Venice: September 1634

Pages 266-281

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.

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


September 1634

Sept. 1.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Inghilterra. Venetian Archives.
343. Francesco Zonca, Venetian Secretary in England, to the Doge and Senate.
In punctual fulfilment of the instructions of your Excellencies to get some stimulation sent to the English ambassador at Constantinople to keep up good relations with the Bailo, I took a favourable opportunity to go and see Vindebanch, the second secretary of state, with whom I have intimate relations. I gave him the essential part of the extract from the Bailo's letter, and impressed firmly upon him the pernicious consequences involved in that tribunal, which he admitted to be a bad precedent, and one that might give rise to the worst results. I then went on to tell him that I had instructions to speak on the subject to one of his Majesty's ministers, so that after due reflection which the nature of the subject demands, the ambassador might be urged not to make any change in the procedure which had hitherto been followed with advantage at the Porte, and not allow the merchants to have recourse to the Turkish Courts, contrary to the ancient Jus which has always been enjoyed by the foreign ministers there, which has also proved satisfactory to the merchants themselves ; and in addition to persuade him to keep up a good understanding with the Bailo, which that minister also maintains with him upon all occasions, in conformity with the intentions of the state. The Secretary replied that he knew this was a matter of supreme importance. He had no information about it, but perhaps the Secretary Cuch knew something. He expected Cuch here next week and he would confer with him on the matter. If Cuch had no particulars touching the affair, he would consult with the merchants interested and if anything could be done through them, he would do it. If not, it would be necessary to lay the matter before the king and Council, as he did not think it good to allow such irregularities to proceed. He told me further that he knew the ambassador for a prudent man and was inclined to believe that he had some plausible pretext to justify his action. I retorted that the prejudice was greater than any pretext that could be adduced, as they risked losing the power of adjudging suits which arise between merchants and of worsening their condition, if they were adjudicated by Turks, by whom they would be sensibly fleeced. He agreed and said that he would try to find a remedy.
After leaving him I went to find Sir Paul Pindar, another of my intimates, who is one of the leading merchants trading at that mart, where, moreover he was ambassador of this Court some years ago. With as much reserve as was requisite I sounded him superficially to see if he had any knowledge of these particulars. Finding him ignorant I spoke to him somewhat fully upon the essential points, well knowing that he would be sent for by the secretary to obtain information. He heard my account with the utmost amazement. He said it was a devilish business (affare diabollico) that he would never approve under any circumstances, and that it was worth anything to secure an agreement, no matter at what disadvantage, because if this became a precedent, it would become impossible to trade there. It was true that the tax of three eights and a half on the English as against two on the Venetians was out of proportion, because in his time the trade of both nations was equal, but that in a matter of this kind it was not becoming to be so nice. I replied that if his countrymen considered themselves aggrieved they could appeal to the ambassadors, from whom they would receive better justice than from the Turk ; that time may have made a difference in the trade and that if the English ambassador approved the first decision to pay a soldo per lira in proportion to the amount of trade the affair would be settled. He admitted the force of my contention and said that if his opinion were asked he would advise that the matter should be settled in a friendly way among the ambassadors, at all costs.
With the secretary and with Pindar also I performed my offices as modestly as possible, in accordance with my instructions, observing all possible circumspection, and I feel sure that from my account of the matter the orders sent to the ambassador will not prejudice him in any way. It is true that the essence of the matter makes a bad impression, but I hope, from what the secretary said to me about his intentions, that he himself will put it right without it going before the Council, while the king will have no other advices from the ambassador himself. I will send a full account of what happens.
London, the 1st September, 1634.
