Venice: August 1615, 1-15

Pages 545-562

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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August 1615, 1–15

Aug. 1. Senato, Terra. Venetian Archives. 963. Resolution to recall Renier Zen, the extraordinary ambassador at Turin, and replace him by an ordinary ambassador, as peace has been arranged in Piedmont, and for this reason and because of the departure of the extraordinary ambassadors of France and England, it is no longer necessary to keep him there.
Ayes 132.
Noes 0.
Neutral 5.
Aug. 3. Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Germania. Venetian Archives. 964. Zorzi Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in Germany, to the Doge and Senate.
I have received the letters of your Excellencies of the 24 ult. announcing that leave has been given to the Ambassador Barbarigo to proceed to England. I will make use of this if I am spoken to about it.
Prague, the 3 August, 1615.Copy.
Aug. 3. Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Savoia, Venetian Archives. 965. Ranier Zen, Venetian Ambassador in Savoy, to the Doge and Senate.
Although all the Swiss and French have been dismissed, they have not yet departed. Marini is not quite satisfied that the duke is not detaining them at the instance of the princes and Lesdiguières, in order to first see the issue of the French marriages, the opposition of the princes and parliament, and what comes of the meeting of those of the religion at Grenoble. I also am doubtful because the duke would like to dissolve this marriage alliance, more than to gratify the princes, to whom he is not greatly indebted, Mayenne having actually received the 50,000 crowns given to him by the king of England, though he sent but few men.
Turin, the 3rd August, 1615.
Aug. 4. Cl. VII. Cod. MXLIX. Bibl. di S. Marco, Venice. 966. Pietro Contarini, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
The departure of their Majesties which was to have taken place yesterday, has been put off till next week owing to a slight indisposition of the queen. They have also delayed because they wish to know more of the disposition of the princes. Their last reply that they could not go with the king has caused a great impression, as it is thought they would never venture to take this step unless they were certain of following it up. The people at Court pretend to take no account of the princes, saying that they have no money and that as soon as His Majesty has started they will be abandoned by every one, and they will ultimately be obliged to come humbly and ask for pardon. However the fears of the government appear in the orders to levy troops, and the instructions to the governors of the provinces not to admit the princes into any of the fortresses upon pain of high treason. There is also great fear of the people of Paris, not only because the marriages are unpopular there, as they are throughout the kingdom, but because they hate the present government. The queen, however, has no other end in view than the completion of the marriages. No decision has yet been taken at Grenoble. Their votes will be taken secretly so that every one may be free, and they have expelled some whom they suppose to have been brought over from here.
From Provence special persons have come to the court to say that they will recognise no authority to be superior to that of the king, as they do not approve of their deputies who failed to accept the proposition made by the Third Estate at the States General to this effect.
Paris, the 4 August, 1615.
Aug. 5. Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Grisoni. Venetian Archives. 967. Gregorio Barbarigo, Venetian Ambassador Extraordinary to the Swiss and Grisons, to the Doge and Senate.
I have received your instructions of the 24th ult. and have come straight on to here on my way to England.
Coire, the 5th August, 1618.
Aug. 5. Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Mantova. Venetian Archives. 968. Antonio Maria Vincenti, Venetian Resident at Mantua, to the Doge and Senate.
The day before yesterday letters arrived from the ambassador of His Highness at Milan announcing that the English ambassador would pass through this city on his return to Venice. He arrived soon afterwards and alighted unexpectedly at the hostelry. The general immediately notified His Highness, who was at Porto. Orders came to remove the ambassador from his lodgings to the court. Yesterday he had audience of His Highness, who had come from Porto to a palace a little way outside the other part of the city, and received the ambassador in his travelling clothes. I understand that the ambassador made a long speech in favour of peace and presented letters from the king to the duke. He gave a particular account of the peace negotiations. He did not omit to touch upon the affair of the vassals, saying he hoped that His Highness would be moved by the requests and prayers of the two crowns. He was told that the duke had the greatest reverence for their Most Christian and Catholic Majesties, but he must also consider his own honour and interests.
Yesterday evening the Cardinal came to Mantua and so the ambassador visited him also. To-morrow he will continue his journey. When I heard of his arrival, I paid him a complimentary visit, telling him that when I heard of his coming I had not failed to acquaint His Highness with his singular merits, as I had found that the duke was not decided how he should treat the ambassador, and I remembered what had passed between the duke and his ministers about him at another time. Thus the duke has judged it well to do what then he avoided. The ambassador told me that the Duke of Savoy would continue to disarm completely, and if at the beginning he had been restive, he was now quite prudent. He added that though the duke had been determined on war, yet now he had chosen peace he could be relied on to keep it, since he had decided freely and not by force. If his troops had been in a sorry plight the king's army was in a worse, so he will not want to tempt fortune in the future, as he has already earned universal praise. He told me that he had also been honoured by the governor of Milan on his way back, who had done more than on the outward journey; in fact, if the Duke of Savoy was greatly indebted to the princes who had procured peace, the debt of the Spaniards was much greater to France, the republic and his king, owing to the state of their affairs. They ought to admit this and be thankful. Their manner of speaking about the Duke of Savoy had become more modest. He noticed a great difference from their original talk about superiority and punishment. He ended by saying that the Spaniards would not easily recover the prestige which they have lost.
