Venice
November 1671

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Institute of Historical Research

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Allen B. Hinds (editor)

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1939

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116-125

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'Venice: November 1671', Calendar of State Papers Relating to English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 37: 1671-1672 (1939), pp. 116-125. URL: http://british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=90316 Date accessed: 25 April 2014. Add to my bookshelf


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November 1671

Nov. 6.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
112. Girolamo Alberti, Venetian Secretary in England, to the Doge and Senate
The rumour about the negotiations of the Dutch ambassador continues the general opinion is that he presented himself to audience of the king with great offers, some say of considerable sums of money, others with conmmissions and projects advantageous for English trade. I cannot speak of these concessions as authentic, especially as they are at variance with the denial of the salute to the yacht, I have also discovered that the States of Holland do not confide their secrets to the Ambassador Borel, who is a native of Zeeland, and suspected of partiality and dependence on the prince of Orange, who is so united to this crown. They write straight to Lord Arlington, whose wife is a Dutch woman (fn. 1) Heretofore he has greatly served the interests of the States and from expressions which drop from. his Ups it may reasonably be inferred that they desire union and peace with England, of which it does not seem that they as yet despair. I may add that the duke of Buckingham, who from personal rivalry is Arlington's enemy, avails himself of this opportunity to foment discord in the hope of shaking the king's trust in the secretary, because of his too great intimacy with the Provinces, for it is certain that political changes, especially in this country, entail the ruin of private individuals.
I stated that the king's subjects would not willingly follow him in the French alliance, but if money is not to be asked of them, and the parliamentary recess continues, it matters little. Indeed if the king should once find pecuniary supplies elsewhere than in his own realms, and thus render himself respected by the neighbouring powers and necessary to them, the pride of his own subjects would cease, and following the example of his predecessors, he might easily subjugate them. But as the chief preoccupation of the government is lest by the union of Spain and Holland a triple war may ensue between France and the United Provinces, it has been at last decided to send to the Governor Monterey Sir
[Robert] Southerel, sometime envoy in Portugal, who was suspected at the time of Spanish leanings and was not considered sufficiently in the confidence of Portugal for such an employment.
The earl of Sonderland is also urged to go on his embassy to Spain, and it would seem that everything contributes to deter that crown from committing itself, and to persuade the Catholic that as he is unable single handed to support Holland, supposed by the Spaniards to be a necessary bulwark for Flanders, it would be prudent not to run the risk, and to reserve himself for other times and remedies, without voluntarily sacrificing himself out of mere good fellowship. Within the last few days a fresh promise has been received from the Most Christian to maintain the peace with Spain for another year, in order to settle the boundaries. This adds strength to the representations made to deter the queen of Spain from the turmoil of war and also convinces the world of the validity of the peace of Aix la Chapelle, and that all obstacles which might arise to disturb the quiet are removed.

