Venice: April 1615, 16-30

Pages 414-427

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.


April 1615, 16–30

April 16. Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Inghilterra. Venetian Archives. 757. Antonio Foscarini, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
On Wednesday the ambassador of Brandenburg had audience of the king at Hampton Court, as I wrote he was to do. He told His Majesty that the betrayal of Goch and the other places had been confirmed; that subsequently the Spaniards have taken possession of Syburgh, and these are sure signs that they do not think of restoring Wesel or the other places already occupied, as if they had such intentions they would not make fresh acquisitions; that it was time to take a resolution; that the Elector thinks it a matter of indifference whether the treaty of Santen is carried out or no; that he had taken a part in it to please His Majesty and the king of France; he ended by saying that his master wished to know whether His Majesty wished to begin to help or whether by so much procrastination he wishes to make the world believe that he has abandoned the protection of his friends and allies.
The king replied that the ambassador Wotton had reported the truth of the betrayal of Goch and other places; he seemed greatly displeased about Syburgh as well as astonished and added that it was quite evident that nothing good could be expected from the archduke. The ambassador rejoined that if His Majesty recognised this, he ought to show it by dismissing the ambassadors of the archduke and of Spain and by giving his subjects licence to arm; that the States were ready to join and so were the princes on their part, that His Majesty could do this without any inconvenience. The king objected that he had no reason for dismissing the ambassador of Spain, because the Catholic King has promised to restore everything and to do so without any document; that at Brussels the Imperial ambassador is performing evil offices and is turning everything upside down. The ambassador says that the archduke desires nothing but peace, that the failure does not come from him but from the Spaniards, who are full of craft and deceit; that it is no longer the time to delay, but it is necessary to come to deeds. The king concluded by saying that if they do not restore Wesel and all the other places, he will begin without delay, that he is expecting every day to hear the reply given by the States to the archduke's document. The ambassador then asked if the States consent to promise never to return to the country of Cleves to occupy places, except in the event of open war or the invasion of these parts, or an attack on their friends, as the king proposed in his codicil, would he be satisfied. The king answered Yes. The ambassador then replied, But if they add that it is understood that this shall not prejudice the treaty of Santen in any way, which must be carried out in its entirety, what would you say? The king asserted that this was his intention, that he had always said the same, and that if the archduke was not contented with this, he would help the Dutch by beginning war. But, said the ambassador, the promise will be made to your Majesty and to France, not to others, and you must not listen to any proposals for an agreement, whatsoever. The king seemed satisfied and then showed the ambassador the resolution taken by the States, and said that in a very few days he would receive from his ambassador the reply of which he spoke and a document to publish, if the Spaniards do not accept, of the nature of which I advised your Excellencies eight days ago. His Majesty was entirely satisfied and the ambassador left completely contented. When he arrived here he went to see the ambassador of the States, to whom he imparted the whole. He afterwards sent an account to the Elector and the Hague by express courier. He told me a great part of what I am writing; the remainder I have from a safe quarter.
London, the 16 April, 1615.
April 16. Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Inghilterra. Venetian Archives. 758. Antonio Foscarini, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
On the 25 and 26 ult. the propositions of the two kings of which I spoke were laid before the assembly of the States. Shortly afterwards they gave their reply, of which I also sent word, and sent it to their ambassadors here and in France. On Friday their ambassador saw the king, presented their reply in writing and spoke in conformity; His Majesty expressed his entire satisfaction. On the following day a gentleman sent by the Ambassador Wotton arrived here with a copy of the same document and all particulars with regard to the affair, and what is thought about it, namely war, for which they are preparing.
On Monday morning the ambassador of the archduke went to see the king's secretary and had a long discussion about this. His Majesty afterwards sent for him after dinner on the same day the better to understand and to make known his own wishes. He told him about the document, let him see it, and asked for his opinion. The ambassador replied that he did not know how it would please the archduke, that His Highness might possibly accept if to the words about open war they added others saying or manifest invasion, but nothing of what followed. The king addressed him strongly in many different ways, but could get nothing more from him except that the wishes of His Highness will soon be known, and he will not neglect his good offices.
