Venice: January 1615, 1-15

Pages 291-303

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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January 1615, 1–15

1615. Jan. 1. Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Inghilterra, Venetian Archives. 562. Antonio Foscarini, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The king's secretary has arranged the assignment of the 400,000 crowns, has spoken to Calandrini and Burlamachi, who together with other merchants of this mart have promised to manage the payment of this and greater sums at Lyons, Geneva, Berne and Turin. The States, after receiving the king's message, have decided to succour the duke of Savoy jointly with him, and besides what Wotton wrote to their ambassador about it, he has spoken in conformity. With this much Count Scarnafes left yesterday after his meal, and a few hours later the agent followed him post and with him a gentleman of Lord Rich, to learn the intention of His Highness and arrange for the levies. The Count carries letters from the king written to the duke at various times, and others of the queen and prince in reply. The agent carries the letters for their Most Christian Majesties, for His Highness and others, as I reported. His instructions direct him to confer in Paris with the ambassador, after having used his utmost efforts to induce the king, queen and ministers to assist the duke to an accommodation, and if this cannot be arranged to assist him by arms, so that he may not succumb under the violence of Spain. That he shall visit Condé, Bouillon, Nevers and Rohan, to whom letters are sent, and exhort them warmly to cause troops to pass to the duke's assistance, and to support in the Council the representations of His Majesty and those which the ambassador will continue in the king's name. That Scarnafes shall take part in all the offices which are performed. That he shall afterwards go to Lesdiguières, give him the king's letters, confirm him in his resolution to allow troops to pass and to do everything in his power so that the duke may not be oppressed, promising that if he does not obtain an agreement consonant with his honour and safety, he will send him help and will induce his friends to do the like. The letters written to Condé are to the same effect, and those to Bouillon more emphatic than the others. When he reaches the duke, he is to promise the protection of His Majesty, both in war and in peace; as a step towards pacification he is to offer to bring over the ambassador who is with your Serenity, to Turin, and if His Highness pleases, to send him the instructions for this immediately which he carries with him. A duplicate was sent to the ambassador a fortnight ago, so that being thus forewarned, he may set out at the first sign. When the ambassador arrives he will learn the duke's intentions and forward, as far as possible, an accommodation, using all diligence to obtain one. If the governor of Milan continues to make war on the duke, and to say that his hands are tied and he must obey the orders of Spain, he shall write and send a courier with the resolution to declare war, and shall immediately cause the 400,000 crowns to be paid in the places already mentioned, where it may be thought best, and he will cause immediate succour to be afforded by the States, who have given an absolute promise, and by the Protestant Princes of Germany, from whom it is also expected. The king has interviewed the ambassador of France and has charged him to write to their Most Christian Majesties on his behalf in favour of the duke.
The agent went to take leave of that ambassador and afterwards of the ambassador of Spain. He placed in writing the essentials of the things said to him by each of them, and gave this to the king and to his secretary. Three days ago the secretary came to see me, and before everything else he evidently attached great importance to some words spoken by the ambassador of Spain. He had the documents in his hand and began to read them. They are: that his king is anxious for peace both in Italy and in Flanders; that he moves slowly, but that after they have once acquired a thing, neither he, and still less his ancestors, have been accustomed to make restitution. He laid stress upon these words, said that they had been committed to writing and called them irrevocabilc rerbum. He said with great energy that the resolution of Spain in an important matter was disclosed. As the document was written in English, and he was very busy, and it would take a long time to interpret it, he said that he would leave it with me, and so he did. I enclose a copy with a translation. He went on to say that he had come on behalf of His Majesty to beg me to represent in a favourable manner to your Excellencies, his intention to procure for the duke of Savoy an honourable and safe accommodation, and if he could not succeed in this, to succour him and to induce his friends to do the like. He informed me of the resolution taken by the States to help the duke jointly with His Majesty, and that the United Princes would do the same. He mentioned the sum of money and said that the succours would be in proportion to the need; that His Majesty earnestly begs your Excellencies to assist a satisfactory agreement with your offices, and if they cannot succeed, to grant succours to the duke also, so that he may not be oppressed. He pointed out that with his fall would disappear for ever all hope of aid from outside Italy when anything might be attempted to the prejudice of her princes; that the Spaniards, who enjoy so great a part of the country, would, if they obtained possession of Piedmont, have in their possession the keys of the gates of Italy, and could then open or close them at their pleasure. He enlarged upon this argument and ended by saying that the king would be here that very day and would speak straight out to the ambassador of Spain (et harrebbe parlato all'ambrc di Spagna in gran maniera)
I listened attentively to everything and answered that I would make the representations for which he asked on behalf of His Majesty. I forward these to your Excellencies, with my best wishes for the new year, for the tenth time.
