Venice: October 1631

Pages 547-559

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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October 1631

Oct. 2.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Francia. Venetian Archives.
721. ALVISE CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the DOGE and SENATE.
I have twice seen M. de Leon, who is back from Germany. He had seen Bavaria when he was returning. That duke is determined not to give up the electoral vote or even to exercise it alternately, as the Palatine suggests. He expressed his desire that the English by negotiation could induce the Spaniards to restore to the Palatine the places which they hold in the Palatinate, to which Bavaria might add the few places he holds there himself, provided that he was reimbursed for his expenses in taking them. He insisted strongly that the Spaniards should not have a footing in Germany, and he would rather have the Palatine for a neighbour. Leon thinks that Sweden may go on for a couple of years, but it will not be able to stand the strain any longer.
The league between France and Bavaria was concluded when I wrote but is kept most secret. Leon does not deny it, but says that Bavaria showed the articles to the emperor. Wake is jealous about it, because of the interests of the Palatine, but he approves of the article about the King of the Romans. He told me that six days ago he had received letters from Spain of the 14th September, stating that Olivares was highly dissatisfied at the scant satisfaction that the emperor had given to Anstruther, and directed the Catholic ambassador to tell the emperor that the King of Spain wishes absolutely to keep his promise to England; but all this may be one of their usual tricks to keep up negotiations without ever arriving at a conclusion, especially when one may see that the King of Spain wishes to deceive, and the King of England to be deceived. Wake understands this, and I have adroitly suggested that in order to clear things up with the Spaniards they might begin negotiations with France and then arrange some better satisfaction for the Palatine with Bavaria. He told me that when the affairs of Italy were finished, and the question of navigation settled between the two crowns, which is in good train, he proposed to open negotiations on the subject, for which he had powers.
Troyes, the 2nd October, 1631.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Oct. 2.
Collegio, Secreta. Esposizioni, Principi. Venetian Archives.
722. The Resident of England came into the Collegio, and spoke as follows:
His Majesty's impression of your Serenity's worth fills him with satisfaction at the benefit the republic will derive from your selection in these difficult times. When the Ambassador Soranzo made the announcement the king ordered me to confirm his friendship here and to wish you all prosperity. His Majesty wished the ambassador already chosen for here to perform this office, but his bad health has delayed him. His Majesty might have given the task to many who are more capable, but he thought that my devotion to the republic would render it acceptable. The king gives heart to my tongue by his own letter, which I present.
The doge replied: His Majesty could not perform this office by any one more acceptable than yourself. We thank his Majesty heartily, who may rest assured of our constant affection and esteem.
The Resident having desired to kiss his Serenity's cloak, the doge told him that he would always be welcome, and he departed.
Carolus, Dei Gratia Mag. Brit. etc. Rex, Fidei Defensor, etc. Seren. Principi Dno. Francisco Erizzo, Duci Venetiarum etc., consanguineo et amico nostro charissimo salutem et felicitatis incrementum. Serenissime Princeps etc., Tristitia nos affecerat de gravi Reipublicae ob Ducis Contareni piae memoriae obitum jactum nuncium, cum tam levavere et grate V. Serenitatis litterae et merentissimi vestratis Legati nobil. Soranzi relatio; ex quibus debitam dignissimae vestrae personae ad principatum suffecturam multo cum animi solatio intelleximus. Non igitur differre potuimus, quin cum V. Serenitati Ser. que Reipublicae et toti Christiano orbi de exoptata hac electione et successione laetanter gratuleremur. Tum V. Serenitatem de singulari nostra meritorum vestrorum existimatione et in eandem benevolentia constantique in inclitam Rempublicam affectu et amicitia rederemus certiorem; atque in eum finem virum generosum, nobisque fidelem et dilectum Thomam Rolandsonum, remiteremus qui donec benignior acris tempetatisque conditio, rerumque ratio mittendum nobis jusserint Legatum, ibi vobiscum moretur; cui mandata nostra exposturo benevolas petimus aures plenumque fidem. Quod superest Deum rogamus ut sub V. Serenitatis [auspiciis et urbi et aliis Reip. Dominiis tantum restituat salutis et prosperitatis] quantum V. Ser. tribuit virtutis et meritorum.
