Calendar of State Papers Relating To English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 16, 1619-1621. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1910.
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THE present volume of this Calendar runs from September, 1619, to March, 1621, a period of nineteen months. The material comes exclusively from the Venetian Archives at the Frari, Venice, and this volume has nothing to offer similar to Busino's diary which occupied considerable space in the last. Except in one instance it has not been necessary to examine any fresh series of documents. That exception is in the despatches of Hieronimo Trivisano, sent by Venice as ambassador extraordinary to the Netherlands on the completion of the alliance between the two republics. These original letters are not bound up in the series of Dutch despatches, classified under the heading Senato, Secreta, Dispacci, Signori Stati, but form a small volume by themselves among the Miscellanea. The enlarged bulk of this volume is due not to new material but to the very important events occurring in Europe at the time, and more especially to the voluminous despatches of Girolamo Lando, the Venetian ambassador in England.
The month of August, 1619, was a fateful one for Germany. On the 19th the Bohemian diet deposed Ferdinand of Austria from the throne and on the 26th they chose James's son-in-law, the Elector Palatine of the Rhine, Frederick V, in his stead. On the 28th the Electors of the Empire unanimously chose Ferdinand as emperor, to succeed Matthias. These momentous events happened while James's favourite, James Hay, Viscount Doncaster, was still on the continent, whither he had gone for the purpose of arranging some accommodation between Ferdinand and his revolted Bohemian subjects. Hay was already on his road home and expected in the Netherlands, after an entirely unsuccessful mission. Neither side really trusted him. The imperialists politely thanked him for his good will but declared that the time for negotiation had passed, and they must subdue the rebels with the sword. The Bohemians told him that his king would be better employed in sending them help than in negotiating for a damaging settlement, and they were prepared to die for their liberties and freedom of conscience (Nos. 2 and 3). They even suspected that James had sent Hay at the instance of the Spaniards to advance their instances and that the Spaniards had bought him over. Hay also failed in his attempt to delay the election of the emperor, and finding all his efforts unavailing he left Frankfort before the diet had come to its decision (No. 71). This utterly useless embassy was conducted by "Sardanapalus Hay" with his usual pomp, but his extravagance led him into difficulties, and he was detained at one town for his debts until James sent him 24,000 crowns to buy his release (No. 77). The mission excited nothing but contempt abroad. Throughout the empire, wherever they went, Hay and his train were referred to derisively as the comedians and buffoons of England; its chief result was to send them all back to England bitter enemies of the House of Austria and strong partisans of the Elector Palatine (No. 186).
While Hay was returning home, news reached him of the election of the emperor and the choice of the Palatine as King of Bohemia. Everyone looked to see what steps James would take in this situation. His first move was to send Hay back to Vienna to offer congratulations to the newly elected emperor. The crisis was a most momentous one, and it is scarcely an exaggeration to say that James had the fate of Europe in his hands. At Vienna they dreaded the Palatine accepting the Bohemian crown with the consent of England and the Dutch, especially if they knew of the rebellion (No. 39). The more sanguine spirits in the Netherlands hoped the Palatine would accept the proffered crown and thereby force his father-in-law to help him (No. 36). Carleton, when asked what his king would say supposing the Palatine accepted without waiting, answered that things done are more easily arranged than those which remain to be done (No. 28). The mission of congratulation was interpreted as a trick to throw dust in the eyes of the Austrians (No. 44).
The idea that James in the course of conduct he actually pursued, with all its apparent hesitations and vacillation, was really acting on a settled and determined policy, has the support of an eminent historian. (fn. 1) For a moment, the Venetian ambassador himself seemed disposed to believe that a deeper policy lay beneath the ever shifting exterior, but as time went on he became more and more convinced that things were really as they seemed on the surface.
The election of the Palatine to the throne of Bohemia had much in it to attract James. It is clear that from the first he never actively discouraged the acceptance of the crown, and created the impression that he would acquiesce in the accomplished fact even if he did not provide active help. If we may credit the report of the Venetian ambassador at Madrid, quoting Cottington, James went even further, and in reply to the Palatine's request for advice, told him that if the Bohemians would give him the crown with the right of succession, he should accept, but if they did not he did not think it worth while to engage in a long and troublesome war without some security that his posterity would enjoy the fruit of so much toil and danger (No. 33). After Frederick had accepted, despite all the pains James was at to prove that he had no responsibility for the election, he could not conceal from those who had familiar intercourse with him his delight at the new royal title for his son-in-law and daughter (No. 98). The Bohemian party in England dangled before his eyes the bait of the imperial crown itself, now that his son-in-law had two votes in the empire, saying that in such case it was not fitting that his children should have anything less than royal dignity (No. 161). He was extremely pleased at Venice according the title of king to the new sovereign of Bohemia (No. 292).
But the influences working on the other side were more powerful. James would willingly enough have seen the elevation of his son-in-law and daughter to a royal throne if it could have been achieved without trouble and danger, but he perceived only too clearly the trouble and danger ahead. He had an exaggerated opinion of the power and wealth of Spain, and feared the mischief they might stir up among the Catholics in his dominions (No. 161), a sentiment which the Spaniards themselves took care to encourage (No. 455). They succeeded so well that James became more and more convinced that he could not remain at peace or even keep alive except by close union with them (No. 725).
The Bohemian revolution, as a popular movement, excited his suspicion and aversion, and he made Baron Achatius von Dohna see that he could not listen without resentment to the idea that sovereigns might be deposed by their subjects (No. 218), a point upon which Gondomar enlarged to him with complete success (No. 411). Strongest of all was James's love of peace and quiet, a sentiment largely compounded of natural indolence and dislike of adventure, and his fear that the inevitable contest would become a war of religion. He saw clearly enough that the Bohemian crown would be one of thorns rather than of jewels, owing to the difficulty in retaining it (No. 133).
James was thus disposed to welcome the advancement of his son-in-law and to profit by any bold stroke that might prove successful, but he was equally determined to risk nothing on his own account. He seized upon any and every excuse to avoid coming to any decision, and kept putting off. For a long while James refused to acknowledge the fact of Frederick's acceptance of the Bohemian crown, although a matter of common knowledge, because he had received no official communication direct from the source. Whatever the condition of the Palatine's fortunes, James would always find an excuse for doing nothing. When Hay represented the affairs of the new king as in a most flourishing condition and spoke enthusiastically of his prospects for the future, in the hope of rousing his sovereign to some energetic measure of support, it only served to damp the king's ardour (No. 218). At a later stage Dohna remarked to Lando that he did not know what line to adopt, as if he brought news of his master's prosperity he noticed that they cooled off, and if he reported adversity, they slackened even more, despairing of success and saying that they did not know how to revive a corpse (No. 726). But in the position that James occupied the ultimate evasion of these difficulties was impossible. However much he might shirk, sooner or later he was bound to face the situation. He prided himself on his kingcraft and with a lofty contempt for popular clamour liked to pose as moving with deliberation towards the goal of peace (No. 286). When reminded that Spinola was marching on the Palatinate he cried, "What do you know? You are ignorant. I know quite well what I am about. All these troubles will settle themselves; you will see that very soon, I know what I am talking about" (No. 511). But he must often have cursed the spite that set him to right a disjointed world. He railed at his son-in-law, whose precipitate action without advice had brought about all the trouble. He railed even more at the Palatine's high terms after the defeat of the White Mountain, in demanding that the emperor should recognise him as the rightful King of Bohemia, withdraw his forces from the Palatinate and pay compensation for damages. James wrathfully exclaimed, "What else could he demand? A fine thing to be unwilling to yield on a single point!" (No. 679). He declared it was unreasonable that he should constantly be called upon to give help to others when he could get little or nothing for his own needs (No. 388). He utterly denied that his engagements to the Union bound him to give them any assistance. He told Dohna and Buwinckhausen that he had a league with the House of Austria, and that the Palatine was the real aggressor (No. 295). In November, 1619, he assured Van Male, the agent from Brussels, that he certainly would not help the Palatine if the causes for the deposition of the Emperor Ferdinand did not appear to him quite reasonable, as the action of his son-in-law was most distasteful to him and Frederick had embarked on this venture without his consent (No. 83). On the 16th July, 1620, Gondomar wrote from London that he had a promise from the king and prince not to send any succour to the Palatine either directly or indirectly (No. 583). In another mood James would boast that as the monarch of three large kingdoms he could very easily send one large army to Bohemia, one to Germany and one to Flanders, and if the Palatinate were not restored he would recover it at all costs (No. 679). Lando compared his vacillation to the climate of the country "which in a single day gives examples of all four seasons of the year" (No. 399). But when he granted permission to raise a force in his dominions for the defence of the Palatinate he imposed numerous restrictions, the number was limited to 2,000, the levy was made secretly and in the prince's name, the commander was forbidden to review his troops in London for fear of offending Gondomar, and he even wished to impose an oath on the officers that they would not move except to defend the Electorate (No. 425). Money was supplied covertly, if at all, through a loan from Denmark or a voluntary collection in the realm. But nothing really effective was done, one way or the other; James merely drifted on in the hope that something might occur to save the situation and his honour. The reports of his plans were rather calculated to create alarm than to do harm, though if James had been able to divert the evil in this way he would doubtless have attributed the result to his own prudence (No. 399). Actually the situation so far as it changed did so for the worse, as the Spanish party knew how little there was behind James's bluster.