Mantua, the 5 August, 1615.
Aug. 6. Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Inghilterra. Venetian Archives. 969. Antonio Foscarini, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The king has printed a book written by himself and under his own name as a reply to and refutation of the harangue of the Cardinal du Perron in the States General of France. (fn. 1) In the preface he says that he knows right well that it suits better the royal dignity in which God has caused him to be born, to rule his subjects than to meddle in the affairs of his neighbours, but that his friendship with the late king of France has led him out of pity to take the part of the king his son.
On the 19th ult. M. Desmaretz (de Mare), the new French Ambassador, arrived in London; on the 26th he had audience of the king; on the 28th, of the queen; and on the 29th, of the prince. On the 31st he returned from His Majesty, on the 3rd inst. from the queen, and to-day he has gone to the prince. In his first audiences, both with their Majesties and with His Highness, he proffered the usual compliments. In the one of the 31st, which lasted more than an hour, the king spoke to him about the book, which I have mentioned, and inveighed against the doctrine maintained by the Cardinal du Perron with regard to the deposition of kings. The ambassador applauded His Majesty's arguments and said that the Cardinal has lost a good deal, that he has given considerable dissatisfaction, but that on account of his rank no further steps have been taken. His Majesty then asked if the marriages with Spain were to be effected. The ambassador said, Yes, that their Majesties would have set out that very day. The king remarked that he thought they would have been better advised to put them off, and he had made all manner of representations for this, but as they wished it so, he prayed God that it might prosper; that he was resolved to maintain the same friendship with the present king as he had enjoyed with his father. While he was indulging in phrases of this character the ambassador took the opportunity to make the remark and receive the reply that your Excellencies shall hear later. It was generally thought that the ambassador would speak of the marriage between the prince here and the second princess, and the king expected it, but I have not hitherto been able to discover that he said a word about it.
At the first audience the queen told him that she would like to see him before he left. The day of the audience happened to be a Sunday; and when the ambassador was about to go he was informed that the time had been given to the Spanish ambassador by mistake, but that he would be most welcome if he liked to go later or on the following morning. He chose the latter.
The king left on Saturday the 1st inst. and the queen late on Monday, to go in progress. (fn. 2) The ambassador of France told me that with regard to the negotiations with the king here upon the marriages his king had told the ambassador Edmonds that there was nothing to add, and so he thought that it did not behove him to speak about them. He spoke to me of the difficulties which exist, besides those of which I wrote, in bringing the bride as far as Calais or straight here at the expense of France, in the case of the dower, of the restitution of the entire sum, or else that it be considered as lost as soon as the betrothal has taken place, and 40,000 crowns a year assigned to the princess for her life.
London, the 6 August, 1615.
Aug. 6. Senato, Secreta. Dispacci. Inghilterra. Venetian Archives. 970. Antonio Foscarini, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
Twenty days ago a French gentleman named M. de Boislorée (Buiolori) left London. He had made a long stay at the Court by the command of the duke of Rohan and in the service of those of the religion in France. He carried letters of His Majesty in reply to the Marquis of Bonnivet, the duke of Longueville and the duke of Rohan with orders to proceed to la Rochelle. Shortly before his departure the king made him a squire of his bodyguard, perhaps in order to ensure him against all danger in his character of servant of His Majesty. He went from Dover to Etaples near Boulogne and found there the Marquis of Bonnivet. They went on together to the Duke of Longueville. Afterwards he continued his journey and news has reached here of his arrival at la Rochelle. The French ambassador has received complete and authentic information of all this from the lips of the French courier who accompanied this M. de Boislorée. In the audience which he had on the 31st ult. whilst the king was saying that he wished to maintain a good understanding with France, and be as friendly with the present king and as eager for his interests as he had been with the late king Henry his father, the ambassador seized the opportunity and said that there were some who tried to divert him from this, and entered upon a narration of the things which I have just written, showing that he was very well informed. The king interrupted him and, possibly because he could do nothing else, confirmed the fact that many had had recourse to him during the general dissatisfaction which was caused by rushing into the marriages with France, but that he had reminded them all of the duty which they owed to their king and had acted in the most correct manner. The ambassador declared that Boislorée and another individual called Prévost (il Preuosto) who had come here on behalf of Longueville and Bonnivet ought to have been banished from the Court. To this His Majesty offered no reply, remaining gravely and severely silent.