Dat. e nostro palatio Grenovici die ultima Julii, anno Christi MDCXXXI, et nostri regni VII.
V. Ser. consanguineus et amicus amantissimus.
Oct. 3.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Inghilterra. Venetian Archives.
723. GIOVANNI SORANZO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
In conformity with what I wrote in my last despatch, Scaglia made his entry privately, a decision taken rather from desperation than from free choice. He claimed to be lodged and defrayed by the king, and the Earl of Carlisle worked hard for this. As this did not prove successful, he is lodging in a small house two miles outside the city. He went to his first audience, which he wished to be private, but the king would not consent, and gave it to him in conjunction with the queen, as is customary with the other ambassadors. For an excess of honour and in testimony of the affection of a dependant, the Earl of Carlisle wished to accompany him. He afterwards gave him a banquet, at which the Lord Treasurer and Cottington were present. These all belong to the Spanish party, with whom the abbot has the most intimate relations. He is equally intimate with the Spanish agent, with whom he is frequently seen out in a coach in the city. Thus he has nothing of Savoy except the name of ambassador; all the rest of his actions show that his interests and designs are for Spain. It is asserted that he is trying to get the king to intervene for the truces. Others state that he goes about proposing some union with Spain, including the Duke of Savoy also. It may be that this opinion is not well founded, and that it owes its origin to what was said the last time this minister was here. He states openly that peace will not be concluded in Italy, and he blames the French, who will not restore Pinarolo, so the Imperialists will not give up Mantua. Two results of his coming here have appeared so far. One is the despatch of Sir Henry Ven, bearing out what I wrote before that there was no sign that he would start before the arrival of this minister. The other is the despatch of M. de Belfurt, (fn. 1) under the pretext of visiting the queen mother, in spite of a promise to the French ambassador that no one should be sent, unless she happened to send here first. However, he has not started yet, and the Ambassador Fontane is working hard to stop him until the arrival of the one whom they say the queen is going to send. The ambassador is making all this effort for the sake of appearances, as he knows full well that they will not commit themselves further here.
Ven says he is not to go to Holland, and the ambassador of the States confirmed this to me yesterday, although there is a report that an ambassador of the King of Denmark is to be at Amsterdam by arrangement with him, to adjust some differences between these two crowns. For this affair he says he is to go straight to Denmark, going on afterwards to the King of Sweden. In spite of all the talk to the contrary it is certain that he will make proposals to that monarch for an accommodation with the emperor. An intimate of mine informs me that his commissions were drawn up in Spain and brought here by Cottington, so your Excellencies may easily conclude what route they are following here in public affairs. The most apparent advantage that arises from these feeble counsels will be that the King of Sweden will not allow himself to be persuaded so easily, and while there is no sign that they have the power to offer him great satisfaction here, it is not thought that he will throw away the fruit of so much expense, labour and travail for merely specious proposals, as he is reputed a prince no less prudent in affairs than valiant and fortunate in arms.
Macerata has arrived here from France, being sent by the Cardinal of Savoy to Scaglia. The advices which come thence suggest that it may be to recall him, but it has since been stated that Macerata will go to France, and that the abbot will not leave before he receives new advices from him. There is indeed a great discrepancy to be noted about the confidential relations which the Duke of Savoy claims to cherish with that Crown, especially with the two brothers, the princes present at Court and the offices that Scaglia is performing here, which must of necessity destroy credit in all the manifestations that the duke might make to the contrary.
