Venice
April 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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174-182

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'Venice: April 1670', Calendar of State Papers Relating to English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 36: 1669-1670 (1937), pp. 174-182. URL: http://british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=90272 Date accessed: 26 July 2014.


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April 1670

April 4.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
187. Piero Mocenigo, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
Parliament could not take up a question of greater interest to the community than that of religion. This is laid on the table solely for the repression of turbulent spirits in the multitude of conventicles. It has stirred them to such an extent that, that the tender consciences of these furiously zealous sectaries being aroused by them, more and more opposition is being generated against the severe measures which had been already decreed against such dangerous meetings. Every day disputes take place in parliament under the cloak of religion, with opposition to the regulations proposed in the interests of quiet and not to limit the meditations of the heart upon the faith but to divert the imaginings of unquiet brains in numerous assemblies. The king with infinite dexterity, to give a good turn to this affair and to introduce by degrees his own authority, caused the arrest last Sunday of a Presbyterian preacher, surprised at a meeting of three hundred persons, including gentlemen, ladies and some members of both the Upper and Lower Houses. (fn. 1)
This action has stirred bitter feeling among many, although they know and admit that it is based upon old acts of parliament. But the king, intent on establishing the veneration for Majesty which was contaminated by past events and to resume a practice neglected by his predecessors since the days of Henry VIII, attended in the Upper House several times last week, without the royal insignia. Allowing the lords there to cover he pretended to figure there as a private person, but under this cloak he maintained vigorously that of prince. No one there dared to abuse the liberty of speaking upon the subjects under discussion, or ventured, except in terms of the utmost submission, to answer the views expressed by his Majesty.
Thus the preacher remains buried in prison to this day and they are proceeding with great modesty in the matter of religion. The Lower House has abandoned for the time being a bill introduced there against the Catholics, mentioned before, and which tried to renew the most severe persecutions.
The king did not take part in the two sittings of the Upper House when they took two votes upon the appointment of commissioners about the matrimonial dispute reported; but it is probable that he will be present at the third and last to hear the replies and share in the result, which he wishes to be in favour of the earl. It seems that the Lords are disposed to allow marriage after divorce according to the custom of the primitive church with which the Anglican complies since its separation from the Roman. His Majesty's wishes in favour of the earl are not supported by the offices of the duke of Hiorch; but there is nothing whatever behind this as it is due solely to private considerations.
It will rejoice the piety of your Excellencies to hear that they are sacrificing to God 280,000l. sterling for the building of ninety of the hundred and thirty five churches burned in London. The conspicuous cathedral of St. Paul is also rising from its ruins. The Lower House drew up a bill and for the capital set apart a tax upon coal for seventeen years. (fn. 2) Only the concurrence of the Upper House and the royal assent are required to make it an act.
Last week I wrote of the exertions of the Baron dell' Isola for the inclusion of the emperor in the alliance but up to the present the fruits of his operations have not reached the secretariat of state here. They gather rather that there is a certain coolness, in proportion to the diversions which are increasing for Caesar in the part nearest his heart.
This is only a suspicion, similar to the suspicion of Holland that the Most Christian in his journey to Flanders, attended by numerous forces, is aiming at nothing else than to assist the bishop of Cologne against the city, and when that is done, to put a garrison there to ruin the trade of the States on the Rhine. It is also said that his Majesty intends with his forces to support the pretensions of Neuburgh to the city of Aix la Chapelle.
The truth is that the Count of Molina, destined as ambassador extraordinary in France will come here to this Court in the same capacity. He is expected to come with more ample instructions on the subject of the boundaries so that it may be possible to make a start with the arbitration. It is my duty to inform your Excellencies of this in advance in order that you may furnish me with the most precise instructions in the matter of ceremonial. But his Excellency writes that he is leaving with all speed and some believe that he has already left Madrid. In any case, if he arrives before the ducali of your Serenity I believe I shall be acting rightly in following the example of the French ambassador.
Sig. Agostino Morosini has arrived at this house, son of the late Procurator, Sig. Alvise. He has come to these northern parts to gather information and perfect his experience which he has gained by long and diligent wanderings.
London, the 4th April, 1670.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
April 9.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
188. Zuane Moresini, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
As the duke of Orleans strongly opposes the wish of the duchess, his wife, to go to England, and as his Highness persists in that attitude even though he had apparently consented to the journey itself, at the first difficulties, it would seem as if this move was not so certain as it was before. Some of those who are most in the duke's confidence are hinting that his Highness may be going to accompany his wife as far as Dover, if the king remains constant in permitting her to proceed to that port. As the declaration involves divers and serious consequences it will oblige the government to ponder, from the incontestable propriety of not forbidding the duke to follow in the wake of his wife.
Paris, the 9th April, 1670.
[Italian.]
189. Caterin Belegno, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.
The envoy of England is urging the government here for their final decision about the arbitration conferred by France upon his king and upon the crown of Sweden. Here they are determined to gain time and to wait for the replies from Stocolm; but he, being wide awake and subtle has protested to the count of Pegnoranda that he will write to London that all they are aiming at here is to create hurtful delays in order not to submit themselves to the judgment about the disputed countries. He pays no attention to their waiting for the replies from Sweden, seeing that the Spaniards did not ask for them. That the Most Christian had submitted himself absolutely, upon the uncertainty whether the arbitration would be accepted. They had to do the same here to wait for the resolutions. In the mean time he found himself obliged to represent that he had discovered that they do not incline to the reference, indeed that they wish to give occasion for starting war.
Last Wednesday he spoke about this with Pegnoranda and that evening, at midnight, word was sent to him that the queen would put herself in the hands of England and Sweden if they would accept the offer, with the reservation of nominating two other princes at an opportune moment. The envoy is not satisfied with this answer. He claims to have something more specific and that the two other powers be declared at once. It is understood that the government will not insist, in order not to arouse the mistrust of England or to offend France.
The English envoy has given me to understand that England would be pleased to see the pope and the republic have a hand in this affair and that King Charles, for his part, would put no difficulties in the way of the proposal.
Madrid, the 9th April, 1670.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
April 11.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
190. Piero Mocenigo, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The dispute of Lord Roche with his wife in the Upper House was on the footing of a simple private difference until the bishops intervened and the duke of Hiorch opposed the marriage which the earl proposed to contract after the divorce of his wife. The king was summoned to the turmoil, and as he sided with Roche the scale tips in favour of his Majesty's wishes, it being carried by a majority of several votes of the House that after divorce it is permissible to proceed to a second marriage in accordance with the practice of the primitive church from which they claim that none of the king's predecessors has departed since the apostasy of Henry VIII. It remains for the Lower House to pass the decree of the Upper with the king's consent when it will become an act of parliament. In respect of current events and comments on the consequences, I have no further duty than to report to your Excellencies the veneration for the royal authority which carries off everything according to its pleasure. In the course of time it is possible that the disorders foretold by the bishops will disclose themselves or other changes of greater consequence.
I might wait for definite news of the departure of the duchess of Orleans from Paris for this Court and advise your Serenity of her arrival here when it occurred; but some of the ministers here are so firmly impressed with the opinion that the Most Christian has designs for thwarting the alliance that even anticipations merit the attention of your Excellencies. The partisans of the alliance suppose that Madame proposes by strong arguments to prevail over the spirit of the king, her brother. But since he is known to be sufficiently provided with money at present by parliament it is believed that she will find his Majesty's mind fortified on the ground that his honour is pledged, by his glory before the world, by his promise to the allies and to the Spaniards, by his own interest, by the security from foreigners and by the quiet of the kingdom, which would insensibly resent a union with France. With the king imbued with such representations, so inimical to the proposals of the duchess, the alliance would seem so deeply rooted that one may prognosticate that the duchess will find closed ears and only the mouth open for the most affectionate expressions and greetings.
The States of Holland also continue in their suspicion of the supposed designs of the Most Christian upon the cities of Cologne and Aix la Chapelle, as reported. They have sent troops to the frontier and warned their friends near by, as if the king finds them alert and ready for the stroke, it will be the more easily diverted.

