Venice: December 1634

Pages 301-313

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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December 1634

Dec. 1.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Inghilterra. Venetian Archives.
386. Anzolo Correr, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The courier from Italy has been delayed by contrary winds, but I have received the state letters of the 27th October.
With regard to the return of the Duke of Orleans to France, every one spoke from the first according to his private opinions. Now nothing more is said about it, and no comments on the subject are made at Court. At the present moment the curiosity of everyone is directed to what will happen about the dissolution of his marriage with the Princess of Lorraine. Here they believe it just as full of thorny difficulties and scandalous consequences as the French announce it to be easy and proper. Those with whom the wish is possibly father to the thought believe that it will be very difficult to carry out, arguing from the tenderness and affection which the prince recently displayed in France, showing his constant love for his wife. On the other hand there are not wanting those who steadfastly maintain that he freely protested his consent to the annulment, admitting that he was convinced by the arguments brought forward to show that he might separate himself from the princess without serious consequences or loss of honour. But whatever happens it is certain that it will not please them here, as they have sympathised very strongly with all the past misfortunes of the House of Lorraine.
His Majesty does not appear to give a thought to the affairs of Germany. As already reported, the Agent of the Administrator of the Palatinate went away dissatisfied.
The negotiation contained in the letters of Anstruther, brought by his secretary, merely represent the energy with which he is urged by the princes there to procure assistance for them from England, promising in their turn to defend the Palatinate. The answers have not yet been issued, but when they are they will be to the usual effect refusing once again to sacrifice their personal convenience to any trouble abroad, whatever it may be.
However I learn on good authority that they are greatly concerned about the continued ascendancy of France. The more the powers of that country advance the more jealous and dissatisfied they become. They have been seriously moved and perturbed by the journey made here incognito by il Blaao, councillor of the Administrator of the Palatinate, who has gone in the direction of the Hague in an English ship. They have discovered that he is taking to the princess and the Elector Palatine the articles agreed upon between the Administrator and the Most Christian with the consent of the Palatines and by the advice of the Prince of Orange, whereby that monarch undertakes the protection and custody of the whole of the Palatinate, the important fortress of Manehin being deposited in his hands, into which he has already introduced a French garrison. It is said that this councillor is to take the youthful Elector with him. This fresh incident, which is considered at Court to involve most important consequences, has made a strong impression upon the king, who wonders whether, he will be able, on this account, to take away the pension which has been supplied by him yearly for the support of his sister.
In letters from the French Agent at Brussels to the Sieun de Poygni which he has communicated to me, I observe that the Cardinal Infant entered Brussels with 4000 Italian and Spanish infantry and five companies of Albanian cavalry, the rest of the army being placed under the command of the Count of Mansfelt. The Cardinal immediately dismissed the cavalry, which, although it marched under five cornets, did not amount to 150 men.
Also that twelve Spaniards having committed several acts of contempt against a portrait of Monsieur that served as the sign of a shop, the Queen Mother and the Princess his wife made strong remonstrances to the Cardinal. In response to their representations and because of the offence itself, he immediately gave orders for a thorough enquiry and faithfully promised the two princesses and the Agent of France that he would punish the culprits in the most severe and exemplary manner.
Also that the Duke of Lorraine has already had special money coined in the country of Wirtemberg, using in it the title of King of Austria and Duke of Wirtemberg, a step that has given rise to much comment, it being considered a great novelty that the loss of states should carry with it royal claims and titles.
It having come to the knowledge of the French ambassador here that a certain number of troops levied in Ireland with the royal permission had landed at Dunkirk, he expressed some amount of resentment to his Majesty, considering it very strange that while they made so much trouble about granting to his king the few recruits from Scotland that should at the same time secretly grant more numerous levies to the Spaniards in Ireland. The king told him there was no reason for complaint as they made much less capital of the Irish than of troops from Scotland, as for many respects the former were much more troublesome than useful, and for that reason they were not much concerned about reducing the number of subjects in that province, where they were just as abundant as Scotland was weakened by the continuous numerous levies. The ambassador did not lose this opportunity of retorting : Then if it suits my king's purpose to raise levies in Ireland your Majesty will have no objection to grant them. At this the king was nonplussed and returned no answer. The ambassador immediately sent an account of these particulars to France, pointing out that it was desirable not to lose this opportunity to make the demand. It would be equally advantageous if the answer was favourable or the reverse, because they will either deprive the Spaniards of the facilities from taking men, or this privilege will be conceded to France also, unless the king prefers to lose their confidence.
