Venice: March 1635, 1-15

Pages 336-345

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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March 1635, 1-15

March 2.
Consiglio di X. Capi. Lettere Secrete. Venetian Archives.
428. The Heads of the Council of Ten to the Ambassador in England.
Enclose copy of the decision of the Council of Ten that Francesco Zonca shall continue to serve the ambassador as secretary for the whole time of his embassy. To inform Zonca of this.
Marin Contarini.
Antonio Capello.
Antonio Corner.
March 2.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Inghilterra. Venetian Archives.
429. Anzolo Correr, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
Owing to the bad weather the king has postponed his journey to Newmarket until next Tuesday, though he still means to stay there until Easter. The queen, disdaining the discomforts, has decided to follow him. For the rest of the Court, many are still doubtful, and it is thought that apart from those who are bound to go because of their offices, no others will leave London without his Majesty's express command.
I wrote in my letter No. 8 about the counties which were anciently forests and demesne of the crown, but alienated hundreds of years ago at a just price by the monarchs of the time. As the owners have not agreed to the claim made by the king for a composition of twenty per cent., his Majesty has ordered prompt and vigorous action to be taken against the county of Essex, as having been entirely forest, without further circumspection or consideration. The owners, owing to the length of time during which they have enjoyed peaceful possession, namely since the death of Richard II. about 235 years ago, have lost their instruments, and consequently their titles. They have been compelled, at a cost of over 2000l. sterling to have search made in the Archives and specially those of the Tower, in which they say they have found quite enough material for the stoutest defence. Fortified with these they appeared before his Majesty with a petition to be heard, presented by the Earl of Warwick, who has an income of quite 6000l. from Essex yearly. His Majesty replied that they were asking for power to smite him (percuoterlo) but he admitted the petition. The Chief Forester and consequently the supreme judge is the Earl of Holland, Warwick's own brother. He is to decide the question by the middle of the present month. He does not seem to mind hurting his brother, either as a sop to his own conscience or to please the king. If the sentence goes against them all the other counties will have to experience the same bitterness. Holland is only Forester up to the River Trent, and after he has done his part, the Earl of Arundel, Grand Forester beyond Trent, will have cognisance of the matter in the counties of York, Northumberland etc. This matter involves the greatest consequences. The situation daily becomes worse and more embittered, so that, unless it ends in some honourable composition there is manifest danger of it resulting in a troublesome rising, the hurt to those concerned being too sensible and wide spread.
They are also taking rigorous proceedings against the twelve companies of merchants in London, because they have unduly extended their jurisdiction in the country granted to them by King James in Ireland, and infringed the obligations contained in the original agreements. This affair also, which originates from the purpose to raise money, will be settled by a heavy fine.
A Flemish merchant, incensed at the numerous injuries which he privately has suffered from the ships of Holland, has petitioned his Majesty to grant him letters of marque against the Dutch. (fn. 1) The king rejected his request in a very sharp manner, and he believed the whole thing was a device of the Spaniards with the object of creating trouble between the two nations, which to serve their own interests, they try hard to bring about by every possible means.
At a recent conference which the Spanish minister had with his Majesty, he devoted his time to representing the rights of these Flemish and Dutch merchants alike, who are compelled, on account of the fleet, to expend very large sums, and who claim, by virtue of the never violated privileges which still exist between this crown and the crown of Burgundy, (fn. 2) to be free of them, just as the English have always enjoyed and still enjoy a similar exemption in Flanders and Holland. But His Majesty, who wishes the present imposition to be paid by all without distinction, as extraordinary, extricated himself by saying jokingly that he was glad to see that for once the Spaniards and the Dutch had common interests which forced them to unite together and he hoped this happy union would extend to matters of greater importance until they arrived at a solution with which both parties might rest satisfied, while he applauded from the bottom of his heart, without their putting him to the necessity of doing it to the detriment of his own purse (se ne libero con risposta piacevole, dicendo che molto si rallegrava di vedere una volta Spagnoli ed Olandesi haver interesse insieme, che li necessitassero ad esser uniti ; che sperava il loro buon concerto s' anderebbe anco in cose di magior rilevanza, avanzando al qualche consolatione mentre egli applaudeva, accompagnandola con le parte del cuore, potevano bene restare sodisfatti senza volerlo metter in necessità di farlo con danno delta propria borsa).
