Venice: February 1631

Pages 465-482

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.

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February 1631

Feb. 3.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Signori Stati. Venetian Archives.
592. VICENZO GUSSONI, Venetian Ambassador in the Netherlands, to the DOGE and SENATE.
After some difference of opinion the States have finally decided that the answer given to Ven shall serve as a model to guide the Ambassador Joachim, who sent his secretary here at the instigation of the English. The secretary intended to return with the English ambassador, but he was suddenly stayed by order of the state, and went to England two days ago. Meanwhile the States sent a copy of their answer to Joachim with instructions to speak in precisely the same terms every time he was asked to renew offices with the States to arrange an accommodation with the Spaniards through the interposition of the King of Great Britain, in whose hands they are firmly resolved here never to trust such serious affairs.
They gave many instructions to Joachim's secretary about adjusting the very important question of navigation ... here they would like the renewal of what was done during the lifetime of King James for shipping, about entering and leaving ports, with special orders that there must be an interval of twelve hours between the time when vessels of Spain and Holland leave the ports, if they are there at the same time.
The Hague, the 3rd February, 1630 [M.V.].
Feb. 4.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Francia. Venetian Archives.
593. ALVISE CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the DOGE and SENATE.
A book has come here, written in England by a Jesuit, about the hierarchy of the Church, with many falsehoods and heresies. The Sorbonne has ordered it to be burned by the hangman. The Jesuits offer to have a reply written by another father of their order, to escape the infamy. The cardinal upholds the decree of the Sorbonne.
Paris, the 4th February, 1631.
Feb. 6.
Senato, Secreta. Deliberazioni. Venetian Archives.
594. To the Ambassador at the Hague.
Advices from all quarters agree that in the peace between England and Spain the Catholic undertakes the restitution of the Palatinate. It will be a great matter to overcome this difficult point which has been dealt with so often but never settled. It is probable that the Spaniards in present circumstances gladly take advantage of the sound of this peace, but that from the subsequent consequences neither the Spaniards nor the English will profit much. The delay in Ven's departure from the Hague may be as much to assist at the negotiations of the Dutch secretary from England about the truce, as to wait for the new French minister, sent to prevent it. You are skilful enough to discover the real proceedings and send well grounded reports. Further advices.
That a copy of these presents be sent to the ambassador in England for his information.
Ayes, 90. Noes, 2. Neutral, 3.
Feb. 6.
Senato, Secreta. Deliberazioni, Costantinopoli. Venetian Archives.
595. To the Bailo at Constantinople.
We hear that French, English and other ships are plying outside the Gulf at Constantinople and elsewhere, with ready money, buying silk, sables and other goods destined for Spalato, somewhat to the detriment of that mart. As worse may be feared if this is allowed to continue and develop, we wish you to point out the detriment to the common interests, and to try to stop it.
Ayes, 90. Noes, 3. Neutral, 1.
Feb. 7.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Inghilterra. Venetian Archives.
596. GIOVANNI SORANZO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The ducal missives of the 2nd ult. have reached me. They are the first I have had since the 6th December, as those of the 13th, 20th and 27th of that month have not come. I report this to avoid trouble in case something was written in those three weeks. A copy of the letters to the Hague comes with the letters of the 2nd. I note the observations made upon the negotiations of Montagu, which have now resulted as I foretold. His proposals always lacked foundation, because he had neither commissions nor powers to treat, and no other credit than that the Garde des Sceaux obtained for him, stirred by his own passions against the treasurer and Fontane. With respect to what is said about the consequences to the Spaniards of the peace concluded here, the results show only too clearly the harm done. Some hesitation or delay, if not a complete rupture, if it had been possible, would have been a great advantage, owing to the effect produced upon the States. It has cooled their resolutions, even though they were said to have been encouraged by the Most Christian. They look fixedly at the prejudice which the conclusion of this peace brings them. It is the more unfortunate, because they may have been deceived by the confidence that England would not on any account sign a treaty so disadvantageous, such as they had every reason to entertain, so that they considered it practically impossible. Yet some reports have reached here that the States are very steadfastly contemplating preparations for war next spring. There is a great deal of talk about this, and not a few think that they may be making these preparations in order to arrive at some more advantageous and secure accommodation with the Spaniards. Here they are strongly disposed, far more than they ought, to take up this business. It is not easy to understand why, after England has arranged such a prejudicial peace she should try to draw the States into the same toils as well, or why, after having sacrificed her just claims and honour to the Spaniards she should wish to involve her friends also, with the greater danger because the States will always be more exposed and liable to intrigue than she is.
Ven, now back from Holland, has given a good account in public of the desire of the States to maintain the customary good relations with his Majesty, and he seems to content himself with this much. But there are other circumstances which upset all judgments, especially in the affairs of the sea which are the most important interest of the States. They receive some injury every day, indeed the Ambassador Joachim has frequently remarked to me that so far as the sea is concerned they have received more harm from the English than from the Spaniards themselves.
