Venice: August 1635

Pages 426-445

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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August 1635

Aug. 2.
Senato, Secreta. Deliberazioni. Corti. Venetian Archives.
516. To the Ambassador in England.
We have received your letters of the 27th June and the 4th ult. We enclose copies of a recent exposition of the English ambassador and of the reply given to him. You will make your offices conform to this reply and we wish you to find out whether the ambassador spoke from instructions and if he really represented the wishes of the king, or if his Majesty is influenced by the intrigues and demands of those interested.
Ayes, 102. Noes, 1. Neutral, 1.
517. 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 by the friendly expressions which you have transmitted to us in the name of his Majesty and at his Majesty's efforts on behalf of the peace and tranquillity of this province. We beg you to thank him and to assure him of our affection and esteem.
With regard to the memorials presented, after the necessary information has been taken by the magistrates concerned we will do everything possible to show our desire to afford his Majesty's subjects who trade in our dominions the best possible treatment, as it has always been our intention to do.
Ayes, 102. Noes, 1. Neutral, 1.
Aug. 2.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Haya. Venetian Archives.
518. Francesco Michiel, Venetian Ambassador at the Hague, to the Doge and Senate.
They are thinking here of paying respect to the King of England in the Narrow Seas by lowering topsails and by the fishermen paying a gold piece of 6½ florins every time they fish, so as not to leave anything to disturb the friendly disposition they see in that crown. They are also preparing presents of horses and other things to send to the king and the leading ministers. Under such circumstances the English merchants will receive every facility in the matter of the sale of cloth. The Resident has referred to this subject and it is expected that in a few days the merchants will get all they want.
The Hague, the 2nd August, 1635.
519. Francesco Michiel, Venetian Ambassador at the Hague, to the Doge and Senate.
Letters from England report the remonstrances of the king there about the adjustment made with Saxony, to the exclusion of the Palatine. But no one believes in any generous resolution, as that sovereign is known to be too fond of peace and quiet.
The Hague, the 2nd August, 1635.
Aug. 2.
Collegio, Secreta. Esposizioni, Principi. Venetian Archives.
520. The ambassador of the King of Great Britain came into the Collegio and spoke as follows in Italian :
I have come to pay my respects and to remind you of the sincerity of my king's friendship and his ardent desire for the universal peace of this province, for the good of many princes, but most of all for the prosperity of your Serenity, for which purpose I beg you to impart to me your usual prudence, exercised so fully in the present disturbances of the Valtelline by this Collegio, that my mouth is shut against saying more, except to confirm my king's good will, and that he will never cease to labour for the peace of Italy.
I also recommend to the protection of your Serenity his Majesty's subjects who are here for their affairs, and here he presented three memorials, entered below.
The doge replied that they were always glad to see him because of their certainty of the king's friendship, and his desire for the general quiet. They thanked him and assured him of their perfect responsiveness. The memorials should be looked into and his Majesty's subjects should be as well treated as their own.
The ambassador returned thanks, saying that everything should be set before the king, took leave and departed.
Memorial No. 1.
The government of Zante on the 22nd December, 1626 and the 20th April, 1627, sentenced us, John Obson, Richard Grizol, John Plonton and Humphrey Bointon, English merchants, to a fine of 4800 ryals, which we deposited in the chamber there to obtain release from prison. We afterwards appealed and the magistracy of the Twenty Savii, delegated by the Senate, quashed the sentence as unjust and ordered the restitution of our money. When we wished to recover our money from the chamber we found that the government had taken away 1600 ryals, and although we have been at great efforts and expense yet we still have to recover the portion of the then Proveditore, Piero Malipiero, amounting to 533⅓ ryals.
As your Serenity has graciously delegated the cause of me, John Obson, to the Five Savii of the Mercanzia, and those Signors being asked to send an order to the Proveditore of Cephalonia to cause the 2000 ryals disbursed by me in that chamber, where it was forthwith divided among the ministers and informers, because of the sentence against me on the 17th April, 1633, to be put back into the chamber by them, those Signors said they had not the power to do so. From this experience I knew how necessary it would be to have the money deposited again in the chamber, to avoid litigation and expense in recovering it, even when my innocence is recognised. I therefore humbly petition your Serenity to have the Proveditore of Cephalonia ordered to restore the said 2000 ryals, in the way that shall seem best, so that it may be safe and that after so many sufferings I may enjoy the fruit of my labours, and also to order the restitution of the 533 ryals, of which Malipiero has had the benefit for so many years.
1635, the 2nd August.
By order of the Savii, in response to the present petition, that the Five Savii of the Mercanzia shall give their opinion on the subject after a full enquiry, upon oath.
Memorial No. 2.
Upon the sentence of outlawry of the Proveditore Querini of Cephalonia, against me, Richard Grissol, English merchant, on the 27th February, 1633, I obtained from your Serenity on the 12th of May, 1634 a delegation to the Five Savii of the Mercanzia, who decided on the 8th of June, 1634, that I might have despatch upon a process sent under seal from Cephalonia to the Council of Forty, Civil Novo, by virtue of letters of appeal at the instance of D. Christoforo Carusa, the process being against him and me jointly. Now after many instances made by the Resident by express order of the King of England, and daily by me, by advocates, at very great expense, the Five Savii inform me, contrary to the decision of their predecessors that they cannot give me despatch upon that process until other papers come from Cephalonia. Thus I, a poor merchant and foreigner am utterly abandoned, though innocent, by my correspondents and business, losing my means of living and of supporting such great expenses, and almost without hope of despatch, which has been so much delayed, against the intention of the state and the decision of the 12th of May, 1634. I once more petition your Serenity to commit my speedy despatch to the Five Savii, or else to send me with a safe conduct to Cephalonia for despatch there, to be heard by the Rectors there, before whom I can argue my case, and not lose time to my utter destruction, and to allow me to trade and carry on my affairs as before.
