Venice
October 1673, 1-20

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Institute of Historical Research

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Allen B. Hinds (editor)

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1947

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127-145

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'Venice: October 1673, 1-20', Calendar of State Papers Relating to English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 38: 1673-1675 (1947), pp. 127-145. URL: http://british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=90364 Date accessed: 26 November 2014.


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October 1673, 1–20

Oct. 2.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
188. Ascanio Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
The Dutch, having tried in vain to detach England from France, have bethought them to force the Spaniards to a rupture against the British king under the persuasion that in this manner they will be able to introduce great confusion into that country and reduce that monarch to consider his own personal interests without detaching his troops to go and help those of this crown. This report had won much credit here and it was possible to believe that the declarations would not be long delayed. If it had continued they would have detained the duke of Mamut, who has changed his mind about going on board a ship of the fleet, to an intention to return with the troops to the service of this crown. They had it conveyed to him that it would be a good plan to join himself to the Prince of Condé.
News has also come that the king of England has undertaken mediation with the Most Christian in favour of the Genoese (fn. 1) from which the latter conceive certain hopes of a favourable issue and the mediation of his Most Christian Majesty was not so well appreciated.
The bride of the duke of Jorch is expected here. They will not omit to show her every possible testimony of esteem, although she will actually pose as incognita.
The French naval force was continuing in the Thames, making good the damages suffered in the recent storm. They had the good fortune to find again the ship that parted company (fn. 2) and feel quite sure of being back in the ports of this crown.
Paris, the 2nd October, 1673.
[Italian.]
Oct. 6.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
189. Girolamo Alberti, Venetian Secretary in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The ministers of state here are more worried and perplexed than the naval commanders who have been harassed at sea this last fortnight by almost constant storms. D'Estrées has not yet repaired his ships, nothing is known of Martel, while Ossory has returned to port on hearing that the Dutch have also done so for the winter.
Three days ago there came into Arlington's hands a treaty signed at Brussels on the 5th September by Monterey and Lira on behalf of Spain. (fn. 3) This is believed to be flour from the baron dell 'Isola's mill. Having caught a glimpse of the document I give what I could gather of its contents. It begins with a protest that Spain, after generously and disinterestedly assisting Holland and seeking peace in vain for that purpose, had been forced to have recourse to the present treaty.
In this first clause Arlington claims that he detects the craft of Lisola who, while devising plans for Spain to attack France, persuades Holland to allow Spain to vaunt the generosity of her aid. But it costs the Dutch dear as every one knows that they bore the burden of the war on the strength of the great promises received from Spain. Arlington adds that he hopes this cajolery will not induce the Spanish government to allow itself to be drawn into a war of forty years with France. This is the first article which includes a pledge to recover all the places lost by the Dutch during the present war.
The treaty, proceeding in this lofty style, binds both parties to keep 8000 men in readiness to succour whichever of them shall be most assailed, with the option of paying a proportionate sum of money in lieu of the troops. On the termination of the war, the parties being agreed, the triple alliance and the guarantee shall remain in their original force.
The queen of Spain has only a month for signing the treaty, and in spite of her reluctance the count governor has pledged himself to furnish the succour. But what concerns England more than all is a separate article which provides that after the queen has signed the treaty she is to offer his Britannic Majesty peace with Holland, who will strike to the English flag, pay 200,000l. for the expenses of the war, cede certain fortresses in the Indies and give compensation for the fisheries. If this offer is not accepted within three weeks Spain is to declare war on England without delay. This is the point that upsets Arlington, has bewildered Colbert and which leaves the Council in confusion. The king resents being precipitated into a disgraceful peace by Spain, after having so zealously favoured the Spanish possessions in Flanders. He indignantly sent a copy of the articles to Fresno, who affected to have no knowledge of them. Colbert exerts himself to revive their spirits. He maintains that they will not be so hasty at Madrid as they were at Brussels. But apprehension is increased by the approaching meeting of parliament. Nothing has yet been decided on and, what is worse, the ministers are disbanding. Lauderdale seizes on the pretext of the parliament of Scotland to withdraw thither and avoid contests with that of England.
Your Serenity will have seen the emperor's declaration. (fn. 4) No comment has been made upon it here; indeed 2000 men are being mustered for France besides the first corps destined for that purpose; but it is not known when the duke of Monmouth will depart.
London, the 6th October, 1673.
[Italian; deciphered.]
Oct. 6.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
190. Girolamo Alberti, Venetian Secretary in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The duchess of Modena showed so great an aversion to her daughter's marriage with the duke of York that it was abandoned here when his royal Highness heard of it through the Most Christian. A courier from M. d'Anjou, the French ambassador at Modena, who arrived on Sunday, surprised the whole Court by bringing word that a letter had reached him from the duchess to stop him going on to Modena. Nevertheless he continued on his journey and on arriving found the whole prospect at variance with his negotiations, the mother being enamoured of a marriage in Spain and the daughter full of scruples about coming to England. However he caused his proposal to be laid before the Council, and having cleared up the doubts and sent an express to Rome, he obtained a hortatory brief for the bride and the contract was signed. He adds that Peterborough will arrange the ceremony of the espousals, after which Anjou says he will write again. The princess will then set out for London immediately; her mother intends to accompany her and to remain here some little time.
The whole Court is surprised at this result and the duke's good servants rejoice at witnessing the termination of an affair which has been subjected to so much discussion. The duke remarked to me, smiling, that God had concluded it, contrary to the expectation of those who thought they had spoiled it. Many persons indeed who sought to ruin the duke's character, regret the marriage. Some say that the king does not rejoice at it and that, blinded by his passion for letting himself be ruled, he has taken a dislike to the duke who has a stout heart and great resolution. The truth is that the French are dispirited, as some thought of supporting Neuburg while others put forward Crequi's daughter, and factions were already formed at Court.