The recruits for the Marquis of Hamilton are already collected, and they will set out in a few days. They number only a few more than 500, but a regiment has been levied in addition under Colonel Conouel. He is to serve under the command of Baron Rez, (fn. 2)who previously had commissions from the King of Sweden to make as many levies as he was able. These powers were subsequently withdrawn, it is thought at the instance of the Marquis of Hamilton, who did not want there to be anyone else in the service of the King of Sweden with a command equal to his own. The latest advices state that this Hamilton has received his marching orders from the king to go into Silesia with his troops. It is believed that the king has given him this employment, at such a distance from the rest, in order to compel him the more to think of providing money to support himself. Such help can come from no quarter than this. It is not known as yet that any provision of money has been made for him, and when he left he only took money with him for four months.
Since the arrival of Burlamacchi in France, some goods of Englishmen have been sold at Rouen, which had been under arrest there for a long time, as prohibited. Such a step, especially after they had given their word that that affair should certainly be terminated with satisfaction, has made them very angry here, and they have spoken about it to the ambassador in very warm and emphatic terms. Wake, Burlamacchi himself and one of the Calandrini, who has returned from France because of this incident, all agree in laying the blame for it upon the Garde des Sceaux, who certainly left here greatly inflamed against the government, and who has always supported a complete faction here, in which, as I have written before, the queen herself takes a large part.
The sentence given by the Admiralty in favour of the Dutch still remains suspended, in spite of the assiduous offices of the ambassador. He complains bitterly that although there are countless examples to the contrary, they refuse him possession, which he may justly claim when he has the sentence and the laws in his favour and offers them in addition a very adequate security. He told me yesterday in so many words that things had reached such a pass that they do not mind if they do an injustice for the sake of the Spaniards, and that this means putting the States in the necessity... He did not say any more, but I understood quite well that he referred to the truces. In this connection I learned from the conversation that Abbot Scaglia had made some overtures, although he denied to me that he had spoken about them. Neither the French nor the Polish ambassador has seen Scaglia, owing to the usual claim to be visited first. For my own part, I should have followed the example of the others if there had been no reasons to the contrary. He sent to the Polish ambassador and urged him to take this step, but that minister behaved with prudence. I know that Scaglia has blamed the ministers of your Serenity in particular for this hanging back, and remarked that this was another reason why your ministers are not looked on with favour by the duke.
The Polish ambassador has taken leave of the king and of all the foreign ministers, and should depart to-day. There is nothing further about his negotiations beyond what I reported, about preventing a rupture between the Muscovite and his master. He received very scant satisfaction from the manner of his reception, and goes away rather dissatisfied than otherwise.
I have received your Serenity's letters of the 22nd the 29th of August, and with them the news of my selection as ambassador to the Most Christian. This is most gratifying, and so much beyond my deserts that I should not feel at all fitted for it unless the kindness of the Senate fortified me for that also. I offer my humble and grateful thanks and promise my most dutiful service.
London, the 3rd October, 1631.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Oct. 4.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Germania. Venetian Archives.
724. PIETRO VICO, Venetian Secretary in Germany, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The ministers here have reopened negotiations with the English ambassador about reinstating the Palatine in his dominions, and they have now promised that some way of satisfying him shall be found speedily. Some, however, believe this to be a device of the Spaniards to keep the King of England in a state of suspense, especially after the bad news which has come from Flanders.
Vienna, the 4th October, 1631.
[Italian; copy.]
Oct. 6.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Francia. Venetian Archives.
725. ALVISE CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The King of England has replied to Wake that they will not take any steps against the French reprisals in that kingdom until they hear from him again, so that I hope he will facilitate a settlement and the quiet of all the rest.
Moretta, the 6th October, 1631.
Oct. 12.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Costantinopoli. Venetian Archives.
