Venice: June 1614

Pages 126-141

Calendar of State Papers Relating To English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 13, 1613-1615. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1907.

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June 1614

June 2. Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Germania. Venetian Archives. 269. Zorzi Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in Germany, to the Doge and Senate.
Letters for the emperor have arrived this week from the duke of Bavaria and the duke of Neuburg, both urging the emperor to come to some decision. Three days later the gentleman who brought the letters showed them to the Spanish ambassador, with whom those dukes are in close correspondence. The letters attribute the present disturbances to two important designs; one, that the States openly aspire to annex those countries; the other, that the confederate princes desire to change the succession to the empire to one of themselves, indicating the Palatine as being the son-in-law of England and head of the union.
The ambassador in reply warmly urged the dukes to resist such violence, promising them the assistance of his king. This has encouraged them, because they know that His Majesty has a great sum of money ready, and that his purpose is to draw the empire to his house.
Letters from Brussels announce that hostilities between the princes have been suspended for six weeks, owing to the interposition of the deputies of France and England, and there are efforts to bring about an agreement. The gentleman from Neuburg denies this, saying that an agreement is not possible, as the States will not give up Juliers. The Spanish ambassador freely states that this affair will renew the war of Flanders, and will kindle war in Germany. It is clear from his words that all this will hasten the settlement of the differences between the two dukes in Italy, as the Spaniards will need the troops engaged there.
The emperor has not yet made any reply to the letters of the princes. A council was held yesterday, but nothing was decided. Indeed any resolution of the emperor is of the slightest consequence, owing to his very feeble authority over the princes of the empire. They all wait upon the Catholic king, who at present places the affairs of Germany above all others.
From Veltz, the 2 June, 1614. Copy.
June 3. Collegio, Secreta. Esposizioni Principi. Venetian Archives. 270. The ambassador of England came into the Cabinet and spoke of the commerce between the realms of His Majesty and the states of the republic. But it happens that the Englishmen who come with their ships to this city and other parts dependent upon it sometimes experience difficulties in the suits, which occasion considerable losses if they are not quickly settled. These disputes between the merchants and masters of ships generally turn upon questions of theft. These poor men waste their substance, for while they are employed at the Palace and at Malamocco, their expenses run on (le cuirme mangiano). I have been asked by the masters of English ships to request your Serenity to remove the occasions for suits, so that many of them may not be ruined. I therefore ask your Serenity to provide some remedy, presenting this memorial, which contains particulars which will enable you to better understand the matter.
I take this opportunity to make a petition in the name of all English merchants, as although all suspicion of plague has ceased in England, yet the subjects of His Majesty are still bound to leave their goods in quarantine here (di far la contumacia dei robbe loro), which causes great inconvenience and loss.
I also have to recommend to you another subject of His Majesty. He has exhausted his means here in suits and has sold his ship. He is about to set out for Zante, where he is assured of winning his cause, in order to look after his affairs. He asks that your Serenity will direct your representatives to grant him speedy justice, in accordance with the contents of the present memorial.
The Doge replied that they were always glad to hear the ambassador's wishes, but that suits were sometimes lengthy, and that might happen anywhere, but they would endeavour to satisfy him.
The ambassador said his request was only upon condition that it should not infringe the laws, which were excellently administered by the magistrates, who only wished to remedy passing ills, as the saying goes, ex malis moribus bonce leges, but dispatch was necessary, because even in small matters delay was a serious thing for poor mariners, so that it would be just to make arrangements to avoid the disputes which were the first cause of all the mischief.
The ambassador went on to say that he had received a letter from Zurich from a friend, telling him of the impediments put in the way of the conclusion of the league with the republic. He added, it seems to me that this subject is like the sea lamprey (remora), which fastens itself to the rudders of ships and impedes their voyage, but I hope that you will overcome these difficulties.
The Doge thanked the ambassador, who said that he had another letter, from Sir Henry Saville, who asked him to offer his thanks for the favours rendered to him, and to say that the medal presented to him would be kept as an heirloom in his family.
After the Doge had made a courteous reply, the ambassador departed.
June 3. Senato, Secreta. Deliberazioni. Venetian Archives. 271. To the Captain of the Gulf.
We have written to the Proveditore General in Dalmatia and Albania to assign four of his best galleys to you for the protection of the gulf against the light galleys of pirates, who have already inflicted some harm on our subjects.
Ayes 162.
Noes 2.
Neutral 3.
June 3. Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Spagna. Venetian Archives. 272. Francesco Morosini, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.
