Venice
December 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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305-321

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'Venice: December 1670', Calendar of State Papers Relating to English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 36: 1669-1670 (1937), pp. 305-321. URL: http://british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=90281 Date accessed: 01 September 2014.


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December 1670

Dec. 1.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Costantinopoli.
Venetian
Archives.
363. Alvise Molin, Venetian Bailo at Constantinople, to the Doge and Senate.
The English ambassador paid me a visit recently. In the course of the conversation he touched upon the question of the base sequins. He complained that the French were introducing sequins, reals and lions, all of base alloy into that mart and were afterwards scattering them everywhere. This will be the ruin of trade because to give goods in exchange for false money obviously involved loss. His countrymen did not trade in money but in cloth and they would certainly withdraw the whole of their trade if steps were not taken to regulate matters. He added that there were whispers that even the Dutch fleet which arrived at Smyrna, having touched at Leghorn, had also brought a certain amount. That this money was made at Genoa, Savona and Leghorn. He manifested very strong feeling and displayed a readiness to cooperate with me in any steps to deal with this evil. I told him that for my part I would do all that was in my power to remedy and repair this serious inconvenience.
Arnaut Chioi, on the Black Sea, the 1st December, 1670.
[Italian.]
Dec. 5.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
364. Girolamo Alberti, Venetian Resident in England, to the Doge and Senate.
In the hope of calm after the stormy winds of the last fortnight, which still prevail, his Excellency, the ambassador, left London on Wednesday the 3rd inst. impatient to return home to serve the state. The king and queen and the duke and duchess of York expressed their appreciation of his prudence and obliging manners at the usual audiences of leave in the presence chambers, his bearing having made a most favourable impression on the Court, reviving in the minds of the chief nobles their veneration for the name of the most serene republic.
Before he left his Excellency was presented with his Majesty's portrait set in diamonds, as is usual with foreign ministers, and shewed the utmost generosity to the Master of the Ceremonies who brought it to him, although in these days this custom has gradually degenerated into an abuse, owing to the good nature of the foreign powers.
I also received a gold chain with his Majesty's medallion attached, which I ask leave to keep for the relief of my diminished fortune and to devote myself to this fresh employment in which I will endeavour to win the Senate's approval.
I have to inform your Serenity that the affairs of the parliament are proceeding very satisfactorily. The business under discussion, being very delicate, namely supply, calls for a corresponding prudence on the king's part for once he gets control of the spirit of his people he will make himself their master and by degrees replenish the exchequer with a considerable sum of ready money. He will first of all establish domestic affairs upon a solid basis and subsequently obtain for his crown the advantage of being feared by foreign powers, whereas at present he owes his consideration solely to the part taken by him in the emergencies of the Most Christian and Catholic kings.
It is precisely on these two points that the government is intent, and for this purpose the duke of York has prepared the fifty ships, on board of which they only need to ship the troops in the spring, parliament being expected to find the money. The declaration urging the two houses to provide the necessary fund produces another good effect; it confirms the belief of Spain and Holland that the object of the armament is to preserve the peace, while the French flatter themselves that the sole object of the announcement is to draw money from the people into the royal purse.
How far these opinions are right may be revealed ere long. In the mean time it is certain that England continues in the interests of the alliance, Arlington having written to the baron del L'Isola and protested that he himself is the cause of the emperor's not yet having joined the triple alliance, for the greater security of the treaty of Aix la Chapelle.
Such is the position of the alliance, to the satisfaction of the Spanish ambassador, though he is not pleased at the determination of the Most Christian to limit the arbitration to the boundaries of the new conquests and he would like the Ambassador Montagu to persuade the king to allow the property removed from Franche Comté to be taken into account. But in France they contend that it was legitimately acquired in war, and the English ministry is not inclined to risk another repulse from Paris.
The secretary who came post from the king of Denmark with the ratification of the recent treaty (fn. 1) is still at the Court, trying to settle first of all the affair of the Sound, but he will not succeed unless the clash of the guns is adjusted. The Tuscan envoy, the Marquis Pucci, left London last week, well pleased with the civilities shown to him and gratified by observing the vivid impression left here by the prince of Tuscany, the present Grand Duke, by the qualities he showed when in London last year.
London, the 5th December, 1670.
[Italian.]
Dec. 10.
Collegio,
Secreta.
Esposizioni,
Principi.
Venetian
Archives.
