Venice: February 1627, 18-27

Pages 122-134

Calendar of State Papers Relating To English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 20, 1626-1628. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1914.

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February 1627

Feb. 18.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Francia. Venetian Archives.
145. ZORZI ZORZI, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Gerbier has been courteously detained by the cardinal's order, advantage being taken of Bassompierre's dance. The sight of a good number of English ships near La Rochelle has given the ministers here cause to reflect. I hear on good authority that they would now accept Bassompierre's treaty; but rather than given him more credit and revoke what they have once rejected, they will run the greatest risks. They have got Gerbier to write to Buckingham, and here in the meantime they discuss things with him. They say that France will never give up the arrested ships first; the English might release the French by some secret signal, and they would give the English assurances about Spanish goods which are contraband. He may leave at any moment, and the last thing expected is an agreement.
Another affair has arisen with England. The Secretary Luis has come for 100,000 lire of this country, for the hire of the English ships which served France in its siege of La Rochelle. He comes at a very bad time, although, as usual, they will give plenty of fair words. The orders are still in force, and France suffers, as the English are in superior force at sea and stop all the French ships they come across. The merchants here cry out aloud and if matters go further and the cardinal does not give way, this may break the neck of his greatness.
Paris, the 18th February, 1627.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Feb. 18.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Svizzeri. Venetian Archives.
146. GEROLAMO CAVAZZA, Venetian Secretary with the Swiss, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The man of the English ambassador (fn. 1) is staying at Coire, and his presence sometimes here and sometimes in the Grisons causes no little umbrage to the Catholic Cantons, which the nuncio may foster. They think he may have some business in hand, for an alliance with his master, or something similar. Personally I have not been able to discover that he was left here by the Ambassador Wake with any other object than to observe the negotiations proceeding at the present time, a knowledge of which may prove useful to his king in his present difficulties, especially as his quarrel with France keeps growing more bitter. From past experience it is considered that France in any case will not be able to win much from the English, and she risks losing a great deal.
Zurich, the 18th February, 1627.
Feb. 19.
Senato, Secreta. Deliberazioni. Venetian Archives.
147. To the Ambassador in Spain and the like to the other Courts.
The commissioners sent by the Prince of Transsylvania to Cæsar to arrange peace represented that when the articles were handed to Gabor, letters arrived from the King of Denmark relating to his forces, the help from England, the promises of further help from the Margrave of Baden, guaranteed by us, by which means they dissuaded him from the peace.' Cæsar himself informed the foreign ministers of this and asked their opinion. Padavin adds that there is an impression at that Court that the republic will always help the enemies of the House of Austria. This is very far from the truth and from the sincerity of the republic, which desires peace. The invention has no foundation in fact and is doubtless merely a trick of Gabor to obtain better terms in making peace.
We have sent this for your information so that you may dissipate false impressions, if anyone speaks to you on the subject, but not otherwise.
Ayes, 112. Noes, 0. Neutral, 5.
Feb. 19.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Inghilterra. Venetian Archives.
148. ALVISE CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
A courier from France despatched by Gerbier and other English ministers at that Court arrived in London yesterday. As yet I find that the pith of the negotiations will be brought hither by Gerbier himself, who having held frequent conferences with the cardinal and others writes that he will return in a few days. It seems to me that in answer to the last replies of the King of England, Richelieu lays the blame on the secretaries who drew up the orders and on Moulins who executed them; the intention of the Most Christian with regard to the overtures I reported and to show that the negotiations of Bassompierre had been utterly disapproved, not having been well carried out, although Bassompierre still maintains the contrary.