In September, 1620, Spinola began the invasion of the Palatinate by the capture of Kreutznach. The news excited the most fiery indignation in England, the whole Court boiling over with rage. It was thought that this at least would rouse James to take active steps in the interests of his son-in-law. The king indeed, was very much perturbed, considering himself as very badly treated after the correctness of his attitude upon the Bohemian affair. Although repeatedly warned he said he never believed that the Spaniards would attack the Palatinate. This proof of how little importance the Spaniards attached to his threats and professions staggered him. After some wavering and deprecation of violence he was carried away by the vehement feelings of his subjects, and with his Council issued a declaration approving of the Princes of the Union taking up arms in defence of the Palatinate and their own dominions, and announcing that the king would not suffer the ill treatment of the patrimony of his children and was determined to exact reparation for the injuries inflicted. James had a stormy interview with Gondomar, lasting three hours, and subsequently told the Spanish ambassador of the declaration (No. 574). The king remarked more than once that he would never again trust any Spanish minister, as his patience simply increased their arrogance. If necessary he himself would go in defence of his kindred. He had always been accustomed to say that he would not unsheath his sword except in case of extreme necessity; but once he had unsheathed it to put it back would not prove so easy a matter (No. 575). He harped upon the ingratitude of the King of Spain, who owed him so much for repressing privateering, and observed threateningly that the teeth and bites of those beasts which are usually slow to move are frequently more dangerous and more difficult to shake off than is the case with those which move readily (No. 585).
The king's declaration aroused an extraordinary amount of enthusiasm in the nation. Everyone had long despaired of any such decision. The people had grown exasperated at the king's hesitation and ineffectiveness. They felt bitterly the degradation into which the country had fallen from so much lethargy. Englishmen wrote from abroad that they wished they were dead so that they might not hear the opprobrium and the contemptuous epithets showered upon their nation (No. 565). Wise observers predicted trouble in the country if the king did not afford some effective help to his son-in-law (No. 504). Yet things only seemed to grow worse. Matters had come to such a pass that even the ministers esteemed most sincere were reserved about expressing opinions contrary to the king's leanings, and ultimately everyone was afraid to speak (No. 574). The declaration wrought a change that was almost magical. All the wrath and impatience of the people were converted into loyalty and affection (No. 576). The king himself behaved as if a great weight were rolled off his mind, and showed an almost hysterical joy. Throughout the day he seemed unusually happy, and at a state banquet, which he attended with Buckingham, he drank frequently to the prosperity of his children, and had an unusually large quantity of wine distributed about the Court as if the news of some great victory had arrived (No. 575).
The king's mood proved of the most evanescent description. He could not live long at the height of such resolution, and before many days Gondomar had talked him back to the most complete submission. The declaration undoubtedly took the astute Spaniard by surprise coming from a Court where he had arrogated to himself a practical omnipotence (No. 574). He recognised the seriousness of the situation, however, and for the time being abandoned his usual jocular manner. He knew the right course to adopt, and indignantly denied having deceived the king, carrying the war into the enemy's country by remonstrating about Naunton's persecution of the Catholics. He had already played upon James's pet weakness by suggesting that the occupation of the Palatinate by Spinola would be the best way of obtaining peace as forming a good basis for negotiation. He obtained from Buckingham a letter stating that neither he nor any of the Spaniards had ever deceived the king about the invasion of the Palatinate (No. 603), and in response to a request for exact particulars of the king's declaration, Buckingham wrote him another letter setting forth the policy followed by James with regard to the Bohemian affair, practically apologising for thinking of defending the Palatinate, and stating in conclusion that if the Palatine refused to be guided by the king's advice, he would be abandoned to his fate (No. 609). The first letter Gondomar caused to be issued broadcast in London; the other, though similarly issued, was stopped upon reflection, as the Spaniards feared some artifice. They need not have felt alarm, for it was evident that the sole preoccupation of the Court was to avoid giving offence to Spain, and the Bohemian ambassador made a special journey to Court to remonstrate about the letter. The news of the utter defeat of Frederick in Bohemia only rendered James more feeble and impotent. He was so depressed that he abandoned his favourite hunting, shut himself up in his room and forbad the courtiers any kind of game or recreation (No. 652). He complained querulously that he knew this meddling in Bohemia would bring disaster, and was inclined to look upon the case as hopeless. Although everything pointed in the opposite direction he clung obstinately to the idea that he could arrange everything with Spain amicably by negotiation and was most anxious that the Palatine should put his affairs in his hands. He remarked to Lando that as the Spaniards were making conquests by arms it would be necessary to cut away the ground from under them by making peace. When the ambassador objected that they must use the sword to effect this, James only answered with a gesture indicating that everything might be settled without recourse to arms (No. 727). With this idea Digby was sent off to Brussels to negotiate for the restoration of the Palatinate, and with the intention of going on to the emperor and to Spain. It was only another way of shifting responsibility and endeavouring to avoid committing himself.
The ascendancy of Gondomar, after the briefest eclipse, became more marked than ever. "The crown and sceptre of these realms seem at present to be in the hands of the Spanish ambassador almost absolutely," wrote Lando, "one hears daily of some fresh stroke, and the best ministers appear in great peril, as at the present moment the ambassador is devoting his chief attention to uprooting all the plants which do not bend to his breath" (No. 725). A leading statesman remarked to him, "We ministers, even the oldest, can no longer be sure of his Majesty's wishes, not even after he has expressed them. Believe me, Mr. Ambassador, every day we grow more Hispanophile and our Government is become greatly changed" (No. 758).
The king's ministers expressed a foolish confidence in their powers to compel the Spaniards to make restitution owing to the advantage they had over them, and declared that his Majesty could arrange a treaty as easily after the Palatinate had utterly fallen as in its actual condition (No. 774). But the king's behaviour exasperated his people to the verge of endurance. On the news of the battle of the White Mountain everyone lamented the misfortunes of the Palatine and his beloved wife, who in her flight never had a helping hand from her father to protect her. Tears, sighs and loud expressions of wrath were heard in every direction. They even found letters scattered about the streets against the king, threatening that if his Majesty did not do what was expected of him the people would display their feelings and their resentment unmistakably (No. 652). The fugitive Elizabeth wrote an indignant letter to her father which moved him to an outburst of wrath (No. 679). The king greatly dreaded lest his daughter and her husband should take refuge in his dominions, owing to their great popularity with his subjects. Under the circumstances, wrote Lando, he could hardly refuse her an asylum; if she comes it will be an event of the greatest importance which may easily give rise to most notable incidents (No. 725).
Meanwhile, the king's necessities and the serious situation both at home and abroad had driven him to assemble Parliament once more, much against his will. With the meeting of this body the present volume closes, leaving the king faced by a most difficult problem abroad, but still trusting to the efficacy of his negotiations and more particularly to the efforts of Digby at Brussels.
The autumn of 1619 found Italy in a condition of comparative quiet. Of the two active Spanish proconsuls, whose ambitions had troubled its peace, Toledo had gone, and Osuna, who still remained for a few months, was under a cloud. The Viceroy of Naples was not, indeed, inactive, nor had he abandoned his plans against Venice, but the government at home strongly suspected his fidelity and he obtained no support from that quarter. He fitted out a fleet which the Venetians suspected was to act against them in the Adriatic. It committed some depredations in Crete, but there the Venetian Admiral came up with it and inflicted a signal defeat. Before this news became public property Osuna had ceased to be Viceroy and was on his way to Spain in disgrace. His successor, Cardinal Borgia, was a prudent and discreet man whose policy was not expected to cause anxiety to his neighbours. In talking of these matters with Lando, James remarked of Osuna, "He has at last left Naples. The devil put him there. Don Pedro at Milan and that man at Naples were placed in Italy, two hot heads, to turn that province and half the world upside down" (No. 453).
Though relieved on this side, the Venetians were not altogether sure of the Duke of Feria, Don Pedro's successor at Milan. An outbreak of the people of Medole against the Lord of Solferino at the beginning of 1620 caused them great anxiety, as Feria sent a considerable force to restore order. The Venetians at once sent to communicate the matter to James (No. 255). The king did not think it likely that the Spaniards would want a war in Italy while they still had the Bohemian affair on their hands. At the same time the English ministers would not have regretted a continuance of the disturbance, as it would lock up the Spanish forces in those parts, and prevent the new King of Spain from sending help to the emperor (No. 294). Feria, however, assured Venice that he had only sent his forces to restore order, and that done he withdrew, so that by the 14th March the Venetian Senate was able to send word to its representatives abroad that the affair was terminated (No. 289).
A more serious anxiety was the possible defection of the Duke of Savoy to the Spanish side. At the beginning of 1619 the Princes of the Union had made advances to him for an alliance, and the duke's ambition led him to stretch out his hand not only to the imperial crown but to that of Bohemia as well. (fn. 2) The Prince of Anhalt promised him one or the other, but in August Ferdinand of Austria received the first and Frederick of the Palatinate the second. The duke felt very sore on the subject and considered that he had been betrayed by the English. Wake, the agent at Turin, declared that the Savoyard ambassador in London had given the duke a false impression and betrayed his master (No. 26).
In England feeling rose high against the Duke of Savoy for putting to death two Protestants of Saluzzo, named Monge and Marchisi. The duke declared that they suffered for political offences, but in England they were considered as martyrs for their faith; a public subscription was raised for their families, and a bitter account of the event published in London without license had to be suppressed by the authorities (Nos. 250, 258). It was freely stated that the duke had thrown himself into the arms of the Catholic king, had hanged some Protestants and banished all the others perpetually from his dominions, and that he was to command the forces of the Catholic league (No. 186). The English ambassador in Paris, Edward Herbert, a very hot Protestant, remarked of the duke, "I do not know what can be expected from that changing and inconstant spirit in the present crisis in Germany. He wishes to use his title of vicar of the Holy Empire to further his designs and his ambition to obtain the title of king. For this purpose he affects good relations with the pope. He keeps his eyes fixed upon Monferrat. He pretends that the Protestants of Germany made a jest of him because they did not elect him emperor. He now shows himself hostile to the religion and has recently put some to death. He is urging the return of Prince Philibert to Spain. All these things create a bad impression, in short, no confidence can be placed in this prince owing to his volatile nature" (No. 127).