726. GIOVANNI CAPPELLO, Venetian Ambassador at Constantinople, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The Caimecan being somewhat better, I went to see him. I spoke of the saetia. He was determined upon restitution. Justice would be done if what I affirmed proved true. Although the ambassador depreciates the amount of the cargo, they estimate it here at 30,000 reals. We had not said anything about it for two years. No claim was made when the saetia left Zante. I replied that the matter was obscure then. The Captain Pasha had replaced the sailors by Turks, and at Zante there was nothing to show what was the cargo or who were interested. This was the reason of our silence, together with the time required for correspondence with England. The matter was cleared up by the bills of lading, and the Admiralty recognised this by deciding in our favour. The Pasha interrupted me, saying that when the saetia arrived here, they would see what was necessary, and it was idle to talk about it before then. This is the conclusion of a matter upon which I have expended my offices and my hopes.
The Vigne of Pera, the 12th October, 1631.
Oct. 13.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Signori Stati. Venetian Archives.
727. VICENZO GUSSONI, Venetian Ambassador in the Netherlands, to the DOGE and SENATE.
When the Secretary Gunter was about to take leave, despatches came from Denmark announcing the arrival of the three ambassadors from these Provinces. The Ambassador Ven will soon be there from England with full powers about navigation and the Sound.
Carleton has gone to London, leaving word that he will be back soon. The ministers here cannot hide their suspicions of what he may relate orally at that Court, as there is no lack of bitter feeling against that kingdom, constantly fomented by the Spaniards, owing to the predominance which they have acquired with the present government of Great Britain. The difficult although old question of Amboyna still remains undecided. From time to time one hears the outcry of the English companies, although they are in the dark here about the king's wishes, whether he wants the judges already appointed to be sent or if he will not object to the postponement of the sentence here, because they foresee that the English companies will make a clamour against the alleged Dutch culprits.
The Hague, the 13th October, 1631.
Oct. 14.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Francia. Venetian Archives.
728. ALVISE CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The English ambassador has begun his negotiations with the commissioners, and hopes for a favourable issue, as very friendly offices were exchanged on both sides.
Moretta, the 14th October, 1631.
Oct. 15.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Francia. Venetian Archives.
729. ALVISE CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the DOGE and SENATE.
I called upon the English ambassador to tell him about the events at Rome. He told me he had orders from his king to take in hand the reconciliation of the House of Savoy with the republic, and to inform him of everything. Upon these instructions he had spoken to the ministers of the cardinal prince, who said that this reconciliation should also lead to intimacy between the ministers at the Court, so that the duke's ambassadors should receive the title of excellency. He said the English ambassadors did this. I told him that it was not done at Rome, where ceremony is more strict. I would not commit myself to any promise. He said, I think it will be enough if the duke sends an ambassador to inform the republic of his accession, and if the republic replies by sending her ambassador the other matters can be discussed afterwards. He added: I do not advance this as a formal proposal, but as a useful suggestion. So I made no reply.
Moretta, the 15th October, 1631.
Oct. 17.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Inghilterra. Venetian Archives.
730. GIOVANNI SORANZO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Your Serenity's letters of the 5th, 12th and 18th ult. bring me the news of what has happened in Italy, and I will make use of them to thoroughly instill the opinions of your Excellencies at this Court. With the despatch of the 12th, I have received the information of the negotiations of the Swedish ambassador. If I am provoked, I will not fail to defend the interests of the state and the propriety and soundness of your deliberations. With the despatch of the 18th, which arrived to-day, I find the letter of the 13th ult., with information of what has happened at Rome against the ambassador of your Serenity, owing to the pretensions of Don Tadeo Barberino, after he had been declared Prefect of Rome. I will not fail to inform his Majesty of this, and the ministers as well, and I will try to make them see that your Excellencies are in the right, in spite of all that may be represented to the contrary, as the news has already arrived from other parts, and the matter has already been discussed in accordance with various prejudices. I fancy that some letters have come from Rome very disadvantageous for your Excellencies. I have made and am still making great efforts to find out to whom they were directed and who wrote them. But this is not easy, because those who have correspondence with that Court in these parts, and the intimates who gave me the first advertisement, move with great caution in their further steps, for the same considerations.