The armed ships which are to leave these ports are twenty in number, six of the king, and fourteen maintained by merchants. Upon this occasion the post of Lord High Admiral, vacant since the death of the Duke of Buckingham, although sought by many, has been conferred on the infant Duke of York in order not to leave any of the claimants dissatisfied. (fn. 1) They say that the Duke of Lennox or the Earl of Holland will be appointed as his lieutenant, but so far nothing has been decided upon this point.
I have received this week the state despatches of the 3rd ult.
London, the 1st December, 1634.
Dec. 8.
Senato, Secreta. Deliberazioni. Corti. Venetian Archives.
387. To the Ambassador in England.
We are satisfied with the news received in your letters of the 10th ult. and with the prudent reserve shown at your first audience. In addition to the ordinary advices the most important news is that of the offer by the Duke of Mantua to the Most Christian of his dominions in Italy. The move of that duke for Casale is connected with this and causes great uneasiness. You will try to find out all that you can about this, but you must avoid exciting the suspicions of the French ambassador by excessive curiosity, and continue to maintain confidential relations with him.
Ayes, 71. Noes, 1. Neutral, 1.
Dec. 10.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Inghilterra. Venetian Archives.
388. Anzolo Correr, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
On Saturday in last week I saw the first Secretary of State, in order to perform the office committed to me by your Serenity, as I have already done with all the leading ministers at Court, touching the present affairs of the world. He talked of many things, but in particular he remarked with heat that he observed that France was advancing too audaciously to excessive power. The French were naturally very ardent and would not rest content with little. I believe they wish, by turning everything upside down, without drawing the sword, to make the dominion of the world fall into their arms. They will not even leave Italy quiet for long, but as their designs cannot progress further without an open breach with the House of Austria, it is probable that they will not make up their minds to this without the declared assistance of the most serene republic.
I told him that the republic desired peace. He rejoined. The king here has the same inclination, and it is the right one, but these French want too much. The pretext of protection does not suffice to cover their designs of possession. I was aware of this resentful state of mind, which is common in the king and the other ministers, due to their natural antipathy to the French, and aroused to this pitch by the protection which the French have recently claimed over the Palatinate. I gently pointed out to him that those princes, recognising the impossibility of maintaining their states without a sovereign assistance, had been driven by necessity to take this step, which was considered the safest. The issue, said he, will show which is the more correct view, and there our colloquy ended.
It has been decided to arm six other ships, besides the twenty already decided upon, and possibly their present preparations will not stop there. Every one sees that they are intended to cause some annoyance to the French, whose licence at sea is troublesome and insupportable to the English.
The gentleman of the Duke of Orleans, (fn. 2) sent by him to their Majesties in response to the office performed with him by the Ambassador Fildin in their name, congratulating him on his return to France, arrived in Court the day before yesterday. The king and queen received him with friendly demonstrations, although for some days he had been suffering with his eyes, and even now he is in indifferent health. At all events they gave him a cordial greeting and peculiar honours. He will leave in a few days, as his instructions do not extend beyond the complimentary office which he has already discharged.
