Venice: November 1634

Pages 292-301

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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November 1634

Nov. 3.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Inghilterra. Venetian Archives.
372. Anzolo Correr, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
With the object, perhaps, of getting into his own hands the two per cent obtained on the goods which go to and come from the Levant, devoted by the Companies of merchants to the expenses of the embassy, dragomans, consuls, presents and all the other incidentals pertaining to their trade, the ambassador designate to Constantinople here (fn. 1) has tried hard to persuade the king to appropriate this to himself, pointing out to him the considerable profit that he would derive therefrom without any appreciable effect on the capital of the merchants. But they have opposed this very strongly, laying their reasons before his Majesty. They have shown him clearly that such an innovation would cause a most notable disturbance, with prejudice equally great to their interests and to those of the crown as well, because it would inevitably lead to the total destruction of the trade, which is already greatly weakened by other considerations. They have already begun to prove this by facts, causing some ships which were all laden for the Levant marts and about to sail, to be stopped. They have taken this opportunity to renew their representations to his Majesty of the prejudice suffered by the Company through the change of the royal ministers at the Porte, because of all the expenses involved, such as the journey and other charges. Accordingly they have once more humbly petitioned that the despatch of the ambassador already appointed may be delayed for some time longer, so as to postpone to a later date the occasion for this fresh expense, and thus grant them some part of the respite that is highly necessary for them to recover from the difficulties in which they find themselves owing to the late oppressions. The king could not refuse his assent to their just demands for the satisfaction of their members. He therefore rejected the advice of the ambassador and decreed that the capital of the two per cent of the consulage shall remain precisely as it was and at their free disposal, in conformity with the anciently established custom, without any alteration whatever. With regard to their second petition, to render their satisfaction complete, he has since decided that the despatch of the ambassador shall be postponed for a year longer. This has afforded peculiar satisfaction and solace to all those concerned, and has encouraged them to pursue with zeal and greater intrepidity the business they already have in hand.
They are proceeding with the utmost rigour against all those condemned for cutting timber in the forest reserved for the king's ships, and in exacting the fines. The Treasurer, who wishes to remove every shadow of suspicion from himself, and check to some extent the universal outcry against him, has recourse to all the most obvious means to create the impression that he is disinterested and had nothing to do with the affair. With this object he has driven from his house that Gibon, who was so friendly and intimate with him, who was fined 20,000l. sterling for this affair. The unexpected misfortune of this man is the worse because he is absolutely forbidden to make any defence.
I am advised at this moment on good authority that something untoward has befallen the Treasurer, but the details have not yet transpired. (fn. 2) It is certain that for some days past he has remained away from the Court on the plea of indisposition. I hope that a short time will enable me to penetrate into this matter, and I will inform your Excellencies of everything next week.
With regard to the affairs of Holland the Ambassador Joachimi is still waiting for his answer, but none has been given as yet.
The French ambassador went yesterday to impart to their Majesties the conference between the Duke of Orleans and the Most Christian which took place at St. Germains with extraordinary demonstrations of affection on both sides, (fn. 3) and of the deposit into the hands of that sovereign of the fortress of Filipsburg, into which the Marshal de la Forza has introduced a sufficient garrison. Before he went to the Court he sent some one especially to this house to inform me also, sending me in writing all the particulars of what happened at the meeting with Monsieur. In response to such great favours I sent my secretary to thank him suitably. He sent me word by him that his Majesty had asked him whether the replies had yet arrived which he expected from France about the business of Germany. He told him no, but he was advised they were only delayed because the Court was so taken up with the rejoicings over the return of Monsieur. Upon these particulars he has conferred with some of the ministers, from whom he has found out that they have no intention of providing land forces, but they have of preparing to send to sea a good number of ships of war.
The return of the Court to this city is fixed for next Thursday. At that time, as I have everything ready, I shall not fail to perform the first customary functions.
No letters have reached this city from Italy this week.
London, the 3rd November, 1634.
[Italian ; the part in italics deciphered.]
Nov. 7.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci. Francia. Venetian Archives.
