Venice: February 1635

Pages 327-336

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

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


February 1635

Feb. 1.
Senato, Secreta. Deliberazioni. Corti. Venetian Archives.
421. To the Ambassador in England.
With regard to the suggestion about sending fresh inhabitants to Istria and to grant them untilled lands, we consider that the expense would be heavy and the difficulties great. We direct you to commit us to nothing beyond a consideration of the special conditions of the offer, so that we may be able to form a judgment upon the probability of its success, and take up the project or reject it, as we may see fit. We enclose the usual letters with advices. Your letters have not yet arrived this week.
Ayes, 70. Noes, 2. Neutral, 3.
Feb. 3.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Inghilterra. Venetian Archives.
422. Anzolo Correr, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
In my anxiety to obtain the information for your Serenity I have been trying to discover the particulars contained in the articles and proposals for an alliance recently presented to his Majesty by the Ambassador Poygni. I was afraid that if I asked them of the ambassador himself I might be suspected of excessive curiosity and so upset or affect to some extent the confidence which I have won witih him. So I gave up this idea, but by means of an individual who is friendly with me, and who is engaged in affairs of state, under a pledge of secrecy. I have found out the substance of it. It is this, that the Most Christian and the United Provinces of the Netherlands in the treaty made between themselves, have arranged to include therein the King of Great Britain, as their good neighbour and ancient ally, if he is willing to enter. In the following articles they agree that the king and the United Provinces shall bind themselves to maintain the Prince Palatine in his fortresses of the Palatinate, except as regards the electorate and the treaty which may be made for a general peace in Germany, which must be referred to the Electors of the Empire. To the end that the interests of the Palatine may be safeguarded in every particular and to put an end to all future claims that may be raised to the contrary, his Majesty will undertake, at the time of a general treaty in the empire, to do all in his power to see that the Duke of Bavaria is satisfied with respect to any claims which he may have upon the states of the Palatine, but in such way that no prejudice shall result to the Prince Palatine.
The king and the United Provinces bind themselves not to make any peace with the emperor or the King of Spain until the emperor shall have first removed the imperial ban published against that prince, and they promise to defend the Palatine against all who in the future shall attempt to molest him in the possession of his dominions.
If the dominions of the King of Great Britain are attacked by any one soever because of the present treaty, or by reason of assistance which he supplies to the Prince Palatine, or for any other cause soever, the Most Christian and the United Provinces may not assist the enemies of the King of Great Britain, indeed they will defend his states at their own cost with such number of men as shall be agreed.
Similarly, if the states of the Most Christian or those of the United Provinces are attacked by any one soever by reason of the present treaty made with the King of Great Britain, or for the assistance which they promise to the Prince Palatine, or for any other respect, if they have need of ships, she King of Great Britain will see that they are provided, newly armed and equipped, in his ports, in number as shall be agreed, and he shall assist them with such quantity of men, at their cost, as shall be agreed.
The two kings shall promise in good faith by the present treaty not to grant any assistance of men, money or ships, directly or indirectly to those against whom they shall have entered upon open war, but will show themselves in everything in the manner that becomes good neighbours and allies ; and finally, to demonstrate the goodly affection of the two kings towards each other, they declare in the present treaty that they renew and confirm all the things contained in, the last treaty of peace made between their Majesties, with the object of enlarging ever their good friendship, confederation and alliance.
These proposals were laid by his Majesty before the Council and were carefully considered by them. They informed the ambassador by the Secretary Cuch that before opening negotiations his Majesty would wish that to the first article they should add that the Most Christian and the United Provinces should undertake not only to maintain the Prince Palatine in the possession of the fortresses of the Palatinate, but in what concerned the interests of the electorate also. As the Most Christian did not wish to offend the Duke of Bavaria in this matter the ambassador replied that at the moment when a general peace is in negotiation in Germany the king, his master, would not fail to do everything in his power to the end that the Prince Palatine should obtain satisfaction in every particular, and without this adjustment of this point he for his part would never come to any agreement over the rest.