The suspicions that Savoy was treating with the Emperor were well grounded, as in April, 1620, his ambassador extraordinary at Vienna offered Ferdinand 10,000 foot and 2,000 horse for the war under his son, asked for the title of king and suggested that the emperor should marry one of his daughters (No. 321). When Wake asked him right out if it were true that he had offered help to Ferdinand, the duke replied that everything depended upon the marriage which the Spaniards promised him. He was only following the example of the King of England, who also desired a marriage alliance with the House of Austria. He hoped the emperor himself would ask for the infanta as that fitted best with the lady's honour (No. 315).
But despite all appearances to the contrary the duke remained as hostile to Spanish ambitions as ever. It is true that as a Catholic prince he regretted the necessity of making common cause with the Protesant powers, and told Pesaro that they ought to cover decently the question of religion, exclaiming, "Such a lot of heretics, such a lot of heretics!" Like James he was most anxious that the Bohemian war should not become one of religion. He greatly desired the friendship and alliance of England, and had not abandoned hope of a marriage alliance. If England would attack Spain with his fleet he declared that he would cause the states of Italy to fall upon the Spaniards (No. 392). He placed no confidence in Spanish assurances. When his son Philibert suggested to him three marriages in the name of the Catholic king; the widow of Mantua to the emperor; the duke's second daughter to the emperor's eldest son, and the third daughter to the Catholic king himself, the duke asked if he had these proposals in writing. When the prince said he had only received them verbally the duke clinched the matter by saying: I am older than you and I know the Spaniards and their tricks to my cost (No. 245).
Before committing himself the duke wished to make sure of English support. He expressed his desire to follow in James's footsteps, but not to declare before he did for the new King of Bohemia (No. 349). The hesitation and timidity of the English king exasperated a man of the duke's ardent and generous nature. The English agent Wake was hard put to it to find excuses for his master's reluctance to afford help and protection to his own flesh and blood (No. 195). The duke plainly told him that his king was the cause of all the danger because he would not do what concerned him and clung to the Spaniards (No. 500).
Although James would do little or nothing himself he was very anxious that Savoy should be drawn into the scheme of alliances against the Hapsburgs, and took steps to have him included in the league between the Princes of the Union and the Netherlands. The Dutch looked favourably upon this idea, but all schemes to join together the various anti-Spanish leagues came to naught. Savoy wished to invite England to join the league he had with Venice, England was anxious for him to join the new league concluded between Venice and the Dutch, but the duke suspected Venice of throwing difficulties in the way. Wake was very anxious that Aerssens, the Dutch ambassador extraordinary sent to Venice on the conclusion of the alliance, should come to Turin on his way home in order to arrange a general alliance including England, the Dutch, the Princes of the Union, Venice and Savoy, but the ambassador had a misunderstanding with the Savoyard resident at Venice and took another way home, much to Wake's disgust.
At this very time events were occurring which were to bring Savoy and Venice closer together than ever in their alarm at the progress of Spanish ambition. Taking advantage of an outbreak in the Valtelline, the Duke of Feria occupied the valley with Spanish troops. This threatened the independent Italian states by cutting them off from their friends in the north of Europe. Venice in particular took dire alarm and tried to stir up all her friends. Wake also fully recognised the danger, and did his best to move the duke as well as his master at home. He wished to force the duke's hand and put an end to all ambiguity about his negotiations with the Spaniards (No. 475). In this connection it seemed probable that some arrangements would be made between the duke and the Marshal Lesdiguières to make the Spaniards draw in their horns as had been done in the past (Nos. 744, 745).
To move James was quite another thing. When the Venetian ambassador Lando laid the whole matter before him at Salisbury on the 13th August, 1620, he fully recognised the importance of the affair, but said he did not know what he could do. During the whole of Lando's recital he was very restless, and he seemed utterly weary of the events happening all over the world at the time, for he hated being obliged every day to spend time over unpleasant matters, and listen to nothing but requests and incitements to move in every direction and to meddle with everything. He remarked: "I am not God Almighty." However, he promised to do what was in his power, and said he would cause urgent representations to be made in Spain (No. 495). The members of the Spanish party tried to convince the king that if this disturbance in the Valtelline continued it would help the King of Bohemia, but this idea did not take root in James's mind (No. 503). Nevertheless, owing to the king's indolence and preoccupations Lando began to realise that the most he could expect was diplomatic representations and the permission to enlist troops in the kingdom (No. 542). At a further audience at Havering on the 24th September, James remarked that these events ought to move France "unless all the world and the Devil are joined in opposition." When Lando urged that a declaration from him would produce a great impression, he said, "What do you want me to do? If I declare myself, must I arm? If I involve myself without arming shall I not expose my reputation to dishonour and insult?" In conclusion he cordially offered his good offices and everything that he could do in honour (No. 558). Evidently nothing could be expected from this quarter. The representations were duly made in Spain and merely elicited a brief reply that they did not claim or desire the possessions of others but simply wished for the settlement of the disputes in the Valtelline, and in the interests of religion they neither could nor would desist (No. 660). Somewhat later urgent representations were made to the king by Wake, who sent his secretary to England for the purpose. He advised a diversion and revived the old plan of surprising Genoa. But James was at the time more under the influence of Gondomar than ever. "At the present moment," wrote Lando, "he seems even more inert than usual; at one time he would not have taken it ill that others should act, although he would not make up his mind to do anything himself, but now he seems to dislike the idea of others doing anything" (No. 747).
When Lando himself raised the subject of diversion, the king shook his head, he could not make one himself without waging open war on the King of Spain, a course he apparently considered unthinkable; as for the proposal that Mansfelt in conjunction with Savoy helped by English money should make a diversion in Burgundy, James merely laughed at the idea as a plan to obtain a separate principality for the Count. All he would do was to grant Lando permission to levy in his dominions a force of 3,000 men (No. 766). With this the Venetian ambassador had to rest content, and he went off to try and arrange terms with persons suitable to take the command.
The twelve years' truce between Spain and the Dutch republic was due to expire in April, 1621. Long before the arrival of that date the question of its renewal was actively canvassed in diplomatic circles, for the disturbed condition of Europe rendered the question one of supreme importance. During the course of the truce the Dutch had increased enormously in wealth and power, but their European position had weakened inasmuch as they could not rely upon the support of France and England, as at the time when the truce was signed. France seemed to drift ever further away from them, under ministers suspected of Spanish leanings, while internal dissensions hampered any effective action; England was ceasing to count in European affairs owing to the weakness and indolence of her ruler. So far as she did count she threatened to become an enemy rather than a friend, owing to the growing commercial rivalry between the two countries. One of the great questions in dispute seemed to be satisfactorily settled by the agreement over the East Indies signed on the 2nd July, 1619, and although further fighting occurred before the news of the peace reached the East, with loss to the English and consequent searching of heart (Nos. 24, 244, 487), the agreement was duly observed when it became known, and for the time at least the two nations worked together in harmony. The possibly more dangerous question of the herring fishery remained open. James demanded recognition of his suzerainty in the matter, and the payment of dues; the Dutch claimed the right to fish free, on the ground of long established custom. The Prince of Orange told the Venetian resident that the Dutch could not possibly concede the claims of James, and they would rather fight, as from 30,000 to 40,000 persons lived by the industry (Nos. 293, 301).
Fortune brought the United Provinces a fresh friend from the south. While Osuna was still to be feared Venice was glad of the opportunity to draw upon the naval resources of the Dutch. Common interests brought the two republics together (fn. 3) and during the latter part of 1619 negotiations for an actual alliance were in progress. Some difficulties arose from the Dutch claiming special privileges in the Adriatic and a more honourable style in the preamble to the treaty. Thanks chiefly to the timely intervention of the English ambassador, Carleton, who more than once earned the warm thanks of the Venetian Senate, these difficulties were smoothed away, and early in 1620 the treaty was definitely signed (Nos. 35, 155). In acting thus Carleton had the full approval of his royal master, who expressly instructed him to do everything in his power to promote the settlement and completion of this affair (No. 80).
The conclusion of this new alliance did not make the Dutch any less anxious for the support of France and England. The difficulty was to please one without offending the other; the line taken over the Barnevelt affair had given serious offence to France. (fn. 4) The French were very jealous at the affection and influence acquired by James in the United Provinces, both for religious reasons and the mutual agreement for trade in the Indies (No. 4). The Dutch thought it necessary to assure Louis that the arrangement would not prejudice the interests of French merchants (No. 21). At the same time the policy of gratifying England rather than France was steadily pursued. They hoped by the new agreement to ruin utterly the Spanish dominion in the East Indies. Spanish trade had already suffered severely, as the natives hated them for their cruelty. Men recently returned from those parts reported that if the Spaniards did not change their methods they would soon lose the best of their possessions in the East (No. 116). The Dutch also hoped to strike at their arch enemy in the West Indies as well. When at the end of 1620 Maurice Abbot and Sir Dudley Digges came over to discuss the compensation claimed by the English East India Company for losses inflicted by the Dutch, the question was raised of forming a joint West India Company of the two nations. The maritime towns of Holland and Zeeland opposed the idea strongly, but it had the support of Prince Maurice and was popular in England (Nos. 640, 656, 743).
At the beginning of 1621 with the expiry of the truce only a few weeks distant, the Dutch decided to send special embassies to both France and England; they felt they needed French support and that help from England would only prove languid without it (No. 695). They hoped to take advantage of the excitement created in England by the news of the defeat of the White Mountain and of Spinola's progress in the Palatinate. They came to propose an offensive alliance to resist the ambitions of the Hapsburgs and wage war against them by creating diversions in the Indies and in Flanders. They had no proposals to make about the fisheries, saying that it was no time for disputes between friends but one for fighting enemies (No. 743).
