Venice: June 1635

Pages 390-409

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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June 1635

June 1. Senato, Secreta. Deliberazioni. Corti. Venetian Archives. 485. To the Ambassador in England.
We have received your letters of the 20th and 27th of April, which arrived by the extraordinary courier sent to the Ambassador Fildin. We enclose the usual sheet of advices together with a copy of the last exposition of the English ambassador and of the reply given to him. You will make use of the same ideas of mutual good will and reciprocal relations when you see the king and the ministers.
Ayes, 160. Noes, 1. Neutral, 3.
486. That the Ambassador of the King of Great Britain be summoned to the Collegio and that the following be read to him :
Acknowledgment of his communication about the preparation of the fleet, which has been received in friendly confidence and with every wish for prosperity and success to the king in his admirable efforts for the welfare of his own kingdom. Great satisfaction felt in learning that these armaments need cause no alarm by any possible disturbance of the public peace and tranquillity.
Ayes, 160. Noes, 1. Neutral, 3.
June 1.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci. Inghilterra. Venetian Archives.
487. Anzolo Correr, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The French ambassadors here, anxious to shake off, once and for all, the ambiguities by which the conclusion of their negotiations are always being delayed with more and more artifice, have put forward a most urgent request for a definite reply. Their offices consist in pointing out that such great delays serve for nothing except to increase the prejudice and disadvantages of the Most Christian ; while the war is progressing indifferently in every quarter, their decision can no longer be held in suspense ; the king, their master can but feel serious displeasure at seeing an ambassador extraordinary of his staying so long here without any effect, which by no means befits his dignity, merely for chimerical and frivolous discussions, and accordingly they desire and ask for a speedy decision, whatever it may be. This much they have set forth in a document for the commissioners in writing, as by the royal order they are no longer permitted to negotiate personally together, as his Majesty desired that the papers which were given as well as those which they received should be most precisely weighed. The Ambassador Seneterre was anxious to represent to his Majesty orally the considerations made in the paper, and for this purpose he asked for a special audience, but the king, who foresaw what he was aiming at, and who did not at all wish to listen to such an office, refused to hear him, on the plea of other serious occupations. The ambassador, who did not expect such an answer, was very indignant when he received it, and draws the worst conclusions. But he goes about very prudently dissimulating his resentment and continues to conduct his affairs with the same openness as before. But the Court has not failed to draw its usual speculative conclusions upon an incident so unusual. They say among other things that the king never makes up his mind to speak with this ambassador on affairs without great apprehension, because he considers him too sagacious and is afraid of being ensnared in some way by his artifices. But this is only idle talk.
They are still negotiating about the despatch of Baron Schidemore on his embassy in ordinary to France. The facts are really thus, the king, at the persuasion it is said, of some of the leading ministers here who openly profess to favour the Austrian party wherever they Can, signed the confirmation of Devich at that Court with the title of Resident of the Embassy. The baron was excessively annoyed at this as he could not endure that one whom he expected to have as his secretary should be made his colleague, and one might say his preceptor. He therefore let it be freely understood that he would not go unless the order was completely revoked first. Everybody recognises that he is in the right and all conclude that he will get what he wants. But it does not look as if they would make any other decision just yet, as in the present state of affairs they are content to leave the matter undecided.
News arrived from Brussels the day before yesterday, confirmed from the Hague of a defeat by the French of the forces of Prince Tomaso (fn. 1) and of their passage into Flanders to unite with the army of the Prince of Orange. The news was brought to the king at a time when he was in the queen's chamber. Encountering the Ambassador Pougni there his Majesty greeted him with a radiant face and congratulated him on this success, saying that such a happy beginning augured well for further triumphs and a prosperous conclusion. He then began to talk with him about the way in which the victory had been won, and then said smiling, And what do you Frenchmen propose, to ruin the world by kindling a conflagration in so many quarters? The ambassador replied that the intention of his master was neither to destroy nor to ruin, but rather to protect and to preserve. He sought to purchase repose and tranquillity for the community at the hard price of the blood of his subjects as, well as of his own treasure. This was the sole object of his policy and righteous aims, in the fulfilment of which he would not consider either toil or hardship. At Ms the king asked him if he was sure that the Duke of Savoy was going to fall in with the wishes of the Most Christian of his own accord. The ambassador replied that this was another point, and they were absolutely certain that the duke would not detach himself from their party. When his Majesty retorted that he could not believe it, the other broke in unabashed, But what will your Majesty say when you hear that he has been declared the commander of our armies in Italy, with the Duke of Chrichi as his lieutenant? I will believe it when I see it, retorted the king, but before it actually happens you must allow me to hold a different opinion. I do not tell your Majesty this, said the ambassador, as absolutely certain, but very soon I hope the event will render it sufficiently manifest. (fn. 2)
It is certain that the issue of the battle referred to has been received here generally with incredible displeasure, especially among the members of the government, and although they make every effort to conceal their feelings, yet these are so strong that they clearly show through all attempts to hide them. If his Majesty's disposition was not what it is, so fond of quiet and so hostile to parliaments, he would ere now unquestionably have declared in favour of the Austrians. But even now, if Fortune continues to favour French arms in their progress as much as she has done at the beginning, every one agrees in the belief that the Spaniards will obtain the benefit of assistance from this quarter if not openly at least in a furtive way (certamente il successo della battaglia predetta e stato universalmente qui e da quelli chi governano in particolare, con discontento incredibile sentito, e con tutto che ogni cosa faccino per celare le loro appasionate intentioni, sono tali in ogni modo che anco sopra l' arte si fanno quelli sono schietamente vedere, e se l' animo della Maesta Sua non fosse tanto quanto egli e amico della quiete e inimico di parlamenti, si sarebbe fin a quest' hora in favore degli Austriaci indubitabilmente dichiarato ; ma se anco al progresso delle armi Francese andera la fortuna cosi favorevole come si e da principio dimostrato, ogn' uno concordemente conclude che ottenerano Spagnoli se non dicharatamente celatamente almeno favorevoli gl' effetti dell' assistenza di questa parte).