London, the 1st January, 1615.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Enclosed in the preceding Despatch. 563. Memorandum.
Being on Thursday last, the 13th inst., with the prince's ambassador, to see if I could obtain from him any light of His Majesty's intentions towards the duke of Savoy, he spoke to the following effect:
That I should find Italy in a happy conjunction, the agreement between the duke of Savoy and the governor of Milan being made perfect by the intervention of the French king and the pope, the honour of both, as he confessed, being deeply engaged to protect the duke from the violence of Spain. That although he had four days before received a doubtful report of some attempt made by sea upon Piedmont, yet he gave no credit to it, but if any such thing happened it would be because the attack came from Naples, where they were ignorant of the agreement, assuming that so soon as they should receive knowledge of it, they would immediately quit any part of the country which they occupied. He wished this not only for the advantage of the duke, to whom he was well affected, but of his own master, whom it now particularly concerned. From hence we fell to talk of Germany and the Low Countries, in which he seemed to pity the Prince Palatine and those of the Religion, fearing lest the contumacion and resolution of their enemies might bring forth in the spring some dangerous effect, and telling me that he had some days since written to France telling them that I was to pass that way.
From them I went to the Spanish ambassador, with whom, I fell into discourse. He told me that the duke of Savoy had yet in his own hand either war or peace, the king of Spain being always slow to draw his sword. He instanced the town of Juliers, upon the taking of which, his master besought the States to surrender it to the proper owners, which when they often refused to do, he was forced to that which followed. So likewise in this war of Italy he often entreated the duke of Savoy to disarm, and when he refused, the king of Spain was constrained to use force. Thus he concluded that as his master did not rashly attempt anything against free princes, so, being justly moved to war, neither he nor his predecessors used to surrender that they had ever taken. Talking further of the present estate of Piedmont and speaking of the agreement he denied absolutely that ever the Governor of Milan treated to any such purpose, and thereupon called for a letter in which he showed me under his hand that he was then going towards Asti to join himself to that army, the which letter, speaking no more of peace or agreement, since (which he deeply swore) he had never received any advice of the affair from Italy and was at that instant altogether ignorant of any attempt made upon the duke of Savoy either by sea or land; that he had not long before been sent unto to know whether the duke had become a reformed Protestant or no; that his answer was, it was not in his will and his opinion was that it was not in his power. In this and the other discourse he often protested that no intercession in the world had more power with the king of Spain than that of our gracious Sovereign, for whom he would do more than for all the other princes of the world together, often promising upon his honour to perform at home and in all places the best offices he might between the king, his master and the duke of Savoy.
Enclosed in the preceding Despatch. 564. Translation of the above.
Jan. 1. Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Grisoni. Venetian Archives. 565. Gregorio Barbarigo, Venetian Ambassador Extraordinary to the Swiss and Grisons, to the Doge and Senate.
We hear from Germany that the affairs of Frankfort are still in great confusion. At Cleves the States have been exceedingly angered by the pretensions of the Marquis Spinola not to restore Wesel and the other places held by him unless they would promise not to interfere any more for the protection of any of the princes or enter the country again. They only replied to this firstly that, as they were bound to defend those princes together with the kings of France and of Great Britain and the united princes of Germany, they could not make such a promise, the more so because they are so near to those states; it is also said that if the Marquis Spinola will not consent to the agreement, and to a definite restitution, they, together with the king of England and the united princes, will declare war.
