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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THE present volume, beginning with April, 1629, extends to the end of August, 1632, a period of 41 months. Seeing that the volume immediately preceding contains the record of only 13 months, it will at once be obvious to what an extent the material has fallen off. That this decline corresponds with a similar diminution of interest must also be admitted. When peace with Spain followed closely on one with France, England practically withdrew from active participation in Continental affairs, her voice ceased to carry weight in international diplomacy, and the stirring events which were shaking Europe at the time produced little or no reverberation in the island kingdom. With the design of stirring the northern powers to move vigorously to resist Hapsburg encroachments, the Venetian Senate kept up a constant stream of advices and representations to be passed on by their ambassadors at London and the Hague; but with the fall of Mantua and the peace between England and Spain, all hope of obtaining any effective assistance from that quarter had manifestly disappeared, and the stream suddenly ceases in July, 1630. The scanty news of foreign affairs allows somewhat more attention to be paid to domestic matters, but these are, for the most part, trivial and of slight importance. Parliament must not be mentioned, and the cautious Weston has taken the place of the enterprising Buckingham. The Ambassador Soranzo is constantly lamenting the absence of any news to send and the utter unfruitfulness of his mission, in spite of the most strenuous efforts to serve his country.
The material for the volume is drawn exclusively from the archives of the republic at the Frari. The decision of the Duke of Savoy to throw in his lot with the Spaniards brought about a breach with Venice, and the relations between the two States, broken off in May, 1630, were not renewed until 1662. The very useful series "Dispacci Savoia" is therefore interrupted for that period. A quarrel between Venice and the Pope, ostensibly over a question of precedence, brought about an interruption of diplomatic relations with the Vatican, and the series "Dispacci Roma" for the Venetian year 1632, that is from March, 1632, to February, 1633, inclusive, is wanting. Some of the volumes consulted have suffered severely from damp or other forms of decay. The despatches from Madrid for February, 1630, are practically obliterated, and the whole series is in bad condition up to the month of August in that year. The despatches from the Hague from December, 1630, to February, 1631, inclusive, are also all but illegible for the same reason. The whole series "Dispacci Firenze" for two years, March, 1632, to February, 1634, has suffered very severely, and the dispatches from France for the half year March to August, 1631, are badly spotted. With February, 1630, the series "Senato Deliberazioni" comes to an end. Its place is taken by two new series entitled respectively "Deliberazioni Corti" and "Deliberazioni Rettori," matters which concern foreign countries being separated from those which deal with the territories of the republic.
The peace between England and France, for which the Venetian ambassadors had laboured so devotedly in both countries, was not destined to be arranged with the speed and promptitude that the situation seemed to demand. In the absence of that mutual good will that smoothes away even great difficulties, comparatively trivial points assumed an undue importance. As if the interference of Montagu had not been enough, further mischief was caused by the appearance in Paris of a certain Friar Weston, who professed to have authority to offer the restitution of the French ship St. Esprit, which had been carried off from the Texel (Nos. 1, 4). Richelieu would have been content to waive this point, but the offer naturally tended to encourage the French to stiffen their claims. Charles, however, denied that Weston had any authority to make this advance. He declared that although he had no objection to satisfying France in so trifling a matter, it was bound up with questions of such importance that he could not give way (No. 36). Let them talk of the Father and the Son, he said, with somewhat heavy wit, but not of the St. Esprit (No. 32). Richelieu, who was genuinely anxious for the peace, did not press this matter, and even told his master (without warrant) that if the queen mother asked for the ship she would have it without trouble (No. 57). In the end the French merely asked that the ship should not be repaired to put to sea, and they rested content with an assurance to that effect (No. 165).
It had been arranged that to give due éclat to the ratification of the treaty, ambassadors of high rank should be sent by each party. On the English side the Earl of Danby was chosen, a nobleman of suitable condition, who had served under Henry IV in France, and was looked upon as the Viceroy designate of Ireland. The Earl of Holland, who expected the appointment, was passed over because he could not raise the necessary money (No. 55). Danby quickly set to work on his preparations to make a sumptuous appearance, but finding that he had over-rated his means he became alarmed, repaired to his house at Cornbury Park, took to his bed, and sent his excuses to the king. Charles was very wroth, and sent his own physicians twice to see the patient. But though they reported that the earl was seriously ill and seemed in danger of a decline, the king never forgave him, and he did not receive the expected viceroyalty (Nos. 106, 125). The vacant post was filled by Sir Thomas Edmondes, treasurer of the household, a diplomatist of some experience, but distinguished neither for rank nor ability. In sympathy he was pro-French and anti-Spanish. His appointment is remarkable, seeing that he had not been in favour with the late Duke of Buckingham, but he owed it chiefly to the fact that he alone was ready and willing to undertake a mission which every one else shunned. Even for so conspicuous an occasion the king had no one on whom he could rely to serve him (No. 106).
On the French side, both the Duke of Elbœuf and the Marquis of Chateauneuf, who had been selected by their sovereign for this mission, were at Paris, ready to cross over at the end of May (No. 104). Owing to the default of Danby, the proposed mission of Elbœuf fell through, to the relief of Louis, who had as much difficulty as his brother-in-law to find anyone willing to undertake this charge (No. 58). Accordingly, the duty fell to Chateauneuf alone, who was considered in every way a fitting match for Edmondes.
For the conclusion of the peace agreement had been reached by each side waiving some important point. The French let drop the demand for the St. Esprit, and the English agreed to say nothing about the Huguenots. In handing over the articles to Zorzi, signed and sealed, Richelieu made the Venetian ambassador promise to give the document back to him if the English made any departure from the proposals, or if they tried to introduce anything in favour of the Huguenots (No. 47). This insistence made the complete abandonment of the Huguenots necessary if the peace was to be made. The fall of La Rochelle had deprived England of the most obvious and easy means of assisting the party in France, but the desertion of the Protestants was bound to cause great searching of heart, as the honour of the country was thought to be so much bound up with their defence. Charles contented himself with asking that the Venetian republic would intercede with Louis for some of the Huguenot leaders (No. 36), though he instructed Wake, his minister at Turin, to try and obtain good terms for his friends (No. 39). It was, however, understood that the Huguenots would receive considerate treatment from the French government. Accordingly, the attack which the French king proceeded to make upon the remaining forces of the Huguenots caused the most painful impression in England. Wake roundly declared that it would mean the breaking of the peace (No. 16). Charles had written to Rohan informing him of the peace, urging submission and promising his good offices to attain favourable terms (No. 122). The action taken by the French king made the English feel that they had been tricked (No. 125). Charles told the Venetian ambassador that he had made the peace for the common cause, but the French were going the right way to drive him into the arms of the Spaniards (No. 115). If the English armies should go to find the French king for the ratification of the articles, and should come upon him in the field against the Huguenots or besieging a Huguenot fortress, the peace would appear to them no better than a farce (No. 77).
Meanwhile it was to be feared that the enemies of the peace would profit by the state of affairs to try to upset it. In France there was the influence of the pro-Spanish party, headed by the Cardinal Berulle, who had been approached from Madrid about the formation of an alliance between France and Spain against England (No. 26). In England the pro-Spanish party, headed by Carlisle, was still to be reckoned with. Carlisle declared that the sole object of the French was to extirpate the Huguenots. But his prognostications had so often been belied by the event that they obtained no credit, while he himself began to waver in the support of a policy that did not enjoy the royal favour (Nos. 13, 44). Wake, the English ambassador at Turin, was an adherent of Carlisle, and he was in communication with Rohan through Clausel, an agent sent by the duke to Turin (No. 41). Wake made no secret of his disagreement with the policy pursued by his master, and the Venetian ambassador, Corner, declared that to negotiate with him on Anglo-French relations was simply to invite trouble (No. 53). Matters were not rendered easier by the action of Charles in selecting this same Wake for the post of ambassador in ordinary at the French Court so soon as the peace should be concluded (No. 54).
As was only natural, the Spanish government did its utmost to take advantage of all these elements of discord in order to prevent the conclusion of the peace, if possible. Besides the advances to Berulle, mentioned above, they were suspected of having inspired the mission of Friar Weston, which came so near upsetting everything at a critical moment (No. 75). Reasonable suspicion was also entertained about the activities of the Savoyard ambassador, Scaglia, at Madrid (No. 61). A more insidious move was a mission undertaken by the painter Rubens to England. He was expected to gain ready access to Charles owing to the king's well-known love of pictures. The Venetian ambassador believed that the chief object of his coming was to break the peace with France (No. 133). When the peace was published, the Spaniards only redoubled their efforts, three couriers arriving in six days, one from Spain and two from Antwerp, all bringing lavish but vague promises of the concessions which the Spanish government was prepared to make (No. 99).
The skill and tact of the Venetian ambassadors triumphed over all these contrary currents, and the peace was not only agreed upon, but upheld in the face of every effort to overthrow it. The conclusion gave great satisfaction to Richelieu, who saw the way cleared for the realisation of his great projects. "We have brought a fine undertaking to a successful completion," he declared gleefully to Zorzi (No. 51). For the time being he desired the news to be kept secret, and we have the strange spectacle of the French ambassador, d'Avaux, asking for particulars about the peace in the Venetian Collegio (No. 68). Bethune, at Rome, was better informed (No. 80), and the secret appears to have leaked out at the Hague, where the news gave less satisfaction to the Palatine and his wife than had been anticipated (No. 82). It was known also at Turin, where the Duke of Savoy referred to it sadly, as he had always hoped that he would be the mediator (No. 83). The news reached Madrid somewhat later, and reduced Olivares to such deep melancholy that he sought seclusion for a time. He complained to his intimates that everything went wrong with him (No. 111).