The secretary took this back to the Court and it was decided to depute commissioners to treat. From what they themselves have told me the Earls of Carlisle and Holland will be two of them. But up to this moment they have not informed the ambassador of anything further. In the mean time he is ready, armed with good arguments, waiting for overtures to be made to him, in the hope that it will be easy for him to bring them to a successful conclusion, of which he says he has not the smallest doubt were it not that the disinclination of the ministers suits so ill with the favourable intentions of the king ; nevertheless as they are not asking for the expenditure of any money, which is a question that is apt to upset any affair, no matter how serious, and especially as the interests of the king's nephews are so closely involved, the ambassador has every confidence in a conclusion.
In the mean time some hint of this affair has leaked out, although obscurely at the Court and the more speculative spirits go about spreading the idea that the excessive power of either of the two crowns ought to be equally suspect to England ; that the principles of good government teach them to endeavour to keep the forces of their neighbours as nearly balanced as possible, and not to give encouragement to the more powerful. This kingdom had always been well governed on such principles, and they ought not to change good maxims at the present time. This is the language employed by those who are naturally ill disposed towards the interests of France, but who wish to hide these sentiments behind the veil of zeal for the welfare of the state. Although these are the utterances of prejudiced persons, which do not reach the king's ears, or if they do have little influence over him, yet as they agree with the most authoritative opinions of the ministers, they cannot fail to have a most mischievous effect.
The merchants here, having heard that the choice of an ambassador to Constantinople may fall upon the Earl of Embi, father of the Ambassador Fildin, are going about intimating that they would desire the selection of one of their order, as the chief functions of that office consist in mercantile affairs, and a nobleman of the Court, inexperienced in trade, cannot assist their interests as well as a merchant of experience. As his Majesty has not yet come to any decision upon the subject they are very hopeful that he will gratify them.
I have received this week the state despatches of the 3rd January.
London, the 3rd February, 1634. [M.V.]
Postscript : With respect to the instructions of the 22nd December, just received, with regard to the negotiations for an alliance between the French and Dutch and this crown, I have always sent the fullest information that I have been able to discover.
[Italian ; the part in italics deciphered.]
Feb. 8.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Haya. Venetian Archives.
423. Francesco Michiel, Venetian Ambassador at the Hague, to the Doge and Senate.
The Dutch are still suspicious about the naval preparations in England. Many say that the king there devotes himself to pleasing the Spaniards, for his own interests alone, and that he intends to support the forces commanded by Santa Croce.
The French complain and the Dutch express astonishment at the grant of levies in Ireland to the Spaniards at the first request, when the French have received no reply of any value to their repeated offices on the same subject. The lamentations of the Princess Palatine chime in with these voices, as she gets no consolation or help from her brother.
The Hague, the 8th February, 1634. [M.V.]
Feb. 9.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Inghilterra. Venetian Archives.
424. Anzolo Correr, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The Dutch ambassador, whom I chanced to meet in the Court here, being provoked by me to talk about the particulars of the alliance which he is negotiating with the ministers here jointly with the French ambassador, told me that the matter tends to become more lengthy and more difficult every day. More lengthy because until the arrival at this Court of the Sieur de Seneter, the ambassador extraordinary designate of the Most Christian, he does not see any indication that they can make any further progress. Difficult because the king shows very scant inclination that way. At the last meeting the ambassador assures me that he spoke these very words : the arms of France have Fortune too much in their favour. I do not see how it can he a good thing to afford them encouragement. Some balance was not a bad thing for powers which advance excessively. The ambassador told me he had replied that the greater part of their hopes for the maintenance of the public cause rested at present upon the valour and strength of the French sword. The peace recently established between Cœsar and Saxony (fn. 1) would form a considerable counterpoise and one that might compel then to put aside all slowness in thinking and all negligence in acting. Upon these grounds, said the ambassador, I infer that there is little solidity in the affair. The interests of the Spaniards are too deeply rooted in the minds of the ministers here, but we must not give up, because by assiduity in negotiating the very difficulties become easy and surmountable in the end.
At this point, while commending his sound ideas I thought it a good opportunity to serve your Excellencies, and so I began to tell him that I heard with great regret of the difficulties which this important and advantageous affair was now traversing. Being guided in my proceedings by the maxims of your Serenity, who desired the most complete success for the common cause as well as for that of his masters, I had never failed to make opportune representations to the ministers here which would serve the common interest, and I would not fail to continue to do so in the future with even more energy, especially with those with whom I found or where it was intimated to me that it was most necessary. The ambassador commended in the warmest manner the friendly disposition of your Serenity and thanked me for my offer, of which, he said he would not omit to inform his masters, feeling very sure that they would remember their obligation to the most serene republic for so great a favour.
