Venice: January 1635

Pages 314-327

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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January 1635

1635 Jan. 5.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Inghilterra. Venetian Archives.
406. Anzolo Correr, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
They are devoting their attention earnestly to the preparation of the naval force, which was decided some weeks since and approved more than once by the Council. The thoughts of the ministers now turn more particularly to providing the money. In order to take every precaution for obtaining contributions from the whole kingdom, they have thought it advisable to obtain them first from this city, being persuaded that the rest of the realm will show less difficulty about following their example. Thus by his Majesty's order they intimated to the Mayor of London, (fn. 1) that he should call together the aldermen and other chiefs of the community, according to the usual forms, and that they should arrange the means of sending to sea seven ships, well armed and equipped. Accordingly the mayor convoked the leading men without delay. When they asked the opinion of the lawyers on the subject, they were all unanimously of opinion that money could not reasonably be obtained from the people without infraction of the laws, by any way but the ordinary one of parliament. This opinion was approved as good and proper and gives an impulse to the desire that no charge of any kind soever, however slight, ought to be laid upon the people in any other way than through parliament. No sooner was this decision taken than it came to the king's knowledge. He had the mayor summoned before the Council and the Lord Treasurer informed him gravely and severely that his Majesty had always looked for the utmost promptitude from the loyalty and devotion of his subjects in the carrying out of his orders. He now had reason for the gravest offence since they showed themselves so cool and reluctant to succour him for the most urgent emergencies of the crown. The offices and persuasions of the lawyers in this matter would be noticed, and they would have reason to repent of what they had done as would all those who had encouraged stiffness in the matter. The mayor wished to make some excuse, but they told him haughtily to go away and not to fail to adjust matters as the king wished, because his Majesty aimed at nothing except the universal welfare of the whole kingdom. The mayor humbled himself and departed full of fear. He hastened to re-assemble the chief men, related the matter and tried to persuade them that it was right and expedient not to thwart the royal wishes. The matter was hotly debated, but after various fluctuations and a full consideration of the arguments on both sides they decided to cause an immediate payment of 36,000l. sterling to be made, to be devoted to the equipment of the seven ships commanded.
Such was the origin and the end of this most important affair. If the result be not contrary to the laws of the realm in every part, as many contend, it is certainly repugnant to the uses and forms observed by the people up to the present time, and they are well aware that this opening for the royal authority cannot be allowed without a momentous restriction of their liberties. They exclaim aloud and lament the violation of their privileges. They do not forbear, without any dissimulation, to declaim publicly against the person of the Lord Treasurer, upon whom they lay the blame not only of their present misfortune but of the other and greater ones which they see to be imminent as the consequence of this example. On the other hand, the king is pleased at having successfully overcome the very considerable difficulties of this first and most essential point, and he proposes to push on, before matters lose this aspect, with the object of preventing all need for summoning parliament, and by these steps to approach more nearly to that advantageous position over his subjects, and to that independent dominion over affairs, where he has been restrained by the ancient institutions of the realm, which it has obviously been his aim to attain by every means (il Re all' incontro contento d'haver felicemente superate le difficultà piu considerabile di questo primo essentialissimo punto, va pensando di progredire nel resto primo che le cose lascino questa dispositione, con ogetto di divertire ogni bisogno di convocare parlamento, et di accostarsi con questi passi piu vicino a quel posto vantaggioso sopra sudditi, et a quell' indipendente dominio delle cose, che ristrettole dagli antichi instituti del Regno, si vede esser stato sempre suo fine di andar per tutti i mezi guadagnando).
Late yesterday news was brought that an English admiral had fought with some Dutch ships which were passing through the Channel and would not render the obedience required. The facts are presented very advantageously for them here, as there is a report among the merchants that the admiral has captured two of the Dutch ships. The Ambassador Joachimi steadily asserts that the reports are false and merely circulated in order to induce the people to contribute for the fleet. The actual facts cannot long be kept concealed.