With respect to the affairs of Germany, the Court continues to observe with growing alarm the danger to which the states of the Prince Palatine are seen to be subject owing to the progress of the Austrians, who, according to report, proceed from success to success, day by day. Yet the more they dread unpleasant happenings and the more they dislike the circumstances, the less attention they seem to devote to finding remedies to hold these evils at a distance ; and to all the strenuous efforts of the ambassadors to push on with the negotiations for an alliance, they reply by introducing complications, and although these are entirely frivolous, yet they serve to waste time, which is their chief object.
I have the commands of your Excellencies of the 1st February about the offer of Spiesmo for the colonisation and cultivation of Istria. I may point out that from the very first, when he spoke to me as reported, he said that he could not enter into details before he had seen the country, and for that reason he would like to go to the spot, at his own cost, in order that he might subsequently make proposals to your Excellencies upon a more solid basis, and if you were not satisfied with these, the loss of time and money would be his alone. At the present moment he is in Holland on his own private affairs, where he has been some weeks. When he comes back I will try to find out more thoroughly what his views are, without committing myself any further.
London, the 2nd March, 1635.
March 6.
Collegio, Secreta. Esposizioni, Principi. Venetian Archives.
430. The Ambassador of the King of Great Britain (fn. 3) came into the Collegio and spoke as follows in French in a very low voice :
My master has charged me to come and serve your Serenity as ambassador, and to testify to his great affection and his desire for the prosperity of this republic. I have undertaken the charge gladly for many reasons, and among others my devotion to the wisdom and prudence of this state, which is admired everywhere, and to serve your Serenity, from whom I promise myself support and encouragement to second the intentions of my master, whose affection is so great that I shall find it hard to realise it by deeds. To express myself adequately I must have recourse to his Majesty's letter to your Serenity.
After this had been read he stood silent. The doge replied referring to the affection and esteem of the republic for the crown of Great Britain. They were very pleased to see him there that morning, and could assure him that he would always be welcome in the future. They regretted the hardship of his journey, owing to the bad weather which still holds, and hoped that he would find compensation in the rest and convenience he found in that city.
The ambassador replied that he had been so glad to come that he regarded these hardships as nothing, and he would feel the same content everywhere that he could serve his Serenity and prove his respect and devotion in cherishing the perfect friendship existing between his king and his Serenity. He returned hearty thanks for the kindness shown to him at his first audience, which he took chiefly as being in his Majesty's name, and so he took leave and departed.
Carolus, Dei gratia Mag. Brit. etc. Rex, Fidei Defensor, etc. Ser. Principi D. Francisco Erizzo, Venetiarum Duci consanguineo et amico nostro charissimo salutem : Ser. Princeps etc. Qui jam diu nobis utrinque fuit desideratus, praesens tandem et quid vobis (uti confidimus) aeque ac nobis gratus adest noster vobiscum moraturus Legatus Extraordinarius, vir nobilissimus, nobisque perquam dilectus et fidelis Basilius Baro Fieldingensis, Dom de Neonam-paddox. Huic mandatis nostris plene instructo et cujus fide et opera factum iri speramus, ut mutuae nostrae quam hactenus servavimus amicitiae limites, uti per est, extendentur, quacunque occasione mentem nostram et mandata exposituro solitum benevolentiam faciles aditum et aures integramque fidem a vobis peramanter petimus ; V. Serenitatem de sincero nostro in eam ser. Rempublicam animo et amore certam cupimus ; atque ut Deus eas sospitet et prosperet ex animo precamur.
Dat. e nostro palatio Nonsuch die xiv. Settembris anno Christi MDCXXXIV., iv. regni nostri Xmo.
Vestrae Serenitatis bonus consanguineus et amicus Carolus R.
March 7.
Collegio, Secreta. Esposizioni, Principi. Venetian Archives.
431. The Ambassador of the King of Great Britain came into the Collegio and spoke as follows in French (fn. 4) :
The liberty which your Serenity has given me to frequent this Collegio, and the favours which I receive makes me believe that you do not dissapprove of his Majesty's choice of me. This confirms my desire to serve the republic. The rulers of our two countries have kept up a close correspondence from ancient times until now, and there seems every appearance of its perpetuity. This is why his Majesty, in his desire for a general peace, thinks it necessary for the preservation of Italy and the honour and advantage of the republic that she shall be of the same humour, so that those who do not desire this public benefit or would like to change the theatre and bring the war into Italy, may at least find their efforts fruitless owing to the princes inside standing together, and especially from the protection and support which the republic can give to those who are oppressed or nearer the danger. Her strength and reputation are so considerable that she can give the law to her neighbours, and can counterpoise and moderate the ambition of those who wish to profit at the expense of our common confederates.