Accordingly the ambassadors, who had gone from Xanten to Rees, have proceeded to the Hague. Count Maurice, having fortified Rees with seven and Emmerich with nine bastions, has supplied all the other places with the necessary provisions, the most important of which are Juliers, Hamas, and Aldenhoven.
From Baden, the 1st January, 1614 [m.v.].
Jan. 2. Senato, Secreta. Dispacci. Inghilterra. Venetian Archives. 566. Antonio Foscarini, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
In the audience which the ambassador of the Archduke had on Christmas day, he spoke of the affairs of Cleves. He gave to His Majesty a copy of the document presented by Spinola to Maurice to sign, and that which Maurice sent to Spinola, translated into Spanish and added the words in which the difficulty consists, namely to evacuate the country with all the forces in conformity with the agreement, or without mentioning it, to say that he will never return. The ambassador said that in the negotiations for disarming all the most emphatic words ought to be employed to make sure that they would not return to them, but that if Maurice and the States were resolved to live in peace they ought to make no difficulty about giving the satisfaction to Spinola, in more binding words. He went on at length to justify the Archduke, his master, saying how much he wished for peace and asserting that he is ready to effect it and carry it out, as he promised His Majesty. He concluded by saying that Maurice desired nothing else but war; that he had used all his offices with Bradenburg to prevent the agreement, that his thoughts have been discovered and his intentions known; he hoped that His Majesty desired that the peace should be firmly established, and that if it were not, it would not be embraced by the archduke or Spain. He insisted that in order to avoid war, Maurice must sign.
The king replied in general terms, showed himself ready to do what was reasonable, said something in favour of Maurice and concluded by saying that he had written to his ambassador for special and copious information of the words in dispute. The ambassador took the opportunity to present him with a copy of them and of the documents, which he had ready. Two days later letters arrived from Wotton with special information of the reasons which induced Maurice not to sign Spinola's paper. He adds that the States are now sure that the Spaniards will not make restitution, that the ambassador Reffugé has returned to France and that the States are considering how they shall make war. He relates the offices of the ambassadors of the princes, of their going, of the conclusions which they bring, of the hope which they all have in His Majesty, following whose prudent advice the States have decided, by a special vote of all the provinces and towns, to succour the duke of Savoy together with him. He says that His Majesty will learn many important things from the secretary whom he is sending, and all the particulars, which cannot be fully expressed with the pen. It appeared subsequently that the ship upon which the secretary was coming, has foundered. (fn. 1)
On the 18th the French ambassador saw the king. His Majesty informed him of the affairs of Italy and Cleves, showing their importance and the necessity of assisting in both; he charged him to represent to his king the desire of His Majesty not to allow Savoy to succumb, and he also spoke in excellent terms for Cleves. The ambassador replied that with regard to Italy, his king, jointly with the pope, had brought the agreement to a good position, and they hoped it would be effected. That if Spain meant in any event to annihilate Savoy, France would not permit it, as they were bound by honour and interest. With regard to Cleves, he expressed a fear of a serious war in Germany. He said that this demanded their attention, and all the energies of their intellects and activities. The king asked him what succours France would afford supposing Spain made war upon the duke of Savoy, and what they would do if an attack were made on the Princes of Germany and the States, all allies and confederates of France. The ambassador replied in favourable terms, without going into details. He added that he would represent to his master what his Majesty had said, accompanying it with such good offices as he had been accustomed to do.
The same day the ambassador of the States saw the king. He spoke in conformity with what Wotton wrote, showed the necessity of thinking of war, the readiness of his masters and their hopes in His Majesty, adding that they also promised to help Savoy, as I reported.
