Venice: October 1614, 16-31

Pages 219-236

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.

This free content was digitised by double rekeying and sponsored by the Arts and Humanities Research Council. All rights reserved.


October 1614, 16–31

Oct. 17. Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Inghilterra. Venetian Archives. 441. Antonio Foscarini, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
Besides what I wrote that the king had said to the ambassador of the States, he commanded him to send to his masters to learn their intentions with regard to the succours. He did this on Saturday the 4th inst. by an express courier. He also informed them by the same courier of the steadfast resolve of His Majesty to assist the Duke of Savoy and of his desire that they should do the same. I have all this from the mouth of the ambassador himself, who confirmed the truth of what I wrote about his dealings with the king both with regard to the affairs of Savoy and also those of Cleves. He also told me that previously His Majesty had spoken about the duke to him to the same purpose, as he had notified his masters; he added that the Count of Scarnafes will find the matter ready for him. He thought it was certain that his masters would assist His Highness.
The count left for Holland on the very day I wrote my last. He received from the king a present of a silver gilt article, from Rich a valuable horse, and what is much more important, another very fine horse from the earl of Somerset, High Chamberlain of this kingdom, High Treasurer of Scotland, who holds the privy seal, with whom the king decides everything and in whom His Majesty confides above all others.
The ambassador of France told me the very words which the king said to him at his last audience, namely that France will look after her own affairs, and it will be easy for him to decide to make war, that is if the Spaniards do not restore everything. He expressed the opinion to me that the forces of the States joined to those of the Princes of the Union will be sufficient for Spain, and much more than sufficient when joined by the succours of the crown. He insisted also that France, by continuing to pay the 6,000 infantry and horse, will be doing her share and may perhaps escape the commotion of an open declaration.
The Elector Palatine writes energetically to the king about the arms of Spain, pointing out the danger in which he is placed, not having forces proportionate to the need.
Brandenburg also solicits and the other Princes of the Union do not fail to make similar requests.
The king shows himself with all full of heat and resolution. It is expected that the musters will be made throughout the realm, as I wrote would be done. The Council of State has been all these days at Hampton Court engaged upon these affairs, so that if need be, all things necessary for war may be prepared.
On the 22nd ult. the Elector Palatine and Brandenberg met at Heilbronn (Aidelbrun), an Imperial town where all the princes of both houses afterwards gathered, the landgrave of Hesse and all the confederate princes, in person, and the ambassadors of the towns leagued with them, to resolve upon arming if the Spaniards do not restore what they have occupied. They will soon send a solemn embassy to the king to inform him of the decision taken and to beg for his continued protection. An ambassador from Brandenberg has arrived here.
London, the 17 October, 1614.
Oct. 17. Senato, Secreta. Dispacci. Inghilterra. Venetian Archives. 442. Antonio Foscarini, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
On Saturday morning, the 11th inst. the ambassador of Spain had audience. I sent to Theobalds the very same day and most readily obtained an appointment for the following day. I found His Majesty, who had been engaged up to that moment with the ambassador of France. I presented the letters of your Serenity and thanked him for the order given to his ambassador to assist the complete conclusion of your league with the Swiss, upon which I dilated as much as I thought fit. The king replied that he had instructed his ambassador and written several times to the Elector Palatine in favour of the union and he had also set other princes of Germany in motion and finally having learned from the Count of Scarnafes what authority his duke professed to have with that nation he had charged him to write to exhort his master to do his utmost in the matter. I thanked His Majesty again and went on to say how much your Excellencies valued his ambassador, both on the king's account and because of his own merits. Finding that the praise of his ambassador pleased the king, I spoke at length and concluded by saying that your Excellencies would in time send more ample testimony by letter. The king said that your Excellencies have good cause to esteem the ambassador, because he performs his duties admirably. He expressed all this with every sign of pleasure and ended by saying that the satisfaction of your Excellencies delighted him, and that he had never given his affection to a prince who returned it better than your Serenity.