365. The resident of the king of Great Britain came into the Collegio and showed the memorials, below, which were read. Sig. Alessandro Morosini, the senior councillor replied, in the absence of the doge, that they would consider his requests and do everything possible to gratify him, and let him know their intention later. With that the resident went out, after the usual reverences.
The Memorial.
I come upon a matter of great importance, which merits your prompt assistance. During your wars, so honourably terminated, you had urgent need of sailors for your fleets, and thought it necessary to invite all sorts of mariners to your service, not only by giving them higher wages but even by forcing the captains of various ships to discharge their men, on payment of their wages, although they should not be detained upon any ship except on the arrangement that they are not to leave the ship until they had arrived in England, and that the sailors should not receive their wages until they had returned, as above. What your Serenity found it necessary to do then is not expected to be practised in this time of peace, and if it were done, I think, with due submission, that it would prove very destructive to the trade which is now beginning to revive in this city. Your Serenity must then know, firstly, that this has not been done anywhere except upon occasions of state. Secondly, if your Serenity promises the sailors to leave the ships in which they have served, and forces the merchants to pay them their wages, how can the ships return home? It is only right that every one should have what is due to him, but no wage earner can give up his service until his master or commander finds it reasonable to do without him, especially on occasions of this nature. Your Serenity must not imagine that all captains of ships keep their sailors with severity, although such complaints are made. It is the nature of sailors to become insolent and insupportable without a strict control. In the words of the poet: No one has ever heard of a compassionate peasant or a courteous boatman. If the commanders of ships ill treat or defraud their sailors, the courts of our country are always open, where speedy, cheap and impartial justice is dispensed. The truth is that the sailors only ask for their wages to consume them in satisfying their vices and sordid appetites, and once they have them they do not want to return to their ships so long as they have money to spend or clothes to sell.
At the present time there are six or seven English ships in this port, and one in particular which left for Zante on the last day of last week. (fn. 2) It was obliged to leave 15 or 20 of its sailors on shore, who pretended to compel the captain, by the laws of this state, to pay them their wages, induced to do this by what they had heard of what had been done in like cases a few years ago. If the ship had not left when it did all the other sailors might have acted in the same way, to the serious hurt of the merchants, captains and traders. I may add that this same captain, on the same ship, was compelled to suffer notable loss 18 months ago under similar circumstances. I therefore ask your Serenity to issue prompt orders to prevent this notable injury, so that the sailors on other ships, now making ready for Zante, may not be encouraged to follow this pernicious example, and I think it would not be amiss for your Serenity to direct the magistrates not to receive such complaints from English sailors, except in extraordinary cases, for reasons of state. To prevent the mischief it is probable that an order or proclamation forbidding all subjects of this state to admit any English sailor into their house for more than 24 hours, unless he has a note under the hand and seal of the English consul or of the captain of his ship, or to forbid the subjects of this state to give credit to English sailors for more than ten lire or two ducats would suffice to prevent so great a prejudice to trade, and in granting it your Serenity would confer a special favour upon me, seeing that this is the first request that I have preferred.
[Italian.]
Attached,
filza.
366. 1670, the 11th December.
By order of the Savii that the magistracy all'Armar give its opinion upon the above memorial of the resident of England, upon oath, according to the laws.
Francesco Giavarina, secretary.
With regard to the paper presented to your Serenity by the English resident concerning the payment of wages to sailors and asking for orders to be issued, we reported that, on 4 July 1646, the Senate recognising the confusion and injury that might arise, sought to provide against it by a positive order and, to prevent disputes, ordered it to be made known clearly to all. We think it would be desirable for the support, encouragement and increase of trade to have this proclaimed anew.
Given at the magistracy all'Armar, the 19th December, 1670.
Nicolo Correr
Michiel Bragadin
Girolamo Grimani Proveditori.
[Italian.]
Attached,
filza.
367. Second Memorial.
In response to the instances of the English merchants through their consul and the ambassador, the Senate was pleased, on 9th October, to reduce the duty on certain salt fish. The relief from this heavy burden will doubtless cause a greater quantity to come to this city; but as the order leaves some doubt whether this favour is not granted to Jews and to so many others who trade for England, your Serenity is asked to decide that only English merchants to whom salt fish are consigned from England are to be relieved of the duty by the order of 9 October, so that they alone may receive the benefit granted to them, enabling them, with a more easy mind, to continue and increase their trade in this city, and with this special privilege to be the only ones put on a level with citizens for this fish, so that they need not envy other nations who enjoy many privileges by special decrees of the state.
[Italian.]
Attached.
filza.
368. 1670, 30th December.