On the third day the king arrived here and gathered from divers advices that the Spaniards do not mean to make restitution, but will only give words to gain time; that the fortress of Juliers is so straitened that it cannot be relieved, that they continue to fortify and to negotiate intimately with the emperor's ambassador at Brussels. He decided to come out into the open and speak to the ambassadors of Spain and the Archduke together. This he did the day before yesterday in the presence of all his Council. The audience was a long one and the discussions heated. The king made some remark about beginning war, to which the Catholic ambassador replied, Then it is necessary to make it. Of the words in dispute between Maurice and Spinola, the king said that he did not wish Maurice to sign, because he knows that Cæsar aspires to have Wesel in his hands, in which case he would turn his arms to those parts, and he had not wished to bind himself to anything which he would be unable to keep in such a case. He concluded, after the ambassadors had said no, by saying that other words would have to be found to satisfy the parties.
London, the 2 January, 1615.
Jan. 3. Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Spagna. Venetian Archives. 567. Francesco Morosini, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.
The ambassador of France had audience of the king and spoke upon the affairs of Italy. He went on to speak of Flanders and said that their Most Christian Majesties did not understand why after all the points of an accommodation between Brandenburg and Neuburg had been arranged, the king's ministers had required that the Dutch should never enter again or make any claim. This had changed the whole aspect of affairs. Count Maurice was ready to sign the agreement, but he wished to be free to meet new emergencies by new decisions. That upon the raising of their new difficulties Brandenburg and the States had sent to inform, their friends, the ambassadors of France and England had withdrawn, and everything remained in suspense. He besought His Majesty not to allow the stipulations to be broken upon this account, but to be confirmed, as was fitting to the dignity of the princes who had had a hand in them. He also negotiated with the lords of the Council upon the same matter, and the French seem very anxious for a successful issue to this most important affair. The same ambassador told me that he thought that the Spaniards would secure as much for themselves as possible, but that if the Dutch stood firm in resisting this new proposal, as they are certain to do, they will agree to the accommodation. Here they praise the Marquis Spinola not only for his conduct of the war but for the last negotiations.
The English ambassador went to Lisbon. This offered him greater advantages for coming to the court, and he landed there because he did not wish to keep his wife and children at sea any longer. (fn. 2) The Viceroy there entertained and honoured him all the time of his stay, leaving nothing to be desired. He arrived at Madrid four days ago, and I called upon him. He received me with every courtesy and told me that the duke of Savoy had asked his master to help him; that His Majesty was most friendly to his Highness and would not allow the destruction of a prince of such valour, so anciently established in Italy, and that the Spaniards had no reason to turn against him, because every one may stand armed in his own house, and do what he likes in his own state. I replied that the republic had always loved and honoured that prince and would make known a paternal affection upon all occasions. I thought it as well not to enlarge upon this.
From Madrid, the 3 January, 1614 [m.v.].
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Jan. 4. Senato, Secreta. Dispicoi, Savoia. Venetian Archives. 568. Ranier Zen, Venetian Ambassador in Savoy, to the Doge and Senate.
With the resident of England, (fn. 3) who is a gentleman of pleasing manners, entertained here at the duke's cost, I have the best understanding, as I have with all the other ministers of princes. He often visits this house of your Serenity, and yesterday, directly after dinner, he told me that he had been to Asti to negotiate with the duke, and had sent to England a gentleman who had been here with him. When I endeavoured to discover the nature of the assistance which had been spoken about, he told me that Lord Rich will serve the duke by collecting 4,000 infantry, just as a relation of his did last year, who enlisted a like number for Denmark, simply with the king's permission, and nothing more. I said laughingly that perhaps the king would grant leave to his subjects to go and to his ministers to pay them, and no one would have the right to complain about it afterwards. At this he laughed and said that Lord Rich and the duke understand each other. When I asked him why, last year, such a cautious method had been adopted with the king of Denmark, who is nevertheless a relation of the king, he replied in all sincerity that it was in order that things might be done without commotion and also for the sake of appearances, because all princes must observe certain conventions, and that is the reason why His Majesty wishes to adopt a similar course on this occasion.
He added afterwards that he had news from Nice of the 26th that the duke's ships are in the worst condition and cannot be fitted out quickly, in spite of their instances. The duke is too slow and only sent money for the purpose at the recent feast. Orders are given in time, but they are not executed for lack of money. If they had been in a condition to leave port, Oneglia would not have been lost.