It so happened that they arrived at a particularly unfortunate time. After a brief flare up against the Spaniards James had fallen more completely than ever under the control of the Ambassador Gondomar. He received the ambassadors with reserve, and referred them to the Privy Council. He professed not to understand clearly the proposals they presented, and asked whether they desired his help to procure peace or the prolongation of the truce (No. 774). He shook his head at the bare idea of a diversion (No. 766). When he learned that they had no instructions about the fisheries and that they desired such a delicate question to be deferred to another time, he waxed wroth (No. 767), and ultimately told them that he would give them no further answer until that question was settled (No. 789).
In the matter of the truce James declined to interfere and told the Dutch they must do as they pleased. Soon after the ambassadors had left, Prince Maurice had expressed his misgivings to the Venetian resident Surian. "What shall we do without the help of France and England?" he said. "Those two Courts may be said to be completely won over by the Spaniards. The King of France is young and the favourite rules; the King of England will not move and loves peace. We get nothing from the ministers of both crowns but fine words, so I do not see what we can hope for" (No. 718). Small wonder that with this state of affairs the Spanish demands grew more exacting. They said they did not want a truce but a peace, and that only if the States General would demolish the forts which throttled Antwerp, grant liberty of conscience and abandon their trade in the Indies (No. 774). Towards the end of March, 1621, Peckius, the Chancellor of Brabant, was sent to the Hague to propose the reunion of the Netherlands under the Archduke Albert and the Infanta Isabella (No. 794). Gondomar went about saying that his king desired war both with the States and with all those who helped them, as if they were not assisted by others, especially with money, they would very soon fall (No. 774). He was particularly bitter against Venice for her alliance with the Dutch, and it was currently reported at the beginning of 1621 that the Hapsburgs would invade the Venetian dominions in the spring (No. 679). When, at the instance of Lando, James sent Buckingham to remonstrate with Gondomar about the massing of great forces in Italy, the ambassador admitted that his king would probably do what he could against the republic, as she was allied with his rebels and compelled him to spend large sums of money to maintain the war, so it was only reasonable that the Catholic king on his side should try and make them spend their money (No. 686). Buckingham considered this proposition quite reasonable, and when reminded that James had forwarded the league with the Dutch, suggested that Carleton had acted without instructions or at least that circumstances had since changed the aspect of affairs (No. 699). Such ignorance in the favourite amazed the Venetian ambassador, but he found the marquis's royal master disposed to follow the same line of argument, and he thought it necessary to remind the king that he had promised to intervene in case the Venetian state should be invaded (No. 727). In this field also the Spanish star seemed to be triumphantly in the ascendant, largely owing to the nerveless indecision of James.
The condition of affairs in Europe seemed to call for friendly co-operation on the part of France and England to restrain the ambition of the House of Hapsburg. Unhappily any useful action of this description was thwarted by mutual mistrust. As already pointed out the French were jealous of English ascendancy in the Netherlands. In German affairs the English strongly suspected the sincerity of the French, considering it quite likely that Louis would send help to the emperor and that he might even contemplate the invasion of the Palatinate (Nos. 308, 346). These feelings were justified, despite the fact that Puisieux, the Secretary of State, favoured a policy of neutrality, by a promise made by Louis to the imperial ambassador at Christmas, 1619, to send an army to help his master in the following March. (fn. 5) The two nations seemed to become only more estranged and embittered with the passage of time, despite all efforts to the contrary.
One of the first acts of the new ambassador, Tillières, after his arrival in England in the autumn of 1619 was to propose joint action by the two crowns to settle the affairs of Bohemia (No. 53). After keeping the ambassador waiting more than a month for an answer, James told him it was too late to do anything, as matters had gone too far. In the following summer, when France had decided to send an independent embassy to Germany, opinion in England hesitated between the views, either that the mission was insincere or that Louis wished to have all the glory of a settlement for himself (No. 349). The French were not better disposed. When James asked to see the commissions of the Ambassadors, Tillières laughed and said that his king did not issue instructions to his ambassadors to be examined at the English Court (No. 294), and in reply to a similar request made in France, the ministers there stated that in their opinion the relations existing between the two Crowns did not justify co-operation (No. 373). When in due course the question of the Valtelline arose, the idea of concerted action was hardly considered, and James was rather anxious that France should move by herself to resist Spanish encroachments in that valley.
The internal condition of France was not such as to permit much attention to be paid to affairs abroad. The party of the queen mother still gave the favourite Luynes considerable anxiety. As a counterpoise to her he released Condé from the Bastille. After Louis had made a treaty with his mother at Angers on the 10th August, 1620, his attention was directed to his Huguenot subjects in Bearn, who refused to obey his edicts ordering the restitution of ecclesiastical possessions. Condé used his influence to incite the king against the Huguenots, telling him that they wanted to form a republic within the kingdom (No. 536).
The proceedings against the Huguenots caused great disquiet in England, where they seemed part of a general movement against the Protestant faith, and James remonstrated strongly with the French king and taxed Condé with ingratitude (No. 534). But for his fear of English intervention Louis would have liked to deal much more drastically with the Huguenots; he much wished to take away their strong places and even sent to ask the pope's leave to sell the goods of the Church and devote the proceeds to such a war (fn. 6) (No. 618). The sumptuous embassy of Cadenet, Luynes's brother, at the beginning of 1621 seems to have been intended chiefly to divert James from any idea of helping the Huguenots against their sovereign (No. 673). In England this embassy was regarded as a manœuvre of the Jesuits. James was inclined to laugh at it, though reminded of an alleged plot of Concini to kidnap him in some such way (No. 671). Cadenet had two secret audiences of James on the question of the Huguenots, which were not attended even by the ordinary ambassador, Tillières. At the first Cadenet spoke of the intention of his master to punish his rebellious subjects, though not to make war on the Huguenots, appealing to James's dislike of the spirit of revolt. In reply the king called to mind the great Henry IV, vindicated the loyalty of the Huguenots, and said he could not hear without sorrow that those of his own faith were being badly treated without having committed any fault (No. 687). At the second audience, James spoke much more strongly, remarking that it was not the Huguenots who spread abroad the doctrine of assassinating princes, and they would be better defenders of the Spanish frontier than the Jesuits. If the Huguenots were trampled upon he clearly perceived that they would afterwards think of aiming a blow at his own dominions, and so he was bound to resent such action. Rebels ought to be exterminated, but those who had received so many privileges from the king's father and grandfather ought not to be oppressed without deserving it. Such an undertaking would not redound to the honour and welfare of France (No. 698). On his return to France Cadenet reported that James had expressed his desire to see the French Crown at peace and promised to represent to the Huguenots their duty of obedience to their sovereign, otherwise they must not rely upon his protection, but he begged Louis to maintain their ancient privileges and keep the edicts granted by his father, so that they might have cause to continue to serve him with the more loyalty and ardour. Although this report looks like a much edited version of what actually took place, it gave no satisfaction at the French Court, where they suspected that James rather inclined to protect the Huguenots, though many counted upon James's well-known character (No. 728). Nevertheless it was reported that after Cadenet's departure, the assembly of la Rochelle had sent to offer that town to James if he would help them (No. 673), while the Huguenots received Cadenet's report with rejoicing.
Although Cadent seems to have dealt with nothing except this question of the Huguenots, it was surmised that he came with various other objects in view. (fn. 7) Of these, by far the most important was a suggested marriage between the Prince of Wales and Madam Henrietta of France. The idea of a marriage alliance with England was actively taken up by Luynes in the autumn of 1619. He approached the brother of the English ambassador, Herbert, and got him to go to England to feel the way. The negotiations were conducted with the greatest secrecy from fear of Spain and Savoy (No. 34). Nothing came of them, however, and the two Crowns rather tended to drift farther apart. But in August, 1620, a M. du Buisson arrived in England with letters from the Duke of Guise, ostensibly to buy horses. It transpired that he really came from the Prince of Condé with a renewal of the marriage proposals. (fn. 8) He was received politely but informed that they could not enter upon any formal negotiations before they had broken with Spain (Nos. 487, 504), although a month later Herbert assured the Venetian ambassador at Paris that negotiations were still in progress (No. 536). It was fully expected that Cadenet would broach the subject of the marriage as a means of preventing James from taking up the cause of the Huguenots (No. 655). When Cadenet arrived it appeared that he had no letters of credence or instructions about affairs (No. 715), and he stated definitely that he had not come about the marriage. (fn. 9) Despite this statement he evidently meant to feel his way on the subject, but he soon perceived the hopelessness of the task. Although he boasted that he would manage the king if he could stop in England a month, he did not venture to open the matter at his first audience, and, though he approached Buckingham on the following day, he found the favourite so unfavourable that he gave it up altogether. (fn. 10) The only step actually taken was that one of Cadenet's gentlemen named Laforet spoke to Naunton, not to make a formal proposal, but simply to advise him that all France would like the marriage. The secretary replied, unofficially, that similar negotiations had been instituted previously simply in order to break off those with Spain, and as England was very short of money, France would have to offer as large a dowry as Spain did. Laforet said that Luynes could easily lend his master money for this, and Naunton promised to speak to the king (No. 698). Little as this was it seemed enough to alarm the Spaniards, especially as James told them plainly that if they did not arrange with him in three months he would consider himself released from all engagements (No. 715). Thus while the French went about saying that it was not their custom to offer their women, the Spaniards declared it was not reasonable that the Prince of England should take to wife the younger sister of the consort of the Prince of Savoy (No. 698). The outcome of it all was the suspension of Naunton from his office as the result of Spanish intrigues, ostensibly for listening to Laforet's proposals without consulting the king (No. 725), leaving the Spanish marriage more in favour than ever, and the Count of Gondomar supreme. (fn. 11)
The negotiations for the Spanish marriage continued their chequered course; they had come to be considered as part of the regular diplomatic game. At times it was revived just as at others it was damped down, as it might happen to suit the performers (No. 469). Neither side trusted the other, and it is doubtful if either was sincere. In England men did not know what to believe. Some thought the Spaniards might consider the moment opportune to close, provide their party in England with a chief in the wife of the heir apparent, and tie England to their chariot wheels for a long period. Others thought it would prove a lengthy business and the terms difficult if not impossible. Others again believed that James did not really desire it, but only kept the negotiations alive as a cloak to cover his disinclination to involve himself in a war for his son-in-law, and to slacken the Spaniards in some of their designs (No. 525). James was very doubtful of Spanish sincerity, and in November 1619, he asked the Duke of Savoy to find out through Prince Philibert whether the Spaniards really wished to marry the Infanta to the Prince of Wales (No. 91). In the following year he declared that the Spanish ambassador was playing with him, and that he would be played with no longer (Nos. 350, 411). Gondomar had instructions to do everything in his power to prevent James from intervening in favour of Frederick and it suited his purpose to make the achievement of the marriage appear plain and easy (No. 468). Among his intimates he laughed at the credulity of James, rejoiced at the valuable time gained, and boasted of keeping the king's hopes buoyed up by his various devices (Nos. 389, 525). In Spain, on the other hand, many believed that the negotiations were merely kept up by England for ulterior objects, well known there, though it suited James to pretend to ignore them, for his own purposes (No. 661). James, however, wished to have it believed, and in September, 1620, declared it was arranged, expressing his displeasure with any who showed signs of incredulity (No. 543). At the same time, two of his leading representatives abroad, Herbert and Wake, expressed their conviction that it would never take place (Nos. 405, 422, 536).