No courier has arrived from Italy this week.
London, the 1st June, 1635.
[Italian ; deciphered.]
June 3.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Francia. Venetian Archives.
488. Alvise Contarini, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
News has come of the slaughter of 700 Germans with 300 prisoners of the army of Duke Charles, Colonel Hebron cut down the 700 in an ambush and the Duke was ultimately obliged to retire. (fn. 3) It is hoped that Fichiers will join la Force with other regiments which have been sent in that direction. 1500 Irish and Scots recently went from here to those parts.
Cesi, the 3rd June, 1635.
June 6.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Inghilterra. Venetian Archives.
489. Anzolo Correr, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
On Saturday in last week the king went to review the twenty seven armed ships in the Downs. They have been there several days all ready to start, and only waiting for the royal command. Now that they are dismissed they will put to sea with the first favourable wind. The commissions to the Earl of Linge, the commander, were handed to him sealed, (fn. 4) with orders not to look at them until he was several miles from land. It has not been possible to discover their contents with absolute certainty, but it is known that in general they contain most strict orders to the earl not to permit any ship soever to pass through the strait of this sea without rendering obedience, to the royal ships, as belonging to the master of these waters. Every one sees from this that disputes will inevitably arise with the French about this, because they declare openly that the King of Great Britain does not possess greater dominion over the sea than the Most Christian, so that wiih both sides strong and resolute there can be no doubt that if they meet they will have recourse to arms. Many go further, although perhaps with no better grounds than their own desires, and say that they ought to unite with the Spanish ships which are now in the port of Dunkirk, and guarantee jointly the ports of Flanders from the incursions of the Dutch, and also serve as an escort for the passage of troops which will be supplied daily from Spain.
Before this we shall very soon know from what happens, because at the present moment there are ten Spanish ships in the ports here with troops and money all ready to make this passage, so that there is an opportunity of carrying it into execution at once.
Some weeks ago the Resident Nicolaldi here obtained permission from, the king to raise 1000 men of this nation to be sent to Flanders, and they are practically all gathered already. It is announced however that they are merely recruits, so that the French ambassadors may not make objection, but in reality they are of the first levy and I believe the first part of a regiment of 3000, and permission was obtained to go and raise them under 'this pretext to avoid making a disturbance. It is also claimed that the transport of these troops to the other side should be protected by English ships. In such crafty ways does the Resident of Spain at this Court secure advantages for his master in every way.
The pretext that he is unwelcome at the Court because of the difference about the ship which was settled in favour of the Dutch, which led him to remonstrate too haughtily and in consequence of which representations were made in Spain from this quarter for his recall, (fn. 5) has served him marvellously for keeping concealed all his business as being of the greatest importance. Those who persuaded themselves, after the incident referred to, and the appointment of an ambassador, that he would no longer have the power to intervene in matters of consequence, made a great mistake, for it has come to my knowledge, on very sound authority, that at the present moment he holds much more definite and ample powers than before, both for dealing with the affairs which arise every day, and for making proposals for an alliance and for concluding any treaty, however serious and important. He neglects no art to create the impression. He remains in retirement all day long, and does not see a single minister. But after it has grown dark he goes almost every evening incognito to the house of the Secretary Vindebanch, and has been observed to hold the most lengthy conferences with him. As no one is present beyond their two selves it is, quite impossible to discover what they discuss, but the facts are as stated (grandemente si ingannano tutti quelli chi dopo it successo predetto e la nominatione del ambasciatore si sono persuasi che gli non habia piu facolta di ingerirsi in rilevanti faccendi, perche mi e venuto fatto di risapere da parte molto sicura che egli tiene de presente poteri molto piu risoluti ed ampli di prima, cosi di maneggiar l' affari che vanno giornalmente occorendo come di far propositioni di lega e di concludere ogni piu grave e importante trattato non tralasciando egli veramentc arte alcuna per farsi credere, facendolo sta in retiratezza tutto il giorno, ne cede minislro alcuno ma depo che l'aria si e fatta bruna alla casa del segretario Vindebanch che quasi tutti le sere incognitamente si trasferise, e con lui e stato osservato di tenere lunghissime conferenze, cio che trattino veramente non intervenendovi che le due loro persone si rende impossible a poterne trarre ma l' effetto sta veramente cosi).
