Venice: June 1615, 21-30

Pages 484-503

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

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June 1615, 21–30

June 21. Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Spagna. Venetian Archives. 874. Francesco Morosini, Venetian Ambassador in Spain to the Doge and Senate.
There are so many corsairs infesting the whole coast of Spain both within and without the Mediterranean, that in order to provide a remedy against their depredations a royal licence has been published that any native of these kingdoms may arm ships and go privateering. But it is thought this measure will not suffice, especially as there is one pirate (fn. 1) who has eight well armed ships under his command, while on the other hand the people here have no such facilities for arming or such experience of privateering.
Madrid, the 21 June, 1615.
June 22. Senato, Secreta. Deliberazioni. Venetian Archives. 875. To the Ambassador at Turin.
We understand by your letters of the 16th to the 18th inst. arrived here the day before yesterday, the execution of our instructions sent on the 11th with regard to the promise. With regard to the desire expressed by His Highness, the prince and the ambassador of England that the promise be made in writing by them and us, which they think would be more effective, we have to say that if His Highness is satisfied with a verbal promise alone, that must suffice, but we are so anxious for a settlement that we are willing to give the promise in writing in one of the two following cases, first that if the pope promises in writing and you are asked to do so, or else, if you are very much importuned and told that a refusal may delay or imperil the agreement, even if the nuncio does not sign, you will then make a declaration to His Highness in the form given below and then sign, observing all the instructions previously sent by us on the 11th. The declaration will run as follows:
I. N. concur in the arrangement and promise in the name of the Signory of Venice that if the Spaniards break the treaty and attack the duke after he has disarmed, the republic together with the crown of France and the other signatory princes will take part in his defence.
You will tell the duke that it is an unusual thing for us to bind ourselves by writing, as our word has always been sufficient, but that we are so anxious for peace and his welfare that we have wished to do something out of the way in order to prove it.
That this be sent post.
Ayes 120.
Noes 0.
Neutral 11.
June 22. Senato, Secreta. Deliberazioni. Venetian Archives. 876. To the Ambassador at Turin.
We believe that the duke will be satisfied by our verbal promise. If this is so, we do not wish to depart from our usual practices, and we therefore direct you to put off requests for a signature as much as you can by your prudence. This is in order to show our opinion about the signing, and we hope that you will continue to avoid it as prudently as you have done hitherto.
Ayes 54.
June 22. Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Milano. Venetian Archives. 877. Antonio Antelmi, Venetian Resident at Milan, to the Doge and Senate.
Two days ago M. de Rambouillet presented to the duke of Savoy his final instructions from the Most Christian King, and took leave in the presence of the other ambassadors, as he would not wait while the duke made replies upon points which he knew would not be changed. Though begged by His Highness to stop, he refused, but the ambassadors of England and the Republic went, and after much trouble persuaded him to stay until the 21st, by which time they succeeded in inducing the duke to sign the articles presented by Rambouillet at 2 o'clock at night.
The camp under Asti, the 22nd June, 1615.
June 22. Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Savoia. Venetian Archives. 878. Ranier Zen, Venetian Ambassador in Savoy, to the Doge and Senate.
All the ambassadors met at the usual place on the day after the articles had been approved. The duke had added the words, this side of the mountains. To this the French ambassador objected. While we were disputing over it the duke arrived, and, calling England and myself aside, asked our opinion. After some discussion the ambassador of France still insisted that the article should stand unaltered. The duke mounted and rode off, determined that the words he had inserted should stand or that he should be left free with regard to the number of subjects for his defence. When the ambassador saw him leave he said to me, this man will not give me audience, let us go and take leave of the prince. He also called England, who was coming towards us, but when he saw that the prince was conversing with the nuncio, he excused himself and remained behind. The French ambassador in a low, quiet but tremulous voice asked leave to return to France. The prince said it would be a pity to break off everything upon a matter of such small importance. After some discussion in which the nuncio and I joined, the ambassador demanded audience of the duke for to-morrow morning. The ambassador then went off to his lodgings. The prince thanked us for our good offices, and so we all three went off together, the English ambassador having already departed.
The Savoyard camp at Varie outside Asti, the 22 June, 1615.
June 23. Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Savoia. Venetian Archives. 879. Ranier Zen, Venetian Ambassador in Savoy, to the Doge and Senate.
I thought everything was broken off by this departure of the ambassador. The nuncio proposed to go and see him, but for my part I thought it best not to do anything special until I knew the duke's wishes. Accordingly early the next morning I sent to His Highness. He sent back word that he would be glad of my offices and that he wished to see England and myself at the usual place. On the road we met France, who was going to take leave. He got into our carriage and told the English ambassador what had happened the previous evening, and that he had made war on the duke, to use his own words. He said the duke wished to keep an army on foot to trouble others and that the queen was determined he should disarm. The duke did not appear, but sent many messengers with various excuses, but really, I believe, because he would not give audience to France. The French ambassador declared that he would leave the next morning whether he had audience or no. He insisted upon the retention of the article unaltered. We represented that the peace was already as good as concluded, and he would be leaving the glory of arranging it to others. This moved him, and so at one o'clock at night we entered the convent to arrange the article. We finally agreed upon the enclosed. We left the covent at two o'clock and returned to our quarters.
The Savoyard camp at Varie, the 23 June, 1615.
Enclosed in the preceding Despatch. 880. Articles agreed upon.