Feeling in England continued as strongly against it as ever; only the Catholics and the more corrupt ministers, expectant of Spanish pensions, really desired it. In Europe, all who dreaded the ascendancy of the Hapsburgs were equally opposed. The Venetian Senate directed Lando, their ambassador in England, to throw obstacles in its way, using due circumspection and prudence (No. 355). The Jesuits as a body used their influence against it (No. 637), and in Rome the Pæans of the Spaniards aroused no enthusiasm owing to the fear that the Spaniards who accompanied the princess to England would be more likely to fall away from the faith than to convert the English; this had occurred in many instances at the last Anglo-Spanish marriage, between Philip and Mary, after which the Inquisition had its hands full in rooting out the numerous seeds of heresy scattered among the Catholics (No. 415). (fn. 12) Yet amid all this mutual suspicion and active hostility the negotiations were kept alive, never abandoned altogether, and at times apparently on the verge of completion.
The Spanish ambassador, Gondomar, manipulated these negotiations with wonderful skill to serve the purposes of his country. His own government thought highly of his ability and considered him the one man for the post, although many capable persons attributed his success as much to the king's nature as to the ambassador's cleverness, and thought that James would have done little more if Gondomar had not come to England (No. 525). Although there is a considerable amount of truth in this view, it is undoubted that the astute Spaniard exercised a remarkable influence over James. He knew his man, and adapted himself admirably to suit the requirements of his time. He showed none of the haughty Spanish reserve, and his free and easy manner and his jocular way of introducing all matters of business delighted the king (Nos. 210, 245). He carefully observed the king's customs and tastes, and cheerfully imitated all his actions in the hunting field (No. 218).
Gondomar had left England in the summer of 1618, but the progress of affairs in Bohemia rendered his presence in England highly necessary. In a little more than a year it was announced that he would return, although owing to various delays he did not actually arrive in London until the 18th March, 1620 (No. 295). James had been eagerly waiting for him, even with impatience (Nos. 58, 253), although he had special reasons for resentment, notably that the ambassador had been at the bottom of the flight of the Earl of Argyle and for two other reasons unnamed (No. 245). James intended to remonstrate strongly with Gondomar on these subjects, but in his delight at the Spaniard's presence he forgot every cause of complaint, and before a fortnight had elapsed the wily ambassador found himself more in honour than ever (No. 311). From that time he maintained his ascendancy unimpaired, with but brief periods of eclipse, through the difficult months that followed. He used James's dislike of popular movements to damp down any inclination to support the Bohemians (No. 411). When the news arrived of the defeat of Frederick at the White Mountain, he displayed a studied moderation and said he would rather hear of the conclusion of peace than of battles (No. 652). At the invasion of the Palatinate by Spinola he appeased the indignation of James by saying that negotiation would be facilitated rather than otherwise by the occupation. Thus he played freely upon the king's pet foibles to win his point. Once, when James's indignation was roused at a collection made by the English Catholics in favour of the emperor, the king went so far as to make game publicly of the ambassador's protestations, mimicking him before his councillors, but even here Gondomar got what he wanted in the release of the culprit for whom he had appealed (No. 631). At the beginning of 1621 Gondomar's supremacy had become complete. The king gave him more time at audiences than his own councillors (No. 679). He always had ready access to the royal presence, where others had to contrive and struggle, and in many matters the king asked his advice before coming to a decision (No. 767). The ministers who opposed him stood in manifest peril; Naunton, whom he recognised as an obstacle in his path, was removed and confined to his house; Doncaster was in great danger, and others expected to share their fate; Sir Roger North, returned from the Amazon with a rich cargo, was promptly thrown into the Tower, even the Ambassador Dohna was not spared an insulting inquiry into his proceedings. "At the present moment," wrote Lando on the 5th February, "the crown and sceptre of these realms seem to be in the hands of the Spanish ambassador almost absolutely" (No. 725). Those ministers who enjoyed the highest favour and who wished to stand well with Gondomar, frequently forewarned him when they got a hint of any matter of moment which might offend him (No. 758). Only a few weeks before the invasion of the Palatinate had caused such a stir that James himself had been carried away, and war with Spain seemed not only possible but near at hand. Gondomar had played his cards with such skill that his country could pursue her schemes of aggrandisement without fear of interruption from James.
Although Gondomar ruled at Court, there was no mistaking the feeling of the body of the English people towards him. They looked upon him with too much reason as the king's evil genius. When he arrived in March, 1620, with the marriage arrangements in his pocket, men made vigorous remarks about the peace of the realm being imperilled if the marriage ever took place (No. 295). When the king had issued his declaration in favour of the Palatinate, it was thought prudent not to publish the contemplated manifesto justifying the step as otherwise it might be difficult to restrain the people from committing some notable outrage upon the ambassador (No. 576.). At the end of the year Gondomar professed to have heard of a plot to murder him and all his household, and obtained a special guard from the Privy Council. This was probably a concoction for his own purposes, but he found it difficult to go abroad in public, and in some tavern one of his followers who imprudently gloried over the emperor's victory, was thrown on to a large fire and trampled upon by the incensed by standers (No. 659). The course adopted by the king, the persistence with which at every turn he seemed to act contrary to the dearest wishes of his people, and the pitch of exasperation at which they had arrived in consequence, made even cautious observers portend some serious popular outbreak. In large measure James was influenced by his fear of the popularity of his son-in-law in the country, especially among the Puritans. Frederick had such a strong party at Court and in the kingdom that the Savoyard ambassador Gabaleoni considered that if it was put to the vote whether the Prince of Wales or the Palatine should succeed to the throne the latter would win easily (No. 161). When the young couple had gone to establish themselves at Prague, many of the young and spirited English gentry were eager to go and serve the new queen (No. 288). At a later date Buckingham remarked that whoever gave rein to the people would make the King of Bohemia merry (No. 644). All this made James afraid of his son-in-law and his own daughter. He forbad the public rejoicing the people were eager to make at the news of their coronation at Prague (No. 120). One strong reason why he resented the occupation of the Palatinate was his fear that the Palatine might come to England with his family and there form a party with the Calvinists of his own particular sect (Nos. 534, 583). When the disaster had actually befallen, he bent his energies to prevent his daughter taking refuge in her native land with her husband.
How foolish were these fears, if James had only made up his mind to a manly and truly national policy, appeared by the popularity which immediately became his the moment he decided to issue a declaration in favour of the Palatinate (No. 576). But that was a mere flash in the pan, contradicted by the whole course of his conduct at other times. As a consequence the excitement and exasperation in the country only grew the more intense, increased from time to time by such acts as the attempt to stop North's expedition to the Amazon (Nos. 373, 377), or the report that the Algiers fleet would be put under a Spanish commander. Wise men shook their heads and predicted that if the king did not make some show of effective action for his son-in-law serious disturbances would break out (No. 504). But James continued inactive, and feeling only grew more and more inflamed (No. 534). It reached its culmination with the arrival of the news of the battle of the White Mountain. Echoes of this ferment did not fail to resound in the Court itself, as shown by two striking anecdotes recorded in this volume. Van Male, the agent of Flanders, happened one day in the palace to speak contemptuously of the Palatine, calling him a winter king who would last one season only and then be swept away by a single puff from the House of Austria. An elderly gentleman named Goring warned him to speak more advisedly. If he did not show respect none would be shown to him, and he threatened to throw him out of the window. The King of Bohemia was the king's son-in-law and as good as a son, while the Queen of Bohemia bore the name of Elizabeth, and by God's grace she would enjoy the same felicity as that glorious Elizabeth, queen of this realm, who for forty years made those who are now so high and puffed up with so little cause to sweat for it and spend their blood and treasure. The outspoken cavalier won universal applause, and the agent, very much crestfallen, held his peace (No. 253). The other occasion was after James's declaration. The king, in boastful mood, declared that he would never again trust any Spanish ambassador or minister, as his patience had simply increased their arrogance. If necessary he himself would go to the defence of his kindred. He had always said that he would only unsheath his sword in case of extreme necessity, but once he had unsheathed it, to put it back would not prove so easy a matter. To this a Scottish cavalier, whom we may conjecture to have been John Ramsay, Viscount Haddington, afterwards Earl of Holderness, rejoined, "If you wished to put it back, I would run off with the sheath" (No. 575).