The decision already reported to raise 10,000 men has been postponed until further order. This has been done because as it is proposed that they shall be supported by the country, great difficulties stand in the way of its being carried out, and those concerned are already making a great clamour. However the ministers here are inclined to believe that by dint of appropriate arguments showing the need for such measures they may easily be prevailed upon to consent. Accordingly they go about saying that as all their neighbours are arming, good governance requires not that they should stand by looking on and unprepared, but that they should make every provision in all directions for the safety of the realm. By thus drawing their attention to the importance of looking after the general safety they think that the objectors will not long prove recalcitrant to the royal wishes. But sensible men are not so easily impressed by such fears because they know very well that the forces of the foreigner must of necessity be employed elsewhere, so that there is not a shadow of reason for fearing that they will cause the slightest trouble in this kingdom, let them say what they will ; but it is because the king wishes to use this opportunity to get together a considerable body of troops, with the intention of not disbanding them again but to use this means to enable him in the future to compel the people with more ease to submit to every demand of the crown, without the need of convoking parliament again. Many are already going about instilling these ideas, and there is no doubt that once they are impressed on the minds of the simpler sort they will become rooted and it will require no little dexterity to remove the jealousy and suspicion in order to bring this important affair to the end desired (di tal opportunita si vuol servirse il Re per mettersi sotto i piedi un corpo considerabile di militia, con oggetto di non piu disfarsene, ma di andarsi con tal mezzo assicurando di poter constringer piu agevolmente il popolo ln avenire a soccombere ad ogni urgenza della corona senza altra convocatione di parlamento. Con tali concetti vanno di gia molti altamente parlando, et non e dubbio che imprimendosi negli animi de' piu semplici, non vi habbino a restar radicati, di sorte che una mediocre desterita non bastera poi per levar loro le gelosie ei sospetti et per condure questo importante negotio al fine che si ricerca).
Amid this ambiguity the Court, as usual, forms various judgments ; but they are all words, born of curiosity and nurtured in idleness and it is not worth while to repeat them.
No news has arrived from Italy this week, and I fear that the state despatches must have been detained.
London, the 6th June, 1635.
[Italian ; the part in italics deciphered.]
June 6.
Collegio, Secreta. Esposizioni, Principi. Venetian Archives.
490. After the office determined on the 1st inst. had been read to the ambassador of Great Britain, he spoke as follows :
I shall not delay to inform the king of your Serenity's approval of his actions, in order not to delay his pleasure at the unbroken confidential relations existing with the republic. I personally have come here to serve your Serenity and shall always esteem myself happy when I find that service acceptable.
After the doge had made a suitable reply, the ambassador went on, that he had been asked for a favour by an English merchant, as the memorial, (fn. 6) which he presented would explain. After this had been read, the doge said they would take information and do everything possible for his gratification. The ambassador then rose and asked to be excused if he cut things short, as he was not yet fully master of Italian. He took leave and departed after having a copy made in the antisecreta of the office read to him by his secretary, who told me, the secretary, that henceforward he would go with the ambassador to audience, but this time he had descended the stair before he had decided to take that copy, because he thought he had fully understood, but afterwards he thought he would make more sure by having it in writing, but he did not wish in any way to alter the customary usage.
Moderante Scaramelli, secretary.
June 13.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Inghilterra. Venetian Archives.
491. Anzolo Correr, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
On the 7th inst. urged on by repeated orders from his Majesty, the Earl of Linze put to sea with the whole fleet. He sailed in the direction of Dover, and before he goes anywhere else it is said that he will cruise along the shores of this kingdom for some days. The Spanish ships which arrived at these ports on their way to Dunkirk are ten in number. They only carry 1500 soldiers among them all, but a considerable sum of money to supply the present requirements of Flanders. When the Dutch heard of their arrival they rapidly made preparations to attack them, but since the sailing of the fleet, with what intentions they do not know what to think, the facts show that they have changed their minds. A report is circulating freely that a certain number of ships of the King of Denmark are stationed in these waters, waiting to unite with those of England ; but I do not find any substantial confirmation of this.
As regards the land forces they hold consultations every day as to how these can be maintained, as they have quite decided to put a certain number of men under arms. To this end they have ordained and begun a general census of all the men of the kingdom of the age of sixteen and over, up to the age of sixty, without distinction of the estate or rank of the individual. (fn. 7) Some believe, however, that the object of this measure is only to discover the number of foreigners who ordinarily sojourn here, and especially how many French. The day before yesterday they made a muster of 6000 infantry, which done, they were all sent back to their homes, with orders, upon pain of their lives, to assemble at the slightest call.
With the increase of occasions for spending the need for money daily becomes greater. The chief industry at present of the ministers here is to find some way of providing it. They are contemplating putting a great increase upon all the customs duties, and especially on wine and silk, although those are perhaps the heaviest. The only thing left to determine is the amount of the increase, since it is already quite decided that the increase shall be made. This decision will certainly make the people discontented, as they are not accustomed to have their burdens multiplied. But it is probable that they will find another plan for getting money out of them even more difficult to bear which is now being put into operation.
In accordance with this plan the king is sending to the houses of all those who are considered most flush of money and asking them for a loan in proportion to the supposed amount of their property, leaving them as security a privy seal with a statement of the amount. It is said that this has been done on previous occasions. The manner in which these demands are made is actually in the form of an exhortation, simply, but as the persuasions of the great in respect of inferiors and subjects in particular, always have the force of commands and of laws, they will be compelled to obey, however reluctant they may feel, and they are doing so, in appearance at least, considering it the wisest course to concede to courtesy that which they might not be able lawfully to refuse to necessity and fear. Accordingly for such reasons it is believed that the majority will accomodate themselves to things which at other times they would have boldly resisted. When things are abhorrent, in order not to nauseate altogether the delicate stomachs of the people by too much bitterness, it is a good plan to sugar the dose with the sweets of utility and reason.