It would appear that the troubles in the dominions of Taffilet are quieting down. The last letters from Cadiz report that he has succeeded in appeasing them by the death of two nephews; but a third is still alive and may possibly wish to try his fortune. Meanwhile, in the expectation of more authentic news from Tanger they are not making the least alteration in the commissions sent to the Ambassador Arondel, although they would greatly desire to see the embassy accomplished, friendship assured, confidence real and a commercial agreement concluded with that prince for the safety of the fortress and the increase of trade at Tanger. On the other hand they are stiffening the orders to Alen, pari passu with reinforcements, to seek out opportunities for collisions and wherever possible to beat the Algerines, who have grown more audacious than ever. It is learned here that they have not only refused the exchange of slaves, taken since the last war, but that they have also put out to sea with thirty two pirate ships, the greater part of which are occupying the mouth of the Strait. From the report of certain ships it is learned that other English craft have been chased right into the mouth of the English Channel by three corsairs, each of which carried an armament of forty guns. They are also cruising in those waters to carry off some ship as a rich prize. (fn. 3) It is possible that the mere report that van Gent has sailed from Holland may drive them away from these seas. They would wish here that the States should carry their plan into effect once and for all and would prefer that the squadron should not be so numerous provided it was swift, after all the time that they have been talking about sending against the corsairs.
London, the 11th April, 1670.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
April 16.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
191. Zuane Moresini, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
With the extreme partiality of the king for the duchess of Orleans, which becomes more marked every day, her Highness has been able to invoke the royal offices with the duke, his brother to induce him to consent to this journey to England, so greatly desired by Madame. Although the duke resisted the first instances of the king, his Highness has in these last days put aside his own private feelings and referred the question with complete submission to the absolute decision of the king. Accordingly the duchess will carry out this longed for journey as far as Dover and will be very nobly attended and with the utmost pomp for which various preparations are being made.
The chief reason for the king's eagerness to gratify the wishes of his sister in law is, as I have previously intimated to your Excellencies, that her Highness may exercise the enormous influence which she has over the British king, her brother, to inspire him with better sentiments towards this side, facilitate the promotion of reciprocal trade and detach him from the interests of the triple alliance, dissipating the doubts which are constantly being suggested to him by the enemies of this Court and to assure him of the most wholehearted disposition on this side to continue in the most perfect correspondence with his Majesty. Those who have the most thorough acquaintance with the ideas and interests of his Britannic Majesty believe the success of these proposals to be impossible, because of more serious consequences.
Paris, the 16th April, 1670.
[Italian.]
April 17.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Savoia.
Venetian
Archives.
192. Francesco Michieli, Venetian Ambassador in Savoy, to the Doge and Senate.
The latest news that comes from Lyon reports the arrival there of my lord Falcombrighe and that on the following day, which would be the 17th inst. he would decide about continuing his journey towards this city. He is awaited here with particular anxiety. The government is desirous principally to supply him with particulars concerning the port of Villa Franca and to expose the falsehoods disseminated by the Genoese which they have circulated in London, to see to it that trade there is destroyed even before it is begun.
Turin, the 17th April, 1670.
[Italian.]
April 18.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra
Venetian
Archives.
193. Piero Mocenigo, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The sittings of parliament are brought near to their conclusion with so much felicity that they well deserve a special record and infinite glory is due to the prudence of the king. Recurring to ancient precedents he has revived the ancient practice of taking his place in the Upper House, without the royal pomp, and has chosen by his presence to encourage the good and to restrain unquiet spirits in the discussions which remained to be decided. The success of this expedient has not fallen short of expectation. Thus the supposed perils of the severity to be used against the sectaries being considered with more modesty, those who favoured the same devoted themselves to demonstrating clearly the discredit into which the laws would fall if they remained a dead letter, while it was concluded that the enforcement of them would drive the richest subjects out of the country. It was therefore decided, for the quiet of the people and the good of trade, to moderate the comminations. As it seems that the Lower House does not mean to renew the proposals, the affair is near a conclusion. So this way also by the wise guidance of the king will be closed against upheavals such as are sought by the unquiet spirits who cavilled about the other matter of the provision of money and the jurisdiction of the respective Houses.
The matrimonial dispute settled by the Upper House by giving liberty in the future to marry again after divorce has also been approved by the Lower House and the king has concurred; so it will be registered as an act, in conformity with the others for the holy reform of the Anglican church, purified of the innovations of the popes, by which they pretend that the true church left by the voice of God to the apostles was corrupted.