Late on Monday the ambassador of Brandenburg visited His Majesty's secretary and asked for the resolution. He said that the States had done what he recently promised to the king, so that now there remains nothing except for the archduke to agree or for His Majesty to make the declaration which he has promised. He received the reply that this would be done, but that it was necessary to await the archduke's decision, which cannot be long delayed; that his ambassador declares his belief that he will agree, even to the words about invasion; this seems no small thing, but soon the truth will be known.
It is certain that the States desire war, and in order to involve the king here in it, they have made the reply which I report, on the supposition that the archduke, having refused once the king's codicil, which is part of that reply, will not accept it, and their refusal to accept the clause, saving the Imperial dignity, and their insistance upon the complete effectuation of the treaty of Santen, which is obnoxious to him, cannot be embraced by His Highness. In order to make their cause appear just to the world, they have had the document in reply printed; in it, with great art, they make no mention of the treaty.
His Majesty is doing everything that he can that peace may ensue; but the whole Court considers it certain that the Spaniards will not consent or make restitution, and the issue of these prolonged negotiations is expected soon. I enclose copies of both documents, with translations.
London, the 16 April, 1615.
Postscript. I hear that the ambassador of the States in France having presented their reply, the words of the codicil of the king here have not given satisfaction, as they think them unnecessary.
Enclosed in the preceding Despatch. 759. Upon the proposition made by the kings of France and Great Britain to the States General to the United Provinces of the Low Countries, by MM. du Maurier and Wotton, ambassadors of their Majesties, on the 25th and 26th inst., demanding certain promises both from the archduke and the States for the execution of the treaty of Zenten:
The said States, after mature deliberation, humbly thank their Majesties for their care for the general peace, and since the conclusion of the treaty of Zenten many things have taken place to the injury of the authority of their Majesties and to the damage of the Low Countries, and though the States consider that nothing more can reasonably be asked of them; nevertheless, they agree to conform to the promise as drawn up by their Majesties of France and approved by the Majesty of Great Britain with a slight addition, provided that the archduke make the same promise on his side; and they understand moreover that nothing in the treaty of Zenten shall be prejudiced by such promises, as they are confident that their Majesties, the Electors and United Princes will effect the execution of that treaty.
Enclosed in the preceding Despatch. 760. Translation of the above.
Enclosed in the preceding Despatch. 761. We, , in conformity with promises made to the kings of France and Great Britain undertake to withdraw all our troops from all the towns and places occupied in the country of Juliers, Cleves, Berg, la March, Ravensberg, and Ravenstein, under any pretext whatsoever, on the day of of this year, to entirely evacuate the country by the end of that month without doing any harm thereto, and our troops shall not re-enter upon any pretext whatsoever, except in case of a new open war or other invasion made on our friends either within or without the said country, in which case it shall be permissible to succour such friends as we may judge best.
Enclosed in the preceding Despatch. 762. Translation of the above.
April 16. Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Inghilterra. Venetian Archives. 763. Antonio Foscarini, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
On Friday, the 10th inst., the secretary of the Ambassador Carleton was here. He made the journey from Turin in nine days and stopped in Paris for one of them, in order to request the departure of the Duke of Mayenne (Umena). He brings word that the negotiations of the ambassador with the duke, the disposition of His Highness to give every satisfaction to Spain, the letters written by the ambassador to the governor, the reply received that it was no longer the time and that the orders of the Catholic king to invade the duke's country must be executed, the resolution to take the field to defend himself; that he is printing a manifesto with his reasons, and will moreover publish all the letters and ordinances which have issued from Spain against him and were intercepted, various proposals for a closer union with this crown and its allies, and also various requests for assistance. Now that the need is pressing the secretary has recently seen the king several times, and discussions have been held upon the matter in the Council of State.
