Venice: October 1632

Pages 10-21

Calendar of State Papers Relating To English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 23, 1632-1636. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1921.

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October 1632

Oct. 1.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Inghilterra. Venetian Archives.
16. Vicenzo Gussoni, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
During the many weeks that the king has remained away from this city, he has spent in hunting, his usual pleasant turn in the country, which they call the annual progress here. He is now back in London and in accordance with custom he has received the compliments and congratulations of the Court on his happy return, and for the same purpose the ministers and ambassadors have also been to pay their respects. I also performed this office in a suitable manner. I took occasion to confirm the affectionate esteem of your Excellencies for his Majesty By his manner and welcome the king seemed pleased by my office. He uttered these very words, that he was sure of the good will of the republic and rejoiced in it. He asked me if affairs in Italy had been brought to a condition of stable repose. I said that the Spaniards always had it in their power to make trouble and they are not in the habit of abandoning their designs, and meanwhile they are watching for an opportunity. They looked with envious eyes on French troops in Pinerolo and suffered internal pangs at seeing a French duke in Mantua. The king made a gesture of approval, and commented on the opinion I expressed. He then remarked, The affairs of the Spaniards are going very ill in Flanders. Those provinces are in imminent peril of changing their government entirely. Taking up his Majesty's view I expressed the belief that this might the more easily happen as the Swedes were pushing their successes in Germany, and good results might also be expected soon from the internal settlement in France. That, said the king, may be hoped from what has happened to Momoransi, but it is several days since we have heard any authentic news from Germany. With that I took my leave and so ended the compliments and audience for that day, which was last Sunday.
The last courier from Antwerp who arrived at this Court the day before yesterday, brings word of new designs of the Dutch arms The Spaniards are anxious for Namur for which they never had any fear whatever before, but with the present bad turn of affairs they dread internal as much as external evils.
The ministers here discuss the proceedings of Rubens a great deal, but more from feelings of jealousy than from any belief in any kind of conclusion in the present very advantageous position of the Dutch. I know on good authority that the king here is advised that the Spaniards are making use of the appearance of such negotiations, by the coming and going of Rubens, to keep up the hopes of that people of some agreement, which is earnestly desired by all there.
The condition of the Marquis Santa Croce, who is said to have arrived at his last gasp, only helps to add to the disorders, so they write, and the Infanta has already planned to put the Duke of Lerma in his office, to act provisionally. (fn. 1)
The last letters of the Senate are of the 3rd September.
London, the 1st October, 1632.
Oct 6.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Milano. Venetian Archives.
17. Giovanni Antonio Sarotti, Venetian Resident at Milan, to the Doge and Senate.
The ambassador extraordinary of England designated to your Serenity was expected at Turin on the 2nd inst., at dinner time.
Milan, the 6th October, 1632.
Oct. 7.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Signori Stati. Venetian Archives.
18. Alvise Contarini, Venetian Ambassador in the Netherlands, to the Doge and Senate.
By letters of the 1st inst., the Palatine announces his arrival at Frankfort, as arranged with the King of Sweden. The plague has made so much progress in Frankenthal that hardly a house remains untouched. It seems that the troops are only anxious to come out of the place with honour. The Spaniards are again making the suggestion of depositing the place in the hands of the King of England.
The Hague, the 7th October, 1632.
Oct. 8.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Inghilterra. Venetian Archives.
