Venice: November 1630

Pages 434-442

Calendar of State Papers Relating To English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 22, 1629-1632. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1919.

This free content was digitised by double rekeying and sponsored by the Arts and Humanities Research Council. All rights reserved.


November 1630

Nov. 1.
Senato, Secreta. Deliberazioni. Venetian Archives.
543. To the Ambassador in England.
We are glad on every ground that the negotiations for a levy have fallen through. We are sure that you showed all diligence in remitting this money to Gussoni. The paper of Hamilton which you speak of sending in your letters of the 4th ult. was not there. You will see about events in the enclosed copy of our letter to the Hague. You will use this as you think our service requires.
Ayes, 78. Noes, 0. Neutral, 2.
Nov. 4.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Germania. Venetian Archives.
544. SEBASTIANO VENIER, Venetian Resident in Germany, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The English ambassador, who is a man of good sense and reputed a true Englishman, says that Sweden certainly will not agree to the peace except upon terms guaranteeing the liberty of Germany. Saxony and Brandenburg were not quite decided and there was sure to be trouble in this province. The wish may be father to the thought because Saxony is believed to be deeply committed to the House of Austria, and more inclined to hunting and drinking than to glorious enterprises. Brandenburg is very weak and Sweden thinks the peace of Italy may easily injure the French because of the first article granted by them. Some of the Protestant leaders have complained about this to this ambassador. He told them that the article published was not true; but he does not convince anyone and incurs greater blame. The English ambassador says he is expecting to her of peace between his king and Spain. He seems to hope that it may not come about, for the good of that realm. I have a good understanding with this minister, who seems very friendly to the interests of the republic.
Ratisbon, the 4th November, 1630.
[Italian; copy.]
Nov. 6.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Signori Stati. Venetian Archives.
545. VICENZO GUSSONI, Venetian Ambassador in the Netherlands, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The peace between England and Spain is confirmed from several quarters. The Ambassador Ven keeps it secret, with the object, it is supposed, of hearing first what answer the States have to make to his proposals. The articles have also come and I hear that the States have sent them to all the provinces, although they have not received any confirmation of the adjustment from their Ambassador Joachim.
Rusdorf writes of the total collapse of his negotiations with the Imperialists, as the Spanish ministers, who promised the English that they would prevail with the emperor for the restitution of a part of the Palatinate, have recently declared that they have no powers or commissions about this.
The Hague, the 6th November, 1630.
Nov. 8.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Inghilterra. Venetian Archives.
546. GIOVANNI SORANZO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
I have the ducal missives of the 5th and 18th ult. They merely contain the confirmation of the orders to send to the Ambassador Gussoni all the money remitted to me from Venice. This does not exceed the sum of 102,000 ducats, although the state documents make mention of 112,000. The account which I will send in due time will make all this clear to your Excellencies. Meanwhile, in fulfilment of my duty and to show with what exactitude I have obeyed your commissions, I may repeat that I have written to Bertolotti to hold at the disposition of the Ambassador Gussoni the 26,368 ducats which are at Amsterdam, as I hear he will do, except the sum of 969l. which were remitted to me before the order reached him. I shall send back this amount in due time, and with some advantage on the exchange. I have also directed the merchants Hanoni to remit to Amsterdam the 19,675 ducats 4 at Antwerp and I have their answer that this shall be promptly done, so there is no doubt but that sum will have arrived by now.
Of the 62,000l. sterling which I had in my hands here, I have remitted 6,000l., which is all the money it has been possible to deal with up to the present. Now that other letters have matured, without losing a moment I have seized the occasion for remitting and am sending to his Excellency other letters of exchange for 1,322l. 19s. 4d. From all these particulars your Excellencies may judge of the zeal and care which I have displayed in order to secure the utmost advantage for the state. In order that I may not weary you with further particulars, I send a copy of the letter I have written to the Ambassador Gussoni, to whom I have also sent back a credit for 10,000 ducats which I have not had occasion to use. For the rest, when the letters have matured I will hasten on the remittances for the entire sum of 102,000 ducats, and when everything has been done I will send a full and exact account, which will show how the business has been transacted.
As regards events here, the issue is still uncertain, because they are waiting to hear from Spain about the draft of the articles sent to that Court. Many still believe that something will turn up to upset these transactions because it is quite clear that although the Spaniards are ostensibly helping the Ambassador Anstruther, yet they do not act so thoroughly as they should or give the support required and as decency demands to his offices and instances at Ratisbon on behalf of the Palatinate. Upon this his Majesty shows himself resolute and steadfast, and he has declared quite openly that he will not consent to an accommodation unless this point is adjusted, a circumstance that has been recently confirmed by Sir [Thomas] Roe, whom I have at last had an opportunity of seeing. All the same, the corrupt advice of those who control this affair make one fear that they will instil into his Majesty's mind ideas inimical to his own and the common service and bring him over to agree with their own deplorable opinions.