The Grand Master of Malta has again written to ask the king for provisions for that island, saying that he is in exceptional need of them this year owing to the fears of the Turkish fleet and the number of knights assembled in the island for its defence, and complaining that the duke of Ossuna is very sparing in his grants. The king has commanded the viceroy to see that everything necessary is provided.
The duke Ferdinand, lieutenant general of the galleys of this kingdom, has been with four ships to Marmora to reconnoitre. On his return he captured an English ship with Turks. It is probable that he will have to return, as these are the only galleys which they have this year to defend and watch those shores.
From Madrid, the 3 June, 1614.
June 5. Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Grisoni. Venetian Archives. 272A. Gregorio Barbarigo, Venetian Ambassador Extraordinary to the Swiss and Grisons, to the Doge and Senate.
M. Pasquale has said that I have had the audacity to seek an alliance with the two cities of Zurich and Berne in the name of your Serenity, and that although the Bernese might be ready to throw themselves into it, Zurich had as good as repelled the proposal. He was doubtful whether Berne would let herself fall into it, but he was sure that nothing could be done with Zurich. That the King of Great Britain had sent to France to ask Her Majesty to permit your Serenity to conclude your league with the Grisons, but it was known, in spite of the pressure brought to bear by your Excellencies, that you would obtain nothing, not even if you made greater efforts.
From Berne, the 5 June, 1614.
June 6. Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Inghilterra, Venetian Archives. 273. Antonio Foscarini, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
From Muers, a town of Count Maurice, 300 infantry have passed into Juliers beyond the 150 of whom I wrote. The States have declared that they have taken possession of that place to make use of it at need, and that they will restore it immediately to whoever is adjudged to be the lord. Brandenburg agrees, but Neuburg complains with menaces. The States have sent information of their action to France and here, and it is applauded and approved. A part of the garrison of Rheinberg has gone towards Orsoy, a place of some account in the district of Cleves, and has taken it by surprise. It is further said that this has been done by the express order of the archduke, or that he has been moved to it by the governor.
A company of horse of the United Provinces, while passing from one place to another, has been routed and dispersed by three of those of the archduke. The States have sent to him, but he declares that they are troops disbanded by him, which are enlisted and paid at present by Neuburg. In all these districts the cavalry is scouring the country. The forces of Cologne openly foment Neuburg, his ally, and all this, added to the season of the year, excites the spirits and the blood.
The king learns by the advices which he has received from France that they hope for peace and quiet, at least for some time. Bouillon writes occasionally to His Majesty; Rohan has an agent here. But greater reliance is placed in the former than in the latter, although he is a relation.
There is the best understanding between the king and the Most Christian queen, and the king desires the peace and good government of that realm. At the meeting of the estates many demands will be heard by almost all the members of the realm, which for the most part deal with the regulation of the government upon the approaching majority of the king.
If the strife in Cleves is continued, it appears that Neuburg will have the House of Austria with him, together with the Catholic league of Germany. Brandenburg will have the league of Hall (Ale), together with the other princes, his confederates and allies.
London, the 6 June, 1614.
June 6. Inquisitori di Stato. Dispacci, Inghilterra. Venetian Archives. 273B. Giovanni Battista Podavin to Sig. Giulio Muscorno.
Acknowledges receipt of his letter of the 10th ult., which shall be laid before the Council of Ten.
From Venice, 6 June, 1614.
June 6. Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Inghilterra. Venetian Archives. 274. Antonio Foscarini, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The thing here which outweighs everything else, is the parliament, from which the king desires twelve subsidies. Nothing has so far been decided as to this, and there are difficulties in the way of this, and there are difficulties in the way of the contribution of such a great sum. However, success, is hoped for and even promised. Gold has been prohibited in clothes and in almost everything, and nothing else has been decided.
The ambassador of the king, lately arrived from France, continues his negotiations, which are taking a vigorous turn (che tornan a pigliar vigore). Yesterday he and the ambassador of the Most Christian king had a long audience with His Majesty upon this. Owing to the shortness of the time I have not as yet been able to ascertain the particulars. In any case, even if a decision is made, it will be kept secret for some time, or at least it will not be published before the majority of the king.
The ambassador of His Majesty, arrived from Spain, is at work though very covertly. So also is the Catholic ambassador, who moves cautiously and is awaiting the issue of the negotiations with France.
The Count of Scarnafes, who was here on behalf of Savoy, has passed to Holland, as the ambassador of the States has informed me, who says that he knows nothing more.