344. Francesco Zonca, Venetian Secretary in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The Ambassadors Poygni and Joachimi have had lengthy and numerous discussions together these last days. The object has been to mature between them the method of fulfilling the instructions held by Poygni about the interposition of the Most Christian to revive the friendly sentiments between this country and the Dutch, and in proportion to the response which this meets with, to propose a closer alliance between the two crowns and the States of Holland, to join together their forces as well as their interests, for more vigorous action on behalf of the common cause. Joachimi has recently been urged by his masters to put forward such suggestions, and further to make a most earnest request of the king here to grant assistance in money and men for the present extremity of Mastrich. He asked the Frenchman to explain his commissions, for the furtherance of his own demands and to commit France to second them. But Poygni produced strong arguments to show him how inopportune the moment was. He pointed out that the king was enjoying himself in the pleasures of the chase and of the country, far away from his Council and from affairs. Consequently the moment was unsuitable for presenting to him an affair of such a nature, to which many of the ministers here were unfriendly. He said he thought it would be more advantageous to defer these offices until his Majesty's return, when they can be performed with more convenience and greater profit. He said he had told the Secretary Botiglier about this and he hoped that the ambassador would approve of his sincere representations. Joachimi, on the other hand, produced his instructions which charge him to lose no time, and he informed Poygni that he could not put off his departure for the Court. He went, in fact last Sunday to represent to the king the state of affairs in the Netherlands and to petition his Majesty for favourable assistance, in conformity with his instructions. The Ambassador Poygni himself told me about this in confidence, as a token of the most complete mutual correspondence. He added that he had already touched superficially on the matter with the Lord Treasurer and found him unfriendly, so that he merely alluded to the present impotence of the crown. The ambassador told me frankly that he would carry out his orders, but with little hope of arriving at any conclusion.
The ambassador of Savoy has not yet returned from the Court, and we have not yet learned what he proposed. But it is known that he was received as ambassador of the Duke of Savoy, without a higher title. He is expected back here next week. Lord Fildin's character as ambassador extraordinary to your Serenity has been confirmed, to remain on afterwards as ordinary. I have not yet obtained any authentic information about any commissions of his to France.
It is reported on good authority from Brussels that Prince Tomaso proposes to make a levy of 6000 English for the service of Monsieur. In effect, as was whispered to me when Pergami, his secretary was here, who proceeded to Spain, he preferred some request in favour of the Spaniards and of his master. I now learn that the only time he saw the king and the Treasurer he made some request for this levy, but received a reply that did not please him much. I know on good authority that the Treasurer unbosomed himself on the subject with the Ambassador Poygni, who also had some suspicion about this of late, not denying that this ambassador had asked for assistance, but telling him that he had not got any decision from this Court that met his desires. The Treasurer told Poygni frankly that he could not prevent foreign ministers from asking what they pleased. They gave every one a hearing but no steps will be taken here except such as suited their own convenience.
Poygni is on tenter hooks to know whether the Marquis of San Germano has supported these demands, in order that he may offer such opposition as is necessary, if it is permissible to believe that an ambassador of that Duke, who protests himself a dependant of France and at the same time ignorant and unsympathetic towards the steps taken by that monarch's brother, should now be interceding for him against that crown.
I have received this week the state despatches of the 4th and 11th ult., as well as some private letters of the 26th May. No letters from the state have arrived by the ordinary of the 11th.
London, the 1st September, 1634.
[Italian ; the part in italics deciphered.]
Sept. 1.
Senato. Secreta. Dispacci Spagna. Venetian Archives.
345. Francesco Cornaro, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.
The Count of Humales is appointed ambassador in ordinary to England a gentleman of standing from whom they expect success. (fn. 1) They are sending him although that king has no ambassador at this Court owing to their confidence in a union with that crown and in the unfriendly disposition there towards France, with the idea that many of the ministers of the king of England may receive pensions and be supported with great advantage to them here (con opinione che molti delli ministri del Re d' Inghilterra habiano pensioni e siano trattenuti con molto avvantagio di questa parte). I learn that they are confidant they will be able to originate and augment very considerably unfriendly relations between England and the Dutch, and to this they devote special attention. It is understood that Count Rodiem has expelled the Dutch garrison, and upon this matter the English Resident says that, in the peace which his king made with the Spaniards he was bound to favour the interests of that Count, and he had spoken to the Catholic king at different times on behalf of his sovereign, but it will no longer be necessary to speak about it now that the Count is free. But it may have happened through some negotiation carried on in Flanders by means of the Spanish ministers ; and it is clear that there are many possible sources of discord between the English and the Dutch, so that here they think it will be easy to encourage these and derive advantage therefrom.
Madrid, the 1st September, 1634.
[Italian ; the part in italics deciphered.]
Sept. 1.
Collegio, Secreta. Esposizioni, Principi. Venetian Archives.
346. The Resident of England called yesterday at the house of me, Anzolo Correr and I received him, as I had obtained leave. After exchanging courtesies we sat down and he said he had heard of my approaching departure for England and he thought it his duty to come and see me first and wish me a pleasant journey. He did so the more readily because he could assure me that your Serenity's ministers would always be welcome at the English Court as representing a prince esteemed and loved by his Majesty above all others. I could go sure of a warm response from his Majesty to the affection always shown by the republic. He had experienced this during the many years he had served your Serenity, as he had not failed to inform his master. The ambassador for your Serenity would certainly reach this city in this season. He is a person of the highest condition that has ever left England as an ordinary ambassador, who would make up for the shortcomings that might have been observed in himself, though for no lack of good will. He then went into particulars about the new ambassador into which I need not enter.