Ten or fifteen days ago the Spanish ambassador announced that the affairs of Italy had been settled at the diet of Ratisbon. No one believes it because neither the French ambassador nor anyone else has heard anything about it. Those who know the objects of the Spaniards clearly perceive that this announcement is one of their usual tricks in order to hasten on the conclusion of the treaty here, because the treasurer, who wants the peace on any terms, believes that if the Spaniards make the one with Italy first they will not care whether they come to terms with this Crown or not, or they will at least pretend that affairs here trouble them but slightly.
The Dunkirkers continue their depredations, showing extra-ordinary and insupportable contempt, as with odious distinction, upon ships and even upon small boats they seek out the goods of the English and carry them off, with loss and shame to these parts. The memory of such events is recent, as in these very last days they have inflicted most notable losses. It is thought that the added rigour they have shown of late is another device of the Spaniards to give a further stimulus to the English to accept the peace so that they may embrace a conclusion the more speedily when they see that all delay tends to their hurt.
It is said that a courier arrived from Spain the other day; but those of the Spanish party do not confirm it, a sure indication that even if he came the news was not good for them. But I am uncertain about everything, because for the last four days my indisposition has kept me confined to my bed, and with a chronic illness which I have contracted in this Northern climate, my discomfort becomes greater every day. I attach the more importance to this because it renders me incompetent. With this accidental disability added to my natural shortcomings I know that in the four years of my service I have not been able to deserve or to earn the commendation of all your Excellencies.
The last time I saw the French ambassador, when speaking of present events, he seemed to think that Casale would be relieved. He asserted this persistently, telling me about the preparation of the forces and the excellent arrangements made for that undertaking. He told me that he knew nothing about the peace and had only heard some rumours here. He added in the way of conversation as something that occurred to him personally, that he heard there was some idea of giving the red hat to Nevers and the investiture of the duchy of Mantua to the Duke of Rethel, his son. Some of the terms announced here are that Pinarolo and Susa shall remain to the Most Christian and also that with everything restored to its pristine state the citadel and castle of Casale shall be demolished.
The third son of the King of Denmark (fn. 1) has been here for some days. He keeps incognito and has no suite with him. He is now staying at the Court, being entertained by his Majesty's order, but he remains incognito still, and it will not be long before he goes.
From Sweden they report the retirement of that king from Pomerania. It is supposed that he has put a term to his progress for this season, although they say he has proceeded by sea towards Lubeck, where he expects to find an easier entrance into the Duchy of Mecklenburg.
London, the 8th November, 1630.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Enclosure. 547. GIOVANNI SORANZO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to VICENZO GUSSONI, his colleague in the Netherlands.
Particulars about the remittances of money for the levy.
Your Excellency's letters of the 21st ult. bring me word of the unhappy shipwreck of the troops who were going to serve the most serene republic. The point which concerns me is about trying to recover the arms or munitions. I may say for your satisfaction and information that the soldiers who came here were only the eight or ten Scots and Irish, led by the necessity of betaking themselves to their homes, for which they set out the day after their arrival. Accordingly I hardly had time to obtain an account of the circumstances from them, or only an uncertain and unauthentic one, so that in the absence of the necessary information it seems to me that nothing can be done. In addition to this the place of the shipwreck is a very long way off, and, what is of more importance, upon quicksands, so that it is unlikely that anything has been saved in that furious storm. Even on the contrary supposition that something was left upon those sands, there is no doubt but that it would have been immediately swallowed up.
[Italian; copy.]
Nov. 9.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Spagna. Venetian Archives.
548. ALVISE MOCENIGO, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the DOGE and SENATE.
I find that they are paying great attention to the peace with England. The Councillors of State have met on the matter, and I understand that it will be announced one of these days, without the King of England receiving more than a purely verbal satisfaction from them. It is whispered at Court that the Abbot Scaglia will go to that kingdom. The Count Duke desires it for the sake of getting the better of the French.
Madrid, the 9th November, 1630.
[Italian; deciphered.]
Nov. 11.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Signori Stati. Venetian Archives.