373. Alvise Contarini and Giovanni Soranzo, Venetian Ambassadors in France, to the Doge and Senate.
The ambassador extraordinary of England had audience of His Majesty last Friday, apparently it was merely complimentary The ambassadress was also with the queen at St. Germains. It is said they will leave for Italy at the end of this week.
It is said that nothing will be settled about the proposed alliance with England before the return of the Ambassador Chenut to Holland. It is rumoured that a person of quality may be appointed shortly to go as ambassador extraordinary to that Court.
Paris, the 7th November, 1634.
[Italian ; the part in italics deciphered.]
Nov. 7.
Cons di X. Parti Comuni. Venetian Archives.
374. To the Ambassador in England.
We learn from your letters from Paris of the 9th ult. of the serious indisposition of Pietro Dolce, whom you chose as your secretary for your embassy, so that he cannot serve you. As we are giving him leave to return home, you will tell him to return the donations and subventions which he should have had before leaving here, and in the mean time we will provide some one else to discharge that service for you.
That a new secretary be chosen for Anzolo Correr, ambassador in England.
Ayes, 13. Noes, 1. Neutral, 0.
Note that the present voting was made with the five sixths.
There being a doubt whether the voting ought to be by five sixths, since Dolce was chosen by the ambassador, not by the Council, voting was taken with a white ball for two thirds, a green for five sixths and a red for neutral.
White, 1. Green, 1. Red, 2.
As the four councillors were not agreed, the matter was sent to the Council and the voting was :
White, 5. Green, 8. Red, 1.
and so the Green carried it.
Nov. 10.
Senato. Secreta. Dispacci. Inghilterra. Venetian Archives.
375. Anzolo Correr, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
With respect to the Lord Treasurer, I may add that his indisposition was not feigned, as stated, but real, obliging him to rest for some days, and consequently preventing him from attendance at Court, because now he has recovered he goes about his affairs as freely as before, and is certainly well received by the king. Yet those who wish to maintain the contrary declare that his Majesty's feelings towards him are not such as appearances indicate. Meanwhile criticism of his action becomes louder every day. Every one observes with compassion the ruin of those punished for cutting the forest, and there is no one who does not feel certain that he had the principal part in it. The example has deeply discouraged his partisans. Although they are obliged by benefits, in a case like this they do not know how to untie their tongues to defend him. In addition to this there is the outcry against the bad quality of the soap said to be sold for his benefit under the name of certain merchants, as he obtained a monopoly from the king, with severe penalties against those who sold or brought any other into the kingdom. All these circumstances, renewing the memory of past offences, serve to excite general animosity against him, without the possibility of bridling their passion against him, which has already become too ardent. The excessive respect that was shown to him by such has in great part dissappeared, and appearances indicate that it will continue to do so more and more. With these arms which have always been covered under a forced dissimulation, furious blows are now aimed at him by every one, which wound his reputation to the quick, although they do not succeed in penetrating further, as he is well defended under the very strong royal mantle.
As they consider here that the presence of Anstruther is necessary for the affairs of Germany, they have decided to keep him there, so as not to interrupt the course of that business by his going to Poland and Sweden, where he was designed to go as ambassador extraordinary. In his place and in the same capacity they have nominated Sir William Douglas, (fn. 4) who is at present in charge of the affairs of this country at Frankfort. They have sent him his instructions express by a gentleman, and he is directed not to lose time in starting, and when he has arrived at his post he is to join with the French ambassador and to conduct his negotiations in complete concert with that minister. The principal object of these is to secure the establishment of a good peace or a renewal of the truce between the two crowns for the longest time possible.
The secretary of Anstruther, (fn. 5) sent here by him with all speed, reached the Court yesterday. He brings proposals to his Majesty from those princes touching their present troubles, but as I have not yet had time to discover the essence of them I must postpone sending particulars to your Excellencies until next week. This secretary reports that those princes are dissatisfied with the Director Oxisterna as he continues to impoverish the country by the frequent despatch of great sums of coined money to Sweden, and causes disorders among the troops who have to languish a long time without their pay for the same reason.
