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stant, that he had some such suspicions. Perhaps it might not be amiss to send him this extract for his information, and that he may get more light into it from Mons. Kniphausen. As letters that way are often liable to be opened, there are some things which I cannot send directly.

'A D., ce 15 de Juillet, 1717.

J'oubliois de vous dire que Mons. d'Ilgen vient de servir un nouveau plat de son métier à l'occasion de la negotiation qui etoit sur le tapis en France, et qui n'est pas encore bien rompue. Il en a fait le premier plan, et a porté le Czar, sinon à faire le voyage en France, au moins à entreprendre la negotiation que le Comte de Rottenbourg a en commission de faire goûter à la Cour de France. Celle-ci en effet la goutoit. On étoit actuellement convenu de tout, mais lorsqu'il s'agissoit de signer, Mons. de Kniphausen, digne gendre de Mons. d'Ilgen, s'en est excusé sous pretexte de n'avoir pas d'assez ample pouvoir.

Ce n'est pas que je regarde comme un fort grand malheur, que de cette façon là la negotiation en question ait été disloquée, et le Czar un peu brouillé avec Sa Majesté Russienne; mais j'ai cru vous devoir rapporter (mais sub rosa) ces particularités, que je tiens de bon endroit, pour vous faire remarquer que Mons. d'Ilgen est toujours le même.



Whitehall, July 29th, 1717.

I am commanded by his Majesty to transmit to you the enclosed extracts of letters from Mr. Davenant, his Majesty's Envoy at the republic of Genoa, and Mr. Fleetwood, his Majesty's Consul at Naples, relating to poisoned liquors, which are suspected to have been lately sent from Naples into several countries, that you may give such directions upon this information, as you shall think proper. I am, gentlemen, your most obedient,

humble servant,


Extract of a letter from Mr. Davenant to the Right Honourable Mr. Secretary Addison.

Genoa, July 20th, 1717.

I must desire you to lay before his Majesty the necessity of giving proper orders at the custom-house for seizing all strong waters, particularly citron waters, that come from Naples, it being suspected that there are a set of people there, who, out of execrable malice, scarce to be comprehended, mix poison with those liquors. The

poison is called Aquetta di Tufania from a Greek woman, whose name was Tufania.1 About thirty years ago she came to Sicily, and there distributed this poison. The Duke of d'Uceda, then viceroy of Sicily, put several to death that made use of it, but finding so many of the nobles engaged in it, he was forced to put a stop to those processes, the crime being too general. This secret is since got to Naples, and many have been sentenced to death for using it. There are at this time several under examination, particularly two Friars, a nun, and a Genoese, called Bolando, who formerly commanded one of the Duke of Twisi's galleys.

Since this discovery, when any of these strong waters are sent here, the Inquisitors of State seize on them, to examine whether they are poisoned, which they do by giving a quantity of them to dogs kept for the purpose, and Signior Grimaldi, one of the Inquisitors of State, told me yesterday they had a case of the liquors, which by their advices from Naples they suspect to be poisoned.

Two of these criminals made their escape out of the prison of Naples, and are fled to Spain, where a description of their persons has been sent, in order to have them apprehended.

An extract of a letter from Mr. Fleetwood, consul at Naples, to Mr. Secretary Addison.

Naples, June 11th, 1717.

Last week two German soldiers were burnt for infamous actions, and three Neapolitan women (of which one a house nun) hanged for making and selling a poisonous water, called Aqua Tufania, by which above 600 persons have been poisoned. They pretended religion and conscience to keep the world in ease and quiet, by giving the husband means to rid himself of his wife; the father, of a disobedient son; a man, of his enemy, &c.; and so vice versa. A great many more are in prison and under information on that account.


Whitehall, August 5th, 1717.

Your letter of the 29th past, N. S., having been laid before the king, I am directed to acquaint you, in answer thereto, that my Lord Stair is directed to procure such an order as you desire for the demolition of the jetties. In the mean time, his Majesty is pleased to approve of what you have represented on that head, and questions not but you will continue so to do, as anything shall occur, that may

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An interesting account of this Aqua Tofana, and of secret poisoning in general, will be found in Beckmanr's History of Inventions, vol. i. p. 52 (Bohn's edition).

hinder or retard the speedy and effectual execution of your commission.

I am, gentlemen,

Your most obedient, humble servant,




Whitehall, August 5th, 1717.