London, the 5th January, 1634 [M.V.]
[Italian ; the part in italics deciphered.]
Jan. 4.
Senato. Secreta. Dispacci, Svizzeri. Venetian Archives.
407. Andrea Rosso, Venetian Secretary with the Swiss, to the Doge and Senate.
The English Resident came to see me yesterday. He told me that Lord Fildin had left Court with instructions to assemble, on his way out, a general diet of the Swiss at the cost of his Majesty, but that he did not consider the circumstances favourable, and so he took the way of Piedmont. The Resident says he will not leave until the return of his gentleman sent to the Court.
He told me further in the deepest confidence that his Majesty's motive was to procure a union of all the neutral powers to enable him to make a counterpoise to the crown of France, the advancement of which should fill everyone with alarm, and to try and interrupt the course of their brilliant successes, with which that monarch aims at making himself dictator and to attain to universal sovereignty. For the same purpose the Treasurer had sent a special person to the King of Poland, to draw him to the side of England. (fn. 2) He was to enter upon confidential negotiations with that king to give him to wife the eldest daughter of the late King of Bohemia. He hinted that the most serene republic might be invited to join the same union, as one who has always sought to secure the balance between the great powers.
He told me further that the Protestant Count of Papenhein (fn. 3) had written to him from Schaffhausen, where he has been staying for some time past, that Duke Charles of Lorraine had recently asked him three times to meet him in some place of Savoy, and wished that the Resident should be there also. The Count excused himself on the ground of the Resident's absence from Zurich in France. But now that he has returned to Switzerland, the prince has sent a special messenger to him to arrange a conference at Vinterlar, (fn. 4) a territory of the Zurichers, four hours from Schaffhausen, to discuss, so he declares, certain matters of the highest importance. Accordingly it has been arranged that the secretary shall go there next Sunday.
Farra, the 4th January, 1634. M.V.
Jan. 5.
Senato. Secreta. Dispacci, Inghilterra. Venetian Archives.
407. Anzolo Correr, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The latest advices which have reached the Court about the affairs of the Palatinate contain the demands made by Fichiers upon the deputies of the Administrator to the effect that the claims upon the Electorate shall be conceded to the Most Christian. They say that not only did this excite a proportionate wrath in the Administrator but also caused a general and most sensible dissatisfaction among the people of that province.
It is believed here that negotiations are proceeding for a marriage between the King of Poland and the daughter of the Princess Palatine, but so far no more certain confirmation and no further details have transpired.
They discuss the siege of the castle of Heidelberg, although with a variety of opinions, and in the uncertainty about the facts, every one speaks according to his own private bias. Many give it as already fallen into the hands of the Imperialists. But the majority, trust to the advices of the merchants, which are on better foundation and agree with those which have been recently received by the English ministers. These declare that the French troops had approached to within a league and that Colonel Ebron had crossed the Rhine in that direction with seven regiments of infantry, eight cornets and six pieces of artillery. The courage and constancy of the defenders was encouraged by this while the hopes of the imperialists of taking the place grew weak, and fearing worse hurt they have abandoned the enterprise, not without some confusion and disorder.
I cannot depict to your Excellencies how great is the disgust of the king and his ministers at the demands of Fichiers, mentioned above, to the claims on the Electorate. They are becoming more and more exasperated against the procedure of France, so that they can no longer refrain from talking about it or from showing openly their most jealous passion, yet they have no intention of doing anything for the support of the liberty of those princes. One may say that the news of the withdraual of the Austrians from Heidelberg caused them neither pleasure nor pain, as against the satisfaction which is due in respect of the interests of the Palatine they set the bitterness with which they always receive the news of any success of the French arms.
The Secretary of Anstruther who was to have taken the letters for his recall two weeks ago, as decided, has not been despatched yet. The reason for this delay has not transpired, though it is clear that Anstruther's stay there is more useless every day.