The conclusion of the peace of Alais between the French king and the Huguenots on the 28th of June, 1629, removed the chief danger to the solidarity of the newly established agreement. The Venetian Senate promptly wrote to their ambassadors in France and England directing them to make the most of the favourable opportunity (Nos. 154, 155). The relief came none too soon, for opinion in England had begun to grow restive at the delay of Chateauneuf to appear to take up his expected mission (No. 132). With the restoration of order in France, the ambassador crossed almost immediately, and made his public entry into London on the 6th of July (No. 157). Even so, the final ratification of the treaty did not take place until the 16th of September following, when the solemn function was performed at Windsor and Fontainebleau simultaneously (Nos. 237, 239).
The peace was only a settlement of past differences, and even so, various difficult questions remained which had purposely been left vague, while others were left open for further discussion. Seven commissioners were appointed to treat with the ambassador on such subjects (No. 165). Although Chateauneuf came as ambassador extraordinary, his stay was destined to be a long one, as he did not leave until the end of April in the following year. It was expected that he would at once open negotiations for an offensive and defensive alliance between the two countries and discuss the details of mutual action for restraining the ambition of the House of Hapsburg. But it did not take a man of Chateauneuf's penetration long to see how the land lay. He quickly summed up the government as one from which its friends could hope for no assistance and its enemies need fear no harm (No. 221). Aware of the negotiations which the English were carrying on with the Spaniards, he affected to treat the whole matter as beneath his notice, possibly feeling that to interfere without success, of which there was no prospect, would only make matters worse (No. 356). Accordingly, he behaved with great caution and won a reputation for extreme reserve (No. 251). He merely remarked that the leading Englishmen seemed to have a great propensity for treating with the Catholic, and he would not make any proposals for fear lest they should serve to better the conditions made with Spain (No. 203). At the same time he was careful to make good his position at Court, where he enjoyed exceptionally confidential relations throughout his stay (No. 397). He early won the good graces of the king (No. 164), and was unremitting in his attentions to the queen, whose apartments he visited every day (No. 356). No doubt he found her influence useful to him, and the facilities which he enjoyed at Court as her servant, and the knowledge that he was so often near her, rendered him very secure and powerful (Nos. 209, 337). But while he used every gentle art for the sole purpose of winning the favour of the Court (No. 182), he was no Mayfly courtier, but a very astute diplomat, and recognised as such. It rather pleased him, and suited his plans, to be regarded with suspicion (No. 356), and the English ministers came at length to fear the exactness of his observations, whereby he learned every day more about the disorders and weakness of the country, so that they frequently avoided occasions of meeting him, because his skill and experience might give him too great an advantage over them (No. 374).
On the great questions of the day, the results of Chateauneuf's prolonged stay were purely negative. So far as he transacted any business, it consisted chiefly of minor matters. He devoted some time to questions of navigation, and this was the main subject of his discussions with the commissioners. In dealing with the vexed question of the right of search, he insisted that it was not permissible unless an effective blockade was maintained (Nos. 251, 278). He contended that France ought to have full liberty to trade with Spain, even though England was at war with the latter country. He adopted a high tone throughout, and threatened that if France could not obtain what she desired by negotiation, she was strong enough to make good her claims by force. Yet with all his efforts, Chateauneuf could not bring the English government to yield on this point, and when he departed he left the question very much as he found it. Upon the subject of Canada and the restitution of the conquests made there by the English, he was hardly more successful. The English took refuge under the plea that the government of Scotland was more concerned in this affair, and thus secured delay (No. 397).
The success that attended Richelieu's efforts to create a fleet enabled the French to adopt a much more independent tone in naval matters, such as Chateauneuf had adopted in these negotiations. Their naval strength was constantly increasing, and in the autumn of 1629 Chateauneuf declared that they had eighty ships at sea, and were in no mood to accept dictation from England (No. 275). Richelieu himself claimed to have 100 large sea-going ships under the fleur de lys. He went so far as to suggest joint naval action against Spain; if England would supply 60 ships, France would add 30, and the English should take command, but if France supplied 60 and England 30 ships, the fleet should sail under the French flag (No. 255). The proposal was supported in England by the Venetian ambassador, but met with but a lukewarm reception. The government was too deeply committed to their negotiations with Spain (No. 274), and they also feared the growing naval power of France. That country seemed to become more and more aggressive. Not only did the French make an attack on the English at St. Christopher in the West Indies, but English ships seized by the French after the peace were kept in detention (No. 275). Alarming reports circulated about French naval preparations. It was stated that a number of large barques were being collected in Brittany for the purpose of effecting a surprise landing (No. 337). Alarm was so great that in February, 1630, a deputation reached London from the Isle of Wight to ask for assistance in defending themselves, and leading men there took the precaution to remove their most valuable possessions to a place of safety (No. 356). The old animosity against the French had grown stronger, intensified by the humiliating sense of failure in the last encounter and by jealousy of the glory being won by French arms at a time when every English effort seemed characterised by ineptitude and failure (Nos. 343, 383).
Although Chateauneuf had taken pains to conciliate the good will of the Court, his intimacy with the queen and his contempt for the government betrayed him into taking a more active part in the internal affairs of the country than was consistent with his official position. At the outset he had used his influence with the queen to assuage the indignation against Weston that his niggardliness and his Spanish sympathies had aroused in her (No. 182). But later he began to take sides against the Treasurer, and even involved the queen in the intrigues against him. In the Court quarrel between the Earls of Carlisle and Holland, he sided with the latter, and pushed his claims to the office of Lord High Admiral. This showed a singular want of tact, considering the English jealousy of the growing naval power of France, and it is not surprising that the French government viewed his conduct with disapproval, and hastened the departure of his successor, the Marquis of Fontenay Mareuil (No. 352).
The new ambassador found the natural difficulties of his position much enhanced by the action of his predecessor, who left very few who regretted his departure (No. 407). It only aggravated matters that after Chateauneuf had returned to France he continued to support and foment the party opposed to Weston, which he had formed during his stay in England. Fontenay Mareuil, on the other hand, supported the favourite, for he realised that without Weston's assistance, it would be impossible to obtain anything (No. 566). Personal hostility appears to have influenced Chateauneuf as much as anything, and the office of Garde des Sceaux, to which he had been promoted, gave him a considerable advantage in his operations. The two Frenchmen were thus working at cross purposes, and Soranzo declared, at the beginning of 1631, "what one builds the other destroys" (No. 591). Just before his departure, Chateauneuf took a step which must have been deliberately intended to injure his successor. He proposed that a French physician, named Poix, should come over to assist the queen at her approaching confinement. Although this suggestion was very coolly received, Chateauneuf had the man sent over as soon as he got to Paris. As he came with a recommendation from the queen mother, Fontenay Mareuil felt bound to support him, although the ambassador was fully conscious of the snare laid for him. As was to be expected, Charles flatly declined the proffered services, and would not even allow the physician to see the queen, who, on her part, showed little interest in the matter. Charles was, in fact, much annoyed at this attempt to force his hand, and Dorchester was sent to insist that Poix should be sent back to his native land forthwith. Fontenay Mareuil handled this difficult question with tact and dignity, but he knew whom he had to thank for the embarrassing position in which he had been placed (Nos. 426, 433). A more dangerous situation was created by the sudden seizure of English goods at Rouen in the spring of 1631, especially as they were soon afterwards sold by order of the parliament of Rouen. But the hand of Chateauneuf was recognised in this also, and danger was averted by forbearance and the prudent action advocated by Wake (Nos. 653, 710).
It is interesting to note Wake's action upon this occasion, because when in Savoy he had been considered the determined enemy of the Anglo-French peace and an uncompromising Gallophobe. His appointment to the embassy in France had been much resented in that country, and was deprecated by the Venetian government. When Wake had written to France to justify his action, Richelieu left his letter unread and told the English agent that while the King of England had the right to send anyone he pleased as ambassador, neither the king nor his ministers wished to treat with Wake, who had performed so many ill offices (No. 515). When Wake arrived in France to take up his post, further difficulties were raised by his scruples as a Protestant to accord to Richelieu his full claims as a Prince of the Church, difficulties which were exaggerated by Chateauneuf to further his own ends (No. 670). Fontenay Mareuil himself had complained to Dorchester about Wake's appointment. The English minister, whom Wake had served as secretary at the Venetian embassy, assured the ambassador that he had noticed that Wake was naturally disposed to favour the prince where he was resident. At Turin he felt obliged to serve the Duke of Savoy, as the friend of his master. Before he had been four days in France he would be thoroughly French, and the Most Christian would be quite satisfied with him (No. 433). Wake would therefore seem to have seized an early opportunity to justify Dorchester's diagnosis of his character.
The natural difficulties in the way of Fontenay Mareuil were sufficiently grave without the addition of artificial ones raised by malice. The two nations seemed to be drifting further and further apart. The French were ill disposed towards the English, while the ill-will of the English to the French could hardly be stronger (No. 525). The English were constantly suspecting the French of some subtle intrigue or projecting some ambitious coup. When the peace of Cherasco appeared to relieve France of all preoccupations in the direction of Italy, it was feared that the French would seize the opportunity to make some attempt against England, and possibly descend upon the Channel Islands (No. 653). The operations of Louis were watched with a jealous eye, and the occupation of Pinerolo, although with the consent of the Duke of Savoy, created a particularly bad impression. It stirred Charles to unaccustomed loquacity in asserting that the duke had been constrained to make the concession and in hinting that the French were not likely to give up what they had once taken (Nos. 733, 741). When the Swedish armies were in the full tide of success in the Palatinate, the advance of the French king in that direction gave rise to the fear that he meant to intervene in the interests of the Catholic faith, and to modify the full restitution of the Palatinate, which it was hoped would result from the operations of Gustavus Adolphus (Nos. 754, 765).