The ideas already reported of the urgent need that the king feels to arm swiftly, because of insufficient security, for the preservation of the realm and of their substance, are maintained with increasing vigour, and this inducement easily wins the consent of the more simple, while the others persuade themselves that such preparations may prove sufficient means to lead this crown into the complications of the war, and consequently to the necessity of summoning parliament and so they submit to every burden, and are much more tolerant than they would otherwise be of all the above acts and operations. They serve to point to the conclusion that these should finally result in an open declaration in favour of the Austrian party. Certainly, if one looks at all the preparations that are being made there is no doubt but that they give constant reason for suspicion, since they exceed the need, and it is impossible to believe that the king would put himself to an expense which he cannot keep up alone, for the mere shadow of vain jealousies ; but if on the other hand one considers the aversion he has always had for the meeting of parliament, and that without having recourse to that body he cannot for long engage in costly affairs, and that, even if it is assembled a very long time will be required before money can be obtained in settling past affairs before deciding about present ones, it is only reasonable to conclude that he will not entangle himself in anything without solid grounds, and therefore as it is only possible to guess at what more recondite ideas and more secret aims his Majesty may have, it behoves one to await events and to form a judgment about the rest from what one sees (i gia divulgati concetti della urgenza che ha il Re di trovarsi per difetta sicurezza e conservatione del Regno e del loro sostanza celeremente armato vanno sempre piu vigorosamente facendo sostenere ; tal alettamento guadagna facilmente gl' animi de' piu simplici e gl' altri persuadendosi che simili preparationi possino esser sufficienti mezzi per condur questa corona negli imbarazzi della guerra, e per conseguenza in necessita di convocar il parlamento, soccombono ad ogni peso, piu toleranti assai che non farebbero ; tutti gl' effetti e operationi predette vogliono a far concludere generalmente che in una dichiaratione aperta a favore del partito Austriaco, debbono li risolutioni di questa parte terminar : e certo che se sopra le preparationi che si vedono si vuol fermar l' occhio non e dubio che non diano sempre occasione di sospettare, perche sono eccedenti al bisogno, ne per sole ombre di vane gelosie si puo persuader voglia mettersi il Re in una spesa di non poter solo continuar, ma se dell' altra parte della aversione che egli ha sempre havuta alla unione d' parlamenti si vuol haver riguardo e considerar che senza ricorrere a loro non puo lungamente tenere le mani in dispendioso affare, e che in caso anco della convocatione nel ruminare le cose passate prima di risolver delle presenti per cavar aiuti di denaro, tempo molto lungo gli bisognerebbe impiegare, si puo ragionevolmente credere non vorra senza sodi fondamenti in cosa alcuna restar impegnato, e pero mentre ne' pensieri piu reconditi e per fini piu secrete non e possibile che per congettura potere penetrare quala della Maesta Sua essendo veramente tali conviene rappresentarsi a gli effetti e da cio che si vede andare il rimanente giudicando).
The French ambassadors here have not yet been able to obtain any reply to their last instances. The delays are cloaked under the pretext of his Majesty's absence. He went away to Tibol at the beginning of this week with a small following, and he will stay on there until Saturday next, engaged in the pleasures of the chase. Before his departure the Ambassador Seneterre chanced upon an opportunity of speaking to him apart in the queen's chamber. In passing and as if from himself, he made some slight reference to the levy recently made by the Spaniards in this kingdom. The king replied that he had been misinformed, that no levies had been granted, but that they had been allowed to raise a few recruits, by connivance rather than by having any concession, and that these did not amount to any considerable number. The ambassador made no reply to this. It was enough for him to have let them know that he was aware of the matter so as to render difficult the raising of the remainder if it does not stop the passage of the first ones.
It is freely stated that his Majesty will not go on the usual progress this year, because the queen is enceinte again. This has only been announced this week, and their Majesties and the whole Court seem extraordinarily pleased. Some think that the king is glad to seize upon this pretext for not going far away, so that he may be at hand for emergencies that may arise at any moment.
Nothing is heard as yet about the nomination of a new treasurer, although quarrels take place daily between the administrators of the office, between the Archbishop of Canterbury and Cottington in particular. All this redounds to his Majesty's hurt in the end, but he does not seem to think of taking any further steps. He inclines more and more to the Viceroy of Ireland but the good service he receives from his ministry makes him hesitate about removing him, so that this perplexity will cause still further delay. As a consequence of all this Cottington is in a serious predicament.
A few days ago his Majesty sent a gentleman to the Hague to visit the princess, his sister, who is reported to have lain sick of a fever for some days. (fn. 8)
I learn from the Master of the Posts at Antwerp that the last two packets from Italy have been delayed in Lorraine and that one has got into the hands of the Prince of Conde. I am taking steps to recover it. I have received this week the state despatches of the 4th and 11th May. I will continue to send the despatches by way of France as I consider that the only safe route under present circumstances.
London, the 13th June, 1635.
[Italian ; the part in italics deciphered.]
June 16.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Svizzeri. Venetian Archives.
492. Andrea Rosso, Venetian Secretary with the Swiss, to the Doge and Senate.
The English Resident has returned after seeing the Duke of Lorraine at Neoburgh. He called on me at once and told me that the conference was due to the duke's desire to express his dependence on the King of Great Britain. He had interposed his offices on behalf of the Palatine, and the duke wished to express his own friendly feeling and the desire of Cæsar for the restoration of that prince. Once his nephew was re-established, of which the duke seemed to entertain in no doubt, his Majesty should supply a force of 10,000 foot to Germany to oppose the operations of France. He spoke strongly against the Most Christian. The Resident has sent all particulars to his Court and will await their decision, although he expects little from the duke. He told me that his king would never consent to the Most Christian retaining Lorraine, for which his Majesty was more concerned than for the Palatinate.
Zurich, the 16th June, 1635.
June 19.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Francia. Venetian Archives.
493. Alvise Contarini, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
I hear that the King of England has written to thank His Majesty for informing him about his decision to break and congratulating him on his successes. It seems however that at the end he intimates that he cannot help showing himself the enemy of the Dutch (che non potra far di meno di non dimostrarsi nemico agl' Olandesi). Owing to the sailing of the fleet there, the necessary orders have been issued for the defence of the coasts of Normandy and Britanny.