Curtius, the Agent of the Administrator Palatine, after having made every possible effort to obtain some decision and effective demonstration of promised assistance, has at length been obliged to leave without anything definite or any satisfactory answer. He proceeded to the Hague with letters of the king to the Princess his sister and to the Elector Palatine. They contain nothing but fine words and hopes of assistance, but no sure consolation of actually doing anything soon. In this connection many persons are inclined to believe (although his Majesty recognises the great need and has pledged his word) that he does not mean to send or supply any assistance at present to the princes his nephews, so that with this example before them the others who never cease pestering him in order to commit him to their party, will draw the inevitable conclusion that they will get nothing whatever, and this way will suffice without the trouble of sending unpleasant replies, to prevent any one from disturbing the quiet which he has resolved to enjoy.
The function of the Mayor of London (fn. 6) was celebrated the day before yesterday with the usual popular rejoicings, in which the whole city joined. The French and Dutch ambassadors took part, and I also was invited, but they accepted the excuse I sent, that I had not yet entered upon my charge.
Their Majesties entered this city yesterday, as was arranged last week. My public entry is arranged for to-morrow. For that purpose I shall go to Greenwich, where the Master of the Ceremonies and the royal barges will come for me. At the riverside in the city the coaches of his Majesty and others by his order will receive me, in the manner adopted with all my predecessors. I proposed to ask his Majesty for my first audience for next Sunday, but in consideration of the upset (le agitationi) over his recent return I thought it better to postpone it until next Tuesday.
While I am writing the French ambassador has shown me a letter written to him by his confidant in Paris, to the effect that he has been told with the greatest secrecy by the Resident of Mantua, his very great friend, that he has orders from the duke, his master, to offer to the Most Christian all the states which he holds in Italy, if he will give him an equivalent in France. Although this does not seem probable, yet considering the source I have thought fit to report it, and I have also immediately informed the ambassadors in France so that they may make comparison and clear up the truth.
Nis, a merchant here, gave me the enclosed paper last week, asking me to forward it. I am assured that the debts due to him exceed 80,000 ducats and are such that he should be able to recover them promptly and easily.
London, the 10th November, 1634.
[Italian ; the part in italics deciphered.]
Enclosure. 376. Petition of Daniel Nys that he may be allowed a year in which to recover the sums due to him, in order that he may be in a position to discharge his obligations.
Nov. 14.
Senato. Secreta. Dispacci, Francia. Venetian Archives.
377. Alvise Contarini and Giovanni Soranzo, Venetian Ambassadors in France, to the Doge and Senate.
The English ambassador Fildin has left for Turin. His Majesty welcomed and made much of him and gave him a collar of diamonds. The Queen entertained him and his wife for two days, in the evening with comedies and other diversions. Before setting out they exchanged visits with us. They expressed their satisfaction at going on this embassy. They said they had instructions from the king not to alter the usual fashion adopted by their king with those princes at Turin. We thanked them suitably.
Paris, the 14th November, 1634.
[Italian ; the part in italics deciphered.]
Nov. 16.
Senato. Secreta. Dispacci, Haya. Venetian Archives.
378. Francesco Michiel, Venetian Ambassador at the Hague, to the Doge and Senate.
The Cardinal entered Brussels on the 4th and was received with every demonstration of honour. The English Resident surpassed everybody in courtesies and inventions. He set up a great shield bearing the prince's arms with numerous flags, and under it the words : "Benedictus qui venit in nomine Dei." On the following day he put over his door a large picture showing St. George on horseback, a lance in one hand and a shield in the other, bearing the red cross and about it the words "Honi Soit." Under the picture was a copper cask from which a great quantity of wine flowed by a small channel, for the benefit of everybody. These excessive demonstrations confirm the impression of the leanings of England towards the crown of Spain.
The Hague, the 16th November, 1634.
Nov. 17.
Senato. Secreta. Dispacci, Inghilterra. Venetian Archives.
