Venice
July 1672, 16-30

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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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253-263

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'Venice: July 1672, 16-30', Calendar of State Papers Relating to English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 37: 1671-1672 (1939), pp. 253-263. URL: http://british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=90325 Date accessed: 25 July 2014.


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July 1672, 16–30

July 16.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni,
Corti.
Venetian
Archives.
256. To the Secretary Alberti in England.
Approval of what he has done and particularly his decision to follow the king and congratulate the duke of York. The Senate is pleased to learn that the king has conferred new marks of honour on Arlington. (fn. 1) When he sees the secretary he may assure him, as if on his own account, of the affectionate regard of the Signory for him, so that he may be confirmed in his friendly sentiments towards them.
Ayes, 77. Noes, 2. Neutral, 35.
[Italian.]
July 16.
Collegio,
Secreta.
Esposizioni,
Principi.
Venetian
Archives.
257. I, Biasio Bartolini, went yesterday evening, by order, to the house of the English resident and read him the office of your Serenity. He had a copy taken and said that the orders of the Senate could not be better adjusted to the service of his nation if they were obeyed. But as he understood that they had been ignored hitherto, he feared they would still be, unless a decree was made for the restoration of the money unduly levied. He also thought the process which the Proveditore General Valier was ordered to make was superfluous, as the offences were clearly shown by the notes and payments preserved by the merchants.
The punishment of Scagno was the more necessary because his king knew of the particulars. He expressed his thanks for the readiness shown in punishing Clisenti and only wished him to be prevented from doing any hurt to Druso Guerra. He thought the case of Captain Tidiman already fully elucidated. He hoped Captain Galileo's merits would be fully recognised. He expressed his appreciation of the generous remarks about himself and only regretted that he must return home without an opportunity of showing his devotion to the republic.
[Italian.]
July 20.
Collegio,
Secreta.
Esposizioni,
Principi.
Venetian
Archives.
258. The Resident of his Britannic Majesty came into the Collegio and presented the following memorial, which was read. He then said: Neither my king nor I wished your Serenity to proceed so far in the matter of the real per miara that it might injure and offend the Proveditori of Zante and Cephalonia. The only object was to prevent abuses in the future by firm orders. The merchants are satisfied that the payments made hitherto to the Proveditori of Zante, whom they praise highly, have proceeded well. I do not think that these Proveditori should be censured for a thing that all the others have practised. The withdrawal of the orders sent against them will therefore please his Majesty and I ask for it, being only anxious for better order in the future. He then presented another memorial, also below, which was read.
In the absence of the doge Sig. Andrea Soranzo, the senior councillor, said that they would consider his requests with the aim of gratifying him and would let him know the result. With this the resident departed, after the usual reverences.
Gio. Battista Nicolosi, secretary.
First Memorial. (fn. 2)
The letter from my king which I presented lately was only procured at the suit of our merchants in the islands, who desired no more than the continuation of good usage. I come on their behalf to make this clear; to ask for the continuation in prompt despatch in the future and such positive orders as the state may see fit to send, in the certainty that they will be promptly obeyed, and that they may be treated courteously. I can assure you that what is done for the merchants will please my king as it does to see the forwardness of the Senate to give him satisfaction.
Second Memorial.
In the course of my residence here I have seen the compassion of this state and in leaving it is not surprising if I supply an object for its exercise. Marc Antonio Monlioni, called Bertan, formerly Santo has been condemned by the Proveditori al Sal to imprisonment for ten years, not to begin until the payment of 2000 ducats to the caisse of that magistracy. The care of a large family needing his assistance and direction calls for compassion. Ten years' imprisonment is the same as death, and should he survive he would be old and for his children no better than a corpse. I plead to the magnanimity of your Serenity to release him from his chains. The favour will be the greater for the condition of the culprit and the demerits and inefficacy of the intercessor. I do not ask that he may be released from the money penalty, which is reasonable, so that the fault should not go unpunished.
[Italian.]