While this state of mind prevailed in England, the outbreak of civil disturbances in France through the unsuccessful attempt of the queen mother and Monsieur to overthrow Richelieu, encouraged Olivares in the belief that he might be able to use England in order to augment the difficulties of the French government (No. 648). To this end the Abbot Scaglia was rewarded with an abbey, which he accepted without asking leave of his master, and packed off to England with a sum of 8,000 ducats, to see what might be accomplished (No. 676). But the circumstances had changed considerably since the astute abbot had last visited the Court of St. James. Buckingham was no more, and the Treasurer, who now held the reins, was not of so enterprising a character as willingly to take up fresh quarrels and incur great expense upon uncertain foundations (No. 685). The revolted queen and prince received no encouragement from the English Court. The queen, indeed, took up the cause of her mother with some warmth, which may have owed its origin to the suggestions of Chateauneuf. She heatedly told Fontenay Mareuil that so long as her mother's desires were limited to the removal of Cardinal Richelieu, the king could not decently refuse her such satisfaction (No. 704). She complained several times to the ambassador that Louis treated his mother so badly for the sake of the cardinal. The affair seems to have done much to estrange her from her native land (No. 713). But the English government was determined to have nothing to do with the matter, even though the queen mother took up her abode so near as Brussels (No. 708). Their chief fear was lest she should take refuge in England and become an additional source of expense (No. 693). Charles promised Fontenay Mareuil that no one should be sent to the queen mother unless she sent first (No. 723). Soon after this promise had been made, Lord Chaworth arrived bringing a message from Mary to her daughter, upbraiding her for her indifference, when her other daughters, who might be considered under less obligation, showed some concern. Owing to this message and to the queen's urgent representations, Sir William Balfour was sent over, but Chaworth suffered imprisonment for his officiousness, and Fontenay Mareuil was completely satisfied (No. 730). Mons. de Meaux, who came to England on behalf of Monsieur, to inform the Court of his affairs and ask for the king's interposition, fared little better. They promised him every good office, but the suggestion that Gaston should come to England was promptly nipped in the bud (No. 640). Louis was, indeed, informed that Wake had levied 50,000 doubles from merchants in the king's name for Monsieur, but the report was supposed to have originated with the ingenious Wake himself, in order that he might have the satisfaction of giving it a categorical denial (No. 702). Somewhat later a gentleman of the queen mother, Biscara by name, came over, nominally in response to Balfour's mission (No. 754). He was anxious to have a special embassy sent to France on behalf of the queen mother, and in this he enjoyed the active support of the queen and the Earl of Holland (No. 769). Thwarted in this he endeavoured with the help of Valencay, the governor of Calais, to obtain permission to arm a certain number of ships for the benefit of Monsieur (No. 783). Valencay, who had been dismissed from his post, also came over to England on behalf of the exiled queen, but left without having achieved anything. Scaglia may have cherished greater hopes of success, as Carlisle accorded him a most flattering reception (No. 723). But the reception he received at the Court was decidedly cool, and whatever hopes he may have had were dashed by the Dutch success in annihilating the expedition of Count John of Nassau on the 12th of September (No. 713). Moreover, the completeness with which this minister of Savoy identified himself with the interests of Spain gave offence at his own Court, and in this same month he received peremptory orders to return home, Cardinal Maurice going so far as to ask Charles to use force if he refused (Nos. 710, 731).
Fontenay succeeded in meeting all these intrigues with success. When Montagu went to France in April, 1631, about the queen's dowry, he brought back full powers to the French ambassador to treat and settle all matters in dispute between the two crowns (No. 647). As a consequence, all outstanding difficulties were settled by the following June, except the date for the payment of the remainder of the dowry (No. 663), although the final agreement between the two nations was not signed until the 20th of March in the following year.
The correct attitude adopted towards France received further illustration in the case of the Duke of Vendome, who appeared at Court about the end of November, 1631. He brought with him a suite of 200 persons, about whose support the Treasurer seems to have alarmed himself needlessly (No. 737). It was half expected that the duke would advocate the cause of the queen mother, but, on the contrary, he took the utmost pains to show his devotion to the interests of his master, and, avoiding politics, he spent his time mostly in hunting. Charles received him with great affection, but it was purely a personal friendship (Nos. 741, 749). The duke left for France at the end of January, intending to submit himself to the will of his sovereign (No. 754). Another refugee also returned to France at the same time. This was the Chevalier de Jars, who had been in England since the autumn of 1626, having fled thither because he was implicated in the Chalais conspiracy. This had not prevented his being familiar with Bassompierre, and later with Chateauneuf. His vivacity made him a favourite at Court, and he made up for his lack of fortune by winning money of the king at tennis. Strange to say, Soranzo makes no reference to the forcible seizure of his papers by Fontenay Mareuil, though he relates that Chateauneuf and Jars together planned the formation of that party at Court, of which Holland and Montagu were the leaders, which hoped, with the queen's support, to bring about the fall of the Treasurer Weston. Jars procured his pardon from Louis by sending him intelligence of the most secret character from England, and, in spite of the favour which had been showed to him, it was feared that he might do the country some ill turn, for he had always been regarded with some suspicion (No. 685). (fn. 1)
The death of Buckingham put an end for the time being to the informal negotiations which had been instituted under his auspices for arranging a peace between England and Spain. Yet the need for peace was very urgent upon one of the combatants. The force of the old saying "Con todo el mundo guerra y paz con Inglaterra" was brought home to the Spaniards by the distress caused by the war with England. They did not give up hope of peace, though they had no intention of affording any real satisfaction to the demands of Charles. They hoped to attain their end by concessions in matters of trade and fair promises for the rest (No. 30). It seemed hardly likely that Charles, after the intimate experience he had gone through of Spanish ways, would allow himself to be deceived, but the exigencies of the financial situation at home made him more ready to believe what he wished, and he may have thought that the difficulties of the Spanish government would enable him to obtain what he wanted without any effort on his part. The peace with France stirred the Spaniards to renewed and desperate efforts, for the danger had become too formidable. Although active warlike operations had long been abandoned by the English, yet the Spanish coasts remained in a state of constant alarm. It was always in the power of a small English force to spread terror along the coasts of Galicia, Biscay and Portugal, and to compel the populace to remain under arms (No. 162). In the summer of 1629 there were rumours that an English raid on Portugal had actually taken place (No. 139). Special guards were set at Cadiz in this year, and all the ports and coasts were defended by extraordinary levies (No. 171). English privateers expressed their perfect readiness to keep the coasts of Spain constantly harried, if the king would only excuse them the payment of the tenth of the booty, which the Admiralty claimed (No. 176). It was a matter of observation that when individuals put to sea thus in their own interests they enjoyed more success than did the royal fleets under a properly constituted admiral (No. 257). Thus when Rubens came over from Flanders at the beginning of June, he brought credentials from the King of Spain. Such a declension from the usual Spanish formality was considered a remarkable proof of their desire for an accommodation (No. 126).
Although Rubens acted with some mystery and secrecy, the powers who feared Hapsburg ambition at once took alarm. The Dutch had heard that the Flemish artist had taken 200,000 florins with him, with which to bribe the English ministers (No. 161). The ambassadors of France, Venice and Holland lost no time in making representations about these negotiations, which were not denied by the ministry. The Queen told Charles that the Spaniards would only deceive him once again, to which he made the very commonplace reply that that was only her opinion (No. 176). Scaglia took a more just view of the situation when he told the Spaniards that they would do what they liked with the English, and this although peace with England was so necessary to Spain that she would pay almost any price to obtain it (No. 185). Thus Rubens was able to persuade the king to send Sir Francis Cottington to Spain, on the understanding that a response would be made from that side. At a meeting of the Council held on Sunday, the 29th of July, Weston announced the decision, and that Don Francesco Zappata would come from Brussels. Some criticism was offered about the rank of the Spanish envoy, but by a previous understanding with Weston the king promptly announced that he approved of the arrangement, and so no one ventured to offer any further opposition (No. 191). Rubens made it his business to see that they kept to this decision, and in this he received the support of Barroccio, the secretary of Savoy (No. 199).
Chateauneuf considered that further remonstrance would be useless and undignified, seeing that the king and ministers were all eager for the peace (No. 247), and accordingly he ostentatiously abstained from all interference. Soranzo, on the other hand, did everything in his power to stop the mission by making the most strenuous representation to the ministers. But when he pointed out that the English were entirely mistaken in their idea that by negotiation alone they could obtain advantage from the existing difficulties of the Spaniards, he only succeeded in irritating the Treasurer (No. 257). The best that Dorchester could reply was that the French were really responsible for the course taken, as they insisted on the right to trade freely with Spain, and if that were conceded it would be impossible for England to carry on the war (No. 274). Oblivious of his previous experiences, Charles assured Chateauneuf that there was no cause for alarm, as he would not enter upon any negotiations at all unless he was previously assured of the restitution of the Palatinate, and if Cottington did not obtain this assurance within a month, he would return (No. 191). He even contended that the exchange of ambassadors would not involve any suspension of hostilities, and insisted that Cottington was merely sent to Spain in order to ascertain the intentions of the Spaniards, who offered him satisfaction (No. 203). Charles should have known the true value of such offers. It is true that the plight of the Spaniards was truly desperate (No. 281), but he went the wrong way to profit by it. The Spaniards knew quite well how ready the English government was to allow itself to be deceived, because it was in no condition to make itself respected (No. 330). They were willing enough to make apparent concessions, while holding fast to the essential. Thus they readily agreed to the substitution of Don Carlos Coloma for Zappata, as being a more important personage. Soranzo believed that Coloma, as a personal friend of Weston, had arranged everything with the Treasurer, and that between them they meant to keep Charles in the dark (No. 209). However that might be, the Spaniards knew how to bait their hook, and the delay of Coloma in coming, after Cottington had already started, on the pretext that he had not received instructions, caused the king and Council serious misgivings. A messenger was sent to stop Cottington, and the king spoke very indignantly to Rubens, who at once sent word to Brussels (No. 315). Still the ambassador showed no disposition to hasten his arrival, and the prolonged delay gave rise to much caustic comment. At last Coloma landed at Dover on the 7th of January, and proceeded in leisurely fashion to London, where his reception was purely formal and without any display (No. 337). When the time came for his first public audience, and he took occasion to tell the king that his master would not have chosen him, who was only half a Spaniard, if he had meant to deceive, Charles broke into a roar of laughter at the adoption of such an argument. It was, indeed, a strange mission, for though the envoy brought letters from the Infanta at Brussels, he had none from the Queen of Spain to her own sister. Moreover, he at once made it clear that he had no commissions to treat (No. 343). Although the English ministers had received full warning that he would be likely to take this attitude, they had deluded themselves into the belief that once he had reached England they would be able to push on with a treaty with him. They tried to cover their mistake, so damaging to the king's reputation, by saying that Cottington also had no commissions to treat, but had only gone to hear what the Spaniards had to propose (No. 351). But although Coloma declined to enter upon any negotiations, he did not neglect other means of serving his country. He came well supplied with liberal resources in ready money. Large remittances were subsequently transmitted to him, for the same purpose of captivating the good will and confirming the dispositions of those who were already friendly. Attached to his household were four priests, of whom two were Irish (Nos. 343, 596). It was observed that after his arrival the depredations of the Dunkirk privateers upon English shipping grew more serious (No. 347). The ambassador blandly intimated that it was in the king's power to put a stop to this annoyance when he pleased (No. 351).