The letters written by the king to Longueville, Rohan and Bonnivet were of the same nature but somewhat more resolutely expressed than those given in the instructions to the individual of whom I told your Excellencies a week ago. (fn. 3) Those of Boislorée are in conformity. It is certain that the churches of the religion of France and all those who are offended by the effectuation of the marriages, wait upon the advice and decisions of the king here, who has entire power to overthrow the tranquillity of France, and if that country remains at peace it will owe it entirely to His Majesty. The effectuation of the marriages is distasteful to him in the highest degree. He predicts the prejudice which they will cause, and at times he goes so far as to hint that by them the queen is arming against the king, her own son. On the other hand he wishes to see France united, he would like to find a means of joining her to himself, and as he is naturally inclined to peace he cannot make up his mind. He has sent the messenger and expressed the opinions of which I have written. From my own observation I find that the king speaks much more clearly to the princes of France than he does to those of the religion, with whom he is considerably, more reserved, possibly because they are a complex body. (É certo, che tanto le Chiesi della Religione di Francia, quanto tutti quelli a chi spiace la effettuatione dei matrimonii, stano pendendo dalli consigli et resolutione di questo Re, in poter del quale e assolutamente il sovvertir la quiete di Francia, che quando continui in tranquillità, potrà assolutamente riconoscerla dalla Maestà Sua. Le spiace sommamente la effetnationc de' matrimonii; predice il pregiuditio che ne verra (fn. 4) et alle volte passa tant' oltre che si lascia intendere che con essi la Regina si arma contra il Re suo figliuolo; desidcra dall' altra parte la Francia unita; vorrebbe pur trovar modo di congiongerla seco; et inclinando per natura alla pace, non si risolve; manda persona et usa li concetti ch'io ho scritto con altre mie. Dall' osservanza ch'ho io già fatto ne scopro che il Ri fà parlar in piu chiari termini a' Principi di Francia che con quelli della religione, con i quali, forse per esser un corpo moltiplice va assai più ritenuto.)
Two things exercise the minds of those of the religion, one is the effectuation of the marriages, which they consider greatly to their disadvantage; the other is that the period of the places of safety is now drawing to a close and there seems to be no inclination to prolong the term or to grant brevets and allow them to remain in their hands.
London, the 6 August, 1615.
Aug. 6. Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Inghilterra. Venetian Archives. 971. Antonio Foscarini, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The king's secretary, by the order of His Majesty, has advised the ambassador of Brandenburg to pass to Holland and to make urgent representations so that the States may give the promise to restore the places, without particulars, or to the Archduke, who will make an equivalent promise to them. He has represented to him that this is necessary for the service of his Elector, because as the king has promised that the States will do this, if they fail he will not be able to move, whereas if they consent and the Archduke fails or procrastinates, he will join forces with them to compel him. The ambassador took time, and afterwards, by the advice of his friends, decided to do nothing in the matter, thinking it becoming to act without the knowledge of His Highness and feeling sure that the States will soon decide for one or the other line of action, and therefore his journey would be useless whatever happened.
The day before last letters arrived from France written by the ambassador of Holland, who had urgently pressed for assistance to compel the archduke to carry out the treaty of Santen. He was told that it was not reasonable that so young a king should enter upon war the first, especially as he is about to effect the betrothals and receive his bride; that his masters ought to press the king here to take action, and if he began first, he might possibly be followed. The Ambassador Edmonds writes to the king to the same effect. He adds further that he fears that in France they are thinking of releasing themselves from the obligation of the treaty of Santen, and the ambassador of the States, who expresses himself in considerably clearer terms, adds that they base this upon the fact that after the treaty the king here made various promises without the participation of France, negotiating and treating by himself and binding himself by letters and word of mouth in very strict terms for the princes.
The Spanish ambassador said to me that the affair is not proceeding towards accommodation or restitution, that his king now has four armies idle, that the fleet is at Seville with 20,000 men on board, and his master does not know how to employ them, because he is at peace with all the world; that peace between the emperor and the Turk is already arranged and he has news to-day that it has been completely settled; that the affairs of the empire are in a bad state that the world must change and great disturbances arise; that the emperor is old and a king of the Romans must be provided. He spoke of the Archduke Albert first, and then of the second son of his king. He said that he is called Charles, which is not a bad name, recalling Charles V. Of the peace with Savoy he said little, without showing any sign of satisfaction.
I hear of the election of a successor to the Illustrious Morosini in Spain and successors will also shortly be appointed to the ambassadors in France and Germany. It seems to me that all things terminate except my own devoted service, of which this is the eleventh year.
London, the 7 August, 1615.
Postscript.—The sergeant major of Amiens has been killed by some persons of the citadel there, they say, by order of the marquis of Ancre. This seems important because of the despatches which pass, not only between that Marquis and the duke of Longueville, but also between those of the city and the citadel.
Aug. 7. Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Verona. Venetian Archives. 972. The Rectors of Verona to the Doge and Senate.
Yesterday evening at eleven o'clock the ambassador of England arrived unexpectedly at the hostelry della Torre in this city. We had received no previous notice of his coming. He sent a gentleman to the Podestà immediately, to ask for his carriage to go and see a garden. When he returned thence, we went together to visit His Excellency with a good number of gentlemen, although it was late, and we performed those complimentary offices which we thought fitting. This morning His Excellency returned the visit in a most friendly manner, recalling the honours and favours rendered to him at various times. Shortly afterwards he set out to continue his journey to Venice.
Verona, the 7 August, 1615.