It came to my notice that one Hugo Spiexmo of Rotterdam was in this city, an expert in agriculture. The Earl of Arundel employed him to redeem many of his uncultivated estates. He not only brought these lands into an excellent condition, but fetched large numbers of people from Holland and elsewhere to live there and cultivate them. As this might serve the interests of your Excellencies I thought proper to take better information about him. I did so and found that he is a man of great intelligence and credit, who had previously brought many families to live in Denmark at the request of the king there. I easily contrived to make his acquaintance through Daniel Nis. My conversation with him went to confirm the accounts I had heard. I let him know through another that your Excellencies have some districts in Istria and elsewhere which are sparsely cultivated for lack of inhabitants, and that if he could find an easy way to take enough people there you might welcome it. He said he could find people enough, but to take them to such a distant country was no easy matter, but he would think about it. He has shown his devotion to the republic in this matter, as he brought him back at the end of two days, ready to take as many people to live in Istria as your Excellencies may desire, the majority of whom, he says he is certain to obtain from Low Germany. In the mean time, if your Serenity wishes he promises to go to Venice, without cost to the state, to proceed to the places assigned, and make arrangements with your Excellencies, such as he hopes you will find satisfactory. I considered the matter of importance and as I am sure of the man, I thought proper to send this advice, so that your Excellencies may weigh the matter with your infallible prudence and give me your commands, which I will carry out with all zeal.
London, the 10th December, 1634.
[Italian ; the part in italics deciphered.]
Dec. 14.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Haya. Venetian Archives.
389. Francesco Michiel, Venetian Ambassador at the Hague, to the Doge and Senate.
A very persistent report is circulating that the King of Poland contemplates asking for the daughter of the Princess Palatine to wife. The lady is certainly full of grace and worthy to be the consort of any prince, however great ; but the misfortunes and the weakness of her house render the affair improbable. The Hague, the 14th December, 1634.
Dec. 14.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Svizzeri. Venetian Archives.
390. Andrea Rosso, Venetian Secretary with the Swiss, to the Doge and Senate.
The Resident of England has not returned, although we hear of his leaving Lyon with the ambassador designate to your Serenity, going by way of Geneva and thence by Savoy to Piedmont, to take ship on the Po. It is expected that the Resident will accompany him up to that point, as he knows the country and the language.
Zurich, the 14th December, 1634.
Dec. 16.
Senato, Secreta. Deliberazioni. Corti. Venetian Archives.
391. To the Ambassador in England.
We have received your letters of the 17th ult. and are well satisfied with what you have done. The usual sheet of advices is enclosed. We shall expect to hear from you how much there really is in the negotiations for an alliance between that crown and the States, to prevent England from leaning to Spain. The English Resident informs us that the Ambassador Fildin has gone on from Lyon to Turin, and that he may be expected here at any moment.
Ayes, 92. Noes, 1. Neutral, 2.
Dec. 17.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Inghilterra. Venetian Archives.
392. Anzolo Correr, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
Having paid no attention whatever to the particulars contained in the letters of Anstruther, about the assistance demanded on behalf of the princes of Germany, but recognising that his stay there any longer is absolutely useless, they have decided to recall him. His secretary, who brought his letters, is still at the Court, and will be sent back to him with his instructions. These will only direct him to come back straight here, without making any reference to his proceeding to France to take up the position to which he is destined. This has caused the Ambassador Poygni to speak somewhat resentfully and in private conversation he has declared that unless Anstruther or some one else is sent to his king as ambassador in ordinary he could not consider that a satisfactory correspondence had been made.
The answers have come back promptly to the letters recently sent by this ambassador to France touching the affair of the levies in Ireland, bringing him instructions to ask the king immediately for two regiments. He did this at once, but obtained no conclusive answer though strong hopes of obtaining their final decision on the subject. He proposes to go to the Court to-morrow, being urged to do so by the colonels sent to him by the Most Christian with the patents for the purpose.
They are delighted here at the news of the arrival of M. Mazarini at Paris, and they are also especially pleased to hear that he has begun to exercise the functions of his office, as, they consider that his negotiations may to a great extent serve the interests of the Duke of Lorraine. (fn. 3)
The adjustment of Saxony and Brandenburg (fn. 4) with the emperor is announced here as settled. Every one comments upon it as the thing most essential to the proper establishment of the affairs of the Austrians, but their partisans in particular, who are very numerous here rejoice over it with every demonstration of satisfaction.