19. Vicenzo Gussoni, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
Two days ago I went on purpose to see the Lord Treasurer, and carried out my instructions of the 10th September, which are the last from your Serenity, arrived by the courier of the present week. I supported the office precisely as the Senate directed He received it with the greatest show of affection. He said he had been most anxious to show his good will. He then went on to tell me that letters had reached the Court a few hours before from his Majesty's Resident at Brussels reporting the deplorable state of those Provinces, which daily became worse. They were demoralised by the ever increasing success of the Dutch arms, who had recently made themselves masters of the whole of the duchy of Limburg, so that of the district called the province beyond the Meuse, nothing remained to the Spaniards but the memory of having held it. He further told me in the strictest confidence that these same letters contained conjectures or rather well grounded opinions of some sort of arrangement concerted between the French, Dutch and Count Henry di Bergh, who is all ready and has taken the field, and that we ought soon to see the results, either by a fresh attack on Namur or some other attempt which might be considered both easy and likely to be brought to a conclusion. (fn. 2) He ended with this definite idea, that the Infanta, well knowing that her people are discontented, and that the Dutch, with arms in their hands, are no longer contemplating the capture of towns but of whole provinces, has been obliged to agree to the new mission of three deputies to Holland, proposed by the estates assembled at Brussels in considerable numbers. The Baron di Sassembourg, the burgomaster of Ghent and the Pensionary of Antwerp have already been chosen for this duty, and have set out together, with very definite instructions to arrange some accommodation. For this end they practically have powers in their hands to offer what really amounts to carte blanche to the Dutch.
He said something to me about their treaties here with Sweden, but very superficial and general, without entering into particulars, although I adroitly tried to extract some. I saw through his purpose, however, which was to induce me to believe that they had not been wanting here and would not be, keeping up the thread of negotiation through the Ambassador Vane, and that the difficulties came more from that crown than from this one. From the conversation of Edersolt one gathers the exact opposite. From time to time he does not hesitate to refer to the scant satisfaction of Sweden at the long and inconclusive negotiations of England with him. Of what the Treasurer told me about the condition of the Spaniards in Flanders I had confirmation soon afterwards from the Ambassador Joachimi. He said his masters had already begun to gather the fruits of their victories, by the contributions laid on the whole conquered country, as far as the gates of Namur. He calculated that in four bailiwicks alone about there the revenues amount to 500,000 florins. Joachimi spoke very strongly about the bad behaviour of the Elector of Cologne in allowing the imperial troops to pass through, thus breaking his neutrality, of which that Elector is seeking renewed confirmation to avoid the danger from having the Dutch near. Joachimi hinted to me that the States were very reserved in their answers about this.
The French publish here the order given to the army of the Count of Soissons in Picardy to advance to the borders of Peronne, only four leagues from Cambrai. This somewhat encourages the drooping hopes of the Dutch ministers here of an open rupture between the two crowns.
The gentleman has arrived sent by the Duchess of Savoy to her sister, the queen here, to inform her of the birth of her Highnesses first male child. (fn. 3) With this occasion they have shown letters from the Ambassador Weston, who writes that his arrival at that Court fell out opportunely for those congratulations as well. He adds that he will shortly get his despatch from Turin and intends to stay a few days at Venice.
The day after tomorrow the king and Court will go into mourning for the death of the Infant Don Carlos of Spain, (fn. 4) but it is said that at the most they will not wear it , for more than three days.
A report has just been brought to me that is circulating at the palace of an accommodation between Monsieur and the Most Christian. (fn. 5) The French ambassador has the same advice, but he says it comes from Paris, and he is only waiting to make sure of it by the letters which should soon reach him from the Court.
London, the 8th October, 1632.
[Italian ; the part in italics deciphered.]
Oct. 9.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Germania. Venetian Archives.
20. Antonio Antelmi, Venetian Secretary in Germany to the Doge and Senate.
The English ambassador has at last admitted his orders to leave and has been to inform the Emperor and to take leave of the Court. He leaves word that another will come in his place, and the English may keep up this idea in order to show that every thread of negotiation is not cut. I reminded him of the delusive promises made about the restitution of the Palatinate. He told me he thought he would be employed on a new mission to France. He saw clearly that the Catholic would never relax his grasp on the part of the Palatinate he held, to keep a passage between Germany and Flanders. He foretold fresh troubles for those provinces in the spring.
Rusdorf who stayed here as one of the ambassador's household, is also going, although he does not like the prospect of negotiations being utterly broken off.
Vienna, the 9th October, 1632.
[Italian ; copy.]
Oct. 13.
Senato Secreta. Dispacci, Milano. Venetian Archives.
