to him, but in another way is discovered by the Court to be a malignant Englishman who by distributing other letters of the same kind among the members of parliament thinks that amid the uproar he will find a way of getting back to London, from which he was hunted as being objectionable and disloyal, and render himself acceptable and necessary. He writes that some person has arrived here from Rome on purpose to take part in the activities in which the two grand chaplains of the queen are engaged by night in the city of London, maintaining more than 30,000 Catholic households, all ready at a sign from them, with the idea of rendering the practice of the Catholic religion free in England very shortly. He adds to these other inventions of less consequence. The author of all these things being discredited, the king spoke openly in the queen's chamber with so much contempt that there is good reason to believe that the Catholics will continue in the quiet which they enjoy at present.
Another kind of sensation has been caused by the news of an encounter between two English frigates and six Algerine vessels. It seems that the good fortune, which at the outset favoured the frigates, turned afterwards to the side of the ships, and the English, by the death of a captain let slip the victory that was in their hands. (fn. 6) More definite news is awaited since it is of great consequence that those corsairs should not be encouraged by some success and become strong at sea.
The instructions which recently reached the Ambassador Galdelenn from Denmark were that he should proceed with all speed to the bishop of Munster. The Dutch ambassador, although he does not know the reason, lets it be seen that the States will hardly be pleased about this mission, as they claim that Denmark, out of gratitude, should show more confidence. But that country has strong claims against Holland for the repayment of expenses incurred in the late war with the English.
When I returned the visit of Count Maffei, the envoy of Savoy, at his house, he expressed so great a respect for your Serenity that I assured him of the Senate's regard for the duke, his master. With regard to his negotiations he finds them in the uncertainty reported and for the moment he does not know when or how he can bring them to a conclusion satisfactory to the duke, or no.
This week the usual letters are lacking from all parts. This will serve to excuse the more than ordinary poverty of my communication.
London, the 10th January, 1669. [M.V.]
[Italian.]
Jan. 17.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
166. Piero Mocenigo, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The prorogation of parliament suspends any important decision in the country and the winds which continue obstinately contrary hinder the passage of letters; so in the absence of any action here and of advices of that of others at the Hague, that concern England, my despatch to your Serenity will again be defective. In the certainty that the bad weather must very soon come to an end, after several days of continuous winds, snow and rain, the Ambassador goes on with his preparation, and so far as he personally is concerned he has everything ready for the journey with his numerous suite. He has also received the letter of credence for your Serenity from the secretary of state. Those for the dukes of Savoy and Tuscany have not yet been despatched as they have not yet made up their minds whether the royal marks desired by the envoy Count Maffei shall be put in the title. The question will be decided very speedily, from what the Ambassador Faulcombridge tells me. He intends to get away from the Court next week, and to day he kissed his Majesty's hand for the last time before setting out. Faulcombridge tells me that in his commissions he is charged to offer your Serenity a treaty for maritime affairs to facilitate the trade of both nations, but your Excellencies will hear his proposals more definitely and will have no difficulty in making them out or need of information to decide what is best for your service.
The envoy of Savoy also is delaying his start as he is waiting for a decision about the titles of the letter to the duke, his master. His only ground for hoping to get them in conformity with what he wishes is good intentions which may be merely the formal civility of some minister who as yet has not known how to refuse his demand. In the mean time Count Maffei has not been to the house of the Dutch ambassador, saying that his instructions from the duke are only to see the ambassadors of France and Venice. The minister of Denmark is not included in the exclusion because on the arrival of the instructions he was already despoiled of his office and since three days his Excellency has been on board ship awaiting a favourable wind for his passage to Holland.
On the 3rd of last month, by the old style, General Monch, duke of Albemarle died after a long struggle with his maladies. He is very well known to your Serenity for his noteworthy action in restoring the present king to his throne and to the command of the realms usurped by the specious protection of Cromuel. For this reason and for his other remarkable qualities the king, the royal house and all the Court deplore his loss. In order that the tokens of the royal gratitude may live on in his son, the earl of Torrington, the king has confirmed to him the title of duke, invested him with the order of the Garter, which his father wore, and further conferred on him the post of gentleman of the bedchamber and of lord lieutenant of the county of Devon. The funeral preparations are now being made at the royal expense with a splendour befitting the quality and merits of the individual, serving as further evidence of the royal generosity with which his Majesty has already signalised himself by giving pardon to his enemies and also shown by the conspicuous favours, always conferred with the utmost magnanimity.
In accordance with the usual custom councils have been exceedingly frequent these last days. Your Serenity already knows the royal will, publicly announced, that differences and ill feeling between his leading ministers shall be extinguished. They are now seen together very frequently and there could not be a better appearance of the utmost readiness for the best understanding. It is impossible for anyone to say what lies underneath until the reassembling of parliament, which is the field of battle, although every one cherishes the hope that the king's service and wishes will result therefrom, for the consolation of the community.
London, the 17th January, 1669. [M.V.]
[Italian.]
Jan. 18.