From Turin, the 4 January, 1614 [m.v.]
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Jan. 6. Senato, Scoreta. Dispacci, Francis. Venetian Archives. 569. Pietro Contarini, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
The princes and those of the religion are extremely opposed to the hastening on of the marriages, which they consider to be disadvantageous to the crown, but they see no way of opposing, because every means except force would prove fruitless in view of the determination of the queen, and the people have such an abhorrence of force that they recognise that it would be too difficult to persuade them to take up arms.
M. de Refugé has arrived from the Hague. They learn from him that the negotiations which had been completed by him and the ambassador of England, were only broken off by some Spaniards of that Council, who wished to inform the Catholic king of the importance of Wesel and how much it would be to his interest to keep it, but that the archduke and the Marquis Spinola showed the most favourable disposition towards the agreement and to the restitution of the places. He also referred to the determination of the States to make war, if the places taken were not put into the hands of the princes; that Wotton remained in the Low Countries where he was arranging for the way in which assistance might be rendered by his king, should the truce be broken.
From Paris, 6 January, 1615.
Jan. 9. Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Inghilterra. Venetian Archives. 570. Antonio Foscarini, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The king's agent (fn. 4) followed Count Scarnafes as I wrote that he would do, and they remained at Dover until Sunday, detained by the wind. The king has received letters from Lesdiguières, I believe by an express messenger, in reply to his own, promising to assist the duke in proportion to his needs.
The ambassador of France has received news, which he has imparted to His Majesty, that the Most Christian Queen, having learned by the letters of the Marquis of Rambouillet of the firmness of the governor of Milan in refusing the agreement and in making war, as he says, by the orders of Spain, has sent two couriers, one after the other, to the Catholic king, to make representations. Meanwhile she has ordered Lesdiguières, Grande and Alincourt, who govern the neighbouring provinces, to be ready to allow armed men to pass to help the duke if he is attacked by the governor, in conformity with the requests made in France on behalf of His Highness.
The ambassador of His Majesty writes that the queen and council were induced to take this resolution by the influence of Condé, Bouillon and Nevers, who now have seats in it. He also relates his offices with their Majesties, with the Princes and with Villeroi, in favour of the duke.
Besides what I wrote the king promised Scarnafes to allow his subjects to serve the duke with armed ships, and if the war against His Highness proceeded, to grant them permission to use certain munitions and arms now in the Arsenal, without payment, but to pass under the duke's flag. A relation of Rich, a captain of great reputation, has promised to arm two bertons, the Vice-Admiral of Plymouth has promised to arm eight and some merchants have joined together for at least as many. As the expenditure of 80,000 crowns has been decided upon, there will be many others yet, and they are only waiting to see whether the Spanish armies are determined to make war on the duke in any event. The patent of the king will run, that he permits his subjects to serve other princes, and afterwards they will secretly prevent them from serving any one but His Highness. The patents of the duke will be the same as the late queen granted, of which Scarnafes has brought a copy with him to make use of here, with the seal and signature of His Highness and with the names of the captains and the number of vessels in blank. Their tenour is that they grant licence to prey upon all manner of Spanish ships as enemies; will serve under his flag, both on land, in free ports, Nice and Villafranca, without paying any imposition or custom, except ten per cent. of all booty, as was done in the time of Queen Elizabeth.
I hear on good authority that the idea of the king is that the assistance afforded to the duke shall be such that if it comes to open war, he can begin by carrying the war into the state of Milan and free his own county from attack. He habitually expresses himself in very uncomplimentary terms with regard to the Catholic king, calling him a faithless prince, blaming this action of his against the duke, and saying openly at his meals and on other public occasions that the duke shall not fall, that he will give him a hand and will have quite enough power to support him. All this is heard with applause and general satisfaction (proferisce d'ordinario altissimi concetti a suantaggio del Cato. chiamandolo Prencipe senza fede, biasimando questa sua attione contra il Duca, et diccndo ad alta roce nel suo desinare, et in altri tempi publicamente, che il Duca non caderà che le darà la mane, che harrà ben forza di sostenerlo; il che rien ascoltato con applauso et contento universale).