1635, the 2nd August.
By order of the Savii that the Five Savii of the Mercanzia answer this petition and give their opinion upon oath after full consideration.
Memorial No. 3.
I, Laurence Hide, English gentleman and merchant in this city was slandered by the late Rodolfo Simes before the office of the Avogaria of having sent some assassins to murder him. Owing to this my arrest was ordered by the Council of Forty for Criminal affairs, where, after nineteen months of voluntary presentation I was unanimously acquitted, indeed orders for the arrest of Simes, Antonio Moretti and other false witnesses were to be issued when the plague carried them off and stayed the business. Thus I lost the opportunity of recouping myself for so much loss and expense. This was increased by an accident. While I was allowed the liberty to go from S. Marco to the Rialto, crossing the whole island, upon a security of 2000 ducats, I was given to understand that the Calle delle Brigioni, where I had some important business, was the island of S. Marco. One day the ministers followed me, and although I returned at once to Court, the Avogadore Pisani forfeited 1050 ducats for this nominal fault, an unheard of penalty. Owing to these misfortunes I have suffered losses to the amount of 20,000 ducats, almost to the utter ruin of my affairs, as with this opportunity many have carried away many of my goods, and my debtors have escaped me. I have summoned some of them before various magistrates, but owing to my heavy expenses I have not been able to see the end of my cause, and hardly hope to. I therefore beg your Serenity to delegate my cause and the claims I have against divers gentlemen and other individuals to four or five members of the Senate for the settlement of all my causes, both civil and criminal and to determine all my claims which have not yet been judged without appeal, so that I, who have lived for fifteen years in this city, with great advantage to the community, may hope to return to my native land, whither my parents urge me to return, rather than lose my life and country here with utter ruin. I may add that about eight months ago the Inquisitors of State discovered the way in which my interests were prejudiced over the aforesaid slander, and promised me indemnification against the goods of those who injured me. I beg your Serenity to uphold that promise and also for the prosecution of the process against my persecutors.
1635, the 2nd August.
By order of the Savii, that the Avogadori di Comun shall answer this petition, and give their opinion on oath after full enquiry.
Aug. 4.
Inquisitori di Stato. Venetian Archives.
521. Giovanni Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.
I enclose copies of extracts from letters written to the emperor by the Imperial ambassador here. The reference to the Earl of Tiron is explained by the letter itself. So far as I can gather there were intrigues carried on at some previous time in order to excite some rising of the people of Ireland, which they do not propose to trouble about at the present time, as they do not consider the circumstances suitable ; the Earl of Tyrone is banished from that state in perpetuity.
Madrid, the 4th August, 1635.
Endorsed : "sent to the Inquisitors of State to take copies."
[Italian ; deciphered.]
Enclosure. 522. The Count of Sciombergh to the Emperor.
I must not forget to inform your Majesty that the English ambassador of whom I wrote, has not arrived at this Court. But from the news in possession of the ministers here he will not be long. They hope that what they desire will be decided, unless the marriage prevents, for which he has pressed very strongly. It is certain that nothing will result, as the Count of Olivares has frequently repeated to me.
Madrid, the 21st July, 1635.
523. The Count of Sciombergh to the Emperor.
I had already made the proposal about the Irish troops to the Count of Olivares, jointly with the Earl of Tyrone, who reminded them that he had proposed the same thing before at the time of Franchemburgh. All the ministers advised. His Majesty to have it carried out, and for this proposal alone they rewarded the earl with a commandery and 500 gold crowns a month in addition to his salary as camp marshal. The Count said that the matter deserved mature consideration and they would forthwith take counsel upon the memorial presented by Tyrone. Two days later we both returned to the palace, when the Count said that it was not to be taken up for the moment, as it would mean losing all their toilsome negotiations with England so far. If they took the matter up so gladly at the time of Franchemburgh, it was to divert that crown from the affairs of Germany, which are now prospering. However Tyrone does not give up because of this, but enlarges on his good will and friendliness. They told him that it was necessary to wait for the declaration of the King of England, and in accordance with its tenor they can reconsider the matter. This reply pleased Tyrone greatly.
Madrid, the 1635.
Aug. 9.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci. Inghilterra. Venetian Archives.
524. Anzolo Correr, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
Last Sunday the Council met at Oatlands, the king attending in person, stirred by the last letters from his sister, to discuss and decide something upon the present urgent requirements of the Palatinate. The king personally, and in the most affectionate manner, expressed his regard for the princes, his nephews and his obligations to look after their interests. He pointed out that if the destruction overtakes them which seems so imminent all the ruin will inevitably fall upon his arms since his blood relationship obliges him to support that House. He was pledged in his reputation not to allow himself to be deceived so grossly in permitting the Austrians to break the assurances and promises so often repeated, by declaring that the Palatine is perpetually excluded from the rights he has over his dominions and from the electoral vote, as the capitulations recently settled between Cæsar and Saxony expressly state. Accordingly he had chosen to make this representation in order that something should be decided upon the subject before they rose from the Council.