In the Diet of the Protestant Princes at Worms it is understood that Fichiers was asked for an open declaration of the Most Christian touching the protection of their interests. They declared that they wanted an assurance about this so that if they had no certainty that they would be helped they might be able to provide for their own safety by making overtures for peace.
The conclusion of a defensive and offensive alliance between the Most Christian and the States is announced as having been secretly concluded. (fn. 5) The Dutch ambassador refuses to make any statement about it. The Ambassador Poygni has no definite knowledge on the subject nor has he any commissions upon the negotiations in this matter which he suggested to his Majesty a while ago. He writes every day and despatches couriers to escape from the uncertainty in which he finds himself, but they never send him an answer and as he does not know to whom to attribute the blame, he feels discontented and distressed.
The issue of the negotiations of M. Mazarini in France is awaited here with some curiosity. Although they believe that all hope of a satisfactory conclusion for the interests of the Duke of Lorraine have vanished, yet upon the other particular of the universal peace his Majesty is anxious to know the real inclinations of the Most Christian, saying that it seems to him that the good intentions which that king professes to have for the peace can never be reconciled with the preparations which he is ceaselessly making for war with so much ardour.
News has come that the Ambassador of Sweden (fn. 6) sent directly to this Court, is on the road this time. This is what they say in public, but I have not been able to verify this from an authentic source.
This is all that I have been able to collect about the present state of affairs at this Court. If on the journey the essence of this may be somewhat altered by accidents, yet the information may be worth something as a check.
As I was about to despatch this the courier of Italy arrived with the letters of the 8th ult. I may remark that I have not failed to report about the affairs of the Duke of Mantua all that has reached here in any way. I find that the reports have nearly died away about his journey to Paris, and there is no further news on the subject. I will not fail to cultivate the confidence of the Ambassador Poygni.
London, the 5th January, 1634. M.V.
[Italian ; the part in italics deciphered.]
Jan. 9
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Francia. Venetian Archives.
408. Alvise Contarini, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
I hear that orders have been sent to the Ambassador Poigne to offer to the King of England that if he will join with a sum of money to support the Palatine, His Majesty will undertake not to make peace until that House is restored to its states and dignities.
Paris, the 9th January, 1634 [M.V.]
[Italian ; deciphered.]
Jan. 11.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Svizzeri. Venetian Archives.
409. Andrea Rosso, Venetian Secretary with the Swiss, to the Doge and Senate.
The English Resident has returned from his conference with Count Papenhein. I went to see him at once and he told me that the Count had summoned him to Wintertur in order to show him letters from the emperor, making him liberal offers if he would return to his allegiance. The Count had replied saying that he did not see how he could trust such promises, seeing the present state of Germany, and he could not abandon the party which stood for the restoration of the liberty of Germany. The Count would prefer to rely on the support of England if the king would take the direction of the party in Germany ; if not he would turn to France.
Farra, the 11th January, 1634. M.V.
Jan. 12.
Senato Secreta. Dispacci. Inghilterra. Venetian Archives.
410. Anzolo Correr, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
Yesterday, the first day of the year according to their reckoning here, I went to audience of his Majesty and performed the offices customary at such a season. The king received me most graciously and wished your Excellencies every prosperity. He asked me afterwards what news I had of the Duke of Mantua, if I knew where he was at present. I replied that the last news I had reported his arrival at Casale, where he was to make some stay in order to review the place thoroughly, and that after having ordered the rest of his affairs in Monferrat he would return to Mantua. Then, said the king, there is nothing about his going to Paris for matrimonial interests. I replied that I had no information whatever upon that particular, and I could not persuade myself that his Highness would abandon the assistance of his dominions for negotiations which might very well be dealt with elsewhere. His Majesty then went on to question me about other particulars which I will report separately.