He afterwards began to speak about the affairs of Italy and of Flanders. He informed me that the ambassador of Spain had solemnly promised him that all the places occupied would be restored except Aix la Chapelle, that he had shown him letters of the archduke, whose ambassador had also asserted that Wesel also was included. That in the audience of the ambassador of Spain on the preceding morning that envoy had added that all things will be placed in his (the king's) hands; that the archduke will agree that he shall judge and decide, and even with regard to Aix la Chapelle, they recognise that he is somewhat interested on account of the Elector Palatine, and his wishes will be executed even though the emperor has issued a decree. He told me laughingly that the Spaniards could not give him better words or the archduke either; he was evidently gratified and said that his open declarations that he would make war, his having spoken roundly to the ambassador of Spain, and his having disclosed a copy of secret letters to the States were the cause of it. He repeated that both ambassadors had spoken with considerable clearness, and he has written this to Wotton in Holland, and a few days will show. His Majesty seemed to me to be very undecided whether to believe the promises made to him. He afterwards added that the Catholic Ambassador had received a courier from Spain in twelve days, but he brought nothing besides thanks for the crossbows, dogs and hunting horses which he had sent as a gift to that king. That the ambassador had had audience for this the day before; that he had spoken to him about the marriages with France, as of a thing not absolutely certain, and he evidently thought that it might prove useful later. He enlarged upon similar ideas. As regards Italy, the Duke of Savoy wrote to him that he had the means of maintaining himself four or five months longer; that he requested aid in money from the States, that from them he will obtain the 4,000 or 5,000 infantry which he has promised to him; that he has written to the States in his favour and imparts the same things which were reported as being under negotiation; that France is not asking the duke to disarm as she did before; that shortly before my arrival the ambassador had told him that the queen will treat for an accommodation, either alone or in conjunction with His Majesty, and showed him letters of Villeroi in which the latter commands him to say this; that he replied to the ambassador that it will be better to treat jointly and he had written to this effect and will act accordingly. He told me of the return of Condé to the Court and of the others. They will treat about the carrying out of the marriages, which may possibly meet with opposition. He said this with satisfaction, and I know well that the matter weighs upon him. As regards Italy he evidently believes that everything depends upon the action of the Spaniards (che l'importanza consista ne' Spagnuoli); that the duke, as a small prince, can do nothing by himself and will allow himself to be advised, and he ought to look to his own security with a reasonable regard for his reputation. I understand that the king's idea is to carry on simultaneously the negotiations for an agreement with the Spaniards both in Italy and in Flanders, possibly thinking that it may facilitate an agreement in all the places, so that they may not have war everywhere.
London, the 17 October, 1614.
Oct. 17. Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Grisoni. Venetian Archives. 443. Gregorio Barbarigo, Venetian Ambassador Extraordinary to the Swiss and Grisons, to the Doge and Senate.
A courier sent from London to meet the ambassador of England resident with your Serenity has passed through here in great haste. He travelled by way of Brussels and left letters for the king's ambassador there, who detained him one day, when he had audience of the archduke. He also has written to the Ambassador Carleton. I have not been able to discover whether his mission is for affairs touching your Serenity or for other princes on his journey.
M. de Reffugé, ambassador of His Most Christian Majesty, is doing everything to initiate negotiations for a truce, and from what I hear from Cologne they are eager and hopeful about it on that side. But at the Hague and in the camp of Count Maurice they do not expect one to be arranged. The States express great dissatisfaction and complain very freely that their credulous trusting of a composition to Sir Henry Wotton has led them into their present difficulties.
M. Pithan, governor of Juliers, having sallied forth with some companies of French, English and Scotch has captured Aldenhoven, Amnich and Hambach, small places in the neighbourhood.
Many Spanish galleons has been seen in the seas of England and Holland. It is thought that they have some intention to take possession of Emden in Friesland, but in England they are fortifying all the ports on this account.
From Zurich, the 17 October, 1614.
Oct. 18. Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Costant. Venetian Archives. 444. Cristoforo Valier, Venetian Ambassador at Constantinople, to the Doge and Senate.
At last the head of Nasuf Pasha, the Grand Vizier, has fallen before the wrath and the sword of the Grand Turk, at a time when he seemed most firmly established. Very late yesterday evening the sultan sent one of his physicians to the Vizier's house, with a present of sherbet to enquire after his health, and soon afterwards he sent ministers there to deprive him first of his seals and then of life. The body was thrown into the streets and afterwards into the sea. This unexpected event has completely changed the face of things.
Dalle Vigne di Pera, the 18 October, 1614.
Oct. 19. Senato, Secreta, Dispacci, Spagna. Venetian Archives. 445. Francesco Morosini, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.
Three days ago the French ambassador sent his secretary to Paris. I am told that he has gone upon the negotiations for an armistice in Flanders, as the French are not willing to abandon the States, neither do they wish to favour them in the event of war, as has been the case in the past, and so offend the king, as this might prejudice the carrying out of the marriages.
From Madrid, the 19 October, 1614.
[Italian; deciphered.]
Oct. 22. Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Padova. Venetian Archives. 446. The Rectors of Padua to the Doge and Senate.
Yesterday evening the English ambassador arrived in this city, having already taken leave of your Serenity, on his way to the Low Countries. This morning he sent his secretary on a complimentary visit. We returned the visit later on, when mutual compliments were exchanged.
From Padua, the 22 October, 1614.
Oct. 22. Collegio, Secreta. Esposizioni Principi. Venetian Archives. 447. The Agent of England came into the Cabinet and said:
I was much gratified at being left as agent here, as during my five years' stay in the city I have never received anything but kindness. But I thought it might be difficult for me to sustain the burden in the present disturbed state of affairs, and so it has turned out. An express courier has come with orders to stay the ambassador as great affairs are passing through his hands. Owing to the closing of the passes the courier did not arrive before the departure of the ambassador. But the orders reached him at Padua, and he is returning.