A Dutch ship recently arrived in one of these ports, bringing with it a Spanish one, laden with sugar, which it had captured. When the Spanish ambassador heard of this he at once had it sequestrated, and secured that the matter should be dealt with by the Council. This is the most open partiality, because all matters of this character are dealt with by the Admiralty Court, a thing most rigorously observed in the case of Sir Kenelm Digby. In this case the Spaniards receive an even greater advantage, as they have the less reason to dispute what the Dutch take from them, since it is all done in the way of war. The Ambassador Joachim remonstrates and complains, but while they remain determined here to proceed in such a manner, he also will have to tread this path.
On his way back here, Ven travelled through the country of the Infanta, as the Ambassador Gussoni advised me he would. The Secretary of State himself confirmed it to me, because he said that the ships had gone to Calais to fetch him, and he could not go anywhere else. Yet since Ven's arrival the secretary has retracted this, telling me that it was true it had been decided he should embark at Calais, but in the end he had embarked at Flushing. But I have good evidence from other quarters that he carried out his original resolution, and a person of high rank hinted to me that he had been at Brussels. I have not yet found out for what that journey may have served, but I will try my utmost.
Six days have passed since a courier arrived from Spain bringing the news of the celebrations which took place at the publication and swearing of the peace. Cottington has embellished his account to the utmost, in order to delude and please the extreme members of that party. He announces that the Marquis of Castagnedo is selected to come as ambassador here. No one has yet been named on this side. Cottington, who is to leave in a few days, will leave his secretary in the capacity of agent. (fn. 1) Here I have been told that some one may come from Brussels to act as agent until such time as the ambassador arrives, after the departure of Coloma, who will take leave without much further loss of time. In the meantime very numerous remittances have been made to him from Spain. Besides those which I have not been able to find out about, I know for certain that there are some in the hands of two merchants for 60,000 ducats, credited to him. As regards 20,000 of these, the king has advised him from that quarter; the remainder is supposed to be intended to captivate the goodwill and confirm the dispositions of those who are already friendly. It is quite true that the hiring of ships still goes on, but very coldly, and indeed in the end it may merely serve as a legitimate pretext for the illegitimate employment of that money.
With the arrival of that courier they announced that the fleet had reached Spain. A certain merchant, though he is suspect, said that the cargo was reckoned to be worth over 6½ millions, of which 1½ were for the king. This help will be very necessary, but possibly not adequate for their requirements, as they will have to use it for the needs of Flanders, and to assist the affairs of Germany. According to the latest advices the last were considerably upset owing to the successes of the King of Sweden. Your Excellencies will see the news published about that monarch from the enclosed, which is extracted from letters from various places. These successes invite assistance for that prince. He has written here to a person who returned here from thence a short while ago, and who told me in confidence that if that king is assisted he promises the restitution of the Palatinate in a very short time. This person had instructions to speak to the king alone, in order to obtain some well grounded answer. He told me that he had done so, and left me not without hope of some good disposition in his Majesty. With this incitement the king might hasten the more the preparations and departure of the Marquis of Hamilton, and assist him more powerfully. I will not fail to give all the help in my power by offices and representations, because I should like to see some results from my services. I have reached this point without achieving anything worthy of consideration, and yet I receive the highest marks of the approval of the state, in the honour of the office of Savio di Terra Ferma, conferred on me, for which I humbly and heartily thank your Excellencies.
London, the 7th February, 1630 [M.V.].
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Enclosure. 597. Extract of various letters of the 4/14 from Hamburg, the 7/17 from Nuremberg and the 11/21 of January from Bon.
Tilly at Halberstadt in distress. King of Sweden takes Colberg and the important pass of Griffenhagen. On hearing this Imperialists abandoned Gartz and withdrew to Landsberg, leaving baggage and guns behind. They are withdrawing to Frankfurt. They want the Count of Sciamburgo, who succeeded Torquato Conti, to lay down his charge. Sweden has pursued and opened the way to Magdeburg.
Feb. 7.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Inghilterra. Venetian Archives.
598. GIOVANNI SORANZO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Just eight days ago letters reached me from Falmuz, a port of this kingdom 250 miles away, relating the arrival there of two ships with 600 soldiers of those levied in Holland for the service of your Serenity. I imagine that those who wrote to me are the officers of the companies, although they say nothing about it. They beg me to provide food, as they say they have reached the end of the munitions provided for them in Holland. This matter, apparently so simple, has so far encountered insuperable difficulties, owing to the very great scarcity there is at present in this kingdom, and nothing is more difficult to treat about than this. The truth of this may be the more apparent, because I have not only failed to obtain permission, but even to obtain audience of the Council, to whom I applied in the absence of the king. I have preferred my requests privately to all the lords here, pointing out how reasonable and just the demand is. Although this is the day for my despatch, I have spent the whole of it on this affair, in order to obtain audience. I do not know for what reason, but at the very moment when I went to have it, they withdrew it, although they had assembled. I made a mild remonstrance and an urgent request in a matter that does not admit of delay; but rather than let me in, they dismissed the Council. I am therefore in extreme distress, because I cannot hope to have any decision before Wednesday next. I have been four times these last days to see the Secretary of State, Carleton. He not only gave me all the assistance in his power, himself informing the Council in favour of the affair, but also threw some light upon the difficulties of the affair, in order to help me toward success. For this and for services upon other occasions he certainly deserves some token of the appreciation of your Excellencies. You have no one at this Court besides him to whom your interests are really dear, and it will be most advantageous for future emergencies to keep him thus friendly by every possible means. At present he is suffering from the gout, and that is why I have not been able to get the matter through, because if he had been well he would have attended the Council and would not have permitted such coldness. Thus when I saw him to-day, after my failure to obtain audience, he seemed most concerned. He asked me to leave the petition I was to present in the Council, and has undertaken to put the matter through as speedily as he can.