Stimulated by this vigorous impulse the councillors discussed many things but while in the end all were firmly of opinion that the forces of the crown ought on no account at present to be employed elsewhere than in the kingdom or upon that which directly concerns its safety, they also fully recognised that if they meant to take up this affair they could not delay any longer doing something effective. It was suggested that it might be desirable to resume negotiations for some composition by sending a new embassy to the Imperialists, but the unlucky issue of the last prolonged negotiations of Anstruther, and the absence of any satisfaction, which compelled him to let them drop, while instead of effective action he brought back nothing but empty words and almost open derision, made them recognise that it would be useless to go on, and would only serve to place difficulties in the way of other methods which they might possibly be able to arrange easily in a different way. The suggestion being accordingly defeated by such arguments they decided not to employ for the moment anything but offices and words, and as the lesser evil and in order not to hazard their reputation so much by the noise of a conspicuous embassy, that they would send at once to the emperor a person of wisdom, who in the character of a simple gentleman would remonstrate with the emperor expressing the concern with which his Majesty had noted his negotiations and agreement with Saxony in the part that concerned the interests of the Prince Palatine and to make such representations and follow such instructions as shall be considered proper to give to him, once his Majesty has selected the individual to go. It is believed that the appointment is already announced although the news has not yet reached the Court.
As is usual among the idlers at Court every one is discussing this deliberation with comments suggested by their own personal sympathies. But among the various opinions expressed, those of most sense all seem to hold the same view in believing that this measure will merely serve to give the Austrians time to make themselves completely masters of what is left of the Palatinate, in the assurance that once they are absolutely in possession negotiations will do nothing to make them give it up, and even if it should happen in the course of time that they should agree to listen to some compromise, the advantageous position they would occupy would enable them to claim to lay down the law absolutely as they liked. Above all their claims for compensation for the expenses incurred in the acquisition, which would seem to be beyond estimation, would never allow them to yield an inch. Thus they arrive at the conclusion that if the affair is carried out in accordance with the proposal made it cannot possibly end without serious prejudice to the royal dignity and most sensible injury to his nephew. It seems nevertheless that the king expresses very clearly his determination, if this first attempt does not prove successful, to employ all those means for the attainment of his object which reason or necessity will show him to be most proper, but meanwhile the defect of his character, rendered very obstinate after so long a time, and inducing in him the utmost langour, may possibly render him past cure (ma il male intanto di sua natura molio difficile ridotto da si lungo tempo riguardi alli estremi languori vicino si rendera forse incapace di rimedio).
In order to hear some news about these negotiations, the French ambassadors with their usual pretext visited the queen last Sunday. They saw the chief secretary of state, who, they say, seemed better inclined towards an amicable arrangement than previously, saying openly that if the Dutch also had sent an ambassador extraordinary expressly for the affair a defensive alliance might not prove so difficult.
The ambassadors were struck with this change in their manner of speaking, considering it extremely unlikely that they should change their principles and policy here so easily without any impulse from them, especially at a moment when the pretensions to the dominion of the sea are quite undecided, and when it is known for certain that their wishes here are more turbulent than ever. But they are inclined to believe that by reopening the negotiations for an alliance the English want craftily to allow the affair of the sea to sleep, and by procrastination to derive advantage from both affairs until they can be quite sure which way the fortune of war will turn in Flanders and from the issue there they seem disposed to take the measure and rule for all the decisions which they will have to take. Or else they believe that the English are seriously offended at the way in which the Austrians have behaved against the interests of the Prince Palatine, one may say with the most open contempt of this crown. They know all the same that the Austrians are very nervous about the negotiations for an alliance, and wish to keep them uneasy so as to be able to conclude the alliance with reputation when the French are driven to it by necessity. Nevertheless, whatever their objects here may be, the ambassadors do not neglect to embrace every opportunity of reviving the business and do not relax in their activity and efforts to bring it, if possible, to a successful conclusion.
The priest who was taken by force from Senneterre's house has been set at liberty in response to his strong remonstrances, and those who dared to violate the privileges of that house have been arrested. They will pay for their temerity by an exemplary punishment, unless the ambassador exercises his clemency in their favour.
The king left the queen at Oatlands and proceeded to Windsor on Monday, following the route decided on.
London, the 9th August, 1635.
[Italian ; the part in italics deciphered.]
525. Anzolo Correr, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
Their naval force here still remains at Portsmouth without having done anything so far. People complain bitterly that the captains think of nothing but smoking tobacco and in emptying the casks of wine they are wasting time and damaging the purse and reputation of the nation. While they stand thus living in idleness the ships of the merchants here are subject to countless outrages and infinite loss. When they go to sea they can no longer be sure of crossing without being boarded by the Dunkirkers. These, under the pretext of searching to see if they have Frenchmen on board or goods which belong to the enemies of Spain, send them with those on board to Dunkirk, whether they find anything or no, and often make reprisals upon what belongs to the English as well, and if they remonstrate tell them that if they can show that what has been seized really belongs to them, no difficulty will be put in the way of restitution. They have dealt in this way with a number of small barques which were proceeding to France after the declaration of war. They also showed the like severity with a large ship a short distance from these shores, which was about to enter port. When the king heard of the incident he was greatly stirred and ordered his Resident at Brussels to make a very strong remonstrance to the Cardinal Infant, protesting that if they did not make a complete restitution of all that had been taken from his merchants, and if in the future the ships of Dunkirk did not abstain from such procedure, he would not be able, in the face of his fleet, to put up with such grave prejudice but would be forced to take the matter of indemnity into his own hands to some extent. But this is not enough to satisfy the generality, who would like to see English ships respected and trade left free and secure for all, knowing that short of this result the royal reputation suffers serious hurt.