As the indications point to the complete settlement of everything at an early date, the whole Court is getting ready to follow the king to the hunting and other diversions of the country at Niumarchet; but before leaving London his Majesty is resolved to permit the members of parliament to return to their homes, reserving the right to call them back for other occasions now that the obedience and zeal of the Lower House do not provoke him to a fresh nomination.
The sojourn at Niumarchet will not be very long. His Majesty will return from there to London and will get ready for the journey to Dover at which place Madame, the duchess of Orleans, will arrive, as Mons. Colbert has been to inform him in the name of the Most Christian. The ambassador added that Madame would not have permission from the duke, her husband to stay more than three days and that the king here would be informed of it fifteen days in advance. Colbert himself was obliged to cross to Cales for a short time to join the Most Christian.
Last week I informed your Serenity what was thought about this move. It is said now that bad weather might prolong the period of three days for the conferences and many other things are discussed with no better foundation. The truth is that as the ambassadors, under circumstances of general relaxation, are obliged to follow the king to his hunting in the country, they may also be compelled to join in the journey to Dover. If I have to suffer this exceptional and unexpected strain on my purse I feel confident that the clemency of the Senate will not abandon me, out of consideration for the excessive expenditure in which the service of the state will involve me where the gathering of the whole Court will raise enormously the price of even the smallest commodities so that the very air one breathes will be for sale.
While all these appearances do not look well for the concert of the alliance, the ministers do not cease to regret the delay in the ratifications of Sweden at the Hague although there is relief in realising that the reason is the absence of the king from Stokolm, as the whole Court is always accustomed to pass the winter in the country.
On the other hand they are awaiting with impatience the count of Molina who is bringing instructions about the arbitration. There are letters but no certainty from Madrid that the king has accepted it, the Dutch remaining in uncertainty about being called to it.
Word has come from Denmark of the accession of the new king. This serves to hasten the departure of the earl of Esses, who was previously destined as ambassador to the father. His negotiations will be difficult of digestion but with no danger of a rupture. He has in the first place to ask for the restitution of goods taken on ships of that nation before the declaration of war, in favour of Holland. But as the English did not fail, at the same time, to search the ships of subjects of the Danish king, it is probable that the proposals and replies of both will be on the same note. Esses will afterwards propose the practice introduced in Holland of measuring vessels which are to trade in Norway by paying duty according to their burthen; but the inconveniences which came to light with the States will teach them to be more cautious.
According to the latest advices from Holland, imparted to me by the Ambassador Borel, Vice Admiral van Ghent was putting to sea with twelve ships of war to set out against the corsairs. His instructions are of the most resolute kind, to attack them wherever he happens to find them. He is to conform with the operations of Vice Admiral Alen so they will act in concert and in warlike measures.
Acknowledges the ducali of the 22nd March.
London, the 18th April, 1670.
[Italian.]
April 24.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Savoia.
Venetian
Archives.
194. Francesco Michieli, Venetian Ambassador in Savoy, to the Doge and Senate.
The Ambassador Falcombrighe arrived yesterday. The duke sent the Master of the Ceremonies to meet him and he was received with the pomp usual with royal ambassadors. The French ambassador and I sent our coaches. After the entry I sent a gentleman to pay my respects and he responded the next day. His gentleman said that he was full of impatience to arrive with your Serenity; that he tells every one freely that this is the sole object of his journey; his Britannic Majesty having expressed as much in his credentials. He had only come here to perform some small complimentary office. The matter of commerce about the port of Villa Franca had already been settled in London so nothing remained for him to do at this Court except to perform his formal duties. As a consequence he would be arranging to depart in about ten days. There was also a commission, not absolute, to proceed to Genoa, but he thought that some idea of the austerity of the Signory there had diverted the ambassador's intentions. There was also the consideration of honouring them excessively by the passage of so great a minister, since no crown had ever done the like in the case of a mission of such consequence. He therefore held fast to the intention to proceed immediately to Florence to deal with certain disputes of the merchants of the mart of Leghorn, and he would then immediately steer his course for Venice being impatient to arrive there and receive the testimony of the public favour.
The French ambassador shows great courtesy to this minister, in accordance with precise instructions received last week from Mons. Lionne.
Turin, the 24th April, 1670.
[Italian.]
April 26.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni,
Corti.
Venetian
Archives.
195. To the Ambassador in Savoy.
We learn of the arrival of the Ambassador Falcombrige at Lyon. We are sure that you will make every effort to find out all about his negotiations and send us information not only of what is proposed to the government by him but also of any dealings between him and the Court on the subject of trade with the port of Villa Franca and upon any other particulars.
Ayes, 117. Noes, 1. Neutral, 4.
[Italian.]