The difference in sentiment between the king and his people and the general dissatisfaction at the conduct of the Government all helped to kindle a strong and growing desire in the nation for a parliament to assemble and put things right. Even so popular an object as the collection for the Palatine was seriously affected by the eagerness for a parliament, and men held back their money in the hope that the king's necessities would force him to send for the representatives of his people (No. 301). Ideas of popular government were gaining ground; the people and the clergy too grew more determined to force the king's hand; they wanted parliaments to meet every two years and that the money granted should be controlled not by the king or his ministers but by deputies elected for the purpose (No. 310). The king's obvious intention to limit the freedom of his subjects only rendered them the more determined to insist upon their liberties (No. 608). While James wrathfully remarked that his people were becoming too republican, they on their part had never been so wideawake, and, profiting by the experience of previous parliaments, and owing to the long interval without one, were never so full of ideas and grievances (No. 644).
James, who loathed the thought of the popular assembly with all his soul, resolved that before summoning it he would endure the last extremity. In this he had the support of the Spanish party in the country, including the sycophant courtiers and those ministers who had reason to fear the indignation of the country. Some of them went so far as to urge that the king could help his son-in-law without calling parliament, ordering his subjects to go and serve the Palatine and raising the money to pay them merely by the exercise of the prerogative (No. 219).
Even James would not resort to such extreme measures, which would not have succeeded and could only have provoked revolt. Meanwhile the increasingly critical state of affairs abroad and the growing disorder of the national finances made the unwelcome step ever more inevitable. Before it was taken all manner of expedients were adopted to replenish the empty exchequer. The king raised a loan from the merchants at 10 per cent. (No. 219); after the king's declaration, a benevolence was demanded, expected to realise 300,000l. (No. 608), and the Privy Council alone promised 50,000l. (No. 585). Offices and titles were sold for good round sums (No. 623). The Courts of Justice were employed for the same purpose, and the prosecution of the ex-Lord Mayor of London, the Attorney General and others in the Star Chamber in August, 1620, was expected to realise a considerable sum (No. 511). A number of Flemish merchants trading in England were fined 160,000l for exporting gold (No. 147). After four months only 13,000l. of that sum had been paid, and the Dutch ambassador, Caron, was trying to get the sentence commuted for 60,000l. (No. 330). In March, 1620, James revived a claim for 130,000l. against the towns of Brussels, Antwerp, Ghent and Bruges for money lent to them by Queen Elizabeth, naturally without any success (No. 295). A proposal was mooted to raise 100,000l. at Amsterdam upon the royal jewels, but a difficulty arose because the treasurer insisted that the jewels should not leave the country, but only be deposited with the Dutch ambassador (Nos. 565, 711).
Notwithstanding all these expedients the exchequer remained empty; upon the publication of Buckingham's letter to Gondomar explaining the king's resolution, the payment of the benevolence stopped abruptly from fear that the king would seize some frivolous pretext of complaint against his son-in-law in order to abandon him, and keep the money for himself and his favourites (No. 644). James prepared to face the inevitable, encouraged by the thought that in a national cause he would have the support of all the great and influential persons, who would normally be on the other side (No. 576). Early in October, 1620, the king laid the matter before the Privy Council, and Bacon and Calvert drew up a paper containing the chief reasons for summoning a parliament and the way to over-come many difficulties (No. 585). On the 16th November a proclamation was issued summoning a parliament for the 26th January following. Even then James hesitated, and two postponements were made on some-what frivolous pretexts, firstly for Cadenet's visit and then because the king had a touch of the gout (Nos. 687, 711); but ultimately parliament was opened in state by the king himself on Tuesday, the 9th February.
The elections had excited the greatest interest, and both the king and the popular party made great efforts to secure a majority. Political questions were freely discussed, and Lando observes that "with the possibility of entering parliament, everyone here poses as a statesman and a prudent politician" (No. 631). The Spanish party posed as the king's friends and thereby advanced another step in the royal favour (No. 733). In order to exclude the Puritans, who formed the strength of the popular party, it was suggested that none but members of the Church of England should be eligible for the Lower House (No. 623). This does not seem to have been carried into effect, but parliament, on the other hand, so soon as it met, took active steps to shut out the Catholics, expelling some for not taking the oath, and others upon the pretext of some irregularity in their election, but really because they were Catholics or suspected of being so. They also decided to celebrate the communion together to find whether, after all this purging, any Catholics remained. It was suggested that so long as parliament lasted all Catholics should be expelled from the city of London (No. 748).
The first demand of the new parliament was for freedom of speech. They were perfectly ready to grant large sums of money, but were determined to know how it would be expended (No. 743). The question of supply was delayed for some days by an altercation which arose from Calvert accusing Sir Edward Coke of stating that there existed connivance between the king and the Spanish ambassador. Ultimately the Commons granted two subsidies for the king's personal use (No. 748). (fn. 13) An attempt to discuss the question of the restitution of the Palatinate brought Calvert to his feet declaring that such matters belonged to the king's prerogative, and that the House had nothing to do with them (No. 759). An examination into the internal condition of the kingdom revealed an appalling state of disorder that seemed almost hopeless or only to be righted by steady application during a great number of years (No. 774). Nevertheless the members set about the task dauntlessly, attacking abuses, especially monopolies, and threatening the unrighteous gains of the parasite courtiers and even of the favourite himself (No. 767).
When once James had made up his mind to summon parliament he also prepared himself to make concessions to his subjects in order to make a show of granting voluntarily what he might be compelled to yield by necessity (No. 631). Although he had some difference with the Houses about the treatment of the Catholic recusants, he so far yielded to the wishes of parliament as to issue orders, though not by proclamation, that all Catholics should leave London? and ten miles round it so long as parliament lasted (No. 767). At the end of March, 1621, everything seemed to be going smoothly. and the king said he wished the parliament would last for ever, though those nearest to him would rather it had never begun (No. 789).
Lando and Marioni, like their predecessors, give us various little touches illustrating the king's character and habits. In the winter season of 1619 he was witnessing comedies every evening at Court, although this did not prevent him spending a great deal of time in the preparation of his Meditation upon the Crown of Thorns (No. 83). During the progress of the autumn of 1620 the Court passed its time in continual amusements, in which the drama again had its part (No. 532). In his serious illness in April, 1619, James had promised that he would not betake himself so much to hunting and solitude in the future, (fn. 14) but before the year was out he had entirely forgotten all about this vow. A year later Lando speaks of the hunting as ceaseless (No. 525). With this devotion to sport it was inevitable that serious business should suffer from neglect. James regarded affairs of state as a disagreeable interruption to his pleasures (No. 564). Though all Europe was seething with war, James would often leave his letters and foreign advices untouched for days together (No. 511). He loved a country life, and detested London (No. 623). The blow of the defeat in Bohemia sobered him for a while; he gave up his hunting, which even the bitter weather had not slackened, forbad the courtiers any kind of game or recreation and shut himself up in his room in great dejection (No. 652). Diplomatists had to be very careful in imparting information to him, as he was accustomed to be as liberal to his favourites with his secrets as with his riches (No. 526). While heaping every favour upon Buckingham, and giving him the most important position in the state, he condemned the King of France for his infatuation over Luynes (No. 482) and declared it was a shame that that kingdom should be governed by a favourite (No. 715). In the difficult tangle of foreign politics he could not make up his mind what course to pursue, and showed the utmost feebleness and irresolution. One day he would speak high, the next he dared scarcely open his mouth (No. 758). The favourites could always get round him, and what was resolved by him with great labour one day was frequently undone, transformed or diminished by them in a few hours (No. 686). "His nature is such," wrote Lando, "that in his heart great strokes sometimes please him, when they turn out well, but he has no inclination to devise or handle them, and if they turn out badly he wishes to be free from every imputation of having fomented or advised them" (No. 747). Fear ruled his life, and his cowardice sometimes found expression in strange ways. A former preacher of his daughter Elizabeth, who had cast the horoscope of the king and prince and divined the time when they would die, was thrown into prison and severely tortured, though universally held to be mad (No. 288). When he learned on another occasion that a body of some three hundred priests had entered the country from France and Flanders, he was so affected that he would not leave his room for a whole day (No. 504).
Prince Charles, now grown to manhood, was beginning to take a prominent part in public life. He could not conceal his pleasure at all demonstrations of honour shown to him, and was especially gratified when foreign representatives gave him any information about current affairs (No. 218). He attended with great regularity the sessions of the parliament of 1621, and seemed most anxious to learn and render himself conversant with state business (No. 748). His views on foreign affairs sympathised far more with popular opinion than with his father's line of policy. At the time of Frederick's coronation in Bohemia he lost no opportunity of displaying his friendly feeling towards his sister and the new king. When the agent of Flanders, Van Male, brought him a bundle of papers in support of the emperor's claims to Bohemia, and saying, "I beg your Highness to look at these, although I know you have other things to do," the prince replied, "I have nothing else to do at present than to think of the affairs of the Bohemians and of my brother-in-law, and nothing occupies my mind more. I have recently read, considered and studied the claims of the Bohemians, and they seem to me well founded" (No. 218). When the king was hesitating whether he should take open measures for the defence of the Palatinate by sending a large force under the command of Southampton, Charles joined with Buckingham to advise the bolder course and urged that he ought either to do nothing or something considerable (No. 388). When news reached England that Spinola had struck the first blow against the Palatinate by the capture of Kreutznach it was from the prince's Court that the most fiery denunciations of the Spaniards issued (No. 559). He tackled Gondomar on the subject much more sharply than his father, telling the ambassador roundly "You must know that at bottom this concerns my sister" (No. 576). He had a large share in inducing the king to issue his declaration in favour of the Palatinate (No. 575). Under the circumstances it was not to be expected that he should have much inclination for the Spanish marriage (Nos. 330, 335).