Inquisitori
di Stato.
Busta 918.
Venetian
Archives.
167. The Inquisitors of State to Pietro Mocenigo, Ambassador in England.
Very notable prejudice has been suffered by the trade in Venetian cloth which in other times was universally esteemed, and brought so much benefit to the public exchequer. Now that it has pleased God to give us peace we hope that it may recover and be restored to its former flourishing condition. To this end all foreign cloth has been forbidden here and every effort is being made to ensure that the manufacture of cloth shall be as perfect as possible, so that the disposal of it may be as easy and as plentiful as it can possibly be made. The beauty of the cloth seems to be the thing that appeals to the purchasers more than anything else, so if your Excellency can succeed in inducing some skilful and experienced workman in the work over there to proceed hither to continue his employment, it would be an admirable service. We offer inducements to do this promising any one who is ready to come here with this object such rewards as your prudence may consider, provided they are of moderate quality. It would also be profitable to encourage some other artisan who is a perfect workman at hose, cord making and other things manufactured there, and which are highly esteemed here, to proceed to this city, in the assurance that everyone will be welcomed and protected by the public authority, and with the hope of improving, perhaps notably, their own fortunes. Your Excellency's prudence will understand the nature of the affair which is of no slight importance, and we are persuaded that you will do your utmost to secure the object. We shall await the results of your diligence and wish you every success.
18 January, 1669. [M.V.]
[Italian.]
Jan. 24.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
168. Piero Mocenigo, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
As soon as the ways were opened the ducali of the 14th, 21st and 27th December reached me together, with those of the 3rd January. The commission to pay attention to any fresh moves in England about the Levant trade is not the only one nor the most important. Since the first information received by the merchants here from those at Venice and while waiting for the reply, I do not see that they are taking any further steps, nor has the Levant Company as yet decided to make any move or to petition his Majesty. This company is no more than an aggregate of merchants who have been admitted from time to time by the company itself. That body was set up by past kings for no other purpose than to give rewards to those individuals who had, at such great hazard, carried the trade to the marts of Turkey and to encourage their successors to continue it by the inducement of privileges. Among these there is that of obliging every one, who is not a member of the company and who claims to trade in the Levant, to pay 20 per cent. It enjoys this benefit with good reason, as it is subject to the obligation to maintain an ambassador at the Porte and consuls at the marts as well as to provide such presents as may be required at Constantinople for all extraordinary occasions. All this is raised by a limited imposition of so much per cent. on the goods which are sent by the merchants of the company, administered by their chiefs who are chosen from time to time by the company itself. This company is said to be without capital, because each merchant independently sends his own goods. This is not the case with the company of the Indies where the chiefs distribute the money in the purchase of the effects which they exchange again by means of other ministers maintained in their eastern ports and stations. These being returned afterwards and sold by auction the proceeds are subsequently distributed from time to time in just proportion.
The merchants of the Levant Company send out iron, lead and tin, materials which the piety of our state does not permit to be exported into Turkish territory from its own dominions. The trade has increased so greatly since the war for Candia that they have now reached a yearly export from here of 50,000 pieces of cloth; 30,000 being sent to Smyrna and Constantinople and 20,000 to Alessandria and Aleppo, but all of inferior quality for ordinary use. Holland follows the same policy but I fancy that those Provinces have not half the trade that England possesses. They also have the reputation of making many more false “luigini” than are coined in this country and now I hear that the States are taking steps to prohibit them rigorously, to divert the perils that might arise from decisions at Constantinople.
From the Hague also we hear that all the demands of the Spaniards are adjusted on the side of Sweden and Holland, but as the constable governor is constantly piling up fresh difficulties on the top of the old ones, suspicion is redoubled and the Swedish minister is now reduced to promise that he will determine the time for giving the succour, with the addition of the promise of Holland. The latest difference to arise is that the constable is unwilling to pay out more than one half of the money which he has ready there. He promises the rest on the arrival of the replies and ratification from Sweden. It is not known whether the Swedish minister will agree to this, after he has settled so many points to the satisfaction of the Spaniards.
Count Maffei has this week taken leave of the king and queen and of the duke and duchess of Hiorch. He is getting ready to depart without having been able to achieve any royal mark in the letter written by the king to the duke, his master. By this all the difficulties in the way of the departure of the Ambassador Faulcombridge have been removed and he came yesterday to this house to take leave of me. He said that he would be leaving next week, but I shall wait until next week to make sure of this, by the next ordinary, as I know well how difficult it is for the English to tear themselves away from London.
Poor Galileo has not been able after all to survive the release of his son, although he was very near a hundred years of age. His wife came to bring me the news, with tears in her eyes. She humbly petitions your Serenity that, at the opening up of general consolation, the state in its pity will rescue her son from slavery and supply her impoverished resources with a generous hand.
London, the 24th January, 1669. [M.V.]
[Italian.]