379. Anzolo Correr, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
On Saturday of this week my entrance to this Court took place. The Master of the Ceremonies met me with the royal barges at Greenwich. At the Tower of London, where I landed I found Viscount Grandison awaiting me with a numerous following of courtiers. He received me with courteous words, in the king's name, and we proceeded to this house in the royal coach, followed by those of the queen, the ambassadors of France and Holland and many others. On the following day, also by his Majesty's order, the second son of the Lord Treasurer came to see me. He said that the king had heard of my arrival from the viscount and had sent him to offer his congratulations and every convenience that I might require. I thanked him and said I would express my gratitude to his Majesty in person. The Master of the Ceremonies, who had come with him, said his Majesty would be glad for me to have my first audience on Tuesday, for which I had already expressed the wish, if I desired it but if I approved, his Majesty would not be sorry to have it postponed until the Sunday following, as that was a much more convenient day for the Court and generally set apart for such functions, but in any case his Majesty desired my entire satisfaction. I told him that I would do the slightest thing to affect his Majesty's convenience. It was therefore arranged thus with his consent and the Earl of Winchelsea was told off to accompany me.
The Spanish Resident went to announce the arrival of the Cardinal Infant at Brussels as soon as the news reached him. The most fussy persons at the Court lost no time in announcing that an ambassador would be sent to congratulate him and the partisans of Spain, hoping his Majesty would do what they wished announced that for this function the king would select a person of great distinction, and they feel sure that he would send the Earl of Arundel or the Duke of Lennox, but instead they have nominated Porter a yeoman of his Majesty's bedchamber, who has not the title of ambassador but acts merely as a private gentleman.
The recruits for Colonel Hebron's regiment twice refused to the Ambassador Poygni have at last been granted to the French ambassador, to the number of 1,200 men, and recruiting captains have been sent to Scotland for the purpose.
His Majesty has again and repeatedly asked this same ambassador whether the commissions have reached him which he said he was expecting from France about the particulars of the alliance. He has not received them yet and excuses the delay on the ground of the journey of Botiglier to Orleans for the affairs of Monsieur. But the real essence of the matter is that they are waiting in France for the return of the Ambassador Kenut, who was sent there for this purpose, with an undertaking and promise on his part to return soon. All these appearances afford some ground for believing that the Austrians will not find it so easy to obtain from this crown advantageous declarations in favour of their side.
London, the 17th November, 1634.
Nov. 24.
Senato, Secreta. Deliberazioni. Corti. Venetian Archives.
380. To the Ambassador in England.
We have received your letters of the 27th ult. We enclose the usual weekly sheet of advices, especially about Italian affairs. The English Resident here expects Lord Fildin in a few days, as he has already left Paris.
A gentleman of the Administrator of the Palatinate has reached Paris to beg for the protection of the Most Christian for that country. You will find out the views of the king and his ministers about a decision useful for the party and the joint interests which that sovereign has there.
Ayes, 135. Noes, 0. Neutral, 11.
Nov. 24.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci. Inghilterra. Venetian Archives.
381. Anzolo Correr, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
Last Sunday, as arranged, I went to public audience of their Majesties, accompanied by the Earl of Winchelsea, with the Court coaches and many others and followed by a numerous company of cavaliers. His Majesty received me with every desirable sign of honour.
After I had presented my credentials I repeated my instructions. The king said he valued very highly the friendship of your Excellencies, maintained by the ambassadors. He had thus sent his ambassador Fildin to express his cordial sentiments. Equally with your Excellencies he wished to see the present fluctuations take a turn to the advantage of the common cause. He would do all he could when the occasion required it. He then paid me some personal compliments.
I turned afterwards to the queen, who was present at the same function, in the same room, and paid my respects to her, as instructed. She received me in a very gracious and friendly manner.
The French ambassador came to this house on the next morning. He expressed to me his earnest desire to enjoy the most confidential relations with me. The Dutch ambassador did the like soon after.
In this manner the first duties of this position have been discharged. I will do my utmost to fulfil all the duties faithfully. The reports here of the preparation of a naval force are more and more borne out by the facts. The supposed object is to reconquer that dominion over the sea, which was sustained for a long period, and has now declined to some extent, or is but little respected.
