Venice
December 1674

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Institute of Historical Research

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Allen B. Hinds (editor)

Year published

1947

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317-329

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'Venice: December 1674', Calendar of State Papers Relating to English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 38: 1673-1675 (1947), pp. 317-329. URL: http://british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=90380 Date accessed: 17 September 2014.


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December 1674

Dec. 7.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
410. Girolamo Alberti, Venetian Secretary in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The violent storms now raging at sea to the grievous distress of the merchants, on account of the frequent shipwrecks, leave the government likewise in suspense, because of the lack of advices from all quarters. They await with peculiar impatience those from Holland as so far they only know that Arlington has arrived in Zeeland. Yet the people here say freely that the English physicians have not arrived in time to cure the prince of Orange of the French disease, which his Highness endures with the more fortitude as he hopes thereby to purge himself of peccant internal humours. They allude in this way to the French interests which the prince is now about to espouse, contrary to his professed dependence on England. They add that he overcomes his scruples in the hope of gaining through the Most Christian the esteem and confidence of the Lowenstein faction, which has always been opposed to him, and thus to quiet those jealousies which deprive him both of domestic repose and of the peaceful possession of the dignities and authority enjoyed by his ancestors.
This popular report will probably be verified, indeed a minister of state told me that at present England contented herself with merely suspending the publication of this resolve on the part of Holland to give time for propounding the treaties for a general peace. It was in the interest of England to effect it for the sake of Spain, her neighbour, who with her other allies would now more readily agree to the treaties before being separated from Holland. It concerned England, for her honour's sake, to prevent the Dutch from boasting that they had compelled the king to make a disgraceful peace as the sequel to a disgraceful war in which the king had lost repute with foreign powers and the respect of his subjects, possibly even risking his crown. The English ministers did not mean to let the United Provinces boast of having made France accept their friendship and to reinstate them in her esteem and confidence, nor would they allow Holland, as the climax of her misdeeds, to consume the European powers in the fire which she herself had kindled.
Your Serenity will perceive that they are losing ground here steadily both in their confidential relations with neighbouring powers and in their esteem; but the chief cause is internal division, which utterly paralyses the government.
Lord Carombery is the one who assembles the bishops in his house pretending to be very zealous for the Protestant religion. He always says that if they had not banished his father, the chancellor, these troubles would never have been seen. The good man flatters himself that he will reinstate his father. Everything is possible with these English who, at a pinch dare any outrage against the laws of God and man without the slightest fear of punishment, and rather with the hope of success, as it is the king's custom to bring the agitators to obedience by abundance of rewards. Carombery accordingly encourages the bishops to rail against the Nonconformists and keeps the question of the succession before the public, because if he can exclude the duke, the crown would pass to his niece. The bishops are capable of receiving any impression provided there be no question of any difficult attempt in opposition to popular feeling, for which they have neither courage, credit nor capacity; so all London is curious to know what they will propose to the king as a remedy, involving persecution of the Papists and the conciliation of public opinion.
The Presbyterians, on the other hand are gaining ground and tomorrow their leader will present a petition to the duke for a general pardon for all transgressions in matters of religion. The Independents also petition to be included in this pardon and the one who is to draw up the proclamation tells me that he hopes so to extend it that in many cases it may be interpreted in favour of the Catholics. If the king agrees to grant this favour he will bargain with the Presbyterians and Independents that they will oppose all innovations and leave the question of the succession at rest, silencing the speeches of the malcontents on this subject by the arguments mentioned in my last.
The Court and the leaders take the greatest pains to maintain the separation of these factions. One of these is that of the bishops. The second is that of parliament and consists of turbulent characters who beg bread and rewards from the king, dagger in hand. The third is that of the Presbyterians and the fourth the Independents, comprising various sectaries and many intelligent men of wealth, belonging to the people. The other factions call for little remark, but if they were all united the crown would be in danger as they all incline to a republic, though others believe that if it came to the point they would prefer the monarchy. It seems that this last year many have taken the trouble to discredit utterly the republican government in England.
Putting all this aside I conclude by saying that at the moment all the ministers here are performing several roles on the stage to the amazement of everyone and decisions are taken that will establish or ruin the government; and although many are very hopeful others maintain a cautious scepticism because, as an English principle, they trust in nothing (si vedono tutti li ministri far qui piu figure in scena, con stupore di tutti, e si risolve cio che stabilira o rovinera il governo e benche molti buonamente sperino, altri cautamente dubitano, perche per massima d' Inghilterra niente si fidano).