1st. His Highness may retain in garrison such troops of his present army as he is able, but not more than four companies of Swiss, the rest must be his own subjects.
2nd. He may retain in garrison as many soldiers of his present army as he is able, but of foreign troops not more than 4 companies of Swiss.
3rd. His Highness promises to disarm within a month, dismissing all foreign soldiers, and for defence he must only retain such of his own subjects of the present army as he is able. He may retain four companies of Swiss, but the rest must all be his subjects.
Final statement found satisfactory by the ambassador: and infantry of his subjects sufficient for the safety of his person.
June 23. Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Savoia. Venetian Archives. 881. Ranier Zen, Venetian Ambassador in Savoy, to the Doge and Senate.
On Saturday we went to see the duke and endeavoured to induce him to give up the words this side of the mountains, but he remained firm and determined to deal no further with the French ambassador. I really thought that he did not desire peace. However, I made very strong representations to him, and finally induced him to yield. He agreed to an article which was the same that we had arranged. England and I went off with it, however, to the French ambassador, as a matter of ceremony, to save the duke's face. We afterwards took it back to the duke, who agreed to sign. We entered Asti with the duke, the people with tears in their eyes running to the gates to shower blessings upon us, as peace is greatly desired by all. We entered the palace, where two copies of the document were drawn up, one with the first three points and the other with all the rest. England has the first and I have the second. The prince thanked us warmly, as he greatly desires peace. While England was talking to Verua, the duke pointed to the article in my hand and said in a low voice: The Venetian ambassador gives peace to these states. We left, accompanied by the whole court to the Capuchins, by torchlight. There we met the ambassador and when we showed him the agreement signed, he embraced and thanked us, saying: I will write everywhere that you have concluded the peace and I am greatly indebted to you. The duke and the French ambassador wished that England and I should be the depositaries of this document, to be restored if the ambassador did not bring ratification. This would make us judges, and so we two thought it better to give this honour to the nuncio.
From the Savoyard camp, the 23 June, 1615.
June 23. Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Savoia. Venetian Archives. 882. Ranier Zen, Venetian Ambassador in Savoy, to the Doge and Senate.
Peace has been finally concluded at twilight this evening. The ambassador brought back the letters signed. The duke showed them to England and to me to see if the signature was conclusive, as the ambassador had added, or satisfaction of the ambassadors. However it was all right. Everyone says your Serenity has brought about the peace, as France was opposed and there was always some doubt about England, although he always acted honestly and sincerely, while they say that the pope did not desire peace. I have kept within my commission, avoiding a closer union with England, in which I have encountered difficulties which it would take too long to recount.
The enclosed squib may amuse your Excellencies.
The camp of Savoy outside Asti, at Varie, the 23rd June, 1615.
Enclosed in the preceding Despatch. 883. The Duke of Mantua to the Duke of Savoy.
Miserere mei domine quoniam infirmus sum.
Non est amicus noster, qui nostra bona tollit.
Mantua to the King of Spain.
Accingere arma et scutum, domine, et surge in adjutorium nostrum.
Nolite timere, veniam et reficiam vos.
The council of Spain to the king.
Exurge domine in ira tua et exaltare in finibus inimicorum tuorum.
Tempus jam prope est.
The duke of Tuscany to the duke of Savoy.
Videbunt multi et timebunt que facturi sunt hispani in partibus tuis.
Si consistant adversum me castra non timebit cor meum.
The French ambassador to the duke of Savoy.
Fiat pax in virtute mea.
Amen dico sibi quod priusquam galus cantet ter me negabis.
The duke of Savoy to Venice.
Sub umbra allarum tuarum protege me.
Non nobis, domine, non nobis sed nomine suo da gloriam.
The duke of Parma to the duke of Savoy.
Nisi conversus fueris ad obediendum gladium suum vibravit arcum suum tetendit et paravit illum.
Si exurgat adversum me praelium in hoc ego sperabo.
The Monfrini to Don Giovanni of Mendoza.
Si hunc dimittis non es amicus Caesaris.
Accipite eum vos et crucifigite ego autem in obrobrium factus sum propter vos.
Italy to the pope.
Exurge, exurge, domine, quare obdormis.
Et factus sicut homo non audieri et non haberi in ore sui redargutones.
Italy to Savoy.
Multiplicati sunt super capillos capitis inimici tui.
Justum adjutorem meum a domino qui salvos facit rectos corde.
The duke of Savoy to the ambassadors.
Omnes vos scandalum patiemini in me.
Reply of the Venetian.
Etsi omnes scandelizati fuerint in te ego nunquam scandelizabor.
Reply of England.
Et si oportuerit me mori tecum non te negabo.
Query by France.
Nunquid ego sum, domine.
Tu dixisti.
The duke to Lesdiguières.
Cadent a latere tuo mille, et decem millia a destris tuis at te autem non appropinquabunt.
The duke to the count of Nassau.
Expectamus donec veniat ressurectio tua.
Hei mihi quia incolatus meus prolongatus est.
The duke to the king of France.
Domine vim patior responde pro me.
Juvenes virgines senes cum junioribus laudent nomen tuum quoniam exaltatum est nomen tui solius.
The duke to Mayenne.
Respici inimicos meos quoniam multiplicati sunt, et odio iniquo oderunt me.
Expecta domine viriliter age conforteti cor tuum quia veniam et desperdam eos in ira mea.