Sig. Antonio Venier replied, in the absence of the Doge, that they would be very glad to have the ambassador with them again and he would always be welcome.
With that the agent made a reverence and departed.
Oct. 23. Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Spagna. Venetian Archives. 448. Francesco Morosini, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.
Nine ships and three galleons, which had been separated from the body of the fleet, have arrived safely at Seville. It was feared that they might have fallen a prey to an English pirate, who had previously been seen in these seas with thirteen armed vessels. They have ordered Don Luis Fajardo to send an Italian engineer to select a place thirty leagues from the Mamaz, with the intention of sending the fleet there later on, to take possession and to fortify the post and so make themselves masters of that shore, with the hope of depriving the pirates of a place of repair and of every aid to piracy in those parts.
The Prince of Condé has at last returned to the Court, which is welcome news here as they hope that France will now settle down; they also think that it will be to their advantage in Flanders and also in Italy, as they do not fear the influence of Savoy upon France, and they believe that it will secure the passage of the betrothed princes for marriage. Though this is proposed for the spring, the Spaniards will secure a prorogation until September, at which time the king will have completed his fourteenth year, and all scruples with regard to the marriage have now disappeared.
From Madrid, the 23 October 1614.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Oct. 23. Senato, Deliberazioni, Secreta. Venetian Archives. 449. To the Ambassador in England.
The agent of His Majesty came to audience and stated that an express courier had arrived with orders to the ambassador to stay here, as you will see by the enclosed copy of his exposition, which will show you why the king has taken this step. But you must endeavour to discover if there is more in this worthy of our knowledge, with your customary diligence, displayed in all your letters.
The armies of Milan and Savoy continue to remain on the frontiers of the states. No further news has reached us yet, and the negotiations for peace are not accompanied by any more hopeful signs of success than in the past. The arrival of the ambassador of France is expected in those parts, and our own ambassador will soon be there also, to continue the work for peace.
Ayes 133.
Noes 1.
Neutral 1.
Oct. 23. Senato, Deliberazioni, Secreta. Venetian Archives. 450. To the Ambassador Barbarigo.
On the 4th we sent you a copy of the exposition of the ambassador of England. The agent of England has now informed us that orders have come from the king for the ambassador to stay in his charge here. We enclose the exposition. You will continue the work for the league, and, we hope, successfully notwithstanding that you will not be favoured with the assistance of the said ambassador.
Ayes 133.
Noes 1.
Neutral 1.
Oct. 24. Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Inghilterra. Venetian Archives. 451. Antonio Foscarini, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The ambassador of France, in his last audience, which took place on the 12th, presented letters from his king, informing His Majesty that he has assumed the government by decree of the parliament upon his majority and of the rejoicing caused thereby; he goes on to speak of his disposition to continue to maintain a good understanding and to increase it. The remainder of the letter is of credit. The ambassador spoke in conformity, adding that the king will be ready, when it is thought fit, to send to ratify both the ancient confederations and the new ones established by the queen; that he intends to maintain and increase the relations which existed in the time of the late king, his father, together with similar ideas. He afterwards said that the Prince of Condé has already returned to Court, as well as the others; that all is going well and at the coming meeting of the Estates, the necessary orders will be given for the change of government. With respect to the affairs of Flanders and of Savoy, he said that Mons. de Refugé was working in harmony with the ambassador of His Majesty, and with respect to Savoy, their offices would be performed jointly or severally, as His Majesty might command.
The king replied that he was delighted to hear of the prosperity of the Most Christian King, his brother, and of his resolute desire for a good understanding; that he promised him a sincere correspondence and they would examine whether it would be necessary to ratify the confederations; that Wotton has proceeded in concert with Refugé; and as for Savoy, they ought to treat together in order to show union in all things. The ambassador affirmed that this would be done, and upon this particular he showed the letter of Villeroi, as the king told me.
The ambassador of Brandenburg, whom I report to have arrived here, was sent by the Elector while he was at Berlin, before he left for the conference held at Heilbronn. He had commissions and letters for Maurice and for the States, with instructions to treat in passing, as he has done, with Maurice whom he found at Rees. He discussed the manner of making war, saying that soon his infantry will amount to 6,000 men and his cavalry to 1,000. He informed the States that he was coming here, adding that he would conform himself to their advice, such being the instructions given by his master. After some discussion upon this, he continued his journey with letters from the States and Maurice for the king and others for the ambassador in which they order him to assist him. Thus when he arrived here, before he asked for an audience he sent the letter to the ambassador who visited him twice and afterwards he went on to the king, who gave him audience at Royston; from which he has not yet returned. The communications which he brings are to incite the king to war and to show that no credence is placed in the offers made by Spain and the Archduke to restore what had been occupied. He says that they moved their arms while they were negotiating for the restitution of Juliers and promised peace, and now they are fortifying Wesel and it is no longer reasonable to place more confidence in what they say than in what they exhibit by their acts. He will be here to-day or to-morrow, and I will bring his affair to the notice of your Excellencies.