Here they recognise this as a pretext for coming to no decision and balancing between yes and no. They consider it an indication of very great ill will, especially as letters from France state that in revenge for the cruise of the English squadron of twenty sail off the French coast the cardinal wishes to make a similar attempt on England, seizing a few fishing vessels, etc., merely from resentment. Should he proceed to act he would meet with no resistance, although they are doing their utmost to equip a certain number of ships, but were the cardinal to pursue the undertaking the rupture would be complete. The same letters also announce the departure of the Duke of Chevreuse from the French Court in dudgeon, and other matters. In short, I gather that the adjustment is not at hand as neither of the two kings will make the first overtures for one, and the individuals who negotiate the matter are neither trusted nor in sufficient repute.
The Spaniards, on the other hand, blow on the fire to make it blaze, and offer galleons to the French in order to revenge themselves on this kingdom through their ministry. Here they place more reliance on promises than deeds, for the sake of beginning the dance and then profiting by it. Burlamacchi gave me to understand exactly what Lord Holland told me, which reduces itself to the interposition of some friendly power, as otherwise everything will be ruined. He has written about this to his correspondents in Holland, although their costly friendship is not valued as it should be; neither the Duke of Savoy nor his ministers has credit in France and so forth. I merely commended his views and enlarged upon the advantage to be derived from the union of the two crowns. I am convinced that Spain will not listen to England's overtures so readily as many assert. At any rate I did not think fit to enter into details or make comments, as I believe him to be guided exclusively by his own interests and by trade, now destroyed to the utter ruin of the kingdom.
This induces me to renew my very humble petition for relief. Three years have passed since I began to serve the state, amid war and scarcity, to the dilapidation of my fortune, without complaining. Scarcity has now reached such an incredible pitch that I am forced to do what is repugnant to me. This island cannot be supplied without the sea, and that is closed against Spain and France where all the necessary supplies abound. This alone suffices to show that such scarcity as now prevails in England has never been experienced by any former ambassador there. I do not dwell upon my holding the place of first ambassador here, entailing considerable expenditure, which I cannot shirk without derogation to the state. But I may not stimulate your Excellencies' benignity in these unprecedented circumstances.
The same courier from France brought confirmation of fears about La Rochelle and projects against the Huguenots. If these are carried into effect the English Government inclines to reinforce that fortress with troops, supplies, munitions and above all victuals. These reports are craftily exaggerated to induce the people to pay the subsidies, the preachers discussing the subject from their pulpits with much amplification, touching the maintenance of their religion and the king's interest on account of the war and his distrust of the great powers of Europe. The Court resents not a little the last decree of the notables, forbidding entry to the houses of the foreign ministers. Although they believe this to have been cut to the measure of the Abbot Scaglia, yet they take some umbrage, as the king has many confidants in France who in general are all the Huguenots and many relations and friends of the chief families. Should this be carried into effect, which is not expected, I fancy they will do the like here also, though only with respect to French ministers, as the example of the nuncio will serve for the friends of England here.
The sailors who presented themselves tumultuously in great numbers, clamour more than usual, declaring they will rather die by the king's command than see their families perish from hunger. Some state as a fact, though I believe the truth to be lost in the maze of hatred, that, encouraged by some great personage, they put a price on the duke's head. I do not vouch for this but know for certain that the rioters having vowed they would join the apprentices, who on Shrove Tuesday are licensed to perform acts of violence, the London trained bands first of all mounted guard at the Court, the houses of the grandees and the places most liable to attack, and an effort was then made to get together some 20,000l. or 30,000l. and the duke himself with some privy councillors paid them a certain amount of ready money, the balance being given in promises, whereupon the rioters departed perfectly satisfied. The need they have for sailors, in whom the entire defence of the kingdom consists and its repute, made them achieve the impossible and curb these seamen with a light rein in order not to render them utterly desperate. Next day the duke went in person to select the ten ships to be supplied by the city for the king's service, giving repeated orders for them to be in readiness with all despatch, although the merchants concerned in them complain bitterly, but the necessity for some defence at least causes every other consideration to be overlooked.