The reported fight between the English admiral and the Dutch ships was found yesterday to be utterly false, but for some days many have contended that it has been kept up designedly for the purpose of inducing the people to pay willingly and promptly the contributions laid upon them for the fleet. This confirms the opinion of the Ambassador Joachimi, who said as much the very first day and has stoutly held to it until the truth has appeared. With the disappearance of this rumour, which could not be kept up any longer, they are now trying other things with the same object. Just now this is that the Most Christian has ordered great preparations of ships of war, to be sent to these waters in the spring. This is an apparent lenitive, though it really does nothing for the wounds which have already entered the very vitals of the people through the unpopularity of the present contributions though it serves to mitigate to some extent the bitterness they feel, and to keep them more disposed and patient.
The Agent of France writes from Brussels to the Ambassador Poygni and I myself have seen the letters, that Prince Tomaso is to proceed to Germany with the army. That force, besides the levies which he himself will raise, will be composed as follows : 4000 infantry brought by the Cardinal to Brussels, the troops recently drawn from Ireland, Scotland and England, 3000 horse already there and some troops of the Count of Mansfelt.
Porter only returned late yesterday from his mission to the Cardinal Infant at Brussels. They say he returns with little satisfaction on the score of appearances at that Court, but in essentials they have loaded him with presents of remarkable value, so that privately he is very well pleased. He is to present himself to his Majesty to-day. The Court is astonished that he brings back no letters from the Cardinal in response to those he presented, but it might have been much more noted if the Cardinal had not behaved in just the same way to the Most Christian.
They have at last nominated Viscount Schidmore as ambassador to France in place of Anstruther, for which Poygni made a guarded request. He is a person of noble condition, but as he neither frequents the Court nor the city it is thought that he cannot be well informed about current affairs. The king has also chosen Lord Asten for Spain, the one who sustained that charge before for five years in succession, with splendour and applause. To Constantinople, in order to satisfy the merchants, who, on account of past disputes, do not want the one chosen to be sent, it is thought that the Earl of Denbigh will be destined, the father of the Ambassador Fielding, who is to reside with your Excellencies, but this is not absolutely certain as yet.
In the Diet of Worms, dissolved some days ago, we hear that the discussions and decisions were limited to four principal points :
(1). that it being decided to re-establish the army, they should find some arrangement satisfactory to everyone about the contributions to support it and to provide the necessary provisions of food and military requirements.
(2). dealt with listening to the proposals for the negotiation of a universal peace ; they decided, in order to obtain it, to keep themselves as well prepared for war, as disposed to peace. To this effect they have chosen an ambassador extraordinary to the Elector of Saxony and other princes of Upper and Lower Saxony, to encourage them to support with the energy of the league, the principles of the common cause.
(3). contains the conditions upon which the Duke of Neuburgh obtained the concession of the neutrality for which he asked.
(4). and last consists in the manner in which they are to treat with the French. It has not been possible to discover the conditions. Only this much is asserted that the princes have refused to yield to them the towns of Worms and Beienfeld. But it is supposed that things proceeded satisfactorily, since the French have gone with strong forces to the succour and support of Heidelberg. The issue of this having turned out successfully, the last letters of the Ambassador Poygni report that they are now united with Veimar and become so strong that they are trying to encounter the Duke of Lorraine with the intention to give him battle.
London, the 12th January, 1634. M.V.
411. Anzolo Correr, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
expulsis papalistis
At my audience yesterday the king asked me with some insistence how your Excellencies were getting on with the pope. He said he gathered that some other trouble had arisen besides the question of the frontiers. Knowing that the information given to his Majesty in the matter of the Consul Oberti (fn. 7) was not entirely favourable, I seized the opportunity to give him a true account of the case of your Excellencies. He listened with gracious attention and approved of your Serenity's position and resolutions in every respect.