In the meantime Cottington had reached Madrid, where Olivares saw to it that he should be feted and honoured in every possible way (Nos. 344, 349, 357). He wrote home boasting of the cordial nature of his reception (No. 347), but when it came to the really vital matters, he soon discovered the hollowness of his position. Charles had declared that if Cottington could not obtain assurances about the Palatinate he would be recalled in a month. He remained several months without ever approaching an assurance of any kind. The Spaniards found the Palatinate a useful subject in negotiation, which served them in several ways. They had assigned a portion to the Duke of Bavaria, for rescuing Austria; they offered it to England in order to buy off a naval attack; they proposed to give it to the Archduke Leopold to pay debts due to him over the Valtelline, and they held it out to the Palatine and the Dutch as an inducement to conclude a truce (Nos. 318, 340). Cottington soon found out that the Spaniards had no intention of fulfilling their promises, and he wrote home expressing a wish to be recalled. Weston would not hear of this, and tried to persuade Charles to consent to make peace on condition that the Spaniards promised to do everything in their power both with the emperor and the Duke of Bavaria to procure the restitution of the Palatinate (No. 383). Charles, however, continued to declare that unless full satisfaction was obtained about the Palatinate there should be no peace (No. 529). Meanwhile Cottington was reduced to making vague threats about the damage which the naval power of England could inflict, and to boasts of the strength of his king's fleets at sea (Nos. 422, 427), a point on which he was constrained to draw upon his imagination (No. 458). Unmoved by this bluster, the Spaniards contended that no arrangement could be made about the Palatinate unless peace was first concluded between the two Crowns (No. 404). They further intimated that with every desire to satisfy the wishes of the King of Great Britain, they found themselves unable to do so without an accommodation with the Dutch, and so they suggested joint negotiations for a simultaneous peace or truce (No. 379).
While thus prevaricating upon the question which was of most importance from the point of view of the English government, the Spaniards kept steadily before them the point which was the true cause of their entering upon the negotiations. They were desperately anxious for the renewal of commercial relations with England, which the war had destroyed, and which had been of enormous value. In the days of Queen Elizabeth the English trade with Flanders alone had been worth more than fifteen millions of gold (fn. 2) to the revenue (No. 347). When Cottington landed at Lisbon the government remitted the entire amount of the duties payable on the goods he brought with him, amounting to the sum of 40,000 ducats (No. 347). Such a large amount shows that Cottington was already using his position for purposes of trade. To England Coloma brought with him full powers to issue permits to English merchants to trade with the Spanish dominions, at the same time guaranteeing them against molestation. When this matter was brought to the king's notice he at first refused to credit it, but when one of the permits bearing Coloma's own signature was produced in the Council, he could no longer refuse to believe the witness of his own eyes. He was confounded and indignant, but no steps were taken to prevent the continuance of the practice (No. 366). The results soon became apparent, for English ships began to enter Spanish ports furnished with these patents and bringing goods in large quantities. It is noteworthy that the arrival of these goods enabled the Spaniards to fit out their ships, the equipment of which would have been quite impossible without these supplies (Nos. 408, 409).
It was thus apparent that Scaglia's forecast would be abundantly justified, and that the Spaniards would get their own way with the English. In September, 1630, Richelieu spoke to the Venetian ambassador of peace between England and Spain as an assured fact. The English are a poor lot, he declared, and ruin others as well as themselves (No. 509). It is true that Charles personally did not appear to desire the treaty, but he was led by Weston, and the condition of the country, as he chose to govern it, prohibited any independent and virile action. Even well authenticated reports that the Spaniards were selling to Bavaria their portion of the Palatinate did nothing to ruffle the surface of the negotiations (No. 370). Finding the king so plastic, the Spaniards very naturally pressed their advantage. They demanded not only that their ships should be free to take refuge in the ports of England, but that when there they should be understood to be under the king's protection, and that he should provide them with an escort when they put to sea again, or promise them immunity against the Dutch (No. 525). Charles tamely conceded the substance of these demands, although he asked that it might not appear in the articles (No. 529). In spite of the great secrecy observed, Soranzo was able to forward the articles of the treaty to his government in October (No. 538). The peace was not proclaimed publicly until the 15th of December. Bonfires were lighted in the city, but rather as a matter of habit than as an expression of joy, since every one disliked the peace and knew it to be dishonourable and prejudicial (No. 566). At the Hague, Vane was reduced to making the excuse that internal troubles and trade interests had induced his king to take the step. He also mumbled something about the offers of the Spaniards being so great that it was only right to make proof of them, but he could not deny that there was some doubt about their restoring even a small portion of the Palatinate which they held (No. 498). On the day the peace was proclaimed Coloma handed two papers to the king. One was to give him full powers to mediate for an accommodation between Spain and the Dutch; the other was an autograph letter from the Catholic king himself, guaranteeing the fulfilment of his promises about the Palatinate, and offering to pay a yearly pension to the Prince Palatine in the meantime (Nos. 566, 577).
While England was thus put off with vague promises, the peace at once brought substantial advantages to the Spaniards. It would not be possible, as it was not before, for the Cardinal Infant Ferdinand to proceed to his governorship of the Netherlands with reasonable safety and even with an escort of English ships (Nos. 497, 601). Arrangements were promptly made with Cottington to remit 500,000 ducats to Flanders through English merchants (No. 580). What England gained by the accommodation is more difficult to see, though Cottington appears to have succeeded in arranging matters for his own personal advantage (Nos. 615, 626). So far as English influence on the Continent was concerned, it reduced the country to a cipher (No. 591). It did not even bring a sense of security. A report that a fleet of thirty or forty sail was about to put out from Dunkirk caused considerable uneasiness (No. 809). A serious feature of Anglo-Spanish relations was the large number of English sailors who had taken service on Spanish ships even before the peace was arranged. The Dutch ambassador, Joachim, estimated that there were over 800 on a fleet that sailed from Lisbon in the autumn of 1631 (No. 733). The Dutch indeed had good reason to feel alarm and disgust at the action of the English government. It was the more monstrous, because England had a definite offensive and defensive alliance with the United Provinces (No. 549), and in direct contravention of the terms of that alliance the peace had been concluded, ratified and published without a word being said to the Dutch government or their ministers (No. 566). The Venetian ambassadors do not seem to have been aware of the deeper treachery of which Charles was guilty towards his allies, or that he had gone the length of suggesting an alliance with Spain against them if they should refuse his offers of mediation. (fn. 3)
While Charles was engaged in liquidating his main responsibilities on the Continent by the conclusion of the treaties with France and Spain, the great struggle between Catholic and Protestant was being waged in Germany with growing fierceness and varying fortunes. In this great contest, in which James had aspired to play a leading part, his son counted for little or nothing. For a brief space the Prince Palatine had cherished hopes that the death of Buckingham might prove advantageous to his interests, but he was speedily undeceived (No. 96). The King of Denmark, who had been induced to make war on the strength of promises of support from his nephew, found himself abandoned in his extremity. When Sir Robert Anstruther, the English ambassador at Hamburg, made him great offers, in the name of his master, telling him that he might make his choice either in money, ships or troops, Christian dryly responded that he kept an ambassador in London, and when he heard from him that any of these things had materialised he would not fail to return fitting thanks (No. 64). As a matter of fact the Danish ambassador, Rosencranz, was at this very time asking in vain for ships to defend his master's vital interests in the Baltic. A small squadron was, indeed, fitted out for the Elbe, but it never went there. After a stay of a year in England, the Danish ambassador had obtained no assistance of any kind, and he had become convinced that nothing could or would be done in the future. He left England declaring that his master was very weak and could not possibly hold out (No. 105). Christian, indeed, lost no time in making the best terms he could obtain for himself. It was rumoured in England that he intended to lay hands on all the English ships in the Sound, so as to make sure of the money advanced by him to England, of which not one penny had been repaid (No. 182). Scultetus, the Danish agent at the Hague, roundly declared that Charles was chiefly responsible for this peace, so disastrous to the Protestant cause (No. 160).
Meanwhile a greater monarch than Christian was preparing to draw his sword in the cause which the Danish king was abandoning. In the spring of 1629 Sir James Spence, who was acting as ambassador for Sweden in England, obtained leave to raise four regiments in the country to serve this new champion. He was able to enlist the flower of the available soldiers and officers, and they crossed to the Netherlands in June (Nos. 13, 125). It was decided at the same time that Sir Thomas Roe, recently returned from Constantinople, should go on a special embassy to the King of Sweden for the purpose of mediating a peace between Sweden and Poland, in order to set free the king's hands for enterprises elsewhere. Roe, however, had larger ideas. He did not anticipate that the peace in question, would bring much advantage of itself; what he wanted was a league of the northern powers, with the King of Sweden at its head. A sum of 400,000 crowns a year would keep the machinery in motion, and he hoped that the Dutch, Venice, the King of Denmark and the Hanse towns might be persuaded to find this sum. Of any possible contribution from his own sovereign he very wisely said nothing (No. 125). He knew enough of the character of his government to make him insist on learning exactly how matters stood with Spain before he set out for the North (No. 116). The king told him to assure all his friends and allies that he knew the tricks of the Spaniards quite well, and was only listening to the proposals. He gave his word that he would not reply or begin to treat without the previous participation and consent of his friends (No. 148).