Mr. Stanyan having in his last letter to Mr. Crawford owned the receipt of your Excellency's letters of the 17th, 21st, and 28th of July, I am now to acknowledge those of the 1st, 9th, and 7th instant, N. S.

Your Excellency's letter of the 28th of July having been read in the cabinet-council, his Majesty and their Lordships were highly satisfied with your Excellency's reasonings upon the expedition now set on foot in Spain; and I am to acquaint your Excellency, that his Majesty has, by an express, ordered his minister at that court to demand of the Spaniards to explain themselves upon the design of the said 'expedition. His Majesty has likewise thought fit to direct a person of quality and figure to be in a readiness to repair to that court; as soon as he shall be better informed of that design, who will have instructions to take the court of France in his way, and consult with your Excellency on such measures as shall be thought proper to concert with the Regent in so nice a conjuncture. In the mean while, your Excellency will continue to give such advices concerning this affair, as may occur to you from time to time. Those your Excellency has already sent, have met with the utmost attention, and are more particular than any which have come from other parts.

His Majesty has been under some uneasiness to hear the court of France should not proceed regularly in the demolition of the jetties at Mardyke; but your despatch of the 7th instant giving hopes, that this work will be now carried on in the manner the treaty prescribed, I am to acquaint your Excellency, that his Majesty is well pleased with the instances. you have made on this occasion, with the Regent and the ministers, and that these your instances are likely to prove effectual.

The copy

of the memorial enclosed in your letter of the

1st instant, was very acceptable, as it serves to discover the sentiments of the Czar, and may give some light into that Prince's designs.

I am with great respect, &c.,



Whitehall, August 22nd, 1717.

I have laid before his Majesty your Lordships' letter of the 3rd of July last, relating to some ill practices made use of to keep up divisions and foment disorders in NEW JERSEY, together with the extract of a letter from Brigadier Hunter, the governor thereof, complaining of malicious reports raised against him; and am commanded to acquaint your Lordships, that his Majesty is very well satisfied with the conduct of the said governor; which you will please to signify in such a manner as you shall think the most likely to silence such reports and defeat such practices for the fu


I am, my Lords,

Your Lordships' most obedient and
most humble servant,




Whitehall, September 2nd, 1717.

The receipt of your Excellency's letters, which came during my late indisposition, having been acknowledged to Mr. Crawford, I am now to acquaint your Excellency, (being recovered enough to apply myself to the business of my office,) that they have from time to time been laid before the king, who expressed the highest satisfaction in your Excellency's conduct, and in the early and punctual accounts you have sent, not only of what passes in the court of France, but in other parts of Europe. I cannot omit taking notice, on this occasion, to your Excellency that, if the person, intrusted with the news of Prince Eugene's victory, had been as expeditious in bringing your advices as he might have bren, his Majesty would have received the first account of

that agreeable news from your Excellency, and about a day cooner than he had it from the Imperial Minister.

H. M. is very well pleased with your Excellency's application and success relating to the several difficulties which his commissioners have met with in the demolition of Mardyke, and hopes that your Excellency will be able to get over those that yet remain in the prosecution of that work; the said commissioners having acquairted H. M. that the French do insist on a very material point, which they apprehend to be contrary to the tenor of the Treaty, and concerning which they have written at large to your Excellency.

Enclosed I transmit by his Majesty's command a copy of a letter from Colonel Hamilton, governor of the Leeward Islands, together with some papers relating to a designed settlement of the French at St. Lucia, and the seizing of an English ship by the governor of Martinico, that your Excellency may please to represent those matters in the most ef fectual manner at the French court, in order to prevent the one, and obtain a redress of the other.

I am, &c.,




Whitehall, September 3rd, 1717.

Several papers and reports from your Lordships hav ing been laid before the king and the Lords of the committee, I am to signify to your Lordships his Majesty's pleasure on each of them respectively.

As to your Lordships' report of April the 16th last, about the yearly sum of £1000 current money of Antigua, granted by the assembly of that island, in lieu of house-rent, to Walter Hamilton, Esq., governor of the Leeward islands; his Majesty being satisfied from your Lordships' representation of that matter, that the instruction which restrains the said governor from passing any law or act for any gift or present to him by any of the assemblies of the said island, except an assignment for his house-rent, not exceeding £400 per annum, is liable to many objections, as set forth in your Lordships' said report; as likewise that £1000 current money of Antigua answers to very little more than £400 sterling; and Lis Majesty being further well satisfied with the conduct of

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