July 22.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
259. Girolamo Alberti, Venetian Secretary in England, to the Doge and Senate.
Yesterday letters were at length received from the Ambassadors extraordinary Buckingham and Arlington, after their conference with the prince of Orange at Werbaugge, two miles from Worden on the old Rhine. Not having yet been able to acquaint myself thoroughly with what passed between them, I give what has been told to me. The prince does not resent the serious injury done by England to his country, which had shown itself ungrateful to her, if not rebellious, and he flatters himself that he will be able to improve and consolidate the government of the Provinces, a result which would also be advantageous to the king, because of his nephew's dependence. Orange is already convinced that England never intended to annihilate the republic and indeed the States themselves admit that it would be advantageous for them to place themselves at the disposal of his Majesty, whose interest it is to preserve them as a bulwark against France, rather than that they should accept from her conditions which would only be temporary, the final object of the Most Christian being their destruction, as he cannot rely on their friendship, and also because they occupy so fair a part of Flanders, the conquest of which he eagerly desires.
In the mean time the affairs of the Dutch have greatly deteriorated. They do not so much feel the loss of fortresses and territory, members for the most part separated from the United Provinces, as the confusion introduced into the government through the repudiation of those political barriers devised for the defence of the republic against attempts on the part of her ancient master, and from civil strife. Monterey has already set foot in the fortresses of Brabant and Flanders. The Dutch in this turmoil have not scrupled to trust them to the Spaniards, to whom they have thus opened their gates, and Orange has been declared governor, captain general and admiral of the forces by sea and land. Simultaneously a disorderly popular party, usurping the command, destroys all the aristocratic principles introduced by de Witz, who limited the government to a few. At the same moment, contradicting their first intention, the people bind themselves to the arbitrary rule of the prince, who will enjoy the hereditary authority of his ancestors, to the disparagement of the so called “Perpetual Edict” to which, in
1667, de Witz made the States and the prince swear, to the eternal suppression of those charges which overshadowed the liberties of the Dutch republic.
Your Excellencies will doubtless have heard from the spot of the wounds inflicted on de Witz, their cause and the quarter from which they proceeded. Here they distrust him no less than Van Beuninghen is distrusted in France, although both factions are dispersed. Indeed a native of Rotterdam who kindled the first disturbances and withdrew to London, told the king that he had seen the treaty whereby de Witz bound himself to open the gates of all these towns which were subsequently conquered by France. Encouraged by his Majesty this informer departed two days ago to accuse him to the States General, standing no longer in awe of the Pensionary's authority.
Buckingham and Arlington report that with the duke of Monmouth, who was joined with them in the commission, they had their first audience of the Most Christian near Utrecht. Lord Holifax also was received by his Majesty, and all four will negotiate the peace with the French commissioners, the king here being much inclined towards it, lest the fire, which has hitherto been one of straw, should burn more fiercely; though, on the other hand, his apprehensions about the war have diminished.
I mentioned that the apparent coalition between the emperor and the princes of the empire would be advantageous for England. Colbert now tells me that France will effect as many other counter diversions, as it is indifferent to her whether she subsidises
30 instead of 15,000 Swedes. Other powers are also bound to the French crown and Spain, by committing herself, would risk her own quiet and that of Flanders while endangering America, Portugal being on the watch to join the alliance for the purpose of making conquests there.
Monterey continues to act with his usual heat, perhaps in obedience to instructions received from Spain. He remains the whole day in conference with the Dutch commissioners at Antwerp. Even if he does not prejudice the Spanish monarchy he certainly burdens himself with deep hatred, such as the king here feels for him, either because he deserves it, for some reason or other, or because it is customary to condemn the minister when by obeying his sovereign he does not suite the taste of this Court.

The last news of the duke of York is that he is at the mouth of the Texel awaiting the India fleet, and a considerable force is being mustered here, but I cannot ascertain for what landing his Highness may intend it. Perhaps it may serve to reinforce the men of war, in the event of a sea fight.
There is no news of the India fleet which is considered lost if it takes shelter in Spanish seas and harbours. A few evenings ago the king said that it could only save itself in England, by virtue of the proclamation, always provided that it came voluntarily, giving the necessary advices and particulars beforehand. In that case he would keep his promise and be satisfied with the mere duties which are estimated at hundreds of thousands of pounds. In the mean time a Dutch ship from Guinea with a cargo worth 80,000l., which escaped from the ports in Ireland, has been captured a second time by the English, after having made the turn round Scotland to get away. (fn. 3)
London, the 22nd July, 1672.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
July 22.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
260. Girolamo Alberti, Venetian Secretary in England, to the Doge and Senate.
I received this week the ducali of the 25th June and 1st July together. On Arlington's return I will give him a note of the decrees in favour of trade, of which I have informed Sir [Thomas] Ugons, who assured me of the king's goodwill. He dropped no hint about the viceconsuls; but Consul Hayles expressed himself as follows, though he said he would withdraw the demand if it did not meet with your Serenity's approval. He said a viceconsul at Venice was unnecessary, as he himself could do what was required there, but the appointment was needed at Malamocco, to assist the captains and sailors, so that the former, being foreigners, should not be charged more than the tariff for provisions and that the latter may not contract debts and then sue the captains for wages, which, according to contract, are not due until the ships return to London.