21. Giovanni Ambrosio Sarotti, Venetian Resident at Milan, to the Doge and Senate.
The ambassador extraordinary of England arrived at Turin on the 3rd. He has with him fifteen leading cavaliers. The French ambassador in ordinary for your Serenity is also expected there any day. (fn. 6)
Milan, the 13th October, 1632.
Oct. 15.
Senato Secreta. Dispacci, Inghilterra. Venetian Archives.
22. Vicenzo Gussoni, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The advices about the Swedish forces arrive here late for the most part, delayed either by the difficulties of the road or by the uncertain sea passage. They are always interesting and important, even though they vary and are changed by each side according to their varied interests. However the most authentic information that reaches this royal Council agrees in showing, what the latest letters from Germany bear out, that the Swedes have had somewhat the worst of it in their attacks on Vuolestain. The thorough going partisans of the right side are somewhat anxious for that king, fearing that the lack of provisions may do him more harm than the arms of his enemies. On the other hand as the difficulty about supplies is thought to be common to both armies, the successes of the Elector of Saxony in Silesa serve to keep up their hopes with respect to the fruits of such a considerable diversion. They write that Horn is usefully employed in Alsace against the Commissioner Ossa and Montecucoli. On the other hand they contend that the return of Papenain to Germany has saved Paderborn from the hands of Baudessin and Volfenbuttel from those of the Duke of Luneburg. It was decided that the royal army, which contains so many men, should begin to separate to some extent under good commanders, so as to facilitate taking it to other enterprises, and notably that of Saxony, and to escape the necessity of supporting such a large body of troops together. It is asserted that Volestain will be forced to a similar separation likewise in the end.
The negotiations of this side with Sweden have cooled off more and more, amid the numerous delays, and at present are entirely suspended, indeed abandoned altogether. The Ambassador Vane has received orders to retire to Ulm and they say he may return thence to this kingdom very soon. This sort of breaking off of negotiations grieves right minded men, and it is pronounced unbecoming for England and most hurtful for the Palatine. Although the constitution of the government here, owing to the rise of ministers who are the more interested for other respects the greater their influence is such that the hope of any improvement in the direction of this important affair is sufficiently feeble, yet I hear that the wishes of the king here are thoroughly stunned (e seben la constitution di questo governo per la salita di ministri quanto piu autorevoli altretanto per altri rispetti maggiormente interessati e tale che assai debole rimane la speranza di alcun miglior radricio nell importanza di quest affare tuttavia sento esser molto bene intronata la volonta di questo Re). From what I gather on good authority it seems very strange to him that his offers and proposals have not met with any acceptance whatever from Sweden, as they led him to expect. A person who seems zealous and who is unwilling to see a matter of such consequence ruined, but would like the negotiations taken up again in some way, remarked that some tactful consideration put forward on the part of the most serene republic either through the Ambassador Weston, if by chance he has not left there, or in another way, might have the more credit and influence with his Majesty because, as this person remarked, it is known that Venice has no relations of passion or interest with this crown except precisely so far as the greatness and reputation of this crown concur with advantage and zeal for the public welfare. For the confirmation of this laudable idea, when it was reported to me, I avoided entering into particulars about ways and means, the more so because I was told that they have not so high an opinion of the disinterestedness and candour of the French and Dutch as of that of your Excellencies, owing to the rivalry with the former and to the pretensions of the latter.
London, the 15th October, 1632.
[Italian ; the part in italics deciphered.]