Don Giovanni to the ambassadors.
Rogate quae ad pacem sunt.
Sepulcrum patrens gutur tuum quoniam non est veritas in ore tuo.
Genoa to the duke.
Amen, amen, dico vobis nescio vos.
Everybody to the duke.
Multa fecisti domine mirabilia tua, et cogitationibus tuis non est qui similis sit tibi.
Quia fecit mihi magnum qui potens est; dispersit superbos mente cordis sui.
June 23. Cl. VII. Cod. MXLIX. Bibl. S. Marco, Venice. 884. Pietro Contarini, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
Last week the English ambassador had audience of their Majesties, and began by presenting letters of credence upon the most important affairs with which he had to deal. He went on to explain the nature of his business, beginning by expressing the affection and esteem of his king for His Majesty, speaking of the confidence which existed between King Henry and the king of Great Britain, who entered upon an agreement that if either of them should perish the survivor should protect the children of the other. This led him to refer to an harangue made to the States General by the Cardinal du Perron in opposition to the third estate, which claimed that the oath of fealty should be given and that no authority should be recognised superior to the king. He found many seditious things in this, calculated to disseminate evil ideas among the people and render them more subject to the pope than to their natural lord. He would point out that similar doctrines had in less than 25 years led to the death of two kings. He went on to say that his king had been very ill dealt with by the cardinal on the same occasion, as after an appearance of praising him for his moral virtues, he went on to accuse him of thirsting for the blood of the Catholic King. However he desired no reparation but simply pointed out how dangerous it was that documents should be allowed to circulate so prejudicial to the authority given by God to all princes over their subjects. He recommended that this document should be suppressed and condemned as false and seditious.
He then passed from this point to another, the marriage of the king to the princess of Spain. He did not wish to dissuade them from it, as he thought it necessary, but to put it off until a more opportune time. He endeavoured to persuade him to take this course for the sake of his person, the present state of the affairs of the kingdom, the consideration which he owed to friendly princes and his allies. He first remarked that His Majesty could not take a wife without manifest peril to his health, as he was not yet strong enough nor of a suitable age. On the second head he said that the kingdom ought first to be more settled, as the Parliament was constantly aflame, the people discontented and the Princes dissatisfied, while those of the religion received a bad impression from so much precipitation, as they feared that their destruction was contemplated. He enlarged upon the last point, showing that the difficulties of Flanders were not yet settled, or those of Italy either, that if the marriages took place before, all parties would feel very suspicious and they would never again feel the same confidence in them as arbiters of these great affairs; that the Dutch had encountered so many rebuffs recently, the king of England had endeavoured that the French should interpose in a settlement, and induce the Spaniards to make terms, but if this alliance was concluded before, he should fear the worst. Similarly Brandenburg, who was recommended to the protection of this crown, when he found it so closely bound to the Catholic King, to whom Neuburg has given himself entirely, could not hope for much assistance from it.
The ambassador touched upon the corresponding princes of Germany and the duke of Savoy. In the latter case they had acted with great reserve in order not to give offence to the Spaniards, and had done what had never been heard of before, namely, refused Frenchmen the liberty to go and serve another. If this was the state of affairs before the marriages he would have much more cause to fear the unfavourable attitude of France after. In conclusion he said that no other motives induced him to make these representations than zeal for His Majesty. He asked for a reply so that his king might be able to take a resolution.
The queen answered little, but referred the ambassador to her council, where he appeared on the following day. He told the ministers the same things somewhat more fully. They asked to have it in writing, so that they might discuss it afterwards. He supplied this and is waiting to hear from them. I read it in his hands and have forwarded the contents to your Serenity, so that you may see that all possible means are being employed to prevent these journeys. (fn. 2) It is firmly believed that those of the religion will not let it pass without resistance, and already in Languedoc and other provinces where they are strongest rumours are current that they are getting ready and are most vigilant. The Catholics, for fear of them, are also making active preparations. Lesdiguieres is arming, and although he does so under the pretext of Savoy, yet his forces excite suspicion under such conditions.
The dislike of this hastening of the marriages with Spain is so widespread that even among the people many expressions of dissatisfaction may be heard, as well as in the conversation of sensible and prudent people, so that some disturbances may be feared in the realm. On the other hand, they speak about it at court without any doubts and do not display the slightest fear, but are sure that once the king has set out, all will be tranquillity and obedience, as was the case last year; that the princes will accept the inevitable, and before the Hugenots have decided on anything the queen will be there, and hitherto they have not been able to find a chief.
Paris, the 23 June, 1615.
June 24. Senato, Secreta, Dispacci, Mantova. Venetian Archives. 885. Antonio Maria Vincenti, Venetian Resident at Mantua, to the Doge and Senate.
They say that M. Rambouillet, the ambassador Zen, and the English ambassador have guaranteed the duke of Savoy against attack from the Spaniards. The papal nuncio has done the same, but separately, because of the English ambassador.
Mantua, the 24th June, 1615.
June 25. Senato, Deliberazioni. Secreta, Venetian Archives. 886. To the Ambassador in England.