London, the 7th December, 1674.
[Italian; deciphered.]
Dec. 12.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
411. Ascanio Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
Although the consent of the emperor and Spain to the mediation of England has arrived at this Court and the English and Swedish ministers have been advised of the same, the Sieur di Pompona told me yesterday at St. Germain that they had not heard from the Courts. They were momentarily expecting to do so and were unable to understand the cause of the delay. He said that Sweden would be continuing the mediation without opposition being offered by any one. She alone could be called a mediator at the moment, as although England has consented that consent had not yet been imparted at that Court so as to be able to communicate to the minister the instructions with which he would have to limit himself when he began to act, before the season had grown older.
Paris, the 12th December, 1674.
[Italian.']
Dec. 14.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
412. Girolamo Alberti, Venetian Secretary in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The storms having ceased and communication being reopened several letter posts arrived this week. Subsequently the Swedish resident had audience of his Majesty and told him that his king was marching against Brandenburg, not only because he had notoriously infringed the last treaty with France, of which Sweden and England had been the mediators and security, but on account of a separate treaty with the emperor, in virtue of which he hoped for assistance to make the conquest of Pomerania after driving the French out of the empire with his own forces. He added that as soon as the ice thawed Wrangel would receive a reinforcement of 20,000 men. But the king's zeal for a general peace had not cooled in the least and his minister with the emperor was urging it more than ever, and the like was done in Holland. He remarked sotto voce that the United Provinces seemed inclined to side with Brandenburg, threatening that Denmark would do the like, but he did not insist much on England taking part in the quarrel with Brandenburg, although the offence was common to both crowns because of the joint mediation.
It is evident that Sweden, while pretending to think solely of her own safety and of obtaining reparation from Brandenburg for personal wrongs, without interesting herself in the great quarrel which now convulses Europe, is trying to bring the parties to peace in this way, without the slightest suspicion that other powers are interesting themselves in it, and consequently the blessing of quiet is deferred.
The baron de Bergeik is expected here any day from Brussels. A ship has been sent to fetch him and from him the ministry expects to hear something positive about the intentions of Spain, hoping to find Monterey more disposed towards peace. That personage wished to have it believed that he had been confirmed in Flanders, but they say here that Spain has delayed to send his successor because she lacks at present the vast amount of money and the military reinforcements without which no one will assume that command, especially at present. Monterey is saddled with the blame of not having convinced Spain of the zeal of the king here for the preservation of Flanders, through the articles of the league with the Most Christian. He is also accused of having embarked the Catholic unseasonably in a war when France and England had offered to make over to Spain the places taken by them from Holland, destroying the republic or else to allow her to exist and merely exact such reparation as was due to the greatness of the two crowns. To this may be added the quarrel with Fresno, the late ambassador, who encouraged disunion in the parliament at the very moment when the crown expected to humble Holland. He not only prevented England from obtaining satisfaction, but compelled her to make a disadvantageous and inopportune peace, breaking faith with France and exposing the king and country to a terrible conflagration, sparing neither the crown nor the royal family.
The duke of York, who would never consent to purchase his marriage with the present empress at the cost of breaking the alliance with France, and was therefore calumniated by Fresno, is now the one who demonstrates how little confidence England can place in Spain, making much of all the accidental encounters on the Spanish coasts, to the exasperation of the public, and inspiring projects of revenge. Some, perceiving the shipment of a quantity of military stores, destined for America and to accompany the new governor of Jamaica, suspect some plan for a surprise, though it may be only preparation for the first opportunity. I will keep on the look out about this.
Lord Arlington reports his arrival in Holland and that he has frequent interviews with the prince of Orange. No one can discover so far whether he has hopes of reclaiming the prince but as all who grope in the dark take what they find I may mention that many think that he may induce Orange to turn his thoughts to England because as he is of the blood royal and a Protestant, the public voice would be in his favour, especially if he married York's eldest daughter. Others suspect that York is not privy to all the instructions given to Arlington. But the king is too determined to keep united with the duke. I was at a dinner when the king, throwing aside all reserve, tenderly embraced his brother several times, declaring that those who sought to separate them were rebels and that he would never do so great a wrong to himself as not to place complete confidence in him, his dear brother. These remarks being accompanied by tears of tenderness might have been attributed in others to weakness of head, but this expansiveness was caused solely by the cheerfulness of the company and no one doubts the genuineness of the demonstration.
Everything now in negotiation concerning religion is done entirely under the duke's direction and much has been done during the present week but I was unable to meet my confidant, who is actually leader of the Presbyterians and the one who communicates with the duke in their name.