23. Vicenzo Gussoni, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The two declarations of the Dutch to the Provinces of Flanders subject to the King of Spain have appeared here. (fn. 7) The ministers here attach the highest importance to them because of the results they may produce of fresh combinations and revolts, of ruinous augury to the rule of the Spaniards, of the effect of which Joachimi says they are very sanguine, and which the States are doing their utmost to produce. He adds that the deputies from the Assembly of Brussels, who went to the Hague, will always have the conclusion of the agreement in their hands whenever they wish it, in the manner of the declaration already published, namely by expelling the Spaniards, which agrees with what the English Agent writes from Brussels that those deputies brought back on their return from Holland. For the rest not only are the districts which can be scoured by the cavalry of the Dutch Lieutenant General Stachembruch all completely subject to contribution, but even from those further off the people come of their own accord to submit to it, and it seems that the inhabitants of the very suburbs of Brussels are compelled to contribute to their enemies. News had reached that city by the last letters, of very recent date, shown to me by a courtier, that the Prince of Orange was about to take the bulk of his army to Dist, formerly a barony of his a place which they say could only hold out a few days if it did not have immediate and powerful succour. People write from various quarters that in the cities of the infanta in all the private houses, a quantity of notes have been scattered warning persons of every condition to consider whether they wish to become French or Dutch, asserting that there seems no sign that the Spaniards can hold out.
Fontane still remains uncertain about the result of the negotiations between the Most Christian and his Brother. He asserts that Monsieur is surrounded by the royal forces and is no longer able to withdraw to Spain. Meanwhile we are waiting with interest for more authentic news.
The queen here desired to have special rejoicings over the birth of the little prince of Savoy. She herself danced in a masque, which was arranged and studied by her Majesty for this purpose in a country village, a pleasure resort not far from this city. She invited to it Buonporto, the gentleman sent on purpose to this Court with the news by the duchess to her sister. Another gentleman has been unexpectedly sent thence to go to the Most Christian Court. (fn. 8) The fact that he is one of the ordinaries destined for the service of the queen here has given rise to the report that he has been sent to her sister in law, reigning in France, as a special compliment to her. But it has been whispered to me that the motive, was different, and possibly the object was to obtain milder terms in the accomodation with Monsieur. I will keep on the look out to obtain authentic information and I will not forget to inform his Excellency Soranzo about it, as well as the Court of the Hague
Having written thus far I receive the last despatches from your Serenity dated the 16th ult.
London, the 15th October, 1632.
Oct. 21.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Signori Stati. Venetian Archives.
24. Alvise Contarini, Venetian Ambassador in the Netherlands, to the Doge and Senate.
We hear that the Ambassador Ven has proceeded from Nuremberg to Strasburg, when his people say that he is awaiting orders and despatches from England. There is a report however, that both he and the Marquis of Hamilton, by way of France, are about to return to England, so all hope of any good from that quarter has practically disappeared.
The Hague, the 21st October, 1632.
Oct. 22.
Senato, Secreta. Deliberazioni, Corti. Venetian Archives.
25. To the Ambassador in England.
We send you what we hear from the Imperial Court about the Ambassador Anstruther. This will serve to compare with what you hear at that Court. We have your letters of the 17th and 24th ult., the last arrived to-day. We have only the report of the English resident here that Weston has reached Chambery. You will continue to observe the attitude of that Court to the proceedings of France, which will be very helpful to us. It will help you to cultivate a continued confidence with the Ambassador Fontane, as shown by his coming to tell you of his king's successes.
Ayes, 74. Noes, 1. Neutral, 0.
Oct. 22.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Inghilterra. Venetian Archives.
26. Vicenzo Gussoni, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
Fabroni, a gentleman of the queen mother has arrived unexpectedly at this Court, having been sent from Brussels with all speed. The less he has allowed to get abroad about the motives for his despatch, the more curiosity has been excited as well as attention, in order to find out. The knowledge that both the ministers Nicolaldi and Teller accompanied him to his first audience, and that in the few days following he has had several private and secret interviews with his Majesty apart, has aroused the jealousy of the French and Dutch ambassadors equally. Fontane hopes that by his counter operations he has thwarted anything he may have taken up that would offend France and help the queen mother. In talking about this subject with me recently he remarked confidentially that the present policy of England aimed at keeping themselves unembarrassed by all affairs and especially from those which might involve additional expenditure. He further remarked that as it was only their too careful circumspection in the matter of subsidies which had left their negotiations pending for so long and caused them ultimately to be entirely broken off, so the same consideration is more than sufficient to ensure that all that is sought here on behalf of the queen mother, whether it be to come to this kingdom or for any other thing of the same kind, which will occasion expense, will be labour thrown away and mere loss of time.