The French on their side speak very haughtily, declaring that if the English do not propose to put down the liberties taken by the Dunkirkers with anything better than words, they also will be constrained to search for their enemies and goods, indifferently on all the ships where they may expect to find them, feeling sure that his Majesty will not take exception to this, as such an example serves them as an invitation, and because of the necessity of avenging the injuries and repairing the losses which they receive from their enemies. Thus, when the sailing of the fleet here was expected to keep everyone in his place and impose a good rule upon all we see that its effect has rather been to throw everything into confusion and to create worse disorder than there was before. Nor does it seem that they concern themselves much here about putting things straight. Thus a great part of the provision of food for the fleet has gone bad, so much so that they were obliged recently to throw a quantity of it into the sea, but they have no thought of supplying the deficiency with new provisions. This makes it probable that all the ships will be brought back very soon to this river. This is the more likely because it seems that they are not paying any attention to the equipment of the other twelve ships which were to have been got ready to sail for the augmentation of the fleet in the present season. The progress made upon these has brought to light the deficiency. However, for the coming year estimates have been already made for the armament of fifty ships, and the whole country called upon for an annual contribution to support them, of which we shall certainly see the results in the spring, the more so because the people seem to consent to it readily in the hope that this will avail to establish the sovereignty of the sea, for which they are eagerly jealous (dicono certamente vedrasi a nuovo tempo l' effetto, tanto piu facilmente quanto mostrano i popoli d' adherirvi volontieri, con speranza che vaglia l' esecutione allo stabilimento della sovranita del mare, di cui si mostrano ansiosamente gelosi).
News has reached the merchants here that an English ship which left Leghorn with a full cargo for Spain, was stopped by three French ships between Leghorn and Genoa, and as the English captain refused to leave his own ship to take his bill of lading in person to show to the French, as they required, the ship was sunk by gun fire, the majority of those on board being drowned, with considerable loss to those who had goods of great value therein. (fn. 1) Those interested are making the utmost clamour about this and they have immediately sent word of it to Court, where it is likely to create a very bad impression.
The merchants' letters from Flanders of last week brought news of the surprise of Fort Schench by the Spaniards at night, and they now report its siege by the Dutch. (fn. 2) It is thought here that the Spaniards will not be able to hold out for long, and the result is awaited with curiosity as the importance of the place is well known.
They have issued a new and most severe proclamation that no Englishman shall leave the realm, under the most severe penalties, without a special passport signed by his Majesty or at least six of his councillors, not even excepting sailors and sea captains. (fn. 3) They say this has been done because those who were charged to examine the original passports, for some slight gain allowed forged ones to pass. Many of them have been imprisoned for this, the one at Dover in particular, against whom there are more serious accusations than the others. This step will cause great discontent to all, but to the poor in particular, because it will only be possible to obtain such passports at considerable cost, and so opportunities for leaving the kingdom will be closed to them for the future.
Letters of the 6th have arrived, but nothing has reached me from the Senate. I am afraid that the letters have been stopped, as the packet was broken. I have received the state despatches of the 13th July.
London, the 9th August, 1635.
[Italian ; the part in italics deciphered.]
Aug. 16.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Inghilterra. Venetian Archives.
526. Anzolo Correr, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The more his Majesty studies the terms of the peace between Cæsar and Saxony the more clearly he recognises how much his reputation is concerned not to allow it to take effect without making some sign of resentment. The decision already taken to send one of his gentlemen to the emperor he apparently no longer considers becoming, as he seemed to do at first, and although he has selected the individual, (fn. 4) his despatch is being postponed, possibly in order to see whether some more useful and decorous expedient can be found.
The French ambassadors, being informed of the perplexity in which he is involved by such reflections, gladly seized the opportunity and proceeded to Court on Sunday. Without any compunction they proceeded to point out that the affront which his Majesty has received from the Austrians is patent to all the world and cannot be concealed in any way. Alike for the common good and for his Majesty's reputation they felt obliged to represent to him that if he would not once and for all boldly let loose the resources of his power against those who had so rashly ventured to offend him, and the matter is allowed to become stale, it will become difficult, so much so that it may no longer be in the power of any one soever to make them change their aspect. Their master reserved himself to make the greatest diversions in every quarter, but he was not strong enough to bear so great a burden on his arms alone. Accordingly, now there was an occasion of such magnitude, they had come in their king's name to exhort his Majesty to take some generous resolution, beginning, if he wished, with the proposed mission to Germany, with angry and determined protests, informing the Spanish ministers in the mean time, to leave the Court until the promises, so often made, to restore the Palatinate, have been fulfilled, and in the mean time to lose no time in arming himself, so that in any event he will easily be able to obtain by force what the Austrians have not chosen to yield to justice and reason.
The king, although indeed very surprised at the discourse of the ambassadors yet did not seem to be offended at it, because he recognised that they touched the very point previously aroused in his mind. But he would not continue the conversation, because he was unwilling either to disapprove or to approve of their arguments. Nevertheless it seemed to the ambassadors that he was so much stirred that he may not let their representations pass without giving them a good deal of consideration (pare agl' ambasciatori nondimeno sia restato sopra di se in modo che non lasciera passar forse le loro rappresentationi senza farvi sopra qualche matura riflessione). But so far nothing more has been done, or at least, with his Majesty so far away, no news has come of anything.
Owing to the need of victuals and to sickness, which has carried off more than six hundred men, the fleet has withdrawn to the Downs, with the idea of withdrawing altogether for this year, unless the king orders otherwise. This arouses murmurings, so much so that people think it would have been better if it had never sailed at all.
The quarrels among the six deputies for administering the royal treasury have increased to such an extent that the king will not be able to postpone appointing a Treasurer any longer. Every day makes it more apparent that the choice will fall upon Lord Cottington, because, besides the king's manifest favour to him personally, his skill and experience in such matters put him beyond dispute above any one else at Court.