I have received the ducali of the 3rd, 10th and 17th ult.
London, the 14th December, 1674.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Dec. 15.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni,
Corti.
Venetian
Archives.
413. To the Secretary Alberti in England.
We regret the indisposition of the Secretary Coventry which prevents your speaking to him about the consulage. The envoy here keeps pressing for a decision. We are anxiously waiting to hear from you that you have performed the offices committed to you. We are sure that you will not lose the first opportunity of doing so and you must endeavour by your dexterity to find out if the envoy has written anything about this to the Court in order to advise us thereof.
The Senate approves of what you said about trade. You will continue to do the same at every opportunity drawing attention to the application shown by us for facilitating trade and in particular to what has been done in the matter of salt fish, at a loss to the state.
That a copy of what the Secretary Alberti wrote about trade be sent to the magistracy of the Five Savii alia Mercanzia in order that they may report upon what can be done to facilitate trade and to avoid the injury which may be caused by the Guilds, for enlightenment and the appropriate decisions.
Ayes, 132. Noes, 0. Neutral, 2.
[Italian.]
Dec. 19.
Senato.
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
414. Ascanio Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
Although London still delays to acquaint this Court with the assent of the emperor and Spain to the mediation of England, and no other notification has reached Lord Locard here except what he has received from Holland and here from the Swedish ministers, yet they do not on that account hold back the replies to the instances made from Vienna and from the Hague by means of the ambassadors of Sweden about accepting one of the places nominated by Caesar for the congress.
This minister Locard does not make any mention about the reasons for delaying the participation from London. Although he certainly has the information that his sovereign has been admitted to the mediation, yet he does not say why the news is delayed at this Court. He told me the day before yesterday that he perceived the insistence of Rome to be considered as also in the negotiations and he thought that by so much reiterated pressure it might have this accepted; but he could not see how the pope could agree to send his ministers to Breda to negotiate the peace.
I do not know, however, if they have fallen here into greater commitments than those indicated, although there is more than one person at Court who is doing his utmost for the final resolutions, which may be expected to be favourable if those of the other princes are. They suspect here that the delay of London may be due to the British king having conceived a suspicion that they on this side are continuing the secret intelligences with the States, notwithstanding the pledges which he has with him and that he is trying to detach those Provinces from their union with the others to the very great detriment of the interests of England. That the evident motive of the move of Arlinton and Osseri has been in order to change the decision of the prince of Orange to undertake the journey to that kingdom. But the most important and secret thing which has supplied the chief motive has been the jealousy of these treaties, to explore the country better and to make thoroughly sure if the accounts which have arrived are true or false. It cannot be long before the truth is definitely known and it is believed that it will be with full satisfaction and perfect correspondence between these two crowns.
The Spaniards are not so lacking in alertness as not to be keeping a close look out for all that may prove to their advantage. Even if there had been no intention on this side for an approach to those Provinces in order to detach them from the allies, the Spaniards would have been acute enough to induce the British king to credit reports of it, and by such false disseminations to introduce suspicion and jealousy to profit thereby in the transactions for the mediation. Here however they are trying to make these things known to be Spanish inventions and they are doing all in their power to maintain themselves in the same confidence.
The ministers of Sweden are bestirring themselves greatly to uphold with England the negotiations for a general peace. By these exertions they bring into ever clearer relief how much they have it at heart not to declare themselves for France. They are doing everything in their power to show that they are facilitating every means in order that the boon of peace may ensue. It is always possible to believe that it may not be so far off if Sweden continues to abstain from committing herself for this crown as France will not want to continue the war if the forces of Sweden do not divert those of the allies from this neighbourhood.
Paris, the 19th December, 1674.
[Italian.]
Dec. 21.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives
415. Girolamo Alberti, Venetian Secretary in England, to the Doge and Senate.
Every succeeding day diminishes the hope of peace, for the consent of the emperor and Spain to England's mediation never appears, although the United Provinces accepted it on the supposition that they had already given their consent. According to common report the peace would be solely for the advantage of the Most Christian. The allies never expected to derive any fruit from the union except by exhausting France by a long war and they would go against their principles by consenting to a suspension of hostilities or to any indeterminate condition of peace when by patience they will ere long compel France to accept from Spain the peace of the Pyrenees as well as to withdraw from the empire and leave it at peace.