On Monday the king's secretary told me a part of the things of which I am writing. He then added that His Majesty had caused the 100,000 crowns to be paid in France, and by being the first His Majesty has set an example to those who are nearer and more interested than he is; that the duke desires to be included among the allies of this crown, and there can be no difficulty in this; and he has made known this wish of his to the States and the United Princes and used his utmost endeavours to induce all to assist His Highness, as they will do; that the Ambassador Carleton will soon return to your Excellencies, because since the governor of Milan has absolutely refused to treat for an agreement, he has nothing further to do in those parts. I understood clearly from his remarks that he will readily propose to your Excellencies an alliance with His Majesty and his other allies for the defence of the duke, or some other means of preventing his destruction. He told me that His Majesty hopes most fervently that your Excellencies will join in such a good work, which cannot be better begun than by a union for defence. He charged me to represent this to your Excellencies, as I now do. The secretary of the ambassador will remain at Turin instead of the agent, who has already received permission to return home.
The ambassador of Brandenburgh told me that the king's secretary has charged him to write to the Elector and to the Dutch informing them of the duke's wish to be included in the union, and of His Majesty's desire to receive him. He also told them about the help in money already paid and asked that the princes and the States would also do the like. He wrote immediately.
This morning Carleton's secretary has been to see me. I gathered two things from his remarks which appear to me to be essential, one is the forces upon which the duke relies, and the other is what the king is determined to do. With regard to the first he told me that besides the forces in being and the Savoyards which he has called out, which are all good troops, there are 6,000 foot and 1,000 horse of the duke of Mayenne (Umena), 2,000 offered by M. de Montagni, a Frenchman, 2,000 from Lesdiguieres (Digeres) and 2,000 which Count John of Nassau promises to bring from Holland. With regard to the king, he has paid 100,000 crowns up to the present, which is a good beginning; he will continue to pay a like sum and induce his friends and allies to do the same; that in passing through Paris, in conformity with the orders of His Highness, he had urged the ambassador to discover the intentions of the duke of Mayenne, that he had reported him to be most anxious to go, that he was only awaiting the decision of the queen. Even if this is contrary, it will not stop him, because he holds fiefs of Savoy and in his opinion the honour and service of France are concerned not to allow a free and neighbouring prince to fall under the violence of Spain; that the troops were for the most part ready and near the frontiers, and that nothing was lacking except the money to pay them, which will arrive most opportunely; that the person of the duke of Mayenne will bring great reputation to Savoy, as he is a nobleman of great following and a high reputation in France.
On Tuesday a courier was sent to the ambassador in France with letters for Savoy also. The secretary has written at great length about his negotiations.
The count of Scarnafes is expected. He will have stopped three or four days only at Paris, to prefer requests. On his arrival and with the coming of the letters which are expected soon, a definite resolution will be taken with which the secretary will return to Turin, to stay there.
Yesterday evening, while visiting the churches, I happened to meet the Spanish ambassador both at his own house and in the residence of your Serenity. I could not refrain from seizing the opportunity of remarking how dangerous to his king and to the whole province this fighting in Italy must be, as I have done upon various occasions. He answered courteously, saying that he wished for peace and promised to make representations not only to the governor but to the duke of Lerma and to His Catholic Majesty himself. He told me that he had done so four days ago.
London, the 16 April, 1615.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
April 16. Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Spagna. Venetian Archives. 764. Francesco Morosini, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.
The Protestant princes of Germany grow daily more uneasy owing to their suspicions of the Spanish forces both in Flanders and in Italy. They have therefore applied again to the king of England, begging him to see that the king here does not attempt anything against them. The English king, in addition to assuring them that he had the promise of the Spanish ministers, has sent an express courier to his ambassador directing him to treat with the king and with the duke of Lerma. He has executed this commission and been told that the object of His Majesty is peace and he does not intend to attack any one soever. The English ambassador seems perfectly satisfied with this reply, and has sent word that such are really the intentions of the king here.
In the name of his king he has presented to His Majesty some white falcons, considered very rare, and some gerfalcons, showing that both these crowns propose to pursue their ends and interests, while exchanging signs of cordiality with each other.
Madrid, the 16 April, 1615.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
April 21. Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Napoli. Venetian Archives. 765. Gasparo Spinelli, Venetian Resident at Naples, to the Doge and Senate.