The ambassador of the Archduke told me the day before yesterday that his master had decided to restore the places occupied in the country of Cleves, if the States first do the same with Juliers, to which they do not seem to come with that readiness which is desirable, and that is why Wesel is being fortified. He added that Juliers is almost surrounded by the country of the Archduke and fifty miles away from Nimuegen, which is the nearest place in Holland; that if they do not come to an agreement Spinola will take his army to that part, to consume their provisions and press the place, which it will be difficult to relieve owing to its situation. I asked him, if the States decided to restore Juliers, what security would be given that the same would be done with the other places. He replied that a promise alone ought to suffice.
I have letters from the Hague, the most recent, of the 13th inst. They report the arrival of the ambassadors of the two kings at Rees, where Maurice and the deputies general of the United Provinces are now present; that Spinola pretended that the conference ought to be held in his camp. Neither Maurice nor the States would agree to this. Finally, through the interposition of Refugé they agreed upon a small place called Santen, left as neutral and situate midway between the two armies, as your Excellencies may see by the enclosed maps. The greatest difficulty will be upon two points; one that the States are unwilling to be the first to restore Juliers without any security that Spain and the Archduke will afterwards do the like, as they will give no more than their promise. The second, to put that place in the hands of a third party, is satisfactory provided that his condition be such that he can defend it against any force. Neither the landgrave of Hesse nor Christian of Anhalt, who have been proposed, satisfies this requirement, and Prince Maurice will not consent to his brother, the Prince of Orange, taking it. To place it in the hands of the two kings, as His Majesty suggested to me, putting in one company of French and one of his own subjects, would be a matter full of difficulties, as a governor would be required who would necessarily be dependent upon the one or the other. The third course, to dismantle, would please Spain and the Archduke, but the two interested princes do not want so important a place to be thrown down. All these matters will be dealt with when the time comes.
The Protestant Princes assembled at Heilbronn have confirmed the inclusion of Brandenburg into their Union and have fully ratified the league made with the States last year, with the very great accession of many imperial cities. They have decided to make great levies of troops, declaring the Prince Christian of Anhalt to be the General of their army. Thus their assembly separated, and each of them has gone home to begin to make the necessary arrangements which will be carried out in time.
The execution of the imperial ban, issued against Frankfort, entrusted to the Elector of Mayence and the Landgrave of Darmstadt, will meet with opposition; it would be to the prejudice of the Palatine and of the Landgrave of Hesse, his uncle. The neighbouring Princes have resolved openly to oppose such execution.
London, the 24 October, 1614.
Oct. 24. Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Inghilterra. Venetian Archives. 452. Antonio Foscarini, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
I hear on good authority that the duke of Savoy has written to the king promising not to make an accommodation without the advice and consent of His Majesty. The Count of Scarnafes confirmed this to him, and the king has given him to understand that no pacification will be made in Flanders without compelling the Spaniards to do the like in Italy with His Highness. I am also assured that in addition to the propositions which that count will make with the assistance of the Ambassador Wotton, for a league with the States, with a petition for help, he will also promise not to make an accommodation except in unison, with their full consent. It is reported here that he has arrived at Rees, has negotiated with Maurice and has been received and welcomed. Nothing more is known up to the present. It is thought to be certain that by those who are well informed, that the States will afford satisfaction and succour to His Highness. Rich is anxiously awaiting orders to make his levies, and if they do not come he will certainly set out as an adventurer with a following, as I wrote.
The ambassador of France has written to inform his king of the desire of His Majesty here to co-operate also in the matter of Savoy. The ambassador of the archduke, in speaking with me upon the affairs of Italy, blamed the Governor of Milan, saying that he could and ought to do less; that they all want to be generals; he afterwards added that the state of affairs is in considerable confusion, and the dignity of the Catholic king will become more and more involved, and to compel Savoy to disarm first has become a principal point.
Here the musters have been made throughout the realm. That of the city of London, a week ago, was of 6,000 infantry, excellent troops, very well armed and prepared in all points. The popular voice displays a great animosity against Spain.
Besides what the king told me about the bad state in which the affairs of Sweden now are, the news is confirmed by the advices of the ambassador in Russia. He states that the letters of His Majesty to Denmark will have arrived some days ago. So far as the mind of that king can be ascertained it appears that while here he showed himself most evilly affected towards the States. What His Majesty desires is known, but the king being persuaded by his advice and authority, he left with the determination to act in accordance with His Majesty's desire in all things.