On the other hand the Dutch ambassadors who came to this house with their usual intimacy, let slip something about the fresh negotiations of this Fabroni more than once. In substance I perceived that the same whisper had reached their ears as had come to me shortly before, to wit that this individual, although in a private capacity and under the cloak of a simple gentleman for the conduct here of some affairs of the queen mother, has on the other hand more secret commissions from the Infanta, and more especially to induce the English to provide some assistance with their armed ships for the defence and safeguarding of the ports and shores of Flanders. Although he would inevitably encounter many difficulties and delays, owing to the considerable consequences, as the Spaniards did when they made a similar attempt, yet if he should succeed it would prove most harmful not only to the navigation but to all the other enterprises of the Dutch, and for this reason Joachim and Brazzer expressed to me in confidence their very great apprehensions.
The French minister here has not yet chosen to communicate to any one at the palace the summary settlement with Monsieur, which they say here is for the simple enjoyment of his own property with pardon to his domestic servants alone, the affair being referred from Sciampigni to Tours. He declares that the royal commissions about this have not reached him, and as they have been delayed until now, he seems to think that no further orders on the subject will come for him.
Buonporto, the gentleman of the Duke of Savoy, is about to leave, very well content, as he shows everywhere from what I hear, with the treatment and presents he has received at this Court.
Although the season seems hardly suitable the king has again begun to stay away from the city. He remains attracted by the pleasure of hunting the stag in the country, from time to time. (fn. 9)
No letters from Germany or Italy either have arrived in this kingdom during the present week.
London, the 22nd October, 1632.
[Italian ; the part in italics deciphered.]
Oct. 27.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Milano. Venetian Archives.
27. Giovanni Antonio Sarotti, Venetian Resident at Milan, to the Doge and Senate.
Two days after my last despatch the son of the Lord Treasurer of England arrived from Piedmont. He is going on various embassies extraordinary for the gratification of his father, who is in high favour with the king. As he is a relation, of Feria (fn. 10), his Excellency decided to meet him with the largest number of six horsed coaches that he could collect, four miles outside the city. He lodged him in his own palace, took him to the Castello himself and gave him a present at his departure of two most noble horses, variously caparisoned, showing him every imaginable sign of esteem. He is a young noble, accompanied by fifteen leading gentlemen. I went to pay my respects at once, and so did all the other foreign ministers. He responded through his secretary. He left for Bergamo on Monday and I have sent word to the Rectors there and to the Proveditore General, having first ascertained that the ambassador meant to take that route. He speaks French, and as for business he told me he was merely going to your Excellencies to confirm the friendship between his king and the republic.
Milan, the 27th October, 1632.
Oct 29.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Inghilterra. Venetian Archives.
28. Vicenzo Gussoni, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The chief attention of the ministers here is at present devoted by his Majesty's express command to the provision and equipment of a number of armed galleys for use in war, to increase the ordinary squadron of the Admiralty of the sea. (fn. 11) The motive and pretext for this appears to be to scour the coasts of Ireland with a fleet sufficiently powerful to remedy the damage and piracies of which they are beginning to hear more than usual in the neighbourhood of that island. Whatever the truth about this may be, both the Dutch ministers are rendered very apprehensive about this armament, which is true enough and carried out with proper celerity. They keep their eyes and ears open and are most anxious to get to the bottom of this sudden step, owing to the interests which they consider of the greatest importance, of navigation, fishing and commerce, through the passage to these shores and the frequent necessity they have to make use of them. For these same reasons also subjects for quarrels are daily multiplying between this kingdom and the United Provinces. The Dutch also continue to suspect that the Spaniards, owing to the advantageous position they enjoy at this Court from the nature of the present government, may possibly attain success in their incessant intrigues to induce England in some way to declare herself or supply help in ships for the defence of the ports and coast of Flanders, although I do not find anything altogether to justify the fears about this which the Dutch ambassador and deputy do not trouble to hide.