I thanked him for the courtesy. I said that I took up my charge in the hope of increasing the confidential relations between the republic and that crown, which were better based than ever, upon a uniformity of interests. I would show his Majesty the perfect esteem of your Excellencies and your desire for the continued prosperity and greatness of that crown.
The ambassador to your Serenity would be welcomed and honoured both in his public and his private capacity, as you wished to demonstrate your unalterable affection, to which the resident could bear witness, and I could assure him of the satisfaction with which your Excellencies had always received his offices, and I would inform his Majesty so.
He thanked me warmly and said I should oblige him greatly. If his humble services deserved recognition it was due to the exceeding kindness of the Senate and the help of God. All his offices had been directed solely to the right service of the republic, as he knew that in that way he would please his king best. Although in the affair of the merchant Obson he had laboured hard and made so many requests in the Collegio without ever getting an answer, he had laid the case before his Majesty in a favourable manner, so as not to create bitterness or disturb the friendship between two princes whose interests were so closely allied. He repeated, your Excellency knows that this affair has been strongly recommended to me by the Council of State, so that if it turns out ill I am to be pitied. Believe me, these delays will create a bad impression at Court, and when his complaints are represented at Court by persons of influence, they will make a great impression upon his Majesty, so that he may come to some final decision, as nothing but justice is asked.
To put a stop to these lamentations, in which he was waxing warm, I said that I knew but little about the affair, but I knew that proper orders had been given at his last instances and he might be sure that your Excellencies would administer justice as always, especially as it was to please his Majesty, but where things are great and involved it is not easy to finish them quickly.
At this the Resident said, I will not trouble you any more with this disagreeable business, as my object is to wish you joy and felicity, but I cannot help grieving at seeing this merchant so buffeted by Fortune to such an extent that if he asks for a copy of his sentence and offers 50 ryals for it, they will not give it him for less than hundreds, so that he is necessarily obliged to grope in the dark about his affair.
I told him that after sentences had been pronounced by one of the public representatives, they were published for the benefit of all, and that there was a regular price for copies, and for this the merchant could easily get what he wanted if he made the proper requests. We went on to speak of English affairs, upon which he wished to give me some definite information. I expressed my indebtedness and after some mutual courtesies, he took leave, nothing else of note having occurred at the interview.
Sept. 2.
Consilio di X Capi Lettere Secrete. Venetian Archives.
347. The Heads of the Council of Ten to the Secretary Zonca in England.
Instructions to hand over to Pietro Dolci, notary in ordinary of the ducal chancery, who is going to serve as secretary to the Ambassador Correr, all the ciphers in his hands, and to take a receipt from him.
Sept. 5.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Francia. Venetian Archives.
348. Giovanni Soranzo, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
I have learned the truth about the journey of the English Resident. His colleagues assured me that he had gone to his home in Jersey on private affairs, and I have confirmation of this from other quarters, so that the suspicion falls to the ground and the rumours have died away. There is no more confirmation than before of the landing of the English at Calais or of an understanding between the English, Monsieur and the Spaniards.
Paris, the 5th September, 1634.
[Italian ; the part in italics deciphered.]
Sept. 8.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Inghilterra. Venetian Archives.
349. Francesco Zonca, Venetian Secretary in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The Marquis of San Germano, recognising the repugnance shown here to making any change in the forms practised in the past with the ministers of the duke, his master, notwithstanding his supposed claims, which appeared in his book upon the kingdom of Cyprus, and dissuaded, so report says, by the Master of the Ceremonies from any idea of making essay on the matter at Court, contents himself, without preferring any further request, with being received as ambassador of the Duke of Savoy, simply. In that character he receives all the most conspicuous demonstrations that have ever been shown to his predecessors, who have as a matter of fact always been welcome and made much of here. He was defrayed there in the king's name and entertained by the leading nobles practically every day, with banquets, the recreation of hunting, dancing and other pastimes. He had his first audience on the 27th ult at Hombi, a pleasure resort of the king outside Nortanton. (fn. 2) It passed in the usual compliments and in thanks to his Majesty for the mission of the Ambassador Weston to his master, and informing the king of the recent birth of the duke's second son. He paid his respects more particularly to the queen in the name of the duchess, her sister, after the proper offices with his Majesty on behalf of the duke. He received gracious and most friendly replies from both their Majesties.