From your letters of the 31 May and the 4th and 5th inst., we learn what His Majesty said about the affairs of Savoy, his efforts for peace, his orders for this and what he wishes us to do in the matter. We are much gratified by the expression of His Majesty's confidence and affection and are delighted at his prudence and goodness in watching over the general welfare. We therefore direct you to thank him on our behalf for what he has done and tell him that we are very glad of the work done by himself and the Ambassador Carleton with the duke of Savoy to procure an honourable peace; that in conformity with our usual practice we have instructed our ambassador, now in the camp at Asti, to work to the same end, and as His Highness seems fearful about his safety if he disarms, we have ordered our ambassador to express our absolute confidence that his interests are safe in a question in which the greatest kings of Christendom have interposed, but if he finds that it will please His Majesty and assist in the settlement, he will give our word that we will assist in the defence of the duke if the Spaniards attack him after he has disarmed. We have done this because His Highness expressed a wish to that effect and because His Majesty's ministers appeared to think that it would be helpful. You will tell all this to His Majesty with our ordinary confidence out of the singular esteem which we have for him.
We have to tell you for information only that we have given power to the ambassador Zen to make this promise to the duke verbally and in writing, but the latter only in case the pope agrees to do the same, or if the duke thinks that a refusal will imperil the agreement.
With regard to the edict published by His Majesty in favour of the Levant company, we praise your efforts made hitherto and direct you to continue in order to obtain the confirmation of the old ordinances, because the prohibition that our subjects may not lade goods in Flemish or other foreign vessels going to England, but only in our own or English ships, is a matter of great importance. We have directed the Cinque Savii alla Mercantia to report upon this and our other interests, and after they have done so we will send you more detailed orders. Meanwhile we shall have the information for which we asked in the preceding despatch, which will serve to guide our decision.
Ayes 162.
Noes 0.
Neutral 2.
June 25. Inquisitori di Stato. Dispacci, Inghilterra. Venetian Archives. 887. Giovanni Rizzardo, Venetian Secretary in England, to the Inquisitors of State.
I have heard and ascertained that the Ambassador Foscarini has frequently spoken ill of the queen in the course of his embassy and it is about three months since he had audience of her. In order to speak ok behalf of Ludovico Montecucoli, who was in this house and who had been banished from Flanders, for whom he hoped to obtain release by means of Her Majesty, he asked me to favour him in the matter and request an audience for him. He would have obtained it if she had not been somewhat indisposed of late, but as she is better he is daily expecting to be summoned. I understand that at the beginning the queen saw His Excellency willingly and treated him with much kindness and favour; but for about a year he has experienced a difficulty in obtaining audience. Sig. Niccolo Dolfino assured me that he had himself been four times to ask for an audience in the name of the ambassador before he could obtain it. I hear, moreover, that upon one occasion he went to an audience which was appointed for him and found that the queen had gone out, and he had to return home without an interview. Some, however, attribute the fault to him, because he went later than the appointed hour. Since that time he has frequently had audience readily.
Moscorno stated that the reason why Her Majesty refused to see the ambassador was because one day, when one of the queen's servants was dining here, His Excellency had spoken of Her Majesty without the respect due to her virtue and rank. This being reported by the servant excited Her Majesty's wrath. But it was more probably due to the efforts of Moscorno against the ambassador, abetted by Lady Hay, as I have told your Excellencies before, which led the queen to decide to send for the secretary frequently to play and sing before her for her recreation and to refuse admission to the ambassador. This seems clear, as since the death of Lady Hay the queen has admitted the ambassador whenever he has asked.
With regard to visiting the ambassadors His Excellency maintains a dose and I may a ld a confidential friendship with the count of Scarnafes, ambassador of the duke of Savoy. They risit each other very frequently, in turn. He maintains a good understanding with the ambassadors of the States and of Brandenburg. Since my arrival here he has received and returned their visits, and they have made a friendly interchange of information. The ambassador of the archduke claims precedence, and therefore has no relations with our ambassador. There is no French ambassador at present, the secretary remaining as resident. I have left Spain to the last, in order to inform your Excellencies that although I understand that the ambassador Foscarini has called upon him more than once, he has not cared to return the visit. I ought to add that one day last week His Excellency sent to the Spanish ambassador to greet him and say that he had some news which he would like to tell him. Spain replied thanking him for the offer and saying that he had a great deal of news which he would come and tell him; all the same he has not put in an appearance up to the present, and even if he does come he probably will bring nothing but old, out-of-date information. I do not yet know the true cause of this behaviour of the Spanish ambassador. It is said that he has let it be known that he is very well apprised of everything that is said and done in the house of the ambassador of Venice. Some think that he objects to the close relationship between His Excellency and the ambassador of Savoy, thinking that he favours the interests of the duke. Others believe that the Spanish ambassador has ceased to be friendly to this house from the time of the publication of the memorial, drawn up by Sig. Foscarini against Sig. Moscorno, which is reported to have referred to the Spaniards and that ambassador.
There is also a coolness with the resident of Florence, as the late one left without paying any visit, and the present one has never been to call. He has taken offence because he came here recently with the title of gentleman resident and expected to be received by the ambassadors. Spain and France who was then here, called on him, but not Venice. He is hurt because the ambassador never sent anyone to pay him a complimentary visit when he arrived, as is customary; in such case he would have come subsequently to return the visit. His Excellency asserts that he has acted in a manner befitting the dignity of the republic and to behave otherwise with persons who are not ambassadors is not customary. If I can discover anything further upon their relations with ambassadors and residents, I will inform your Excellencies, and I pray God to use me in the manner in which I desire to serve in this embassy. I endeavour to uphold the reputation and take the part of the ambassador now that the court is free from the reports of the secretary Moscorno, who left on the 20th inst. There are Giovanni Battista Casella, formerly steward of his Excellency, and one Leonardo Michelini, Venetians, who used to be in the house and have been recently dismissed; neither of them ever loses an opportunity of speaking evil of the ambassador or putting everything concerning him in a had light.