The peace made between the emperor and Denmark came as a particularly disconcerting blow at this time. It was felt the more because Anstruther, the minister at Hamburg, had been kept completely in the dark on the subject, and had to get his information indirectly. Weston rejoiced to see another occasion for expenditure removed, but Roe complained bitterly. He said that he had foretold this peace two months and more ago, and had begged that he might be enabled to prevent it. He laid the blame for this delay on Weston, but hoped that he might still arrive in time to get the treaty torn up (Nos. 156, 167). These hopes were destined to be disappointed, for the King of Denmark ratified his treaty with the emperor. It is obvious that the mission of Cottington and the negotiations with Spain were utterly incompatible with the larger aims which Roe had in view. He therefore confined himself to the immediate object of his mission, although on his way home he acted as mediator in a dispute between the King of Denmark and the town of Hamburg (No. 465). On reaching England in the middle of the year 1630, he found himself without employment or influence. He is esteemed a man of excellent sense, wrote Soranzo, but that may be the more to his discredit in view of the opinions that are now to the fore (No. 506).
Even before Cottington had gone to Spain, or Roe had set out on his fruitless mission, there had been talk of sending an ambassador to the imperial diet in Germany, for the purpose of securing the removal of the ban from the Prince Palatine, the necessary preliminary for his complete reinstatement. Lord Dorchester was mentioned as the possible ambassador (No. 397). Eventually Anstruther was selected for the task, although he was to appear in the name of the Palatine, in order not to commit Charles too far (No. 407). Before he left Hamburg he received very precise instructions (1) that Charles would not enter upon any agreement with the Spaniards unless some way was found of restoring the Palatine's dominions; and (2) that if, owing to the objections of the emperor or the Catholic, no reasonable adjustment could be arranged, he should leave the diet immediately, protesting that his king would not hesitate to take the best measures for the relief of his brother-in-law (No. 469). Report seemed to indicate that the prospects were not altogether hopeless. It was stated that the Electors were quite disposed to restore Frederick to the emperor's favour and to the possession of the Lower Palatinate, and in the general opinion it might be possible to delay but not to prevent this (No. 491). These hopes were encouraged by the absolute necessity of peace for the Spaniards (No. 533). It was not an encouraging sign, however, that at the very opening of the diet a proposal should be introduced to declare the Prince Palatine unworthy of receiving any favour from the emperor, because he had tried to make trouble through the King of Sweden. It needed all the efforts of Coloma, aided by Carlisle and Arundel, to mitigate the bad impression that his news made upon Charles (No. 487). Anstruther, who had been joined by Rusdorf, a trusty councillor of the Prince Palatine, reached Ratisbon on the 29th of August, 1630, and he had audience of the emperor on the following day. The Spanish ambassador went to call on him at once, and it became evident that the Spaniards meant to claim the credit for any concessions that the diet might make to the Palatine. The emperor refused to see Rusdorf, but every courtesy was shown to Anstruther (No. 502). Yet the English envoy cherished no illusions. He told the Venetian ambassador, with an ironic smile, that the Spanish ambassador promised to perform the most weighty offices when he had received orders from his king (No. 542). Later and in a more serious vein he declared that England had never received anything from the Spaniards but words which meant nothing and never would. The ecclesiastical Electors all had some share in the Palatine's dominions, so little could be expected from them. For the offices of his king to have any effect they must be backed by force and by supporting the King of Sweden they might bring the emperor to some proper decision (No. 556).
Although the Spaniards professed such eagerness to serve the King of England and the Palatine, they succeeded by their manœuvres in delaying the appearance of Anstruther before the diet to ask for the pardon and restitution of the Palatine (No. 507). When at length, after repeated instances, the English envoy obtained the appointment of commissioners to treat with him (No. 522), the only terms suggested were of the most rigorous severity (Nos. 527, 535). The Duke of Bavaria, moreover, refused to consider any proposal for surrendering the portion of the Palatinate which he held unless he received fifteen million florins or was given Upper Austria in exchange (No. 519). It was suspected that the duke had an understanding with France to help him to defend the Palatinate in case the English and the Spaniards came to an agreement for its restitution (No. 530).
The diet of Ratisbon was dissolved in November without having effected anything towards the satisfaction of the claims made by Charles. The Spanish ministers, who had promised the English that they would prevail with the emperor for the restitution of a part of the Palatinate, finally announced that they had no powers or commissions on the subject (No. 545). It is not without significance that Charles received this serious rebuff at the very moment when he had concluded the peace with Spain. As this peace included further promises of Spanish support in procuring redress from the emperor, Anstruther received orders to proceed to Vienna. Before he set out, Charles sent for Rusdorf to come to England in order to discuss what instructions he should give his envoy (No. 614). Apparently the only hope entertained by Rusdorf for the success of this mission was the possibility of playing off Bavaria and Austria against each other (No. 636). On the 12th of June, 1631, Anstruther and Rusdorf reached Vienna together. Anstruther explained to the Venetian ambassador that he had come because of the promise of the King of Spain to his master to interpose with the emperor. It was the last attempt, and then they would try force (No. 665). Anstruther had audience on the 14th, and this time Rusdorf also found admittance (No. 681). Anstruther had no greater hopes of success than before. He told Venier that the emperor had shown him all the courtesy and kindness he could desire, and laughed, as if to say that they proposed to satisfy him with this. He added that he had often played the St. Thomas. He perceived that they wanted to gain time, and the Spanish ambassador had suggested that he should await the arrival of Eggenberg, the imperial secretary (No. 672). At his first audience, Anstruther had handed to the emperor a long Latin document containing an appeal for the rehabilitation of the Palatine (No. 673). (fn. 4) He pressed in vain for a reply to this. The Spaniards only used the situation as a lever to make fresh demands upon his master (No. 705). Anstruther chafed at the ignominious position in which he found himself. He sent his secretary to England to report that nothing was to be hoped from the emperor, especially as he could not do anything to displease the Duke of Bavaria, who had become his sole prop to support him against the blows he was then receiving (No. 745). It was the cue of the Spanish party at this time to represent the relations between France and Bavaria as being directed against the interests of the Palatine (No. 661), and Olivares had forwarded to Wake a copy of the articles of a treaty between France and the duke, with annotations by himself (No. 732). At all events, of all the German princes the Duke of Bavaria became the best hated in England (No. 813).
After remaining for nearly eight months at Vienna, without any results, Anstruther wished to bring matters to a head. He went to the emperor and told him that as no decision about the restitution of the Palatinate had been taken after so long a time, he asked for his Majesty's leave to return to England. The emperor was much perturbed, apologised for the delay, which was due not to lack of good will but to the state of affairs in the empire, and referred the ambassador to Eggenberg (No. 770). Obviously he merely wished to gain time, and with the same end in view Olivares, not long before, had expressed his dissatisfaction with the way in which Anstruther had been treated at Vienna, and had sent word to the Spanish ambassador to tell the emperor that the King of Spain wished absolutely to keep his promise to England; at least that is what he gave Wake to understand (No. 721). To the same end of deluding the English government there appeared in London at this time a Capuchin named Alessandro d'Alix, who had previously been sent to England in the interests of the Duke of Bavaria. The object of his mission was to undermine Anstruther's influence. He accused the ambassador of having always shown himself a violent partisan of the King of Sweden. For that reason he could not enjoy any intimacy at Court, and had become very hateful to the emperor and his ministers. That was why he had not received any satisfaction. The emperor's intentions were always excellent. They were determined that Bavaria should accommodate himself to the restitution (No. 745). It does not appear that these representations produced much effect.
Meanwhile, Anstruther, realising the utter hopelessness of his mission, insisted more and more upon his recall (No. 765). It was not until April, 1632, that Charles made up his mind, and then a courier was despatched to him with instructions to leave at once (No. 797). But this decision was hardly taken before it was rescinded. News arrived of a check to the Swedish arms in Germany, and the courier was recalled before he had had time to get out of the country (No. 800). The instructions that were eventually sent to Anstruther directed him to be guided by circumstances (No. 807). The ambassador thus found himself doomed to resume the dreary round of fruitless negotiation. But when he renewed his offices for the restitution of the Palatine, they told him that it was impossible to do anything for that prince, since he had gone to join the King of Sweden, instead of showing submission. The emperor was disposed to gratify the King of England, but he must not help the other side (No. 812). In reply, Anstruther declared that the Palatine had not gone to the King of Sweden to bear arms against the emperor, but that he was staying at Frankfort and trying to procure a universal peace, including the restoration of his States. The ambassador pressed for a decision, but, as usual, was put off with fair words and promises. He continued to hope that his king would grant him leave to return home (No. 839).