The States are fitting out thirty-two large ships and eight lesser ones, to send to the West Indies, to make war on Spain. They expect to be able to fall in with the fleets, and if they succeed they hope, by depriving the Catholic king of a part of the gold which has increased his greatness, to deal him a severe blow and bring about his decline.
It will soon be two years since I sustained myself with the hope of the coming of Sig. Barbarigo. This is disappearing with the approach of winter, which by its rigour usually increases my indisposition. It is already a month and more since I have been troubled with a cold and congestion, which has kept me from sleeping, eating and rest, but not from the service of your Excellencies, and if my labours have increased the pain, I have borne it with patience. I do not speak of the state of my affairs after ten years absence, but your Excellencies may imagine how very bad they must be, and how great the expenses which I have to maintain. This is only to represent my present condition, as my property, my life and my good-will will ever be expended freely in this service.
London, the 24 October, 1614.
Oct. 24. Inquisitori di Stato. Dispacci, Inghilterra. Venetian Archives. 452A. Giovanni Battista Padavin to Sig. Guilio Muscorno.
The reasons why he desires to have leave to return, though weighty, are nothing by comparison with the public service. It would involve great expense and is hardly to be thought of. It would also constitute a bad example. The letters of the ambassador asking for leave for you were read in the Council of Ten, but no one would speak for them.
From Venice, the 24 Oct., 1614.
Oct. 25. Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Roma. Venetian Archives. 453. Simon Contarini, Venetian Ambassador at Rome, to the Doge and Senate.
The ambassador of Spain said to me that it was a strange thing that a single prince in Italy should raise himself against his king. That your Excellencies had acted with the greatest prudence, and that you always put him aside. That in addition to the troops disembarked by Prince Philibert, 1,500 more Spaniards would be ready soon and a third army of Neapolitans. He said that the forces near Vercelli would soon be complete, and that their ambassador in England wrote to him that in spite of the efforts of the agent of Savoy with the king there, he could obtain nothing from him except advice not to disturb the peace.
From Rome, the 25 October, 1614.
Oct. 25. Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Grisoni. Venetian Archives. 454. Gregorio Barbarigo, Venetian Ambassador Extraordinary with the Swiss and Grisons, to the Doge and Senate.
The ambassadors of France and England with the deputies of the States have been at Wesel. They have since passed to Brussels in order to continue the negotiations for an agreement which Count Maurice actively opposes unless the Marquis Spinola is made to restore all the places, while Juliers remains as it is at present. This will be a very difficult thing to obtain. However, Count Ottavio Visconti is expected back from Spain very soon, bringing the full proposals of the Catholic king.
There is said to be scarcity in the camp of the Marquis Spinola, so that many soldiers are deserting. Many of these flee to Count Maurice, who gives them a passport and money with leave to go where they like.
Having regard to this scarcity of provisions he is awaiting a thousand foot which the duke of Brunswick was sending to the assistance of the Marquis of Brandenburg, and twenty companies of the King of England, to be taken from Flushing, Rammekins, Brill and Hochen where they were in garrison. With these reinforcements he proposes to form two camps, occupying both banks of the Rhine and to make the passage of supplies to Spinola still more difficult.
From Zurich, the 25 October, 1614.
Oct. 25. Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Firenze. Venetian Archives. 455. Domenico Dominici, Venetian Resident at Florence, to the Doge and Senate.
The Grand Duke has sent Sig. Francesco Quaratese to be Resident in England in his name, in place of Sig. Ottavian Lotti, who has returned from that Court. Before he left the Duke created him a knight of San Stefano.
From Florence, the 25 October, 1614.
Oct. 25. Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Firenze. Venetian Archives. 456. Domenico Dominici, Venetian Resident at Florence, to the Doge and Senate.
On Monday the royal fleet of Spain of thirty-seven galleys was observed passing the roadstead of Livorno. Two English pirate ships have recently arrived there, both well armed, with booty from a ship which is said to have contained 250 cases of sugar, 500 tons of brazil wood and 100 bales of cloth. They have also brought twenty slaves, whom they have given to the Grand Duke. The captain of the ships has thereby procured from His Highness a safe conduct for a principal corsair, rich with booty, with permission to bring his nine galleons to Livorno.
From Florence, the 25 October, 1614.
Oct. 25. Senato, Deliberazioni, Secreta. Venetian Archives. 457. To the Ambassador at Rome.
The Secretary Antelmi went to see the duke of Savoy at his request. Before the interview the Count of Verua told him that the ambassador of France at his first audience advised the duke to disarm, and offered the word of his king that he should not be attacked. The duke replied that he only desired security and past examples showed that it was not prudent to rely upon words. As a sign of respect for His Majesty he had begun to dismiss some troops so that the governor might do the like. In the subsequent audience which the Secretary had of His Highness, the duke related the matter from the beginning, complaining of the actions of the Spaniards. He said the French Ambassador had pressed him to rely upon the words of his master and he had declined. Monsignor Savelli had proposed that he should receive the joint words of the Most Christian King and of our republic, but the duke replied that he wished to introduce the king of England and the States receive this word, to have some one on his side, and he did this owing to the declaration of His Majesty that he would assist him if necessary.