I enclose a copy of the letter I received, which contains particulars of importance touched on in my reply. Owing to the delay I have not been able to send this. I also enclose a copy of my petition to the Council. For the rest I am no less distressed by the delay as by the thought that even if the permission is obtained, those in the ships may not have enough money to make provision. I do not know if I ought to take it on exchange upon your Serenity or how it could be managed. The total will come to 7,000 to 8,000 ducats. It does not seem reasonable or just to leave so many men to perish, but in such matters one has to move in the dark. It is impossible to avoid disorders. Every one sees that the worst thing of all was consuming in part the principal provisions for the voyage, and leaving without replacing them. This is one of the reasons which perhaps causes me the greatest difficulty here, because they suspect that they have come on purpose to get supplies here, so jealous are they. An intimate of mine has warned me that there is some suspicion that these are Dutch ships come to take provisions for Holland, and that they are availing themselves of this pretext. I have profited by this intimation and have spoken clearly and frankly, protesting that I only move where the interests of your Excellencies are concerned, and that otherwise I do not intend to intervene. I left them free to take what information they pleased. I determined, if they came to any decision, to send the Secretary Zon, in order to inspect the patents and gather all the information possible, especially if any outlay of money became necessary. I shall avoid this if possible, and only act in case of pure need. The wind has been favourable all these last days, and as I have heard nothing since the first letters, I have some hope that they may have sailed. However, I will not relax my efforts to do everything in my power to help them, if they are waiting to hear from me. It does not seem likely to me that if they were in such straits as they represented, they would not have written at least once more.
London, the 7th February, 1630 [M.V.].
Postscript.—Montagu has arrived, and from what I gather brings word that Monsieur, the king's brother, has fallen out with Cardinal Richelieu. Here they secretly rejoice at these troubles.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Enclosure. 599. Letter to the Ambassador Soranzo of Samuel Mando and Jan Jancot upon the distress of the men, over 600 in number, in the ships Lion and King David, which arrived in Falmouth on the 7th January.
Dated at Falmouth on the 23rd January.
Enclosure. 600. Petition of the Ambassador Soranzo to the Lords of the Council for leave to provide food for the said ships. (fn. 2)
Feb. 8.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Spagna. Venetian Archives.
601. ALVISE MOCENIGO, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the DOGE and SENATE.
A large galleon is being prepared at S. Sebastian possibly for the journey of the Cardinal Infant to Flanders. It has been arranged with the King of England not only that his Highness shall be accompanied by English ships, but that he shall see his Majesty, and I think that Cottington takes word about this to the king. Cottington left this court yesterday for Seville, where he will stay some time at the cost of the King of Spain, and at the conclusion of his negotiations he will proceed to Cadiz to embark on the ships which are awaiting him. He had a present of 1,000 crowns of silver gilt and every favour and advantage that he seemed to wish. The ready money to be paid in Flanders will be embarked on board those same ships. I perceive that this money, being taken out of these realms by the English for the benefit of trade, is also practically taken away from our province and our mart will also benefit, because as the king is not making arrangements with the Genoese, as in the past, it will be necessary to pay attention to the trend of affairs, in order to avoid prejudice to our trade as much as possible.
Madrid, the 8th February, 1630 [M. V.].
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Feb. 10.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Signori Stati. Venetian Archives.
602. VICENZO GUSSONI, Venetian Ambassador in the Netherlands, to the DOGE and SENATE.
It is observed that the English agent, Carleton, has never said a word about intervening for an accommodation with the Spaniards, although he has frequently had occasion to meet the members of the Government about commercial matters between the two countries.
Letters reached the States yesterday from their ambassador in Great Britain. He writes that the peace with Spain has already begun to produce results prejudicial to these Provinces, as was foressen. He reports that twenty leagues up the Thames the Dunkirkers have recently plundered a Dutch ship which was lying all unsuspecting in those waters.
The Hague, the 10th February, 1630 [M. V.].
Feb. 14.
Senato, Secreta. Deliberazioni. Venetian Archives.
603. To the Ambassador in England.
We have your letters of the 10th ult. giving full satisfaction. Difficulties in the way of getting true advices only increase the merits of ministers and the republic rates yours very highly. When the time for the fulfilment of the promises about the restitution of the Palatinate comes the good feeling between the two kings over the peace will be strained. The matter of the truce in Holland is so far more talk than anything else. The 5,000 florins a month which the States are to give to Sweden show that the States do not mean to check the generous course of their enterprises. The levies made in England for the King of Sweden provide an opportune reinforcement. You answered prudently about the suggestion of our joining in the contributions. You will respond courteously to M. de Soubise's offices, expressing our appreciation of his rank and merits and that when occasion arises we shall certainly consider his offer. Your offices about the fish were most prudent and we are glad to know they were well received. We are entirely satisfied with the accounts sent to us. We add what we are writing to Gussoni for your information.