The day before yesterday there arrived incognito at Court a certain priest sent from Rome with orders to arrange some matters with the queen touching the interests of the religious who live in this realm. He brought letters from Cardinal Barberino to the queen's own confessor, and others from the nuncio at Paris to the Grand Almoner, so that they might help the introduction and progress of his negotiations ; but the Almoner, understanding that the coming of this priest had already reached the king's ears, would have nothing to do with it. The confessor, who is not so circumspect, promised to help him, and is to present him to the queen to-day. The real essence of his business does not transpire, and I should only weary your Excellencies by recording the talk on the subject, which is both vain and contradictory. I will wait in order to give you correct and detailed information later on.
London, the 12th January, 1634.
Jan. 13.
Senato, Mar. Venetian Archives.
412. Decision to continue the concessions with respect to the duties on goods coming from the West, made in the years 1621, 1627 and 1631, for four years, dating from the time of the expiration of the last concession, with the object of increasing the trade with this port.
Ayes, 91. Noes, 1. Neutral, 4.
Jan 15.
Cinque Savii alla Mercanzia. Risposte. Venetian Archives.
413. John Obson, English merchant, convicted of smuggling and banished in perpetuity from Zante and from this city, obtained from the Senate a reference to this Magistracy of all the sentences against him, and has been to ask us for despatch. We have not been able to do any thing because we have not the original papers, and we have informed the Collegio so that these may be sent for from Cephalonia. We do not consider that the release of Obson on bail can be granted, because of the Senate's decree of the 21st January, 1631, that prisoners must be locked up and not allowed at large. His release can only be effected by the Senate itself, according to the laws. We would state that the papers are necessary in the interest of the customs.
Dated at the office, the 15th January, 1634. M.V.
Alvise Renier. Savii.
Andrea Da Leze.
Alvise Basadonna.
Alvise Moncenigo, Jun.
Bertucci Valier.
Jan. 19.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Inghilterra. Venetian Archives.
414. Anzolo Correr, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
After many urgent requests made by the dispatch of more than one messenger to Paris, to obtain, a reply about the negotiations begun with their Majesties upon an alliance, an express has reached the French ambassador here to-day, sent to him by Botiglier with orders to go without delay to audience of the king to represent to him once more the intentions of that sovereign with reference to this alliance, and to leave in the king's hands, in accordance with the wish expressed by him on the first occasion, the proposals for this clearly set forth in writing.
The ambassador further has instructions to communicate to his Majesty the exposition recently made to the Most Christian by the Agent of the emperor, and the reply which he took away. In substance the office of the imperial minister consisted of serious remonstrances about the protection of the princes of the Palatinate, undertaken by the Most Christian and about the entry of his forces into the empire assurances of a friendly disposition towards France and persuasions in favour of a universal peace.
As the reply was very voluminous I will report to your Excellencies what I have been able to gather, and if I can get a copy I will send both together with my next despatch. So far as I have gathered it contains a full exposition of the friendly intentions of the king towards the emperor ; a perfect disposition towards peace, and with regard to the passage of his troops into Germany, that he found himself obliged to this for the defence of his allies. If they had advanced beyond the Rhine, this was only done in order to oppose the machinations of the Duke of Lorraine, his enemy, against his dominions. The behaviour of that prince who was taking steps to pursue with the power of the imperial army all Frenchmen, wherever he could catch them had very naturally stirred him to remedy this. He had received into his protection the custody of some towns which were in the hands of the Swedes because as the rites of the Catholic faith were practised there, he thought this was better than being in those of the Swedes, but in any case he had not yet made any promise, and he did not intend to permit his troops to commit any act prejudicial to the territories of the emperor.
The peace arranged between the emperor and the Duke of Saxony is to be ratified by both parties by the 25th inst., not withstanding any possible act of hostility that may happen in between. The articles are said to be as follows : a general pardon, including the common confederates ; that religion in Germany shall return to the position in the year 1626 ; that other princes shall have the right to enter, including even the Administrator Palatine, to whom they concede his patrimonial belongings, but the electoral vote is referred to a diet. There are other particulars which I have not yet had time to learn. I would, however, have obtained them in some way or other were I not certain that your Excellencies would have them earlier from the spot.