Orders have been withdrawn for the departure of the three captains, sent by the viceroy for the surprise of Nice or Villafranca, a plan of Don Carlo Doria which he said would be very easy. The plan has now been entirely abandoned, as its details have been discovered.
Naples, the 21 April, 1615.
April 22. Consiglio di X. Parti Secrete. Venetian Archives. 766. Fresh proposal to give a safe conduct for two years to the Baron Francesco Furietti, which was left undecided on 16 February last.
Ayes 13. 13.
Noes 3. Second vote 4.
Neutral 1. 0.
Left undecided.
April 22. Senato, Secreta. Dispacci. Inghilterra. Venetian Archives. 767. Antonio Foscarini, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
From my letters of the 8 August, 24 October, and 7 February, your Serenity and your Excellencies will see that my condition grows steadily worse. I again humbly represent how many years I have served without respite, the disorder of my affairs by my long absence, and the little health and substance which are left to me. Your ambassadors are generally allowed to return home after thirty-two months or so, consoled by an increase of honour and the gifts received from the kings to whom they are accredited. If they return, it is after they have arranged their affairs. But I have been absent longer than any one else and have grown old and impoverished, having lost my health in addition. Sig. Barbarigo will soon have spent the time of an ordinary embassy in Switzerland and the Grisons, and I am kept on here after an extraordinarily long term in France. After a long silence I humbly represent my case to your Excellencies.
From London, the 22 April, 1615.
April 24. Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Inghilterra. Venetian Archives. 768. Antonio Foscarini, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The archbishop of Canterbury, who has the first place in the council, has told me, in conformity with what the king's secretary has said, that His Majesty has caused 100,000 crowns to be paid in France for the service of the duke of Savoy and he will also induce the others to give money. He remarked that it is a great thing to have begun, and now His Majesty will be bound in honour to continue, that the king is determined not to allow any augmentation of the greatness of Spain, and to effect this more readily he proposes to join together all the friends of the crown and bind them to each other; that His Majesty has done everything to further the league between your Excellencies and the Swiss, and he will continue to write to the Grisons also.
They have recently discussed what instructions should be sent to the ambassador Carleton, to whom they have sent, but I have not yet discovered the particulars. I hear, however, on good authority, that they are in conformity with what I wrote a week ago, and by the first ordinary I hope to send every detail. From the secretary of that ambassador I gathered that they have been discussing for some months the question of surprising Genoa and have sent to the Low Countries for ships, that the Genoese live carelessly, which renders the undertaking more easy. In speaking of the bertons for the service of the duke, he seemed to consider it beyond a doubt that at the first sign from the Duke the king will grant leave to his subjects to serve him, and an individual who has negotiated with various persons who have promised to arm, as I reported, is very anxiously awaiting the arrival of the Count of Scarnafes, in order that the matter may be completed, and he declares that those who propose to arm complain about the long delay, and are afraid of losing the opportunity. They are waiting for nothing except the king's leave and the patents of the duke.
The ambassador of Spain, in a long discussion which he had with me the day before yesterday upon the affairs of Italy said that he had sent letters to his king and more at length to the duke of Lerma, representing the arguments which I had advanced to him for the peace of Italy, as well as some of his own. They had produced a good impression, as appeared by the letters which he received from Spain, and he hoped for peace; this is only said in order that such an important matter should not be left unrecorded and that your Serenity may learn what is said by so important a minister of his Catholic Majesty.
From London the 24 April, 1615.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
April 24. Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Inghilterra. Venetian Archives. 769. Antonio Foscarini, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
That your Excellencies may the better see what is passing with regard to the negotiations touching Cleves and Juliers, I enclose a copy with a translation of the proposals made by the ambassador of France on the 25th ult. in the assembly of the States, to which they gave the reply that I sent a copy of a week ago.