The preparations for the bridal entertainments are being hastened. There will be no lack of festive demonstrations, in spite of present circumstances, notably the opening of parliament at the very moment of the bride's arrival. Your Excellencies will understand the meaning of this for my poor purse, but I sacrifice everything for the prestige of the state.
I have received the ducali of the 2nd and 8th September, and am momentarily expecting instructions about the Zante incident. When these arrive I will settle the matter. I know it will not answer to use verbiage, but by speaking firmly to Arlington and by representing the facts to the king I hope to settle it in a decorous manner. I have suggested already that the captain ought to be punished and I assume this tone in order to content myself, at the worst, with having the matter hushed up, for at first the complainants would not listen either to truth or to reason.
London, the 6th October, 1673.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Oct. 7.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni,
Corti.
Venetian
Archives.
191. To the Secretary Alberti in England.
We rejoice to learn that the affair of the Santa Giustina is in good train and as it is based upon unquestionable rights we feel confident that we shall soon hear that it has been satisfactorily settled to the credit of your conduct of the matter. We also learn with pleasure the prudent sentiments which you have gathered from the Cavalier Hugons who is about to start for his residence with us. From the character which he is to sustain he may be assured of a welcome with all the affection and esteem which is due.
Ayes, 83. Noes, 3. Neutral, 7.
[Italian.]
Oct. 7.
Inquisitori
di Stato
Busta 156.
Venetian
Archives.
192. The Inquisitors of State to the Secretary Alberti in England.
We have received your letters touching the interests of the glass trade which are very important and we note your application and your efforts to secure that suitable measures may be approved and commanded. At an opportune moment the particulars which you report will be duly considered in order that things may be ready for the resolutions which are considered proper, of which you will be fully informed. In the mean time we wish you every happiness.
Bernardo Donati
Marco Ruzini
Alvise Mocenigo. Inquisitors of State.
[Italian.]
Oct. 7.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci
Roma.
Venetian
Archives.
193. Pietro Mocenigo, Venetian Ambassador at Rome, to the Doge and Senate.
After the congregation had advised the pope that he should not grant the dispensation to the princess of Modena for her marriage to the duke of Jorch, without a previous and positive promise from the king of England to the Most Christian to accord to the princess the use of the Catholic religion in precisely the same way as the queen mother did and as it is enjoyed by the present queen, they despatched a courier from the palace to Bologna with all secrecy so that the vice legate there should recover from the hands of the bishop of Modena the exhortatory brief which his Holiness had sent to him, as I reported to your Excellencies a week ago. The withdrawal of the brief from the hands of the bishop, to the amazement of every one, and the news which reached them later of the difficulties raised about the dispensation caused a great commotion in the minds of those princesses as well as of the English minister. He suspected that it was an intrigue of the enemies of the crown to prevent the passage of the princess to England. He considered that it was the same as to upset the marriage to introduce delay, in respect of the approaching meeting of parliament where it is forseen that a bill will be introduced to prohibit the duke of Jorch from marriage with Catholic princesses. In view of the holding back and behaviour of the Court of Rome, the English minister proposed to leave Modena and to throw up the negotiations. He protested that the difficulties interposed by Rome were doing notable injury to the Catholic religion since the duke of Jorch would find it necessary to marry a princess of the reformed religion.
With the duchess distracted by the scruples of Rome, the bride distressed and Prince Rinaldo struck dumb, the French minister did not give up, making it believed that these were Spanish machinations. Accordingly he betook himself with Prince Rinaldo to beg the duchess not to be discouraged and to take the decisions forced upon her by necessity and by being committed as she was to the two crowns and with the whole world. The duchess was persuaded to take the advice of theologians and to fortify herself upon the persuasion made by the pope with his exhortatory brief sent to the bishop and by letters written previously by Cardinal Altieri to the duchess's own confessor. It was claimed that these sentiments of the pope and of the one who governs the pontificate had the force of a dispensation. Thus they might conclude that such a dispensation was not necessary, in view of the common report that the duke of Jorch is a Catholic.
With these grounds to go upon the duchess summoned five of the most distinguished theologians of Modena, belonging to five different religious orders, from whom she asked for an opinion. The question being examined, they concluded that the marriage could be made. So in virtue of the opinion of the theologians the duchess decided to make the marriage. Accordingly the Te Deum was solemnly sung in the church and the nuptials of the princess were performed by the hands of the parish priest, as the bishop was unwilling to take part.
The function was celebrated by festivities in the palace and by masquerades in the town. On Thursday last, the 5th inst. they were to start on their journey, to proceed with all speed to England. The duchess mother and Prince Rinaldo are accompanying the bride as far as London. The English ambassador, the earl of Piterbor had already gone on ahead, in order to wait for the princess coming from Piacenza, for the purpose of avoiding ceremony with the duke of Parma; and the marquis of Ancio had taken the posts towards the Court of France, to carry the news to the Most Christian.
The news of these events with all the particulars set forth was passed on to Cardinal Barberino by an express courier. The duchess also sent him two letters, one for the pope and the other for Cardinal Altieri in which she respectfully informs them of the marriage. In these letters she represents the confidence which may be entertained that the princess will enjoy liberty of the Catholic religion, seeing that the letter of the king of France assures it and it is confirmed by the English minister. She says further that she was induced to pledge herself to consent to the marriage by the vigorous counsel of his Holiness contained in the exhortatory brief.