By order of the Savii that the Revisers and Regulators of the Duties give their opinion upon the above memorial, upon oath, according to the laws.
Francesco Giavarina, secretary.
With reference to the memorial of the English resident we have already, in execution of the state's commands, established a reduction in the duty on herrings and salmon coming from England, with a slight increase in the duty on white sardines, which was very low, with the assent of the English consul, and have sent the orders to be printed. Your Serenity is now asked to declare that English merchants shall alone enjoy this favour which puts them on a par with citizens in this particular. But since the object was chiefly to bring trade to this city for the benefit of the duties and of trade as well, and because of the difficulty for the customs officials, we do not see how the distinction asked can be made, especially as it is desired either that the reduction of the duty on herrings and salmon shall be for English merchants only, or whether the increase shall be for them alone. This might result to the public prejudice, to wit, the salt fish at the reduced duty might come in the name of Englishmen to get the benefit, and the sardines, at the higher rate would come in the name of others not subject to the increase, so the duties would certainly suffer by the loss of this compensation. We therefore consider that what has been done for the benefit of the English has been done as much for those who are of England and sending their goods to this city will enjoy the benefit, as for those who live in this city to whom it is probable that all the commissions will be directed, since your Serenity cannot but ease the duties universally, and then it will be the business of individuals to secure the trade and commissions.
Given at the magistracy of the Revisers and Regulators of the Duties, the 12th January, 1670 [M.V.].
Joani Duodo
Bernardo Gradenigo Revisers and Regulators.
[Italian.]
Dec. 12.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
369. Girolamo Alberti, Venetian Resident in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The stormy winds continue so obstinately that for many days communication with Flanders has been interrupted and I only received to day the ducali of the 12th November. I will communicate the contents to Lord Arlington to morrow and later present your Serenity's reply to the king at his Majesty's convenience. I have no doubt that the reception given to the resident will cause Arlington to extol the generosity of the Senate, especially after being forewarned by the Ambassador Mocenigo of the consequences of what took place, showing the anxiety of the republic for a good understanding. I will act to the same effect, in accordance with my instructions. Two days ago when I visited Lord Arlington at his own house he treated me with distinction and reciprocated my compliments, adding his conviction that it was for the service of his king to have a good understanding with your Serenity, a power with so much prestige in Italy and the Levant, whose friendship and alliance with England were of such ancient date. He gave me the king's reply to the letter of credence presented by the Ambassador Mocenigo, which I forward with a copy, and I will also send those of the queen and the duke and duchess of York, which his Excellency left behind as they were not ready and he did not wish to lose more time. I trust that contrary winds may not have detained him at some port.
The most important affairs of Court are those of parliament as on these depend internal quiet and the prestige of the crown with foreign powers. Having induced the two Houses to offer supply the king no longer presses for an announcement of the amount, but with subtle policy he flatters the members in their most sensitive point, delighting them by prolonging the session. Both lords and commons, vastly obliged by the continuance of their sway, are not only encouraged to provide the money, but also demonstrate in a marvellous manner how the turmoil which constantly prevailed until quelled last session by the king's prudence, has changed its aspect, the two houses being now solely intent on quiet, on the welfare of the people and on their wealth and commerce.
In the Upper House it has been proposed to naturalise aliens, allowing them to purchase landed property, but without exempting them from the taxes which they now pay as foreign traders. (fn. 3) The peers at once perceived the advantage of enticing a number of people to consume the superfluous produce of this fertile soil, to the profit of the king and of all persons of substance, and they may perhaps hope to attract the wealthiest among the Dutch, who by reason of their narrow territory are compelled to risk their capital in trade, whereas they would prefer profitable investments in land.
A committee was appointed to report upon this meritorious project, which is supported by the king, who frequents the sittings with unusual assiduity. As there is no lack of other important plans, I shall allow them to mature before reporting them, and I shall do the same about another proposal, to prohibit all foreign manufactures; but the more such a decree is advertised and the more universal its object, the less it will be observed.
While the Court is intent on these internal affairs the Ambassador Colbert is impatient for their settlement, as he finds the ministers reluctant to listen to his proposals until the affairs of the country are well arranged. But this is a habitual device of the English and it was the way in which they evaded making declarations before last session. On the other hand the Spanish ambassador complains of their always holding out such fair hopes to France; but he will have achieved a good deal if he should prevail on England to obtain the extension of the period assigned for the arbitration, which expires next January, as the ministers here declare that Spain has disserved herself by raising difficulties and that England, for her part, has hitherto done enough for the common service and the general peace.