Paris, the 19th June, 1635.
June 20.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Inghilterra. Venetian Archives.
494. Anzolo Correr, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The king returned from Tibol on Saturday evening and went straight to Greenwich, where the queen has been all the time. So soon as the French ambassadors heard of his arrival they energetically renewed their instances for the reply for which they have been waiting. As this could not be postponed any longer without increasing their reasons for offence, it was delivered the day after, in writing, but in such terms and so ambiguous as to contain no really substantial conclusion. Nevertheless they wish to intimate clearly that they may, of themselves abandon the affair, because they will not get any further declaration from here, as their aim above everything else is to keep in such a position that they will always be able to take such measures as time and interest may show to be the best and most expedient Alarmed by the noise of the military preparations reported, although so far they consist more of rumours than of actual facts, they take a contrary view of affairs, and believe that the machinations of the Spaniards and the ideas which they maintain artificially so different from the real intentions of Spain, constantly create a stronger impression to the disadvantage of their negotiations. However, as nothing so far has certainly been decided in favour of one party or the other, and as they are moving with incredible deliberation in the provision of arms it looks as if their action here should not be taken too seriously, the more so because if they contemplate doing something in support of the Austrian party, present circumstances, which are of the greatest urgency, do not permit of so much circumspection or consideration, as the menace which seems to threaten the Spaniards is imminent and calls for the most abundant and speedy succour from every quarter.
Since the junction of Sciatilon with the Prince of Orange (fn. 9) copious news arrives here at every moment of the successful progress of their forces. The last report that they have already entered Brussels and that the Cardinal is retiring with increasing disorder and confusion. Although this news is not absolutely certain, there is no doubt of this that the more astonishing it is the more bitter the feeling it arouses in every one here, and especially in those who take part in the government. These according to the measure of their passions do their utmost to suggest mischievous ideas to the king. But he, with his determination not to humiliate himself to parliament, makes everything else subordinate to that one idea which is fixed and rooted in his heart. He cannot make up his mind to any decision, so that in order to obtain some action in conformity with their desires the only hope left to them is to see the fleet attack that of the Most Christian, about the claims to the sovereignty of the sea. But that will not be very easy to accomplish, because the French avoid an encounter as much as possible, and they are not seeking for one on this side.
In this connection, I have made every possible effort to find out particulars of the instructions given to the General, the Earl of Linze. I do not find that they go beyond substantially what I have reported more than once, which is expressed in this way, namely that the King of Great Britain, seeing that the ships and goods of his subjects are outraged every day by all the nations, and the sovereign dominion of this king, the lawful patrimony of his crown, constantly disturbed and prejudiced by such proceedings, has been moved to send forth a certain number of ships in order to make himself respected in the future and to preserve intact that possession which he sees disputed without cause every day. Accordingly he gives strict orders to his servants that when they meet with other ships, whatever their condition and to whatever prince they may belong, they are to make them stop, lower their flag and not allow them to continue their voyage unless they have sent on board as a sign of due recognition. If they will not consent to do this in a friendly way, they must be compelled without further delay. It may happen that in addition to these he has some other instructions, more secret and particular, but the one who reported the above to me, through whose hands the papers have passed, assures me positively that he did not know of any further orders and he did not believe that there were any.
The French ambassadors here have informed his Majesty of the naval force assembled recently by the Most Christian, to unite with certain Dutch ships and intimated to him that in the future they will cruise about in these waters in conjunction with the Dutch to secure the trade of the subjects of the two countries. The king replied that he already had the information, and said nothing further on the subject except to ask them how many ships there were. Following their instructions they said that they did not know precisely, but there might be about twenty. This answer seems to have somewhat disconcerted his Majesty and he could not entirely dissimulate some feeling of apprehension. This was not so much because they had assembled this fleet as because he had been assured that the galleons of France amounted to forty in number, at least, and his suspicions were aroused that the ambassadors were trying to make him believe there were less. (fn. 10)
The merchants here say that two ships belonging to them, on their way from Spain, encountered a portion of the French fleet and were obliged to render them obedience. This report, whether true or invented, has been publicly circulated at the Court. The ministers here talk about it very heatedly and say that if it is confirmed, his Majesty will be greatly incensed, and it might give rise to some unfortunate incident as it is not possible in honour to put up with so manifest an insult in the face of a new fleet ; but as no confirmation has arrived it is believed that the incident will not prove to have happened.
Authentic news has come of the capture near here of a small French vessel by the Dunkirkers, but it had nothing of much importance on board.
The ten ships from Spain which were lying in the ports here last week with troops and money to take over to Dunkirk, have been negotiating to assure the transport of the plate for an outlay of 25 per cent. Considering this charge too heavy and believing themselves sufficiently safe under the shadow of the English fleet, which had sailed shortly before, they decided to venture out alone. Accordingly they seized the opportunity of a favourable wind, and without saying a word here crossed over successfully. This incident has by no means pleased them here, owing to the loss of the benefit which they had promised themselves.
There is a rumour at Court, on very good grounds, that the queen mother, no longer feeling safe in Flanders, and having no other asylum at hand, intends to come here before long. The queen here desires it greatly and therefore I think that she is contriving adroitly to persuade the king to invite her. He always showed great reluctance to accede to such incitements in the past, and he seems as disinclined as ever to interfere in such matters. However, people think that circumstances will compel him to agree to it in the end. It is a fact that he has ordered remittances for 50,000 crowns to be sent to her in the mean time. (fn. 11) This is considered a great step and may possibly oblige him to incur even greater expenses.