I find it hard to inform your Excellencies of the impression made by this upon the Court here, because the ministers here persist in the notions I have so often reported, and at present they are devoting most of their time to the jollities of the carnival, not a day passing without dancing and comedies at Court.
The occasion for rejoicing is largely increased by the celebration of the marriage of the eldest son of the Earl of Pembroke to the daughter of the late Duke of Buckingham. (fn. 8) This was solemnized yesterday in the queen's apartments, in the presence of the king, and by his command a most sumptuous banquet was given to the flower of the nobility.
I have received this week the state despatches of the 22nd December with the sheet of advices.
London, the 19th January, 1634. [M.V.]
Jan. 20.
Senato, Mar. Venetian Archives.
415. To the Proveditore of Cephalonia.
To send copies of all papers concerning the condemnation of the English merchant John Obson to the Magistracy of the Five Savii, to whom the case has been referred.
That until these copies arrive the said John Obson be released from prison upon such bail as the Five Savii shall accept, so that he shall return thither as soon as the papers arrive.
Ayes, 89. Noes, 9. Neutral, 10.
Jan. 25.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Haya. Venetian Archives.
416. Francesco Michiel, Venetian Secretary at the Hague, to the Doge and Senate.
The Count of Colemburgh arrived on Friday, [19th January]. The Deputies and the Prince consulted together on the following day and yesterday morning they sent their answer to Paris. It is understood that the principal articles are agreed upon. When all is settled ambassadors will be sent by France and these Provinces to England to urge the king there to sign the treaty or at least to declare himself neutral. The Spaniards are on the alert and very jealous of the open declaration of the French.
An individual named Protoschi, secretary of Poland, (fn. 9) arrived here last week. They say he is sent by the king there to ask for the daughter of the Princess Palatine to wife. He had a long conference with the princess on more than one occasion, and two days ago he left for England, to approach the king there, so they say, who is uncle of the lady and director of the mother's will.
The Hague, the 25th January, 1634. M.V.
[Italian ; the part in italics deciphered.]
Jan. 25.
Senato. Secreta. Dispacci, Svizzeri. Venetian Archives.
417. Andrea Rosso, Venetian Secretary with the Swiss, to the Doge and Senate.
The English Ambassador Fildin has informed the Resident here of his arrival and reception at Turin. He was received and entertained at Susa by the duke's order, received at Vigliana by the Marquis of San Germano, at Rivoli by the Master of the Ceremonies and at Purpurata by the Counts of Verua and Scarnafis, and by various ladies to attend his wife, by order of the duchess. He is entertained and defrayed in the palace of Prince Tomaso with great splendour, much to the disgust of the other foreign ministers here.
He tells the Resident further that after his first audience of the princes he was invited on behalf of Madame to a comedy which her Highness had designed to have represented at his instance. The duke had let him know that the French ambassador, although asked by Madame not to go, had expressed his intention of being present. The duke accordingly warned him so that he might consider some means of avoiding trouble on the question of precedence which might arise between them. As it had reached the ears of England that the Frenchman had intimated publicly that France had precedence over England, he thought proper to tell his informant that each of the two crowns claimed this, supposing that with such a modest expression he would avoid ruffling the feelings of the Frenchman, owing to the consequences which might result from such disputes between the two kings, and also to induce the Frenchman to give up making improper claims. And in this he succeeded because the Frenchman sent to tell him that he would be present at the comedy as a private gentleman and that Fildin should have the seat at the right hand of Madame. This was further confirmed by Madame herself and by the duke. When therefore Fildin went to Madame's apartments she took him by the hand and accompanied him to the place where the performance was to take place, and she herself gave him the seat at her right hand. His wife was on her left hand and so was the French ambassador, and so on that occasion things went off very quietly. But learning afterwards that the Frenchman boasted that he had had the advantage over him since his seat was further from the door and nearer the wall, and consequently in a more noble position, Fildin made up his mind to recoup himself with the occasion of waiting on Madame in her coach to Monealier. Both the ambassadors had offered themselves, the Frenchman taking the right hand side. When the princess perceived this she went down the secret staircase into the garden, and getting into the coach went off leaving the ambassadors in the cabinet. They, realising that her Highness had gone, decided to return to their quarters, and so the Frenchman, taking leave of the company, started for the staircase. When the Englishman perceived this, he paid his respects to those who remained in the cabinet, and hurried with long strides towards the staircase, impetuously overtaking the Frenchman on his right hand. That minister, astonished at this behaviour, subsequently expressed his anger very fluently. The Englishman considered that on this occasion he had upheld the position of his king, to the delight of the Court of Savoy, which, so he writes, showed its satisfaction at this check to the proceedings of the French ambassador.