The king has given to the princess his daughter 12,000 crowns a year for life, and to the little son of the Elector he has sent money and gold vessels to the value of 25,000 crowns.
The count of Schomberg is expected here shortly with special information of what has taken place at several conferences held separately by some of the united princes upon the current affairs of Germany. Thither the king's ambassador must soon return. He serves and has served to the entire satisfaction of His Majesty.
In Ireland all things are passing quietly.
On Saturday the ambassador of the States had audience. He spoke of divers affairs between the king and his masters, of small consequence. He afterwards proceeded to deal with those of Juliers and Germany, His Majesty having expressed sentiments in conformity with his obligations and interests.
London, the 6 June, 1614.
June 7. Collegio, Esposizioni Roma. Venetian Archives. 275. The papal nuncio came into the Cabinet and said:
A book has been printed in London entitled Supplicatio ad Imperatorem et Principes pro convocando Concilio adversus Paulum Papam Quintum, and at the bottom Homo Novus. This is a very scandalous book full of wickedness and slanders, not only against the pope, but other princes, and it also speaks against this republic. I ask your Serenity to remedy this evil. It is only a short while since the book appeared; then there were only a few copies, now many are being sold. I know the booksellers where they may be had, but I do not wish to act the fiscal. It is a great scandal, and I ask that the book may be suppressed and the sale forbidden. The princes who are attacked may take offence. The book goes so far as to deny the authority of the pope.
The Councillor Viaro replied that the republic was very zealous for the faith and would do what was right and proper in the matter.
June 8. Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Spagna. Venetian Archives. 276. Francesco Morosini, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.
Don Diego Sermiento, the ambassador in England, finding himsely in great need of money for his negotiations with that court, and especially to prevent the conclusion of the marriage with France, and having several times asked for more, to assist his plans, they have decided to send him bills of exchange for 30,000 crowns. This clearly shows their anxiety to prevent this alliance from taking place.
From Madrid, the 8 June, 1614.
[Italian; deciphered.]
June 10. Senate, Secreta. Dispacci, Francia. Venetian Archives. 277. Pietro Contarini, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
The extraordinary ambassador of the emperor here has advanced some proposals for an alliance with this Crown, in consideration of the progress of the Protestant princes, who, united with the Huguenots of this kingdom, may one day cause grave trouble, against which it would be as well to provide a remedy. He was told that the minority of the king did not permit such proposals to be entertained at present, and that a like proposal had been made by Protestants, to whom a similar reply had been given. His Majesty would not in any case have interposed his authority between the two parties until matters had adjusted themselves. The ambassador, not being able to obtain more, besought the queen to act in the matter in the best interests of Christendom.
From Paris, the 10 June, 1614.
June 13. Senate, Secreta. Dispacci, Inghilterra, Venetian Archives. 278. Antonio Foscarini, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The duke of Neuburg, with the help of Cologne, has greatly increased his forces; accordingly the States have done the same at the frontier places, and have finally sent to Juliers 1,000 foot beyond the 450 of whom I wrote. The archduke has taken this as an infraction of the peace, and protested that if they do not withdraw their men from the fortress of Juliers, he will make war. Before proceeding to this extremity, His Highness has sent to France and here asking them to interpose with the States, so that matters may return to their former condition. Thus, six days ago his ambassador had audience of the king. He presented the letter and besought His Majesty to intervene and declare himself. His Majesty replied in general terms, making some reflections to the disadvantage of Neuburg, in favour of the States, and finally he asked for two or three days in which to make an answer, which he promised to send. He did this the third day, to the effect that he would willingly use his good offices with the States as the archduke desired.
The ambassador of France at his last audience informed the king of the approach made by the archduke to his king and the queen, in conformity with what I wrote was done. His Majesty afterwards sent to inform that ambassador of the approach which had been made to him and of the reply which he had made to the archduke, in order that he might transmit the information to France. They are taking counsel how they may proceed and act in concert. The said ambassador has imparted all this to me. Yesterday he interviewed the ambassador of the States upon this.
Three days ago there arrived two gentlemen, one from the Palatine and the other from Brandenburg. They both presented letters to the king, and their business concerns Juliers, Mulheim (Milain) and other commotions of Germany, of which they have treated. A reply will be given to them, of which I will send particulars in my next. The United Princes of Hall (Ale) send frequently to each other, and it seems that they are beginning to arm. Neuburg has declared himself a Catholic, and will certainly have the assistance of which I wrote. In all this your Excellencies may discern a presage of the near approach of hostilities in Germany. If the States do not withdraw their men from the fortress of Juliers, which will be difficult as they have gone so far, then war is declared between them and the archduke, who does not move by his own counsel or by himself.