Although the prince of Orange is narrowly watched by both the French and Spanish ministers here, they can only discover his earnest endeavour to obtain payment from the king of the debts contracted by the late prince for the relief of the late King Charles. In the mean time his Highness amuses himself in seeing what is most curious in the town and country and is comforted by the last news from Holland announcing the pension of 50,000 livres assigned to him by the States.
The marquis of Gerbeville, envoy from the duke of Lorraine, has had audience of the king and royal family and he talks about succour, but so far he has not obtained any reply.
Don Francesco di Melo, who was ambassador from the prince regent of Portugal, has arrived from Holland and is in retirement at the Court, being graciously received by the queen. It seems that he will resume the post of minister, but he is waiting for orders and assignments from Lisbon.
London, the 12th December, 1670.
[Italian.]
Dec. 14.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Costantinopoli.
Venetian
Archives.
370. Alvise Molin, Venetian Bailo at Constantinople, to the Doge and Senate.
I sent the secretary to the English ambassador to tell him of representations to the Caimecam about the sequins. His Excellency appreciated this confidence greatly and commended the steps that I had taken. He told me that the French ships had brought another great sum of reals here. They brought letters which advised him of this impropriety but they had been withheld from him. This false money was also being made at Marseilles. They were no longer bringing goods here but were only trading in false money. His English company had sent out to the value of 5 millions in cloth and other merchandise divided between this place, Smyrna and other Turkish marts. They would be obliged to put a stop to the trade if in return for good wares they had to accept false money. He had made complaints to the Turks and would make them again but they have no interest in good government and do not provide a remedy for evils except at the last extremity.
Pera of Constantinople, the 14th December, 1670.
[Italian.]
Dec. 19.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
371. Girolamo Alberti, Venetian Resident in England, to the Doge and Senate.
In accordance with instructions I communicated to the Secretary Arlington the reply of the Collegio to the credentials presented by the Resident Darington and acquainted him with the Senate's opinions, before I had audience of the king. He was gratified by the confidential announcement and not content with general expressions of esteem for the republic he said formally that it was impossible for the Collegio to be unlike itself. It generously overlooked all that had taken place during the secretaryship of Darington. If they would extend this act of oblivion during his residency he asked me to let the Signory know that in case of any further transgression the king will no longer accept excuses and he himself would not interfere further. I merely replied that your Serenity relied upon the sage behaviour of the resident, as it was the invariable policy of the republic to maintain the best possible understanding with this crown.
Through the Master of the Ceremonies I subsequently asked audience of the king, who appointed it immediately. I delivered the ducali and expressed the satisfaction of the Senate at having a permanent minister at Venice in proof of his Majesty's constant affection. The republic would reciprocate on every occasion, by welcoming Darington and meeting his demands, for the advantage of both countries and the trade of their subjects. In reply the king expatiated on the generous demonstrations made by the republic to him on many occasions, being pleased to see that the Senate was bent upon friendly intercourse and rejoicing that I was here to see what he would do to maintain it.
I must add what I have been told by the Ambassador Colbert since the receipt of letters from France and a special audience which he had two days ago. He said that the Most Christian was coming to Dunkirk followed by a considerable body of troops, for the purpose of inspecting and completing the fortifications of the new conquests, and that he had communicated everything to the king of England, not because he might take umbrage at this, but to demonstrate an excellent understanding. The king told him that he had no suspicion of anything untoward, as he relied on the promise made to him by the king, his brother, with whose proceedings he was very well satisfied, especially as France had left to England the arbitration about the boundaries, a clear sign of absolute confidence. M. Colbert also told me that he should not trouble to relieve the rest of the Spanish partisans at the Court of their suspicion of surprises on the part of France, because it was immaterial to the Most Christian whether he kept his troops at Dunkirk or elsewhere, and so he disregarded the outcry made by other nations about their suspicions of war in the midst of peace, especially when, by proclaiming their intention to arm by sea and land, they gave him cause to anticipate them.
The Spanish ambassador has been much alarmed at this, and he also had audience of the king this morning. As I have not had time to learn the result, I will merely mention what he told me about the arbitration, and the refusal of the Most Christian to listen to the Spanish claims about damages in Franche Comté. He said that he had many claims of a like nature to urge, but they were all insufficient to induce him to make war, except those concerning the boundaries of Condé, Lirique and Niuport; but if Spain gave way on these points the Most Christian would not be satisfied, and so it was superfluous to establish the one without defining the rest.