A courier reached the French ambassador on the 11th inst. with the news that the agreement for the peace of Italy was completely carried out. He showed me the letters of the Secretary Bottillier, in which he writes very succinctly of the restitution of Mantua and the assistance which your Excellencies afforded that prince in troops and other things. He sent the news with all speed to the Court, which is still a long way off. The king seemed glad to hear it, but it was observed that the queen was very doubtful, because she considers that it will not be advantageous for the interests of her mother, of whom she is a strong partisan. The sending of M. di Belfurt to the queen mother, which was supposed to have been the result of the offices of Abbot Scaglia, was really due to the instances of the queen and to nothing else, because an English lord arrived from across the sea who brought her not only salutations from her mother, but an expression of the resentment she said she felt at seeing herself practically abandoned by her daughter at a time of her greatest need, when her other daughters, who were perhaps under less obligation, had made some show of concern for her interests. Moved by this office, this princess did everything in her power to get this Belfurt sent. But while the king was ready to gratify her in one direction, on the other hand the one who brought such an embassy has not only been severely reproved by his Majesty's Council, but because he did not first participate it to any minister, he has been put in the Tower, as a more exemplary punishment. By this action they have wished to make it clear that they do not desire to take part in the present disturbances of France, and at the same time to let it be understood that those who have any business to treat must not go to the queen unless they first participate it to the king. The French ambassador considers that satisfaction has been given him by this demonstration, because he pretended that they had broken their promise in this matter of sending to the queen.
Scaglia has taken a house in the city, and goes about making every other preparation for a long stay here. All the same, there is a great deal of talk about his leaving soon, possibly before he has more than barely advanced his proposals. Put briefly, it is generally concluded that these tend to nothing else than to advance the truces with the Dutch. The particulars are not known, although it is observed that he does not negotiate much, and that personally he seems very undecided (sospeso).
Sir Henry Ven has started, and yesterday I had confirmation from the Dutch ambassador that he will not go to the Hague. This certainly may remove in great measure the suspicion about the interposition of the king here for the truces, which certainly would have been entertained if things had happened otherwise. About the truces, the Dutch ambassador remarked to me that the Spaniards are very anxious for them, and I retorted that that reason alone should counsel the States not to make them, because he who does what his enemy desires always comes off worst.
Ven departed without visiting any of the foreign ministers. The French ambassador has taken more notice about this than anyone else, and made some remonstrance to the Lord Treasurer upon whom Ven is very dependent just now, pointing out that such very unusual behaviour was bound to make him very suspicious of Ven's commissions. They told him in courteous phrases that they did not approve of Ven's behaviour, promising that he should make it good by letter, and as for his commissions, assured him that Ven would not negotiate anything without participating it to the ministers of the Most Christian.
The agent of his Majesty resident with the States has arrived here. He is a nephew of the Secretary Carleton. It has been written from the Hague that he is coming to confer with the Abbot Scaglia, yet the Ambassador Joachim told me that before he left Holland he presented letters from the king to the States, in which his Majesty writes that he has given him permission to make this journey for his private affairs.
Excellent news continues to arrive of the progress of the King of Sweden. The last is about a fight in the neighbourhood of Leipsig, in which 15,000 of Tilly's army were cut to pieces and he himself wounded. Since yesterday they have also announced his death, after having been taken by the king to Hall, but this news is not well authenticated. We are waiting to hear how the victory has been followed up. It is thought that the king will have pushed on to succour the Landgrave of Hesse, although many consider that he would do better to turn his forces towards Silesia and Bohemia, because that would not irritate the ecclesiastical electors so much, and perhaps they would be better pleased with this in France also.
London, the 17th October, 1631.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Oct. 21.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Francia. Venetian Archives.