The day before yesterday a gentleman arrived here sent by the Cardinal Infant in response to the compliment paid to him by Porter, some months ago. (fn. 12) This is actually the chief reason for the mission, but they say he has some special and more important charge as well. The Resident Nicolaldi, in whose house he is staying, has sent word to the king to-day of his arrival and arranged to present him at the audience to-morrow. I will try to get full particulars of what they may have to negotiate.
On the same day there arrived at Court also from Brussels, M. Gerbier, his Majesty's Agent there. He brought letters to the king, to the first secretary of state and to the general of the fleet, but it has not yet been possible to discover what they contain.
They have not yet come to any decision about the despatch of Viscount Schidemore to France. Indeed it seems that the negotiations and the discussion of so many affairs have altogether damped it. Thus we hear nothing said either about the departure of the ambassador selected to reside in Spain, and so far he gives no sign of having any intention of starting on his journey.
This is the fourth week that has passed without letters from Italy. I believe that the couriers have been detained in Lorraine.
London, the 20th June, 1635.
[Italian ; the part in italics deciphered.]
495. Anzolo Correr, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
News of importance which reaches me at this moment, although not very detailed or well substantiated impels me to add these few lines. They say that yesterday morning when the ship of Captain Cherch was about to take on board two sons of the Earl of Pembroke to proceed to Dieppe, (fn. 13) an order reached the Captain from the General to leave his passengers and to proceed without delay to join the body of the fleet. This he did promptly, but long before he could have arrived, a great deal of gun firing was heard, which lasted a long time. From this people argue that some encounter has taken place with the French fleet and many assert as much with the utmost assurance. This much I know for certain, that soon after the news reached the Council they all immediately proceeded to Greenwich to inform the king about it. This makes it probable that they have other particulars better authenticated and more important. But I have not had time to find out more and I have thought it my duty to forward this slight information until I have an opportunity of reporting on better authority.
London, the 20th June, 1635.
June 21.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Haya. Venetian Archives.
496. Francesco Michiel, Venetian Ambassador at the Hague, to the Doge and Senate.
A gentleman has arrived here sent by the King of England to visit the Princess Palatine, (fn. 14) who has kept her bed for two months with a tertian fever, very weak and distressed. As the gentleman has no other commissions he is only awaiting a favourable wind to return.
The Hague, the 21st June, 1635.
June 22.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Inghilterra. Venetian Archives.
497. Anzolo Correr, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
While people were talking with the utmost lack of reserve about the encounter of their ships with the fleet of the Most Christian, because of the information received, and were awaiting news of the event with anxious curiosity, word came yesterday morning which explained the whole matter. It seems that the manifestations which were supposed to indicate stress and conflict were really nothing else than joyful signals of friendship and impediments to the plundering and rapine of others. It is also reported that General Linze being warned that a considerable fleet of sail was advancing in his direction, in order to be well prepared for all emergencies which might arise, sent with all speed to some ships which were separated from the body of the fleet, to rejoin him without delay, and this was why Capt. Cherch was recalled. This was the original source of the alarm and confusion reported. The reason for the firing which was heard soon after was this. Some Dunkirk ships, having sighted a small Dutch one which was sailing away from them as fast as it could go, set off in chase of it, and pursued it, firing many shots, but always at long range, right up to Dover castle, in which port the Dutch vessel took refuge. When it was approaching the port and the pursuers still continued the chase and tried to make the capture. Those of the fortress and two English ships which were in the Downs, could not suffer such violence to be done under their very eyes, and full of indignation at the lack of respect shown by the Dunkirkers to the ports and arms of their king, resisted their attempt and firing their guns frequently compelled the Dunkirkers to withdraw.
The sails sighted from afar had in the mean time drawn near the fleet and when they came near were immediately recognised as ships of the King of Denmark on the return voyage from the Indies. The salutes exchanged added to the number and duration of the shots fired and so served to give credit to the rumour, already in circulation, of a fight with the French, and report made the news fly to the king, and being confirmed to him by the Council, moved him to display clear signs of the greatest displeasure. Probably as a result of his belief in this report, he has, so they say, instructed the General to avoid as much as possible occasions for similar encounters, and to this end he is to sail with the fleet out of the Strait, without delay and to withdraw to a position where he may easily allow the French to cruise without it being necessary to approach them.
In this way then the uncertainty has been resolved and the fears dispelled upon this incident, with peculiar satisfaction to his Majesty but much more to the relief of the French ambassadors here, who from so extraordinary a beginning foresaw a succession of prolonged and most troublesome difficulties. From this account of the circumstances of the case your Excellencies will be able to understand all that I have been able to discover in the matter up to the present.
Men speak with more and more certainty of the coming of the queen mother, indeed they say that the Princess Margaret of Lorraine is to come too. The French ambassadors say nothing in private on the subject, nor have they as yet broached the question with the ministers here, so that if the king makes any sign of consenting there is no doubt but that both of them will appear here before long.
The gentleman sent from Flanders by the Cardinal Infant to pay his respects to his Majesty was admitted to audience yesterday together with the Resident Nicolaldi, and was received by both their Majesties with great courtesy. His office was performed in a few words and consisted purely of compliments. It is said that he will see the King tomorrow in private, and will set before him some other special commissions. But it may be matter of slight moment as the Spaniards suffer from no lack of negotiators here, who have ample influence and are very active.
The Agent of the Duke of Savoy (fn. 15) arrived in this city two days ago. I reported to your Excellencies some weeks ago that he was expected here to stay as ordinary Resident. He gives the impression of being a person of some credit and experience. He has brought with him his wife, children and all his household. He will not present himself to the king before Monday. From what I gather, there will be no renewal of the attempt to get recognition of the titles, as the Ambassador extraordinary San Germano exerted himself to the utmost on this question without any result.