Lord Arlington spoke to me on this same topic, saying that the Spaniards, while intent on removing all the tinder which might kindle a fresh rupture with France were insensibly falling headlong into it by allowing the term of the arbitration to expire, because they feared they could not include in it all the existing disputes between the crowns, though it is notorious that they always crop up when sought. Arlington said no more, but I know from another source that here they believe that the Most Christian has made this stir in reply to what was published by England and Holland about fitting out fleets, and now when the Most Christian is in the act of arming they are unable to make sure what he intends.
The Houses of parliament are despatching the session, not without an eye to this fresh stir of arms. The peers, by commissioners, are discussing the naturalisation bill, already mentioned. There is no lack of impediments, as it seems the majority agree to insist upon the oath, and as that is a matter of conscience, it will somewhat diminish the influx of foreigners (il concorso del popolo). In the mean time the Commons are busying themselves about the money and they have decided to provide the king with 400,000l. yearly until the liquidation of the debts for which he is paying interest. To-morrow they will make an estimate of the amount of the duties at present in force, to raise them to the amount required, and then they will discuss the means for raising the ready money needed for fitting out the ships. It was at first proposed to levy a land tax, but this was rejected unanimously and the burden will possibly be converted into a poll tax, with contributions according to means, as has been done before.
An incident remarkable for the rank of the personage and its consequences occurred two evenings ago. The duke of Ormond, late viceroy of Ireland and lord steward of the household, who has received many marks of his Majesty's favour, was attacked and taken out of his coach by 12 men on horseback, one of whom carried him some distance on his crupper, vowing that he meant something more than robbery. The duke, although sixty years of age, disarmed his captor both of sword and pistol and throwing himself to the ground remained there until assistance came. The assailants took to flight. They are all unknown although a royal proclamation has been issued in an unusual manner, offering a reward of 1000l. because of the anxiety to discover the root of so portentous a crime. (fn. 4)
London, the 19th December, 1670.
[Italian.]
Dec. 23.
Collegio,
Secreta.
Esposizioni,
Principi.
Venetian.
Archives.
372. The English resident Daringhotin came into the Collegio and gave the memorial below, which was read. The doge said that it would be considered and they would let him know the result. The resident then spoke to the following effect: I may be, as the philosophers say, Primum in intentione secundum in executione, as after this memorial I have to express the great esteem of my king for the Signory and my own humble service. If my rude tongue and condition of a poor Ultramontane prevent me from expressing suitably the sense of your surpassing merits, it is not due to lack of will. I come at this season of festivities and the beginning of the year to wish you every felicity for many years and the greatest glories for the republic, esteeming myself happy to have the honour to offer a small service to this state and my humble duty. The doge thanked him for the office and asked him to convey their wishes for all prosperity and happiness to the king and all the royal House, assuring the resident that they were always glad to see him. With that, after the usual reverences, he departed.
The Memorial.
For some time past your Serenity granted exemption in the three islands of 5 per cent. of the new impost on currants to foreign ships which came to this city with their entire cargoes. Some months ago two ships came here from England, the Leghorn Merchant and the Scipio. Being recommended to the English consul they were not found with their entire cargo, as shown by the attached bills, the former ship lacking ten casks and the latter six. The refusal of the magistracy to grant the exemption led the resident of England, at the consul's request, to bring a memorial to the Collegio, upon which we say that while the magistracy insisted on the terms of the decree, the reduction of the cargo is so slight that the remission is left to the prudence of the state. With regard to the partiality which the resident suggests was shown in the inspection of the ships, saying that a pledge of the entire cargo had been made for some that were deficient, we note from the copies presented by him compared with those sworn by the experts and those of the Admiralty, that both confirm that they had full cargo, and so the magistracy agreed to grant them the exemption. If ministers were found guilty of such falsity and collusion, they would be liable to a criminal prosecution; but so far the magistracy has no knowledge of such partiality.
At the magistracy of the Five Savii alla Mercanzia, the 20th January, 1670 M.V.
Zuane Balbi
Almoro Grimani
Leonardo Pesaro
Alvise Mocenigo Savii.
[Italian.]
Attached,
filza.