I grieve to add, what I must not conceal, that I hear a book is in circulation, entitled, “Sayings and Doings of the Ambassador Foscarini of Venice,” full of impertinences and malignity. They assert that the author is one Francesco Biondi, formerly a subject of the Republic, who has now become a Protestant in England and receives a pension from the king of 400 crowns a year; he is a great friend and abettor of the Secretary Moscorno, who is concerned with the book. I have heard from several that he is the author; Sig. Mario Mareli, a Genoese gentleman, told me so in confidence, adding that he wanted to print it, but not being able to obtain licence, he sent it to Frankfort for the purpose. I have endearoured to obtain a copy, but so far without success.
I think it right to inform your Excellencies of the matter of two ladies who came to mass and to dine in this house. It is asserted that it was Sig. Niccolo Dolfino who slept with one of them that night, but no one believes that they were honourable ladies, but rather that they came for the purpose, though it was never discovered who they were.
The advices sent by His Excellency since my arrival in his two last dispatches have all been obtained from his meetings with the ambassadors of France, the States and Brandenburg. I will carefully observe this and other particulars, and forward information to your Excellencies.
London, the 25 June, 1615.
[Italian; deciphered.]
Answered on 24 July.
June 27. Collegio, Secreta. Esposizioni Principi. Venetian Archives. 888. The ambassador of Savoy came into the Cabinet and said:
In letters which came yesterday I have news of the negotiations upon current affairs. His Highness directs me to impart this to your Serenity. The Marquis of Rambouillet, extraordinary ambassador of the Most Christian King in Italy having notified the duke of Savoy how much he desires that the duke should accede to the negotiations for peace, as the king of Great Britain by Sir Dudley Carleton, and the republic of Venice by the ambassador Rhenier Zen, have made efforts in favour of peace, His Highness to gratify the said king and republic, to prove his devotion to His Catholic Majesty, and to make public his desire for the peace of Christendom, promises to disarm effectively within a month from the date of these presents, dismissing all his foreign soldiers, both foot and horse, and only retaining of his present army for the defence of his dominions and fortresses, four companies of Swiss of the usual number, and as many others of his subjects as are necessary for the said defence. He promises not to attack the duke of Mantua, but only to proceed against him before the ordinary justice of the emperor. Mutual restitution shall be made of all places and things which have been taken.
June 27. Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Inghilterra. Venetian Archives. 889. Antonio Foscarini, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
In the audience which the ambassador of Spain had of the king, he told him, as I reported, that the disturbances in Savoy had not been so important as they were represented, and matters had not taken place as reported. To prove this he showed a letter of the governor of Milan, expressing the hope that the offices of His Majesty would procure an armistice and peace. He afterwards promised, with the same expressions as he has frequently employed, that the places of Cleves should be restored and peace should follow. He ended by saying that he would explain to His Majesty the motives which underlay the action of his king, and remove all shadow of doubt. The king replied that if His Catholic Majesty would give up invading the states of others, lay down his arms and enjoy his own in peace, no shadow would remain.
On the day following my last the ambassador of Savoy had letters from his duke of the 29th which gave him cause to obtain audience, which he has had. They run as follows:
The duke of Savoy.
You will see the news of the war in the subjoined account. To this we add that the two armies are only a musket shot apart and the whole day long there are skirmishes, artillery duels and fortifying on both sides, and every one remains at his post. Meanwhile our deputies are treating with the French ambassador, who is a short distance from here. We are doing this in order to lose no opportunity of gaining time so that our assistance may arrive; for the rest we know that it is nothing but a blind and that they want to inflict some harm by this treaty which they could not do so easily by war. They are unwilling to leave us the necessary forces for our places and the security of our states, although they say that they are; but they keep the number so low that it is practically impossible to consent to this, or to other points either. We have sent for the ambassadors of the king of Great Britain and of Venice, so that we may be ruled in all things by their advice and that they may tell the French ambassador that what has been told to him is not true, namely that His Majesty and the republic approve of the treaty made in Spain by the Commandeur Sillery and advise us to make terms, and that if we do not, they also will make war on us. The falseness of this will be a criterion of their intentions in the rest. However, being driven by necessity, we are reinforcing our army and hope that our friends will arrive from Holland and from France, especially now that the money which you are aware of has been paid; you will beg His Majesty to continue his favours so that we may be able to defend ourselves successfully, our cause being most just. For the rest we refer to what the count of Verua has written from Grenoble.
From Asti, the 29 May, 1615.
There was a postscript written in the duke's hand.
Beg His Majesty to let me have the assistance which he has promised and to send the money as soon as possible.
Emanuel, Duke of Savoy.
To our liege the count of Scarnafes, ambassador with the king of Great Britain, London.