Ayes, 112. Noes, 0. Neutral, 1.
Feb. 17.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Signori Stati. Venetian Archives.
604. VICENZO GUSSONI, Venetian Ambassador in the Netherlands, to the DOGE and SENATE.
A courier has reached the Prince Palatine from England, with news that the King of Great Britain is about to send back to Vienna the Ambassador Anstruder, who is at Hamburg has been procured by the Ambassador Colona to lull to sleep by negotiations at the Court of the emperor the movements which might come from the English in favour of the King of Sweden.
The whole nation seems very disgusted with the English merchants owing to the prejudice which they say they suffer here in their cloth trade. Carleton, the English agent, who recently came to see me, told me that if their High Mightinesses did not speedily devise some remedy for what caused them so much loss, the English merchants had decided to divide all their trade in cloth and transfer their capital and business partly to Emden and partly to Antwerp.
The Hague, the 17th February, 1630 [M.V.].
Feb. 17.
Collegio, Secreta. Esposizioni, Principi. Venetian Archives.
605. The Secretary of England came into the Collegio and said:
His Majesty, my master, has always aimed at the common welfare and the public peace. With this in view he readily agreed to the interposition of mutual friends to remove his differences with the Catholic king and renew a good friendship and peace. With this object of the public tranquility he had already sent his ambassador to the imperial Court, to Hamburg and everywhere that seemed opportune for obtaining it. His Majesty's great esteem and reliance on the republic leads him to order me to come and inform your Serenity of the circumstance and present his own letters.
The doge replied that they rejoiced at anything that pleased his Majesty; they congratulated and thanked him. They would make a suitable reply to his letters.
The secretary added: I have been here six years in his Majesty's service and have obtained leave to return to England, where I hope to have further opportunities of serving your Serenity and showing my devotion. St. Mark is written on my heart. I ask for the customary favour, protection and passport from your Serenity. I wish the republic all prosperity; may it endure for ever, and making a reverence, he departed.
606. CAROLUS, Dei gratia Magni Brittanniae, Franciae et Hiberniae, Rex, etc., Ser. Principi DOM. NICOLAO CONTARENO, Venetiarum Duci, consanguineo et amico nostro charissimo, salutem etc.
Postquam amici quidam mutuo intervenientes expedire censuere ut armis, quibus nos etc. Hispaniae Rex aliquandiu decertavimus reconditis amica tractatione belli causam amoveremus, nos pro pio quo in Principes Christianos sumus animo, et dicti Hispaniae Regis promissis confisis, amicorum desiderio locum dare, atque pristinam nostrorum utrinque Regnorum, pacem et amicitiam redintegrare voluimus. Et si autem hac vice, de via arma deponimus, nostram tamen et pacem publicam restituendi et amicorum saluti consulendi curam et studium constanter retinemus. Id quod pro ea que inter nos et serenissimam Rempublicam firma manet necessitudine et pro vero nostro in vestram servitutem affectu utrique sinificandum duximus. Quod superest Vestrae Serenitati et Inclytae Reipublicae prosperimos consiliorum et capitorum precamur successus.
Dat. in nostro palatio Westmonasterii die v Januarii, anno Christi MDCXXX secundum computationem Anglicanam, Regni nostri vito.
Vestrae Serenitatis consanguineus amantissimus,
Feb. 18.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Costantinopoli. Venetian Archives.
607. GIOVANNI CAPELLO, Venetian Ambassador at Constantinople, to the DOGE and SENATE.
George More, one of the leading English merchants here, has failed and run away, carrying off 100,000 reals belonging to various persons. His creditors were partly secured with two of his countrymen, who have also disappeared. Several Jews, some Turks and notabilities are involved, including the Caimecan himself, for 10,000 reals. The ambassador is much harassed by the creditors flocking to his house. Among them are the creditors of other merchants of that nation, who are reasonably under suspicion that they also may do likewise, and so they are compelled to give satisfaction with goods. The ambassador has vainly sought to see the Pasha, who pleads indisposition, but orders the satisfaction of many in a disorderly fashion. It is thought that this may cause some unpleasantness at Leghorn also, because of the relations the English have there. The trade there has been growing for some time, though often at a disadvantage. Rigorous orders have been issued for an enquiry and finding the culprit. It is thought that the event will greatly derange the English business here, which has been growing for some time. Their ships bring Londons, and to avoid staying a long time and with the difficulty of getting ready money for the cloth, they used to get interest at 18 or 20 per cent. added to the price, there being no competition. They sent the ships with the cash to Alexandria for silk, and until they returned they invested the capital in wool and hides for Leghorn, although with the interest of the money taken away and the superfluity of those goods at that mart, they often remitted some of their own. Now they have lost their credit, they will not find money at interest so easily and they will have to do as others do, stay here to dispose of the Londons by the purchase of other goods, suffering loss by the delay. Everyone predicts a great decline in their trade and a certain benefit to the trade of Venice, which has hitherto suffered greatly from Leghorn.