373. The Memorial. (fn. 5)
the importance of trade is generally recognised and all good governments try to facilitate it. It appears in the exemption from the new impost of 5 ducats per miliare granted to foreign ships from the west which come with their full cargoes, of every sort of goods, except salt. Several ships of my king's subjects have arrived here recently with cargoes of lead, sugar, pepper and other goods, but after staying for a fortnight the exemption was refused to two of them, for lack of six or perhaps ten butts of a total cargo of 224 butts, a mere trifle and I cannot believe that the state allows such severity in mercantile interests. From our consul as well as from Messrs. Paolo del Sera and Co. to whom the ship was chartered from England, I am assured that the cargo was complete, so I am compelled to suspect that there is partiality and knavery among your ministers, since the exemption has been granted to other ships with half their cargo, as shown by the attached papers, as it rests with them to give or withhold this benefit. It is therefore necessary that an inquiry should be made into this matter, so that the state's wishes may not be thwarted by ignorance or malice in a matter of such importance. As the magistracy of the Cinque Savii would not interfere for the relief of these poor captains without instructions from the Signory, and they had no time to wait for a decision, the ships sailed, to the very great loss of those concerned, who had to go in order to have the benefit of convoy of his Majesty's men of war, which attend them at Zante. Considering the injury that is done to trade I have come to ask that a speedy remedy may be applied, knowing the mischief that can be done by the evil and corrupt will of a minister, and so I feel sure that this state will attend graciously to my requests.
[Italian.]
Attached,
filza.
374. The magistracy of Health testifies that on the 25th inst. the ship Leghorn Merchant, Captain David Amilton, arrived in the port of this city from London, Cadiz, Alicante, Leghorn, Naples and Messina, with cargo as below as shown by the book of lading:
Lead, 543 sheets; pepper, 91 casks; hides, 120; almonds, 110 bales; cinnamon, one bundle; wine, ten casks; hair, one chest; various goods, 14 chests; lemons, 18,000; ink, 200 barrels; bales, 7; small casks, two; caviare, one cask; salmon, 40 casks; goosequills, ten casks; wool, one sack; ginger, 3 bales; goods, 19 chests; casks, 40; barrels, 3; bales, 29; bundles, 2.
At the Sanita, the 30th November, 1670.
Gregorio Monedi.
The Board of Health testifies that on the 26th ult. the ship Scipio, Capt. Robert Bochinzen, arrived in the port of this city, from England and Malaga, with cargo as below as shown by the bill of lading:
Lead, 2648 pieces; sardines, 103 barrels; calf and other hides, 70 bales.
At the Sanita, the 2nd December, 1670.
[Italian.] Gregorio Monedi.
Dec. 26.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
375. Girolamo Alberti, Venetian Resident in England, to the Doge and Senate.
On Saturday morning, when the House of Commons was sitting to regulate the amount of new taxes for paying the king's debts, they were sent for by his Majesty from Westminster to the great hall of Whitehall. On their appearance there he told them that knowing how much they had at heart the reputation of the country, he imparted to them the confidential communication received from the Most Christian, that he was going in person to Dunkirk and to the recently conquered territory with a considerable military force. He told them that he could never suppose that the peace of England would be troubled, but bearing in mind the known obligations of the British crown, this near approach of an army made him foresee the absolute necessity of preparing and guaranteeing the safety and repute of his people.
This speech which the king prudently embellished with arguments and earnest representations, produced such an impression at the time on all the members, that after applauding with the usual cries, on that selfsame morning they voted the king 800,000l. of ready money for fitting out the fifty ships.
On the publication of this decision the Spanish ambassador took heart, relying more and more on the king's steady adhesion to the alliance, seeing him pledged by repeated declarations to parliament in favour of quiet, for the prevention of change, to which he says he cannot consent without scandalising foreign powers and endangering his own kingdom. At his audience of last week Molina said that the Most Christian would find himself in Flanders in the spring at the head of 40,000 foot and 10,000 horse, and if he drew the sword the other powers would still be unarmed, relying on the promise and hope of peace. He added that no reliance could be placed on treaties made with the king of France as he would always find fresh pretexts for breaking them, a clear proof that the Spaniards, while yielding themselves, claim the assistance of foreign powers and rely greatly on the declarations of his Britannic Majesty.
The French ambassador takes quite another tone, for seeing so many steps taken in advance, one after the other, by the king here, to secure for himself the honour of balancing the crowns, he said to me that the Most Christian knew that he could not attempt any enterprise without the assent and help of England. As that country did not realise the advantage of a union with France, the Most Christian contented himself with keeping it neutral and took comfort from this having been its attitude up to the present. His negotiations would be directed solely to this end. His Britannic Majesty being bound in honour to the alliance, France no longer pretended to detach him from it, though Colbert protested it would displease his Most Christian Majesty if the king of England were to involve himself further with the princes of the empire. But France does not take amiss the king's declaration to the House of Commons, considering that body the purse of the kingdom. Colbert said that the king should avail himself of every means for raising money and then use it for his own purposes.