Some advices received here state that the two Portuguese carracks which arrived lately in Biscay with very valuable cargoes from the East Indies, and were to return thence to Lisbon under convoy of six galleons, were all stranded off St. Jean de Luz. The news is welcome, the loss on account of the vessels and crews being held in great account, especially as they say Spain has not suffered one of greater importance for many years. Accordingly many desire better confirmation of such exceptionally good news.
In consequence of statements made by the Earl of Rutland, Buckingham's father-in-law, the Earl of Lincoln, chief of the opposition to the subsidies in his county, has been commanded to present himself before the Council. Many others who have already made their appearance and persist in refusal remain prisoners; but as the number increases daily I fancy that now the government gathers the tax from those who show readiness; treating the rest with reserve, to avoid fomenting peccant humours in the midst of so much dissatisfaction. As yet the king has received only 24,000l. on account of the subsidies, and yet many persons demand assignments on this fund, as all the royal revenues are forestalled until next July. The officers of these ten regiments having been ordered to keep themselves all ready in their quarters they reply that were they to return without money their lives would be in danger from their own men, who have so long been expecting their arrears. There was an idea of quartering these troops in the counties most opposed to the subsidies, so as to intimidate them to obedience and secure the government, but on reflecting that both the soldiers and the populace were disaffected and discontented and might create rather than suppress disturbances, they withheld their decision, many persons advocating the employment of foreign troops in preference. All the peccant humours are certainly stirred up, but they lack both place and leader to secure their roots. This just now is the greatest piece of good fortune for the king, considering the dissatisfaction of the realm unaccustomed since many centuries to the present form of government (gli umori in effetto sono tutti comossi, ma non hanno ne luoghi ne capi dove fondar le radici, che in questi tempi riesce la maggior felicità del Re nei disgusti del Regno non avezzo di motti secoli alla forma dei maneggi presenti).
They are making the levy to fill up the English regiments in the Netherlands destined for Denmark and the Dutch ambassador wishes them to proceed straight from this country to Stadem, alleging the great saving of expense and the advantage of their going by sea without proceeding first to the Netherlands. By such pleas he seeks to rid his masters of all trouble about cavalry escorts in case these troops march overland. However, there are difficulties about this sea voyage owing to the lack of men-of-war to convey them, which the Dutch alone could supply in abundance were the troops to land in Holland.
For the Scottish regiments, also destined for the Dutch service, they keep appointing captains and officers, though slowly. I understand that some assignment has been made them on the Scottish subsidies; but this entails two considerations, one that the money will not be raised so speedily, the other that when got together it may be employed for other purposes, as very frequently happens; everything being artifice for the sake of keeping on foot those affairs which they would fain assist but cannot in such manner as the urgent need requires.
My last instructions from your Serenity are dated the 22nd January. As yet I have no very authentic confirmation of the negotiations of the Netherlands for peace, nor do I believe that they can proceed without the assent of the two crowns, as a sure guarantee for the observance of the terms, and against the wars of religion which it may be apprehended they will arouse unless reinforcements of troops are in readiness. In conversation with the ministers here I will nevertheless obey your Excellencies' commands, although I believe by this time many are ashamed of urging others to speed the common weal which they themselves further so slowly.
London, the 19th February, 1627.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Feb. 24.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Milano. Venetian Archives.
149. VALERIO ANTELMI, Venetian Secretary at Milan, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The negotiations for peace between England and Spain are fading away, and one even sees preparations in the opposite direction. Colonel Morgan has asked to lead 6,000 English by sea to the King of Denmark.
Milan, the 24th February, 1626 [M.V.].
Feb. 26.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Inghilterra. Venetian Archives.
150. ALVISE CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
In conformity with the contents of my last, the Duke of Buckingham told the Most Christian king's secretary, Moulins, that the proposals made by him were rejected and that Cardinal Richelieu had informed the English agent that Secretary Arveau misunderstood his Majesty's will. Moulins replied that he also had received letters from Arveau, in reply to the said proposals, without any particulars concerning what he had written to his Excellency, with regard indeed to which despatch it was intended to have expressed consideration so as to decide according to the need.