The ambassador of Spain has told me in a long interview that only two things are really of moment to his king, the affairs of the Indies (li affari d'India) and those of Germany and the neighbouring country; these he cannot neglect.
London, the 13 June, 1614.
June 13 Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Inghilterra Venetian Archives. 279. Antonio Foscarini, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The ambassador of France, besides what I wrote in my last two letters, gave a particular account to the king in his last audience, which took place a week ago to-day, of the approaching return of Condé and the other princes to the Court. Everything is quiet. He presented letters upon this and he will soon have a new audience and a reply to certain propositions made upon passing events.
In speaking of Aix la Chapelle and Mulheim (Milain) the king told him that the emperor insists and that he is determined to assist both to the extent of his powers, putting in the first place the interests of the Palatine, and in the second that of the confederate princes of whom he is chief. His Majesty expressed these sentiments angrily in very strong terms (con termine molto vivo e risentito).
As regards the parliament, it has been proposed in the upper Chamber to unite with the lower to discuss whether the imposition of customs belongs to the king alone, or to him with the parliament. Thirty declared that the opinion of the lawyers ought to be taken, and thirty-six were for the union of the chambers, which was carried, but up to the present without any declaration being made. (fn. 1) (Quanto al parlamento si è parlato nella camera superiore se si doreva unire con Valtra per vedere se il metter impositioni di gabelle sia proprio del re solo o con il parlamento, trenta han detto se dovesse pigliar il parer de Legisti, e trenta sei di unirsi, comes eguito, ma sin hora senza dichiaratione alcuna.)
The bishop of Lincoln made some remarks previously about the union, which have given considerable offence to the lower Chamber, so much so that they showed some reluctance to meet again, but they afterwards consented to do so at the command of His Majesty, who has the power to convoke and to dismiss parliaments (che mostrava per ciò renitenza nel redursi, ma al comando di Sua Maiesta, padrone di convocar e licenciar i Parlamenti, lo han poi fatto).
The upper Chamber, which is composed of ecclesiastics and the nobility, entirely assents to the king's demand, and so do many of the lower. But it is considered certain that the others will agree to all the contributions after some satisfaction has been given.
London, the 13 June, 1614.
June 13. Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Spagna. Venetian Archives. 280. Francesco Morosini, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.
News of the agreement with the princes has reached here, where the conditions do not give satisfaction. The Spaniards complain of two things, that the queen, in spite of their offers of help, had come to an agreement without letting them know, and also that she has agreed, without their knowledge, to the suspension of the marriages. They are sending instructions to their ambassador to use every effort to postpone the meeting of the Estates at least until the end of September, when they say the king will be free to declare his own wishes.
From Madrid, the 13 June, 1614.
June 13. Senato, Secreta. Deliberazioni. Venetian Archives. 281. To the Ambassador in England.
After various checks in the negotiations between the republic of Zurich and our ambassador Barbarigo, it has been finally decided in the council of that city to make an alliance with us, as you will see from the ambassador's letters of the 22nd.
The like to the ambassador in France.
Ayes 143.
Noes 2.
Neutral 6.
June 13. Senate, Secreta. Deliberazioni. Venetian Archives. 282. To the Proveditore of Zante.
We are sure that you will not fail to procure information of the Turkish and Spanish fleets, as the situation of that island enables you to do by means of western frigates and other vessels which arrive there.
Ayes 149.
Noes 1.
Neutral 1.
June 14. Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Roma. Venetian Archives. 283. Tomaso Contarini, Venetian Ambassador in Rome, to the Doge and Senate.
Yesterday I had audience of the pope. He said he had to thank your Excellencies for the decision expressed by them to the Nuncio to suppress the book entitled Supplicatio ad Imperatorem et Principes etc., which is full of heresies and a great scandal to Christendom. He enlarged upon the mischief caused by allowing such books to circulate, adding that the author of this one must be precious rascal (un gran ribaldo). I replied that the republic was very careful in matters of religion and very jealous for its preservation, and as regards this book your Excellencies would not fail to take the right course.
From Rome, the 14 June, 1614.
June 16. Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Milano. Venetian Archives. 284. Agostino Dolci, Venetian Secretary at Milan, to the Doge and Senate.