After the negotiations of the ambassador of Brandenburg with the king and the reply of His Majesty, advices came from France that the queen was not satisfied with the reply and the document of the States, thinking that it would be possible to do without the codicil of the king here, and that the archduke was most determined not to agree to the treaty of Zanten. The king afterwards received letters from his agent at Brussels, from which he learned that what the ambassador of the archduke said to him as his own opinion was the will and decision of His Highness, who had a long interview with his agent and advanced many cogent arguments, which the ambassador afterwards repeated here in his audience of the 20th inst. He said that now the negotiations are for the restitution of the places and for nothing else; that it is sufficient to promise restitution and not to return to the country except in case of open war, but that in order to content His Majesty, His Highness added to the words, open war, the words or manifest invasion; but that to make mention of invasion of other friends, within or without the country, is not to the point, as this is not a peace to include friends, but simply an agreement to make restitution; that is the essential question and all the rest is superfluous. They complained a great deal of the States, saying that they do not want to restore Juliers and raise difficulties on every hand. This is because they have promised to assist the Duke of Savoy by a powerful diversion, and desire to effect it; that what they said in set terms to Count John of Nassau is very well known; that they are simply aspiring to enter upon a war with Spain and with the archduke and in such a way as to involve the king here with all his friends and allies; that the artifices employed by them in their document are easily discovered and the negotiations with Savoy are known; he said finally that this was the last wish of his master, who wanted to see the end of the matter. The king was several times agitated and very dissatisfied with the ambassador. However, I hear on fairly good authority that the opinions of France and the arguments of the archduke have left him somewhat undecided. The day before yesterday at a late hour the ambassador of Holland went to the king. Yesterday the ambassador of Brandenburg saw the king's secretary and urged him strongly to come to a resolution.
The ambassador of Spain told me clearly the day before yesterday that the archduke does not wish to put anything more in the deed of agreement than what his ambassador has said, and Spain is indifferent whether peace or war ensues. He seemed to consider it certain that the States do not wish to restore Juliers in any case; that the ambassador of the archduke has urged the taking of a resolution in his audience of the king, but it appeared to me that he would be very glad to see this affair long drawn out, so that in the mean time the result of the fighting in Italy might appear.
From London, the 24 April, 1615.
Enclosed in the preceding Despatch. 770. Speech of the French Ambassador before the Assembly of the States.
Gentlemen, I have come here to show that their Majesties do not sleep upon the matter of accommodation. In addition to their share in drawing up the treaty of Xenten, they have not ceased to use their influence to remove the difficulties which have hitherto delayed its execution. They have written to the king of Spain to this end. However, the archdukes cannot be induced to waive their objections. In order that the peace may not be wrecked upon a simple formality their Majesties propose that you shall make a promise to them and to the king of Great Britain, your best friends and allies, by which you shall assure the estate of the archdukes, from whom a similar assurance shall be taken, and all shall be ratified by the king of Spain within a certain time. The principal difficulty lies in the interpretation of their promises, but it is better to leave this until the occasions present themselves. Their Majesties have approached the archdukes and they ask for your co-operation in this affair.
Pronounced at the Hague on 25 March, 1615, by me, Du Maurier.
771. Translation of the above.
April 24. Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Spagna. Venetian Archives. 772. Francesco Morosini, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.
A very important personage has told me that the Archduke Albert has signed a document which had proved satisfactory to the ambassadors of France and England and had also been sent to the king here and approved by him, but that the Dutch seemed reluctant to accept it and he feared they meant to take advantage of the disturbances in Italy and they want to wait and see what Savoy will decide to do.
Madrid, the 29 April, 1615.
April 25. Cl. VII. Cod. MXLIX. Bibl. S. Marco, Venice. 773. Pietro Contarini, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
Gueffier has been ordered to go to Piedmont. He will take instructions to Rambouillet to endeavour to induce the duke to disarm, promise not to attack the Mantua and submit his disputes to the emperor. He will promise that if the duke's states are attacked he shall have the protection and assistance of France, but so far as I can gather the promise will be strictly limited by conditions. Word has been sent about this to Rome and to England and M. de Leon is instructed to inform your Excellencies so that all may unite to urge the duke to consent to their conditions, which the ministers here think he cannot possibly refuse without clearly showing how little he desires peace.