As Moulins has heard from another quarter that Abbot Scaglia wishes to interfere in this business, notwithstanding the bad opinion of him at the French Court, I cannot for my part believe that he will succeed with much honour unless he changes his course, as Richelieu and Buckingham are becoming more and more exasperated, and consequently their masters, to the ruin of the two kingdoms, the cardinal and duke being extremely piqued reciprocally.
Among other things Buckingham told me the other day that the cardinal had written him a letter beginning the title at the top of the first line, as customary with inferiors, and correcting the subscription from most humble, as it stood at first, to very humble servant. The duke having punctually replied to this, the cardinal resented it beyond measure. I select this one instance of these punctilios and vanities out of the many that occur daily to the inevitable destruction of the common cause, for which they take no thought, regardless of what thwarts it provided their own passions do not suffer thereby.
They are moving rapidly towards a rupture, and in consequence of the late hostilities, for such I may term them, it has been again determined to sell the goods on board the French ships which were seized. If this be carried out it will certainly prove the chief obstacle to an adjustment. This important resolve is based, according to their account, on the parties themselves, who are concerned in the matter and do not approve of seeing their property destroyed on ship-board by neglect and carelessness. The king protests that he lays hands on the money solely to restore it to the parties concerned in case the adjustment with the Most Christian be effected, and should it not take place, to indemnify the English for the losses they have incurred through the seizures made by France.
All these are protests, as the real cause proceeds from the necessity for making use of the money to fit out vessels, to secure the kingdom and succour La Rochelle, with the certainty at any rate, that just as the proceeds of these goods will have ready entry into the Treasury, so will the egress be difficult, especially as I understand that the idea is revived of making these funds accountable for the residue of the dowry due from France. Some merchants have been named to value the goods; many excused themselves, not caring to meddle in a matter of this nature; others think of profiting by it, putting on low prices and purchasing for themselves.
The French secretary, Moulins, acquainted me with this resolve assuring me that the French did not wish for the sale of their goods in this form, with the certain loss of more than half its fair value. Some of them had been covertly suborned to present a petition, as they did. On the corruption of a few it was unjust to base the ruin of all, and the English themselves were not satisfied from a suspicion that their goods, sequestrated in France, would be treated in like manner. He spoke to the duke asking him to wait until he, Moulins, wrote to his master, although this proceeding might imply fear on the part of the French, lest the business be brought to extremities. The duke answered dryly, repeating that the parties concerned desired this, the money would be restored in case of quiet and so forth; this petty minister for the rest being held, in a great affair and during the fluctuating state of France, in less account than the need requires.
The Dutch ambassador spoke about this irregularity to several members of the Council appointed for this matter, under the pretence that the French ships contain goods belonging to his countrymen, who do not choose to sell them on such hard and disadvantageous terms. Some of the councillors said plainly that they had not chosen to interfere in the business because of the danger attendant on freedom of speech when at variance with the duke's will. Others, namely Carlisle, Carleton, the Chancellor of Scotland, Naunton and the like, who understand better the importance of the matter under discussion, shrugged their shoulders, saying they had not given their votes in favour of the measure.
I have not made any direct remonstrance, not knowing the intention of your Excellencies, but on seeing the ministers and when talking with the duke himself I expatiated, ostensibly of my own accord, on the manifest detriment to the public cause and the difficulties with which the adjustment was being overlaid by this fresh web of private interests and of money, the most troublesome of all. In France they might do the like and saddle his Majesty with the first çause of the rupture to screen themselves in the face of the world. Whilst the threat was being executed here, in France they might be contemplating resuming negotiations through Scaglia or otherwise. The Spaniards suggest these ideas and propagate them more vehemently in England for the sake of giving the last shock to Christendom, together with fair words of peace and assistance in France, for the sake of bringing the two crowns to rupture and destruction for the attainment of ends known to all and which ought by this time to be dreaded rather than seconded, to the detriment of friendly powers.