England deeply resents this policy of the allies who, in conformity with it, decline to avail themselves of the Most Christian's consent to resume negotiations at Breda. On the contrary, perceiving the reserve with which Sweden acts, they pretend that France has misspent her time and money and what is worse damaged her prestige by relying on a diversion by the Swedes. By the last advices Wrangel had not marched though he had received a further supply of money from M. de Vitri. (fn. 1) Sweden affects suspicion of Denmark, but it is notorious that being in danger of breaking treaties with France or of attack from German forces with the risk of having to give a strict account of conquests there, she is seeking to avoid these extremes by mediating, if possible, the general peace.
Arlington is returning from Holland and writes that the prince has declared that he will make no separate treaty with France. Here they doubt the sincerity of his assurances, especially as Arlington was unable in any particular to soften the obduracy of the Dutch about trade, since this obstinacy is probably based on their confidential relations with France and the support which they expect from her.
The Dutch commissioners here had so exasperated the English by their demands in matters of navigation and trade that they were near a rupture and the prospect of an agreement evaporated. But it was intimated to the king that this would introduce a fresh pledge between the nations or that it would ill become him to refer so important a matter to the arbitration of Spain. So the king decided to send for the commissioners and desire them to settle the matter in the best way they could. They did so an hour later at their next conference with the Dutchmen when they contented themselves by substituting ambiguous words for obscure ones while pretending to elucidate the articles of the peace of Breda. Tn short a provisional treaty was made in order not to leave so important a matter on the carpet at the present crisis without authority for deciding it and indeed exposed to the judgment of the world and to the arbitration of suspected parties. A general maritime and commercial treaty was accordingly drawn up. to take effect all over the world and it will soon be published. (fn. 2) They are now engaged upon another special treaty upon Indian affairs.
I must now inform your Serenity that by a new proclamation (fn. 3) the king forbids his subjects to trade on the coasts of Africa from Sales to the Cape of Good Hope unless they are members of the Guinea Company to the detriment of which many persons conveyed negroes, gold and elephants teeth to America, who contributed nothing to the cost of fortresses, garrisons and factories established in those parts by the Royal African Company. The duke of York under whose auspices and with whose funds the Company, dissolved after the first Dutch war, was re-established, is the one who now protects it and thus gains credit with the merchants, who are the necessary purses in England.
The duke has obtained a pardon for all the non conformists of the Bristol sect, mostly Presbyterians, so that they will no longer be persecuted through their goods. He also obtained another for 500 persons domiciled in a remote part of England. At the moment they are discussing a third general pardon for all the non conformists of England, but the Catholics will be less favoured than the others, as from fear of exasperating the furious zealots the king does not dare to stretch forth a compassionate hand openly for their relief.
If this project succeeds the duke will gain great friends in England. He has previously shown great firmness in the face of the enemy and he is now using his authority to intercede for other opponents who, seeing that he protects impartially sectarians of every sort, will believe him the friend of liberty. As he has the character of a firm and steady prince there is good reason to hope that they may henceforth love and fear him as much as they have hitherto hated and abused him. His friends are only afraid of one thing, that his rivals may revive the old jealousies between the king and his Highness. Lauderdale is already seen to waver in his fidelity which he owes to the duke for having supported him single handed in the late parliamentary storms which threatened him with the same fate which befell the duke of Buckingham.
London, the 21st December, 1674.
Postscript:—A jury of 12 citizens has just convicted the chaplain on a fresh malicious charge, so I am addressing myself to the king to remind him of his promise to save the prisoner's life. To-morrow with the lawyers we shall try to avert the final sentence, always without committing the republic, though all the people clamour that the chaplain is a traitor, that he must be hanged and quartered and his heart consigned to the flames.
[Italian: deciphered.]
Dec. 26.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
416. Ascanio Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
A suspension of arms is being strongly urged. The day before yesterday the Ambassador Locard said to me that it is not possible to conduct negotiations of such importance with arms in their hands and before the ministers gather at the place of the congress the new campaign will have begun. Accordingly it is necessary to have the commodity of time in order to make the things solid and durable as will be necessary. To this assuredly the parties may agree and when they have prepared the core of the matter for the adjustment and that they are seriously disposed towards peace, there will be no lack of openings for accommodating the appearances also. It is not possible to believe in a good and sincere inclination to the boon unless the parties facilitate those means which can bring it about.