Aug. 8. Senato. Secreta. Dispacci, Firenze. Venetian Archives. 973. Domenico Dominici, Venetian Resident in Florence, to the Doge and Senate.
There are in these seas six ships of Bizerta, which, meeting with no opposition, go about buccaneering and commit great damage. A little while ago they took a ship off Genoa, which was going with merchandise to Valenza. It is thought that they may have captured the ship Rosa, which came from London. Quite recently they took two ships of Marseilles at Monte Cristo, one coming from Alexandria and the other from Constantinople. As they were French they let the men go, keeping only the ships and their cargoes.
Florence, the 8 August, 1615.
Aug. 9. Senato, Secreta. Dispacci. Inghilterra. Venetian Archives. 974. Antonio Foscarini, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
Nine days ago Herestan suddenly entered the citadel of Amiens, summoned the chief men of the city and pronounced in the king's name that the Duke of Longueville was guilty of high treason, and that he ought to be expelled from the place immediately. Shortly afterwards, when the duke was about to go in to dine, he heard men calling to arms on every side. Accordingly he went out into the city and showed himself. After he had returned the chief men came to him and told him of the order. Some disturbance followed and he left the same day with a good number of the nobility for a place called Corbie.
After the meeting of the princes at Coucy (Cause) and the letters of Condé written on the 26th ult. in reply to those of the king, urging him to take account of the faults of the five, among whom are the Marshal d'Ancre and the Chancellor, other letters have arrived from His Majesty, very strong and forcible, advising them to break off the union and if remonstrances do not avail to have recourse to arms.
On Monday Condé issued various commissions to raise troops and also on Monday Count John of Nassau crossed the Moselle, the road being secured from the forces of Spinola by twenty-five cornets of Maurice's cavalry. Near Sedan he joined the duke of Bouillon, who has with him 200 gentlemen also on horse, and three or four hundred infantry. Tremouille is levying troops in Poitou, the duke of Rohan is at St. Jean d' Angely. Condé should join with Mayenne (Humena), who is now at Soissons, and they will pass on with their forces to Champagne, where all the others are to assemble with the bulk of their forces. On Thursday, the 6th, Longueville went on to Corbie. He had with him about 600 gentlemen and many of the people of Amiens rallied round him. On the same day Boislorée accompanied by some troops, passed to Etaples, and on the following morning, that is to say, the day before yesterday, he crossed the sea to Dover and arrived yesterday morning in the city, whence early to-day he has set out towards the king at Salisbury. Although he told me that he could give me no information before he had seen the king, yet I obtained from him a good part of what I have written, and further, that Condé is moving by the advice of the Parliament of Paris, and proceeds with great reserve; that he hopes to have with him a great part of the nobility which is now at the Court, that the going to effect the marriages was postponed from Saturday to Monday, afterwards to Thursday and there is no further news about it. I know that at Gravesend Boislorée has met an individual who receives letters from various princes and an abstract of the most important things. He has gone in great haste to His Majesty and will speak with him to-morrow.
I hear that after the Savoy settlement Count John of Nassau received orders from the Duke to dismiss the troops. Being thus free, he has engaged himself in the service of which I write. I will continue to make every effort to find out what is passing and the king's decisions.
London, the 9 August, 1615.
Aug. 11. Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Savoia. Venetian Archives. 975. Ranier Zen, Venetian Ambassador in Savoy, to the Doge and Senate.
The English ambassador made a great remonstrance to the king and queen of France about the marriage and the things said by the Cardinal du Perron. He did this in the presence of the king and queen alone. The latter was much moved at hearing him, and demanded a copy. The ambassador refused at the moment, saying he would first give one to the parliament. A copy has reached me and I enclose it, translated into Italian.
Turin, 11th August, 1615.
Enclosed in the preceding Despatch. 976. Copy of Remonstrance made by the English ambassador to the king of France and the queen his mother. (fn. 5)
Aug. 12. Cinque Savii sopra la Mercantia. Riposte. 977. In reply to the petition of Dimitri Riccani, farmer of the new custom on raisins at Zante, Cephalonia, Ithaca and this city, saying he fears he has incurred the odium of some powerful persons in those islands by not accepting their bribes to take the small sums which they might offer him for this custom, and that there are rumours that they propose to form companies to hire and freight Venetian ships for England and so avoid the custom, and asking for protection; we consider that all should pay the new custom without distinction, and although the law of 26 January, 1580, allows Venetian subjects to take away raisins in Venetian ships without paying the custom, it has been apparent for many years that no Venetian ship has gone to England or to any part of the West with raisins. If a company were formed by the subjects of your Serenity to lade ships with raisins for England now that the seas are swarming with pirates, especially about Spain, so much so that the Catholic king has given his subjects free permission to go privateering, to fight these pirates, it would probably be intended, not to favour our shipping, as your Serenity intended, but to do away with it as well as the custom. The farmer is a good subject, and has raised the custom from 36,000 ducats yearly to 48,000 ducats, we therefore consider that his request should be granted. Although we do not believe the report that Venetian subjects will lade ships for England will take effect, because we have neither the seamanship nor the experience for such a long and dangerous voyage, yet if the farmer is not protected, he will be ruined and the custom will fall into the hands of these persons for any miserable sum they may choose to offer.