Whilst on this subject, I dropped a hint about the Dutch truce, more in obedience to orders than from any confirmation whereon to base a positive assertion; indeed the opinion is that should a rupture occur between these two crowns, the Spaniards purpose merely to promise their friendship to both, keeping them in suspense so that they may withdraw their help from the United Provinces. The duke in particular told me in reply that the French willed it thus; they had been the first to break the agreements between the two realms, so could not claim for themselves the advantage of fair dealing; things kept going from bad to worse; the money of the goods which had been sold would be kept for restitution to their owners or else as indemnity for British subjects maltreated in France. He assured me that they did not care about peace with the Spaniards and even if joined with the French they should not be afraid of them. Indeed, I was convinced by his replies and his manner that he does not heartily wish for the adjustment, although he has not yet begun to carry into effect the sale of French property and will perhaps await the return of Gerbier, who by his last despatch says he is returning in a few days and adds that being suspicious of some arrest on the way he will not bring any writing with him but will relate the whole orally; a particular worthy of remark as implying some negotiation either with the Spaniards or rather the Huguenots and other malcontents as confirmed by several circumstances; the suspicion about Spain being indeed vain. The duke said nothing to me about the mediation of friendly powers, concerning which the Earl of Holland spoke to me heretofore, nor did I make any demonstration. Neither did he allude to your Excellencies' resolves about the ambassadors from Denmark, although a gentleman sent by Wake has arrived from Venice. (fn. 2)
London, the 26th February, 1627.
[Italian; deciphered.]
Feb. 26.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Inghilterra. Venetian Archives.
151. ALVISE CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The owners and parties concerned in the ships marked for the king's service are exerting themselves to the utmost, not merely to release them but also to obtain exemption from the obligation to victual them, to which they were also bound. It is true they promise to disburse a certain sum, but the impossibility of doing so is by this time so manifest, that everybody knows he will get no satisfaction but words. Yet I find they will be compelled to obey even against their wills, the king and necessity thus commanding it. In this case I can positively assure your Serenity that scarcely will the ships have put to sea than they will be compelled to return, as the supply of victuals furnished by the merchants, instead of being good and durable, will be such as cost the least. For the same reason I cannot bring myself to believe that any great effort will be made at sea this year, as no victuals are prepared and the winter months have now expired.
I do not hear that the Earl of Lincoln proposes to present himself to the Council, so a fresh commission will be sent to that county to induce them to furnish the subsidy. The ministry now relies more upon lenitive medicaments than corrosives, which are found to be contrary to the nature of the disease. The prosecution against those who are in prison for refusing payment does not advance, and others, over 200 in number, who were summoned to present themselves before the Council, are neither sent for nor dismissed, so they hope to depart with the sole penalty of their travelling expenses.
The king has appointed some commissioners to hear the grievances to which the Catholics are subjected by the pursuivants against the Catholic religion. One of these commissioners is the Archbishop of Canterbury, who by reason of his spite and obstinacy against the Catholics, does not allow them to hope for much advantage; at any rate, in many quarters of this city the acts of persecution against them have been abolished. Throughout the kingdom as yet, it is true, no order has been issued, the king making some difficulty about the exhibition of his sign manual in such a matter, the commands issued over London being given by his own mouth.
The Flemish captain who offered to damage the Dunkirk ships has by the king's order received a present of 300l., and been desired to remain here for six weeks or two months at the most. He has spoken with several commissioners, from some of whom I learn in general terms that had his proposals not been so manifold, they would have had greater credit, but at any rate they were inclined to employ him, according to circumstances, he having suggested many sound and well grounded plans.