In the mean time Hayles no longer urges the appointment of a viceconsul at Venice and with regard to Malamocco he says he will not interfere with the ships during quarantine, and when it expires he will not prevent the captains and sailors from lodging where they think best, or bumboats of any sort from supplying them. He added that the authority of the viceconsuls should not extend beyond the limits granted by your Serenity, and a precedent was afforded by the consul at Zante, who has appointed viceconsuls at Cephalonia and Corfu.
I replied that your Serenity considered the innovation superfluous and you would give sufficient orders for the best treatment of captains and sailors. Before Hayles returns to Venice I hope to ascertain the motives which have induced him to urge this appointment. He has not yet perfected the other affair of the consulage, to which he would like to subject merchandise brought to Venice. The tax is a new one, his predecessor having already obtained 30 ducats from each ship on its entering the harbour whereas the tax used to be only 15.
The king's decree in favour of aliens was not one of naturalisation, but it authorises them to enter merchandise at the custom house on payment of the duty required from natives, although when they remove it they will be liable in addition to the duty exacted from foreigners. It is not known whether this favour will continue after the peace, as during the war it serves to maintain the foreign trade of England, whose merchant seamen are now all serving with the fleet.
I am hard at work to collect what information I can before the time arrives for negotiating the commercial treaty with England. It cannot be doubted but that she will raise her pretensions when once the trade of Holland is depressed.
By this week's post there arrived an account of the sea fight printed in Venice by Alessandro Zata. When I entered the queen's chamber the king showed it to me and said with a smile that such was the news which the Dutch had sent to Venice. Having read the pamphlet, which scarcely contains one word of truth (a copy is enclosed) I answered that some perfervid Dutchman had made this pecuniary sacrifice for the honour of his country; but if any Englishman had thought fit to print the account sent by me the truth and the advantages gained by his Majesty's forces would have been very manifest, though they were generally published and credited. The Dutch account was recognised as a confused narrative which arrived a week before the true one. I report this that your Serenity may know how much importance they attach here even to reports which, being authorised by the press and by the printers' privileges, produce a bad effect owing to the delicacy of the topic, especially at this crisis, since it is incredible that the republic should definitely have licensed a narrative so disadvantageous for England.
London, the 22nd July, 1672.
[Italian.]
Classe vii.
Cod. mdclxxi.
Bibl. S.
Marco,
Venice.
261. Account of the Fight at Sea between the English and Dutch fleets, with the victory of the Dutch.
On Tuesday the 7th inst. the English and Dutch fleets were facing each other between the Bay and Solsbay on the coast of the county of Hortfoch. The former gave the signal for battle with its guns and in the twinkling of an eye a confused and sanguinary battle ensued. Although this lasted for two whole days there is no means for giving an ordered account of it. But although order is lacking about the things that happened the essential facts of the engagement can be recorded.
Once the fight had been definitely entered upon the leaders of the respective squadrons were the first to engage each other. Thus the Admiral Ruitel set himself right against the duke of Jorch and pressed him so hard that in the end the duke had to change his ship and, removing the royal Standard from his own vessel, he had to go and hoist it in another.
The English flagship of the Blue, a vessel of 124 guns, was set on fire and in that conflict the Sig. di Montagu, one of the principal English commanders, plunged into the sea and was drowned. His chief lieutenant also fell into the sea, but was immediately fished out by the Dutch and carried as a prisoner to Ruitel's ship. The waves did not suffice either to prevent the fire from spreading elsewhere, as two other English ships, each of 70 guns, were seen to be burning. In that fire there perished a Dutch captain named Suard. Two other English ships carrying 80 guns each, were sunk by the intensity of the gun fire. Two more of over 50 guns each suffered the same fate, while five other English ships, including that of Capt. Haiersen, fell into the hands of the Dutch with their crews and guns. On the side of the latter the damage is not a little as the Admiral Vanghent and his Vice Admiral Eveiz have been slain. But their fleet is in good order and united and it is keeping the remainder of the English fleet blockaded. It cannot be long before an account of the matter comes from them as the two fleets are only eight leagues apart from each other.