The considerable naval preparations upon which they are busy here cause great jealousy to the Dutch. The Ambassador Joachimi with whom I had a long interview yesterday told me that these resolutions do not come from the king's own motion, as he is naturally inclined to anything rather than trouble, but were all done at the suggestion of the Spaniards. They have represented to him that for the sake of his reputation which is too seriously outraged by the scant obedience rendered to him by foreign ships, he cannot omit to maintain by force that jurisdiction over the sea, granted to him by Nature, and which has always been upheld by his predecessors without interruption. He says they use this specious pretext to cloak their more secret designs. It is quite clear that their object is no other than to try to arouse ill feeling between this nation and the States, and prevent any progress towards treaties of alliance towards which from the disposition shown by the king, they fear he may easily move to an alarming extent. Joachimi continues to spread these views wherever he sees an opportunity to do so with advantage, as he is well aware that if this fleet puts to sea in such great numbers, as every day helps to indicate the consequences cannot be good either for France or for his masters.
I have received this week the state letters of the 10th ult. together with the advices, by way of Zurich. Those of the 17th ult. have been delayed by contrary winds.
London, the 17th December, 1634.
Dec. 19.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Francia. Venetian Archives.
393. Alvise Contarini, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
For the present month they hope to have on foot the 12,000 Germans levied by the Marquis della Forza, Fichiers and Colonel Nebron, a Scot. These will join with the Princes of Germany and 8000 other infantry and 1500 horse under the same Colonel Nebron will remain apart with orders, in case of urgent need, to succour those of the party.
Paris, the 19th December, 1634.
Dec. 22.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Inghilterra. Venetian Archives.
394. Anzolo Correr, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
Il Closet, gentleman of the queen mother, (fn. 5) after having stayed at this Court for several months, always with the object of obtaining some advantage for his mistress, and never having been able to obtain a reply to satisfy his objects, has decided to return to Brussels. To this end he has taken leave of the king, who embraced him cordially, being glad to see that troubles were going away from him. The queen, induced by her natural affection for her mother, could not refrain from helping her with a present of jewels. She did it secretly, however, fearing that the king might not be altogether pleased.
The Master of the Horse of the Duke of Orleans, who has discharged his few duties at the Court, still stays on here, buying horses for the interest of the prince. In order to perform in a more decorous and suitable form the compliment only touched upon superficially by the Master of the Horse, the Prince is sending the Count de Brion, who is expected here shortly.
His Majesty has made up his mind about the levies in Ireland and has answered the French ambassador that as they have not yet come to any decision in the matter of the alliance proposed to him, he did not see how he could find it convenient to allow troops to be taken from his dominions, as he might be in considerable need of them for himself. He therefore told the ambassador positively that if nothing more is done by France in this matter he on his side would do nothing in the matter of the levy. The ambassador apologised for the delay of the reply from France as due to the Court being distracted over the recent weddings, (fn. 6) and so forth, as best he could. He pointed out that the number of 2000 men was of scant consequence out of the abundance in Ireland. He added every other consideration which he thought calculated to persuade the King, but could not move him a jot.
Mean time he is impatiently awaiting these replies. The recent arrival at Paris of the Ambassador Knut with a member of the Assembly of the States, leads him to hope for them soon. Nevertheless he has not neglected to urge that they may be sent despatching a special messenger, in order to take advantage of the disposition which the king shows to negotiate, if it is genuine, and if not, at least to deprive him of this excuse, of which he usually avails himself to refuse the demands of the French.
Porter has sent word from Brussels that he has fulfilled his commissions with the Cardinal Infant. He leaves with scant satisfaction at the treatment he has received, as he declares that the prince never once did him so much as the honour of raising his cap to him. They have heard this with some displeasure here.
I have received this week the state despatches of the 17th and 24th ult. In the advices I notice the progress of the Duke of Mantua towards Casale to review his affairs in the Monferrato. Here they announce that he has gone for another purpose. Some French gentlemen declare that they have certain information that his Highness is on the way to Paris, where they state he has arrived by now. This revives the idea and renews the report that he is meeting the Most Christian to treat about the exchange of his dominions in Italy. The pretext which others advance of the marriage of the princess, his daughter, to Monsieur, is not considered a sufficient inducement to take him so far from his dominions, but I attach little importance to such talk.