On the arrival of the letters Cardinal Barberino went at once to Cardinal Altieri at the palace to report to him about the marriage and of the arrangement that the princess should set out on the fifth. Cardinal Altieri was highly incensed at this news and complained that they had acted in contempt of the Holy See, since what they desired was not to make difficulties but to safeguard the princess. In spite of this he received the letters, but that of the pope was later sent back to Cardinal Barberino with the message that his Holiness was so enraged at the action taken by the duchess that he would not receive her letter.
At the palace they are confounded by the steps taken, which discredit the government. They realise now that they acted in too high handed a manner and relied upon a congregation of Cardinals who base all their doctrine on the inscriptions of the laws. But these are the consequences of a prudent dependence upon the records of things past without going further to consider the change of circumstances. Cardinal Barberino suggests that to save the face of the Apostolic See they should promptly grant the dispensation and he also points out that it would be a good thing to create the impression that the exhortatory brief had been taken from the bishop of Modena for correction and to make it facultative for performing the marriage.
Rome, the 7th October, 1673.
[Italian.]
Oct. 7.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Firenze.
Venetian
Archives.
194. Giovanni Giacomo Corniani, Venetian Resident at Florence, to the Doge and Senate.
Couriers to the number of three or four, going and coming between Modena and Rome, have been passing through during these weeks. One of these coming from Rome, was accompanied by an individual who passed under the name of Abbot, which makes it believed that it might be the brother of the marquis of Anjou, who went to Rome and who is returning. I fancy that the frequency of these couriers is about the papal dispensation for such a marriage. Not a few difficulties are involved about the articles for the education of the children, but all were surmounted by the authority and ability of Cardinal Barberino. This although the English minister also had an objection to a word in the draft of the apostolic brief. This ran: secondo il ritto della Santa Chiesa Cattolica Romana and he desired the removal of the word “Romana.” I believe that this will be conceded since it is known that the English minister, in conducting this business, has had to say that they must make up their minds to give complete satisfaction in these respects. He declares it is true that the duke of Yorch is a Catholic, but he has not yet made public profession of it and God knows when the conditions which he is waiting for to make it will be just right. Besides this they must take into consideration the case of the royal House, to preserve its dominance. It is also necessary to remember that with a prince of this quality they must take all necessary things into consideration. The marriage must be approved in parliament, to which must be shown the papers which are passed in concluding it and they must be careful not to set before that assembly any expression that would offend its ears.
The need to make this participation to parliament does not seem to me to have any point unless it be to raise a doubt as to whether the marriage will take place. I also fancy that it may even now have taken place at Modena by proxy for the duke. With respect to the object of obtaining thereby the promotion of Prince Rinaldo of Este, matters stand as I reported these last weeks. The marquis of Anjou has been at Mantua; it is not believed to be merely out of curiosity.
The Grand Duke has refused the tenth which was presented to him by the corsairs for what might come to him by the capture of the English ship as reported with the baggage of the old Bassa of Tunis. (fn. 5) This is a clear sign that he wishes to satisfy England in this business and to avoid any ill feeling which might arise from the warmth with which the ministers of that king conduct affairs, especially with the approaching arrival of the Ambassador Finch.
Florence, the 7th October, 1673.
[Italian.]
Oct. 9.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
195. Francesco Michiel, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
With regard to England, opinions vary. The departure of Milor Locar, the English envoy stimulates them. They say that he is leaving because the king wishes to instruct him about his intentions touching the treaty of alliance between that kingdom and this crown, which they proceed to ratify year by year. That the British king does not wish any longer for such general terms. He wants at least to see on paper the advantages which he may reasonably promise himself from his allies; and that the nation is very ill pleased with what happened at sea, laying the chief blame upon Etré. Others brush aside these reports by asserting that a new treaty of the closest alliance between these two crowns is on the point of being signed and that the envoy will return to his post within a few weeks. Some, however, consider it not unlikely that seeds of bitterness lurk in the hearts of the English from seeing themselves destitute of victories after two years of war in which time the Most Christian has garnered so many triumphs, but have rather suffered loss from the union of the fleets. The approaching meeting of parliament also leads them to suppose that the king's measures may be varied, either because they will not support his requirements or else because they claim to impose laws upon that king for the war as they wished to issue orders to him about religion. From the accounts which will reach your Excellencies from the spot you will be able to see if my suppositions are verified.
As regards the journey of the new duchess of Hyorch, they hope here that by now she is on the sea, seeing that the marquis d'Angio, envoy of the Most Christian, wrote that the new bride would have arrived at Marseilles on the 14th. It is said that they are expected in London before the meeting of the Houses.
With regard to the affairs of Rome I have succeeded in finding out that the pope has sent to the king the names of four persons for the choice of a nuncio and his Majesty sent back the note to his ambassador the duke of Etré so that he should arrange with Cardinal Altieri in the selection of one satisfactory to this side. (fn. 6)
Rens, the 9th October, 1673.
[Italian.]
Oct. 11.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci
Milano.
Venetian
Archives.
196. Paolo Sarotti, Venetian Resident at Milan, to the Doge and Senate.
After the celebration of the nuptials of the princess at Modena with the solemnities which your Excellencies will learn from the enclosed account, she set out on her journey with her mother and Prince Rinaldo through the state of the duke of Parma. She traversed this for a long way, declining every sort of demonstration of those which were offered to her by the governors of the places, by order of the duke of Ossuna. She is taking a small suite with her and covers a lot of ground. The English ambassador marches a day ahead of her for the greater convenience of the quarters.
Six days ago the envoy of France arrived at Milan, the marquis Dangeau and not d'Angio as first stated. He saw the most notable things and afterwards continued his journey by the posts. He confirmed that the princess of Modena, the new duchess of Yorch, will be treated by his king as a daughter of France and she will begin to enjoy the benefits from the very first moment that she enters that country and for the whole time she will be defrayed at the Court of the Most Christian as far as Cales.