Among other things his Majesty feels sure that the republic will not be diverted from this principle by the misunderstandings which have recently passed between her and the Duke of Savoy, believing that she will show magnanimity in case of need, as in the case of the Duke of Mantua, for whose complete reestablishment he has been pleased to see your Serenity's efforts. I feel sure that these considerations will have greater weight with his Majesty since the capture of Filipsburgh, (fn. 5) which may bring the German war to an end, to be transferred to Italy, rekindling a fire not quite extinguished. Although his Majesty knows that the proceedings of the republic are an example to wisdom itself, yet he wished me to make this representation for him, in order to show his friendship and his desire for the repose of Italy.
The doge replied, We are so closely joined with the crown of Great Britain and especially with the present king that we cannot help rejoicing at the unity of aims which he has always shown to us. We therefore thank his Majesty and your Lordship for the exposition. The republic will aim at the continuance of perfect correspondence with his Majesty, and for the rest, these lords will add whatever else there may be to say, according to the form of our government.
The ambassador went on, I have also to say that although his Majesty ordered the return of Mr. Rodlanson, who has long been his resident here, yet I have thought proper to detain him until he has informed me of all that has passed through his hands, or until I have decided otherwise. I therefore ask you to give credence to all that he may say on my behalf.
The doge replied, Mr. Rodlanson has always shown great discretion and dexterity in the exercise of his charge, and has afforded us complete satisfaction. The ambassador also praised him and asked permission to introduce his gentlemen to pay their respects to his Serenity. He presented them one by one, one of the chief being his brother in law, son of the Lord Treasurer of England. (fn. 6) His Serenity received them most graciously and so the ambassador took leave and departed.
That evening, at the meeting of the Savii, the Resident Rolandson called me, the secretary outside the doors of the Collegio and brought the accompanying notes in French in the name of the ambassador about the affairs already mentioned, to make sure that they were fully understood.
Moderante Scaramelli, secretary.
Carolus, Dei gratia Mag. Brit. etc. Rex, Fidei Defensor etc. Ser. Principi Dom. Francisco Erizzo, Venetiarum Duci consanguineo et amico nostro charissimo salutem et prosperitatis incrementum : Ser. Princeps etc. Cum ministerio fidelis nostri et dilecti Thomae Roulandsonni qui hucusque internuncii nostri munere nobiscum defunctus est, et propter Legati nostri Baronis de Fielding adventum et praesentiam et propter ipsius Roulandsoni Probitatem et fidem aut aliter aut alibi, quam illis in locis opus habere possimus, utique forsan volimus eum V. Serenitatem nostro nomine salutare, de abitu suo edocere atque ab ea mandata rogare et recipere voluimus. Id quod ut V. Serenitas gratum habeat amice petimus ; utque eadem cum Ser. Republica quam diutissime sospes, lata et prospera vivat et vigeat vovemus.
Datae e nostro palatio Theobaldi die 17 Septembris, anno Christi MDCXXXIV. Regnique nostri Xmo.
Vestrae Serenitatis bonus consanguineus et amicus Carolus R.
Copy in French of the ambassador's exposition, as recorded above.
March 8.
Senato. Secreta. Deliberazioni. Corti. Venetian Archives.
432. That the Ambassador of the King of Great Britain be summoned to the Collegio and that the following be read to him :
We are much gratified at your arrival to this charge and greatly value your offices, showing His Majesty's sincere affection to our republic and to the repose of this province. We thank His Majesty heartily for his care and thought and for the representations made through you. We are especially pleased at your appointment both on your own account and from your relationship to the Lord Treasurer, for whom we have a special regard. We shall do all in our power to afford you every satisfaction. Commendation of Rowlandson.
That a chain of the value of 300 crowns of the Mint be given in the usual way to Mr. Rolandson, who has long been here as Resident of the King of Great Britain.
Ayes, 104. Noes, 0. Neutral, 2.