This is the whole letter, or at least the essential part, so far as my memory serves. The letters of the count of Verua are of the 16th ult. They say that the Marshal Lesdiguieres advised the duke not to disarm except at the same time as Spain, or at least to see that sufficient forces were retained in the places to defend them, and that their Most Christian Majesties commanded him, should the army of Milan wish to despoil him, to come to his defence without losing time by waiting for further orders; he has pointed out that as the Swiss, by their confederation with Milan, are bound not to defend that state, Spain could not compel a dismissal, as it was for simple defence, and it would always be possible to obtain the word of the chiefs of the Swiss that it was for defence alone; that as for the subjects, certainly nothing better could be desired them than arms should be taken from them; with regard to the French, he offered to retain them in Dauphiné for one or two months after their disbanding, to see whether Spain would disarm, if the duke would bear the cost. In a postscript of the 17th Verua further says that the Marshal had partly changed his mind that night, and thought it better for the safety of the duke to insist that the army of Milan should be dismissed, or sent out of Europe; that he would write strongly to their Most Christian Majesties, pointing out that they ought not on any account to allow the duke of Savoy to succumb, and that it was necessary for the common tranquillity that the Spaniards should thoroughly disband that army. He further told Verua that whether peace or war follows the duke ought to assure his position, drawing into closer union with the king here, the States and United Princes. This has pleased His Highness, and accordingly the Marshal has written strongly to their Most Christian Majesties and also to the king here, who has been pleased at the office.
On Monday the ambassador had audience of his Majesty at Gravesend. The king sent one of the royal barges for him. He urgently begged the king that the duke might be included in the union and that he should induce the States and Princes to declare that if the duke was driven to war they would render him assistance in proportion to the necessity; he asked that the king should grant the duke 80,000 crowns, which he would have from the States in September, and to grant licence to all those who wished to go and serve His Highness with armed ships that they might do so. The king listened and applauded the ambassador's proposals. He seemed to agree and charged him, using the most friendly expressions, to put the whole in writing. The same day the secretary had a long interview with him upon the same matters which he had given in writing, and late yesterday he made a reply to each point also in writing, offering to confirm the reply if it were to the ambassador's satisfaction. He has taken time to think over it.
With regard to the question of union he says that the confederation established with the Princes and other allies shall be sent to the duke, so that it may be left to his judgment whether he shall enter, or simply make an alliance with his Majesty alone and afterwards with the others separately. With regard to the assistance, if the duke cannot have peace, this will be afforded both by his Majesty and by the other confederates in proportion to the need. That of the 80,000 crowns which the States ought to pay in September, the entire sum which they pay is 160,000 crowns, of which they are bound to pay 120,000 crowns to the garrisons of Flushing and Brill, but provision will be made in other manner if matters proceed to war. That leave will be granted to all who wish to serve his Highness with armed ships immediately after the return of the courier already sent to Turin, upon condition that they give sufficient security that they will not become pirates.
The Palatine writes to the king that some one has been to see him on behalf of the duke of Savoy; he expresses a resolution to unite with him and help him together with the other allies submitting the whole to His Majesty, who is pleased at this and has given a promise in precise terms. The same individual has gone from the Palatine to Holland with his very urgent letters to the States. They received him in the most favourable manner, told him that their general assembly meets on the first of the following month and that before everything else they would discuss the manner of assisting His Highness; meanwhile they begged him to stand firm. They sent back this person on one of their ships of war. With him went a Dutchman who does the business affairs of the duke and who afterwards came on here. He told this ambassador that he had been to each of the seven United Provinces and had found the most favourable disposition to go to the duke's assistance.
Yesterday, while I was dining, the king's secretary sent the enclosed letter to say that he would like to see me between five and six o'clock. I went, and he told me that he asked to see me by command of the king, that as his ambassador was not in Venice, but absent engaged in working for peace and the general good, he begged me to represent to your Excellencies that if peace does not ensue, His Majesty hopes that you will follow his example by supplying some assistance in money to the duke of Savoy, so that he may be able to resist oppression, that even if you will not do for love of the duke you may do it for your own and the general good; that His Majesty will not fail on his part, considering himself bound by honour and his word if peace cannot be obtained upon the conditions which he had previously told me of, to assist the duke with might and main. I replied that it was my duty to represent to your Serenities whatever His Majesty commanded.
Last week the king's secretary sent for the Resident of Florence. He pointed out to him the difficulties in which the duke of Savoy found himself and what relation his peril had to that of Italy, charging and urging him to beg the grand duke on the king's behalf to assist him with 100,000 crowns. He also threw out some remarks about the marriage between a sister of His Highness and the prince of Piedmont, in which case the 100,000 crowns might well serve as dower. He employed the same arguments as he had used previously with the other representatives of the grand duke here. The resident asked him if he spoke by order of His Majesty, and when the secretary said that he did the resident, without any further reply, sent the whole to his master by the ordinary courier.
London, the 27 June, 1615.
Enclosed in the preceding Despatch. 890. To the Ambassador of Venice.
I shall be at home between five and six this evening, and think it right to let you know.
Ralph Winwood [autograph].
From the Star Chamber, the 13 June.
June 27. Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Inghilterra. Venetian Archives. 891. Antonio Foscarini, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
I informed your Excellencies that the king had written to the Archduke upon two points, which dealt with the security of the Princes of Germany and the observation of the treaty of Santen, expecting to compel His Highness in his reply to declare his intentions and to bind himself in his letter, that is to say in writing. The reply has at length arrived. It is very conclusive upon the first point, and makes no mention of the second, as I shall say further on, and as you will see by the letter of which I enclose a copy and a translation.