I am every day more assured of the ill will of their ambassador towards your Serenity's interests, though hitherto I have borne it in silence. He has now sent to ask me to direct letters to Cattaro and Dalmatia for the arrest of the fugitive. I promised to let him know in a few hours. After reflecting upon the various objections, I sent my secretary to tell him of these difficulties but offered the use of the public despatch in a few days, and also to write to the Proveditore General in Dalmatia. The secretary took leave very curtly, declaring that I did not know how to show courtesy and that he would write to the king. That evening the oldest dragoman came from the ambassador asking that the letters of his merchants might be consigned to him. I complied with alacrity, so as to gratify him without delay. (fn. 3) This ambassador frequently expresses dissatisfaction at the help received from this quarter and makes remarks which show how ill disposed he is towards the interests of your Excellencies. I have observed this for a long time, though I pretend not to. When I came here, all the ambassadors visited me, but he pleaded indisposition. Subsequently he continued to keep silence, and when we meet we pass the barest compliments.
The ambassador of Flanders, from whom the English merchant has taken a large sum of money, has just asked me to write to the Proveditore General in Dalmatia for his arrest. I have written to explain the circumstances.
The Vigne of Pera, the 18th February, 1630 [M. V.].
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Feb. 18.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Aleppo. Venetian Archives.
608. PIETRO GRITTI, Venetian Consul at Aleppo, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The present King of Persia confirmed the bargain about silk with the Flemings and English. He since withdrew this and arranged one with the English alone, owing to the great presents they made to all his leading ministers.
The Portuguese India fleet of fuste (fn. 4) on arriving off Surat, sighted two large English ships off the port, ready to sail for Ormuz. They approached them to attack, one being entirely destroyed, except twenty English, who threw themselves into the sea to escape death, and were taken. The other miraculously got away be spreading her sails and so escaped.
Aleppo, the 18th February, 1630 [M. V.].
Feb. 20.
Senato, Secreta. Deliberazioni. Venetian Archives.
609. To the Ambassador in England.
We send you a copy of the exposition of his Majesty's secretary and of the royal letter, informing us of the peace with Spain, as well as our reply. You will ask audience of the king and offer our congratulations, express our esteem and wish him every prosperity. The secretary has taken leave to return to England; we are giving him passports and a chain, in the usual way. We shall be glad to know the reason for his departure and who is to succeed him. We send what we are writing to Gussoni, for your information.
Ayes, 103. Noes, 3. Neutral, 5.
Feb. 20.
Senato, Secreta. Deliberazioni. Venetian Archives.
610. To the King of England.
Our relations with your Majesty correspond with our ancient well grounded affection and esteem. We rejoice greatly at all your Majesty's successes, and we thank you for informing us of the peace arranged with the Catholic. It is worthy of your Majesty's goodness and prudence to seek always the benefit of public concord and the tranquillity of Christendom. We wish your Majesty every prosperity with all our hearts.
Ayes, 101. Noes, 3. Neutral, 5.
Feb. 21.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Inghilterra. Venetian Archives.
611. GIOVANNI SORANZO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
All this time I have had no news of the ships which put in at Falmouth with your Serenity's troops, so I imagine they must have sailed, because some twenty-eight days have passed since the date of their letters, and it is impossible that they should not have decided to write to me at least once. However I am waiting for more certain advices, as I have written to those parts and sent letters, which in any case will have been consigned to them. In spite of these indications that they have already sailed I have not ceased to agitate for his Majesty's permission to make the provision in case of need; but I have not obtained it yet, as I have delayed speaking to the king until I am in full possession of the facts. The intentions expressed to me by the Secretary Carleton were made good, because he and the others, who think rightly, have not approved the refusal of an audience made to me by the Council. As the whole Court has commented upon this incident I have been compelled to make some mild protest, and with a fresh occasion arising for the like, I feel bound to give your Excellencies full particulars.
I had to speak to the Secretary of State (Cuch) about the affair, which has never been settled, of the saetia taken by the English ship Golden Cock, as he is the one who deals with the affairs of the Admiralty. On Monday last I let him know that I wished to speak to him. He appointed the next day, Tuesday. At the hour he appointed I went to his apartments at the Court. As I did not find him there, I sent him word that I was waiting for him. After waiting a long while, I sent again by one of his people to let him know that I was still waiting and that I should have to go soon. He sent a reply that he should be coming soon, but though I waited an hour longer, he never appeared. Finally I decided to go away, and I left one of my people to tell him that some other business had prevented me from waiting any longer. That person remained waiting for more than four hours, and he never came. If I had been able myself to support such a long wait, I should have received the shame of this affront in person.