[Italian. Printed at Venice, by Alessandro Zatta.]
July 23.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni,
Corti.
Venetian
Archives.
262. To the Secretary Alberti in England.
Acknowledgment of the receipt of his despatches and approval of his operations. The Senate is pleased to learn of the appointment of Sir Hugons, who will always be welcome as are all ministers of his Majesty.
Arlington's goodwill is shown by his intention to consider a commercial treaty to the common advantage. He is to assure the secretary at a suitable opportunity of the lively desire of the Signory to embrace every opportunity that may serve to draw closer by fresh bonds of affection the old standing friendship and to establish arrangements that may turn out equally for the convenience and satisfaction of both marts. He must try to find out what proposals are likely to be made and his efforts should be directed to get a scent of what in particular they will apply themselves to in order that with this enlightenment and the information obtained the Senate may be in a position to conduct the business upon bases which are proper and necessary.
Enclose copies of memorials presented by the English resident with the replies given to him.
That a copy of what the Secretary Alberti writes about the proposed treaty of commerce be sent to the Five Savii alla Mercanzia so that after making such inquiries as they think proper from the chief men of the piazza they may make report in our Collegio of what they consider opportune to be established for the advantage of trade with whatever more they consider in their prudence to be of benefit to the public service.
Ayes, 126. Noes, 2. Neutral, 1.
[Italian.
July 23.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni,
Corti.
Venetian
Archives.
263. That the following be sent this evening by a notary of the ducal chancery, to the Resident of his Britannic Majesty, to be read to him: (fn. 4)
Though our Proveditore General at Sea is strictly charged to be very vigilant in procuring all favourable usage towards the merchants of your nation living in the islands of the Levant, we have, at your desire, renewed the most effectual orders to the end that all such abuses may be taken away as heretofore have been put on them, and that our orders may be inviolably observed. So we no ways doubt of a punctual execution thereof, nor will we omit, as occasions require, to establish and renew all such commands as may serve to protect the merchants in such manner as they may enjoy the favourable assistance which the State intends for them. We should be pleased to order the release of Bertan, as requested by you, but the matter is involved in so many diffculties, that it will not be easy to do so; however, we will consider what can be done.
Ayes, 126. Noes, 2. Neutral, 1.
[Italian.]
July 29.
Senato.
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
264. Girolamo Alberti, Venetian Secretary in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The negotiations of Buckingham and Arlington with the prince of Orange are kept most secret, the king keeping to himself the most delicate part of affairs, so I have sought for such light as could be elicited from the Spanish ambassador in confidential conversation. Fresno is of opinion that Orange does not complain of the king's harshness towards the Provinces, but that mistrust has arisen between uncle and nephew because the latter is unwilling to follow the king's advice and to assume the authority now offered to him by circumstances, being well aware that the greatness of the United Provinces, which arose from liberty and republican government, is incompatible with sovereignty and that he will gain more by securing for himself the mere hereditary authority of his ancestors which gives him the distributive power and that of arbitrary command, both of which are keys whereby he may easily unlock the exchequer of the Dutch republic.
Fresno flatters himself that Orange is the most thorough partisan of Spain because of the declarations which he might look for from her in defence of the States, but scant as the hopes are of any great fruit from such demonstrations, even smaller is the trust placed by the States and the prince in the Catholic crown.
Fresno also confirmed what I have heard from others, that the English ambassadors have stipulated a new treaty with the Most Christian, in ratification of the alliance, but introducing a clause to the effect that both kings are at liberty to treat separately with the Provinces for the attainment of their individual claims, without interfering with each other. Although it is certain that both parties are satisfied with this arrangement, before signing the peace, England thus shows clearly that she began to treat with Holland for the sake of disposing France to quiet more easily, either from zeal for the avoidance of a universal conflagration or that she might attend to her domestic affairs, in case future prospects grow worse when she might no longer be able either to persuade the Most Christian to make peace or to bear in mind the interests of England, or to observe the promises he has made.