These last days the king has received letters from Gabaleone, which have induced him, to increase his preparations. The succours of the king, States and United Princes will be at least 12,000 infantry, besides a great number of adventures, who are manifestly eagerly waiting the news of a rupture before they start, in addition to the armed vessels of which I wrote and others which are arming.
Count John of Nassau, in discussing with Maurice the diversion which the States are preparing to make in the West Indies to the forces of Spain, impressed upon him in the duke's name that the best diversion should be in Spain itself, now emptied of people, where, after the departure of such a great number of Moors, they will need a long time and have great trouble to collect even a moderate body of soldiers.
At Cleves and in Germany preparations are going forward for active and universal war in the spring, as I shall relate more in detail in my next. I beg to acknowledge the receipt of your Excellencies' letter of the 29 November.
London, the 9 January, 1615.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Jan. 9. Senato, Secreta, Dispacci, Inghilterra. Venetian Archives. 571. Antonio Foscarini, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The last words of the king to the ambassadors of Spain and the Archduke were that they would have to find some satisfactory phrases to arrange peace at Cleves. Two days later the Secretary sent to the ambassador of Spain, where the other one was also. He gave them the words in writing instead of a reply. The ambassador of Spain began to complain of some ship or other that had been robbed. The Secretary said that he had no commission for this; that the king did not wish to take them by surprise. That they ought to consider the matter all day and night, and to come to His Majesty on the following day to ratify or give reasons why they should not do so. They came and spoke very roundly, as I shall relate further on. These two audiences being of the utmost importance I have thought fit to communicate the entire purport to your Excellencies.
The king summoned the ambassadors to audience, as I reported. When they reached the gallery of the Council, whom they found all assembled, His Majesty said that ambassadors usually ask audience of kings, but this time he had willed that the king should summon the ambassadors. He asked them for what reasons the agreement of Cleves had not been carried out. The ambassador of the Archduke replied, because Maurice would not sign the words proposed by Spinola. The king said that Maurice was ready to sign and ratify everything that had been settled in the agreement that to ask for more is to seek for difficulties and that this might lead to an outbreak of war. The ambassador of Spain contended that it was necessary for Maurice to sign the same thing which Spinola offered to do, and that as for war, if it was begun, they would have to make it. Warm words followed upon this, after which the king asked them what was the emperor's intention with regard to Wesel, that if he was going to take possession of it as Maurice declared, the latter could not bind himself to what he could by no means abide by. They said that it was not so, and His Majesty being somewhat undecided, asked them that if satisfactory words should be found would they promise the restitution of Wesel with all the rest. They answered, Yes, and His Majesty made them repeat it two or three times, telling to those who were present to mark it well. He then added that he would find them, that if the States were not satisfied he would have no more to do with them; that his influence with France was not so slight but that they would be induced to follow his example and adopt his advice as well, and he protested that if Spain failed, he would wage incessant war and would rouse all his allies against her (fece il Re chiarmare all' audienza detti ambasciatori, come avisai. Gionti alla galeria del Consiglio, che troveron tutto unito, disse Sua Maesta che d'ordinario sogliono li ambasciatori dimandare audienza a i Re, che questa rolta haveva roluto che chiamasse il Re gli ambasciatori; dimandò loro, per qual cagione lo accordo di Cleves non havera effetto. Respose l'ambr' dell' Arciduca, Perche Mauritio non voleva sottoscrivere le parole proposate dal Spinola, Disse il Re, che si contenta Mauritio di sottoscrivere et ratificare quanto si è stabilito nello accordo; che il voler di vantaggio, è cercar dificoltà, che questo potrebb'esser cagione d'un principio di guerra. Concluse l'ambr' di Spagna, ch' era necessario che Mauritio sottoscrivesse lo stesso, che