Some weeks ago his Majesty decided to have some building done at Oatlands for his private satisfaction, and in particular to enclose a large park for deer with a long and very high wall. The cost was estimated at 50,000l. When the question of raising the money came before the six commissioners, the Archbishop of Canterbury, moved by his very choleric nature, began to say with great heat that this was no time to devote so large a sum to such vanities and he marvelled greatly at those who encouraged such ideas in the king. They certainly showed scant devotion to their office or else lack of prudence. Cottington, well knowing that they must not cross the king's wishes unless they wished to give him great offence, answered the archbishop with equal coolness and circumspection, remarking on the ardour and freedom with which he had been led to speak. He then said that they had not met there to debate whether his Majesty's decision was bad or good. It did not behove them to discuss his pleasure, whatever it might be, but they were sent for merely to see that it was satisfied. He really did not think the king was so poor that means could not be found to gratify any particular pleasure of his, even at considerable cost, and he himself, and he knew he had not acted wrongly, had advised his Majesty to do this. At these words the archbishop became only the more angry, anathematising and condemning in severe and biting terms the behaviour of his colleague, which the other resented, so that the meeting broke up in some confusion. (fn. 5) The king was very pleased at Cottington taking his part, and especially for taking on himself the onus of having advised that course, when he had never said a word to his Majesty on the subject. Since this incident the archbishop, who had really ascended to the highest grade in the royal favour seems to have declined to some extent, while Cottington, on the other hand, has made great advance therein. Accordingly the former tries every way to prevent his becoming treasurer while the latter, by the craft, is much more successful in holding his ground than the other is in hurting him so that every one believes that the affair will finally terminate in his favour.
The news received from Flanders and Germany grows worse and worse. Letters of this week report that the Dutch have not taken Fort Schench, which is well supplied. The surrender of Heidelberg castle to the Austrians is asserted. They say that a great part of the garrison will enter the Imperial army. The news of the Austrian successes seems to have damped their ardour here against the French, and it would seem that their suspicions of that nation are now completely dissipated. There is some talk of a considerable reverse inflicted on the troops of Galasso by Duke Bernard's force united with that of Cardinal Valetta, but this has not yet been confirmed.
The insolence of this most licentious people, which has never known restraint, has been on the increase for some time past, especially since the rumours of differences with the French at sea. Not a day passes but they molest foreigners, whom they generally believe to be French and call by that name in derision. Thus last Tuesday, when two of my servants in livery were coming towards this house, three young apprentices recognised them as foreigners and began to call them names and then tried to push them into the mud, forcing them to draw back. As none of the parties were armed, a bout of fisticuffs began between them. The bystanders, seeing that the fight was between foreigners and Englishmen, took the side of the latter, and a furious tempest of the mob, with sticks in their hands, descended upon my men, from which they were compelled to take refuge in a house on the square here. When they had arrived half way my other servants heard the noise, they hastened to their assistance, without arms as they were, snatched the sticks from the hands of the English and followed them up with such persistance that they drove them right out of the square ; (fn. 6) but with the popular fury steadily increasing against them they very soon had to retreat. Amid this confusion an English porter died of a blow on the head, and one of my lackeys, being severely hurt and unable to escape with the others, fell into their hands and was taken prisoner.
When I heard what had happened I lost no time in sending my secretary to the Secretary of State Windebank to tell him about it and ask him to have my servant set at liberty, taking knowledge of those who were guilty of the insults and ordering their punishment. He replied that he deeply regretted what had occurred and he knew full well the insolence of this mob. I was not the first ambassador here to experience the effects ; those of France had known the like, one by the arrest of a priest in his own house ; the other by ill treating a servant who took refuge in the house, and when they could not have him, they hurled stones and insults at the house. He asked me to condone this temerity, which is natural and incorrigible here, in the assurance that no means would be neglected to render me well content and satisfied. He did not see how he could release the prisoner at once, because when fatalities occurred the law did not allow any one to be released without a full enquiry into the cause, but he would do everything possible for me.
Such is the present state of this affair. It troubles me more to importune the ears of your Serenity about it than for itself. Human foresight cannot prevent the accidents of fortune, but I have thought it right to send you this account. Meanwhile I will do what I can for the release of the prisoner, and I already have several witnesses from the English themselves that he was not the murderer. I will inform your Excellencies of what takes place, and hope that everything will soon be satisfactorily settled. (fn. 7)
I have received this week the Senate's letters of the 6th ult.
London, the 16th August, 1635.
Aug. 17.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Spagna. Venetian Archives.
527. Giovanni Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.
They have sent a courier to the Resident in England, apparently to offer excuses and protests that his Majesty has had nothing to do with the emperor's declaration about the Palatinate, which was all arranged in secret concert between the emperor and the Duke of Saxony. So far as his Majesty here is concerned he is ready to give that king every reasonable satisfaction. The Count Duke has performed the same office recently with the English Resident here. This is a trick which they have often played, but it is difficult to believe that the English will admit their pleas. With regard to the marriage of the English princess to the prince here, so much desired by England, I think it is impossible they can persuade that monarch that they mean business.
Madrid, the 17th August, 1635.
Aug 23.
Senato, Mar. Venetian Archives.
528. That the English ambassador be permitted as a favour, to export the goods described in the enclosed note, without payment of the duties.
Ayes, 125. Noes, 0. Neutral, 1.
On the 21st August in the Collegio :
Ayes, 21. Noes, 0. Neutral, 0.
529. Note of goods to be sent to Constantinople for the use of the English Ambassador resident there.
Velvet 37 bales.
Tabinet 27 "
Tabinet deep 22 "
Roman, of gold 43 "
duty estimated at about 10 ducats.
Francesco Pisano.
Aug. 24.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Inghilterra. Venetian Archives.