731. ALVISE CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Abbot Scaglia, in reply to the orders to return to Piedmont and abandon his operations, has asked for time and that he need not return through France but by Flanders. The cardinal prince has ordered him to obey, and asked the King of England to lay hands on him if he will not. He forbad him to go to Flanders, as France has not approved of his sending a gentleman there merely to pay respects to the queen. These are all results of the capture of Pinarolo, and if Scaglia does not change his views he will be lost.
Moretta, the 21st October, 1631.
Oct. 28.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Francia. Venetian Archives.
732. ALVISE CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the DOGE and SENATE.
I know that the English ambassador has a copy of the articles of the league between France and Bavaria, sent him by the Count of Olivares, but with various annotations to point out the disadvantage of the Palatine, and consequently of the King of England.
Noian, the 28th October, 1631.
Oct. 31.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Inghilterra. Venetian Archives.
733. GIOVANNI SORANZO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
In accordance with your Serenity's orders, I have informed his Majesty of what took place at Rome between the Ambassador Pesaro and Don Tadeo Barberini. In a clear and precise narrative, I showed the reasons of your Excellencies and the necessity which had moved you to recall your ambassador. His Majesty listened to me with great attention, and by act and word showed that he really resented the outrage. As I was well aware, some ill disposed person, in order to detract from the good reasons of your Serenity, had made him believe that the Spanish ambassador at Rome had yielded precedence to the prefect, because his Majesty asked me if this was so. I informed him very precisely of the manner in which the Spanish ambassadors behave at that Court, where, owing to the decision of precedence in favour of France, they never appear in the pope's chapel. I added that I was certain no such yielding had taken place, as some one might have stated with ulterior objects, because I had advices from Germany that the papal nuncio was making great efforts at the emperor's Court to get the confirmation of Don Tadeo to the Prefecture, and to give orders to the imperial ambassador to yield the precedence. This only brings out more clearly the case for your Serenity, because with other princes they use prayers, but with you they resort to violence to get it. The king asked me the origin of the office of prefect. I told him what might be learned from the histories, and truly, as I represented it, his Majesty agreed that it was the shadow of a title, without substance, because nowadays the emperor has no authority or jurisdiction in Rome, and consequently the prefect, who is like his lieutenant, has even less right to claim it. The king also asked me if any instance had occurred. I said I was sure none had, because in the past, when the prefects had claimed precedence over the ambassadors, they did so because they were reigning princes, as the Duke of Urbino did lately; but as in the past the ambassadors had never yielded to the pre-eminence of princes, they were still less likely to do so for the title of prefect. This fully satisfied his Majesty, and he charged me to thank your Excellencies for the confidence you had shown in him, to which he promised he would always respond.
I passed on from this to offer congratulations upon the successes of the King of Sweden, because in addition to the important claims of his sister, his Majesty had become deeply interested in those affairs through the expedition of the Marquis of Hamilton, and I contrived to insinuate gently that he should continue to assist that king. He replied that the news was of the best, and he hoped it would constantly be better and better. He would never fail to do his part. He asked me about the peace of Italy. I told him that according to the advices from France I held that the agreement had been carried out with respect to the restitutions, but there had not been time for me to receive the necessary confirmation from your Serenity, and as a matter of fact your letters of the 26th ult., which bring it, arrived many days after that audience. He remarked that it would be no small thing if the restitutions had been made in good faith, because people are generally reluctant to give up what they have taken. In order to induce him to speak more freely, and also to refresh his memory about the Palatinate, I remarked that the Spaniards are accustomed to behave so. He immediately replied that the French do the same. His Majesty undoubtedly let this slip out because of the news which has arrived from many parts that the Most Christian has taken possession of Pinarolo and the adjacent valleys, although with the consent of the Duke of Savoy. Those of the Spanish party lose patience at this, and Scaglia himself is reduced to desperation, as he no longer knows what course to follow in his negotiations, which all tend to the advantage of Spain.