433. To the King of Great Britain.
Return thanks for the letters presented by Lord Fildin, his ambassador, with wishes for his continued prosperity and assurances of their cordial friendship.
Ayes, 104. Noes, 0. Neutral, 2.
434. To the Ambassador in England.
We enclose a copy of the exposition recently made by the English ambassador together with a letter to his Majesty. You will hand this to him with suitable remarks about mutual friendly relations. You will speak not only to the king but to the Lord Treasurer and to the other ministers on the lines of the reply given to the ambassador. Lord Fildin is being entertained at the public cost and is entirely satisfied.
Ayes, 104. Noes, 0. Neutral, 2.
March 9.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Inghilterra. Venetian Archives.
435. Anzolo Correr, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
Four days ago Spiesmo got back here from Holland. He asked me earnestly if he could set out for Venice when the weather was a little better. I told him that he could go when he pleased, but I advised him not to undertake so long and costly a journey without some hope of success. If he would tell me his plans I could advise him. He said he did not know how he could enter into particulars without seeing the place. I advised him to avoid extravagance, especially when the public expenditure would begin. He came back yesterday with his detailed proposals. Your Excellencies were to supply the original seed and food for a year ; the colonists were to be free of all taxes for thirty years. He would bring over all the colonists at his own cost. He asks for a yearly pension of from 555 to 600 ducats, for a time to be determined. He seemed very eager to undertake the task.
The cold continues so sharp and biting and the snow and frost so remarkable covering the country everywhere, that his Majesty has had good reason to change his intention of going to Newmarket, as it would spoil his sport. He has decided to go to Hampton Court at the beginning of next week, to remain there about a fortnight.
News reached the Court yesterday that two small vessels which were built for private English owners in Holland, after the model of those which the Dutch themselves use for fishing, have been captured by the Dunkirkers on their way to this kingdom, and that the sailors in charge of them have been grossly ill treated in spite of the royal passports which they had upon them. These particulars have stirred his Majesty greatly so that he expressed his feelings in a very angry manner to the Spanish Resident. That minister tries to excuse the error by adducing some specious reason for the act, but he cannot find any that is plausible.
A report has been circulated abroad here that the King of Poland has concluded a marriage with the princess of Florence. (fn. 7) But it is not believed at Court and the Agent of Florence says he has no news of it. Yet the announcement has caused his Majesty some apprehension fearing that he may have been deceived in the negotiations which the secretary of that king conducted with him on the subject, the one who left here for the Hague a very few days ago. Authentic news of these particulars are awaited with general curiosity, and the king in particular, betrays his impatience to know the real essence of the matter.
For some time past two agents have represented this crown at Paris simultaneously. At present one of these is a Frenchman named Ogger, a particular servant of the queen. The other is an Englishman named Dewich. (fn. 8) They have told the former, by order of the Most Christian, that he must not go to audience again, as they are not satisfied with his behaviour. The other was informed that he must appear alone if he has any business, and they will gladly hear him. Surprised at such a step, Ogger decided to advise the king here promptly. He took the matter so ill that he sent back the same messenger with all speed commanding Dewich to abstain also from seeing the king or any of the ministers, but ordering both of them not to leave Paris.
There is no news from Germany as the Antwerp courier has not arrived, except this, that the Marshal de la Force has once more secured Heydelberg with a strong garrison. The news has caused peculiar satisfaction here.
Mons de Seneterre, ambassador extraordinary of the Most Christian is expected here at any moment as advices from Paris report that he left there five days ago.
London, the 9th March, 1635.
March 9.
Secreta. Collegio, Esposizioni, Principi. Venetian Archives.
436. The Senate's deliberation of the preceding day having been read to the English ambassador, he spoke as follows, in French :
I think it a great boon that the intentions and inclinations of your Serenity entirely agree with those of my king for the welfare of Italy, as in all his Majesty's conversations with me about it he has always shown the utmost desire for the advantage and honour of the republic in that province. He will therefore be very delighted with what I have to represent to him.
I must add that from the moment I entered your state I began to experience your liberal favours. At Chiozza I was entertained by the Podesta with every possible civility. Since I entered this city I have received so many presents and other courtesies that make me fully understand the esteem which the republic has for my king. I beg that the stream of these presents may be stayed. I will express my thanks and say how impatient I am to make a return for so many favours, by serving the republic, to which I shall devote all my efforts.