530. Anzolo Correr, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
This fleet keeps approaching the river here under the pretext of replacing the men disabled by sickness and of renewing their salted meat and biscuits, which have gone rotten in great part, and this alone makes it more and more evident that its activities are ended for the present year. With this failure of vigour the French uneasiness about it is dissipated, so that the ambassadors have practically ceased to think about going on with the matter of the sovereignty of the sea. Although the sailing of another and much more numerous fleet is already arranged for next year, they have considered it more opportune to postpone treating about it until another time, and to employ the present for the advancement of the alliance, as they are urged on by their own side, which has become very languid in Flanders, and one may even say that they are solicited by the ministers here to some extent. Speed would greatly assist this affair, but the absence of the Court and the diversions of his Majesty leave no hope of any solid negotiations for a month, and it is thought that another very difficult point will prevent the effectuation.
The six commissioners deputed for the business have pressed very strongly, before they proceed with the matter, that they may be shown the final articles of the treaty between the Most Christian and the States of Holland, declaring that without this satisfaction they have no power to proceed with the negotiations. Up to the present they have given them to understand that it is proposed to concede this and that an ambassador extraordinary especially sent from Holland for these negotiations will bring these articles with him. But in the present state of affairs in Flanders, where things are going so entirely differently from what they expected at the beginning, and it is not consistent with the interest or reputation of the allies that these agreements should be seen which contain particulars and compacts which are absolutely beyond their powers in the present state of their fortunes, the French are determined to keep them secret, so it follows as a consequence that the direction of this transaction must be postponed until some middle term has been found which will give due satisfaction to both parties, and the negotiations will be altogether broken off here, since they seem determined here not to proceed to any resolution without knowing those articles first. And the greater the efforts that are made to conceal these articles the deeper the jealousy and suspicion that they conceive here.
I have nothing to add to the decision about the Palatinate. His Majesty has confirmed with some reluctance the decision to send a gentleman to the Imperial Court. This individual (fn. 8) has orders not to delay his departure beyond next week. His instructions are announced as follows : in the first place to make a vigorous representation of the regret felt by his Majesty at seeing the peace with Saxony arranged to the perpetual exclusion of the interests of his nephews, contrary to the intentions, frequently ratified to restore them to their former free possession of their own dominions. Further he is to ask that the agreements shall be revoked upon this point. Finally he is to protest that if they will not concede this amicably, his Majesty will be compelled to render that justice to himself that he seeks in vain from others, and so if he is seen to take certain steps, his action will be sufficiently justified in the eyes of the world, and if anything occurs which they may not like the Austrians will only have themselves to blame. However, in spite of this high tone I am informed that the protest will be made in the mildest manner, which means that the whole affair will end in words.
The ambassador for Spain has received his commissions and his departure is being hastened. He also is to make strong representations for the adjustment of the affair, but he seems in no hurry to set out.
The leading parliamentarians here, while these disturbances prevail, make their calculations for the future, and in the hope that the king is determined to settle the matter by force of arms, seeing that he cannot do it satisfactorily or honourably by negotiation and without abandoning the advantage of his nephews, delude themselves with the belief that they will see parliament convoked for next winter. They base their belief on the impropriety of such an expedition, judging it such from the vain results of Anstruther's past negotiations, and it is strengthened by the apparent necessity in which his Majesty finds himself not to suffer himself to be deluded more and more every day in matters of such consequence. Upon this basis they have had adroit representations made to the king that they are most anxious to see such an affair terminated in the largest fashion. At the same time they have made specious overtures to him, saying that whenever he decides to summon parliament he may put aside all the satisfactions that concern past affairs, with the object disclosed upon other occasions, the only intent of parliament being to undertake in a generous and resolute manner to uphold the reputation and glory of the English name at the height that it deserves as well as the ordinances and forces of the nation, for which purpose they express themselves as ready to provide the king with what he may consider necessary, particularly at present, to kindle and to maintain the war against those who unlawfully retain the states and jurisdictions pertaining to the Palatine House, and thereby prejudice its interests as well as the dignity of this crown (con questi fondamenti hanno fatto destramente rappresentar al Re esser loro grandemente antiosi di veder tal negotio con le maggiori forme terminato et fattagli insieme far qualche apertura speciosa, con dire che ogni volta sia rissoluto a voler chiamar il Parlamento potra metter da parte tutte le soddisfattioni che si voglia ruminare le cose passate con quel fine che sono stati altre volte divolgati sola intentione del parlamento essendo che con rissolute et generose maniere d' intraprender di sostenere la riputatione et la gloria del nome Inglese a quel segno che merita l'ordine e le forze della Natione per il cui effetto bene si mostreranno pronti di provedere il Re di cio egli conoscera necessario particolarmente al presente per suscitare e mantenere la guerra contro quelli che trattenando illegitimamente li stati e le giurisditioni spettanti alla Casa Palatina pregiudicano alli interessi di quella e alla dignita di questa corona).
These representations having been considered, the king has intimated that he greatly appreciates the good will of his subjects. He declared that when occasion arose he would make such capital from it as he felt sure he could promise himself from their devotion, but with the intention, so far as one can gather his Majesty's objects, of doing nothing at all, in the hope of finding other means of meeting what future days may bring forth. To tell the truth it looks as if he might reasonably promise himself anything, since he has achieved with such ease the arming of these present ships and consent to the contributions for fitting out the others which are to put to sea next year.
Great disturbances occur every day in these waters, and although these consist in the mischief which the Dunkirkers, the French and the Dutch inflict on each other, it is the English ships and goods which seem to suffer the most harm. The Dutch recently took an English ship which was proceeding to Dunkirk with a rich cargo, and the Dunkirkers a French one which was coming to this kingdom with many passengers, who were all incontinently thrown into the sea. The confusion is really considerable and gives the merchants here good ground for complaining at the lack of security for their trade, and to others to disparage the operations of the Earl of Linge, who sailed with so many ships, only to do harm instead of increasing the reputation of this nation. News has just arrived from him that he has made reprisals in the Downs on a Dutch ship, and that he has gone in person to Court to know what to do in the matter, and what he is to do in the future with the fleet, if his Majesty orders the fresh supplies of men and munitions that are required.