549. VICENZO GUSSONI, Venetian Ambassador in the Netherlands, to the DOGE and SENATE.
As the articles of the peace between the Spaniards and English are to be seen everywhere, Ven has been obliged to speak about them in the assembly. But he spoke so reservedly that they were very ill pleased. He stated in one word that the present treaty exactly resembles the one between King James and the Spaniards. He would not even announce definitely that the agreement was concluded, showing that his king had corrected the proposals of the Spaniards in some particulars, and, if they agreed, the peace would be concluded. Yet everyone knows that it is already signed and no one believes that the alleged corrections are more than an artifice to confer greater reputation upon his king. The States asked him to set down his exposition in writing, but he refused. The news is most distasteful to all here, and although many had foreseen it, they deluded themselves with the hope that there would be some delay before it was finally arranged. It seems the more monstrous because there is not a word about the Palatine. The Dutch feel it because they had a defensive and offensive alliance with the English. Many of them in speaking to me have declared that the King of England has ruined his own interests as well as those of the Provinces. He has let the Spaniards play with him. He will never get any satisfaction out of them. The thing that the West India Company most objects to is this. Their ships of war are obliged on their return from the Indies to put in at the ports of England. The Spanish ambassador, seeing the reprisals made on the late king, will claim that the English, as friends and allies, shall forbid this and seize them. The simultaneous announcement of the negotiations at Ratisbon for the peace of Italy has also moved the ministers here who say freely that they also will have to make a truce.
Ven has visited this house, expressing his king's friendship for the most serene republic. He told me, what I had heard before, of what he had said in the assembly. I made a suitable reply and thanked him. In the course of the subsequent conversation he told me that the Ambassador Coloma, during the negotiations for this composition, had tried hard to have a declaration inserted whereby England would bind herself not to afford any assistance to the enterprises of Sweden. The king would on no account consent, indeed he told the Spanish ambassador that he would not only assist Sweden with Hamilton's levy, but he would not hold back from any movements against the emperor so long as the interests of the Palatine were not accommodated. When leaving the room he added that in other treaties and letters separately the Spaniards bound themselves to do their best for the Palatine, which goes to bear out the universal opinion held by the ministers here, that in the end the English have allowed themselves to be deluded.
The Hague, the 11th November, 1630.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Nov. 12.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Francia. Venetian Archives.
550. ALVISE CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Montagu has come from England to justify the expulsion of the physician sent to the queen. The king there persists that Wake shall come to this embassy. Ambassadors are sent to preserve friendship, but this one will come to break it. He will never be able to negotiate or have satisfaction. Fontane's secretary has also come, I fancy about the same things and about the quarrels between the Capuchins and Oratorians. But they pay little attention to these things now or indeed to anything else connected with that kingdom, which ever keeps declining in reputation.
Paris, the 12th November, 1630.
Nov. 15.
Senato, Secreta. Deliberazioni. Venetian Archives.
551. To the Ambassador at the Hague.
The remittances to you from England will continue, and you will continue to arrange about them with Soranzo. We deeply regret to hear of the shipwreck of Colonel Suiton, with his men and ships. There is no remedy but patience for such strokes of fortune. You have done well in your operations for the recovery of the arms.
Ayes, 84. Noes, 1. Neutral, 13.
Nov. 16.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Spagna. Venetian Archives.
552. ALVISE MOCENIGO, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the DOGE and SENATE.
I spoke to the French ambassador about the negotiations of the English ambassador here. We did not think them so near the announcement of the peace, but as England has agreed to renew the last articles of accord with the Crown, the Spaniards will seek for new advantages, especially to the prejudice of the Dutch. These points were combated by Cottington, who sent a courier to London, and the Spaniards may easily get what they want, as the ambassador is accustomed to direct his negotiations to please the Count Duke, although he pretends the contrary. I believe that king to be destitute of good counsel and of friends who would show him his true service and what befits his reputation.
Madrid, the 16th November, 1630.
Postscript.—Since writing the above I hear on good authority that his Majesty has signed the articles of the peace with England, and that they sent a courier thither last night.
[Italian; deciphered.]
Nov. 21.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Spagna. Venetian Archives.
553. ALVISE MOCENIGO, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The report at Court of the peace between the Catholic and England induced me to call on the Ambassador Cottington, as the good relations between your Serenity and his Majesty require. I expressed my satisfaction that he had brought his negotiations to a successful termination and signed the peace. He told me they had signed two sheets; in one the ministers of the Catholic had the first place, and in the other his signature had precedence. The peace was according to the tenor of the one arranged in 1604, but with some changes in matters of the sea. I suspect that this is prejudicial to the Dutch. I asked him about this. He said he had signed, but ad referendum; all the articles were by no means arranged, but left to the good pleasure of his master. The most serene republic would be named in the peace on behalf of his king; he had express instructions for this. I expressed appreciation of this fresh demonstration of his Majesty's friendship.
Two days before the signing the count summoned the ambassador to the palace with urgency so that he might sign the articles. The ambassador thought he was somewhat uneasy because of the news that Montagu had gone to St. Germains to see the Most Christian in the king's name, about his restoration to health; but from what I hear on good authority the real reason was the news that the French were not accepting willingly the peace signed at Ratisbon by the royal ministers.
The English ambassador told me that he held two proxies from the Catholic, one to treat for a peace or truce with the Dutch, after the one between the two crowns was concluded; the other absolute and in the most ample form that the king would be pleased to serve the States if they would open a way to negotiation, but if not, he will have done all in his power.