London, the 22nd December, 1634.
Dec. 21.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Haya. Venetian Archives.
395. Francesco Michiel, Venetian Ambassador at the Hague, to the Doge and Senate.
Their High Mightinesses are not pleased to hear about the collecting of the fleet ordained in England. They say they are driven to be on their guard because of reports which are circulating about the intentions of that king, by no means friendly to these Provinces and perhaps leaning strongly to the crown of Spain.
The Hague, the 21st December, 1634.
Dec. 22.
Cinque Savii alla Mercanzia. Risposte, Venetian Archives.
396. The English and Flemish merchants petition your Serenity for an extension of the time of the reduced duty on certain goods which arrive from the West, both for export and for import, in the same way as was done in the year 1626, extended on the 8th October 1631 and the 11th March 1632 ; this last extension for four years having expired, so that they may be able to advise their correspondents and trade to the profit of the state and their own advantage.
With respect to this we may state that as a matter of fact the trade is mostly in the hands of Westerners, who have the goods brought to the markets which best suit their interests, when they ought to bring them in larger quantities to this city. It is true that this may be due to the fact that there is no sale, owing to the existing state of affairs, since foreigners do not come here to supply themselves, for reasons very well known to your Serenity. Nevertheless, in order that this trade with the West may not be still further enfeebled, should the Westerners be called upon to pay the whole duty, we do not think it advisable to make any alteration, more especially as we have had the effect of the reduction of this duty enquired into and we find that more has been raised on goods coming from the West at the half duty than was obtained originally from the entire duty. We may also add that if this inducement does not prove sufficiently attractive to induce the English and Flemings who live here to bring their ships from their own country, when they have so many things to contend with, such as the long voyage, the danger of the Gulf, the charges and other expenses, these ships are hardly likely to come, thus causing some prejudice to the duty of the new impost on the currants, which keeps up its reputation owing to the competition of these ships. We therefore consider that it will be advisable to extend for four years more the reduction of the duty in everything and for everything, this new extension of four years to date from the time when the last one expired.
Dated at the office, the 22nd December, 1634.
Alvise Renier. Savii.
Alvise Basadonna.
Alvise Mocenigo, Jun.
Bertucci Valier.
Dec. 28.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Haya. Venetian Archives.
397. Francesco Michiel, Venetian Secretary at the Hague, to the Doge and Senate.
I went last week to see the Princess Palatine. She told me that Mazarini was working with all his might to bring the crown of France and the House of Austria to terms, with the intention of turning not only against the Swedes but against these States as well. She hoped that he would not find it an easy task. It was indubitable that the Spaniards and Imperialists would never come to terms unless the Duke of Lorraine was first restored. The king of England was doing all in his power for his Highness, as he had the interests of that poor duke as much at heart as those of his own crown. He was right because the duke was a close relation, though there is no other connection save in the third degree. I replied that the king of England was a great and powerful monarch. Approaching me so as not to be heard by some gentlemen standing near the princess said : The king is my brother. He will do for the Duke of Lorraine more than is credited. I tell it you in confidence. I thanked her and tried to induce her to say more, but she would not. From this conversation I fancy one may infer a probable alliance between the House of Austria and the crown of England to recover the states of the Duke of Lorraine, and this agrees with the reports of the claims of that king for satisfaction for the Spaniards.
The Hague, the 28th December, 1634.
[Italian ; deciphered.]
Dec 28.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Svizzeri. Venetian Archives.
398. Andrea Rosso, Venetian Secretary with the Swiss, to the Doge and Senate.
The Resident of England has returned here after accompanying to Savoy the ambassador designate to your Serenity. I hear that his Excellency is staying some weeks in Piedmont on affairs of the merchants of his country, whose goods the duke is detaining, without satisfaction, on the pretext of a free port and of making use of them with a promise to pay. The ambassador will try to persuade the merchants not to claim reprisals if they are not satisfied. But as reprisals would be difficult, seeing that the duke has not a single ship at sea, it appears that they are asking the royal permission to take the law into their own hands and to avenge the wrong done to them upon Nizza and Villafranca, for their destruction.