Aug. 13. Collegio, Secreta. Esposizioni Principi. Venetian Archives. 978. The Ambassador of England came into the Cabinet and said:
These disturbances in Italy have prolonged my absence more than I expected. I am returned to continue my service and rejoice to find your Excellencies in such good health. I have now to give in account of the negotiations. The letters of your ambassador Zen will spare your Serenity the trouble of listening to my imperfect narrative, but if your Serenity desires to have anything relating to the negotiations which can be better imparted orally than by letter, I was present at everything and am ready to oblige you. Praise God, we have quenched a fire of considerable magnitude, the flames of which threatened worse harm if we had not speedily applied a remedy. All have shared in this work, although with different interests. All brought water, some throwing it with the left hand and some with the right. Some desired a forced peace, taking away the subsidies from the weaker party, which being violent could not be durable. Others thought it better to afford assistance to the weaker party, to facilitate peace thereby, according to a proverb which we have in our country, that two swords make peace, one sword only makes war. Some brought nothing but words; others, I now speak of your Serenity, maintained their neutrality with armed authority, rendering their offices more efficacious thereby in favour of the same end, peace, to which all marched by various ways. This worthy work must be chiefly attributed to the republic. I have already mentioned the ambassador Zen. He has acquired such reputation in those parts that no greater could be desired or hoped. If I may mingle private with public matters I should like to express my special indebtedness to that ambassador. We have been, as it were, comrades, and the duke, knowing the good relations between us, gratified us by giving us quarters together nearly always when we were in the country near Asti. When we returned to Turin I received more than ordinary courtesy from him. When travelling by Milan and Mantua I received many favours from the minister of your Serenity, the Signor Anselmi. The same courtesies were extended to me at Verona and Vicenza, when I re-entered the dominions of the republic. I know that all this is due to the king my master, but I think it my duty to leave my testimony here also, so that your Excellencies may know how your ministers have served me everywhere.
In the absence of the doge the Senior Councillor, Daniel Diedo, replied, thanking the ambassador, and saying how much the success of the negotiations was due to the authority of His Majesty and the prudence and skill of the ambassador. The ambassador replied that owing to the distance his master was away, which gave him no time to ask for fresh commissions, he found it necessary to have a rule for his operations. He had governed himself always by the operations of the Ambassador Zen and by the intentions of the republic as learned through him, thus following the wishes of his king. His Majesty desired to confirm the office by his letters, which are as follows:
Jacobus Dei gratia etc. M. Antonio Memmo, Venetæ Republicæ Duci amico nostro charissima, Salutem.
Serenissime Princeps amice charissime. Redeunti ad vos Dudleio Carletono oratori nostro commisimus, ut de rebus non nullis maximi momenti, quamque ad pacem orbis Christiani stabiliendam conducant, cum Serenitate vestro agat cui si solitam fidem prestiterit Vester Serenitas in iis quae nomine nostro tractabit, nobis erit quam gratissimum. Quod si Serenitas Vester ea quae legatus noster tractanda habet, vestroque Senatui fideliter exponet, judicabit esse amplexanda, credimus non solum vestram Rempublicam, cui fausta omnia, et foelicia precamur, sed universam Europam amplissimos inde, et certissimos fructus esse reportaturam. Datam e Palatio nostro Grenovici 20 die mensis Maii anno Dei 1615.
Vester bonus amicus
Jacobus Rex.
After this had been read, the ambassador said:
My master, seeing how a great power is increasing daily, although it has not been able to make progress owing to the resistance of the ancient Italian spirit and of modern military discipline, and seeing this power make itself the head of a powerful confederation called the Catholic league, and how it is increasing its authority by means of the marriages with France, has judged it to be for the common good to make a counterpoise to such unmeasured greatness. Already on our side a defensive alliance has been made for the preservation of the common liberty, and His Majesty has found many other princes ready and willing to enter that union.
My master knows the power and greatness of this republic and is much gratified by the good will shown towards him, feeling sure that the same disposition will be felt for his allies. He therefore suggests that it may seem good to your prudence to enter this union, as he feels that it is for the common good, and the affair requires your mature consideration. I might speak at length upon this, but I know to whom I address myself Dictum sapienti. If your Serenity decides to enter this union, His Majesty undertakes to make himself an instrument in this affair without your Serenity making any other declaration or writing, but only to declare your wishes to him. His Majesty will conduct the negotiations and do what is necessary, and it is hoped that your Serenity will give a reply corresponding to His Majesty's sincere friendship and affection.
The Councillor Diedo replied: We have long since recognised the friendly disposition of His Majesty. The proposal of your Excellency shall be duly considered. After the ambassador had discoursed somewhat upon his journey and his good health, he made his reverence and departed.