The captains and officers of the ten regiments, having asked for money before going to their quarters, the Council determined to give them 100 florins each, so small a bounty that it barely serves for their travelling expenses. They therefore presented a second petition to the king, by whose order the one who performed this office for the rest was imprisoned. On the morrow they asked his release as a favour and I believe he will be set at liberty; but thus does the discontent increase constantly.
Two thousand Scottish infantry raised for the King of Sweden will be ready to cross the sea in a few weeks, great part of the money for the levy having been already remitted, a proceeding which facilitates the good result of all matters.
On the other hand the want of similar supply delays the troops destined for Denmark, the duke having lately appointed his confidant, the Earl of Nithsdale, not only colonel of a Scottish regiment but superintendent of all the Scots in the Danish service, though I do not believe that the regiment will be in marching order for some time.
The two bishops from Scotland have left satisfied, being allowed to enforce their privileges against the Catholics of that kingdom, his Majesty not having chosen to interfere in this matter for the present, to avoid increasing the discontent already prevalent there.
The other day I saw a letter written by one of the councillors of the Duke of Wirtemberg. I relate the contents merely for their authenticity as the news probably reached the Signory long since. He announces that Echembergh has written to the Duke of Wirtemberg in the emperor's name, that with regard to the last proposals about the Palatine's affairs, his Majesty has determined to have them treated at Vienna, where they expect deputies from Wirtemberg and Lorraine, so as to present the matter well digested before the electoral diet, to be held early in June at Nuremberg. The proposals for discussion are understood to be four, but so harsh as clearly to demonstrate the insolence of the victor, the weakness of the protector, and the small heed of both sides for an adjustment. The first is that the Palatine must tender his submission to the emperor in conformity with the imperial laws, the commissioners to discuss the place, manner and other particulars involved. The second presupposes consideration on the part of the Palatine for the electoral vote now vested in the Duke of Bavaria, implying that he is to retain it for his life. The third stipulates that the Catholic religion, the religious and others matters relating to both shall remain as at present. The fourth exacts payment of the emperor's debts, so as to free Lusazia and such parts of Austria as remain in the hands of Saxony and Bavaria. It seems that the emperor brings himself to this treaty for the sole purpose of getting his son crowned King of the Romans amid the applause and satisfaction of Germany, conditions which can never be obtained without reinstating the Palatine, to whom they have sent these proposals to decide for or against continuing negotiations thereupon.
Three days ago a gentleman of the Morton family related to the Ambassador Wake, arrived here from Venice. His mission hither had been projected long ago for domestic affairs and especially about money, though he has coupled it with the advices of the last negotiation of the Danish ambassador, as Wake writes that you studied fine words to please the Dane, utterly devoid of facts, not without some remonstrance that the affair of the Valtelline (sole pretext and commonplace to cloak refusals) being now adjusted, yet the republic persisted in not taking further steps. Some things, not uttered so openly as what Wake wrote, and which I learn on good authority, were said to me secretly in a cursory manner by the Secretary Conway. I answered briefly, saying that the republic had exceeded her means for the service of the common cause, doing deeds instead of expending words, and if all parties had followed the same course ruin would not be so near at hand. He made no further rejoinder, as men are confounded by remorse for their own acts. The letters from Italy of the 29th January have not arrived. From what they write me from Antwerp the courier was waylaid above Bassano. This causes me no little embarrassment, as I expected to learn your Excellencies' wishes about Wyche, who has been appointed ambassador to Constantinople and is doing his utmost to depart in the spring. Some of the merchants of the Levant Company would fain apply to his Majesty to cancel the appointment, and were they unanimous some good might be anticipated. At any rate the remarks I have several times made to the ministry about the very important affairs now current at the Porte and the good service rendered by Sir Thomas Roe, make me hope for some delay in the dispatch of Wyche, although I have never said anything against his opinions and qualities, to avoid interfering in a matter which requires very clear and positive commands from your Excellencies, especially as I have this day received the subsequent despatch of the 5th and am merely acquainted with the imprisonment of the French and Savoyard ambassadors. I shall use this news as ordered as well as the advices about Gabor and from Germany.