In the audience which the ambassador of the States had he executed the commands of his masters and touched upon all the points which I said he would when I wrote the same day. The king seemed to be very well informed of the intention of the emperor with regard to the putting in deposit of the country of Cleves. He said that the summoning of the Elector of Brandenburg in person is not valid and it will be resisted. He grew warm upon this point. He said that the restitution of the places was absolutely essential and the States ought to fix upon a day with the Archduke. When the ambassador replied that the States knew very well that they do not mean to make restitution, the king said that at least their deceit would appear and afterwards they would not fail to use force. However the king seemed to hope that the archduke would come to make restitution. He informed him of what the Spanish ambassador had said to him, the reply that was given and of some words thrown out by that ambassador about the second Infanta of Spain for the prince here. He seemed more inclined for an alliance with France, which is being negotiated and upon which the king made some remarks. (Le conferi quanto l'Ambassator di Spagna le havea detto; la riposta fattali; qualche parola proferita dal medesimo Ambassatore della seconda Infante di Spagna per questo Prencipe; mostrò inclinatione più tosto ad aparentar in Francia sopra che si tratta, et fece il Re qualche consideratione.)
On the following day the ambassador of the archduke saw the king and repeated the usual promises about restitution. On the following morning the ambassador of the States went to the Lords of the Council and dealt with the affairs of the East Indies. It was arranged by the king's orders that the ambassador should send on the same day, as he did, to suggest that the restitution of the places should be arranged with the archduke.
The ambassador of Brandenburg solicits an audience, saying that he wishes to depart. He seems to have quite made up his mind that the places will not be restored and that all the negotiations of Spain and the archduke are simply a blind in order to gain time and get themselves ready. He pointed out to me that the archduke in his reply makes no mention of the treaty of Santen and does not touch upon the point of assuring the princes. He speaks in an ambiguous fashion, and the ambassador clearly attached little value to it.
London, the 27 June, 1615.
Enclosed in the preceding Despatch. 892. Letter of the Archduke Albert to the King.
Your Majesty's letters of the 11th ult. were presented to me on the 7th inst. by the agent Trumbull. I hasten to reply that the promise mentioned there concerns only the countries of the succession of the late duke of Juliers and was intended to prevent future attempts upon Juliers without any idea of involving therein the affairs of other countries. Beyond a doubt every one will remain free to do what he thinks best for his friends in the same way as before the promise, but without being able to take possession of any of the places of the said succession under pretext of any war which might arise elsewhere, as we do not wish that to be allowed except in case the countries of that succession fall into a fresh open war or manifest invasion. With this I feel sure that your Majesty will agree from what my Councillor Boischot informs me.
Your very affectionate brother and cousin,
Brussels, the 11 June, 1615.
Enclosed in the preceding Despatch. 893. Translation of the above.
June 27. Senato, Secreta. Dispacoi, Inghilterra. Venetian Archives. 894. Antonio Foscarini, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
After I had written the preceding I hear that the ambassador of Savoy has received letters from the count of Verua of the 30th ult. from Asti, with the news that as His Highness had negotiated with the Marquis of Rambouillet upon conditions approved by the king here, the republic and other princes and powers; he had written to France that the duke had promised to disarm absolutely and freely, and published peace everywhere. He had thus served the Spaniards, delayed the succours, keeping his friends in suspense as well as his backers in various parts, while his enemies kept on increasing their forces, and being only a musket shot from his own they were continually saluting him with artillery and they purpose to reduce His Highness to do their pleasure. However, if it be superflous to commend his diligence he reminds him to see that the money be sent as soon as possible, as they wrote, that the confederation may be closely joined and that the ships may go with what count John of Nassau wrote of. In a postscript he says that they have just received letters from the Marshal Lesdiguières in which he says that their Most Christian Majesties approve of his ideas about disarming jointly and completely, and that they should be contented with retaining the Swiss. With the letter of the count of Verua is the following document.
Yesterday and to-day divers persons have been to offer themselves to the ambassador of Savoy, to arm ships and to go with them to serve the duke. He keeps them with favourable words until they hear of the return of the courier with reports upon the state of affairs, and it is thought that he cannot be more than one or two days.
London, the 27 June, 1615.
Enclosed in the preceding Despatch. 895. Copy of a document made by His Serene Highness with the Marquis of Rambouillet.
To the request made recently by the Marquis of Rambouillet to His Highness in the name of their Most Christian Majesties to accept what the Commandeur de Sillery has brought back from Spain, that His Catholic Majesty desires nothing of His Highness except present disarmament, allowing him to retain enough for the safety of his states, that the disputes between His Highness and the duke of Mantua shall be submitted to the ordinary justice of the emperor; that His Highness promises not to offend the duke or proceed to make good his pretensions against him by force, His Highness begs your Excellency to put in writing what he is asked to do, both with regard to the three points and to all the other particulars which may concern the accommodation, according to the order which you will see upon the representations of the Marshal Lesdiguières, made in the name of His Highness, to whom His Highness has promised to consent to what your Excellency has arranged if the king of Great Britain and the republic of Venice agree.
Dated at the Capuchins, Asti, the 3rd June, 1615.
June 30. Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Savoia. Venetian Archives. 896. Ranier Zen, Venetian Ambassador in Savoy, to the Doge and Senate.