The Marquis of Hamilton arrived two days ago and went straight to find the king at Newmarket. He left a report that the Palatine, although he has little or no hope of any help from this quarter, is about to go in person with a large force for the recovery of his own dominions. He brings with him patents of the King of Sweden to levy 12,000 infantry of this nation but he has no provision or assignments for the money, and there is no sign here that he is likely to get any just now. The professional soldiers here although the Marquis is so closely united to his Majesty by blood and favour, renew very openly the maledictions and complaints against him ; taxing him with being the chief cause of the total loss and destruction of the force which previously left these shores under his command. With respect to the designs of the Imperial army he states that Volestain, after the losses near Norimberg, aims at capturing Suinfurt, but Colonel Dubaldui has thrown thirteen companies into it for its defence and they are expecting Duke Ernest of Weimar.
The Ambassador Fontane is advised from France that the Most Christian will return by Guienne. He seems to have gone to Richelieu and saw his brother in the Cardinal's own house. Momoransi also expected pardon from the royal clemency, in spite of the order for his detention in the Bastille and in spite of the rigourous measures which are still pursued against those who followed Monsieur's party in Languedoc.
The last letters from Flanders report that the Infanta is very hopeful of arranging some accomodation, although the Dutch, in their reply to the Assembly of Brussels ask for the total exclusion of the Spaniards. Meanwhile the Prince of Orange, taking advantage of the negotiations by the actual employment of arms, has sent a part of his forces to Viert, and a report is already in circulation that they have taken that place also. Fresh confirmation is awaited.
Buonporto has left here for Holland. He leaves word that he is to perform there the same office as he did here about the birth of the little prince of Savoy.
Your Serenity's last letters are of the 24th of September.
London, the 29th October, 1632.
[Italian ; the part in italics deciphered.]
Oct. 28.
Senato, Secreta. Deliberazioni, Corti. Venetian Archives.
29. That for the worthy reception of the Cavalier Weston, ambassador extraordinary of Great Britain, and for his reception at the house appointed for him, the necessary orders be given to the magistracy of the Rason Vecchie for the furnishing of that house, and for the defraying of that ambassador and his Court, conformable to the decision of this Council of the 11th September, 1630, and in case of fire his Serenity shall be called upon to make good the damage, as has always been done in such cases.
Ayes, 69. Noes, 0. Neutral, 1.
Oct. 28.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Signori Stati. Venetian Archives.
30. Alvise Contarini, Venetian Ambassador in the Netherlands, to the Doge and Senate.
The Palatine, by the last letters, was going to see his sister, the Duchess of Deuxponts, and then proceeding to Mayence, proposing to stay there until he had a reply from the king off England, to whom he has written as well as to the Prince of Orange. He will act according to the advice they give him. What is practically the total dissolution of the negotiations between England and Sweden for his advantage is confirmed on every hand and it is also verified that he has no troops of any kind.
The Hague, the 28th October, 1632.
Oct. 29.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Verona. Venctian Archives.
31. The Rectors of Verona to the Doge and Senate.
The ambassador extraordinary of England has arrived here this evening and is lodging at the hostelry. He will continue his journey to Venice to-morrow morning by way of Vicenza. He has sixteen gentlemen with him, who eat at his table, and his suite numbers about sixty, including the servants and others of different rank. Twenty five others have embarked by the Po. We have not performed any office with him as we have no commissions from your Serenity.
Verona, the 29th October, 1632.
Oct. 29.
Collegio, Secreta. Esposizioni, Principi. Venetian Archives.
32. The Resident of England came into the Collegio this morning and spoke as follows :
Your Serenity must excuse me for not coming before to inform you of the progress of the journey of his Majesty's ambassador, because until yesterday evening I have been in doubt about it. Since then a gentleman has reached me, sent by his Excellency from Bergamo, and I have come to bring word and report that the ambassador does not wish to cause the slightest inconvenience to your Serenity, and he has hastened his journey from his desire to pay his respects to you.