As this offends the dignity of your Serenity, I am bound by conscience and duty to repeat once more what I reported on a similar occasion, how little regard for your name I have found in this Court. I might say none. I drew attention to the matter in my letters of the 5th July last; but those particulars only referred to the formalities of compliments, upon which it is necessary to insist if one wishes to maintain one's position. These two last incidents affect the more important matter of the ministry, because in both they have refused me access and put a stop to the business. They therefore appear to me to deserve more consideration, especially as they are more public. I felt, therefore, that I could not afford to ignore the matter altogether. In order to devise some means for obtaining satisfaction, I thought the easiest and best way would be to approach the French ambassador. He knew as much about the matter as I did. His astonishment is boundless and and he undertook to speak about it, in order to obtain some satisfaction. I shall watch to see what he does and what results he obtains, as I am determined not to make any other motion, because if the employment of this great minister does not do any good, it is impossible to expect a more open or more prejudicial declaration. For this reason, while I shall pretend to ignore the matter in case no reparation is made, I beg your Excellencies to direct me how I am to conduct myself, because I candidly admit that the constant occasions I have had since I have been here always to put the worst interpretation upon these matters, make me numb with astonishment and incapable of taking counsel on the spot, as I know that if I am not authorised by you, no steps that I may take will do any good, and if you do not resolve to be more respected they will show less and less consideration. I say this with all the passion and sentiment of my heart, humbled to what you may be pleased to command me, but with feelings of bitter resentment against any one soever who tries to diminish the renown of your greatness.
London, the 21st February, 1630 [M. V.].
Postscript.—As I was about to send off the despatch the French ambassador has called. He tells me that he spoke yesterday to the Secretary Carleton about the particulars given above, with suitable comments. He tells me that he not only found him excellently disposed, but he fully recognised the reason I had for dissatisfaction. He tried to make the best of matters. For the matter of the audience of the Council he blamed the notary of the Council and promised to send him to make an apology. As for Cuch he said he did not know if any remedy could be found, but as some sort of excuse he said that he was very old and his memory none too good, and possibly he had forgotten. This is the complete reply, if your Excellencies are satisfied with it I shall not claim any more.
PPS.—I have just received the answers from Faelmuth, from which I learn that the ships and troops left that port on the last day of last month.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Feb. 21.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Inghilterra. Venetian Archives.
612. GIOVANNI SORANZO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
I have received the ducal missives of the 10th and 17th ult. with the advices to the Hague. With respect to the republic being mentioned in the peace with Spain, I enclose what the peace itself contains on the subject so that your Serenity may see how the mention is made. I will send the full articles with the next despatch. I have not performed any office yet, because, as I have reported, they have not said a word to any minister, and only the French ambassador, who has the advantage of seeing the king every day, has said a word to him about it. I shall await the orders which your Excellencies may be pleased to give me in this matter, in which neither I nor any one else has followed the usual procedure, because the affair has been conducted differently from the usual course.
With respect to the money which I have transmitted to Amsterdam, as I have done with the utmost promptitude and for the entire sum, as I have no more money left in my hands, I can only refer to the account which I sent recently.
Montagu on his return brought no conclusion of business, and so the imperfect drafts which he began in France, without commissions or powers, have now been taken in hand by the treasurer, who does not wish the difference to be terminated by any other road or that any hand but his shall have a share in it. The greatest difficulty is about the restitution of Porto Reale, to which the French lay claim with rigour. The Ambassador Fontane is working hard, and from what he has learned these last days they are better disposed than in the past, because it seems that the French do not object to permit the English to continue to hold the portion which they have always possessed. The matter is not of great consequence in itself, especially as England is willing to give up the country of Canada freely. The whole difficulty arises from the fact that the Scots are more interested than the English, which is the pretext under which they shield themselves here. Upon this point the ambassador has received instructions to answer that in order not to involve the two crowns, let England yield up her claims and not concern herself therein, and the Most Christian will undertake the recovery; and this decisive way of talking will produce much more effect.
Ven on his return from the Hague did not really pass through Flanders, as was suspected, but embarked at Flushing and made the passage that way. The secretary of the Ambassador Joachim returned from Holland two days ago. The ambassador had audience yesterday. So far I have not discovered the reason. It may be that the States are fomenting the complaints that he is making every day, and in all honesty they are most just. His dispute with the Spanish ambassador about the sequestrated ship is not yet settled. I believe that the result of that affair will not be without consequence one way or the other, but it will be more considerable if the arrest is confirmed.
They are on the point of deciding to send the merchant Burlamacchi to France to demand the remainder of the dowry, which amounts to 400,000 crowns. In order to facilitate this they give hopes of devoting this money to the help of Sweden, as they declare that they have no better means. But there are many difficulties in the way of obtaining this sum, because of the reasons which the French have for delaying if not of refusing it, since England has never carried out the terms of the marriage agreement. It is also quite clear to see how little desire they have to take any part for the good of the common cause. Yet it would not be a bad thing if France decided upon paying something, in order to commit them. I have intimated to the Ambassador Contarini that for 100,000 francs a month France might bind herself to pay it to Sweden, to be set off against this debt. This would serve to make their intentions clear, if for nothing else.