Footnotes

1 Thomas Manton. Salvetti gives the following account in his despatch of the 4th April: “S.M. restando informato d'una numerosa radunanza de'nonconformanti nella casa d'un predicante nominato Manton, mando una brigata delle sue guardie insieme con altri ufficiali per dissiparli e prendere il predicante prigione, come fecero.” About 500 persons were present including lords, members of parliament and ladies of rank. “Tutti quali furono privatamente ripresi dalla M.S., et il parlamento haveria proceduto piu oltre contra delli loro membri se li nomi d'essi non fussero celluti.” Brit. Mus. Add. MSS. 27962 T, fol. 34 d.
2 Additional Act for the rebuilding of London which received the royal assent on 11 April. Journals of the House of Lords, Vol. xii, page 350. An additional tax of 2s. 3d. per chaldron on all coal brought to London was imposed, three fourths of which were to be set apart for the rebuilding, erecting and repairing the churches of the city. 22 Chas. II, Cap. xi, Arts. 38, 39. Statutes at Large, Vol. II, page 802.
3 See Cal. S.P. Dom. 1670, pp. 136, 140, 146. Upon confident rumours of the presence of Turkish ships off the English coasts the Advice frigate was sent out, but after cruising in the Channel and about Heysant, she could obtain no information of the appearance of any Turks. The Gazette adds “the report seems to have been raised upon design for the advantage of some private persons.” London Gazette, April 25–8, 1670.


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