By the ancient laws of this realm all the counties which touched the sea at any point were bound to contribute to the king for the support of the ships usually maintained by his Majesty for the guard of positions and the safety of trade. But since his Majesty has other assignments for this purpose, and notably the benefit of the customs, with the duties on wine, silk and others of considerable importance, the inhabitants of these counties no longer continued to bear these old contributions, and they say they have been absolutely free from them for hundreds of years. Now, seizing upon the pretext of the need for strengthening the fleet, it has occurred to the king, or to him who is most concerned with providing the money, to order the immediate exaction of this without any further consideration. This has greatly stirred and exasperated the people here, especially as they see all signs of the speedy convocation of parliament recede into the distance. In the present shortness of money they do not stick at further subtle devices to supply momentary emergencies. The two counties of Essex and Notumbri are found to have been anciently forests pertaining to the crown, but they were alienated by the king's predecessors many years ago, and have been brought by the inhabitants to a perfect state of cultivation. They were not sold legally, and there fore his Majesty now claims them back. As the possessors have not the power to resist they are obliged to make a composition, which they say will readily be granted upon a payment of twenty per cent.
Porter, who was selected to pay their respects to the Cardinal Infant, left here yesterday. He has orders to see the queen mother as well, in the name of the king here, without further commissions, but merely for compliment. There is much talk at Court about the haughtiness of this Cardinal, which they think will prejudice him greatly in conciliating the good will of the people there.
No letters have arrived from Italy this week owing to the contrary winds.
London, the 24th November, 1634.
[Italian ; the part in italics deciphered.]
Nov. 25.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Spagna. Venetian Archives.
382. Francesco Corner, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.
Here they profess to consider it certain that the English are not on good terms with the French. However the ministers here do not announce that there is any commitment. It is known that resentment has been shown in England at the acquisition of Filipsburg. And the English show themselves friendly here in proportion as they are ruffled by the success of France. One side as well as the other, both English and Spaniards, are pleased that the French should suspect some mutual understanding between them, but so far it is not ascertained that they promise to do more.
Madrid, the 25th November, 1634.
Nov. 28.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Francia. Venetian Archives.
383. Alvise Contarini, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
All these days there have been long discussions at which the Cardinal, the Dutch ministers, the Secretary of State Bottillier, M. di Bullion the Capuchin father and Sciarnasse have taken part. Chenut presses for a rupture and finds them reluctant, the ministers here complaining that they see no bottom to these negotiations with the States. However they let it be understood that His Majesty will shortly resolve on a breach with the Austrians. Until these negotiations with the Dutch ambassadors are terminated they declare that they cannot give any reply to the King of England, who seems inclined to listen to the proposals. From what one gathers the treaty is between the crown, the King of England, the States and some Princes of Germany. A minister here has hinted to me that in case they negotiate a truce the King of England will act as mediator and go between as well as the King of France.
Paris, the 28th November, 1634.
[Italian ; the part in italics deciphered.]
Nov. 30.
Senato, Secreta. Deliberazioni, Corti. Venetian Archives.
384. To the Ambassador in England.
Your letters of the 3rd inst. have reached us. We hear from France that the Most Christian has issued orders to the French troops in the fortresses of Alsace, to hand them over to the Swedes, because the treaty with the Sieur di Lilla was made without the royal command. You will inform us what comments are made about this at the English Court, as well as regards the interests of the Palatinate.
Ayes, 99. Noes, 1. Neutral, 2.
Nov. 30.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Haya. Venetian Archives.
385. Francesco Michiel, Venetian Ambassador at the Hague, to the Doge and Senate.
The English ambassador at Frankfort is trying hard to persuade the princes of the party of the good intentions of his king in their favour ; but he finds it very difficult to convince them. However Oxisterna, roused by these demonstrations, proposes to send Sig. Bottavin to England again, to take advantage of the king's disposition by asking for levies of 12,000 foot of that nation.
The Hague, the 30th November, 1634.


  • 1. Sir Sackville Crowe.
  • 2. He was seriously ill with the stone. Salvetti, 10 Nov. Brit. Mus. Add MSS. 27962.
  • 3. On the 21st Oct. Merc. Francais, Vol. XX., page 873.
  • 4. It should be Sir George Douglas
  • 5. Richard Hurst.
  • 6. Robert Parkhurst.