Lord Fildin proposes to embark for Venice on the 16th inst. and hopes that by that time the gentleman sent by him to London will have returned. He proposes to leave at Turin his secretary Morton, in place of Ales, who is removed because he went too far in the matter of the titles of those princes. The duke is thinking of sending to England as Resident Monsieur di Cisa, formerly his valet de chambre.
Farra, the 25th January, 1634. M.V
Jan. 26.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Inghilterra. Venetian Archives.
418. Anzolo Correr, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
Last Sunday the French ambassador, in accordance with his instructions, repeated to the king the proposals for an alliance, and left him the project in writing. The king heard him very gladly and received with a smiling face the written paper which the ambassador gave him promising that he should have the answer very soon. In fulfilment of his instructions the ambassador was at the same time to have communicated to his Majesty the reply of the Most Christian to the exposition of the imperial minister, but observing that a large part of this touched upon the affairs of the Duke of Lorraine, and to avoid hearing a repetition of expressions of sympathy with that duke which his Majesty has made to him upon other occasions, with very strong feeling, he thought it best to abstain from doing so. and so he employed a French gentleman, who frequents the Court (fn. 10) a great deal to show the king a summary of the contents. However, I have had the copy which I forward herewith.
The contributions for the armed ships are being exacted with most rigourous solicitude. The lesser folk, who have least power agree to pay fairly readily, without waiting to be compelled. The cavaliers and others of higher condition do not follow this course, and they try to evade it as much as they can, or at least to delay the effectuation. Among these some gentlemen I fancy with the hope of getting a following, have let it be understood that they do not mean to pay anything. They say that every law and custom exonerates them from such contributions, which can only be raised by the authority of parliament. But as only a few seem inclined to follow their example, they will have to use the ointment of patience for their ills, unless they prefer to hazard everything in order to preserve a little.
At Havana three Dutch ships encountered two Spanish ones, which were on their way from the Indies in the company of six others, from which they were parted by the fortune of the sea. There was a gallant fight and one was taken by the Dutch, which in addition to other goods carried several chests of silver. But after the Dutch had changed the crews and removed the most precious part of the cargo, the Spanish ship was separated by a fresh accident and was brought by Dutch sailors into one of the ports here. (fn. 11) While they believed they might with security await an escort to proceed to Holland, the news quickly reached the merchants here, and the Spanish Resident at once obtained powers to have it seized. But the Dutch merchants were no less prompt and the Ambassador Joachimi not less active than he, and they forthwith, sent to the ship to get away from the port. We do not yet know what has happened.
The last letters from Antwerp report that the regiment of Prince Tomaso is in garrison in the Luxemburg, and that it is proposed to send it to the country of Artois, owing to their fears of the French army, in Picardy, which is greatly increased. That the Cardinal Infant is at Dunkirk, intending to proceed to Gravelines to inspect that fortress and all the other frontier posts thoroughly. These movements, so close at hand, cause some perturbation to the ministers here. From the unexpected mission of the Count of Ghisa (fn. 12) to Calais and from the augmentation of the French troops in that direction, they consider the fears expressed about that fortress as groundless, and declare that it is their belief that the designs of the Most Christian in that quarter are directed against Gravelines, with whose governor they state roundly the Most Christian has a very good understanding. This opinion is confirmed when they see the Cardinal going in that direction.