Paris, the 26th December, 1674.
[Italian.]
Dec. 26.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
417. Ascanio Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
On the Dutch hopes of peace. They are sending to Munster and to the princes of Brunswick and Luneburg. They seemed to be very pleased at having separated the differences in the negotiations on naval matters with England and they were confident that they would be able to emerge with equal good fortune from those on the trade of the two companies in the East Indies.
Paris, the 26th December, 1674.
[Italian.]
Dec. 26.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Spagna.
Venetian
Archives.
418. Girolamo Zeno, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.
With regard to the peace negotiations which have made great progress between the Dutch and France, it is suspected that they have now passed from a prolonged jealousy to an assured security. The worst is that the mediation of England is considered to be founded upon reports that the States are on the very verge of concluding an alliance with the Most Christian and this out of apprehension entertained by the former for the British forces, shown by the orders issued by Holland to ships of their nation not to enter the ports of that crown on any account, not even when in danger of perishing in a tempest. In this their lordships here flatter themselves that if the old alliance breaks down it will prove serviceable for supplying another new one.
By advices of the 22nd from Cadiz we hear that an English frigate of war had arrived in that port, with a commander's flag (fn. 4) and with eight other merchant ships. They were fourteen days out from England and they brought orders that six frigates which were there were no longer to proceed to Algiers but that the first mentioned only should go on with some others which they would meet in those waters in order to establish the peace with the Turks. That on the 1st inst. they had made sail with the convoy for Genoa with a Venetian ship and another English one.
Madrid, the 26th December, 1674.
[Italian.]
Dec. 28.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
419. Girolamo Alberti, Venetian Secretary in England, to the Doge and Senate.
Lord Arlington has lost the opportunity of a fair wind to return to London. Some think that he tarries on purpose in order to negotiate some separate confidential treaty with the prince of Orange, though as the encouragement given him so far has been slight he can only have faint hopes and the projects whereby the enemies of the duke of York seek to render Orange a candidate for this crown are mere chimeras.
Although the period has expired for the payment of the instalments due by the last treaty of peace, even Arlington could not facilitate the payment of the money to Bakewell whom the king sent to the Hague for this purpose.
The Court greatly regrets that the winter should pass thus and as after all this while Bergeik does not make his appearance from Flanders, it is definitely concluded that the allies do not mean to treat until they have matured the project for a general peace, either by force of arms or the operation of time.
The ratification of the general maritime and commercial treaty is expected from Holland and will then be printed. At this moment they are trying to conclude the other private treaty between the two Indian companies. Meanwhile it is learned that five days before the proclamation of the peace the English captured a Dutch vessel worth 100,000l.
The negotiation with the non conformists is becoming more and more important as it may produce a great change in the affairs of England. As reported, the duke of York obtained pardon for the Bristol sect. But the bishop there and his clergy though duly admonished, stirred up the people there, causing a tumult. When news of this reached the Court they took counsel with the one who had solicited the pardon. He suggested that the king, to avoid compromising himself by public proclamations, should send for the archbishop of Canterbury and hold him accountable for the disturbance caused by his dependent Bristol, thus forcing him, in self defence to make Bristol desist. Thus does this subtle minister hope to extinguish the fire by making use of the very hands which collected the fuel for it.
This same minister told the duke of York two evenings ago that he had explained the cause of the present disturbances to several of the leading Presbyterians and Independents that their want of respect for his Highness had compelled him to seek foreign support from France and the late attempts persuaded him to prevent the meeting of a distrustful parliament, with other consequences harmful for the liberty of the subject and that by degrees they would bring about a fresh rebellion to the hurt of all men of substance. Even if God permitted the duke to be a papist, as they could not prevent him from succeeding to the crown, it would be to their interest to derive what little good they might from a misfortune and make the best terms they could with him, as there was no instance of his ever having broken his word.
He then proposed as a first pledge that the duke should procure for them through the royal clemency, pardon and suspension of the penal statutes, and that, in accordance with his future promises to leave the people in possession of their private property and public liberty and not to think of absolute monarchy, he should urge the king to assemble parliament for the satisfaction of the whole kingdom. They on their side should give their support to a bill expressly declaring that he be not included in the acts which would have excluded him from the Privy Council, the Admiralty and all authority in the government.