On the other hand he was in complete subjection to his father. At the beginning of 1620 Lando writes of him, "He has no inclination whatever to marry the Spanish princess, but his chief endeavour is to disclose no other aim than to second the king, to caress openly those who enjoy his Majesty's favour, to stand habitually at his side, to follow him and do his pleasure and not to move except as his father does" (No. 218). The influences surrounding him, prudence, the memory of what has happened, fear and every other consideration tended to induce him to please his father (No. 330). The king spoke to him frequently on the subject of the marriage, telling him of all the negotiations; Digby, the prime mover of the marriage, was always at his elbow, with free access to him at any time, and so we learn that in the spring of 1620 Charles was becoming more and more reconciled to the alliance (No. 358). In any case he always aimed at suppressing his own feelings in his father's presence (No. 686). In connection with the relations existing between father and son, Lando relates a curious incident, strongly reminiscent of the play scene in Hamlet. Early in 1620 the comedians of the prince played in the king's presence a drama in which a king with two sons has one of them put to death simply upon suspicion that he wished to deprive him of his crown, and the other son actually did deprive him of it afterwards. James was deeply affected by this play, but as comedians could say what they liked, no steps were taken against them (No. 186).
So far as we obtain glimpses of the private life of Charles he seems almost too virtuous; his devotion to religion is mentioned more than once (Nos. 575, 686); his Court was a model of frugality and order (No. 585). To set against this rather uninviting morality it is necessary to call to mind characteristics more natural in a young man, his love of outdoor sports and of masques, and his fondness for tilting, in which he persisted upon at least one occasion despite the efforts of many of the Lords of the Council to prevent him from indulging in such a dangerous amusement (No. 274). He had outgrown the early delicacy of his constitution, but he was not very robust and at the beginning of 1620 he suffered from a slight indisposition from over fatigue through dancing in a masque, much exaggerated at Court, but sufficient to detain James a few days from his beloved hunting (No. 218). Although, as already noted, he was not so popular in England as his brother-in-law, there is no reason to suppose that he did not enjoy the affection of his people. An alleged plot to assassinate him proved to be nothing but a rather clumsy device to cast suspicion upon the King and Queen of Bohemia (Nos. 469, 482).
The true nature of the early relations between Charles and Buckingham is somewhat mysterious. The prince may have concealed his real feelings out of deference to his father, but Lando, soon after his arrival in England, observes that the marquis was apparently as great a favourite with Charles as with James (No. 201). In one incident recorded in this volume there is a hint that matters were not always upon quite so smooth a footing. When the question of English levies for the Palatinate was being discussed, it was understood that Sir Edward Cecil would have the command. Ultimately, however, Cecil was passed over, and Sir Horace Vere obtained the appointment. Cecil actually had the king's promise, given at Buckingham's request, but this was revoked by the influence of Charles and the Ambassador Dohna in favour of their own candidate Vere. A sharp quarrel on the subject took place between Buckingham and Dohna, and it is hardly likely that Charles was not involved in this (Nos. 575, 789).
Englishmen of James's day were very sensible of the serious loss in consideration their country had suffered since the great times of Queen Elizabeth. Undoubtedly, corrupting influences were at work, most rife at Court, but which had not failed to spread downwards among the people. A love of ease and pleasure was sapping the virility of the nation; a love of display led men to spend more than they possessed upon their pleasures, rich clothing and copious tables (No. 330). The luxurious habits of the nobility made them shun anything that involved hardship, and very few of them adopted the profession of the sea or had any experience of it (No. 488). There was a general ignorance of foreign affairs (No. 444), and an indifference to them except as a spectacle to be enjoyed at a safe distance (No. 399). When the Earl of Essex, Sir Edward Cecil and other Englishmen returned home after a very brief absence on the field of action, Lando remarked sarcastically "After the fatigues of war, which speedily tire them, everybody reasonably likes a little rest" (No. 637). The same observer notes the general greed for gold which is most pronounced in those of the highest quality (No. 775). He calls the ministers of state "birds with large maws" (No. 149). The standard of public honour in England was deplorably low. They simply could not understand the relentless vigour with which Venice proceeded against the ex-Ambassador Donato, convicted of peculation, being quite unable to see that the crimes of theft, of taking public money and public papers were so very heinous (No. 190). "If I wished to punish those who robbed me—Good God!" exclaimed James, in discussing the same affair (No. 189). When Gondomar arrived high hopes were excited because it was reported he had received large remissions of cash through the merchants, for though many of the ministers and courtiers much disliked the mention of Spanish pensions they were very glad of the money (Nos. 301, 330). Prince Maurice of Orange roundly declared that all or the greater part of the English ministers were corrupt (No. 425).
Despite this deplorable state of affairs there are indications that the ancient spirit was not dead after all. The determination with which the people asserted their liberties against the king has been noted above. No one who peruses this volume can fail to be struck by the quantities of men raised in the country for service abroad. Considering the population of the British Islands at the time, the numbers are remarkable, and the supply of recruits seemed inexhaustible. Quite at the beginning of the Bohemian affair, a Scot named Andrew Gray had leave to raise 2,000 men to serve Frederick (No. 266), the force going eventually to the Palatinate. Thither also went Vere's force of 2,000 men, consisting of the flower of the people, to be followed soon after by 2,000 more. The numbers were limited only by the funds which Frederick had at his disposal, and in any case it was estimated that 8,000 British troops would soon be ready for the defence of the Palatinate (No. 428). About the same time the King of Poland had permission to levy 10,000 men for service against the Turks (No. 110). The Dutch, who already had a considerable force of Englishmen permanently stationed in their country, obtained permission at the beginning of 1621 to enlist as many English as they pleased, a permission of which they availed themselves with alacrity (Nos. 680, 766). Even Spain proposed to ask for English troops, with every prospect of receiving a favourable answer (No. 766). When at the end of all this the Venetian republic obtained leave from James to make a levy in England of 3,000 men, the Ambassador Lando experienced no lack of offers for every kind of service (No. 775). Manifestly the old spirit of adventure was by no means extinct; the sole difficulty was to find an experienced officer capable of taking the chief command of a considerable force. The Earl of Southampton was the only man to be even considered for such a post; if a large force had gone to the Palatinate, everything pointed to him as the man to command it. He was himself ready and eager for this employment, and prepared to advance considerable sums out of his private fortune to further the enterprise; but James was suspicious and jealous of the earl and afraid of trusting him with a large force, so under the pretext that it was not fitting for a member of the Privy Council to engage in a matter in which the king did not wish to declare himself openly, Southampton was not allowed to go (No. 388). In this way James damped down every healthy effort and the generous energies of the English people were allowed to fritter away uselessly on many fields, while the real interests of the country went to rack and ruin for lack of honest and enlightened guidance.
The increasing difficulties of the christian and even the renegade pirates fighting for their own hand, was pointed out in the preface to the preceding volume of this Calendar (fn. 15); the present volume contains the justification of that observation. After a whole year's cruising in the waters of the Levant, Sampson's only prize was a little Flemish ship (No. 17). In the spring of 1620 a person calling himself the Viscount de Lormes appeared at Brussels to make a strange proposal to the archduke. He came as the representative of the captains of twenty-four pirate ships, who in the course of their depredations in the waters of Africa, Spain and the Indies and in the Red Sea, had amassed a fortune amounting to five or six million crowns. They had grown weary of their dangerous trade and wished to give it up and put themselves under the protection of some prince. They proposed to hand over to the prince who would receive them a million ducats, the twenty-four ships with their armament, guns and munitions, everything in fact except any merchandise which they might have on board. There were about 3,000 of them in all, mostly French and English, some Dutch, and about 600 negroes; they were all good Christians and promised to live in the Catholic faith, the majority being already of that persuasion. De Lormes, as his reward for the transaction, asked for ten per cent of the sum paid down. Pasini, a Venetian agent at Brussels, heard of this offer and succeeded in inducing De Lormes to make it to Venice before the matter had gone too far with the archduke (No. 340). The pirates had first made up their minds to this course in 1617, when they approached the King of France with similar proposals, who had apparently considered them seriously, though the negotiations fell through because they thought Luynes was playing with them. They also addressed themselves to England, and to the Grand Duke of Tuscany, who lent a willing ear to the offer, and would, undoubtedly, have taken it up, had not Pasini forestalled him (Nos. 395, 396, 397, 398, 488). The pirates apparently preferred the prospect of becoming Venetian subjects. Pasini sent on De Lormes to Surian, the Venetian Resident in the Netherlands, who was able to supply further particulars, afterwards supplemented by Lando, who took up the affair. There were thirteen leading captains, of whom one Hastings was chief. He claimed noble birth though actually the son of a shipmaster, (fn. 16) and was said to have taken to piracy because he was implicated in the gunpowder plot (No. 424). The second in command, an Englishman, Ellis by name, claimed kin with the Earl of Essex. There were five other English captains, including the celebrated renegade Sampson, an Irishman, three Netherlanders and two Frenchmen (Nos. 394, 488).
The offer was undoubtedly very attractive to the Venetians, and if it had occurred at the time of Osuna's activities at Naples they might easily have closed with it eagerly. Coming as it did, when the ex-Viceroy was slowly wending his way home to disgrace and imprisonment, the Senate was disposed to act cautiously, and instructed Lando to discover whether James would take it in good part if some prince decided to give these men the guarantee they required and receive them into his state (No. 426). Lando was not able to report very favourably on the king's views. James had a natural detestation of pirates, he had indeed pardoned Mainwaring, but this had produced an unfortunate effect, encouraging many others to go buccaneering, while some of those who returned with him had relapsed to their infamous profession. The commander of the Algiers fleet, then fitting out, had orders to hang without mercy every English pirate he came across (No. 488).