I have received this week the state despatches of the 29th December.
London, the 26th January, 1634. M.V.
[Italian ; the part in italics deciphered.]
Enclosure. 419. Letter of King Louis XIII. to the Emperor.
Your Majesty's disposition towards the continuance of the good relations which have always existed between the empire and this crown is the more agreeable to us because it agrees with ours, and we do not wish to depart from it. We have read the memoir presented to us by your Resident Svitrier whom we have directed to reply in such sort that we believe you will lose the opinion you have conceived of our actions, because they are so just, that when well considered they cannot affect our good relations. We shall maintain these so far as possible and we hope your Majesty will do your part, and we earnestly desire everything that can maintain the public tranquillity. We have instructed the Sieur de Charbonniere, our Resident with you to explain this more fully. May God have you in his keeping.
Dated at St. Germain en Laye, the 6th January, 1635.
Signed Louis, and lower down Bouthillier.
Jan. 30.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Francia. Venetian Archives.
420. Alvise Contarini, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
His Majesty has settled upon the Chevalier de Senecter (fn. 13) as ambassador extraordinary to England. He was a close familiar of the Count of Soissons and lived in his House. The Count being offended with him for some cause unknown went to his house with forty men to attack him, but he, suspecting something, absented himself. The Count had a quarrel with his mother over this affair. The Cardinal intervened. It is expected that the matter will be adjusted and that the Chevalier will go on his embassy within a fortnight. It is believed that the object of this negotiation is to keep up hope in Germany of help for the allied Princes and possibly to divert England from some bad decision, as it is asserted that the Spaniards have sent 200,000 crowns to that king.
Paris, the 30th January, 1634 [M.V.]
[Italian ; the part in italics deciphered.]


  • 1. Robert Parkhurst.
  • 2. Sir George Douglas.
  • 3. Maximilian count Pappenheim, landgrave of Stühlingen.
  • 4. Winterthur, Canton Zurich, Switzerland.
  • 5. It was signed at Paris on 8 February, 1635 N.S. The Articles are given by Aitzema : Saken van Staet en Oorlogh, Vol. ii. pages 198-201.
  • 6. His name was John Skytte.
  • 7. A dispute had been in progress between the pope and the republic about their mutual frontier at Ancona. This had been aggravated in 1633 by proceedings taken by the papal officials against the Venetian Consul at Ancona, Michele Oberti, on a trumped up charge. The matter appeared to be settled by French mediation but when. Michele being dead, his brother was sent to take up the post, he was first imprisoned by the papal ministers and then banished. The French ambassadors renewed their offices and finally succeeded in adjusting this matter. Nani ; Historia Veneta ed. Bologna, 1680, pages 276. 303.
  • 8. Charles lord Herbert to Mary Villiers. The bridegroom was aged 15 or 16 and the bride 13. Pougny to Bouthillier, 29th September, 1634, P.R.O. Paris. Transcripts.
  • 9. Alexander de Przypkowski. His letters of credence are dated at Warsaw, the 4th December, 1634. S.P. For. Poland.
  • 10. M. Buttard, according to Salvetti, news letter of 27 Jan. Brit. Mus. Add. MSS. 27962.
  • 11. The Ship was the Santa Barbara, captured in December and brought into Guavers Lake near Penzance by David Dinghemans and Cornelius Bergenaer Memorial of Joachimi of 19 April N.S. S.P. For. Holland. Cal. S.P. Dom. 1634-5, page 503.
  • 12. The Count of Guiche left Paris for Calais on Monday 1st Jan. N.S. and de Vic wrote on the 7th that he was sure the only object of the Count's journey was to take over the governorship of Calais. S.P. For. France.
  • 13. Henry Sieur de Senneterre. His letters of credence are dated the 25th February, 1635. S.P. For. France.