He afterwards saw the king privately and told him summarily of the reasons which induced the duke to assume the arms and title of King of Cyprus, adding that in order that his Majesty might be better acquainted with these he was instructed to present him with a book, in which the duke's strong and substantial claims, according to him, were set forth at length. As a sequel to this he further pointed out the rights which his master has to the Provinces of Flanders, which devolved to him after the late Infanta. A statement about this, contained in another book, printed in French, he likewise presented to his Majesty. (fn. 3) He also presented both these works to various members of the Council, declaring that his Highness wanted his claims to be made known at this Court also.
The king's reply was limited solely to thanking him, as I am advised by my correspondents. I have not yet learned that he set forth anything else essential. We shall know more about his negotiations when the Court comes nearer. It is going to Hampton Court, twelve miles from here, and there the ambassador will take his leave the day after to-morrow, to return to Piedmont. In the mean time he has returned here, and because he claimed that the French ambassador should call upon him first he will leave without seeing him, as the Sieur de Poygni would not make this advance although the Savoyard tried to work it. He also tried very adroitly to induce the Spanish resident to call upon him first.
The book in French presented to the king touching the claims of his Highness to the Netherlands has come into my hands through my confidant, and I enclose it herewith. I do not send the other in Italian, as it will have come to the state's knowledge from another quarter.
Joachimi has also returned to London, after staying a few days at the Court and discharged the commissions which he held from his masters. From the account which he has given to the French ambassador it seems that he is not altogether hopeless of obtaining some succour in support of the Dutch. He says that the answers given by his Majesty did not display that aversion which he has previously observed, but he referred the decision to Hampton Court in his Council. Joachimi accordingly urged the Sieur de Poygni to support his demands and has induced him to leave for the Court as well. He is going to day to support the offices of the Dutch ambassador with the ministers, as opportunity offers he will speak about the suggestion of the Most Christian for a better union, just as I reported.
The Secretary Vindebanch has also set out for the Court. Before he left I went to see him to remind him about the affair of Constantinople. He told me that he had it in mind and would not forget to take the proper steps in the manner agreed. Meanwhile he commended the zeal of your Excellencies for the common service. I am assured that the English ambassador at Constantinople has not sent any account to the governor of the Company trading in the Levant of this matter, to the astonishment of all of them. I also know that the merchants here among themselves admit that it is not reasonable to make the subjects of your Serenity or the Dutch pay for the trouble which arose over the fight between the two English ships and the Turkish fleet or for the extravagancies of the Ambassador Marscieville.
De Vich, one of the Agents of this crown with the Most Christian, has arrived here and gone on with all speed to the Court. The suddenness of his coming has given alarm to the French and Dutch ambassadors here. But their apprehensions are somewhat assuaged by hearing that it is for his private affairs touching some office held by a brother in law of his, who is at the point of death. (fn. 4)
The bad news which comes from Germany about the Protestant party staggers its adherents here, and correspondingly raises the spirits of the other side. It makes the ministers here anxious about the safety of the Lower Palatinate and the Spanish Resident spreads reports that the troops from Italy have already entered there, and that they will reach Flanders by the 24th inst. This is confirmed from that province, with the addition that Piloran has been appointed general of the cavalry of Monsieur ; that the Marquis of Aytona has withdrawn, under certain conditions, the embargo laid upon him over the recruiting of his troops, but this is progressing very slowly, both from scarcity of money and from other disorders.
This kingdom is left without letters from Italy this week, as the valises did not reach Antwerp in time for the ordinary of this city for here.
London, the 8th September, 1634.
[Italian ; the part in italics deciphered.]
Sept. 9.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Svizzeri. Venetian Archives.
350. Andrea Rosso, Venetian Secretary with the Swiss, to the Doge and Senate.
The decision to deposit Filipsburg in the hands of the Most Christian constantly receives fresh confirmation. This resolution of the Swedes is by no means agreeable to England, which does not want to see France so much advanced, especially in Germany, where, as mistress of Filipsburg she will be practically absolute in the Lower Palatinate. This has moved the Resident of Great Britain here to say with some emphasis that it will cause complications and very soon they will hear his sovereign declare openly what has so far been kept dark. He did not express himself more definitely, but those who have most experience of that kingdom give no credit to such remarks owing to the pacific principles of the king there, and because he can do nothing by himself without parliament, which, so far as one can learn is not going to meet.