With regard to the duchess of Modena, she has renounced the government of the state during her absence to her son, although he is not yet of age, the direction of affairs being entrusted to Signor Gratiani.
I am distressed here, not so much because I do not hear that the choice of my successor has been made, because it is now indifferent to me whether I serve your Serenity here or in England, but much more because I do not hear anything either about a vote of money for me; and without assistance from the state I cannot possibly support the burden of that charge. Your Excellencies may easily conclude what that is from its being so thoroughly shunned by everyone. I therefore petition once more for assistance with some good sum, merely on account of my credits, which I shall receive as a token of appreciation of my by no means ordinary labours in serving you.
Milan, the 11th October, 1673.
[Italian.]
Enclosure.197. At length, on Saturday morning, between the 16th and 17th hour, they decided to perform the marriage of the princess Maria Beatrice of Este to the duke of Yorch. Although the courier of Rome had not arrived, yet as the duchess had obtained the opinion of several theologians and above all of the bishop of Reggio, and being pressed on by the repeated protests of the English ambassador, who let it be understood that he must either have the total conclusion or he would leave, she gave orders for everything to be carried out. On receiving the intimation the whole Court appeared in gala attire. Prince Rinaldo went to fetch the earl of Pertemborugh from his house with many coaches and pair, filled with the nobility. He was received with marks of respect, treated as Highness and received the hand. After all this had been performed they came out to proceed to Court. When he mounted the coach the guns of the citadel fired and the ambassador was accompanied by the prince as far as his apartments. He immediately asked leave to bow to the most serene which was granted to him without delay. With the most serene under the umbrella were the princess and the duke. The ambassador seated himself upon an equal seat opposite the most serene and covered. Shortly after they went into the little chapel above and there, by the hand of the parish priest, the marriage was celebrated according to the rite of the Holy Roman Church in the presence of all the serenissimi, the marquis Dangeau and all the Court. After dinner the ambassador presented the bride with jewels of great value. Towards the evening they went on the Corso and afterwards to the comedy. On the following morning, in a solemn cavalcade, they went to the cathedral where the Te Deum was sung, with four choirs of music and amid the thunder of all the artillery of the city and citadel. The serenissime sat under the umbrella and the ambassador under another, and the duke, who gave his hand to the ambassador, as representing the duke of Yorch. In the same order they returned to the Court where a state dinner was found to be prepared. Towards the end of this the courier from Rome arrived with all the most favourable despatches. This finished so late that it was not possible to see the running of the Barbary horses, which was postponed until the next day. In the evening they made a great feast of a dance in the little theatre of the Court, where they danced until five o'clock. Yesterday they ran the palio and went to the comedies.
Yesterday the marquis of Dangeau left. The English ambassador was to have gone today but it has been put off until tomorrow. These two ministers have been presented with most beautiful pictures. This is all that can be related of the happenings in abstract.
[Italian.]
Oct. 12.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Proveditore
General
da Mar.
Venetian
Archives.
198. Andrea Valier, Venetian Proveditore General da Mar, to the Doge and Senate.
I have arrived at this town and have been much relieved to find that the Proveditore of the Fleet is making good progress, although the severity and duration of his illness will make him endure a tiresome convalescence for several days. Many ducal missives have reached me and I will now record what I have done to carry them into effect. To begin, from a perusal of the letter of the king of England, I at once realised the malignity of the Consul Clement Arbis here, because the falsehoods introduced could come from no one but him. At the time of the incident he was not even at Zante, as I wrote to your Serenity, and yet the consul at Venice states clearly that the accounts are those of the consul and the captain of the ship.
It appears also that the second complaint about the killing and wounding of the sailors of the ship Amicitia was coupled with this fresh incident, with the utmost deceit, by the same person, to give credit to his mendacious representations about the first, because as this happened in the month of April, as I shall relate hereafter, if he had had occasion to write to England at the time, the ministers would at least have said something about it to the Secretary Alberti.
On the 28th April two sailors of this ship remained on shore, owing as is customary with such folk, to the attractions of the taverns and brothels. Being anxious to get on board, when they arrived at the Sanita they asked two men in the service of that board, to take them in their caique, promising to pay them. They got on board but when they had accomplished more than half of the distance, they met the boat of their ship, which was coming to fetch them and they decided to take it, without giving anything to the two Greeks. These last began to clamour and from words they came to fighting with the oars. The Greeks who were overborne by the English, who had the assistance of the other boat, called loudly for help. At these shouts, on a very dark night, according to the depositions of witnesses, three men of this country got into a skiff with their fire arms and hastened to the spot. Arriving there they at once fired their rifles and by the discharge one Englishman was killed and the other two wounded by cutting weapons. After this the Greeks returned to shore and were recognised by some who were at dinner with the English merchant Vuar.
In the morning the news reached the authorities who immediately made a thorough inquiry which established the guilty parties. But as these could not be secured, a proclamation was issued and the ban, with capital punishment and the appropriation of money to the heirs of the dead man. I enclose a copy for the information of the Senate, which will realise the base falsity of this rogue of a consul who has written that he was not able to get justice. It has come out clearly, not only that they did not take refuge in our ships of war, as he has asserted, but that they were seen by his own English merchants returning to shore the same evening. So it is no miracle if they afterwards sought safety in flight, as they had the whole of a night in an open town with so many boats handy while the authorities could not have information before the morning.