Paris, the 25 April, 1615.
April 25. Senato, Secreta, Dispacci, Zante. Venetian Archives. 774. Gerolamo Bembo, Proveditore of Zante, to the Doge and Senate.
Some English and Flemish ships arrived here yesterday from Constantinople. On the way they touched at Scios. They bring word that the Captain Pasha of the Sea left Constantinople last year with twenty-four galleys and was waiting at the Dardanelles until the arrival of twenty other galleys which were to join him together with those of the guard. Their destination is not yet known. Their departure seems very early.
From Zante, the 25 April, 1615.
April 28. Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Savoia. Venetian Archives. 775. Ranier Zen, Venetian Ambassador in Savoy, to the Doge and Senate.
The duke is inclining towards peace, and the affair is reduced to the same position in which it was last year. In the matter of disarming I have carefully refrained from interfering, leaving the decision to your Excellencies. The nuncio told me that he thought the pope would receive the promise in conjunction with others, but not alone. The French ambassador insists that the duke shall disarm first and absolutely. The ambassador of England says that the true way of guaranteeing the duke against attack is to disarm together, and he sees no other way of settling these difficulties, because in this manner there is no need for any promise of the princes; but I believe he does this in the interests of the Princes of Germany, so that the forces may be disbanded and not fall upon those parts, as he does not consider that sending them elsewhere is disarming.
Turin, the 28 April, 1615.
[Italian; deciphered.]
April 29. Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Inghilterra Venetian Archives. 776. Antonio Foscarini, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
On Sunday the 26th inst. I received your Serenity's letters of the 27th ult., and for the execution of your commands I went on the following day to the king. I informed him on your behalf of the conclusion of the league with the Cantons of Zurich and Berne and added your decision during the present disturbances in Italy to enlist for your safety a certain number of militia, to make levies of Swiss and of some companies of Grisons, and thus to avail ourselves of the results of the treaty. I thanked him for his gracious offices in forwarding the negotiations for the treaty and said that we hoped the peace would be maintained.
His Majesty seemed pleased, especially at the conclusion of the league and at the measures taken for the defence of the republic. He said that he would be delighted to render assistance whenever it might be necessary; that he would write to the ambassador Carleton and will send letters to the Grisons, and he asked me to tell him if there was anything else which he could do, for which I thanked him. He went on to say that to effect what he had spoken of at my last audience, he had caused the money to be paid to the duke of Mayenne (Humena) for the 6,000 foot and 1,000 horse which he is to take to help the duke of Savoy; that in five or six days the complete decision is expected, as soon as Mayenne has received the money and acknowledged the receipt of it, saying that he is going with the promised succour, His Majesty will inform your Excellencies, as he does not think it fitting to do so before some results appear. He expressed great dissatisfaction that the queen of France, by repeated prohibitions, renders difficult the passage of troops to the duke of Savoy, and does so against her own interests. He remarked that by the payment of this money he had begun to take his part and given an example to the others, and the States and the princes will not fail on their side. He said that he had already written to the Elector Palatine in favour of admitting the duke of Savoy into the union, and this will be done. He said that your Excellencies show great prudence in providing for your own safety, that the arrogance of the Spaniards is manifest, and it is well to be on guard and stand well together, or they will do harm to all. I understood that he wished to make proposals to your Excellencies to unite with him and the States and his other friends, or if this did not please you, that you should propose some other means of concerting together to help the duke of Savoy. I remarked to His Majesty that some hope of peace and agreement still remained and that peace was the true happiness of your Serenity, of Italy and of Christendom. The king replied that I said well, that he desired nothing more strongly than universal tranquillity and please God it may be obtained, but the Spaniards both in Flanders and in Italy approach an agreement and excite hopes, but will not come to the point altogether. In speaking of Flanders he said what I shall write below. Of Italy he said that his ambassador in France advised him that Sillery declares that they want the differences with Mantua to be submitted to the emperor and that Savoy shall disarm, and the Most Christian Queen promises, if the duke is attacked, she will defend him. This is something, but it is not sufficient, and it is necessary that Spain should disarm also, and with a general disarmament the duke would be placed in a position of safety and Italy would enjoy a true tranquillity, while Savoy would not be compelled to throw himself upon the mercy of Spain. He expressed great apprehension at the great warlike preparations at Milan, and remarked that they were far greater than would be required to make war on the duke of Savoy, that everyone should reflect upon this; His Majesty cherished the suspicion that they are intended for some greater enterprise. He said finally that the danger pressed in the first place upon the duke of Savoy, but that this ought not to induce the others to render less assistance than was fitting, as the duke's cause was the common cause.