The ambassador of Spain resident at Turin writes that he hears that some armed vessels have arrived at Nice from England, and that a gentleman of the house of Scanese, (fn. 2) sent to England two months ago, had a commission to negotiate with Prince Maurice and the States to the detriment of Spain. The same ambassador wrote later that he grew daily more certain of two things, the first, the complete understanding between the duke of Savoy and Lesdiguières, and the second his proposal to give one of his daughters to Count Maurice.
From Milan, the 16 June, 1614.
June 20. Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Inghilterra. Venetian Archives. 285. Antonio Foscarini, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The parliament of this kingdom is composed of three parts. These are: the king, the Upper and the Lower Chambers. The upper Chamber consists of titled noblemen and ecclesiastics; the lower of knights who are deputies, two for each county (due per provincia), and burgesses (gente ordinaria) two for each city.
The king has always had the upper Chamber with him and a a part of the lower. The remainder have shown a readiness to contribute any amount of subsidies, but upon condition that it first be seen by what authority the king imposes charges, and that the affairs of the kingdom be dealt with first. Thus it is hoped that an easy way will be found to a successful issue.
In this state of affairs, the king on Saturday notified the lower Chamber that they had no right to speak of his authority and prerogative. He asked them to leave everything else and to make up their minds to contribute subsidies, giving them the day to make their decision. They met after a long discussion in which there was much difference of opinion. They chose forty of their number, to whom His Majesty gave audience on Monday. They said that the parliament had assembled to serve the king and for the good of the realm; that they petitioned him to leave until the last the question of money and to proceed in the same order which he himself had proposed in his first most prudent address, firstly matters pertaining to the mind, then the body and lastly money; that it was necessary to make a settlement in matters of religion, and the welfare of the kingdom and afterwards to satisfy His Majesty's demands for contributions. They added some further words about the administration of the finances.
They received no other reply from the king except that he knew quite well that he had the power to impose subsidies and was perfectly cognisant of the extent of his authority in all the particulars (che sapeva benessimo di poter metter sussidii, che in tutte le parte conosceva la auttorita sua); but nevertheless he had wished to assemble the parliament. The following day, when that chamber was assembled, the Admiral entered and dissolved the parliament by the royal command.
The king has written to Holland and has informed the ambassador of the States of the correspondence which has passed between him and the ambassador of the archduke.
The ambassador of France has of late been much in the company of the ambassador of the States. It must be about the affairs of Juliers, which are of great urgency (che molto premono). To-morrow I shall see the ambassador of France, and I shall also endeavour by other means to discover the full particulars and report them to your Excellencies.
Last week, the king's ambassador, arrived from Spain, asked His Majesty for an audience upon important affairs. The king, being hindered by the parliament, has put him off up to the present.
I know that the Catholic ambassador had letters from his king the day before yesterday, upon some negotiations of marriage. I will procure particulars.
London, the 20 June, 1614.
June 20. Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Inghilterra. Venetian Archives. 286. Antonio Foscarini, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The Estates of the country of Cleves will be held at Wesel, and to-morrow is the first day of their meeting. The princes possessioners who are united and interested will take part through their deputies. The Estates will declare the reasons which have moved them to secure the fortress of Juliers, by the despatch of the seven companies which are in garrison there. They will add that if Brandenburg and Neuburg do not come to an agreement, they will continue there. In conclusion they will declare that they will make immediate restitution to whoever of them is the legitimate lord of the country.
The ambassador of the States, whom I have seen since I wrote my last, told me that this is as far as his masters are prepared to go, and that if the archduke or Spain wants to obtain more it will lead them to employ force.
Yesterday the ambassador of Spain told me that his king would never suffer the place of Juliers to remain in the hands of the States, and if they did not revert to the original state of affairs, he would compel them to do so. It seems difficult for Brandenburg and Neuburg to come to any agreement upon this point, and unless they do, the States will not yield in any particular. He said that if Brandenburg has recourse to their assistance, Neuburg will rely upon the archduke and Spain.
Last week the ambassador of the States saw the king upon this, and he told me that His Majesty was satisfied. St. Cler, who was here on behalf of Denmark, has received every satisfaction from Maurice and the States. He has gone on to his master.
The gentlemen sent by the Palatine and Brandenburg have presented their letters to the king; but have not yet received a reply, as His Majesty has had little time of late for anything but the affairs of parliament.
The Signori of Cortone, (fn. 3) who claim to be of the royal house of France, descended from Louis VI., have written this last month to M. de Villeroi and the Grand Chancellor of France, to that effect, as they did, a little earlier, to the queen. They have had the letter printed, and I enclose a copy, presented to me by themselves, for those of your Excellencies who care to see it. They have absented themselves for the preservation of their rights, as I wrote. The chief of their house, who is the Seigneur de Bleneo, (fn. 4) has been taken up by the Prince of Condé.