I must needs say with all simplicity to your Serenity that if this man is not removed from here in some fashion he will inevitably prove the occasion for some notable scandal, as he is a false fellow who desires nothing else than confusion, with a pride so excessive that although all the consuls, of France and of Spain, always come as a matter of duty, to pay their respects to this office, he never comes near, constituting an open scandal. I have put up with this because of the incident with that ship upon which I need not enlarge any further than I did in my No. 57, although everything in the sequence of events is confirmed over again by the word of a man of honour and an honest citizen of my native land. I have never expressed any but sentiments of esteem for the nation and of respect for the royal arms and so I left here by night on purpose, because, having seen the impertinence of that captain I did not wish to risk an example of his bad manners which would involve me in further obligation.
But if I was unable to act otherwise, both for the honour of the national arms and for the protection of the subjects of the state as well as being my personal duty and approved as such by your Serenity, yet I have read the implications of the letter and knowing the pride of the nation, if the justice of the cause does not suffice, I submit myself to anything that may prove of benefit to my country as I should believe that if the word “expedit” should have to fall upon my person that would be the seal of the sacrifice that at the very beginning of my career I set before myself as the guide of my actions with the sole object of the good of the state. This I have done up to the present and shall continue for the few days that the mercy of God may be pleased to vouchsafe to me.
Zante, the 12th October, 1673.
[Italian.]
Oct. 12.
Senato,
Secreta.
Proveditore
General
da Mar.
Venetian
Archives.
199. Andrea Valier, Venetian Proveditore General da Mar, to the Doge and Senate.
As there seems to be practically no hope left that English ships will be coming here, the charity of the Senate is called upon to fix their attention upon what is happening here and not to allow Christmas to pass without sending some succour to the islands.
Zante, the 12th October, 1673.
[Italian.]
Oct. 13.
Senato,
Secreta.
Proveditore
General
da Mar.
Venetian
Archives.
200. Girolamo Alberti, Venetian Secretary in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The storms have subsided and the merchants breathe again, being assured of convoy for the trading fleets now being fitted out; but they clamour outrageously against the war with Spain which they are afraid is at hand. The Cabinet is thus perplexed and irresolute with respect to the decisions which are to be taken. A few evenings ago the king said to the Spanish ambassador in my presence that he was pledged to the Most Christian and intended to assist him to the uttermost, while at this moment the Catholic alone refuses peace and prepares for war, inciting other powers to wage it.
In spite of this the 4000 men destined for France are being mustered slowly and Monmouth is always talking of his journey but never makes it, expecting at any moment a courier from the Most Christian with the decisions about his Majesty's movements.
In the course of another conversation Arlington said to Fresno that he expected to hear in a few days that the emperor had dismissed Gremonville. (fn. 7) The Most Christian, on the contrary, to facilitate peace, consented to include Spain in the treaty and to exchange of fortresses. Fresno retorted that England would do well to prefer her own interest to that of France. He recommended Arlington to persuade the king to think solely of withdrawing himself with honour and to accept the conditions proposed by Holland.
Arlington, who has hitherto been entirely on the French side, maintains that the States propose laws not conditions and that it would be hard to receive the latter instead of giving them. But all measures are paralysed by the approaching session of parliament. The king is seized with a panic, which he calls a political stroke (tiro politico) whereby to obtain everything from the country, opening his heart to the parliamentarians and giving them all they ask, provided they offer money. At this price he sells repute and the safety of his true friends, while exposing himself to strange hazards.
Father Patrick, one of the queen's almoners, who is very obnoxious to parliament, has already withdrawn to France, fearing that the king either cannot or will not support him, in spite of all the promises made at the suit of the queen, who is believed to be highly offended in consequence. The duke of York remains firm in the midst of all this, although he has the worst cards in his hand. He continues to form a party in his own support. His enemies go so far as to say that the pope arranged his marriage; a misrepresentation based on the hortatory brief obtained by Angio the French ambassador. News of the espousal is impatiently awaited. It has been delayed for lack of the dispensation from Rome. There is great talk of the queen going to Portsmouth to meet the bride, who will there receive the Court and all the foreign ministers.
Two days ago the London apprentices insulted the coach of my lady Cleveland, the king's former mistress, but she escaped with no greater hurt or worse consequences.
London, the 13th October, 1673.
[Italian; deciphered.]
Oct. 13.
Senato
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
201. Girolamo Alberti, Venetian Secretary in England, to the Doge and Senate.
I received this week almost simultaneously, the ducali of the 15th, 16th and 22nd September, in obedience to which I presented the king with the letter expressing the Senate's regret that sinister statements should have warped his mind, although the republic had always done its best to cultivate good relations and shown partiality to the English nation. I went on to demonstrate to his Majesty that the ship and cargo belonged to Venetian subjects and argued that his Excellency Valier was justified in retaking it if the Englishman made the prize wrongfully.
The king seemed no longer to dispute the first point, though he told me to leave the papers with Lord Arlington; but he added that force had been used in retaking the ship to the disparagement of his flag. At this I let myself go to some extent, referring to the behaviour of the English captain which would have provoked any one less prudent than the republic's general, who, nevertheless observed the utmost civility. The king replied that he was perfectly certain of your Serenity's good intention and perfectly ready to reciprocate. He let me go with the most gracious expressions and promised to acquaint himself forthwith with the facts. Next day at the promenade in the park I resumed the topic with his Majesty. An opportunity being afforded by an accident which occurred here, I intimated to him how easily these captains may kindle a flame and what liberties they take in representing everything after their own fashion. The king answered me that here they were severely punished, but his generosity is so great that I hope, not only to remove all umbrage from his mind but to get some declaration as amends for your Serenity.