London, the 6th November, 1671.
[Italian; deciphered.]
Nov. 8.
Senato,
Secreta,
Dispacci,
Spagna.
Venetian
Archives.
113. Carlo Contarini, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.
The chief attention not only of this Court but of all Europe may be said to be steadily directed upon the procedure and the real intentions of the English. The motive of their own interest, the very acute and inseparable antipathy against the French, the dependence of the king upon parliament are all very powerful motives to justify the persistence of that crown in the contracted bond of the triple alliance. Nevertheless misgivings and suspicions do not fail to insinuate themselves, out of ordinary human mistrust and a consideration of the urgency and importance of the matter, since it would appear that equilibrium or the overthrow of the forces of the allies depends upon the measure and method of their counsels and the direction of the same. Thus while Holland is extremely apprehensive of a vigorous attack by the French forces at the melting of the ice, they are no less apprehensive about the possibility of concerted plans arranged between the two crowns. It appears that they would be quite content if England should remain neutral. In that case, with their supremacy at sea, they would be left free on that side from the perils and losses that might be inflicted by blows given where they would be most felt.
The choice of an English ambassador for Holland, the appointment of another, extraordinary for here and the selection of a third individual for an express mission to Monterei, the governor of Flanders, (fn. 2) taken altogether, are of the most jealous and bitter augury for those Provinces. From what I am told the object of these missions is to get some moderation of the decree excluding the wines and goods of France and further to propose conveniences and advantages for the Prince of Orange. From this it is deduced that England is contemplating motives for detaching herself from them and to bring into the full light of day the arrangements which have been arrived at long since, although contrary to the dictates of her own interests.
From Malaga they send word of the violent death inflicted by the garrison of Algiers on their Basha, besides the sacking of the castle where he lived, out of their indignation, because he would not make peace with the English. Further that an individual named Musulaga is on board the English flagship for the confirmation of the articles of one. (fn. 3)
Madrid, the 8th November, 1671.
[Italian.]
Nov. 13.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
114. Girolamo Alberti, Venetian Secretary in England, to the Doge and Senate.
Last week I reported the rumours about the negotiations of Borel. I congratulate myself on not having believed them, having now heard the truth from Arlington's own lips. It shows how far the Provinces are from submission and confirms what I wrote about the cause of the present changes. He told me that the Provinces had deceived themselves, fondly imagining to induce England to make war on France, without persuading her by some palpable advantage. The Dutch minister here, meaning Van Beuninghen, has miscalculated, thinking that by his wit and persuasion he could convert the government. Then, to ruin everything, the Provinces had aroused suspicion through their negotiations with France, and now brought matters to open mistrust by infringing the peace of Breda, particularly about saluting the English flag. In spite of this they were awaiting the more mature decision of the Provinces and he hoped they would not proceed to a rupture. But as a fact, the States are proceeding boldly, according to their policy, and are not contemplating a reconciliation with England, and here the fitting out of the fleet continues.
The disputes in the Council here are not, however, at an end, nor have they ever disposed of the objection raised about promoting the aggrandisement of France through the depression of Holland, which entails that of the neighbouring powers. But as the States will not fall at the first shock and with time the balance may be re-established, it is certain that they will be greatly inconvenienced by the war, the reverses of which may possibly compel them to concede advantages to this crown. In the mean time England will see her rival in the midst of troubles and France in battle employing the considerable forces collected by her, to the alarm of all neighbouring powers.