Aug. 13. Consiglio di X. Criminale. Venetian Archives. 979. Resolved that our Inquisitors of State do elicit from Giulio Muscorno, who has been arrested by order of this Council, every information calculated to throw light on the misdemeanours of Antonio Foscarini, at present ambassador accredited to the king of Great Britain, they being at liberty to write to all foreign courts and whithersoever they shall think fit, so as to come at the truth. They shall send to Muscorno's house to seize the chest and papers therein, and are empowered to make such use of them as they may deem necessary. Meanwhile Muscorno will remain under arrest according to the decree of this Council dated 27 March last. On the arrival in this city of the said Antonio Foscarini the Inquisitors of State shall examine him and keep him under arrest until further order of this Council, before whom his examination and other writings are to be laid.
Ayes 10.
Noes 0.
Neutral 6.
Aug. 13. Consiglio di X. Parti Comuni. Venetian Archives. 980. That licence be granted to Piero Loredan to visit the ambassador of England, who has come to reside in this city for the Majesty of his king.
Ayes 16.
Noes 0.
Neutral 1.
Aug. 13. Senato, Secreta. Dispacoi. Inghilterra. Venetian Archives. 981. Antonio Foscarini, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The day before yesterday at dusk the Marquis of Bonnivet went post towards the Court. He disclosed a great augmentation of arms and disturbances in France. Yesterday morning the French ambassador went to the king to congratulate him on his fortunate day. (fn. 6) To-day the ambassador of Savoy has gone for the same purpose. I also have sent my congratulations by another person as in other years, and the Spanish ambassador did the like. It appears that the visit of the French ambassador is to show confidence, to observe what is passing and to perform some seasonable office.
Boislorée remains at the Court and at the arrival of Bonnivet some decision will readily be taken, and on their return I will endeavour to find out what it is.
Maurice by virtue of the orders transmitted to him, has sent three English companies to Sedan, of which they have news here. The duke of Bouillon has sent Dr. Borselle (Borcelio) to the Prince of Brandenburg to tell him of what is being done in France; he has similarly sent to the Palatine and the other princes of Germany, not neglecting Maurice, whom the Doctor also visited. It is understood that Condé and the other absent princes have communication with the majority of those who are at Court, and it is certain that they are moving by the advice of the parliament.
In my letters of the 2nd ult. I said that the king had made representations by means of his ambassador for the postponement of the effectuation of the marriages, and received an unsatisfactory reply. I enclose a copy of the exposition and will send a translation when I have time. Quite recently the king has commanded his ambassador to repeat the same office, feeling himself bound to this by every consideration.
The letters which I spoke of in my last which the king had written to Condé on the 26th ult. and his reply to His Majesty on the 27th are also enclosed with translations, although I expect that they have long since been sent by the ambassador Contarini, who is very vigilant. Two circumstances arouse fears of violent disturbances in France, one is that the princes are moved by the Parliament and have an understanding with those of the religion; the other is that the princes and states bordering on France seem to be of one mind to put difficulties in the way of the effectuation of the marriages and to prevent a close union, and, as they call it, the incorporation of France with Spain. That the king should go in person would by common consent be very dangerous and would offend Paris, and if the queen should go alone she would incur the risk of meeting with powerful resistance and hindrances on the way.
Spinola with seven to eight thousand men, horse and foot, is on the confines of Picardy, ready to cross the moment he is called. Whether the conclusion of the marriages follows this violent hurrying on of things or no it seems probable that the Spaniards will obtain what they want, because if it takes place they will do what they like, at least for some years, and if it does not, during the progress of civil war in France they will be able to carry forward their designs both within and without the kingdom.
At this moment I receive letters from Stuttgart (Stucari) of the 30th, with the news that Count John of Nassau received in the country of Wirtemburg the news of the Savoy settlement with orders to save expense by dismissing the troops; that Count Philip, the Rheingrave, offered to engage him to serve the Most Christian King, but was not in time. Count John George of Solmes, with 600 horse and 1,000 foot, paid by the Union of Princes, passed to the assistance of Savoy. By these troops and those of Count John the district of Mayence must have been in a state of great disturbance.
I have received your Serenity's letters of the 24th ult containing the orders given to Sig. Barbarigo to come straight on this time to relieve me. For this I return most grateful thanks, and I will readily spend what remains to me and my life also in the service of your Excellencies. I will fulfil the commands to thank the king for his effective assistance to the negotiations of Sig. Barbarigo, and I will make use of the communication sent to me about the evil conduct of certain ministers and dependents of other princes. If this is referred to I shall know what to answer with dignity and to the public service. From my knowledge of the king's character, this being my fifth year here, I consider it certain that the office will prove unusually acceptable and profitable in confirming and increasing his excellent disposition towards the republic.
London, the 13 August, 1615.
Enclosed in the preceding Despatch. 982. Remonstrance made by the ambassador of the king of Great Britain to the king and the queen mother in June, 1615. My master's position as the ancient friend and ally of this crown make him feel that you will have confidence in his sincere friendship, owing to the ancient connection between the kings of Scotland and this crown, and the good relations with England recently, more particularly with the late king, when he was in his most difficult situations. He has charged me to present a remonstrance protesting that he is only actuated by his desire for the good of your state and he meddles for no other purpose.