Zurich, the 9th September, 1634.
Sept. 14.
Senato, Secreta. Deliberazioni. Corti. Venetian Archives.
351. To the Secretary Zonca in England.
Your letters of the 18th August reached us to day with information about the claims of the Savoyard ambassador. You have acted correctly and you are to maintain the reserve which has been prescribed to the representatives of the republic in this matter. We enclose the usual sheet of advices. Letters have been sent by way of Zurich, for some weeks past, and have been despatched to you every week.
Ayes, 96. Noes, 2. Neutral, 11.
Sept. 15.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Inghilterra. Venetian Archives.
352. Francesco Zonca, Venetian Secretary in England, to the Doge and Senate.
When the Marquis of San Germano was all ready to start for his final audience, already fixed for Sunday last, a gentleman reached him from the queen to signify her desire that the function should be postponed until the day after to-morrow, to take place at Nonsuich ten miles from here. He obliged her Majesty, although restless about staying on here after having discharged all his appointments, in which he never went beyond the terms which I have reported, as confirmed to me on good authority. In the mean time the queen herself has had various amusements arranged for him, and the day before yesterday, in particular, he dined here in London with her Majesty, entertained by Lord Gorin, her Master of the Horse, when they represented comedies, dancing, music and other agreeable pastimes.
At the Court, where the French ambassador is also staying, the Savoyard employed the Earl of Carlisle to try and induce the Frenchman to visit him first. To gratify him the earl tried very hard, but in vain, as the Sieur de Poygni maintained that the Marquis must acknowledge his position, in which case he would receive every satisfaction, in a becoming manner. But the Marquis produced a paragraph from his instructions forbidding him to call on any ambassador, without exception, unless they first called on him. He claimed that this excused him and it rested with the Frenchman to take the first step. That minister was mistaken, as it would not alter the use of his predecessors, and he would give a detailed account of these proceedings in France. Abandoning this point he raised another, namely, if they should both happen to be at Court whether the Frenchman would make any difficulty about speaking to him. To this the latter replied that being in a place of respect he would make no further remonstrance. Taking courage from this the Savoyard went twice to see the queen at a time when the other was there also. But no special compliments passed between them, merely mutual salutations and conversing by turns with her Majesty. While there the Marquis intimated to the Sieur de Poygni, as he was leaving the palace, by the Master of the Ceremonies, that he particularly desired to converse with him, seeing that by the terms of his instructions he could not meet him elsewhere. The reply came that he desired it equally, but that was not a proper place, and he would not confer with him.
Joachimi called upon the Marquis, who returned his visit. Their meetings were purely complimentary without the slightest reference to the royal claims of the duke or those to the Netherlands This is usually the case when anyone goes to see the Marquis, who presents them with the two books printed on the subjects of which he has circulated a considerable quantity.
Nicolaldi who in externals is treated as an ambassador, although he only has the character of Resident of Spain, to avoid calling first upon the Savoyard, at least this is the conclusion, has gone off these last days to a distance of 80 miles, under the pretence of taking the waters.
When the Ambassador Poygni returned to this city yesterday he received despatches from the Court expressly charging him not to put off any longer his first overtures to his Majesty about a better understanding with the Dutch, and definite orders to propose immediately an alliance between the two crowns and the States for the common benefit, performing the offices in concert with Joachimi. Poygni himself told me this in confidence, from the mutual understanding which exists between us. In a quiet and tactful manner I will try and find out the particulars. So far I have not succeeded in discovering anything except that as France knows that in the present state of England she cannot get much out of her, they would be content if they could deprive the Spaniards of the power of receiving any advantage from her. The ambassador is to go and see the king soon, and I will keep my eyes open and report all particulars to your Excellencies.
Anstruther writes from Frankfort that in spite of his offices to countermine the negotiations of the French touching Filipsburg, that fortress has been granted to the Most Christian to the serious prejudice of the rights of the Palatine. (fn. 5) He adds that they attached no importance there to his remonstrances in the name of his Majesty, the condition having grown worse since the arrival of the ambassador extraordinary Oxisterna.