The doge replied, We are glad to hear of the ambassador's coming, out of respect for the sovereign he represents, and his own qualities, of which we are fully informed. We are sorry that we have not been informed in time to allow us to give orders for such demonstrations as are usual for such distinguished representatives, as the Senate desired, the reason for this being a report that the ambassador was going to take boat at Turin and to descend the Po. The resident replied, The ambassador did not wish to cause the slightest inconvenience to your Serenity. The doge asked him when the ambassador would arrive ; he answered, He will be here on Monday, and took leave and departed.
Oct. 30.
Senato, Terra. Venetian Archives.
33. That the Proveditori in the Mint for the gold and silver chest give to the officials of the Rason Vecchie such money as shall be necessary for the lodging of the Ambassador extraordinary of England.
Ayes, 89. Noes, 0. Neutral, 2.
Oct. 30.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Spagna. Venetian Archives.
34. Franciso Corner, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.
It has come to my knowledge that there is a Capuchin friar here, who dresses as a layman. This shows that he has some business which he wishes to transact secretly. He brought letters from London of the 10th August, which have certainly been seen. In these letters he is called Father Alessandro Rota, an Italian. They say he has seen the king and the Count Duke, and will proceed to Italy. I am aware that it does not seem likely on the face of it that a Capuchin should transact business in England and have to wear secular dress in Spain ; but seeing that he certainly brought letters from London and that his appearance gives credit to his being a Capuchin, I could not refrain form informing both Gussoni and your Serenity. It may be that his first business will be about Bavaria. I will keep a sharp look out to learn particulars. (fn. 12)
Madrid, the 30th October, 1632.
[Italian ; deciphered.]


  • 1. Hopton announces the recall of the Marquis of Santa Cruz, in his dispatch of of the 23 Sept. S.P. Foreign. Spain. He was replaced by Francis de Moncada, Marquis of Aytona.
  • 2. See Gerbier's dispatch of 15/25 Sept. S.P. Foreign, Flanders. Vol. 22.
  • 3. Francis Hacinth, afterwards duke of Savoy, born on 4 Sept. The envoy was the Sieur de Bonport. See letter of Duchess Christina of 14th Sept. S.P. For. Savoy.
  • 4. He died 30th July, 1632.
  • 5. On 1 Oct. at Béziers.
  • 6. The Sieur de la Tuillerie, who succeeded d'Avaux, reached Venice in November.
  • 7. Of the 22 May and 11 Sept. Translations are to be found in S.P. Foreign, Holland, Vol. 145, with Boswell's dispatch of 19 Sept.
  • 8. M. de Sellanova, one of the duchess's esquires. See Hales' dispatch of 14 Sept. S. P. Foreign. Savoy.
  • 9. Charles was away at Newmarket, where he proposed to stay until All Saints, St. Ang. Salvetti on 17 Oct. Brit. Mus. Add MSS. 27962 F.
  • 10. The Feria family had an English connection through the marriage of Don Gomez Suarez de Figueroa, Count of Feria to Jane Dormer in 1558, but the elaborate Weston pedigree in Brit. Mus. Add MSS. 18667 contains nothing to bear out this statement of kinship.
  • 11. The ships Victory, Dreadnought, Bonaventure and St. Dennis were put into commission for foreign service and placed under the command of Capt. Richard Plumleigh. Cal. S.P. Dom. 1631—1633 pages 424,444. In July Plumleigh had been charged to cruise about the mouth of the Channel, with Kinsale as his rendezvous, with the Assurance and two Lion's Whelps. Ibid, page 377.
  • 12. In a news letter of 30 July Salvetti mentions that the Spanish resident is talking of sending Rota to Spain soon ; it is supposed about the Palatine's affairs. Brit. Mus. Add. MSS. 27962 F. For the activities of this friar in England in the matter of the Palatine, etc. during the winter 1623/4, See Vol. XVIII. of this Calendar. He was supposed to be an agent of the Duke of Bavaria.