Sir [Robert] Southerel, the envoy to the governor of Flanders, has departed and the earl of Sonderland will proceed post to Spain in two days with the commissions reported. The Governor Monterey, who makes the most of the circumstances, and who has obtained 500,000 florins from the provinces of Guelders and Limburg during the last few weeks, will not let the people of Flanders rest, because by keeping them agitated he has the means of constantly raising money. The Ambassador Molina, who watches everything, said to me with a smile that he understood that France had already divided her conquests in Holland without leaving the smallest share to Spain, their former mistress. He did not enter any further into the subject, but on the other hand he congratulates himself on the reports of the ratification of the peace in America. In a few days I hope to give an account of the reports brought by two English ships returned from America, of making the passage thence to the East Indies, as the captains who lately returned from that voyage have not yet put in an appearance.
A small English merchantman which was twice boarded by a corsair of Algiers of 38 guns and 220 men, succeeded through the courageous resistance offered by the captain in getting safely to the ports here, with only 12 sailors wounded out of a crew of 26. (fn. 4) They brought before the king four Turkish slaves, who by establishing themselves in the rigging and cutting the sails, had caused them more trouble by their determination than the guns of the corsair. The captain received a chain and medal from his Majesty.
The king also attended the new lord Mayor's (fn. 5) show and enjoyed inspecting the city, the handsomest part of which has been rebuilt with greater magnificence since the terrible fire. He with the queen, the duke of York and the whole body of the Council were present at the state banquet.
In obedience to the ducali of the 10th October I will urge the merchants to lade wheat when sending ships to the Levant Islands, and will use the information concerning Captain Tidiman's credit.
London, the 13th November, 1671.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Nov. 18.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
115. Francesco Michiel, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
Fifty English ships will render the forces of this monarch formidable at sea. They will serve only on simple terms of hiring, for which considerable sums in cash have been remitted by the king here to that Court. The king, by adducing the advantage to his merchants and the interests of the traders of that mart, will have a valid excuse to offer to any complaints that may be made to him on the part of the Provinces. In addition to this it is understood by the Dutch that there will be support for the pretensions and claims for saluting ships and the dipping of flags and this makes it practically certain that the British king is disposed to favour the projects of these parts.
Paris, the 18th November, 1671.
[Italian.]
Nov. 20.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
116. Girolamo Alberti, Venetian Secretary in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The preparations for war continue and the expenditure for the equipment of the fleet increases daily. Appearances all confirm the rupture of the peace between England and Holland, the Provinces not making any approach towards such concessions as are due to this crown. The Dutch government lets it be understood that Brandenburg will contribute 12,000 foot and 6000 horse, which will, they hope, be joined by succour from Lunenburg. So Holland, being more anxious than ever to get rid of her costly anxieties by means of an open war with the Most Christian, now resents the diversion of England whom she asked to be her colleague. In spite of this, nothing is heard of proposals for any adjustment.
The English government prudently avoids giving any additional pledges so that it may be free to be guided by circumstances, and therefore continues in the position mentioned. The general opinion of the mart of London is that trade will suffer, though many merchants consider this desirable, as commerce being limited to experienced and capable persons, would thus rid itself of a crowd devoid of practical knowledge, who ruin it. But all agree that the customs revenues will diminish very considerably.
Your Excellencies will have heard of the prohibition by the States of the importation of French wine, vinegar, canvas and paper, after the 11th inst. All persons possessed of such articles are bound to get rid of them within the month of April next. All this serves to quicken the decisions about the next campaign.
In the mean time, according to intelligence from Hamburg, the Ambassador Coventry has arrived in Sweden and the government is expecting news from him. It is stated publicly everywhere that Sweden has espoused the cause of France.
Although the Ambassador Molina has heard of the departure of the Spanish ambassador from Paris for Madrid, he does not yet talk of leaving London. It seems that he is determined to await fresh instructions from the queen of Spain, and that he considers his presence necessary here, at least until they have heard at Madrid of the late political changes and have formed fresh decisions upon current affairs.