The ambassador of the States has told me that Count John of Nassau has arrived in Holland. He has urged the States in the name of the duke to supply 500 light horse. They have granted him the captains and officers as well as facilities for enlisting at the frontiers, which he is doing. He mentioned that the count had brought no money with him and under the circumstances the States had accommodated him with a certain sum. They excused themselves from allowing him some of their veteran cavalry owing to the present peril in which they themselves are, with a powerful Spanish army practically at their gates. That if the war of Cleves proceeds this will be of great assistance to the duke by forming a powerful diversion, and if peace follows they will increase their assistance very considerably. In any case they will be largely guided by the example of His Majesty, and the States will not fail in the promises made to the king with respect to His Highness. The secretary of the Ambassador Carleton further told me that Count John of Nassau was to enlist 2,000 additional infantry in the Low Countries for the service of Savoy. In speaking of the duke he said that he had done what the Nuncio and the French ambassador required in order to have peace, that the count of Scarnafes will soon be here, and on his arrival resolutions will be taken with which he will be sent to Turin, to stay with His Highness in the character of his agent, and the Ambassador Carleton will return to your Excellencies. This is all or at least the essential part of what they are thinking and doing here upon this affair. At this moment I hear that the secretary of the king's ambassador in Spain has arrived here. I shall soon know what he is bringing and will report to your Excellencies a week to-day.
From London, the 29 April, 1615.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
April 30. Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Inghilterra. Venetian Archives. 777. Antonio Foscarini, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The judgment of France and the arguments of the archduke have persuaded the king to propose to the ambassador of His Highness that the differences which prevent the restitution of Wesel, Juliers, and the other places shall be settled in this manner. That the archduke's document shall be kept, in the preface of which he saves the dignity of the emperor, does not speak of the treaty of Zanten and only says open war or manifest invasion. That on the other hand the document of the States shall also be kept and the reply made by them to the ambassadors of His Majesty and of the Most Christian King, in which there is no mention of the emperor and they declare that they wish to have the treaty of Zanten entire, and to the words about open war add those or other invasion upon any of their friends whether within or without the country of Cleves, Juliers, etc. That the archduke declares further in his letters to His Majesty and the king of France that he agrees to these words about the invasion of any of their friends, in which case he means that the States shall be free from all promises, and as for any alteration in the treaty of Zanten, that it is not his intention in the least to prejudice it, but he wishes that it may be entirely carried out. His Majesty promised that the States would consent to this, and remarked that each of the parties by retaining the form of the things proposed would save his face; that the letters to be written to their Majesties shall be kept absolutely secret, and known only to those interested, while the dignity of the emperor shall be maintained. His Majesty has signed the desired letter and has used every art to persuade the ambassador. This in brief is the negotiation of two audiences.
Six days ago His Majesty sent to his agent in Brussels to speak in conformity to the archduke and do everything in order to dispose him to this form of agreement. In speaking of these affairs the king told me that if the Archduke will not agree to what has been put in writing, it is certain he does not desire an accommodation, and he had said this clearly and decisively to his ambassador. He seemed very dubious, and finally said that he expects the reply and final decision in three or four days.
By a certain agreement made between Brandenburg and Neuburg news comes that Syburg has returned to neutrality. The king confirmed the truth of this to me.
To-day the ambassador of the archduke has had audience of the king. I have not been able to obtain particulars in so short a time. I will send word a week to-day.
From London, the 30 April, 1615.