More circumstantial details will have reached your Excellencies from the French camp, from whence Buckingham and Arlington betook themselves to Antwerp. There on Tuesday the
19th they had an interview in the church of the bare footed Carmelites with the Governor Monterey, and on Wednesday they dined with him, though at the house of Count Marsino. They had intended to depart on Thursday for Calais, but Sir Gabriel Silvius having come on behalf of the prince of Orange, they accepted the lodging offered by the governor, with whom they held conference on that day and despatched Silvius to the French camp. Friday's letters do not say with what instructions, but I am informed that Sir Gabriel was the bearer of proposals for peace. I cannot say for certain that the Dutch, conceding the sovereignty of the sea to the English, bind themselves to pay a million more or less for the herring fishery, to permit the English to trade in their factories in India and to give one of them as a pledge, but I do know that Arlington is very apprehensive that the faction of de Wit may revive through the mildness of the prince of Orange who has deferred to the magistrates and requested their approval, so Arlington suspects that some of them, who are friends of de Wit, are cajoling the prince, with a view, at some fair opportunity, again to limit that authority which was offered him in the amplest form by favour of the people.
Arlington is afraid that if de Wit is reinstated he will make terms with France and again overthrow Orange. This would place matters in a worse state than before the war. The government being in no wise affected after all the turmoil, would make good the loss of the States at a slight cost. If the places lost were recovered in exchange for those of Brabant, all the weight will fall upon the backs of the Spaniards.
I will see what the Spanish ambassador has to say on this point. I am practically certain that the Dutch will prefer to get France out of their vitals, recovering the places lost in exchange for the forts of Brabant and Flanders which, when all is said, are on the frontiers. Your Serenity will get a clue from the proper quarter. I suspect that the conference held with Monterey may have been to point out to him the danger of Spain, and some such hint was dropped here in London, where they fear any injury to Spain and do not wish to buy peace at any price except at the cost of Holland.

Advices are received daily from the fleet, which remains at the mouth of the Texel; that of Holland, ensconced among the sandbanks of Zeeland, not daring to show itself. It is true that two or three English ships have come home to repair damage suffered in a storm. A number of other merchantmen which until now were wind bound at Portsmouth, have arrived in London to unload, to the comfort of the merchants, trade being thus revived, ready money flowing into the custom house and fresh supplies will be obtained through the return cargoes.
London, the 29th July, 1672.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
July 30.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni,
Corti.
Venetian
Archives.
265. To the Secretary Alberti in England.
He is to note carefully the conditions on which they are proposing to insist in the settlement of the peace. The Senate observes what he writes on the subject of religion. They will always be glad to hear from time to time of what happens in this respect. He is to express to count Henry of Arondel the satisfaction felt by the most serene republic at the news of his confirmation as Grand Marshal. Enclose copy of the reply made by the resident of England and of the office performed with him.
Ayes, 145. Noes, 1. Neutral, 4.
[Italian.]
July 30.
Collegio,
Secreta.
Esposizioni,
Principi.
Venetian
Archives.
266. I, Biasio Bartolini, went as instructed to the house of the resident of England on Saturday evening. The office was read to him and he took the copy himself. He charged me to tell your Excellencies that the orders several times repeated to the Proveditori General da Mar and the relief promised to his nation in the islands of the Levant, proved the generosity of this state, which his king would hear of with the utmost satisfaction, if they are duly carried out in the future. He added that he hoped that the sovereign authority of the Senate would overcome the difficulties about the release of Bertan.
[Italian.]

Footnotes

1 His promotion as viscount Thetford and earl of Arlington. See page 205 above.
2 The text of the memorial with an English version is to be found in S.P. Venice, Vol. lii, f. 15. It refers to the exaction of a dollar per mille exacted by the Proveditori of Zante and Cephalonia on all currants. By instructions of 18 April and in accordance with the wishes of the factors at Zante, Dodington was only to procure the total abolition of the exaction for the future and not to press for the repayment of what was past. Dodington to Arlington on 22 July. Ibid., f. 13.
3 This would appear to be the 24-gun merchantman which put into Kinsale in ignorance of the war and was seized there. The Dutchmen made their captors drunk and then got away to sea, carrying with them two files of soldiers and four waiters who had been put on board. Cal. S.P. Dom., 1672, page 193.
4 A copy of this office is to be found in S.P. Venice, Vol. lii, f. 15.