It also seems that the ambassador is to interpose in some dispute with Geneva about frontiers.
Farra, the 28th December, 1634.
Misc. di Atti Diversi filza 125. Venetian Archives. 399. Declaration of Edward Courtney. (fn. 7)
Charged with maintaining doctrines prejudicial to the state. Contrary to intention ; ready to retract (matters merely of religion excepted), as soon as understands them. Only alleged pope's power to depose princes to be uncertain, and therefore not to be practised lawfully, and for the same reason not to be certainly forsworn.
The same position with respect to the commonwealth's power to depose.
Did not intend to deny king's power of explaining laws, but if exposition to be referred to original authority that made them, then the king alone is not so great authority as joined with the representative body of the commonwealth. Would rather increase than diminish king's prerogative.
Concerning pope's power to depose, only meant what all princes practise by war when they defend their temporal rights.
Concerning his spiritual power, only affirms that for defence of religion he can command temporal princes to use their swords for the defence of the church and their own right. In both cases has defended the right of Catholics to fight in defence of their king and country, as much as Protestants although the war were proclaimed for religion.
Intention to deliver such an explanation of Catholic doctrine as might extend to all acts of duty and obedience which any prince could require. Ready to retract if any learned man will prove him wrong.
Denies absolutely having written to withdraw king's subjects from any due allegiance. Wrote to the clear contrary, to distinguish points of religion for which they refuse the oath, from matter of allegiance which they as ready to perform as any. Did it to prevent a general praemunire, which expected to ensue upon Mr. Hoard's (fn. 8) book.
Signed by Edward Courtenay, prisoner in the King's Bench, the 24th November, 1634, in the presence of Raphe Whistler, servant to Sir John Zentoll and Roger Widdrington.
400. Edward Courtenay's conference with Roger Widdrington.
Agreed that pope as temporal prince may make war and do all that a temporal prince may do.
That he may order any temporal prince to make just war. Courtenay considers this is to authorise ; Widdrington thinks authority requires physical influence.
They also differ on use of word pope in 2nd clause ; which Courtenay thinks cannot be sworn unto with a safe conscience.
Widdrington says oath may be grounded upon king's command and constitutive law, which ought to be obeyed, until some things in the oath may be manifestly convinced to be unjust. Courtenay thinks it unjust to swear to the king's determinations upon any spiritual matters before they are determined by the Church.
Signed by both before Raphe Whistler, the 26th November, 1634.
401. Letter of Widdrington to Courtenay.
Cannot allow his exceptions against king's authority. Considers subject bound to take oath so long as nothing therein can be clearly convinced to be manifestly unjust. Thereby he does not consent to truth or falsehood of king's determinations of the pope's spiritual authority. Last contention of Courtenay such a paradox that looks as if used to cover his obstinate denial to take the oath of allegiance, as his argument would mean the end of all government.
Dated the 27th November.
402. Statement of Courtenay that has not touched on point of pope's power to define without a general Council.
Dated the 4th December, 1634.
403. Declaration of Courtenay.
Repeats that no intention to maintain doctrines dangerous to state. If he has done so, will retract and ask pardon. Only wished to show why the oath cannot conscientiously be taken by Catholics. Disowns all disloyal doctrines that may be justly gathered from his words. Expressly disclaims maintaining that the pope has any power by his definitive sentence to depose princes. Only affirmed that pope, by spiritual power might persuade princes to draw the sword as other princes may. Has never touched on question of pope's infallibility to define matters of faith without a general Council. Also only declared that the sense of the law declared by king and parliament may be more safely sworn to than the exposition of any king alone. Admits king's authority, because all that of the parliament is originally from the king. Asks pardon for oversight, which wronged loyal intentions. Far from opinion that commonwealth might depose king and make state elective or successive.