The ordinary from Spain brings word that Cottington was to start the day after his departure on his journey home. He received an excess of presents and five of his suite received a chain worth 1,000 crowns each. In this way the Spaniards increase their party, and constantly make themselves more esteemed and intimate (confederati).
When Colona leaves they propose to give him a present of tapestry worth 10,000 ducats. They have not yet decided whether they shall follow the example of the Spaniards with any of his people. These last days the President of the Council, Conouel, has died, an old minister with sound views, but whose reputation has rather declined of late, owing to his age. (fn. 5) The king has granted to the treasurer some appointment which is more honourable than useful, but the post of president is not yet filled.
Owing to the death of the Groom of the Stool (del Grom Stul), a leading office of the king's bedchamber, worth 20,000 ducats a year, the Earl of Carlisle has been favoured with the appointment. The title is not adequate to his rank, and so he desires the power to sell it, as he aspires to a higher post. (fn. 6)
The Secretary of State, Carleton, recently told me that his Majesty had permitted his agent resident at Venice to return for his private affairs, and they have not yet nominated any one else in his stead. Thus the slight thread of intercourse which might be maintained by a public minister is altogether cut off.
London, the 21st February, 1630 [M. V.].
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Enclosure. 613. Articles in the peace with Spain designating the friends and allies of the two parties who are included.
[Italian; 3 pages.]
Feb. 24.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Signori Stati. Venetian Archives.
614. VICENZO GUSSONI, Venetian Ambassador in the Netherlands, to the DOGE and SENATE.
M. de Rusdorf came to take leave of me yesterday. He is leaving for England, being summoned by the king to advise him of the Palatine's affairs. He has received his instructions from that prince and has orders to take the Secretary Mauritio with him, so that they may give his Majesty their opinion jointly. Rusdorf remarked to me that the English are determined not to neglect any office or importunity either in Spain or Germany. This is why Anstruther, who is now at Hamburg, is to go back to Vienna, and Rusdorf will accompany him.
The Hague, the 24th February, 1630 [M. V.].
Feb. 28.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Inghilterra. Venetian Archives.
615. GIOVANNI SORANZO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The notary of the Council has been to make due apology to your Serenity for his error in forgetting to appoint the audience. He was sent by the Council and seemed both humble and penitent for his fault. I accepted his apology so far as I was concerned, but pointed out the consequences of his act. I left him in suspense about any greater satisfaction than your Excellencies might claim. But you are well vindicated, especially as the Secretary Carleton explained to me fully yesterday how strongly his Majesty felt about it. When he returned to this city and was told about it by Carleton, who has shown great devotion in this matter, not only about the incident, but also of my instances; he said that if he had been here he would have given a different direction to that business, thus showing that he did not approve of the reluctance of his councillors to assist the interests of your Serenity in a matter of urgency, where everything was so straightforward. For this show of friendliness I will seize the first opportunity I have of going to audience to thank his Majesty.
On the termination of the affair of the saetia captured by the ship Golden Cock, the council of the Admiralty sent the Secretary Cuch to inform me of the more favourable despatch of the sentence given by the judge of the same Admiralty, against which I appealed. It does not altogether agree with what I asked for, because I wanted a free restitution of all the goods of your Serenity's subjects. The decision is made conditional, depending upon difficulties which may be encountered at Constantinople, and upon the consignment of the money which the Levant Company here may receive. They have opposed me bitterly in this matter, fearing that they might be made responsible for the value of this capital, because the Turks have already made urgent demands for the restitution of the booty. To make sure of this, they seized at the very beginning a rich English ship at Aleppo, which was afterwards released upon a security of equal value. The decision of the council will not be issued before to-morrow, the usual day of meeting, so I shall not be able to send it to your Serenity before my next despatch. I am writing to the Bailo at Constantinople to the same effect, so that by a good union of offices with the English minister both sides may be relieved the more easily, because the space of a year has been obtained for negotiations at the Porte.
Secretary Cuch took this occasion to make me a full apology for the incident I reported, when I went to speak to him about this very affair, and he seemed very upset about it. I responded in a friendly manner, but I did not omit to tell him that the respect I owe to my office had obliged me to take notice of the matter, and that because of the good relations existing between your Serenity and this Crown, and the regard you have always professed for his Majesty, it was only right that your ministers should be duly recognised. He answered me with expressions affording greater satisfaction than before, so that on this score also I have reason for gratification that what is due for the satisfaction of your Excellencies has been rendered. This result has been obtained by the reasonableness of my remonstrances and the promptitude of the offices of the French ambassador, whom I have thanked in a suitable manner.
The Spanish ambassador has taken leave of his Majesty. He should have departed to-morrow, but owing to the good treatment he has received at the sumptuous tables of all the Lords of the Council here, he has become somewhat indisposed. A person has come from Brussels, who will take part in affairs in the capacity of agent. (fn. 7) No appointment of an ambassador has been made as yet on this side. The Secretary of State told me clearly yesterday that they do not want to be in any hurry, because although the articles are signed, they do not see the peace thoroughly confirmed. This merits some attention, both from the person who said it and because of the slight hope there has always been that the emperor would be satisfied with these negotiations.