The earl of Sonderland has not yet departed for Spain and I now hear that fresh instructions are being drawn up for him with regard to an important affair. In the mean time the exchequer provides him with a considerable sum for the performance of his embassy with decorum. (fn. 6)
Old Galilee being dead, his widow and son, the latter having long been a slave to the Turks and ransomed by your Serenity, have again urgently petitioned the Council for a fresh application from the king to the Senate for payment of the debt due on account of the ship lost in the Dardanelles. (fn. 7) Although necessity makes them desperate, it has not as yet obtained for them any order. But Arlington is certain to speak to me about it, and I will answer in the way mostly likely to meet with the approval of your Excellencies.
London, the 20th November, 1671.
[Italian.]
Nov. 25.
Cinque Savii
alla
Mercanzia,
Risposte
157.
Venetian
Archives.
117. With regard to the memorial of the English Resident communicated to us by the Senate on the 7th inst. we have to report that for the provisioning of ship Rinaldo the brothers Lizza were appointed on the 30th August, 1662, to succeed Pietro Lizza who had been appointed to supply them with water, with whom the captains of the English and Flemish ships have often expressed themselves as satisfied. Twelve vivandiers are chosen by the magistracy of the Sanità for life and they supply ships on trading terms with food and whatever else they require.
With regard to the desire of the resident and consul to depute the consul to perform these functions, because of the frauds which have been practised, we would draw attention to the prejudices that might arise from such an innovation to the in jury of individuals as well as of the state. The introduction of two barques, distinct from those of the Sanità, which carry the flag of St. Mark, might easily be accompanied with signs of respect with the danger of improprieties of which your Excellencies are well aware. In addition to the injury to the brothers Lizza there is to be added the harm to those trades which deal in farinaceous goods, who will suffer not a little prejudice; and those interested in the Bastione of Malamocco have asked to be heard in the matter. We have also received petitions from English and Flemish merchants and from captains who beg for the continuation of the practice that has always prevailed and of the gracious concessions for which they have petitioned at other times from the gracious munificence of the prince.
Dated at the office on the 25th November, 1671.
Zuane Balbi
Geronimo Corner
Antonio Venier
Antonio Nani Savii.
[Italian.]
Nov. 27.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
118. Girolamo Alberti, Venetian Secretary in England, to the Doge and Senate.
Although the rumour of an approaching war with Holland is general, the Privy Council speaks in a different tone and proceeds slowly with regards to decisive measures. Nothing is yet settled about the departure of Douninghen for Holland. The government is calmly awaiting the more mature resolutions of the Provinces, and as Arlington always expresses himself with moderation, declaring his hope of some adjustment, he also exerts himself in the cabinet in favour of peace, to which, as I have remarked, he is inclined.
A considerable change has therefore taken place in the firm project for bringing pressure to bear upon Holland by negotiation and by arms, and by keeping France steady by pecuniary pledges to be advanced to England to fit out ships. But Colbert proposed to divide the amount info several payments, with various safeguards and many delays, thus creating distrust and destroying the principal point, which was that of ready money. Owing to this, the present pledge to war having been discussed in Council, it was proposed, in case of need, to assemble parliament, even before October next and obtain fresh money front the country, as circumstances and the efforts made to obtain it from abroad are unpropitious.
I will keep on the watch for whatever may take place after this change, touching the retreat of England from her pledges against Holland, and am glad that I discredited the report that the French money had already arrived in London. I will also inform myself thoroughly about the advices which may be brought by Coventry about his negotiations in Sweden. I can state positively that the demand made of the emperor by Gremonville has not in the least disturbed them here so far, since they know very well that this crown is the one of the allies who is safe from the aggression of the Most Christian.
The commissions in preparation for the earl of Sonderland relate to the marriage of the duke of York with the young archduchess of Innsbruck, which is to be negotiated at Madrid. Arrangements are already being made to send other ambassadors to Vienna when the affair is further advanced. These facts destroy all suspicion of the king's jealousy of his brother as well as the belief that his Majesty, in order to give heirs to the crown, might seek another prolific queen in a new bed.