The French ambassador, although ill pleased and rather dashed at seeing business pass away from him in the midst of negotiations and the sending of another ambassador, yet tries to do all he can, but so far I have not found out anything more beyond the commissioners deputed for him. These will be the Lord Treasurer, the Earls of Arundel, Carlisle and Holland, and the two secretaries of state. The ambassador says that they form such a mixture together that he may fear the bad and hope for the good. But as a matter of fact, apart from the Earl of Holland, whose heart seems quite French, the others, by common belief, are much more disposed to Spain, and it is most certain that as they would like in general to see the conclusion of this affair postponed as long as possible, they were very glad to hear of the nomination of the ambassador extraordinary of France. They think that he will hasten his departure, in spite of the incident between him and the Count of Soissons, recently, of which they hear confusedly here. (fn. 2) They hope, in any case, that he will be preparing in the mean time to make a worthy appearance at Court ; the ambassador expected from Spain may be hastened on for this purpose. With the counterpoise of the offices and proposals of the latter the business may vanish away in the end, and this kingdom be left to enjoy undisturbed its fortunate calm amid the grave agitations of the world.
Thus with the sole object of gaining time the king asked Poygni to show him the articles of the alliance recently established between the Most Christian and the States, which are mentioned at the very outset of the project which his Majesty has received. But as the ambassador had not got them he said he would send for them to France, and the king said he would wait for them.
The Spanish ship captured by the Dutch at Havana, which took refuge from a storm in the port of Monsbai, being warned by the Ambassador Joachimi of the arrest which the Spanish Resident had obtained against it, to avoid the ill fortune of being seized in the port, put to sea, in the hope of continuing its voyage. But where it hoped to find the safer way of deliverance it encountered a worse fate in another furious tempest, in which it perished miserably. (fn. 3)
A secretary of the King of Poland, come from the Hague has been staying here incognito for some days. He now frequents the Court quite frequently, and often sees the king and the ministers, but it has not been possible to discover anything else about his negotiations, it being kept very secret, except that it is some business for the marriage of his king to the sister of the Prince Palatine.
A gentleman (fn. 4) of the ambassador extraordinary of Sweden, who is expected here, arrived also the day before yesterday in this city for private affairs of his master. When he has discharged himself of these he says he is to go to the Netherlands to meet him. Meanwhile he goes about circulating a report that in addition to the other matters which the ambassador is to treat of he has some commissions to negotiate for a marriage between the daughter of the late King of Sweden and the Prince Palatine. (fn. 5) But they attach little credit to this here, and it would indeed seem worthy of note and miraculous if after the long and terrible misfortunes of that afflicted house it were seen to rise in a moment, one may say, to the utmost felicity and greatness by two such strokes of fortunes.
The news has reached me to-day that my despatch of the 26th January was lost with the shipwreck of a barque which was taking it. I hope that the duplicate will have arrived safely. The courier and ordinary arrived yesterday from Italy, but brought no letters from the Senate.
London, the 9th February, 1634. M.V.
[Italian ; the part in italics deciphered.]
Feb. 15.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Haya. Venetian Archives.
425. Francesco Michiel, Venetian Ambassador at the Hague, to the Doge and Senate.
The states are watching the movements of England, as report says that the king there means to claim absolute dominion at sea, and that the Dutch must recognise his jurisdiction, and that even their fishermen must pay tribute. If this be so a storm may be feared, as the States do not admit any impediment at sea. They say that the Spaniards are persuading the king to use this pretext to trouble these Provinces.
The English here, at the news of the appointment of a French ambassador extraordinary to England, express their doubts of his receiving any satisfaction, as their king is as resentful as ever over the alliance of France with Bavaria to the disadvantage of the Palatine his nephew. However the Princess Palatine says that she does not find her brother so affectionate (questa Principessa Palatina pero dice non riconoscer il fratello cosi affetionato).
The Hague, the 15th February, 1634. M.V.
[Italian ; the part in italics deciphered.]
Feb. 16.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Inghilterra. Venetian Archives.