Madrid, the 21st November, 1630.
Nov. 22.
Senato, Secreta. Deliberazioni. Venetian Archives.
554. To the Ambassador in England.
After the advices sent to the Hague add: This is to advance our interests when occasion serves. We also have to tell you of a report from Zurich, which we believe to be put about with design, that the Genevese are much alarmed at an unexpected request from the Most Christian to restore the church goods which anciently pertained to the bishopric and canons of that city, fearing attack from the royal forces in Piedmont, about which we understand that the English resident with the Swiss was to write. For the rest we highly commend your ability and zeal, which afford us entire satisfaction.
Ayes, 84. Noes, 0. Neutral, 6.
Nov. 22.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Inghilterra. Venetian Archives.
555. GIOVANNI SORANZO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Since the ducal missives of the 18th ult. I have received no others, as last week no letters from Venice arrived, not even at Antwerp, and there is no news of any this week either. The delay is attributed to the plague, so the postmaster at Antwerp writes to me, but I hope that God will not continue that scourge. During these last days, although still unwell, I have not failed to hasten on the remittances to the Ambassador Gussoni, and by the end of next week I shall have transmitted all the money to him, no time having been lost and no advantage to the state which I have been able to secure.
The report that a courier had arrived from Spain has not been verified. They continue to expect advices from that Court, to enable them to form a more certain judgment upon the present trend of the peace negotiations. The anxiety displayed by the Spaniards here to make people believe the peace in Italy leads some to conclude that they are not altogether averse from an accommodation in this quarter, and that is why they have been in no hurry to send off the ships which are to fetch Cottington, though they are kept in all readiness. The news from France, however, in letters of the 31st ult. to the Ambassador Fontane, is to the opposite effect, that the articles signed by Leone and the Capuchin at Ratisbon have not been accepted. Fontane came to tell me as soon as the news reached him, and he even read me the very letters of the Secretary Bottillier. These state in substance that those ministers have exceeded their instructions, and that his Majesty's Council has not approved of their negotiations in any part thereof. Accordingly they have protested against those articles as not calculated to give satisfaction to the Most Christian, while in the meantime they had agreed to sign the articles as an indication of their own private desire for the peace.
Here they talk in a different fashion and passion inspires the usual ideas to the detriment of the French. They consider Casale as good as relieved by virtue of this treaty, which is approved by the chiefs of the army in Italy, while it has been disapproved at the same time in France. Yet the ambassador has not yet received news from the Court of the relief of that fortress, or of the outbreak of the queen mother against Cardinal Richelieu, of the imprisonment of Marigliac, the Garde des Sceaux and the substitution of Castelnovo in his place. All these things are published by letters sent expressly by Montagu, who recently went to France to offer congratulations on the queen mother's recovered health. All the opinions and talk at this Court are fixed upon these things, and everyone argues benefit or harm from such disturbances in France according to his own predominant sentiments.
We hear from Sweden the confirmation of the successes of the Duke of Michelbourg; and in the hope that that king will maintain his vigour the Marquis of Hamilton is still of the mind that I reported. In order to hasten matters he set out for Scotland some days ago. In the sterility of events here so far as public affairs are concerned, I have scant opportunities of making myself useful, as occasions for active operations and for giving advice equally fail me.
London, the 22nd November, 1630.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Nov. 23.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Germania. Venetian Archives.
556. SEBASTIANO VENIER, Venetian Ambassador Extraordinary in Germany, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The diet of Ratisbon has dissolved without having settled anything. The affairs of the Palatine, dealt with by the English ambassador, who has an old man with him as councillor, are in their usual uncertain state, and with little hope of any good by the way of negotiation alone, as the ambassador himself admitted to me, very confidentially. He told me, however, that he had achieved something by coming here, as he thought he understood all the difficulties very clearly, and could represent them to his king with sincerity. He said they had never had anything from the Spaniards but words which meant nothing and never would have. The ecclesiastical electors all have some part of the Palatine's dominions, so little can be expected from them. In order that the offices of his king should have any effect they must be backed by force, and by supporting the King of Sweden they might bring them to some proper decision. This would be a good pretext for his king to treat with parliaments and his subjects, and they would easily arrive at some good resolution, as they could not abandon so many nephews, who must at least be fed and supported by that Crown. This person keeps displaying more and more his sound views and his good will to the public cause.
Vienna, the 23rd November, 1630.
[Italian: copy.]
Nov. 30.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Spagna. Venetian Archives.
557. ALVISE MOCENIGO, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The English ambassador has sent one courier after another to the king his master, and the Spaniards have also sent, so the affair of the peace is troubled or else there is some other intrigue on foot. The French ambassador is aware of this and stands on his guard, being suspicious of these proceedings.
Madrid, the 30th November, 1630.


  • 1. Prince Ulrich.