It seems that some rumour of a postponement of the departure of Lord Fildin for the Venice embassy is circulating among some of the dependants of his House, who say, though under their breaths, that it cannot take place before next spring. They are adding fresh clauses to his instructions for the Court of France as well, where he is also to have the character of ambassador extraordinary, as he himself has recently made known.
I have received the state despatches of the 17th ult. with instructions which I will carry out when I have the opportunity. At present all the nobility are dispersed in the country. When the Lord Treasurer is in London, I will tell him of the approaching arrival of the new ambassador.
London, the 15th September, 1634.
[Italian ; the part in italics deciphered.]
Sept. 16.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Spagna. Venetian Archives.
353. Francesco Corner, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.
The alliances of England are not announced, and there are no signs which indicate an assurance of success, or which go to show whether they ought to make the attempt.
Madrid, the 16th September, 1634.
Sept. 21.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Inghilterra. Venetian Archives.
354. Anzolo Correr, Venetian Ambassador designate to England, to the Doge and Senate.
After having overcome the principal difficulties of this mountainous country, I have arrived to-day in this canton of Solothurn. I propose to proceed to Lyon and then to take the straight road to Paris, in order to avoid all those difficulties which may easily be met with in parts that are not so frequented.
I shall start again to-morrow to reach my destination as soon as possible.
Solothurn, the 21st September, 1634.
Sept. 22.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Inghilterra. Venetian Archives.
355. Francesco Zonca, Venetian Secretary in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The Savoyard ambassador having completed at Nunsuich all the functions of his final leave taking both with their Majesties and with the gentlemen of the Court who were staying there, returned again to this city and after paying his respects to those who remain here, he has set out to-day for the coast. In addition to what I wrote about his negotiations I have found out through my excellent source of intelligence, that he sounded the king's sentiments to discover whether he leaned more to the Most Christian or to the House of Austria, and whether, in case of need his Highness the duke might promise himself any assistance from this crown. He only spoke superficially about it to his Majesty, but he unbosomed himself more freely to the Earl of Carlisle, with whom he was more intimate than with any one else, although he did not enter into any details. But while the king answered him ambiguously and tersely the earl tried to persuade him not to press the matter any further.
The ambassador informed the queen that he had instructions from the duchess to return by way of Brussels and pay his respects to the Queen Mother and Monsieur, but he will avoid that route in order not to arouse the suspicions of France on account of Prince Tomaso. However he sent a gentleman of his household across the sea secretly who is supposed to have gone there for the same offices.
He spoke to the Earls of Arundel and Carlisle, to whom he was directed with letters from the duke, as being the most friendly to that House, about keeping an Agent for his Highness here, seeing that this crown maintains one in Piedmont. They both agreed, possibly in concert, in dissuading him, declaring that there was no need and no business, and that it signified nothing that England kept one there. Accordingly he intimated that his Highness would be guided by their opinion.
He praised to the skies the kindness shown to him by the king, queen and gentlemen of the Court by the favours generally bestowed upon him, but he could not hide his mortification at the objections he encountered in respect of the desires of the duke, his master, for royal prerogatives. This was the principal motive for his mission, as was clearly betrayed by his own statements. Thus he let slip that this crown might easily be more liberal with titles which were quite lawfully due to his Highness, especially as, so he asserted, after the king had seen the books already mentioned, he told him that the duke had very strong claims but that circumstances were inopportune. That such claims ought to be promoted in times of profound universal peace, seeing that it was necessary to consider the interests of many princes, and that it would open the doors wide to other similar claims.
When meeting the leading gentlemen of the Court privately he said the same thing. Some of those reputed the wisest among them spoke to him roundly on the subject, telling him that they found the book faulty in two points, though truthful enough in the rest. One was that in the attempt to prove the ancient precedence of the House of Savoy before the most serene republic in the Court of Rome, no mention is made of when and how that House was excluded from the Sala Reale and your Serenity admitted. The other that in representing a free and voluntary cession by the House of Savoy to the republic of the precedence with the reservation of the parity of titles, no reason is advanced why the duke's ancestors had neglected this and admitted the disparity, quietly receiving honours inferior to those which they had given.
It was said to him by more than one that the idea of obtaining the first approbation here was a mistake. That if France or Spain had made a beginning it would have been an easy thing to have followed their example here, but the surest way was to apply to the pope or the emperor. To these objections the ambassador made no effective reply, but shrugging his shoulders indicated that he did not entirely approve of the steps taken by his prince.