For the signing we are only waiting for the duke and the French ambassador, who only reached the city last night. I cannot say for certain whether I shall sign or no, as I have not been able to speak to the duke or the ministers since I left Asti. On that day the count of Verua came to beg me to do this, as he had been to England to induce him to revise his statement according to the enclosed paper. He said that a thousand whispers might arise and it would be well to appease the mind of His Highness and give him satisfaction. I said I was unable to read my instructions well at this moment, because of the cipher and the absence of my secretary. I asked first to see the nuncio, and in any case I did not wish to declare myself at this moment. The same evening the duke made the same request while England and I were with him on horseback, however, I made the same excuse to him.
England has signed and, as I have related, we are only waiting for the duke and France.
Turin, the 30 June, 1615.
Enclosed in the preceding Despatch. 897. Copy of Carleton's statement.
I, Dudley Carleton, ambassador extraordinary, in view of the aforesaid things and especially of the promise of the governor of Milan to dispose of his forces when His Highness disarms; accept the agreement and promise in the name of my king that if the Spaniards attempt anything directly or indirectly against the safety of His Highness, contrary to their word, His Majesty will take His Highness into his protection and give him all assistance necessary for his defence.
June 30. Senato, Seoreta. Dispacci, Savoia. Venetian Archives. 898. Ranier Zen, Venetian Ambassador in Savoy, to the Doge and Senate.
The other day in the camp the English ambassador, speaking with great friendliness and confidence, said he would like to show me something which he did before leaving Venice, in exhorting your Serenity to join with his king, his allies and the duke here. He told me that he did this rather to mystify certain individuals, and the ambassador of Spain in particular, than for any other cause, but he has never wished to speak upon that matter in this court, as he knew his king desired peace, and that he should induce the duke to embrace it, and this would have incited him to make war. He had never had time since, and so he has not shown it to me, but I think it was sent me by your Serenity at the time of his arrival here. I did not mention the matter at the time because there were so many other things to write about. Now that his secretary has come to remain here as resident he tells me he has letters from his king to deal with the following matter on his return to Venice. He said that his king is a lover of peace, and upon this occasion he wished to publish it to the world, to prove that those who thought the contrary were mistaken. He advised His Highness to make a reasonable peace such as this was. He swore to me most solemnly that his king had made the strongest representations both in France and Spain in favour of the duke, that the might not be compelled to make a shameful peace, protesting in Spain that the king's forces would move against any who wished for more from the duke. Now that the peace is settled His Majesty charges him to set on foot a defensive league between his king, the princes, his allies, the duke of Savoy and your Serenity, and he has orders to communicate this plan, firstly to me in order to obtain my opinion as to the way he should act. I kept to my instructions of 13 February last, and said that I had no commission for this matter, but I thought it would be better to go straight to your Serenity. I pointed out that if he acted before the expiry of the month and before the disarmament, this might excite a bellicose prince like the duke to some resolution which would upset the peace. He agreed fully not to speak to His Highness at present but only to your Serenity. He said this was practically the only thing that took him back to Venice, as he expected to leave in August, and he thought it was not less necessary to speak to the duke, whose ministers are already negotiating with the princes; moreover the king founds these proposals of his upon the duke's own request. The league will have no other purpose than the preservation of the princes and of the liberty of this province, as the king and princes are far away and so strong in themselves that they do not really need it.
I refused to commit myself, leaving everything to your Serenity, and you will deal with this affair at Venice. I spoke of the good relations which existed and which ought always to exist between His Majesty, the allied princes and your Serenity, but said that with princes of different religion and with different aims and interests it was best not to go further than general terms. However, I only spoke in my own name, leaving the decision to your Serenity. I thought it wise to send word at once, so that if you wish me to dissuade him or do anything else I may be able to execute your commands, as he expects to remain here a week longer. I must not forget to say that with his customary confidence with me he said that he engaged in this matter unwillingly because he knew it would not succeed, as the republic moves slowly and will not easily take such a great step, and if the king had asked his opinion first he would not have advised it. (fn. 3)
Nothing is said about Mayenne, and the count of Verua told me at Asti, the last day I saw him there, that the duke had received the 50,000 crowns from the king of England, and had never come or sent troops except a few at the beginning. Of these 50,000 crowns I wrote some time ago, and though some do not believe it I can vouch for the truth; but the king keeps it secret for his own reasons and it is not confirmed by his ministers in France or at other courts, but they always speak about it in general terms.
Turin, the 30 June, 1615.
[Italian; the part in italies deciphered.]


  • 1. Probably Walsingham. See note at page 347 above.
  • 2. Edmonds gives an account of these interviews in his despatch of 17 June. He saw the council five days after his audience of the king and queen. State Papers, Foreign, France.
  • 3. I have here sounded this Venetian ambassador touching the drawing that state likewise into the Union, to which he is well affected . . . but he showed me great reason how unlikely it is to bring the Senate at this time to a resolution in this point, they not being yet gone through with their treaty with the Grisons, Italy being full of arms, and the pope in particular having begun to raise men now all others talk of disarming . . . yet in time, and (as he said) passo a passo, he doubts not but the business may be effected, the occasions being opportunely watched and laid hold on, which may advance the same. But this will be a long work and a worthier subject for the whole course of an ambassador's employment. Carleton to Winwood, 23 June 1615, o.s. State Papers, Foreign, Savoy.