The Danish resident has recently had audience to impart the birth of his king's eldest son. (fn. 8) For this he illuminated his house last evening, and on Wednesday all the foreign ministers did the like for the queen's birthday, whom they congratulated with every other possible sign of rejoicing.
In accordance with instructions I send copies of the statements forwarded to the ministers here about the affair of Civita Vecchia. The first is from the governor of Civita Vecchia, the other from the office of the secretary of state. I have not been able, since the arrival today of the ducali of the 24th October, to find out the name of the captain of the ship, but all that can be ascertained shall be communicated next week.
London, the 27th November, 1671.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Enclosure.119. Rome, the 18th July, 1671.
On the morning of the 25th June the sentries of the fortress of the harbour of Civita Vecchia spied three square rigged ships, two of which were chasing the third. The last made all sail and succeeded in getting under our guns, when it displayed the Venetian flag. The others showed no signal of any kind. The Venetian dropped anchor, saluting the fortress, just as those in pursuit, seeing the sails in a tangle, were in hopes of boarding her. Seeing that this might not be, as the ship was friendly and sheltered by a friendly fortress, they also decided to anchor and show English colours, but without saluting the fortress. They then sent their launch to the Venetian to demand payment for the shot fired on the ground that he had infringed nautical law by not hoisting the flag of St. Mark on a field argent and not gules, at the first shot, and consequently not having lowered sail. Although at first the Venetian objected, saying that he did not lower sail because he took them for Turkish pirates, sailing without colours, yet, to avoid dispute and proceed on his voyage, he thought fit to pay the demand, and departed.
The two English ships, (fn. 9) remaining within musket shot of the fortress, sent a launch into the harbour for fresh provisions. With this opportunity they told the captain of the port that they were English cruisers bound for Smyrna as convoy for other ships of their nation coming from thence. One of them carried 50 guns and 300 soldiers and the other 45 guns and 250 soldiers.
The warden of the fortress seeing them prolong their stay, without saluting, as usual, sent to tell the officer in charge of the launch, to salute the fortress. He answered that they never saluted anybody and they would parley with the warden. In the mean time they provided themselves with vegetables and other eatables and the captain of the port brought them back word that the warden would hold a parley. So they went to the landing place and, after greetings in Flemish, the warden told them they must salute. They replied that they saluted no one, but would return gun for gun up to a hundred. The warden said this was not customary and the ships of all the powers always saluted the fortress on arriving, so they ought to do the like. They said they would go on board and report to the commander. The launch then made for the ship and after the lapse of a full hour went on to its consort, and the two ships remained at anchor without making the slightest demonstration. The warden then fired a blank shot at them, but the salute being still denied, he plied them with ball. They were thus compelled to weigh anchor. They continued to tack in front of the fortress and harbour the whole day and until the middle of the following night when, the wind having freshened, they were compelled to steer a better course.
[Italian.]
Enclosure.120. Rome, the 18th July, 1671.
The accompanying sheet represents the true f acts, since it is known here that the two captains have represented the matter differently. The right of the fortress to a salute is acknowledged by the ships of all powers. The two ships showed disrespect in the pursuit of the Venetian. They carried English colours, but not the king's flag. As they gave chase it is supposed that they mistook each other for Turks. Cleuter, the commander of the fortress, demanded the salute. An officer offered to salute gun for gun, and when this was refused he withdrew for consultation. Cleuter waited over two hours for the reply and then fired a reminder. If they were determined not to salute they should have at least moved to a distance from the fortress, in acknowledgment also of the good treatment received, as the commander did not fire at them when they chased the Venetian under his guns. Cleuter, being a Fleming, spoke a tongue which the English understood, and they answered in the same language.
It is desirable to know if it is the English practice to salute gun for gun and if this is recognised. As it is also desirable to acquaint the English Court with the particulars, your lordship is charged to do this, adding such remarks as may disprove any intention of disrespect, so that the English may be satisfied.
[Italian.]
Nov. 28.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni,
Corti.
Venetian
Archives.
121. In the Pregadi on the 28th November.
With regard to the request of the English Resident about the institution of a vice consul, it is resolved that he be informed that, seeing that provision is already made by the magistrates deputed, for the comfort and convenience of sailors and ships, with special reference to supplying them with water and provisions according to their needs, any other provision could not fail to be superfluous and it cannot be considered on account of the most important and delicate matter of the public health. If any of the deputies have discharged his functions in a dishonest manner, let those who have suffered make their appeal and it will be promptly heard and the true remedy applied by justice since it is the public intention that the English nation shall receive every possible favour and accommodation.
Ayes, 135. Noes, 5. Neutral, 5.
[Italian.]

Footnotes

1 Apparently Sir Henry Jones. See Cal. S.P. Dom., 1671, p. 532.
2 He married Isabel of Nassau, daughter of Louis of Nassau. heer van Beverwaart, a natural son of Prince Maurice.
3 Sir George Downing for Holland; Robert Spencer, earl of Sunderland, for Spain; and Sir Robert Southwell for Flanders.
4 Musulaga is not a proper name, but the title of a functionary. He probably refers to Taback Raiz, the now second in command. See London Gazette, Nov. 16–20, 1671.
5 The Swallow of London, a ship of 180 tons, Capt. John Baddison, attacked off the isles of Bayonne on 4 Oct. Cal. S.P. Dom., 1671, p. 530,
6 Sir George Waterman.
7 Judging from an entry in the Treasury Books he was granted an allowance of 100l. a week to be paid quarterly in advance, dating from 13 November, o.s. The Calendar only contains the warrant for the second instalment of 1300l. Cal. Treasury Book, Vol. iii. p. 1211.
8 The Relief, taken in 1652. See Vol. xxviii of this Calendar, pp. 256, 258.
9 Frederick, afterwards king as Frederick IV; born 11 Oct.