London, the 22nd June, 1635.
[Italian ; the part in italics deciphered.]
June 23.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Germania. Venetian Archives.
498. Giovanni Battista Ballarino and Antonio Antelmi, Venetian Secretaries in Germany, to the Doge and Senate.
This Court is anxious for peace, but France is not likely to agree to one without great advantages, especially if the alliance with England takes place. They are anxiously awaiting the issue of that affair here and of the negotiations of the French ambassadors in London. Bavaria above all fears the union of their forces, because of the Palatinate, which might induce the King of England to join the French and the Dutch. Moreover the Sieur di Sciarbonera has intimated that his king will never consent to this peace unless it is a general one for the Protestants. Cæsar declares that this point would prejudice his reputation too much. On the other hand the House of Austria will never abandon the interests of Lorraine.
Vienna, the 23rd June, 1635.
June 27.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Inghilterra. Venetian Archives.
499. Anzolo Correr, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The Count of Sisa, who has come in the capacity of Resident of the Duke of Savoy, had his first audience of the king at Greenwich last Sunday. His office consisted in expressions of devoted friendship on the part of the duke, and a desire for mutual correspondence. His Highness desired nothing but peace and quiet to secure which he would employ every possible means. The king replied graciously, thanking the duke, and the Resident then took leave. He then proposed to present himself to the queen, as had been arranged, but found that she had gone to bed, having been taken with pains in the head shortly before. So the function was postponed until the Tuesday following, which was yesterday. The queen then received him with superabundant terms of friendship, asked to see his wife and after the compliments had been paid they continued in long and familiar conversation, as they had many particulars to report in the name of the duchess, her sister. To day the Count has begun to pay the usual visits at the Court, but as yet no time has been appointed for him to see the king privately. He circulates a report that it was originally intended that he should have the character of ambassador, but in order that he might treat freely with the other ministers of princes the duke had decided not to appoint him in that capacity for the moment. It is not known whether the post of Resident seems to him beneath his dignity as a Count. The report is an intimation that if he succeeds in gaining some advantage in the matter of the duke's claims, he would take the rank of ambassador. From what has already happened this Court is not likely to agree to any innovation.
Yesterday I saw the Ambassador Seneterre, who asked me earnestly if I had any news of Italy. I told him that it was now a month since I had heard from that province, as my letters had been detained in France. He promised to do what he could for their recovery. He afterwards informed me that although the results of his negotiations left him with less and less hope yet he had received orders to keep the affair alive anyhow, in order by such means to have an opportunity always at hand and the facility of opposing and countermining the machinations of the Spaniards, who do not neglect to employ all their arts to commit this Crown in some manner to the support of their interests, using the most subtle inventions imaginable. For this purpose he would have to stay here longer than he expected or wished. He told me further that the gentleman sent here by the Cardinal Infant had a very long conference the day before yesterday with the secretary Vindebanch, at which Nicolaldi was present, but he had not succeeded in finding out anything about what they discussed, although he had tried hard.
We went on afterwards to discuss the affairs of Flanders. He told me that the news from that province now reached here so confused and garbled by men's prejudices that he did not know what he could believe as authentic seeing that he had received no fresh particulars. Nevertheless from all that was said, he could not help being persuaded of the defeat of five regiments and of six companies of Spanish cavalry in the neighbourhood of Louvain, the more so because he had noticed that some of the supporters of that party at Court were very despondent and dashed. Following upon this it is stated quite boldly that the remainder of their infantry was soon afterwards almost completely routed and dispersed, but I would not venture to assert this as a fact to your Excellencies as under existing circumstances, if no special courier arrives, it is very difficult by way of the ordinary ones to arrive at the truth of things, even late. Here in the mean time they seem to watch closely all that is happening, while they keep things moving to show themselves vigilant and to keep the French in some apprehension. They are proceeding with the census of all the men of the kingdom and they have called out the ordinary musters throughout the country, while orders have been issued to all the gentry (cavalieri) to appear at the beginning of next month at a place a few miles from London, armed and on horseback. But all these things are mere demonstrations which are confined to appearances alone and in the end mean nothing essential.
The twelve royal ships which were to be all ready by the middle of the present month to join the fleet, are not yet equipped, and they proceed so slowly because they foresee that the fleet may not sail again during the present season. Nevertheless the fleet has received orders to assemble in the Downs in the confident expectation that while they are stationed there in such a position, the French ships will not make up their minds to approach in order to avoid disagreeable incidents, which might occur, and consequently trade will remain perfectly secure. But it hardly seems likely that this will be the result, because the French are molested daily by the Dunkirkers, who have already taken more than forty small boats of theirs, and they find themselves in the necessity of making good the loss and of avenging the insult.
The outcry of the people since the Treasurer's death, has become so loud and so general against those who had the monopoly of making soap, that the king, recognising their fraud, has revoked the privilege although they offered him 40,000l. sterling a year. (fn. 16) This has afforded quite indescribable satisfaction to the people. All bless the king's justice and sincerity, and now the obstacle of the Treasurer's interests is removed they promise themselves ever greater satisfaction in all things.
London, the 27th June, 1635.
[Italian ; the part in italics deciphered.]
June 27.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Costantinopoli. Venetian Archives.
500. Piero Foscarini, Venetian Bailo at Constantinople, to the Doge and Senate.
A son was born to the English ambassador some weeks ago and he asked me to be godfather. I expressed my appreciation of the honour and consented, as I was told I could do so without sin. The Jesuits have tried to make trouble over the matter according to their habit. Following the practice of the country I made a small present to the ambassadress.