si offeriva il Spinola di fare; et che quanto alla guerra se si fosse incominciate, harrebbe besognato farla; et sopra ciò seguirono parole agitate. Dopò lor demandò il Re dell' intentione di Cesare quanto a Vuesel; che essendo di impadronirsene com' afferma Mauritio, non può egli obligarsi a ciò che non potrebbe in alcuna modo mantenere. Dissero non esser tale, et restando Sua Maesta sospesa alquanto lor soggionse, si trovandosi parole di sodisfattione promettevan la restitutione di Vuesel con tutto il rimanente. Risposero che si, gli lo fece repplicare la Maesta Sua due e tre volte, dicendo a'quelli, ch'erano presenti, che sentissero; aggionse poi, ch'ella le harrebbe trovate, che quando i Stati non ne fossero contenti, si sarebbe sbracciato da loro; che non haveva si poca autoritò con la Francia, che non dovesse imitare il suo escmpio, et seguitar anco il suo consiglio, ma che mancandosi dalla parte di Spagna, protestara che gli harrebbe fatta la guerra a perpetuità, et harrebbe suscitato tutti i suoi confederati contra di essa). The king made them promise again, and on the following day held a Council; on the day after, he sent the Secretary, and the third day, when the ambassadors came to see him, he asked them to sign the words. They replied that they had no authority to do so, but that they would send immediately and they hoped for a favourable answer. The king became angry, and said that they had given their promise and that they had no right to do so without authority, that this writing was nothing else but a device in order to gain time; that they always negotiated deceitfully, and he knew right well that they did not mean to surrender Wesel, or anything else; that he would break off friendly relations and make war; that Spain will meet with more opposition than she looks for; and that if he is compelled to enter upon it, it will not be finished so soon (il Re s'alterò dicendo che le haverano promesso, che non dovevano prometterle se non havevan auttorità; che lo scrivere altro non era ch'un artificio per guadagnar tempo; che si è trattato sempre con inganno, che benissimo conosceva che non si roleva render Vuesel, ne alcuna altra cosa; che pero romperà Vamicitia, et si fara la guerra; che Spagna troverà maggior incontro che non crede; che poiche vien constretto a incominciarla, non si finira cosi tosto). The ambassador of Spain replied with considerable heat, and said that he would leave His Majesty's kingdom at the first hint, that for the rest, it was for the king to do as he pleased.
On the following day, at the first audience, the same ambassador came to see me, and remained with me nearly the whole day in conversation. He seemed to believe that complete satisfaction would not be given from this side, and said, that in any case the States would have to give security to make restitution. He asked me if I knew that Wesel was besieged, and said that it would certainly fall in a short time.
London, the 9 January, 1615.
Jan. 12. Senato, Secrets. Dispacoi, Savoia. Venetian Archives. 572. Ranier Zen, Venetian Ambassador in Savoy, to the Doge and Senate.
I have had an interview with Father Isidore. In the course of the conversation he said, that your Serenity ought to make it clearly understood that you will not allow the duke to be oppressed. That the best method at present of diverting the dangers which threaten Italy was to hinder the marriages and assist the princes. He told me in great confidence that the princes have begged the duke to put off disarming for the whole of January, and they hope that it your Serenity shows some warmth, and as the duke is doing his share, matters will go well and the marriages will not take place. We are safe in Italy, because the States, England and the Princes of Germany have all promised to help the duke, but the States in particular.
From Turin, the 12 January, 1614 [m.v.].
[Italian; deciphered.]


  • 1. John Chamberlain in writing to Sir Dudley Carleton on 22 Dec. 1614, o.s. says: It is doubted that his [Wotton's] secretary Mountford, the doctor of physic's son, is cast away coming from Flushing.' Birch, Court of James I, i. page 355. Wotton himself, writing on 29 Dec. o.s. says that he then had certain particulars of the loss of his secretary, who perished through the swagging of corn' to the lee side of the ship. State Papers. Foreign. Holland.
  • 2. Digby intended to land at Santander, but was driven by a storm to Lisbon. See Digby's own letter of 20 November, 1614, o.s. State Papers. Foreign. Spain.
  • 3. William Parkhurst, who was left at Turin on the departure of Albert Morton.
  • 4. Albert Morton.