In the midst of these fruitless negotiations Charles could not remain utterly indifferent to the great effort which Gustavus Adolphus was making for the Protestant cause in Germany. The Swedish king had decided, very wisely, at the outset, to rely chiefly on himself; but that did not prevent him from trying to get what help he could. In the summer of 1630 an envoy arrived in London from him and asked for a subsidy of 25,000 ducats a month for fourteen months, with which he promised to make a diversion in the empire (No. 465). This assistance was refused at the time, but rather later in the same year, in September, there began to be some talk of a levy of 16,000 men from Scotland under the Marquis of Hamilton, for service with the King of Sweden (No. 506). These rumours soon gathered substance, and it appeared that the levy was not to be confined to Scotland. Hopes were entertained that pecuniary support might be obtained from France and Venice, and it was stated that Charles would supply 20,000l., or an even larger sum, if the peace was not made with Spain (No. 514). The hopes of French and Venetian assistance very soon fell to the ground (No. 636); but Charles took up the project with considerable enthusiasm. To show his approval he conferred the high honour of the Garter upon Hamilton (No. 538). Formal permission was granted to make the levy, and there was talk of an assignment being made to the marquis on the wine duties of Scotland (No. 640). A sum of nearly 200,000 ducats was eventually raised for the equipment of this force, an astonishing amount when the condition of the royal finances is considered, and due to the influence exerted by the king (No. 704). The account of the charge of treason brought against Hamilton in connection with this levy is somewhat confused as related in these papers (Nos. 678, 685). The Venetian ambassador hints that the Spaniards were at the bottom of it in their desperate endeavours to prevent this assistance going to the enemy. But in spite of the royal influence, the levy did not proceed smoothly. The fate of a similar force levied by the Count of Mansfelt was remembered only too well, and English troops did not like serving under a Scottish commander (No. 678). Many officers of experience refused to take part in the expedition (No. 653). At length a force of 6,000 men, English and Scots, was got together and sailed from Portsmouth in August, after being inspected by the king (No. 693). The Imperialists expected that they would proceed to Holland and march to Wesel. Accordingly, Tiefenbach was sent in that direction from Silesia, to oppose any advance that might be attempted (No. 706). But Hamilton took his men to Stralsund, where they landed in safety (No. 703). He wrote home almost immediately for 2,000 more recruits, for the levying of whom the king promptly granted his consent (No. 713). By order of Gustavus Adolphus, Hamilton's force was sent to Silesia, where they assisted General Horn to gain a victory over the Imperialists (No. 733).
Much was made of this expedition in England, and it was certainly the most considerable contribution made by the country to the common cause. But it proved a singularly poor and inadequate one. By November the force was already reduced to 4,000 men. It had set out with supplies for only four months. The Treasurer had promised that the men should be well paid, but he seems to have forgotten this as soon as they had left the country (Nos. 723, 737). In the following year, plague broke out among the troops, carrying off many of the officers, and thereafter Hamilton's army ceased to count as an effective force (No. 769).
Hamilton's levy was not the only force levied in England for the same purpose. Before the marquis had left England, Lord Reay received permission to raise another army (No. 670), although this does not seem to have amounted to more than some 500 men, to be sent out as drafts to Hamilton (No. 723). In April, 1632, Colonel Fleetwood also received ready permission to raise troops for the Swedish service (No. 809); but Lord Craven, who wished to raise three regiments for the same purpose, was dissuaded by the ministers, although he had offered to bear the whole cost himself. Accordingly, he went to Gustavus Adolphus accompanied only by a small band of adventurers (Nos. 745, 748).
The opening of an active campaign in Germany by the King of Sweden rendered it advisable that Charles should have a representative with that sovereign. For this purpose Sir Henry Vane was selected, with the idea that he should offer mediation between the emperor and the King of Sweden, in order, by this pressure, to assist the negotiations that Anstruther was then conducting at Vienna (No. 685). The successes of Gustavus Adolphus in the field led to a modification of these ideas, and Vane lingered on in England until the great victory of Breitenfeld had completely altered the situation. Instead of offering mediation, Vane was now to suggest an alliance, and the inclusion of Saxony and Brandenburg (No. 741). But even here Charles refrained from taking a decided line of action, as he still kept Anstruther at Vienna; and when Gustavus Adolphus sent to invite the Palatine to take part in the recovery of his dominions (No. 736), Charles would only give his consent on consideration that his brother-in-law went unarmed to the Swedish camp (Nos. 751, 753, 760).
Yet although they had done so little to help Sweden, the English government claimed that Gustavus Adolphus must, under all circumstances, hand over the Palatinate to Frederick, if he should conquer it (No. 745). Gustavus Adolphus, however, made himself very explicit on this subject, and when Vane arrived in his camp he lost no time in giving him clearly to understand that the absence of assistance would give him the right to the full possession of all his conquests, among which he mentioned the Palatinate in particular, and if England did not help him he should consider himself released from any obligation to make restitution to the Palatine (No. 749). He demanded that England should forthwith pay down 250,000 ducats and contribute 50,000 ducats a month until the coming spring, and then, instead of this subsidy, that she should supply and maintain a force of 10,000 men until the end of the war (No. 754). The Council got so far as to decide to pay down 100,000 crowns as an instalment of 300,000, which they proposed to offer (No. 815). Charles was willing and eager for this payment to be made, but Weston, who had a clearer idea of the difficulties involved, put obstacles in the way, with the object of keeping negotiations alive, without concluding anything (No. 825). Gustavus Adolphus, who had a shrewd notion of the true state of affairs, was not disposed to be open with Vane, who sent word home that the king intended to keep his conquests in the Palatinate until the end of the war (No. 800).
The situation thus developed without any reference to England. There was no reason why Gustavus Adolphus should trouble to consult the interests of the English government, from which he had nothing to expect. The English ministers heard with concern that he had come to an agreement with the Duke of Bavaria (No. 832). They were even more disturbed by reports of an understanding between France and Sweden, according to which the French were to take charge of the Swedish conquests in the Palatinate. The French ministers frankly told the English agent, Augier, that since Great Britain had so far neglected to do anything in spite of the Palatine's interests, she might possibly find herself compelled in the future to have recourse to France, who was doing so much for the public weal (No. 850). Vane was not even able to obtain the acceptance of the very modest claims that were now advanced, that the relics of Hamilton's force should be divided among the principal places in the Palatinate, that the monthly assignment from England should be devoted first to paying these troops, but that the King of Sweden might do what he pleased with the remainder (No. 851).
The period covered by these papers is one of very great tension in the relations between England and the United Provinces. Charles pursued his plans for an accommodation with Spain and the restoration of the Palatinate, regardless of the feelings and interests of his Dutch allies, and utterly oblivious of his obligations towards them. A report that Charles went so far as to suggest that his sister should leave the Hague and go to live in some place not suspect to the Spaniards (No. 27) seems to rest on no secure foundation (No. 69), but it is significant that such a report should be possible. The chief thing to which Charles devoted his efforts with the Dutch was to try and induce them to accept his mediation for a peace or truce with the Spaniards. Already in the spring of 1629 Sir Henry Vane had gone to the Hague to make some proposals to this effect (No. 64). As the year progressed, Dutch successes in the field, and particularly the capture of Wesel and of Bois le Duc, dashed the Spanish hopes of an accommodation (No. 246). Yet, in spite of these gains, the strain of the war tried the Dutch very severely. The financial burden was felt to be unbearable, and they could obtain no help from England. The ambassador, Joachim, declared that the burden of their expenses would make them lose all the advantage they ought to derive from their numerous successes, because of the danger of mutiny, through the non-payment of their troops (No. 251). At the end of the year they found it necessary to dismiss large numbers of their foreign troops, including English, Scots, Germans and Irish (No. 308). It was known that the Princess of Orange favoured peace (No. 268). The period of depression lasted into the summer of the year 1630. The whole time was marked by the activities of Vane, whose energies were chiefly devoted to persuading the States that nothing would be done by his king in the negotiations with Spain without the full participation of his friends and allies, and that no treaty would be made which did not provide for the restoration of the Prince Palatine. Vane also brought forward the suggestion that England and the Netherlands should negotiate jointly for an accommodation with Spain. The Dutch seemed for a while inclined to hearken to this proposal, as the only alternative was to rely on the support of the French, and they felt doubtful how far they could trust Richelieu (No. 311). With the advance of the year 1630 the prospects of French support grew brighter, and the attitude of the Dutch stiffened. In July the alliance with France was definitely renewed. The French paid 1,500,000 florins down and agreed to supply 1,200,000 yearly (No. 458). The English were not at all pleased about it, and when Joachim informed Charles, the king intimated that he would have liked to have known about it before it was concluded (No. 468). Soon after this Vane returned to the Hague from England, and resumed his efforts to induce the Dutch to make an accommodation in conjunction with England. He astonished the government by assuring them that his king had full powers for this from the Spaniards. This action was deeply resented by the Prince of Orange, who declared that Vane was practically acting as ambassador for Spain. On the 13th of August, Vane presented to the States General a paper informing them of the Spanish offers, and asking whether they were disposed to accept such a treaty (No. 493). For many weeks Vane awaited the reply to this question, but without any success, though he moved every stone. The Dutch kept putting him off upon various pretexts. They wished first to see how things were going in Germany and Italy. In any case they had no intention of putting their interests in the hands of the English, who only offered their mediation in order to obtain a better bargain with the Spaniards. At the same time, they did not wish to give offence to the King of England (No. 540). With the conclusion of the peace between England and Spain their worst fears were realised. There was no longer any occasion to delay their answer, and they gave a non-committal reply with a prudence and dignity that won the warm approval of the Venetian Senate, which was a good judge of such matters (Nos. 571, 578).