Signed before Widdrington and Whistler, the 6th December, 1634.
404. Concerning pope's power to absolve subjects from allegiance, there are 3 grounds for allegiance, command of God, the oath, and law of nature and institution of men. Pope may dissolve first two, as being spiritual, but not the third, so that the subject is still bound in his allegiance. Stated in the book that he may tie himself by oath to the performance of his allegiance by this title. With regard to the case of invasion it is doubted whether he would consider the king to be deprived, but he considers the power of the pope to deprive princes to be a matter unknown. The book only contends that kings can be deprived only by the effects of lawful wars, in which case the justice of the invader's cause does not hinder the justice of the defence by the invaded. In such cases the pope may act as a temporal prince and not otherwise, and as a spiritual monarch he may declare the justice of the cause.
If the king would permit, would like to write on three points : to justify his book against all those imputations of state, to express spiritual reasons why his conscience remains convinced of the unlawfulness of the oath and to propound a plain way how the king may have fuller assurance of his subjects' allegiance against all prejudice which may proceed from the doctrines expressed in the oath, and yet give satisfaction to all parties, and end all controversies about the matter.
Meanwhile protests his natural loyalty.
Signed on the 6th December, 1634, before Widdrington and Whistler.
405. Acknowledged by Widdrington and Courtenay that all explanations of the doctrines in the latter's book which he has sent to the Secretary Windebancke, proceed voluntarily from himself and not upon any discourse with Widdrington. Courtenay has constantly impugned any discourse with Widdrington about the lawfulness of the oath, and acknowledges no agreement between them in any objection he has raised against it. Much beholden to Widdrington for his generous and noble offices, which have enabled him to explain passages in his book ; and he has behaved as a sincere friend, who scorns to do base offices, especially towards a gentleman in his case.
Signed by Courtenay and Widdrington, the 7th December, 1634.


  • 1. Salvetti would appear to be more correctly informed when he says that the appointment of the little prince was proposed (letter of 8 Dec. Brit. Mus. Add MSS 27962). It can hardly have been made as in 1638 Northumberland received the dignity.
  • 2. Il est venu en ceste ville un nomme Daulphin, qui est au Comte de Brion. mais qui se dit escuyer de Monsieur, et a apporté lettres de luy pour leurs Majestes. Pougny to Bouthillier the 1st Dec. P.R.O. Paris Transcripts.
  • 3. He left Rome on the 26th August as nuncio extraordinary to the French Court about the affairs of Lorraine and a general peace. He made his public entry into Paris on the 26th November. Le Vassor : Hist, du Règne de Louis XIII., Vol. xiii., page 127.
  • 4. The peace of Prague. The terms are given in Dumont ; Corps Diplomatique Tome VI., pt. i., pages 99—105.
  • 5. M, du Clausel. See No. 364 at page 287 above.
  • 6. Celebrated on 28th Nov. at the Arsenal, namely the Duke of Puilaurens to the second daughter of the Baron de Pont-Chateau, the Duke of la Valette to the eldest daughter of the same Nobleman and the Count of Guiche to Mlle, du Plessis Chivrai. Le Vassor : Hist, du Regne de Louis XIII., Vol. XIII., page 320.
  • 7. A Jesuit whose real name was Leedes. He wrote a reply to a book published by William Howard, at the king's command, in favour of Catholics taking the oath of allegiance. The book was moderate and at first the king and Council only forbad it to be printed, but subsequently Courtenay was committed to the Gatehouse, where he remained a considerable time. Dict. Nat. Biog. Salvetti news letters of 18 August, 1634, Brit. Mus. Add. MSS. 27962. Cal. S.P. Dom. 1634-5, page 19. Id. 1635-6, pages 455, 456. Panzani to Barberini, 3 Jan., 1635, P.R.O. Rome Transcripts, Ser. I., Vol 17. The full text of these papers is to be found in P.R.O. Venetian Transcripts, Vol. 154.
  • 8. William Howard.