He left Nunsuich with a present from the king of a very, fine diamond, worth 1600 crowns. The queen also gave him a jewel of equal value. The Earls of Carlisle, Holland and Pembroke and Lord Gorin each presented him with two hackneys, with which he departed well satisfied, so far as he personally was concerned.
The news of the decision to hand over Filipsburg to the Most Christian has caused no small commotion in the Court. Creutius, the Agent here of the Palatine Administrator, gives out that as they refused to believe the genuine representations of the Ambassador Oxisterna, and would never make up their minds about the assistance so many times promised to the Palatinate, they now see the results, after all the protests made by him, and that very soon, as the result of this cession they will hear of others, especially if the news is confirmed of the defeat of the troops of Horn and Weimar by the army of the King of Hungary, which has already arrived here. (fn. 6) He declared that the country, so long exhausted by war, can no longer support the armies which are required to oppose the forces of the enemy, and that the princes there are compelled to have recourse to foreign assistance to avoid falling into the hands of the Austrians.
London, the 22nd September, 1634.
356. Francesco Zonca, Venetian Secretary in England, to the Doge and Senate.
In fulfilment of the instructions of the 15th July last about writing matters pertaining to the Court of Rome in separate letters, I have discovered on good authority that the Savoyard ambassador informed the king by order of the duke that the movements of the Cardinal of Savoy for the Court of Rome, although under colour of the protection of France, of which he is desirous, and of the quarrels of the Cardinals the brothers Barberini, have really been decided by his Highness with the object of inclining the pope to favour his royal titles. He declared that the duke would bend all his efforts to this end, with very confident hopes, so he said, of attaining them.
London, the 22nd September, 1634.
Sept. 28.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci Spagna. Venetian Archives.
357. Franceso Corner, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.
They assert here more than ever that they have England favourable. In the very playhouses they applaud the English nation as one allied with the Catholic. However one sees no solid foundation such as articles of agreement or settled undertakings, and the secretary of England resident here continues to deny that there is any engagement. It appears however that their idea here is only to publish what serves their purpose, and they are very prone here to anticipate the intentions of other powers in affirming something which those powers have not decided, all intended, it is supposed to alarm France and prevent her from pressing forward or contemplating advances in other directions.
Madrid, the 28th September, 1634.
[Italian ; the part in italics deciphered.]
Sept. 29.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Inghilterra. Venetian Archives.
358. Francesco Zonca, Venetian Secretary in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The offices performed by me with the Secretary Vindebanch about the affair of Constantinople were communicated by him to the king, as he did not think it right to do anything in the matter without the king's order. His Majesty recognised the request to be modest and intended for the common benefit and ordered that it should be acted upon. In conformity with my request he has charged the English ambassador at Constantinople to continue his friendly relations with the Bailo, and to prevent the merchants, when there is litigation, from appealing to the Turkish Courts, but that the disputes shall be adjudged by the ambassadors of their nations in the ordinary way. Cuch, the first secretary of state, to whom foreign affairs are entrusted, sent one of his gentlemen to this embassy on purpose to inform me of this royal order. He further told me that he would write to the ambassador, perhaps in this very despatch, but with tact and persuasively, as I had asked should be done. (fn. 7)
The Sieur de Poygni has been to Court at different times. He intended to lay before the king the proposals of the Most Christian for a closer alliance between these two crowns and the States of Holland. He always found his Majesty either far away hunting or else engaged in other recreations, so that he has not yet found a suitable opportunity to discharge the repeated instructions he has received in the matter. He grows ever more and more confidential with me, and he told me that since the king does nothing, however slight it may be, without the Council, by which he allows himself to be governed entirely, it would serve no purpose except to make public his negotiations and give time to Nicolaldi to operate in the contrary direction for the successful conduct of his attempts. On this account Poygni had decided, with good reason, to suspend his attack until his Majesty's return to London, where the whole Council will also be gathered, being quite sure that until then he will obtain no categorical answer, such as is desired by France.