The accommodation between England and Spain reacted at once upon the relations between England and the Dutch. The old dispute about the herring fisheries was revived in a dangerous form by the proposal of some Scots to form a company for the fishing in home waters. The idea was to exclude the Dutch from those waters and thus seriously hamper an industry which was vital to them. The question was kept to the fore and ultimately came before the Privy Council for consideration (Nos. 572, 693, 807). Another commercial difficulty arose over the cloth trade. The English merchants complained that they were not fairly treated, and threatened to transfer their business to Emden and Antwerp (No. 604). The question created considerable bitterness in Holland, but they seem to have made the concessions demanded (No. 662). One of the chief reasons why the Dutch viewed the Anglo-Spanish arrangement with alarm was the use that the Spaniards might make of the English ports. In February, 1631, a Dunkirk privateer, flying false colours, seized a Dutch ship which was lying in perfect security right up the Thames (Nos. 602, 615). A similar outrage was committed three months later, only six miles from London (No. 647). It was in vain that the agent, Carleton, assured the Dutch that his king would insist upon full restitution being made, for they attached little credit to his protestations (No. 628). They saw that while the English government afforded every convenience to the Spaniards for sea trade, they constantly kept restricting the privileges of the Dutch. If the latter brought their booty into English ports, it was immediately sequestrated (No. 636). This happened even before the peace in the case of a Dutch vessel which brought in a derelict found off the Spanish coast (No. 506). In December, 1630, a powerful Dunkirker, which had been very roughly handled by a Dutch West Indiaman in English waters, was rescued by the English coming out to protect it (No. 561). Such incidents created a growing sense of exasperation. Joachim declared to the Venetian ambassador that so far as the sea was concerned they had received more harm from the English than from the Spaniards themselves (No. 596). The ill-feeling only continued to increase. Besides the various incidents at sea, the Dutch felt that they had a legitimate grievance in the way they had been treated over the peace. The English resented the reserve and mistrust shown by the Dutch, and thought they had been rendered unduly proud by their successes. They considered that the States ought to send over a special embassy about the various differences, as had been done previously upon similar occasions (No. 641). The feeling was not unmixed with envy and a desire to humble their pride (No. 640). Joachim went so far as to hint that a continuance of the ill-treatment and injustice they were receiving might drive the United Provinces to war with England (No. 641). He expressed his astonishment that England should treat the Dutch so badly at a time when they were apprehensive of an attack from the French, and he left Soranzo with the impression that if such an attack should occur, the States would declare against England (No. 653). The Dutch Admiral Quast, who was sent out with a powerful fleet to intercept the Cardinal Infant of Spain on his voyage to Flanders, had orders to engage any English ships which might be escorting the prince, not taking them as prizes, but, if possible, sending them to the bottom by furious gunfire (No. 682).
The Spaniards very naturally did all in their power to stir up this bad blood between their two most formidable opponents at sea. They intended to make a great bid for the renewal of the cloth trade at Antwerp (No. 647). They encouraged the proposed action to exclude the Dutch from the fisheries, as being the true way to keep the English naval forces vigorous, and to ensure a good supply of ships and sailors (No. 572). Scaglia was expected to use his influence in this matter, and he seemed more likely to achieve success in this than in most of his other enterprises (No. 693). It was even stated that the Spaniards were tempting the English, by specious promises, to issue letters of marque against the Dutch (No. 623).
To the Venetian republic, on the other hand, this growing tension caused genuine concern. The Senate took an early opportunity to instruct their ambassador to support the representations of the Dutch about the fisheries (No. 590). The ambassadors, both at London and the Hague, used their influence to mollify asperity and restore confidence. Lord Dorchester explained to Soranzo that the peace with Spain was new, and they had not yet been able to make satisfactory arrangements for carrying it out. He assured him that the States would finally have their own way about the liberty and security of the English ports (No. 659). Yet things continued to go on much as before, and a year later a rich Dutch Indiaman was seized immediately it entered English waters, on the pretext that it came from the neighbourhood of Virginia, where some English Companies claimed a monopoly (No. 797).
The successes of Gustavus Adolphus probably had more effect than all representations in producing a better state of mind. At the beginning of 1632, the States, understanding that negotiations for an alliance had been opened with Sweden, decided to send Govert Brassert to England at the same time as Vosberghen was sent to France. It was intended as a supreme effort to obtain some strong resolution for the public cause and their own interests (Nos. 760, 788). The Dutch were anxious to propitiate Charles and to lead him into the right way; but at the same time they made it clear that they could not tolerate any restriction of the ancient freedom they had enjoyed in the matter of the fisheries. The industry employed thousands of their countrymen, and it was the spring from which their naval power derived its strength (No. 807).
Whatever might be the attitude of the government, the Dutch could generally rely upon the sympathy of the English people, both on the score of similarity of religion and because they were regarded as the bulwark of the realm, the defenders of liberty (No. 229). There was undoubtedly much rivalry in matters of trade; some envy and even concern at the growing power and many successes of the young republic; as well as uneasiness about the Dutch alliance with France and the possible consequences on the opposite coasts, especially when the French were massing troops in Picardy (No. 815). This was carried to such an extent that the English even objected to the possibility of Dunkirk, that hornets' nest of privateers from which their shipping suffered so severely, falling into the hands of the Dutch (No. 661). Yet there were always plenty of Englishmen ready to serve the republic in her wars and to take a foremost part in them. When the peace with France removed danger from the Channel Islands, the garrison of Guernsey, 500 in number, volunteered for service at the siege of Bois le Duc, which the Prince of Orange was then conducting (Nos. 148, 165). When Joachim appealed to Charles for the force under Colonel Morgan, at Gluckstadt, this was readily granted. The troops were quickly brought over and sent to garrison Arnheim, in order to protect the exposed country thereabouts from the ravages of the Spanish army under Count Henry van den Bergh (No. 167). Scarcely had they arrived, however, than Charles announced to the Dutch, through his agent at the Hague, that he would no longer be responsible for their maintenance, although the States might employ them if they wished. In the existing emergency the Dutch undertook to pay the men (No. 196); but at the conclusion of the year's campaign they disbanded the entire force (No. 328). It may be assumed that this did not include the English forces in the regular service of the republic, which had greatly distinguished themselves at the siege of Bois le Duc (id.) In the relatively unimportant campaigns of 1630 and 1631 there is no mention of the English levies in the Netherlands, but at the siege of Maastricht they again come to the fore. At the end of June the English and Scots carried by assault a demi-lune opposite the Brussels gate, though at considerable cost. The English and French auxiliaries then offered to take the town by storm if the Prince of Orange would allow them to sack it; but he would not consent (No. 835). The townsmen made a counter attack and drove the English out of the position they had won, which was rendered untenable by either side (Nos. 840, 842). At this period the English commander, Morgan, was wounded in an action on the Moselle, presumably against the relieving force of the enemy. On the 17th of August the relieving force under Pappenheim delivered a violent attack on the entrenchments of the Prince of Orange, which was repulsed with heavy loss. That same evening the English fired a mine under the walls of the town, making a practicable breach. They delivered a courageous attack on the following morning, but without success. A truce was arranged to bury the dead, and the townspeople, taking advantage of this to parley, the place surrendered on the 23rd (No. 853). While this was going on, the Dutch representatives in England were pressing for permission to raise four regiments, three Scotch and one Irish, for the service of their country. The agents of Spain and Flanders did everything in their power to prevent or at least to delay this concession, but entirely without success. The king did indeed raise difficulties, but solely on the point of beating the drum publicly throughout the realm. He granted all that was asked, merely adding that, in consequence of the peace, the Spaniards might have the same concession (No. 852). This did not mean very much, as, on land at least, service with the Spaniards was not popular among Englishmen.
When Charles dissolved parliament in the spring of 1629 he intended, if possible, to dispense altogether with that assembly. The significance of the act did not escape even foreign observers. Bethune, the French ambassador at Rome, expressed his astonishment at the king taking up so great a preoccupation as the endeavour to suppress parliament (No. 93). Charles roundly declared that whoever spoke to him about parliament would be his enemy (No. 105). The very idea of it became abhorrent to him. Many of the notable men of the realm, who had the king's ear both in the Council and in private, would gladly have seen parliament summoned. They were very short of money, and could hope for relief in no other way. But they dared not utter a word, for they knew that it would only irritate the king without doing anything to relieve their plight (No. 257). Weston was supposed to owe his commanding influence with the king to his having contrived to persuade Charles that he alone desired to maintain his authority, independent of parliament, while all the others were trying to deceive him (No. 221). Chateauneuf, on his arrival in England, found in this question a ready way to the king's confidence. Weston had feared that he might advocate the summoning of parliament. This was actually required by the terms of the marriage treaty, and the question was definitely raised some time later to justify delay in the payment of the queen's dowry (No. 745). Chateauneuf, however, protested that he would have nothing to do with any such proceeding, declaring that it could not be right so long as the people persisted in their rigour against the king (No. 182). On the other hand, Joachim, the Dutch ambassador, when he proposed the summoning of parliament as the safest and indeed the only means of obtaining the succour that his masters so urgently needed, met with a curt and absolute refusal (No. 229).
Yet the helplessness of the government in foreign relations and the dire necessities of the Court made it seem inevitable that parliament should meet again before long, and hopes were raised at various occasions. When the hopes of an heir to the throne were dashed by the queen's premature confinement in May, 1629, it was thought that the king would have recourse to parliament, as the people's eyes were only too firmly fixed on the Princess Palatine and her family, and the increase of discontent would endanger the king's very life (No. 99). A year later, with the succession established by the birth of the Prince of Wales, it was thought that the name of parliament might not sound so terrible (No. 407). In July, 1629, a report circulated at the Hague that the six members who had been in prison since the dissolution had been acquitted by the judges, that Charles had accepted the decision with imperturbability and had laid the blame on some of his councillors. The news was hailed as of good augury for the re-establishment of happy relations between the king and his people which would re-act favourably upon foreign affairs (No. 178); and this hope found an echo at Venice (No. 198); but the news proved to be entirely without foundation. In the course of his negotiations at Vienna, Anstruther expressed the hope that his king would abandon his fruitless efforts to come to an accommodation with the Hapsburgs and decide to support the King of Sweden in order to bring them to reason by force. This would provide a good pretext for summoning parliament, when proper decisions could easily be reached (No. 556). When help for Sweden appeared to be seriously under consideration, the hopes of a parliament grew, for it was obvious that nothing of any consequence could be undertaken without its assistance. Not long before the battle of Breitenfeld the intimates of Weston went about saying freely that the king was about to convoke parliament very speedily (No. 704). The Treasurer showed quite a remarkable zeal over Hamilton's levy, so much so that it was believed he must be preparing for an approaching meeting of parliament. It was supposed that he counted on using the expedition both as a means of covering himself from attack, and also as a means of raising three subsidies, which would not only cover the expenses, but leave him a considerable sum over (No. 713). There continued to be vague talk about parliament until the end of the year, though it was rather based upon the necessities of the general position of affairs than on any intention on the part of the rulers. But at the beginning of 1632 all hopes were dashed to the ground by a very explicit declaration made by the king. He announced finally that he did not wish for parliament on any account. Against those who proposed it he expressed himself with much feeling, saying that the suggestion was derogatory to his authority and very far from giving him satisfaction. It was very necessary to think about help for the King of Sweden, but not by such means. Any other would prove more opportune if not more easy, and he hoped they would find the means of supplying it to him without opening the gates to fresh scandals (No. 754).