The Ambassador Scudamore left last week for Paris, where he may be arrived by now.
I have received the state despatches of the 19th ult. It is unlikely that any negotiations of importance will be transacted before his Majesty's return. I fear that my despatch of the 10th inst. has been captured on its way to Dunkirk by Zeeland corsairs.
My repeated instances to the ministers here have not succeeded in obtaining the release of my servant, who was made prisoner last week. They tell me that they have not the power to do it, unless I procure the security of some merchant, the more so because they find by their enquiry that things are somewhat different from my first representations. I would on no account agree to this, and as Windebank informed me that no one but the king himself could order his release, I begged him to put his Majesty in possession of the real facts, since those obtained by questioning the bystanders are all prejudiced. He promised to do this and assured me that his Majesty would order complete satisfaction to be given to me. He seemed to regret deeply that the law ties his hands so. I shall wait for the reply, and if it does not prove satisfactory I shall go myself to speak to his Majesty, on whom alone, they tell me, decisions in such cases depend.
London, the 24th August, 1635.
[Italian ; the part in italics deciphered.]
Aug. 24.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Spagna. Venetian Archives.
531. Giovanni Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.
Despite the remonstrances of the English Resident with regard to the emperor's declaration about the Palatinate, the ministers here speak as if they were confidant that the conclusion of the alliance is very near. This excites misgivings in the Imperial Ambassador that there has been some promise to marry that king's daughter to the prince here.
Madrid, the 24th August, 1635.
Aug. 28.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Zante. Venetian Archives.
532. Stefano Capello, Venetian Proveditore of Zante, to the Doge and Senate.
The Inquisitors arrived yesterday morning and left to day for Candia. They found that 12,000 reals had been lent by the English merchant Henry Ider, which ought to be refunded to him by the Chamber of Cephalonia ; the deplorable state of the people here and of myself being recognised and pitied.
Zante, the 18th August, 1635, old style.
Aug. 31.
Senato, Secreta. Deliberazioni, Corti. Venetian Archives.
533. To the Ambassador in England.
In reply to your letters of the 21st July with regard to his Majesty's interposition for some accomodation with Savoy, you will avail yourself of the enclosed copy of a reply given by us on the subject. You will evade every attempt made to broach the subject, as being something incompatible, and will let them understand this in indirect ways, in order to prevent any open move for interposition.
Ayes, 107. Noes, 1. Neutral, 0.
Aug 31.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Inghilterra. Venetian Archives.
534. Anzolo Correr, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The damage suffered by the merchants here at sea becomes ever greater, but although the hurt done them by other, nations is equally detrimental, apparently it is only what the French inflict that moves them to resentment and complaint. Some days ago a vessel of theirs, said to be very rich, was taken on its way here from Spain by a French ship. (fn. 9) They sent to inform the king at once, with a petition to obtain redress for them by his strength and authority. The facts were much misrepresented to his Majesty, it being asserted that the English on board were inhumanly outraged and tortured. This and the ill offices which are always performed by some of those who have familiar access to his Majesty, who seize every opportunity of discrediting the procedure of France, led him to decide to make a very strong remonstrance to the French ambassadors here, threatening revenge if the things are not promptly restored.
The ambassadors, who had no previous information about the matter, were surprised at this sudden and violent complaint. They neither denied nor confirmed the event, but said they would write to France, so that, if it should prove true a proper remedy might be applied to satisfy his Majesty. At the same time they assured him that such excesses could only have been committed by outlaws, and if they were caught they would suffer the most severe penalties, as the Most Christian has nothing more at heart than the maintainance of perfect relations with this crown. His Majesty seemed quite satisfied with this, but the people, where the French are concerned, always become more rabid and overbearing than they need. They do not cease their outcry, but give rein to their rage in the greatest execrations and call furiously for vengeance. This causes some apprehension to the ambassadors themselves, as they can hardly venture into the streets without exposing themselves very often to some impertinence from the lower classes. Thus when M. de Poygne was passing near the queen's house a few days ago, a dead cat covered with fifth was purposely thrown into his coach, with a volley of outrageous words. Such audacity is intolerable but incorrigible all the same.
General Linge returned from Court yesterday evening and went straight to the Downs, where the fleet still lies. It has not been possible to discover whether he takes orders for replenishing or disbanding, but events will soon show the truth.
By the despatch of last week the Resident of Savoy here had orders from the duke, his master, to inform his Majesty of the duke's decision to make an alliance with the Most Christian ; (fn. 10) to explain the sound reasons which have led him to take this step, assure him of his good intentions and invite him also to move to support the public cause now that the Austrians have afforded him so great and solid an incitement over the interests of the Palatinate. Upon this point also he is to offer to his Majesty all that his Highness can do assuring him that the duke also is unable to see without concern, the imperial arms make themselves so powerful in Germany, and it is their common interest to prevent them from making greater and more important progress. This is the substance of the Resident's instructions, which I have gathered from a most safe quarter. In order to execute them he set out immediately for the Court, which being very far away, (fn. 11) has not yet allowed enough time for him to return here. He has not yet had time to get back here.