Such is the very mild language used by the ambassador, but he expresses himself more resentfully against succour or favour that might be promised to the duke of Lorraine; saying that the Most Christian would not listen to intercession and would consider assistance as a breach of friendship, and if the proposals of Windisgratz are not to the taste of France he will receive an unsatisfactory reply.
Van Beuningen, the Dutch ambassador has at last taken leave of the king by order of the United Provinces, and is on the eve of departure for Holland being comforted by the king's perseverance in the alliance, which is the best result he desired from his negotiations, after the suspicions aroused in the States from the numerous journeys to and fro of great personages between the Courts of England and France.
The prince of Orange announced his intention to depart soon, but he has not yet obtained the assignment he asks for the payment of the debt reported. The question may possibly be reserved for parliament, after it has made provision for the royal debts and for the present fleet.
The late violent storms at sea have caused, among other wrecks, the loss on the Butch sand banks of the ship which was conveying the English secretary sent to Denmark to demand an explanation of what took place at the Sound. (fn. 6) The Danish resident now tells me that as he has presented a memorial citing a number of cases and explicit agreements between England and Denmark, he hopes they will acquiesce here and acknowledge the jurisdiction of his king over the Sound. He thinks that they will not send any other envoy to Copenhagen, but will ere long exchange ratification of the articles stipulated there by the ambassador, the earl of Essex, and in London by the baron de Guldenleem.
London, the 26th December, 1670.
[Italian.]
Dec. 27.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni,
Corti.
Venetian
Archives.
376. In the Pregadi on the 27th December.
With reference to the representations made in the Collegio by the Resident Daringhton of England it is recognised to be desirable that to that deserving nation shall be afforded every possible facility:
It is therefore resolved that the proveditori all'Armar shall be charged to issue a proclamation enjoining the observance of the decree of this Council of the 4th July 1646. The same proveditori as well as the officers of the Forestier shall further cause the captains and sailors of that nation to enjoy the most expeditious ways upon all occasions with that authority which pertains to them, in order to afford every possible satisfaction to that nation.
Ayes, 112. Noes, 0. Neutral, 1.
[Italian.]
Dec. 27.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni,
Corti.
Venetian
Archives.
377. To the Secretary Alberti in England.
Acknowledge receipt of his letters of the 5th. The Senate is assured of his application. They grant him permission to keep the neck chain sent to him by the king. They enclose copies of two expositions made recently by the resident, with the reply given to him.
Ayes, 112. Noes, 0. Neutral, 1.
Vote on the neck chain in the Collegio:
Ayes, 21. Noes, 0. Neutral, 0.
[Italian.]
Dec. 27.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni,
Corti.
Venetian
Archives.
378. That a notary extraordinary of the ducal chancery be sent this evening to read the following to the English Resident Daringhton.
In consideration of your person and the character you bear the Senate has issued orders in the matter of mariners to the end that those rules may be observed for the future which have formerly been practised. They have also used other cautions requisite to the end that both seamen and captains may receive all ease from our magistracies and that it may also appear how acceptable the whole nation is to us.
Ayes, 112. Noes, 0. Neutral, 1.
[Italian.]
Dec. 27.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Firenze.
Venetian,
Archives.
379. Ottaviano Valier, Venetian Resident at Florence, to the Doge and Senate.
Representations about the false sequins. I have seen the nuncio, the resident of Lucca and the Resident of England. The last said that he had caused diligent inquiry to be made at Leghorn, but had found nothing. With regard to the embarcation and transport of these sequins upon English ships, that was a monstrous idea, as the British consuls have orders from his king and supreme authority to make search for the money which is embarked on those ships and in every instance where a fraud of that kind is discovered the captains of the ships are severely punished and sent under arrest to England.
Florence, the 27th December, 1670.
[Italian.]
Dec. 31.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
380. Zuane Moresini, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
A vigorous despatch from the British king to his Majesty here has cooled to some extent their original enthusiasm for the proposed voyage of Flanders in the spring. These last weeks the Ambassador Colbert in London acquainted the king there with the resolution of the Most Christian to proceed to those frontiers next spring with a powerful army. He gave him the fullest assurance that this move was not directed to disturbing the excellent correspondence with England or to break the treaties of accord between the crowns or to introduce any other innovation, but was merely to see that the fortifications were strong and to exercise the troops.