Ayes 114.
Noes 2.
Neutral 1.
Oct. 28. Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Francia. Venetian Archives. 458. Pietro Contarini, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
Relates the meeting of the States-General and the speech of the Chancellor.
From Paris, the 28 October, 1614.
Oct. 28. Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Francia. Venetian Archives. 459. Pietro Contarini, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
The affairs of Flanders begin to experience some difficulties because no means can be found of reconciling the parties in spite of the efforts of the ministers of the two crowns to procure an agreement satisfactory to everybody, and so far it has not been possible to arrange an armistice, and the armies remain face to face even if they do not proceed to fresh conquests. The Dutch insist upon the restoration of Wesel as the first condition, but the Marquis Spinola refuses absolutely to abandon the forts or to refrain from building new ones. The ambassador of Brandenburg begs for some resolution here, and the ambassador of England importunes for the same, but they are unable to obtain any reply except that it is necessary to await the end of the negotiations, in order to form a decision in conformity with them. The ministers see that they will be obliged to declare themselves, and they postpone a decision as long as they can, because if matters turned out in favour of the Dutch, the alliances with Spain would be entirely broken off, which they are so anxious to maintain; and if the decision is in favour of the Catholic king, it would be necessary to remove the militia, which are paid by the States, to entirely lose their confidence and friendship, and at the same time to break off the confederation with England and with the Protestant Princes, which was procured earlier at such a great cost, owing to the interest of this realm to maintain the liberty of those provinces.
Lesdiguières writes that it is difficult to prevent numbers from going to Piedmont to serve the duke of Savoy, in spite of severe prohibitions.
From Paris, the 28 October, 1614.
Oct. 28. Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Francia. Venetian Archives. 460. Pietro Contarini, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
At the meeting of the deputies of the nobility, they proposed to beg His Majesty to protect his person and to see that his subjects should not be subjected to any other supreme power, either lay or ecclesiastic, suggesting the introduction of an oath similar to that of England. The third estate are of the same opinion, and perhaps some of the ecclesiastics also.
From Paris, the 28 October, 1614.
Oct. 31. Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Inghilterra. Venetian Archives. 461. Antonio Foscarini, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
On Sunday the 19th inst. the ambassador of Brandenburg had audience, as I wrote that he would, and he returned again on the following day. He announced to the king the resolution of the Elector to approach Cleves and if necessary to take the affair into his own hands, whereas it is now in those of his son, and seeing so great an appearance of war, to employ all his forces, without allowing himself to be deceived by the specious promises of the Archduke or of Spinola either. He said that he hoped His Majesty would render assistance and with forces proportionate to the necessity, owing to the connection by blood, his obligations to the league, the justice of the cause and in his own interests. The king replied that not only the Archduke but Spain also had given their word to make restitution, and the outcome will appear soon; if they do not do so readily, he will make the Elector's cause his own, and will compel them by open war. After a long discussion the conclusion of the king was that advices of the affair would arrive from day to day, the nature of which would determine his action, as he had already made up his mind.
With this reply the ambassador reached here late, eight days ago. On the following day the Most Christian Ambassador informed him that in France a favourable reply had been given to the ambassador sent by his elector. Subsequently the king received letters and special advices from the Ambassador Wotton of the whole affair, of which I have also full information in letters written from the Hague on the 22nd.
After it had been decided to make Santen neutral, through the interposition of the Ambassador Refugé, as I wrote, on the 10th Maurice promised for himself and Brandenburg not to make any attempt upon that place or to hinder the return of the garrison, as your Excellencies will see from the enclosed copy. So Spinola removed, and on the 13th, with the intervention of Count Ottavio Visconti, of a councillor from Brussels and of the ambassadors of the electors of Cologne and the Palatine, they began to negotiate upon the articles proposed by Brandenburg and the replies of Neuburg, which are enclosed. Subsequently, as this seemed too difficult and lengthy, the ambassadors of the two kings found a shorter way of devising an armistice, by removing the troops from the country and arranging for a provisional neutrality, as your Excellencies will see by the enclosed copy. The States have been informed of everything, that their wishes may be known. Matters being in this state, many believed that an accommodation might be easily and perhaps speedily arranged, but on the 22nd the States received information that several difficulties had cropped up, and a great diversity of opinions. Thus the hope is dying away, to the advantage of the Archduke, chiefly owing to the fortification of Wesel. Nevertheless, the scarcity in Spinola's camp is rapidly increasing, and it is also understood that money is not plentiful there.