London, the 20 June, 1614.
June 20. Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Mantova. Venetian Archives. 287. Antonio Maria Vincenti, Venetian Secretary at Mantua, to the Doge and Senate.
The refusal of the duke of Savoy to obey the king, the increase of his troops, his keeping the brother of Count Maurice with him, the continuance of his understanding with Lesdiguières (Laodighiere), the knowledge that Nemours has enlisted 4,000 Huguenots, who were in the service of the malcontent French princes, the advantages which he owns that he expects from those princes, either alone or united with France, and various other actions of His Highness, show that he has other ideas than the present affairs of Montferrat, which only serve him as a pretext for keeping up his army. His chief aim is to entirely break off the marriages between Spain and France, for by such means he sees that he can compass his ends.
From Mantua, the 20 June, 1614.
June 21. Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Firenze. Venetian Archives. 288. Domenico Dominici, Venetian Secretary at Florence, to the Doge and Senate.
The arrival in Italy of Prince Filiberto, generalissimo for the king of Spain, is doubtful. The Spaniards wish to keep a check on the duke of Savoy, who is regarded with great mistrust, owing to the fact that he remains armed, and claims to have intelligence with England, with the Low Countries, in Germany and with M. Lesdiguières in France.
From Florence, the 21 June, 1614.
June 23. Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Germania. Venetian Archives. 289. Zorzi Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in Germany, to the Doge and Senate.
On Thursday the 18th I received letters from the emperor desiring me to go to Linz. There I met the Vice-Chancellor and Barriccio. Among other things they said: the empire is now divided into two sections, one under the name of the Catholic league, the other that of the confederate princes. The principal end of the latter was to keep the emperor and the House of Austria depressed and to take away the empire from them. It was publicly said that the republic was in league with these princes, for the same purpose.
In reply I said that no such reports had reached my ears, as they were utterly without foundation and only existed in the brains of malevolent persons. I begged them to dismiss all such suspicions from their minds, assuring them of the sincere regard of the republic for the emperor. Copy.
From Veltz, the 23 June, 1614.
June 24. Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Mantova. Venetian Archives. 290. Antonio Maria Vincenti, Venetian Secretary at Mantua, to the Doge and Senate.
The duke of Savoy continues to make military preparations, some Huguenots having been introduced into Piedmont by the brother of Count Maurice.
From Mantua, the 24 June, 1614.
June 25. Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Firenze. Venetian Archives. 291. Domenico Dominici, Venetian Secretary at Florence, to the Doge and Senate.
A French corsair has arrived at Livorno. He proposes to sail under the Grand Duke's flag. He brings word that the Duke of Savoy has published orders that no vessels which go about buccaneering (andranno corseggiando) shall be received at the port of Villafranca.
From Florence, the 25 June, 1614.
June 27. Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Inghilterra. Venetian Archives. 292. Antonio Foscarini, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The parliament having been dissolved by the Admiral, by the king's order, His Majesty has taken further steps, and the nobility and clergy have offered expressions of their sentiments, as your Excellencies shall hear. Before the dissolution they discussed whether it belonged to the king or to the parliament to impose subsidies, and whether the upper and lower Houses should meet together to discuss this, as I wrote: the king's secretary declared among other things, that there are two kinds of kings, those by election, such as Poland and Denmark, and those by succession, such as France, Spain and England. The authority of the first was very limited, but that of the others was free and absolute, to impose burdens and in every other particular.