By thus captivating public opinion his royal Highness will remain in peaceable expectation of the crown if the king dies without heirs and his subjects will live in quiet without suspicion of tyranny and French invasion.
This is the foundation on which they are now building. The matter is kept a very close secret lest it be endangered by counter mines before they have made good defences. They are much afraid about Lauderdale who is forming confidential relations with the bishops. I hope to be able to inform your Serenity exactly of all future proceedings as the minister above mentioned conceals nothing from me and the duke himself, when the opportunity presents itself, allows me to be present at the conversations.
London, the 28th December, 1674.
[Italian.]
Dec. 28.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
420. Girolamo Alberti, Venetian Secretary in England, to the Doge and senate.
I had small hope last week of saving the poor chaplain's life, but as such cases do not occur every day 1 will give the particulars. I mentioned before that as a British subject accused of high treason he could not have the benefit of diplomatic privilege. So we tried to save him by the law. especially as we hoped in this way to escape fresh arrests in the future. All the lawyers agreed that the accusers could not bring sufficient proof to convict him of being a priest from the seminaries in Flanders, or condemn him by the laws of Queen Elizabeth, as he was ordained at Rome and being a Scotchman he is not subject to English laws before the union of the kingdoms. In this confidence the chaplain presented himself twice to be tried at the Sessions. They did not examine it the first time and sent it to the King's Bench which sent it back to them. A third charge was then found to be inserted, based upon a law of 3 James I declaring any one who attempts to suborn any subject from his allegiance and from the Protestant religion to be a traitor. Twelve shopkeepers, the chief a tallow chandler, were appointed to try the matter upon oath. On the evidence of two witnesses they found him guilty of having attempted to pervert the lieges from the faith but not from their allegiance. In spite of this the judges condemned him to death last Saturday as a traitor, to be hanged and quartered. Many arguments were advanced to delay judgment which I will not now repeat. Sentence being pronounced I informed the queen and the duke of York. Being sensible of the great service rendered by me to the king by endeavouring to the very last to spare him this embarrassment by trying every possible channel of the law, they promised to assist me in case the king should not have the courage to keep his word. Thereupon I went to the king and told him all the circumstances, expatiating on the many points of defence afforded by the law. The king expressed appreciation of the trouble I had taken and said the pardon was my due even if he were not otherwise determined not to be the first to shed blood under that law of King James.
Many of the ministers gathered together and all the courtiers whispered to the king to beware of the next session of parliament and that he should consider the popular outcry against this supposed Jesuit. This is a title they give to all priests, to make them more odious, because the Jesuits are accused of having tried to blow up King James and the parliament and are considered the staunchest defenders of the pope's power over subjects in opposition to that of kings professing a different religion.
Wednesday was appointed for the execution, but in spite of the warnings the king on Monday signed a reprieve, the ordinary first step towards the pardon already promised. (fn. 5) As many Catholics and their friends are afraid that the king's clemency may provoke the people to do worse against them, they advise me to suggest to his Majesty that it would be desirable to transport the chaplain to France, in order to prove the king's determination to put down popery, although he may not choose to shed the blood of the priests. I will do what I think best in the interest of the king and the Catholics having had the good fortune to please both parties in saving the life of an innocent man and sparing the nation the obloquy of such heinous cruelty. I have never mentioned the name of the Senate and would never allow the chaplain to declare himself of my household before the justices, to avoid any dispute about privilege, following the ducali of the 24th November and the 1st and 7th December, received this week. I hope to give your Serenity an account of what I shall say to the Secretary Coventry next week about the consulage. I have prepared many friends to speak against this innovation and feel sure that I have settled that embarrassing business. Many would have undertaken it readily though they might have lacked the patience and industry required to complete the work.
London, the 28th December, 1674.
[Italian.]

Footnotes

1 Apparently François Marie de l'Hôpital, duc de Vitry, at this time French minister in Bavaria.
2 Treaty of navy and commerce between Charles II and the States General, dated at London, 1 Dec, 1674. Printed in Dumont: Corps Diplomatique, Vol. VII, pt.i. pp. 282–5.
3 Proclamation of 30 November, 1674, for the protection of the Royal African Company. Steele; Tudor and Stuart Proclamations, Vol. I, page 436, No. 3604
4 Sir John Narborough in the Henrietta. Cal. S.P. Dom., 1673–5, pp. 395, 456.
5 Salvetti records the sentence and adds that the intercession of the queen and the ambassadors would ultimately obtain his pardon. Brit. Mus. Add. MSS. 27962 V, fol. 315d. The reprieve of the Old Bailey sentence on Burnet was signed on 15 December, o.s. Cal. S.P. Dom., 1073–5, page 466.