Lord Arlington also who is by nature very frank, showed himself particularly so in this matter; but he is so greatly occupied that he would not trust himself to remember some of my arguments and asked me to let him have them on paper. I readily agreed as it is in your Serenity's interest that the Council should have the facts from my pen rather than from the cold voice of others. I have carefully avoided anything likely to cause irritation but have insisted on the entire correctness of the state's representative, without compromising the dignity of the Signory. I also told Arlington that I hoped the king would not approve the violence of the captain or commend the action of the consul who is naturally prone to make the worst of things.
Arlington said very mildly that he would go into the whole matter at once, so as to let me have an answer. As I have not omitted any particulars I hope to be able to induce the king to write a fresh letter of acknowledgment to your Serenity with regard to what happened.
The truth is that the goodness and justice of the king here and his chief ministers is not seconded by others, who seek to make trouble. Carried away by their natural heat they permit themselves to say that the king ought to keep a number of war ships in the Mediterranean to enforce his rights. These gentlemen are of opinion that might is supreme and may justly supersede right.
With regard to the other incident at Zante, they are satisfied here with the orders given by your Serenity and await their execution. I hope to settle everything before the departure for Venice of the resident, Sir Thomas Higgons, so that he may receive no further commissions concerning those matters.
London, the 13th October, 1673.
[Italian.]
Enclosure.202. Memorial presented by the Secretary Alberti. (fn. 8)
From the account already presented of the incident against the ship Santa Giustina your Excellency will have understood how far from the truth are the suppositions of the captain of the ship Jersey and of the consul of Zante. They have allowed themselves to be carried away to contaminate the esteem that the most serene republic has always shown towards the ensigns of his Britannic Majesty and the affectionate partiality which she has always continued to feel towards the best beloved English nation. Both these fundamentals are so clear and great that they leave the Senate confident in the belief that no evil impression can have been made upon the mind of his Majesty.
In order that no further doubt may be cast upon the fact that the ship Santa Giustina belongs to Venetians, attached is an affidavit signed by seventeen of the leading merchants, French as well as English who declare on oath that Sig. Giusto Vaneyck had it built for his own use and afterwards, in 1671 sold one half of it to Marco Bembo, a Venetian noble. On the 4th November in that same year the ship was registered in the public books and obtained at that time and not to-day the passport which the most serene republic, by its laws, would never have granted if the owners had not been Venetians. Sig. Vaneyck was a naturalised subject and accustomed to the privileges of the traders of that mart. In hoisting the flag of St. Mark, the ship was enabled to do so by the privilege of such traders, and has done so for two years in several voyages from Venice to the Levant, which is forbidden to foreigners and it has never paid duties except at Venice nor recognised any consuls save the Venetian; and if it had on board sailors of divers nationalities, only six of them were Dutch, the rest, for the most part subjects of the republic. The captain, Isidoro Quintavalle, was also a Venetian. As he has stayed in the Levant for his affairs, his place was taken by Van Limen, a subject of the republic, although a native of Holland, who came to set up house in Venice with his wife and children.
It is the more strange that any suspicion should have fallen upon this ship because at the time of its lading it was in port with other English ships and came in company with them for a great part of the voyage, carrying merchandise laded solely by Venetian traders and by two Englishmen at Aleppo, all despatched to subjects of the republic, as appears by the attached affidavit signed by Sig. Hayles.
These facts being most clearly established there can be no doubt but that his Majesty will approve that the general of the republic did not permit all this capital and substance to be taken away from Venetians under his very eyes, nay more that he will justly recognise the application of that officer who, to avert greater scandals, sought only under the circumstances to rescue Venetians from imminent injury. I would pass over for the time the unusual forms practised by the captain of the frigate Jersey in the port and towards the flag of the most serene republic, contrary to the ordinances and practices of his Majesty and his glorious predecessors, who have always maintained that perfect correspondence which the most serene republic studies to cultivate with all the most lively testimonies of the most sincere friendship, professing the utmost respect for his Majesty.
[Italian.]
Oct. 14.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni,
Corti.
Venetian
Archives.
203. To the duchess of Modena.
With feelings of consolation corresponding with the esteem and paternal affection which our republic has always entertained towards the person and house of your Excellency, the Senate has learned of the felicitous marriage of the most serene princess Maria, your daughter to the duke of Yorch, and we rejoice over it exceedingly and with fullness of heart, congratulating the princess and ever praying the Almighty to second such worthy nuptials with His holy benediction. The knowledge of this which you have been pleased to impart to us in your most welcome letters is recognised by us as a fresh countersign of your admirable filial disposition. It is most highly and affectionately appreciated and we respond with the most sincere and cordial expression of our goodwill. For this reason we pray Heaven that both your Excellency and the princess may enjoy every conceivable content.
Ayes, 76. Noes, 0. Neutral, 0.
[Italian.]
Oct. 14.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni,
Corti.
Venetian
Archives.
204. To the Secretary Alberti in England.
From the enclosed copy of what the Resident Sarotti writes from Milan about the journey undertaken by the princess bride towards your parts you will take note of all the particulars and on the occasions when these matters are referred to you will always be able to testify to the satisfaction which our republic feels about all the felicitous happenings of the royal House.
Ayes, 76. Noes, 0. Neutral, 0.
[Italian.]
Oct. 14.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni,
Roma.
Venetian
Archives.
205. To the Ambassador with the Pope.
We regret that some ill feeling has arisen over the manner of the establishment of the marriage of the princess of Modena, but we hope that through the active intervention of Cardinal Barberino everything may be settled by this time.
Ayes, 76. Noes, 0. Neutral, 0.
[Italian.]
Oct. 14.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci
Roma.
Venetian
Archives.