Despite this not too encouraging reply, the Venetian Senate decided to continue the negotiations with De Lormes. Pasini had promised De Lormes an answer within six weeks, and he feared delay as the Florentines were trying to gain the advantage for their duke (Nos. 371, 375). The Senate refused to be hurried, and suggested that three or four of the pirate captains should come to Venice under a safe conduct, to treat of the matter there. De Lormes did not think they would agree to this, as they wanted a complete indemnity (Nos. 449, 540), but so eager was he for reception at Venice that he said they could wait for three years. Meanwhile he chafed at the delay and pressed for a speedy decision, as the ships would soon be obliged to withdraw to Africa owing to the coming on of winter (No. 424). It was arranged that Pasini and a Venetian merchant named Falgher should go with De Lormes to visit the captains. They were supposed to be with their ships off the coast of Ireland, a favourite resort of pirates, sometimes even with the connivance (for a consideration) of the Lord High Admiral as well as of the favourite Somerset in days gone by (No. 488). They were unable to find the pirate fleet, however, and ultimately it was arranged that Falgher should accompany De Lormes to Venice (No. 611). The so-called Viscount was not yet at the end of his adventures. In the Ardennes he was robbed and stripped, and when he reached Sedan the Duke of Bouillon threw him into prison, from which Surian succeeded in obtaining his release (Nos. 668, 676).
Meanwhile the band of pirates had also suffered its losses. Encouraged by the benevolence with which members of their profession were regarded by the common people, who remembered past gains, they ventured into the toils in somewhat too foolhardy a fashion, frequently coming ashore to visit their wives and relations in the belief that they would not be recognised. Captain Ellis was taken and hanged, that being also the fate of Black, another of the English captains, while the son of another was slain in defending himself from arrest. A third English captain was reported slain in a fight with a ship of his own countrymen. De Lormes attributed these disasters to the delay as these men had stayed behind on the strength of his promise, instead of going to Barbary as they intended (Nos. 488, 520, 521). Although these negotiations had been on foot since April, 1620, Wotton, the English ambassador at Venice, apparently did not hear of them before August of the following year, when he sent some not very accurate particulars to the Secretary Calvert. (fn. 17)
If pirates of the Christian persuasion did not find business very flourishing, the Mussulman corsairs of the Barbary coasts grew ever more audacious and enterprising. As the nearest, the Spaniards naturally suffered most. In September, 1619, a squadron which put out to fight the pirates was driven back into Lisbon with severe losses (No. 25). Their coasts were a constant prey to the scourge, and towards the end of 1620 a force of 4,000 pirates landed in the island of Ivizza and inflicted great damage (No. 623). In the summer of 1620 they appeared in English waters and captured some English ships (No. 447).
The nations affected considered various expedients to rid themselves of this scourge. The Dutch proposed to make a compact with the pirates, which would not only free their trade from the molestation, but provide them with a convenient base in the Mediterranean against their arch enemy upon the expiry of the truce. Against this project the English ambassador, Carleton, spoke very strongly in the Assembly, saying that his master and the Dutch together had enough ships to keep the fellows in order (No. 4). The Dutch accordingly fitted out a fleet to send to the Mediterranean, though the captains had orders to treat with the pirates, enjoining them to abide by the treaty made at Constantinople (No. 50). This measure proved inadequate, and in the summer of 1620 the Dutch merchants appealed more than once to the assembly of the States, complaining of their losses, and asking that a fleet of twenty-four to thirty ships should be fitted out to extirpate the corsairs (Nos. 438, 448, 467).
The Dutch hoped that they would have the co-operation of England in this good work, and Carleton had given them good reason to expect it. In February, 1620, they learned that James had decided to fit out a fleet of twenty ships against the pirates. The project was not a new one. In 1617 the king had the idea of joining the Dutch against the common enemy, to go and take Algiers. The merchants were to contribute large sums, and great preparations were made to get together a powerful fleet to be commanded by the Earl of Southampton. Two English cavaliers of experience and courage went to Tunis and Algiers disguised as merchants, and contrived to bring back plans of the forts and harbours. On their return they reported to the king how easily the places could be taken, though they stated that nothing considerable could be achieved without a large force, or else unless they could rely upon Spanish co-operation or neutrality. The whole plan was on the point of being carried into execution when Digby intervened saying it was not reasonable that his Majesty, a friend of the Catholic king, should send his fleet to scour the coasts of the dominions of so great a monarch for an enterprise so near him against an enemy who was also his own without giving him some share in it, and without joining with him instead of with the Dutch, who were his rebellious subjects, and by such arguments and by the efforts of Gondomar the whole thing fell through, while in the meantime the defences of Algiers were strengthened (Nos. 420, 467).
When the project was revived in 1620 it was with the avowed intention of co-operating with the Spaniards, in spite of the obvious difficulties of such an arrangement (No. 358). The history of the Algiers fleet under Sir Robert Mansell has been so admirably told by Mr. Julian Corbett, with due reference to its diplomatic bearings, (fn. 18) that it is unnecessary to dwell at length upon the subject here. This volume contains very full particulars, but nothing to alter the main lines of the story. Among various details we may note that the preparations of the fleet early disclosed numerous irregularities, the captains being venal and not of high rank or capacity (No. 389). The ships were to take 3,600 men, all of whom would discharge the double duty of sailors and soldiers, according to the English custom (No. 482). In October, 1620, the fleet was anchored off the Isle of Wight, when it received orders to go on to Plymouth, to exchange the new and inexperienced sailors on board, who were mostly long-shoremen apparently, for the excellent seamen whom the fishing boats were bringing home with them at that season (No. 576). The fleet was to sail at the beginning of September, and on Sunday, the 30th August, Mansell and his captains took the communion in church, and afterwards the commander entertained his officers at a banquet (No. 511). The departure was put off some weeks, owing to difficulties about co-operating with the Spaniards, which the king and Buckingham considered essential (No. 504), though James chafed and waxed wroth at the delay (Nos. 526, 613). They ultimately started on the 21st October, with provisions for fifteen months and sealed orders to be opened at sea. Other orders, drawn up by ministers of the Spanish party and not registered in the usual way, arrived too late and had to be sent on by a fast ship (Nos. 608, 613). All manner of surmises were made about the way the fleet would be employed. Buckingham, Digby, Arundel and Calvert all gave assurances to allay the fears of Gondomar that it would join the Dutch in hostile action against Spain (No. 504). The Spanish ambassador, in spite of this, was not altogether happy in his mind. He feared that when the fleet entered Spanish waters it might suddenly adopt a line different from what had been arranged. He therefore suggested that although the Spaniards had been eagerly looking for the fleet for a long while, he could not assure them of a friendly reception in the strained relations then existing. But Buckingham brushed this aside, saying that the king believed the ships had already started and in any case he could entertain no doubts about the treatment they would receive (No. 602).
After Mansell had sailed there seems to have been a growing sense of disappointment about the fleet of which so much had been expected. The only success reported was the capture of a single pirate ship (No. 637); and the fleet remained fast at Alicante, while buccaneering went on more actively than ever (No. 732). The whole thing had been arranged by the king alone with a few favourites, without consulting the Privy Council, the members of which derided the fleet and hoped for its recall to join the Dutch against the Spaniards (No. 789). Flattering letters came from Spain lauding it to the skies, but this only excited the resentment of the people against the king for consolidating an empire at whose dissolution he ought to aim and defending the coasts of those who at the very moment were trampling upon his own children. A leading minister expressed the opinion that when the Spaniards perceived that England was really moving, they would arrest the whole fleet in Spain (No. 670).
Limits of space forbid any but the briefest mention of many miscellaneous items of interest. In the summer of 1620 the English Catholics were treated with more rigour (Nos. 361, 428) despite the efforts of Gondomar, who wished in particular to limit the activity of the pursuivants (No. 358). They looked to the Spanish ambassador as their leader and supplied him with the bulk of his supplies for pensions, spies and other services (No. 715). Naunton discovered that they sent a great quantity of money to the ambassador (No. 670) and some were imprisoned for making a collection for the emperor (No. 631). Some stir was created by the discovery in November, 1620, in the prisons of the priests of ten altars where masses were celebrated and prayers offered for the success of the emperor and confusion to the Palatine, with a quantity of literature to scatter about the kingdom (No. 613).
In matters of trade, there is mention of a new English duty on goods (No. 147) and a new Venetian tax on foreigners (No. 544). The question of the currants is raised again, and there are some interesting particulars about the new English manufactures of glass which had come to rival that of Murano in its excellence (No. 301). At Constantinople the English ambassador, Pindar, was replaced by Sir John Eyre, whose period of service is signalised by the exactions of the Vizier Ali, whose threatening attitude to Venice led the republic to appeal to James, who wrote to the Sultan more than once on her behalf. Eyre did not give satisfaction to the Levant Company, and this ultimately led to his recall (Nos. 419, 671).
The case of Antonio Donato occupies a good deal of space and incidentally raises the question of the right of asylum (Nos. 196, 241), as well as of the number of printers in the United Kingdom (Nos. 274, 286). One may also mention the prevention of Hay's intended visit to Venice, through the republic's quarantine regulations (Nos. 86, 90, 99, 104–106); the presence of Arundel's sons as students at the University of Padua (Nos. 57, 66, 101, 102); Gatti's presentation to James of his book on hunting and his supposed connection with the Pruritanus libel (Nos. 12, 29, 38); the damage done by Gondomar's followers to pictures at Whitehall representing Henry VIII's siege of Boulogne and the capture of Smerwick (No. 631); and the exportation by Gondomar of English guns to sell to the Dutch, as a mere matter of business (No. 613).
In conclusion it is a pleasing duty to tender my thanks to the Director of the Archives at Venice and all the members of the staff with whom I have been brought into contact for many acts of kindness, though I cannot refrain from expressing regret that it has recently been thought fit to withdraw the special facilities for carrying on this work which have been enjoyed by my predecessor and myself for a number of years.