Reported This Week 280 Years Ago (Dec 23 1738): Trieste port sale bid; Count Munich’s progress; Belfast ship sailing times

The front page of the third surviving Belfast News Letter, dated December 12 1738 (December 23 modern calendar)
The front page of the third surviving Belfast News Letter, dated December 12 1738 (December 23 modern calendar)

From the third surviving Belfast News Letter of December 22 1738 (December 23 in the modern calendar). The paper was founded a year earlier, in September 1737 but all the earliest papers are lost:


Venice, November 12.

Prince Pio, Ambassador from the Emperor, has proposed to borrow a large Sum of Money for his Imperial Majesty of this Republick upon the Customs of the Port of Trieste. To which Proposition the Senate has answered, that it was not agreeable to the State to grant a Loan upon those Customs; but that if his Imperial Majesty would make the Republick an absolute Sale of this Port, they were ready to enter into Negotiation there upon. This Answer has been very well received at Vienna, because Trieste is now of no Advantage to the Emperor, the Commerce which was intended to have been established there in no Degree taking effect after the Abolition of the Ostend East India Company; wherefore the Imperial Court concludes, that as Trieste brings in no real Profit to it, nor is ever likely to produce any its best Method will be to dispose of it for a Sum of ready Money. [His Imperial Majesty was Charles VI, ruler of the Holy Roman Empire, covering much of what is now Germany, Italy and Austria]


Petersburg, Nov. 11.

We learn that Count Munich who is shortly exected (sic) here to assist at a Cabinet Council, will soon after set out with important Commissions for Warsaw and Vienna. That great Preparations are making for the Czarina’s Departure to Moscow.

[Count Munich was a remarkable figure, who often is mentioned in 1730s News Letters. Born in Germany, he became a brilliant military commander, ultimately for the Russians, leading them in their war against the Ottomans, which began in 1735 and which the Austrians joined in 1737.

The Empress, also known as the Czarina, was Anna of Russia, who came to the throne in 1730, five years after the death of Peter the Great, and held office until 1740.

Count Munich fell out of favour after the death of the empress and was at one point set to be executed, a sentence that was commuted to banishment in Siberia]

LONDON, Nov. 23, 25, 28, 30.

This Day 14698 Yards of Linen were imported hither from Leith in Scotland; and above 8000 Quarters of Wheat were shipp’d off hence for foreign Parts.

From the Hague, that every Thing seems to tend towards an Accommodation with Spain, on the following Conditions, viz. The restoring a Flag taken by the Dutch from on board a Spanish Ship; the punishing corporally, at least fining of the Persons concerned in that and other Insults; and the rigorous Prohibition of all clandestine Trade for the Future.

[There was tension between Spain and other trading nations, including a 1731 incident when a Spanish commander boarded a British boat and cut off the captain’s ear. The episode in 1739 to the War of Jenkins’ Ear]


WE are informed from the Country, that the Uncertainty of the JANE and DRAPER’s sailing for London after Cloth is sent in, is the Occasion of so much being sent to Dublin to be ship’d there, tho’ the Expence is considerably greater. Wherefore, to remove that Objection, is is (sic) resolved, that her Time of sailing, shall be, every Voyage hereafter, positively fix’d, Wind serving; and now they may be assured she will sail the first of January next, in the Balast, if Cloth don’t come in.