426. Anzolo Correr, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The gentleman of the ambassador of Sweden who arrived at this Court last week, with orders to go afterwards to meet the ambassador in the Netherlands, soon after his arrival received from the kingdom of Sweden and from the allied Princes of Germany, letters for his Majesty and instructions to stay here to act as their Resident. In this capacity he proceeded without delay to the king, by whom he was graciously received with every demonstration of honour. In the course of the usual Court visits he came the day before yesterday to call upon me. He told me that he had instructions from Sweden and from the Princes his masters to assure me of the great value they attached to the friendship of the most serene republic and to prove it by his acts. I thanked him and assured him of the friendliness of your Excellencies to their interests. I asked him if he expected the ambassador soon. He told me, Yes, and that his chief function was the ceremony of restoring the order of the Garter belonging to the late king. This minister really seems very anxious for friendly relations with me, privately as well, and I shall not fail to encourage him to the utmost. I have also, by another way, tried to penetrate into the most secret part of his instructions. I find that at present he has no other commissions except to watch what they are doing here with regard to the affairs of Germany, and to endeavour, when opportunity offers, to advance the interests of the party as much as possible.
The surprise of Filipsburg, which was spoken of in whispers here last week, now seems to be absolutely confirmed by the news from several quarters. (fn. 6) The Dutch ambassador considers it certain, and altho' the news is not in itself good, yet he is not sorry about it, as he hopes that this striking success may force the king to come to the declaration of an open breach with the Austrians, beyond recall. The news of this event has made a great impression upon his Majesty, as he foresees the consequences to the interests of the Palatine, which are threatened with imminent and utter ruin. When discussing these circumstances with the Earl of Arundel I tried hard to demonstrate to him by the most for the arguments that the moment was singularly opportune for the establishment of the alliance with the crown of France and the States of Holland, in order to secure the safety of the dominions of the Prince Palatine, and he did not disagree with me.
Meanwhile with respect to this affair they announce that the Ambassador Senetere will soon be here. There have been no further negotiations, only the commissioners have intimated to the Sieur de Poygni with the purpose of wasting time by weaving sophistries, that they would rather treat of the question of assistance with France than jointly with the States. To this the ambassador replied that he had no power to alter the proposals, which had only been laid before his Majesty by virtue of others agreed upon between the king, his master, and the United Provinces, and if they now really wish it so, it will be necessary to alter the project and to change in great part the substance of the conditions themselves, in all probability. This would involve considerable and harmful delays and countless difficulties as well. Meanwhile both of the ambassadors realise that this suggestion was only raised for the purpose of introducing complications into the negotiations of Seneter himself in so far as they are concerned with this affair. All the same they do not fail to fortify their arguments with the incident of Filipsburg and to use every possible means to bring about a successful conclusion to this negotiation.
The Secretary of Poland left for the Hague last Wednesday. In substance his negotiations did not extend beyond the affair of the marriage. By order of the king, his master, he asked the opinion and consent of his Majesty upon this, and if it is approved by his parliament, which is to be held soon at Warsaw, and is recognised as advantageous, he will proceed to carry it out. It has not been possible to find out exactly what his Majesty's answer was, but it is thought to have been favourable, and a very safe index of its tenor may be gathered from the lips of the secretary himself, who let it be understood that he would soon be back, and might bring the most desirable and pleasant news.
The state despatches of the 19th January reached me yesterday.
London, the 16th February, 1634. [M.V.]
[Italian ; the part in italics deciphered.]
Feb. 23.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Inghilterra. Venetian Archives.
427. Anzolo Correr, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
During these last days of carnival there has been little room for business amid the dances, comedies and other pleasant diversions. The Court has been fully occupied with these and in particular with the representation of a masque, which the queen has repeated three times, set out with the most stately scenery, machines and dresses. (fn. 7) The king will go to Newmarket at the beginning of next week. He says he means to stay there all this Lent, devoting himself entirely to the pleasures of the chase. The queen has not yet decided where she will go, and remains doubtful because of the inconveniences of that country.
This absence of his Majesty cannot fail to prolong all the matters at present in negotiation, the division of the Court tending to make the conduct of them very difficult.
The Resident of Spain had audience of his Majesty yesterday to whom he presented letters from his king, which merely contain the news of the birth of a daughter. After the king had read the letter the Resident remained for some time longer, but I have not yet been able to discover what business he had.