206. Pietro Mocenigo, Venetian Ambassador at Rome, to the Doge and Senate.
I reported to your Serenity that they had handed back to Cardinal Barberino the letter written to the pope by the duchess of Modena, in which she informed him of the settlement of the marriage of the princess to the duke of Jorch, which his Holiness had not chosen to receive because it had been done without the dispensation of the Apostolic See. Made uneasy by this and fearing that, according to the usual procedure of the Court of Rome, they were contemplating some censure against the duchess of Modena, the ambassador of France thought it advisable to be beforehand with the pope to prevent resolutions in a matter in which his king was committed and interested. When he asked audience of the pope, they wished at the palace to avoid admitting him, but when the ambassador insisted and made strong remonstrance to Cardinal Altieri, he succeeded in obtaining it.
The ambassador presented himself before the pope on Sunday morning when he performed an office of respect indeed, but vigorous. He represented that the House of Este being under the protection of the Most Christian crown, the duchess of Modena had employed him to inform his Holiness that they had celebrated the marriage between the princess, her daughter and the duke of Jorch and remarked on the benefit which would result to the Catholic Church from having that princess in England. The ambassador intimated that the duchess had been persuaded to take this step by the exhortatory brief which his Holiness sent to the bishop of Modena. From this he proceeded to enlarge upon the deep respect professed by the duchess, the duke and all the House of Este for the Apostolic See and elaborated this by dwelling upon the feelings of respect cherished by those princes in venerating the person of his Holiness. The ambassador, confined his exposition within these terms as he did not choose to offer any word of excuse or even to petition for the dispensation.
The pope's reply was grave and aggrieved. He pointed out that the marriage had been desired by him, but in a manner decorous for the Holy See, with safeguards for religion and an assurance that the princess would be able to live in Catholic liberty amid the depravity of those heretics. He expressed strong feeling at hearing that the marriage had been celebrated without the dispensation, considering that this was equally scandalous and harmful.
The ambassador took him up and again expressed the devoted respect entertained by the duchess of Modena for the Holy See and for his Holiness personally, and laid further stress upon the protection enjoyed by the House of Este from the generosity of his king and that it will always enjoy.
The ambassador went on to pay a visit to Cardinal Altieri with whom he performed the same office, eliciting a reply similar to that of the pope. The ambassador told him that difficulties had been raised with too much subtlety by the congregation and commented that in delicate affairs with princes they ought to apply prudential remedies and not treat with the rigour of the Courts, interests in which two great crowns were concerned. The Cardinal defended himself on the ground of the necessity of convoking the congregation. After this they discussed various matters and at the end the ambassador wound up by saying that the duchess had wished to impart this because of the respect which she professes for the Holy See and that all the House of Este is under the protection of his king.
Rome, the 14th October, 1673.
[Italian.]
Oct. 14.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci
Milano.
Venetian
Archives.
207. Paolo Sarotti, Venetian Resident at Milan, to the Doge and Senate.
From Turin we hear of the passage of the duchess of Yorch through that city, accompanied by the duke of Modena as far as Voghera. They tarried two days in the neighbourhood viewing the pleasure resorts of the House of Savoy. At the Veneria the duchess was received by the duke who paid his respects to her. But with both her mother and herself he maintained an incognito, feigning himself to be the governor of the place for a reason which I will give later.
The letters from Modena and Parma report that very serious disputes took place between both the Houses about titles and other pre-eminences, which were disputed on the occasion of the wedding, at which the duke of Parma, although invited, refused to be present; and when he was later requested for a passage through Parma and Piacenza, he replied that they would find the towns open but the palaces closed. The principal point of offence is understood to be about the title of Highness, refused to him by the bride who, as duchess of Yorch, no longer gives it even to her mother. Some say as well that the English ambassador excused himself from conceding the hand to him and spoke with scant esteem of the duke of Parma by comparison with the duke of Yorch. Various other matters are related but with so much variety that I do not venture to report them.
From Turin also they write that since the English ambassador claimed that the title of “Royal Highness” should be given to the bride without it being necessary for her to give it back, she has not been seen by the duchess of Savoy and the duke only paid his respects to her by pretending to be the governor of the Veneria, as I have said.
The duke of Osuna is infinitely tickled about these incidents and he is continually laughing at the pretensions of the princes of Italy, of whom he has a very low opinion.
Milan, the 18th October, 1673.
[Italian.]
Oct. 20.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
208. Girolamo Alberti, Venetian Secretary in England, to the Doge and Senate.
Count Monterey carries out his projects so resolutely that here they can no longer venture to hope that the queen of Spain will not approve of his league and treaties. The king himself said that he expected their ratification any day, remarking that the Council of Madrid had never so far disavowed any of Monterey's arrangements.
Three days ago the king went to Windsor for his diversion; but most of the ministers have remained in London to negotiate in conformity with their own interests. The treasurer says that on the declaration of war with Spain commerce must be suspended, as navigation is impracticable owing to the extent of the Spanish coast, which would inconvenience it. Practically every one is of this opinion and they disapprove of the king persisting in the French alliance. This will be more bluntly opposed by parliament, which will utterly refuse supplies, unless the king obtains it by art or force. But the truth is that the king does not understand art and his ministers are by no means given to industry because they consider themselves secure in their places in as much as they render themselves necessary. This is the case solely when the king is in difficulties, his Majesty acknowledging no other law than his own interest for cherishing and supporting them. The consequence is that they not only fail to advocate such measures as would subdue the agitators but rather render abortive those which the king might take, with an army at his back. They always suggest to him that he must not give his subjects cause for suspicion, as it they were to see his Majesty sword in hand they would draw their weapons in advance for the preservation of liberty. By thus making him believe it necessary to disarm they reduce him to beg for money from parliament by fair means and through their own mediation.