Jan. 31.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
169. Piero Mocenigo, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
I have at last the satisfaction of being able to write that Viscount Faulcombridge, ambassador extraordinary designate to your Serenity, has set out from London. Last Tuesday morning he took the road to Dover with a numerous equipage and embarked for the passage to France, so he may be supposed to have arrived at the port of Cales or a little way off. His Excellency will go straight on to Paris and from there to Lyon. After he has attended to some matters there he will go on to execute his commissions with the duke of Savoy and the Grand Duke of Tuscany while he has a letter for the republic of Genoa also. After this he will at last be free to set forth his character as ambassador to your Serenity.
Quite three weeks ago, in the queen's chamber, the king remarked to me that he rejoiced at the improvement in the weather because he wished his ambassador to have a prosperous journey. I responded by saying how much your Serenity desired to have a minister of his Majesty in residence as a fresh pledge of his regard for the most serene republic. There was no time to say more and I am keeping more ample expressions for the arrival of instructions from your Excellencies. In the mean time I have seen Lord Arlington and assured him of the Senate's appreciation of what he had done in stimulating his Majesty's intention and seconding his resolutions.
I know that the despatch of this embassy cannot be ascribed to the effect of my offices and intimations, since the justice of correspondence opened the way for me and it had all been due to your Serenity long since. Yet the result is in conformity with the wishes of your Excellencies, even if I may not flatter myself that my care to win the king's regard and the means I have employed to gain the confidence of ministers have brought about a favourable state of mind and stimulated the decision if they did not bring it to a head.
On the other side there is no deception but hard matter of fact in the discomforts that I experience in order to make the representation of your Serenity as splendid as possible. Assuredly there has been no occasion when I have avoided making an appearance at Court with the ambassadors; no gratuity which I have spared, in observing the custom, although raised again by the ministers of the crown, while there is not a corner of the city where the most distinguished personages have not had the goodness to favour and acknowledge the minister of your Excellencies.
I have submitted to all these charges, holding fast to the principle that the intentions expressed once by the state's compassion will be converted into effective favours. I have received these intentions fully in the ducali of the 26th and 27th October and the 7th December 1668. I will not say any more about the meagreness of the state's emoluments, restricted to the old amounts, whereas at present one is forced to increase one's expenditure enormously. I will not recapitulate the burdens which I have experienced since they were well known to your Excellencies when you sent me hurriedly to plant an embassy in a new country without the usual advantage of a predecessor. I only permit myself to place under the eyes of each of your Excellencies the very heavy burdens which are laid upon the house by the government of Padua. Relying entirely upon the public generosity I do not insist further in my petition for some relief as you will know that it is necessary to my poor depleted fortune.
The envoy Count Maffei left on Monday for France taking the letters in reply to the duke, his master. As he laid aside his pretensions and as, from the use of the Most Christian, who writes in French, they gathered nothing here except the title of brother, the count was successful in getting the title of brother inserted in the letter of the king here who, writing in Latin, agreed to use this title, abandoned since the time of Henry VIII. For the rest the ceremonial is in accordance with the ancient use. The count called on the ambassadors of France and your Serenity, saying that he was not at liberty to see him of Holland. He renewed his expressions of regard in the duke's name so I let him go, persuaded of the peculiar esteem of the most serene republic for his duke. He left equally pleased with the French ambassador who showed him the greatest civilities.
London, the last of January, 1669. [M.V.]
[Italian.]

Footnotes

1 This happened in November off Cape Gata. Six Turkish men of war engaged a convoy of the Newfoundland fishing ships. Capt. Hubbard of the Milford was killed through being too venturesome. Of the convoy the Tunis Merchant was burned and six others taken. The rest were brought safely into the bay of Almeria. Three of the captured ships were subsequently retaken. Cal. S.P. Dom., 1668–9, page 603. London Gazette, Nov. 18–22, 1669.
2 An act for the naturalisation of aliens, of 8 Dec. 1669. Acts of the Parliament of Scotland, Vol. vii, page 559.
3 The marquis de Martel, lieutenant general of the naval forces of France. He was reported on 4 January from Paris to be putting to sea from Marseilles with sixteen war ships to make war on the pirates of Algiers. Guérin: Hist. Maritime de La France, Vol. i, page 429. London Gazette, 1669, Dec. 30–Jan. 3.
4 By proclamation of the 23rd December o.s. Cal. S.P. Dom., 1668–9, page 626. Steele: Tudor and Stuart Proclamations, Vol. i, page 427, No. 3531.
5 The letter written from Amsterdam on 16/26 Nov. by William Carr to Sir Sam. Sterling, the lord mayor, is printed in Cal. S.P. Dom., 1668–9, page 619.
6 This sounds like a confusion between the action off Cape Gata in which Capt. Hubbard, was killed, and a fight in the bay of Cadiz in mid December between Rear Admiral Kempthorne in the Mary Rose and an Algerine squadron of from 5 to 7 ships, in which Kempthorne succeeded in getting his convoy into safety. Cal. S.P. Dom., 1668–9, pp. 630, 633. London Gazette, Jan. 31–Feb. 3.