The news has come about Cottington's return, but they hope he will be here in a few days. He has concluded his embassy with a scandal, with a bargain of 200,000 crowns arranged for Flanders. From what they say he is bringing the cash in a number of chests of reals. The arrangement was made by the merchants Richaut and Burlamacchi. I have spoken about it in the way of enquiry with the Secretary of State, and so has the French ambassador. He told us both the same thing, that he knew no more about it than what was published, and more would be known when Cottington had returned, clearly showing that he did not approve of what had happened.
The negotiations for adjusting the differences with the French are proceeding, although not so promptly or easily as the occasion requires. However, things look better than they have done. The Ambassador Fontane has recently received the fullest powers to negotiate and conclude. There was a meeting of the Council two days ago, where he pressed with greater insistence for the restitution of Porto Reale to the condition it was in before the rupture. They told him in reply that his Majesty was disposed to fulfil the peace and to give the Most Christian satisfaction, and the Secretary of State would be charged to treat with him upon the merits of the case. This is a great point gained, because a multiplicity of commissions generally makes negotiations difficult, and further, the secretary is personally disposed to remove all occasions for dissatisfaction.
They are not altogether pleased here at the news of the move of the Most Christian towards Compiègne with the purpose of pushing still further into Picardy, to afford greater and better grounded encouragement to the enterprises of the States, because it is suggested that his Majesty may come as far as Calais. To come so near would not leave this nation without suspicion. They are excessively jealous of the intentions of the French, and more so now than ever, because they are unprovided with everything. In this connection the king himself remarked to the French ambassador possibly in order to dash this move of the Most Christian, that he had advices that the negotiations for a truce with the States were constantly progressing. But I have no other evidence of this, indeed just the opposite, and from the Ambassador Joachim and others I have heard that every preparation is being made to take the field in spite of the fact that Colonel Altariva has gone to Holland without that provision of money that was expected.
The French ambassador announces more openly than before the good progress of affairs in Italy towards peace, with the intention of shaking the confidence they have always shown here, that those difficulties would always exist and facilitate their own negotiations. He told me that the emperor had nominated the Duke of Parma as commissioner for the adjustment between the two houses of Savoy and Mantua, and for the remainder of the Mantovano the Commissioner d'Ossa was nominated. I pressed him in order to find out something about the way the affairs of the Grisons were to be dealt with, in conformity with the terms of the treaty of Ratisbon. He answered me in a way that showed me that the chief preoccupation of France was the restitution of Mantua and to put the duke in possession of all his dominions. He remarked to me that there would always be time to insist upon satisfaction in what concerned the Grisons.
The Dunkirkers have gone to such lengths that they have actually taken a Dutch ship in the River Thames itself, having approached it flying the French colours. The king was greatly incensed and told the Ambassador Colona that he required its restitution. Owing to this occurrence they have put a stop to the facilities that were shown in allowing a certain number of soldiers to pass in small groups for the service of the Infanta. They have also declared that it shall be the same with the other negotiations until they afford his Majesty some amends. Good news continues to arrive of the successes of the King of Sweden, and in particular they announce that he has recently routed three regiments of Tilly's army, who had to take refuge in flight.
I can confirm what I reported about the departure of the two ships from Falmouth, as I received the confirmation myself this week. The ducal missives of the 24th ult. have also reached me this week, with the copy of advices to the Hague.
London, the 28th February, 1630 [M.V.].
Postscript.—I enclose the articles of the peace with Spain, translated from the English.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Enclosure. 616. Articles of the Peace between England and Spain. (fn. 8)
[Italian; 24 pages.]


  • 1. Arthur Hopton.
  • 2. A copy of this in French is at the Public Record Office. S.P. Foreign, Venice. He calls the ships Red Lion and King David.
  • 3. "In the heat of this business I thought it most requisite to despatch an express post with letters to the Turkey Company in England, and sent my secretary to Juan Capello, the Venetian Baylo (who hath the despatch of all posts that way) desiring that I might have two porte letters, at my charge, sent away before the ordinary despatch of the letters; whereunto he would not then give answer, but took some hours of deliberation, and afterwards sent me his secretary, who made it so great a difficulty that it could not possibly be done; whereat I was much troubled, yet being only an action of spleen have communicated this great disrespect unto the other ambassadors who condemn it for a great act of baseness." Wyche to Dorchester, 22nd March, 1631. State Papers Foreign, Turkey.
  • 4. Fusta is a small light galley of 18 to 22 oars a side, mounting two or three guns. Guglielmotti: Vocobolario Marino e Militare.
  • 5. Conway died on the 3/13 January, 163 0/1; at St. Martin's Lane, London.
  • 6. Sir James Fullerton was the previous holder. He was buried on the 27th December, 1630. The office was worth 2,500l. a year. Birch: Court and Times of Charles I, vol. ii, page 89.
  • 7. Tailor. See Salvetti, news letter of 28 Feb. Brit. Mus. Add. MSS., 27962f
  • 8. The articles are printed in Dumont: Corps Diplomatique, vol. v, pt. ii, pages 619–623.