Even if they agree upon the other articles, when they come to carry them into operation the first will create the greatest difficulty, because Brandenburg demands the restitution of all the towns, lands, and fortresses occupied by Neuburg and Spinola, and further that everything be put in its original condition. The words all the towns occupied by Neuburg and Spinola include Wesel, and those referring to all changes made by them have regard to Aix la Chapelle. Neuburg replies that he will remove his troops from all the places, towns and country districts of Juliers, Cleves, Bergh, Marck, Ravensburg and Ravenstein when the States of Holland and the Marquis of Brandenburg withdraw theirs, and Spinola says the same. All the provinces which they name pertain to the duchy of Cleves, and as they contend that Wesel is Imperial territory, this seems to be excluded. With regard to the innovations made, no answer was given. It is added that the Archduke means Juliers to be surrendered first, and the ambassador of Brandenburg assured me that if Wesel is not restored first, as well as the other places, or at least at the same time as Juliers, they will not make any agreement.
The Princes gathered at Heilbronn, besides what I wrote, have decided to put aside 600,000 thalers every year in the hands of the States, and they have sent ambassadors to Holland to make the union more binding. The ambassadors will afterwards come on here. I have lately engaged in conversation with various ministers on these affairs, which occupy considerable attention, and I will inform your Excellencies in my next of what I was able to gather.
London, the last day of October, 1614.
Enclosed in the preceding Despatch. 462. Demands of the Prince of Brandenburg.
(1.) That all the places occupied by the duke of Neuburg and the Marquis Spinola and all things innovated be put in their original condition.
(2.) That all damage done to subjects be set forth and reparation ex æquo et bono made in good time.
(3.) That satisfaction be given to the Elector of Brandenburg for the injuries done to him.
(4.) That after restitution and reparation have been made, the restoration of the administration shall be in accordance with the conventions of Dortmund and Hall and the Reversals, which were approved by the kings of France and Great Britain and by the confederates of Germany.
(5.) That during the settlement of affairs the princes must live apart and change their residence twice every six months. For the first six months the marquis of Brandenburg shall live at Dusseldorf and the duke of Neuburg at Cleves, and the following six months they shall change about, and so on.
(6.) That the administration of the provinces shall be conducted by councillors chosen as heretofore, but so that there be two presidents, one for each prince, who shall act jointly or severally in matters of justice and the chamber, without appeal to the princes except for grace, and except in the disposal of offices, which shall be taken alternately. The princes shall only retain the power of dismissing.
(7.) That the issues of the provinces shall be equally divided between the princes.
(8.) That to secure equality the accounts shall be audited by persons deputed.
(9.) That account of receipts and expenses should be rendered and revised.
(10.) That the Reversals shall be observed in matters of religion and ecclesiastical goods treated in accordance with the interpretation contained in a special deed.
Enclosed in the preceding Despatch. 463. Translation of the above.
Enclosed in the preceding Despatch. 464. Reply of the Duke of Neuburg to the articles of the Marquis of Brandenburg.
(1.) The duke will withdraw his troops from all the places of Juliers, Cleves, Bergh, Mark, Ravensburg and Ravenstein when the States of Holland and the Marquis withdraw theirs. The Marquis Spinola will do the same.
(2.) The duke agrees that damages shall be verified, so that judges may decide what is reasonable.
(3.) The duke does not know how he has injured the marquis, but since he wishes to reserve satisfaction for himself, the duke does the like for himself.
(4.) The duke agrees that the form of government shall be conformable to the treaties of Dortmund and Hall and according to the Reversali made with the estates of the country.
(5.) The duke agrees to living separately, one at Cleves and Mark and the other at Juliers and Bergh, but he sees no reason for changing residence.
(6.) The duke accepts this article, it being understood that the councillors shall be nominated half by one side and half by the other, but he thinks that the councillors should refer to each prince and do the like in other cases when there are differences of opinion.
(7.) That the revenues be equally divided between the princes after deducting salaries, pensions and other necessary expenses.
(8.) This seems unnecessary, as the revenues will be equally divided.
(9.) The duke agrees to the view of the accounts during the common occupation, but the matter of the archives seems to be unnecessary.
(10.) Agreed except that in future the collation of Catholic benefices shall remain to the duke and the care of the Calvinist churches to the Marquis, the Lutheran in accordance with the monthly agreement.
(11.) It is reasonable that things alienated should be restored and it is necessary to frame a form of procedure, so that causes may be settled in a friendly and judicial manner in a year or fifteen months at most.
Enclosed in the preceding Despatch. 465. Translation of the above.
Enclosed in the preceding Despatch. 466. The points upon which negotiations have already begun.
Provisional reparation without prejudice to the union of the countries, the principal cause and other princes pretending.