To avoid giving umbrage to parliament his Majesty has willingly granted the French the 4000 men who will go to France, although Monmouth may remain in London, as the Most Christian has proceeded to Paris. Colbert remarked to me that the king here ought to do much more, being bound to keep 8000 men on foot, but the Most Christian was paymaster and did not keep him strictly to the contract, the articles of which are still kept very secret. Money from France has also been brought by Locard for the purpose of raising fresh levies. He will soon go to Scotland and is now hastening the march of the 4000 men, whose embarcation will be delayed a few days longer.
The emperor dismissed Gremonville from his Court, as Arlington told Fresno he would. The latter pretends that his last letters give him great hopes of being appointed ambassador at Rome. The king meanwhile complains of the papal nuncio at Vienna (fn. 9) for having undertaken to deliver the emperor's message to Gremonville, when as a neutral minister and one of peace he should rather have resisted the idea. In the presence of a friend of mine his Majesty said that the republic of Venice would be the only free power to negotiate the peace.
London, the 20th October, 1673.
[Italian; deciphered.]
Oct. 20.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
209. Girolamo Alberti, Venetian Secretary in England, to the Doge and Senate.
After I sent off my letter last week the courier from Modena arrived with the conclusion of the marriage contract, in spite of the lack of the dispensation from Rome. The foreign ministers went at once to offer their congratulations, with the exception of the Spanish ambassador who pleads indisposition, having no other excuse. Like the rest I had a special audience, as a mere matter of ceremony. Afterwards, as a mark of confidence his Highness was pleased to tell me that the Spaniards had tried everything to thwart the negotiation. He hinted that those in authority at Rome had behaved with great timidity. I see that he resents the difficulties encountered at that Court where the events of this kingdom are held in no account because it is so far off and does not acknowledge the Court of Rome, which takes no pains to oblige the duke of York, although he might be the chief support of the Catholics in England. He is called as much by the Lower House, whose members begin to whisper that as the queen is barren the king must secure the succession through another spouse. But this motive is not sufficient for so startling a novelty.
In the meantime the queen herself is preparing to meet the duchess at Dover, whither all the foreign ministers are thinking of going. But as it is proposed to land the bride nearer London, it is not settled whether the yachts will bring her up the river as far as Gravesend.
Lord Arlington has been all this time at his country seat, 100 miles away, (fn. 10) so I could do nothing to stop the proceedings about the ship Sta. Giustina, but I mean to press the matter next week. I do not believe that Sir [Thomas] Huggons will start to-morrow, though he said he would, two days ago. I have established the best possible relations with him by a frequent exchange of visits.
Arlington claims to have greatly smoothed the affairs of the Genoese with the Most Christian, by means of Colbert, the ambassador here, but he complains that those gentlemen do but little to satisfy the king of England, giving mere words to the Ambassador Finch. (fn. 11) All this is in accord with the custom of the English, who ask for everything, expect much and are never satisfied.
London, the 20th October, 1673.
[Italian; deciphered.]

Footnotes

1 On 12 June French galleys under the Sieur du Mans appeared before Genoa and carried off five Genoese barques laden with merchandise, from under the fort, from which several shots were fired. Strong remonstrance was made to Louis, whose only reply was to demand that the gunners who fired and the officers who ordered them to do so, should be sent prisoner to Marseilles, giving them eight days to answer. Relations Veritables, Brussels, 1673, No. 27. Finch to Arlington, 9 August. S. P. Genoa, Vol. II. On 12 August the Doge and Senate wrote to Charles asking him to intercede for them with the French king.
2 Possibly referring to the Bourbon, a ship of 50 guns that was driven ashore in Sandown bay on the 18th, but was got off on the 19th. Cal. S. P. Dom. 1673, page 550. London Gazette, Sp. 18–22, 1673.
3 The treaty between Spain and the United Provinces, signed at the Hague on 30 August, printed in Dumont: Corps Diplomatique, Vol. VII, pt. I, page 240. The separate article is given at page 242.
4 Manifesto of the Emperor Leopold, dated at Eger on 20 August, 1673. After reciting French encroachments and hostilities against the empire it calls upon all commanders and soldiers subject to the empire to forsake immediately all military preparations in aid of the French, and to manifest their services in defence of the empire, under pain of the emperor's heaviest indignation. S. P. Holland, Vol. CXCV.
5 The Mediterranean taken by Domenico Franceschi, a corsair of Leghorn, on its way from Tunis to Tripoli, with Haly Pasha of Tunis on board, and all his train. It was claimed that the ship had not been plundered and that only the Turks and their goods had been taken off. Nevertheless the Consul Skynner reported that the Grand Duke was as much vexed and troubled over the incident as it was possible for a prince to be. Skynner to Arlington, 7 July and 9 Sept., 1673. S. P. Tuscany, Vol. XV. Cal. S.P. Dom. 1673, pages 467, 470.
6 The nuncio Francesco Nerli left on 15 August. He was succeeded by Fabrizio Spada who arrived on 15 February, 1674.
7 Jacques Bretel, chevalier de Gremonville, French ambassador at Vienna. He left on 23 September.
8 This paper is preserved in the Public Record Office, S.P. Venice, Vol. LII, fol. 132.
9 Mario Albrizio, Bittner: Repertorium der Diplomatischen Vertreter, Vol. I, page 381.
10 Euston near Thetford, in Suffolk. He went there on 3/13 October. Cal. S. P. Dom. 1673, page 566.
11 Writing on 6 September from Genoa Finch explains that his negotiations with the republic required his further stay there “for I find them fast and loose, playing many slippery tricks. The factory press me not to leave them till I have got their money … they all tell me if my back be turned they shall never be paid; let the promises be what they will.” Finch to Arlington. S. P. Tuscany, Vol. XV.