In the mean time he will not forget to ask the king for permission to raise a few recruits in Scotland for the regiment of the Scot, Lord Gordon, which at present is serving in France. (fn. 8) In order to raise these that noble has sent his own brother here. From the royal response the ambassador perceived that he was not disposed to gratify him, but he said that he would let him know his decision. These last days he sent the first secretary of state to inform the ambassador that seeing that Scotland was almost depopulated by the quantities of troops that had left it and were scattered, his Majesty had firmly resolved that he would grant no more permits to levy troops from his dominions, whether in large or in small numbers, to any one soever. The secretary told him that the king had refused the United Princes in Germany, the Dutch and others as well, and he hoped that the Most Christian would approve of his decision, both because it was general and was proper for the service of his crowns. In the common opinion, and I have it from a sure source, the misfortunes of the Lorraine princes, for whom sympathy is universal at the Court owing to their connection by blood and sympathy with his Majesty, the union of Filipsburg to France, on account of the interests of the Palatine, added to various other, considerations, as well political as due to ancient rivalry, will place formidable difficulties in the way of any instances preferred by the Most Christian. The ambassador is aware of this and says that it will satisfy him if he prevents England from declaring for the other side, against which he knows he must be on his guard, as the principal object of his diligence.
The complete despatches of the Court were handed to the Ambassador Fildin on Monday. He will take leave of the king the day after to-morrow, and he proposes to make his first move towards Paris towards the end of next week. There he will set forth his commissions, but it does not appear that they are more than compliments. For the Duke of Savoy he has a charge of a similar nature, which he will fulfil in passing, and then proceed to Venice. I have had an opportunity of seeing his letters of credence for your Serenity which only declare him ambassador extraordinary, as to France and Turin. He was actually nominated as ordinary at first and the other quality added after for the reasons reported. He will certainly do his three years with your Excellencies. In order that for the whole of the embassy he may enjoy the salary of an extraordinary, which amounts to 30 ducats a day, they have not announced any other title for him. The Treasurer, who is in charge of the affair has arranged this for the benefit of his son in law. The king, who is more anxious than ever to please him approves of everything, and the rest, though well aware of the irregularity, do not dare to offer any objection, seeing that minister's powerful influence confirmed and in no wise diminished by the recent experiences.
The latest letters from Flanders, arrived this morning, bring confirmation of the victory gained by the King of Hungary over the Swedes. (fn. 9) They report that when Monsieur heard the news of this defeat it was observed that he turned pale and stood irresolute, betraying his sorrow. From this it is concluded that his feelings did not lead him to desire the success of the House of Austria. They state further that the Abbot Seaglia, who is accustomed to fish in troubled waters has profited greatly amid all these troubles and accumulated a considerable sum of money. Foreseeing from afar the evils that may overtake him he is arranging to put under cover 30,000 crowns in the hands of the merchants of this mart, on deposit, which may serve him for a retreat if the intrigues which he is always weaving do not turn out well for him.
The levies of Monsieur and of Prince Tomaso make imperceptible progress. Money is short, the organisation badly managed and circumstances very unfavourable to their plans, so they report.
Letters from Frankfort, from a reliable source report that the princes there, after the news of the recent fight near Nordlingen have once more signed the resolution to continue the war, by universal consent, and they are engaged in re-assembling the fugitives dispersed after the battle, to get together a corps d'armec capable of resisting the advance of the Austrians.
I have received this week the state despatches of the 7th inst.
London, the 29th September, 1634.
[Italian ; the part in italics deciphered.]


  • 1. Don Francisco de Erasco, Count of Humanes, a well known Noble poet and friend of Philip IV. in his dramatic amusements Hume ; Court of Philip IV. page 237.
  • 2. Holdenby or Holmby, 6 miles N.W. of Northampton.
  • 3. Salvetti gives the title of the treatise claiming Flanders in his letter of the 6th October : "Recueil des principaux moyens et raisons sur les quelles sont fondes lee droicts et pretentions de Son Alt. Royale de Savoie et des Princes ses frères, en 'ls succession de la serenissime Infante Isabelle de Flandres, concertées et deliberées per la Conseil soubs signé etc. Brit. Mus. Add MSS. 27962.
  • 4. M. Beaulieu, French secretary to the embassy. He died on 1/11 Sept. Augier to Coke S.P. For. France. Vol. 96.
  • 5. Philipsburg was conceded to France by a treaty signed 16 August. The terms are printed in the Mercure Francais Vol. XX. pages 206-212.
  • 6. The battle of Nördlingen fought on the 6th September.
  • 7. Coke wrote as follows to Wyche on the 4th October O S. "The Venetian pretends to feare that your late refusall to stand to the leviation by arbitrament of ambassadors may give advantage to the Turks to usurpe upon your justice. But we approve your care therein and doubt not of your discretion to prevent such inconvenience." S. P. For. Turkey.
  • 8. George Gordon, afterwards seventh earl of Huntly.
  • 9. Nördlingen.