His Majesty is assured that it has been decided to take immediate steps for the exchange of the princesses with Spain. He thinks it right to point out the harm that may arise from this decision. The immediate effectuation of these alliances is likely to be most prejudicial to your persons and also to Christendom in the present doubtful state of affairs, and it would be better to postpone it to a more seasonable time.
The king also feels specially bound to take this action owing to a promise which passed between the late king and himself, that if either of them should die, the survivor should take into his protection the state and children of the deceased. On the death of the late king, his Majesty took steps to fulfil this promise. He thinks that to precipitate the marriage will be prejudicial to the king's health and will cause disturbances in his kingdom. Upon this last point his Majesty draws attention to the discontent of the magnates and their intelligence with the parliament, which has produced a great effect upon the people, who greatly respect that body. There are also the grievances of those of the religion and all these things render it very dangerous for the king to go far from the heart of his kingdom.
But besides these reasons, there are others which touch Christendom. It is possible that by a union of all the friends and allies the disturbances which vex Christendom might be appeased, but the precipitate effectuation of the marriages can produce nothing but a general conflagration. Firstly, the States of the United Provinces, when they see France and Spain so closely allied, will not expect France to force the archduke to restore the places occupied in Cleves and Juliers by the Marquis Spinola, but will rather begin to nourish suspicions of all advice that is given to them. They will suspect that the evil designs of Spain will ultimately induce this state to become hostile to them. His Majesty is grieved to have to say that if he had received support in the questions about Wesel, he would have put an end to the quibbles of the Spaniards, which have occupied so long a time, but he has been forced, on the contrary, to ask what are the intentions of this state with regard to bringing the Spaniards to reason, and he has never received any reply except in general terms and quite unsatisfactory.
Then again the Princes of the Union, who know that Spain is the abettor and protector of their enemy, will receive no less harm from the conclusion of these marriages, which will not only enfeeble them by the loss of France, but will strengthen their enemies, and what guarantee have they, if the dispute with Savoy is settled, that the Spanish fleet, which is now threatening Italy, will not be employed against them and especially against the Elector of Brandenburg, who has for so long relied upon France. He will no longer be able to expect anything from you, since the king of Spain has taken his rival, the Duke of Neuburg, into his protection.
With regard to the Duke of Savoy, who is of the same blood as this crown, in whose preservation you have the greatest interest, if he has found France so unfriendly to him before the conclusion of these marriages, by the peremptory messages sent from here and the proclamation that those who went to assist him would be considered as guilty of high treason, a thing which had never before been heard of in the case of a friendly prince attacked by a more powerful adversary, can he expect after the completion of the marriages that this country will remain an impartial judge between him and Spain and that your ministers will treat sincerely for the good of his affairs? His Majesty protests that he has always wished to obtain peace for the duke in conjunction with your Majesty, but he would not like to see him reduced to accept unjust and unfavourable conditions by such disfavour. The greatest glory of France under the late king was her authority and credit gained by a timely intervention upon various important occasions in disputes between foreign princes and states in the interests of the peace of Christendom, but now her friends fear that by this double alliance France will also espouse the interests of Spain. This fear will be greatly increased by hurrying on the marriages and will cause France to lose the authority and credit, confidence being changed into mistrust and affection into disatisfaction. If, in spite of all these weighty considerations, the consummation of the marriages is still pressed on, the neighbours of France will feel convinced that there is something being done covertly to their prejudice.
Finally my king has good cause for complaint on his own account, as after having lived so many years in friendship and a good understanding with this crown, so that the two states had practically the same likes and dislikes, friends and enemies, France now separates from him for the precipitation of these marriages with Spain, apparently leaving him alone to bear the weight of the affairs and difficulties of Christendom which are still unsettled. At the same time His Majesty is not insensible of the advantages to be derived from this alliance. If he were an ambitious prince he could draw to himself alone the good will and credit of all the ancient allies, who feel themselves abandoned. But he cannot so lightly forget the ancient understanding and union that he has always maintained with this crown, and he will employ all his thoughts and endeavours to preserve them rather than change his policy.
Enclosed in the preceding Despatch. 983. Letter of the King to the Prince of Condé.
I have frequently expressed the wish that you should accompany me on my journey to Guienne for the affair of my marriage, and I have even shown my good intentions with regard to certain points upon which you desire to be satisfied before your return. From this you might be sure of the affection of myself and the queen, but nevertheless I am unable to learn your intentions. I now send you M. de Pontchartrain to inform you that I have decided to set out upon that journey on Saturday the 1st prox. without further delay. I again ask you to accompany me and take the place which belongs to your position and birth or to tell M. de Pontchartrain your objections.
Signed Louis;
and further down De Lomenie.
From Paris, the 26th July, 1615.
Enclosed in the preceding Despatch. 984. Reply of the Prince.