The decision to rule without parliament involved Charles in serious difficulties from the very first. The attempt to levy tonnage and poundage without parliamentary authority at once led to trouble. The merchants refused to trade. The carts which brought cloth to the weekly London market, where 500 pieces were usually sold each week, returned to the country full, as no one would buy. The duties which usually brought 500l. a day to the Treasury, did not realise 30l. in three weeks. Merchants wrote to their correspondents abroad directing them not to send any more goods. The king, on his side, was equally determined. He urged the Dutch ambassador to induce his countrymen to unlade and set a good example by paying the duties, but dread of the universal odium they would incur thereby made them hesitate to run the risk (Nos. 12, 44). Individually the merchants, both native and foreign, were summoned before the Council and invited to sign bonds to purchase a certain quantity of cloth, which had become a drug on the market, as no purchasers could be found. But this method of coercion failed, as only two foreigners signed, one for 1,000l. and one for 500l. (No. 98). Some of the richest merchants certainly intimated that they would pay the duties if trade were opened with Spain, where the English were supposed to make greater profits than elsewhere, but when the matter came to the point, the Merchant Adventurers were found more obstinate than ever (No. 64). It was hoped that if the king remained firm the merchants would finally give way rather than lose their profits, especially with the re-opening of trade with France that was promised by the peace, and because trade was open to all and not limited to privileged companies (No. 35). In promoting the peace with Spain, Weston was powerfully influenced by the consideration that the resulting trade and the duties it brought would bring to the Treasury the funds it so urgently needed. But these hopes proved largely illusory. Six months after the dissolution the duties collected did not amount to a fifth of the usual sum. Merchants, even if they paid, did so under protest, and with the threat that there should be an enquiry the moment parliament met. All that the king was able to obtain from the customs was rather by the connivance of individuals than from any well grounded right that he possessed. Even if all the benefits expected from re-opening trade with Spain were realised, competent observers estimated that the revenues resulting would not nearly suffice to support the royal household alone with the other numerous requirements of the kingdom (Nos. 221, 366). The only way to obtain a sufficient revenue without recourse to parliament was by putting duties upon articles of consumption. The matter had been considered, but it was a course fraught with danger. The people were not accustomed to such burdens, and the mere mention of them might give rise to serious revolts, which the king was in no position to repress (No. 343). The king, wrote Soranzo, is guided by his father's maxims and desires to be absolute master, and not bound by the laws. As a matter of fact this cannot possibly succeed, because this people would sacrifice their goods and their lives before they would consent to any diminution of their privileges (No. 221). It is only right to add that the Venetian ambassadors found Charles a firm upholder of the law of the land when they wished him to over-ride it in the case of the ships taken by Sir Kenelm Digby. Any other prince, however small, complained Contarini, would have commanded, but here subjects dare anything when they appeal to the laws and privileges of the realm, and find the king too complaisant (No. 98). Somewhat later, he wrote of the same matter: "I learn covertly from all the ministers that the king is extremely anxious to gratify the republic, but as his subjects appeal to the statutes of the realm founded on their privileges, in virtue of which they very often dare to oppose his Majesty himself, he could not prevent them even if he wished. It would seem farcical to speak thus of the subjects of another State. I consider it a weakness, but so great and so permissible are the quarrels between the king and his people, who censure his slightest act, and so terrify his ministers, that I do not know what to say" (No. 150).
For one who aspired to absolute rule, Charles showed himself singularly lacking in self-reliance. In grave affairs, wrote Soranzo, the king is not accustomed to give conclusive answers, because he has no confidence in himself, and seems born to be always dependent on the advice of one individual (No. 203). He is liable to be managed by one person alone, says Soranzo at another time. He does not give his confidence to numbers, and when he conceives a good opinion of anyone, he adheres to it, and he is accustomed to say that he needs to share his favour with one only and uphold him, because it is certain that all the blows will be aimed at him to bring him down, and generally calumny as well (No. 343). The person who came to occupy this eminent and dangerous position after the assassination of Buckingham was the Lord Treasurer Weston. The policy he adopted was a perfectly simple one, namely, to cut down expenses to the lowest possible limit, and to avoid, at all costs, the summoning of parliament. This involved an entirely pacific policy abroad, and Weston was always the foremost advocate of the accommodations that were brought about first with France and then with Spain. In the latter case, at least, he had to prevail upon an unwilling king, and he seems to have secured the consent of Charles by holding out hopes that the Palatinate would be restored in a short time (No. 704). In domestic affairs Weston practised the most cheese-paring economy, and naturally made enemies of those who were the victims of his parsimony, including no less a personage than the queen herself. Weston never occupied a place in the king's favour at all comparable to that which Buckingham had enjoyed, and it was thought that his overthrow would prove an easy matter. It was said that Charles lived in jealousy of him, and that nothing would offend the king more than to have it believed that he was dependent on the Treasurer's wishes. Chateauneuf observed that in all his negotiations the king never referred him to the Treasurer, as was usually done in the case of favourites (No. 257). From this circumstance the French ambassador was led to draw entirely fallacious conclusions. He so far forgot his position as to make himself the centre of the Court intrigues against the favourite. He twitted Carlisle, Arundel and even Dorchester with their lack of influence, and stirred up the queen to make complaint direct to the king. But the king would not listen to the noblemen, and the queen found that her interference had only succeeded in damaging her own influence (No. 221). After Cottington returned from Spain, Weston's opponents tried by means of the queen's influence to get him appointed Secretary of State, in order to draw him over to their side. Cottington, however, was not anxious for this advancement unless he obtained it from the Treasurer, and the incident only served to demonstrate once again for how little the queen counted in matters of State (No. 661). Charles adhered to his maxim, and supported his chosen minister against all attacks. The rest of the Council counted for nothing. They merely met to register decisions that had already been arranged by the king and the treasurer, and no one dared to venture any opposition (No. 433). The king's favour and esteem for his minister only increased with the progress of time, and was shown in an extraordinary degree by his personal intervention to forward an alliance between Weston's son and a lady of the blood royal, the sister of the Duke of Lennox (No. 819). The wedding was graced by the presence of the king and queen and all the leading people of the Court. After the ceremony the king made a handsome assignment to the bride, and himself handed her to her husband (No. 843). The young man was sent off on an important embassy to several of the Courts of Europe, and his father hoped that this would pave the way for his appointment to the office of Secretary of State, vacant by Dorchester's death (No. 841). Weston, himself, was to have been made Earl of Chelmsford, but owing to some hitch, the nature of which is not explained, the title was not conferred (No. 838).
Among miscellaneous items not included under the above headings attention may be drawn to the following: A proposal by Wake of the mediation of England for the reconciliation of Savoy with France (No. 230); a suggestion which Richelieu seemed quite willing to embrace (No. 441). The apparent decline of Venetian credit in England, shown by the neglect to send an ambassador there after Wake's departure; by the refusal of English merchants to accept bills drawn on Venice (No. 438), and by the treatment accorded to Soranzo, especially by the Secretary Coke (No. 611). This may have been due in part to the long dispute about the Jonas, in which the Venetian ambassadors could obtain no satisfaction to their mind. When they hinted that redress might be exacted from English merchants at Venice, Dorchester plainly intimated that this would lead to war (No. 192). Until the conclusion of the peace with Spain, the Dunkirkers continued their usual depredations and especially singled out English goods (No. 546). It had been hoped that a guard of ten ships for the coast would put some curb upon them (No. 390). When Gussoni crossed to England, the ship he was on barely escaped from a strong squadron of pirates (No. 766). Soranzo considered that the English had nothing to fear from Richelieu's naval preparations, and that they held the dominion of the sea very securely (No. 278). Yet he states later that the coasts were left absolutely unprotected (No. 330), and that the Dunkirkers captured booty at sea without the slightest hindrance (No. 343). One notable capture, that of the queen's favourite dwarf, caused as much disturbance at Court as if they had lost a fleet (No. 386). At the beginning of 1631 it was proposed in the Council to set apart a sum of 500,000 ducats for repairing the ships of the fleet and sending some to sea (No. 337). In May, Charles went to see some newly built ships, and ordered them to be armed with all speed (No. 653). A month later a squadron was ready for the defence of the narrow seas (No. 661), and Charles also went to inspect the ships of his fleet (No. 670). But immediately after his visit all the ships were dismantled (No. 699). About the same time the Commissioners of the Admiralty ordered a complete return of all merchant ships. These were expected to constitute a considerable reinforcement for the royal navy, and it was claimed that Charles could have a greater force at sea than any of his predecessors (No. 678). The proposed building of a chapel for the queen's Capuchins caused a stir among the Puritans (No. 370). This was accentuated by the tactless behaviour of the Capuchins on their arrival. As a consequence the edicts against the Catholics were revived, and they were forbidden to attend the chapels of the embassies. This led to some trouble with the ambassadors, and brawls (Nos. 370, 377, 382, 386, 420). At Court serious rivalry between the Earls of Holland and Carlisle was embittered by competition for the office of Lord High Admiral (No. 337). The king found it necessary to intervene, and declared that he had no intention of appointing an admiral (No. 347). The two earls were reconciled in his presence, and the Countess of Carlisle restored to the queen's favour (No. 351). The birth of a Prince of Wales was welcomed with public rejoicing, but the majority of the Puritans regretted the event, because it barred the Princess Palatine from the succession. For this reason it was not considered advisable for the Prince Palatine, though a godfather, to attend the christening in person (No. 432). The ceremony was private and not according to the Catholic rite. The Duchess of Richmond, representing the Queen Mother of France, was the only one to distribute gifts (No. 458).