As a matter of fact, amid the present general fluctuations, beyond what directly concerns the crown, they seem to pay no attention to considerations and representations. The instances of the French and the solicitations of the Spaniards certainly make but little impression upon them. Amid the various opinions of those who take part in the government there arises a third party, which balances every other opinion, and shows how useful and opportune it is to stand and look on at the tragedy of others as spectators and enjoy peacefully that blessedness which God has chosen to grant to these realms amid such universal calamities. With this object solely they have allowed the proposal to collect troops to fall through, and with the same idea it is believed that the action of the fleet will be neglected, for although it is ordered for next year, in greater strength, it is quite clear that the king has done so more for the purpose of gaining authority over his people than from any idea of using it effectively.
Nevertheless the parliamentarians here are more ardent than ever in their desire to have a parliament. Their courage keeps rising and they base their hopes on the reason the king has to avenge himself for the wrong he has received from the Austrians, by failing to restore the Palatinate as promised. They loudly claim damages from these and say openly that those affairs ought not to be allowed to go nearer to ruin, because then England will have to receive those princes, and owing to their number and quality it is good counsel to make every effort before coming to such a pass, and to keep them away. These arguments are so strong that even the warmest partisans of Spain do not know how to confute them, especially as they do not dare to hold language at variance with the opinions of his Majesty, so to discredit them they take the course which they know to be most in consonance with his genius, which is to encourage his constant intention not to have a parliament, without the support of which they clearly see that great resolutions cannot be taken up or at any rate prosecuted.
Gordon, who comes here with the credentials of the King of Poland, though with scant facilities for negotiating, still follows the Court. Notwithstanding reports to the contrary which the Spaniards circulate, he maintains stoutly that that monarch is in favour of the agreements with the Swedes as much as he possibly can be. It seems nevertheless that according to the news of those affairs which has arrived recently the negotiations appear to be making very slight progress. In addition to their being confined to treating for the truces only, the deputies disagreeing with the proposals about the time and numerous other difficulties in the way make it seem as if both sides were near the point of separation.
A courier, said to be from Florence passed through the city yesterday in haste towards the Court. Much curiosity is felt here. They say that he has been sent by the Grand Duke on some secret business and that he brings news of French successes in Italy.
The death of the Marquis of Aytona, (fn. 12) confirmed from all quarters is considered a great loss for the Spanish army, as it is thought that there is no one of equal prudence and good fortune to succeed him. They talk freely of the Duke of Lerma taking the appointment.
Letters from Germany to the merchants here report the steps taken by Sassenhausen, commander of the garrison of Frankfort, to prevent the citizens from coming to terms with the emperor, and the move of Duke Bernard to assist him ; but the news is not yet confirmed.
The fleet which left Dunkirk three weeks ago is said to have dispersed the Dutch fishing fleet, of which there is no news. It is reported to be completely broken and dispersed, but of this there is no certainty.
They expect his Majesty at Windsor, back from his progress, within a fortnight. He proposes to stay there some weeks. The queen has spent her time so far at Oatlands, where she has passed it in getting her maids to perform pastorals and comedies and other pleasant diversions. The day before yesterday she came to this city, intending to stay at least a week, but the news reached her yesterday that the prince had fallen ill with a slight fever, so she decided to leave in haste to see him, this morning.
I have received this week the state despatches of the 27th July. With regard to the move for an adjustment with Savoy, the Resident here seems to have abandoned all idea of any further attempts to that end. However, I will keep my eyes open.
London, the 31st August, 1635.
[Italian ; the part in italics deciphered.]


  • 1. The Pearl, master Luke Whetston, taken by a squadron of French ships commanded by M. du Chalart in the roads of Safi, Morocco, on Whit Sunday the 27th May 1635. Cal. S.P. Dom. 1635, pages 407, 408, Id. 1636-7, page 282, Id. Add. 1625-49, pages 540-542.
  • 2. The fort of Schenk was taken by a party under Lt.-Col. Eenholt on the 27th July. Le Clerc : Hist. des Prov. Vnies, Vol. ii. page 156.
  • 3. Proclamation of the 21st July to restrain the king's subjects from departing out of the realm without licence. Cal. S.P. Dom. 1635, page 286. Steele : Royal Proclamations, Vol. I. page 203, No. 1697.
  • 4. John Taylor.
  • 5. See the account in Clarendon History of the Rebellion at the end of Book i.
  • 6. Charterhouse Square in which the embassy was situated.
  • 7. There is a memorial on this subject presented by the Ambassador on 22 August at the Public Record Office, S.P. For. Venice. The man killed was a butcher, one Evan Davis. The names of the ambassador's servants implicated are given in an order of the Council of 2 December, pardoning all except John Gramazzi, the principal actor, who had fled. Cal. S.P. Dom. 1635, pages 323, 328, 357, 523, 524.
  • 8. John Taylor. His draft instructions are dated 30th July, o.s. S.P. For. Germany Empire. Coke supposed that he would have taken leave of the king on Sunday 2/12 August. Cal. S.P. Dom. 1635, page 300. The Spanish Resident Necolalde in a letter of the 10th August to the Count of Onate. Spanish Ambassador in Germany writes of him : "No es hombre de fondo o de buenos deseos y el mayor es tener ocupacion para comer." S.P. For. Spain.
  • 9. Probably the Isaac of London, master Reuben Broad, taken off the Scilly Islands by the Michael of Havre, Capt. Leward. Cal. S.P. Dom. 1635, page 326.
  • 10. Signed at Rivoli on the 11th July. Dumont : Corps Diplomatique, Tome VI. pt. i., pages 109, 110.
  • 11. The king went from Salisbury to Lyndhurst on Monday 20 August N.S., he was at Bagshot on the 28th and reached Woodstock at the beginning of September. Cal. S.P. Dom. 1635, page 330. S.P. For. Holland, dispatch of 14/24 Sept.
  • 12. On the 17th August N.S.