I hear by your Majesty's letters that you have decided to set out for Guienne and ask me to accompany you. It seems to me that this departure is precipitate before the affairs of your estate are settled and disorders appeased, which have been represented to you by the States General and by the Parliament of Paris. This seems due to the evil counsels of those whom I have already named, which tend to the subversion of your state by the weakening of your crown and the ruin of your house. After a long patience I feel constrained to represent to your Majesty the reasons which prevent me from at once obeying your commands. M. de Villeroi told me that the affairs of the kingdom would be put in order; but I answered that after being a month at Paris where I had seen the progress of the States General, with the measures taken to corrupt the deputies and confuse the deliberations, and the unworthy treatment of the Parliament because they had written that my life and the lives of other magnates were in danger because I had freely expressed my opinion in your Council, I could not return with dignity until your Majesty should introduce some reformation of your Council, and of the public disorders mentioned in the remonstrance of your parliament. Your Majesty was again pleased to send M. de Villeroi to me with fuller powers. We spoke about the reformation of the Council and I stated my opinion about the remonstrance of the Parliament. He reported this to your Majesty and again returned to me. Matters were in good train when M. de Pontchartrain arrived with your Majesty's letter, with the information about your immediate departure. This coming before the publication of the document which was hoped for from our negotiations, renders the execution of the things which we promised ourselves impossible, because of the disorders in the state. The authors of these are the Marshal of Ancre and his wife; the Chancellor, the Cavalier de Sillery, Dolé and Bullion, who were indicated in the remonstrance of the parliament. I ask your Majesty that the complaints against these may be verified and proceeding taken against them in the ordinary course and that the same may be done in the case of the assassination of M. de Provele, serjeant major of Amiens; also that steps may be taken for the reformation of the Council.
Henry de Bourbon.
From Coucy, the 27 July, 1615.
Aug. 13. Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Inghilterra. Venetian Archives. 985. Antonio Foscarini, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
On Monday last the courier was sent by the Ambassador Wotton to the King passed this way, and at the same time another arrived for the ambassador of Brandenburg, who sent to His Majesty two hours later. He brings word that the Ambassador had had audience of the States three times in a few hours and asked them to make promises in conformity with the wishes of the king; that at first they had expressed a wish to hear the opinion of Maurice and of the Consulta, as is customary in so grave a matter, and afterwards that it would be better to send the proposal to all the Provinces, to have their opinions, which is customary when they wish to give a polite refusal to a great prince. The Ambassador told this to the Secretary to be imparted to His Majesty. He told him what the reply imports, but that nothing else can be hoped for, and he hinted that if His Majesty asks him a second time to go on a mission to Holland he would obey, but that the decision is taken and it is useless to speak about it.
On the 23rd ult. the Prince of Brandenburg with the support of Maurice, took possession of Wilhelmstein near Aix le Chapelle, and on the following day the Governor of Juliers took the town of Zoest near March. At Wesel the plague has made its appearance. The Elector of Cologne is raising troops. The lieutenant of Neuburg has given orders to burn the houses of Mulheim; the commission though apparently given at Vuldorf is really from Cologne. The town of Nürenberg seems to have taken it ill that the bishop of Bamberg has entered a certain place under the protection of that town. The Marquis of Anspach and other princes of Germany have interposed. From all this and from the conversation of the Spanish ambassador all hope of restitution of these places seems lost.
Six days ago the king sent to Poland Dickenson, who had already been secretary there, to request the king there to suppress a book printed by an individual called Chicochens, canon of Sandomir (Sendominse), (fn. 7) and to punish the author. On his return he is to stop at Stettin in Pomerania for the conference to be held there between the deputies of Poland and Sweden, otherwise he has instructions to return.
Zamoski, only son of the former High Chancellor of Poland, has been here some days. The king took him hunting with him and has loaded him with favours. He has spoken to him about the book and sent him a copy. He has visited the ambassadors of France and Spain and myself also. Like the others I have returned the visit, and he has since been to take leave. He seems to place little hope in the conference of the States and considers the affair as impossible to accommodate. Sweden would willingly yield to Poland three towns which she possesses in Livonia if he would give up using the title of king of Sweden and resign his pretensions.
London, the 13 August, 1615.
Aug. 15. Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Firenze. Venetian Archives. 986. Domenico Dominici, Venetian Resident in Florence, to the Doge and Senate.
Last Monday an English privateering ship arrived at Livorno from Tunis. She left without stopping and her destination was unknown.
Florence, 15th August, 1615.


  • 1. Declaration du Roy Jacques I pour le Droit des Rois,' published in 1615.
  • 2. James went to Bagshot; the Queen was to meet him at Salisbury. Nichols'Progresses of James I, vol. iii, p 97.
  • 3. Giovanni Francesco Biondi.
  • 4. Torn
  • 5. See No. 982 at page 558 below.
  • 6. Anniversary of the Gowrie conspiracy. See page 29 above.
  • 7. Gaspard Cichocius, canon of Sandomir, the author of two works, Anatomia, an apology for the Jesuits, and Alloquia Occiciana, containing a violent attack upon Erasmus and Henry VIII. Moreri Dict. Historique.