In reply it was pointed out that he had forgotten to mention another kind of king, and that those by election and succession were practically the same thing. That His Majesty might be called both the one and the other, because in passing from Scotland to England he was called and to some extent chosen, and the succession also belonged to him by blood (perche nel passare da Scotia a qui fu chiamata ct in certo modo eletta, e spettandole per sangue anco successa). That there are kings who have become so by force, and to them alone belongs the imposition of subsidies and taxes at will. He instanced Francis the Great, king of France, Charles IX., Henry III. and IV., and said that the fate of all these was well known. He spoke these things with the utmost freedom and with a certain amount of applause (cio proferendo con termine licentioso et applauso di qual ch' altro). (fn. 5)
The ambassador of France has complained so strongly about this to the king and pressed for a punishment that the king has caused the author of these sentiments to be imprisoned in the Tower together with four others who applauded him, and who have given offence (dato poco gusto). (fn. 6)
The king has declared that the son of the Palatine does not need any decree of parliament to render him capable of succeeding, although he did not wish to insist upon this; that as regards the power of His Majesty to levy contributions, it is undoubted that he can do so in the matter of customs and gabelles; that he has imposed these to the amount of 600,000 crowns since his accession to the throne. In doing so, he has followed the example of the late queen. As the parliament has always arranged with the king for subsidies, it cannot possibly claim more; that the Palatine, although a foreigner, can succeed without a decree of parliament, the king himself being a decisive instance of this, and finally His Majesty concludes by commanding that his authority and prerogative shall not be called in question, as I wrote (qual sia veramente l'authorità della Maiesta Sua nell impor contributioni e certo per quello tocca datii e gabelle, che può che ne ha posto por 600 m scudi dopo la sua assuntione della Corona, che le ha fatto sequendo l'esempio della regina defunto, e essendosi sempre il Parlamento accordato, con il Re ne sussidii, non si può ne sa affermar di vantaggio. Che possa il Palatino succedere senza decreta del Parlamento, essendo straniers v'e l'esempio del presente Re, che decide, e ultimamente, Sua Maiestà comandò non si dovesse por in dubio la sua auttorità c prerogatira, come arisai).
The titled nobility and clergy, who form the upper House, have offered to contribute, and the archbishop of Canterbury was the first who proposed to do so. It is thought that all the noblemen and gentlemen of the kingdom will do the like, and the sum should amount to a million and a half of gold. They expect in this way to influence the people by example, but it is not yet certain whether His Majesty will accept.
The ambassador of France has been requested to allow the release of the imprisoned deputy, who has asked for pardon. The ambassador has consented and he will be released. (fn. 7)
On Monday, by command of the king, the knight Cornwallis (fn. 8) (Cornovales), sometime ambassador in Spain, was sent to the Tower, and another knight with him. The same day the ambassador of Spain had an audience at Greenwich, to which he was invited by the king. I have not yet been able to discover what it was about.
London, the 27 June, 1614.
June 27. Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Inghilterra. Venetian Archives. 293. Antonio Foscarini, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
On Saturday the Sieur de la Grange, secretary of the Prince of Condé, was here, and on Monday he had audience of the king after the ambassador of Spain. He presented letters from the prince and the duke of Bouillon (Buglione). He also spoke in the name of the others and told the king that the prince and those with him had acted solely for the welfare of France, the service of the king, the satisfaction of the queen, and to reduce the authority of certain ministers. He mentioned Villeroi and the Chancellor. He will favour such a policy as shall please the king and assure the peace of France, but it must be directed with a greater regard for the service and interests of friendly princes and the allies of the Crown.
The king listened graciously, desiring to know all particulars. He asked how it was that Condé and the other princes had not sent to him before. The secretary replied that it was because matters were not in order. His Majesty accepted the excuse, and after a confidential interview of considerable duration, said he would like to see him again before he left. He is lodged in the house of the Seigneurs de Cortone, (fn. 9) to whom the prince has written, calling them cousins, and giving them the title of princes. This has brought them great reputation. On Tuesday they visited the king, who promised to write in their favour to His Most Christian Majesty, bearing witness to the manner in which they have comported themselves here, how moderately they have spoken, and also of their arguments, so that they are very satisfied.
Yesterday they came to dine with me, as well as the secretary, whom I had known for a long time in France. He told me that when he left Paris, the prince gave him letters for the Archduke Albert and the Marquis Spinola. Not having found them at Brussels, he had gone on to Holland, in conformity with his instructions. That he had received a hearty welcome from Count Maurice and the States. In speaking of the agreement which had been made with the queen and which Her Majesty had desired against the advice of certain ministers, he said that Queen Margaret (fn. 10) had done a good work for peace, telling the queen that no one had more right to speak than she, as being the daughter of a king of high lineage, who had had four sons, three of them kings and the other capable of becoming one. But they had all died without posterity. Queen Louise had had recourse to Henry VIII. for justice, who had at one time been no more than a prince of the blood. (fn. 11) She concluded by saying that princes of the blood may all become kings, and it was wise to treat them with respect. These and similar ideas which had been several times whispered in the ears of the queen by the Marchioness of Ancre had given rise to tranquillity and peace. That the States consider it certain that a Council will be formed with the prince as head, and that in the future the friends of France will be in a better position, and especially your Serenity, whom the prince holds in such high regard.