Three days ago an express courier arrived here from London with very warm representations from the king there to his Majesty and with letters from Mons. Arlinton to the Sieur di Liona, of which I will give your Serenity the substance so far as I have succeeded in discovering it. In the first place the British king expresses at some length his appreciation and gratitude for the confidential communication made to him in the royal name of the plans of this Court. This makes it incumbent upon his Majesty to respond with an equal degree of frankness and sincerity and to draw attention to the disorders that may ensue upon such a move, with such serious observations and consequences. The things which have passed with the Catholic monarchy in Flanders; the fact that the differences about the boundaries and dependencies are not yet settled; the apprehension and suspicions of the Dutch, which are constantly on the increase; and the difficulties now pending between this country and the United Provinces over trade may compel the neighbouring powers to take warning lest the motives of the king here may be more profound in proceeding to conquests with so much apparatus and with such strong forces. The union and proximity of forces guided by opposing interests must of necessity arouse an itch to employ them. That one of the parties who made the first attack would be condemned by the world as having been guilty of having disturbed the present universal tranquillity of Christendom, opening the way to fresh calamities and discords. It rests entirely in the power and at the disposition of the king here to stay the beginning and progress of such fatal accidents merely by putting off the voyage of Flanders to some other occasion. This would maintain calm in Europe and reassure the neighbouring governments. His Britannic Majesty strongly urges this upon the king as what is due from his Majesty for his own glory and to the uprightness of his intentions and sentiments. The English king concludes the sheet with great affection and expresses the confidence which he clinches with strongest pressure in order to dissuade the king here from his resolution to move, with the danger of the most serious consequences.
At this moment the royal Council is examining very closely the representations of that monarch. Moreoever the Sieur di Liona has imparted to the king the contents of the letter directed to him which abounds in the same ideas, although it is more diffuse and indulges in considerations.
Various opinions have clashed in the discussion of the matter in the Council but the one that is the most approved so far is that of complying with the British king's wishes. The reply has not yet been drawn up. The desire of three ministers not to lead the king into troublesome complications and the well established principle of the government to conciliate England always more tenaciously towards their side induces the wisest heads to believe that the royal progress towards Flanders will be postponed to another time. Nevertheless the result is subject to several variations and I will try to find out the outcome of their deliberations.
Paris, the 31st December, 1670.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Dec. 31.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Spagna.
Venetian
Archives.
381. Carlo Contarini, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.
The opinions expressed by the king of England in response to the messages and strong representations made by the Count of Molina for the maintenance of the pacts are precisely such as this government would desire if they were able. At the same time they indicate the method that should be adopted by the same to correspond so that they may be in harmony together and by keeping in tune form a perfect concert for the safeguarding and defence of their common interests.
Madrid, the 31st December, 1670.
[Italian.]

Footnotes

1 M. Schreuder; he had been secretary to M. Guldenlow when in England. Paull to Arlington on 28 October. S.P. Denmark, Vol. xviii.
2 The Smyrna Factor, Capt. Foster. Dodington asserts that the Signory, wanting sailors, encouraged men to quit merchants' business and to enter their service, forcing masters to pay their seamen contrary to agreements made in England. Dodington to Williamson, on 6 Dec. S.P. Venice, Vol. xlviii, f. 152.
3 A naturalisation bill was introduced on 16 November and passed its third reading on 2 December, o.s. Journals of the House of Lords, Vol. xii, pp. 366, 378.
4 On Tuesday, 6/16 Dec, Ormonde attended a banquet given by the Lord Mayor to the prince of Orange. Returning home between 6 and 7 in the evening, he was set upon by five mounted men between St. James's and Clarendon House. The duke was wounded, and was rescued by his servants from his house, to whom the alarm was given. The reward was offered in the Gazette of Dec. 5–8 and 8–12. The leader of the gang was Col. Thomas Blood, and the one who carried off the duke was his brother in law, Thomas Hunt. The outrage seems to have been devised by Buckingham. Lady Burghclere: Life of James First Duke of Ormonde, Vol. ii, pp. 185–9.
5 A copy of this memorial, with an English translation, is in S.P. Venice, Vol. xlviii, ff. 178, 180.
6 The New Exchange of London, cast away in the Elbe with all on board, including Mr. W. Loving, the kings envoy to Denmark. London Gazette, Dec. 19–22. He had started on 7 November. Cal. S.P. Dom. 1670, page 527.


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