I also wished to inform his Majesty of the new choice of an ambassador to this Court, so that the punctuality of your Excellencies in this respect might serve as a stimulus for him to respond. I have also spoken to the ministers, whom I have likewise told of the incidents at Rome. All of them showed that they greatly appreciated the honour of the communication and fully realised the good reason your Excellencies had to be dissatisfied with such procedure. I laid more stress on the question of sending an ambassador to Venice with the Secretary of State than with others, because the matter is in his province. I reminded him of his Majesty's promise, recently made in the letters taken to your Serenity by the Secretary Rolandson, that there would be no further delay after the plague had ceased. He told me that the one who had been chosen had practically absented himself from Court, but others solicited the employment, and beyond a doubt his Majesty would respond to your Serenity. I am not so sure, however, that we shall see the result so speedily as would be reasonable.
As I have hinted above, they will take it ill here if it be confirmed that the Duke of Savoy has given Pinarolo to the Most Christian, as anything which leads to the aggrandisement of that Crown is very noxious to them. The Earl of Carlisle, being more ardent than the others, goes about announcing that the emperor will never give the investiture to the Duke of Savoy. This opinion is so prejudiced as to cease to be reasonable, though I fancy it is held by Scaglia more than by anyone else. He is suffering from bodily indisposition in addition to his mental troubles, and is very little seen. The talk about his departure is uncertain, but the soundest conjecture is that he himself does not know whither to turn, as he is on bad terms with France and his master, and to all present appearance he does not enjoy the confidence of Spain, where he hoped to make his fortune. He is not on very good terms with the duke himself, and his relations with the cardinal prince are very unfriendly, so I have heard it said even by those who see him often that he is not likely to return to Italy. They talk of France assisting Savoy with 10,000 infantry and 1,200 cavalry. Their plans are uncertain as yet, but it is thought that they are directed against Genoa.
The ambassador of the States had public audience recently to inform his Majesty of the victory won by the States, and they lighted bonfires about it. On the following day he went to point out to his Majesty the prejudice done to the States by the facilities which the Spaniards have here of employing a large number of English sailors. He stated in particular that there were 800 on the fleet that recently left Lisbon. The king seemed displeased, and assured the ambassador that this was not his intention. He would think of some more efficacious remedy, but he could not prohibit it absolutely by decree, because he did not wish to afford the Spaniards any pretexts for not keeping their promises within the prescribed period of a year. When that had expired, they would take other steps. In the end, they will have to make up their minds to this, because the hopes which they reposed in the business are constantly vanishing away. The present opportunity is a very favourable one if they will seize upon it by giving vigorous assistance to the King of Sweden. The Dutch ambassador recently gave me some hopes that they were thinking about it, and that it would be discussed in the Council. I cannot find out on what authority he spoke; he merely told me that there was some one who was very importunate. So far he is certainly unknown, unless he was referring to the Palatine. Every one marvels that that prince does not leave his ease in Holland and go to give what little help he can to his own cause, when everything promises a happy issue; but so long as his counsels have to depend on this quarter they cannot be more resolute than they are here.
The fate of General Tilly is still uncertain, and the variety of the advices makes one hesitate what to believe more than anything else. At present it is thought that he died at Hesleben, and that the King of Sweden had him transported with great pomp to Halberstadt and buried there. From the same source it is announced that Horn, marshal of the camp of the King of Sweden, in conjunction with the Marquis of Hamilton, has defeated the army of Imperialists under the command of Thefembac in Silesia; but more confirmation is awaited of all this.
London, the 31st October, 1631.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]


  • 1. Sir William Balfour. He did not cross until the 8th October, landing at Dunkirk on the following day. Cal. S.P. Dom., 1631–1633, pages 157, 207.
  • 2. Donald Mackay, Lord Reay, under whom Sir Thomas Conway was to serve. Cal. S.P. Dom., 1631–1633, page 124.