The contributions for the fleet are practically all paid already, extraordinary rigour having been shown in collecting them. The outcry against this imposition, which was universal at first, although founded on the great partiality which they say was shown in the continuation, would yet have practically died away, had not the king aroused them anew by laying hands on some parcels of this money and employing them on other things as he happened to fancy. The whole city cries out about this and complains bitterly, the more so because the preparations are seen to proceed very deliberately, and so tepidly that there is good reason to fear that they have little intention of carrying the matter through, and have merely used this pretext to enable the king to obtain what will be quite a considerable sum of money (le contributioni per Varmata restano di gia quasi intieramente esborsati essendosene con estraordinario diligentissimo rigore pressata Vessatione. Le indoglianze che da principio per questa impositione si udivano universali, ancorche fondate da gran partialità che dicono essersi usate nella continuatione : ad ogni modo quasi del tutto sarebbero restate sopite se il Re, col metter le mani sopra particolari di questa raggione, impiegandole in altre cose di suo gusto, non le havesse risvegliate di nuovo : di cio esclama et si lamenta acremente la citta tutta, e tanto piu, quanto che rede le preparationi per la medesima armata andarsi molto lentamente facendo, anzi con fredezza tale che non teme fuor di ragione che vi sia poco pensiero di perfettionarla, et si habbi con questo pretesto voluto coprire il Re, per venir al possesso di questa, che sara ben rilevante summa di denaro). But these are only the timorous suspicions of the people ; and appearances go far to indicate the contrary, and a good number, if not quite all of the ships that were decided upon will certainly be ready by the spring. The States of Holland, who still remain uneasy at the reports of such preparations, have duly intimated to his Majesty that their captains have express instructions, when they meet the royal ships, to lower their topsails as a sign of the respect they recognise to be due, declaring that they are attached above all things to a union and good relations with this crown.
A Dutch ship which had made a rapid passage from Brazil touched for a few hours at the port of Dover and left word there of the capture recently made by the Dutch of the town of Periba, with the three forts which guarded it, and in consequence of a very large tract of open country, (fn. 8) so that now only the Bay of All Saints remains in the hands of the Spaniards out of all the considerable posts of that Province.
I have recently learned on good authority that in the marriage proposals made by the secretary of Poland to his Majesty, they had inserted as a leading article that his Majesty should bind himself to grant facilities to the King of Poland, though at his own expense to provide himself in this kingdom with all the ships and men that he might require for scouring and securing the Baltic Sea against the rigorous impositions of the Swedes. That the king's reply was favourable may be conjectured from what the secretary said at his departure, but it cannot be positively asserted.
A courier sent specially from Paris to his Majesty arrived on Tuesday with news of the unexpected arrest of Duke Pilorans with five others of the following of Monsieur. (fn. 9) Here the event has caused great astonishment to everyone and they are waiting with impatient curiosity to learn the motive for this step. People say that it may be for new crimes, but there is no one at Court who does not praise and commend as most prudent this action of the Most Christian.
London, the 23rd February, 1634. M.V.
[Italian ; the part in italics deciphered.]


  • 1. The Peace of Prague ratified on the 15th June, 1635.
  • 2. See No. 420 at page 327 above.
  • 3. The Santa Barbara. See No. 418 at page 326 above, and note. She was wrecked while riding at anchor in Mounts Bay. Cal. S.P. Dom. 1634-5, page 503.
  • 4. Michael de Blom.
  • 5. Christina, the little queen, aged eight years.
  • 6. Taken from the French, to whom it had been consigned in August, by the Imperialists led by Col. Gaspar Baumbergher. on the 24th January, by a surprise.
  • 7. Fifteen of the leading ladies of the queen and nine gentlemen of title performed in it, "il quale tanto in apparato di scena quanto ne' superbi abiti di varieta di danze riusci veramente degna d'una tanta grande Regina." Salvetti, news letters of 2 and 23 February. Brit. Mus. Add MSS. 27962. It seems, on the other hand, to have bored Sir Thomas Roe. Cal. S.P. Dom, 1634-5, page 510.
  • 8. Parahyba was taken by the Dutch under Colonels Schuppe and Artichan on the 4th Dec. 1634. Le Clerc : Hist. des Provinces Unies Vol. ii. page 150.
  • 9. Antoine Laage, duke of Puylaurens was arrested on the 14th February at the Louvre. About the same time were arrested du Fargis, Charnaze and du Coudrai-Montpensier. Some days later the Sieur de St. Quentin and the Sieurs Senantes were also arrested. Mercure Français. Vol. xx., pages 881, 882, 886.