The doge replied, In the answer read to your lordship the Senate stated all that it thought fit to say to you. We shall add no more, except that we shall always be glad to see you. The demonstrations made were out of regard for his Majesty and your lordship, and you will always find us ready to afford you every satisfaction.
The ambassador repeated his thanks, asked that a copy of the office might be read to him, took leave and departed. In the antisecreta he had it copied entire by Rolandson, his secretary.
March 14.
Cinque Savii alla Mercanzia, Risposte. Venetian Archives.
437. In conformity with the instructions of the Senate we find that Stefany Hispani had several pieces of cloth laden on the English ship "Freeman" for Ragusa, and that he embarked on that ship with his brother, but as the smuggling was done at night, we have not been able to discover more.
At the office, the 14th March, 1635.
Alvise Renier. Savii
Andrea da Leze.
Alvise Basadonna.
Alvise Mocenigo.
Bertucci Valier.
438. Your Serenity has been pleased to direct that ships from the West which desire to lade currants at Zante and Cephalonia must bring to this city their entire cargo of goods brought from the West, otherwise, if they wish to lade currants, they must pay 5 ducats the thousand beyond the ordinary duties. A ship has recently arrived from London, the "Parangon" by name, (fn. 9) with a cargo chiefly of lead, as well as wool and other goods. Having put in first at Zante it there laded a quantity of goods and afterwards came on to this city, where, in the usual way, they presented their bill of lading to the office of the Sanita, showing how much cargo they took on at London and also at Zante. As these merchants desired to take advantage of the remission of the 5 per cent, they endeavoured to deceive the state, and tried to obtain the customary licence from our office by bringing us the guarantee of the office of the Sanita, reducing the tonnage of their ship to 280 tons burthen, and showing us a guarantee to that effect. As we know that ships of such small burthen do not come from London, our suspicions were aroused of some fraud to the public prejudice and accordingly we directed Francesco di Simone, Master of the foist, to go and estimate the burthen and report. He has done so and it is half as much again. From his report we have ascertained that there have been two defalcations, firstly in the ministry of the Sanità, which has given its guarantee solely on the cargo from London, omitting the cargo from Zante, and second in the official who gave the guarantee of the tonnage ; the fact being that in addition to the cargo from London the ship brought an equal quantity of goods from Zante. We have considered it our duty to draw attention to this.
Dated at the office, the 14th March, 1635.
Andrea da Leze. Savii
Alvise Basadonna.
Alvise Mocenigo, Jun.
Vettor Da Ca Da Pesaro.
Zuane Grimani.
March 15.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Haya. Venetian Archives.
439. Francesco Michiel, Venetian Ambassador at the Hague, to the Doge and Senate.
The States propose to send an ambassador extraordinary to England to urge the king there to make some declaration in respect of the alliance with France or at least to remain neutral. The Princess Palatine seems very distressed at the most disrespectful talk here about the insincerity of that king's behaviour. She says that she will try again to stir him to some act of compassion to relieve the misfortunes of her House.
The Hague, the 15th March, 1635.


  • 1. Probably Peter Richaut. See Cal. S.P. Dom. Add. 1625-49, page 547.
  • 2. A reference to the treaty concluded between Henry VII. and Philip, archduke of Flanders, on 24 Feb. 1496, and known as the Intercursus Magnus. See Cal. S.P. Dom. 1634-5, pages 451, 452.
  • 3. Basil, lord Fielding arrived in Venice on Friday the 9th Feb. Rowlandson to Coke the 16th Feb., 1635 N.S. S.P. Foreign. Venice.
  • 4. A copy of this office in French is preserved in the S.P. For. Savoy, at the end of Vol. 20.
  • 5. Philipsburg, taken from the French by the Imperialists on the 24th January.
  • 6. Benjamin Weston. Portland's youngest son. See No. 364 at page 286 above. and note.
  • 7. Anna, daughter of Cosimo II. and sister of the reigning Grand Duke Ferdinand II.
  • 8. Réné Augier and Henry Devic.
  • 9. The Paragon was a ship chartered by the Levant Company, and in their Court Book on 10 Dec., 1634, reference is made to this ship being laden with cloth for Leghorn and Barbary. S.P. For. Archives. Vol. 149.