Knowing how much Condé values the counsel of this secretary, I impressed upon him that the true glory of the prince would be to always serve the king well, preserve the peace and maintain the attitude to which he had referred, towards your Excellencies. He declared that this is what the prince will do. In his letter to the queen he has declared his wish that there be a complete understanding with the friends of the crown, and he will have this carried into effect.
He afterwards spoke to me of various things which have taken place, and I may condense his remarks under four heads. That the prince and those with him aspire to have the greater part of the government. That he believes it to be in the best interests of France to follow out the plans of the late king. That the good offices of the Marchioness of Ancre cause the prince to look with some favour upon her husband, but not upon Villeroi and the Chancellor, and lastly that d'Epernon (Pernon) and Guise are discontented and anxious to join the prince.
When the Estates meet they will speak about the marriage with Spain, the death of the late king and various other matters of high importance. Sully (Sogh) and Rohan are in correspondence with Bouillon and have a good understanding with each other. The prince will see that it is improved.
London, the 27 June, 1614.
June 30. Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Germania. Venetian Archives. 294. Zorzi Giustinian, Ambassador in Germany, to the Doge and Senate.
I have just heard from Vienna that a pamphlet has appeared there by an unknown and malignant person. He pretends that the republic has sent to the king of England and the Protestant princes to encourage them to harass the House of Austria, and that your Excellencies will do the same for your part. My informant adds that in spite of all his efforts he has not yet been able to see this document, but he knows that it has come into the hands of the principal ministers of His Majesty and His Highness. I will seize an opportunity to expose this falsehood and to disabuse their minds of all suspicions in this matter. Copy.
From Veltz, the last day of June, 1614.
June 30. Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Germania. Venetian Archives. 295. Zorzi Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in Germany, to the Doge and Senate.
Letters have reached the emperor from Neuburg this week. He says there will be a congress at Wesel attended by the deputies of the States and the ambassadors of the Princes to compose the differences between him and Brandenburg, and asking His Majesty to send commissioners. They have decided to do this, yet both sides are preparing for war, which will involve both Flanders and Germany. Copy.
From Veltz, the last day of June, 1614.


  • 1. This information does not tally with that derived from other sources. The House of Lords Journal records that a Committee reported in favour of meeting the Commons, but that the house decided against it. Foscarini has apparently confused the recommendation of the Committee with a decision of the house. Chamberlain, in writing to Carleton, reports that when the matter of the conference was moved in the Lords they resolved not to confer, thirty being in favour and thirty-nine against. This was the report, for nothing was as yet certified. Birch: Court of James I., i. p. 312.
  • 2. ? Scarnaffi, called Scarnafes by Foscarini. He was the ambassador sent to the court of James by the duke of Savoy.
  • 3. Jean de Courtenay des Salles and Jean de Courtenay Franville. See No. 202.
  • 4. M. de Courtenay Bleneau.
  • 5. The speaker was Thomas Wentworth, the Puritan lawyer, member for the city of Oxford.
  • 6. Christopher Neville. Sir Walter Chute, John Hoskins and Thomas Wentworth were sent to the Tower for the part which they had taken in this parliament. Birch, Court of James I., i. p. 322.
  • 7. On June 30 Chamberlain wrote to Carleton, “Wentworth stays in the Tower more to satisfy the French ambassador than anything else.' (Birch, Court of James I., i. p. 326.) As a matter of fact Wentworth had been released on the 29th. On June 22 the French ambassador, Bisseaux, wrote to Somerset consenting to his liberation. State Papers, Foreign, France.
  • 8. Sir Charles Cornwallis. The other knight was probably Dr. Lionel Sharpe. They were committed to the Tower for alleged complicity in a speech of Hoskins, who had threatened the Scots within Sicilian Vespers. Gardiner, Hist. of England, ii. p. 250. Cornwallis, Sharpe, and Hoskins, were not released until June, 1615. S.P. Dom., June 15, 1615.
  • 9. Courtenay.
  • 10. Margaret of Valois, daughter of Henry II. of France and sister of Francis II., Charles IX. and Henry III. and of Francis, duke af Alençon, Elizabeth's suitor. She was the first wife of Henry IV., who afterwards divorced her.
  • 11. Louise of Savoy, mother of Francis I. The allusion here is obscure. After the disastrous battle of Pavia in 1525 Queen Louise turned to Henry VIII., who promised assistance. The point seems to be that Henry, who at one time was only a prince of the blood with a distant prospect of succession, afterwards became a king with the power of rendering the most valuable assistance to France.