London, the 26th February, 1627.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Feb. 26.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Francia. Venetian Archives.
152. ZORZI ZORZI, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the DOGE and SENATE.
All negotiations between England and France are broken off. Gierbier left on Saturday and the Secretary Luis departed to-day without money and very ill pleased. The cardinal will agree to nothing except both sides must release what has been taken simultaneously on an appointed day, and French ships must be exempt from search and the other inconveniences which the English inflict on them. The English on their side are determined that France shall take the first step, as she began the arrests. The cardinal has not answered Buckingham's letter, but Bassompierre, by his order, has written upon the two points and to say that they mean to maintain their purposes by force. Everything points to a war against the Huguenots though they are very short of money here.
Paris, the 26th February, 1627.
Feb. 27.
Senato, Secreta. Deliberazioni, Roma. Venetian Archives.
153. To the Ambassador at Rome.
The progress of the quarrel between the crowns of France and England is apparent from the advices which reach us. In a matter of so much consequence this cannot fail to encourage the ideas of the pope and the persuasions of the Spaniards. You will do your utmost to find out all about this, especially from those likely to be best informed.
Ayes, 142. Noes, 1. Neutral, 4.
Feb. 27.
Senato, Secreta. Deliberazioni, Roma. Venetian Archives.
154. To the Ambassador in France.
The wisest councillors of France have always had two dangers in view, to which the present government is moving with rapid strides, a breach with England, which is united to them by so many considerations, and internal combustion. We have frequently interposed our offices in these matters, to the entire satisfaction of the ministers and even at their invitation. Now that a breach with England seems imminent we direct you to point out the great prejudice that will ensue, whichever side gains the victory. You will say you are moved to speak merely out of zeal for his Majesty's service, and whenever you have an opportunity you will warn them, but avoiding anything calculated to arouse a shade of jealousy.
Ayes, 109. Noes, 0. Neutral, 4.
Feb. 27.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Costantinopoli. Venetian Archives.
155. ZORZI GIUSTINIAN, Venetian Ambassador at Constantinople, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The Caimecan told the English ambassador that Mansfelt would easily have obtained from the Porte the passage of his troops through Bosnia.
The Caimecan assured the same ambassador that the truce was only for three months, commissioners have been appointed to treat for peace, but that could not be concluded for a long while, as the Sultan wished to drag things on in order that the allied princes might not lose heart, and continue the war against Cœsar. With the war in Persia the Sultan would not depend upon peace with the emperor, who also demands too much, so the negotiations are bound to be lengthy. He endeavoured to assure the ambassador that peace would not be concluded or the negotiations would take a long time while leaving Gabor and his allies free to continue the war. The ambassador believes in these assurances, but the French ambassador is of the contrary opinion.
The English ambassador declares he has heard from the Ambassador Wake of the engagement of the Margrave of Baden and a large force in the pay of his king, your Serenity and Savoy. He treats of these matters here, by his king's commands with great zeal. He told me the Caimecan had asked him to communicate the foregoing particulars to the other ambassadors.
The Vigne of Pera, the 27th February, 1626 [M.V.].
[Italian; deciphered.]
Feb. 27.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Spagna. Venetian Archives.
156. LUNARDO MORO, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The Ambassador Contarini writes from London that they have asked to be supplied with any information about designs of the Spaniards against England, as they have no representative in these parts. I will keep our ambassador advised about any preparations of a fleet and what they propose, but for the moment no preparations or arrangements for a fleet are to be seen.
We hear from Seville that the fleet which was in the port of La Baya, has put its arms on shore and stored them in the magazines, while the soldiers have been paid off, a clear sign that they are not expecting a hostile fleet.
Madrid, the 27th February, 1626 [M.V.].
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]


  • 1. Oliver Fleming.
  • 2. Called "a gentleman of the Morton family" below.