About two weeks ago an English ship, the "Parangona" Captain Jona d'Ardes, arrived here, hired by the agents of Jacob Franco, a Jew living here. After leaving Venice it touched at Ancona and bought 250 cases of steel bearing the seals of the Ufficio dell' Uscita, weighing 2½ tons, one consigned to an English merchant, Thomas Bresfort, with a quantity of pepper and cinnamon. It also brought from Ancona 136 double bales of paper and cases of cloth for the English merchant. I am astonished at the privilege enjoyed by the English, which is not allowed to subjects of your Serenity, to trade in the Levant under the pretence of sending goods to Ancona. I remember that some eloquent senators have advocated universal freedom of trade, without persuading their colleagues. I may add that the English devote their attention to depriving our people of the little trade that remains to them in the mart of Constantinople, as they imitate Venetian cloth and make borders after the Venetian manner ; they also have plates and wheels sent from their country, and although there is no market for these, it shows that they are trying to imitate everything and to despoil our merchants of all the trade they have left.
The Vigne of Pera, the 27th June, 1635.
June 29.
Senato. Secreta. Deliberazioni, Corti. Venetian Archives.
501. To the Ambassador in England.
We enclose a copy of what the Resident of England in Switzerland said to our secretary there about a meeting between himself and the Duke of Lorraine. You will use this for information and to discover if any decision has been taken in this matter, but you must be careful not to prejudice in any way the confidence shown by the Resident.
We have received no letters from you this week. We are the more anxious to have the results of your fruitful industry because of the impending junction of the French and Dutch forces, and of the advantage to the latter of a victory, as well as for other designs.
Ayes, 85. Noes, 0. Neutral, 4.
June 29.
Senato, Mar. Venetian Archives.
502. To the Syndics, Avogadori and Inquisitors in the Levant.
Order to deal with and dispatch as summarily as possible the controversies in which the English merchant Hide is involved, by reason of his trade in the islands of Zante and Cephalonia, which it has been decided to refer to them, proceeding in accordance with justice and affording him all proper protection, because he is recommended by the English ambassador and because of the advantage to the state of his transactions.
Ayes, 85. Noes, 0. Neutral, 4.
June 30.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Germania. Venetian Archives.
503. Giovanni Battista Ballerino, Venetian Secretary in Germany, to the Doge and Senate.
The fear of an alliance of the French with England has vanished away here, indeed they hope that the king there may supply help to the House of Austria. The news is received here with great satisfaction and makes them hope at last for some successes in that quarter.
Vienna, the 30th June, 1635.


  • 1. The Victory of Avein won by the French under the Marshals Châtillon and Brézé on the 20th May.
  • 2. The duke was made commander of the allied armies in Italy by the treaty of Rivoli signed on the 11th July. Dumont : Corps Diplomatique Tome vi., pt. i., page 110.
  • 3. Action at Montbeliard on the 24th May. Le Vassor ; Hist, du Regne de Louis XIII., Vol. xii., page 435.
  • 4. The instructions, dated 2 May, old style, are among the state papers. Cal. S.P. Dom. 1635. page 55. For certain queries of the Admiral and replies thereto See Id. page 7.
  • 5. See No. 370 at page 291 above.
  • 6. No memorial is attached or is to be found in the filza. From No. 502 below it would appear that it referred to Henry Hyde.
  • 7. Directions of the Council to the Lords Lieutenant of the 27th April, O.S. including an order for the enrolment of all able bodied men between 16 and 60 so that, upon any sudden emergency, levies may be made of them. Cal. S.P. Dom.1635. pages 45, 46.
  • 8. Henry Murray of the bedchamber, who sailed in the Pleiades. The queen had been ill of a tertiary ague or intermittent fever since the spring. Cal. S.P. Dom. 1635, pages 93, 109. Green : Elizabeth, Queen of Bohemia. page 322.
  • 9. The French forces under the Marshals Chatillon and Brézé united with the Dutch at Maastricht on the 29th May.
  • 10. Lindsey had reported on the 6/16 June that the French fleet in Brest numbered 30 or 40 sail. Cal. S. P. Dom. 1635, page 109.
  • 11. This would appear to explain a somewhat mysterious letter of Windebank to the Earl of Holland of the 17th July. Cal. S. P. Dom. 1635. page 280. According to Pougny the queen had been pressing for money and had sent someone for it previously. The payment was finally made by a letter of exchange furnished by Courteen, the money being found by the farmers of the London customs. Seneterre to Bouthillier the 24th May and 20th June. P. R. O. Paris transcripts.
  • 12. Don Fernando Tejada de Mendoza. Gerbier's letter of introduction 13/23 May. S. P. For. Flanders.
  • 13. On 7th June the Admiral was ordered to take measures for the transport to France of Charles and Philip Herbert, sons of the Earl of Pembroke, who had license to travel there. The Swallow was detailed for this service, Cal. S. P. Dom. 1635 pages 89, 109. Her Captain was Henry Stradling, not one of the Kirkes, Lewis Kirke, being Captain of the Leopard and Thomas Kirke Captain of the Sampson. Cal. S. P. Dom. 1634-5, page 604.
  • 14. Henry Murray of the bedchamber.
  • 15. Benoit Cize. Count of Pezze. His letters of credence are dated the 3rd May, 1635. S. P. For. Savoy.
  • 16. This statement is premature as the Company's privileges were renewed shortly afterwards. Gardiner : Hist, of Eng., vol. viii., pages 71-76.