That the partition shall be made by provisions in accordance with the government of the countries, so that one side may have Cleves, Mark and its dependents and the other Juliers, Berg, Ravensburg and their appurtenances, and that a yearly and equal portion shall be given to each for the maintenance of his court, and the remainder devoted to satisfying creditors.
The government shall be in accordance with the reversals granted to the States of the country.
The contraventions and particulars about the lands of Monjoye shall be upon the state of the communion.
The garrisons shall be removed from all the places where they are at present without any exception, and the city and castle of Juliers shall only have the ordinary garrison of about eighty persons named by both, without introducing foreign soldiers.
The parties shall dismiss their troops and be content with an ordinary guard of halbardiers, and the troops of both sides shall be withdrawn from the country.
During the provision the parties bind themselves not to put any place in the hands of a third party, but to assist each other against all pretenders.
That the kings, the Archdukes, the States and the other intervening powers shall maintain this provisional agreement and the final decision, and they will ask for the imperial confirmation of the agreement, which shall, however, be observed by the parties whether this be obtained or no.
Enclosed in the preceding Despatch. 467. Translation of the above.
Enclosed in the preceding Despatch. 468. Copy of the reversal sent by the Marquis Spinola.
His Excellency promises that whether the princes of Brandenburg and Neuburg agree or no, he will not make any attempt whatever against Santen, he will not replace the garrison there, which is being removed by reason of the assembly to be held there to negotiate upon an accommodation between the said princes. Moreover, the Marquis of Brandenburg promises that he will not do anything against the said town on his side, or replace the garrison.
Given at the camp at Rees, 10 October, 1614.
Enclosed in the preceding Despatch. 468A. Translation of the above.
Enclosed in the preceding Despatch. 468B. Copy of the statement of His Excellency, in order not to bind himself for others. His Excellency promises to attempt nothing against the town of Xanten during the time of the negotiations, and if the differences between the princes are not settled, he will do nothing to prevent the garrison of the Marquis Spinola from re-entering the said town.
Dated at the camp at Rees, the 10 October, 1614.
Oct. 31. Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Inghilterra. Venetian Archives. 469. Antonio Foscarini, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The ambassador of Spain told me that the affairs of Cleves do not concern him, that the ambassador of the Archduke is the one who has assured the king of the restitution. He certainly told His Majesty to believe him, and showed him a letter of the Archduke, but nevertheless he holds no commission. He added afterwards that even if Juliers is not restored, it will not matter much, as the same will be done with Wesel. That Juliers was between two forces and exposed on the side of Germany; he used the very words which he employed on the first day, that as soon as the rains cease Juliers will be closely beset, and even now it is besieged.
The ambassador of Brandenburg has assured me repeatedly that he has little hope of an agreement, and after the differences of Cleves have been settled there will remain Aix la Chapelle, upon which the princes will make a stand; that in the union at Heilbronn a resolution was taken upon this point, and afterwards the landgrave of Hesse determined on the same line of action, and all the others were influenced by his example; that the execution of the ban originated with the Spaniards, against whom he displayed his resentment to me, without making any complaint against the emperor.
I have been told that the Count of Scarnafes, having received from the king the promise of 4,000 infantry, negotiated jointly with Rich to obtain twenty vessels to transport them. Meeting with difficulties in this and seeing that it would be very costly, he has gone to Holland, purposing to obtain them of the States. He was given to understand that if the war was gone on with the king would shut his eyes, and he would find a quantity of vessels which might be employed against Spain, sailing under the duke's flag. He would obtain this also in the country of the States.
I hear that he has written to his Highness to assist the confederation of your Excellencies with the Swiss and Grisons, in conformity with the instructions given him by the king. He showed a great inclination for this to me, and I thanked him and exhorted him so far as I thought fit. On all sides I hear the same thing, that the duke intends to make terms consonant with his safety and honour, and if he cannot obtain them he will risk everything upon the hazard. From what the ambassador of Spain said I gather that the Spaniards give comfortable words, but that actually their plan is to compel the duke to surrender by force or through exhaustion caused by the expense, so that his case may serve as an example.
London, the last day of October, 1614.
Oct. 31. Senato, Deliberazioni, Secreta. Venetian Archives. 470. To the Ambassador at Rome.
We learn by letters from England that the king has asked the ambassador of the States to write to his masters to help the duke of Savoy, thus setting up a diversion from the movements in Flanders. His Majesty has commissioned the son of Lord Rich to enlist 4,000 infantry at the request of the duke. He had spoken with resentment to the ambassador of France, because the queen had recalled the French. He had told the Spanish ambassador that he would not see the duke oppressed, and said to others that at his time he would assist the duke with paid troops and would get the States and his other allies to do so.
Make use of these advices in speaking to the pope, warning him what grave accidents may arrive, forces being amassed on both sides both by sea and land, and the king of England intending to assist the duke.
Ayes 109.
Noes 0.
Neutrals 0.