Venice: September 1635

Pages 445-457

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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September 1635

Sept. 1.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Spagna. Venetian Archives.
535. Giovanni Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.
With reference to the reports spread by the ministers here about an approaching alliance with England, the English secretary not only refrains from countenancing the notion but states publicly that unless some compromise is found about the Palatinate, everything will be broken off.
Madrid, the 1st September, 1635.
Sept. 7.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Inghilterra. Venetian Archives.
536. Anzolo Correr, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The Secretary of State has sent off il Teller, the gentleman nominated by the king to go to Germany and perform the function decided upon with the emperor, touching the interests of the Palatine. He left here last week.
His instructions have been slightly changed, but they are substantially the same as I reported. By this step they think here that they have done enough, and they do not seem inclined to trouble any more about the matter until they hear something of the results, especially as they believe the Most Christian to be so far committed that he will not be able to abandon the conduct of the affair, and this belief is encouraged by the relief of Franchendal by the Cardinal la Valette. This event raises their hopes, to which they abandon themselves the more readily because they have no inclination to do anything effective on their own account.
In the same connection the Minister of Savoy told his Majesty last Sunday that it grieved the duke, his master, to see his Majesty so deeply insulted by the Austrians. He wished he could divide himself into two so that he might help his Majesty as he is helping the Most Christian in Italy, to avenge the injuries inflicted by the treaty with Saxony. His Majesty merely answered in general terms, and altho' the Resident's remarks were something over sauced (un poco troppo picante) he expressed his gratification and his desire to correspond to the duke's kindness whenever an opportunity should occur. After this office I am informed that his Majesty detained the Resident a long while, reading him letters and discussing other very secret matters. But it has not been possible to find out the subject of their conversation.
The orders recently given to General Linze about the fleet were to replenish his munitions and, without taking on any more men, to go at once to cruise off Scotland. If he then receives no further orders, he is to put an end to its activities for this year. While these decisions were pending the ships of France have advanced in good numbers, without fear, towards Calais. They seem in no hurry to go away, their object being to guard shipping and the coasts of Normandy from the daily molestation of the Dunkirkers.
A Zeeland ship which reached the ports here the day before yesterday, confirms the news of the total rout of the Dutch fishing fleet by the fleet which recently sailed from Dunkirk. He reports that the Dutch fishing boats numbered over sixty, and of two larger ships protecting them, one escaped, while the other, mounting 28 guns, was captured. This event is considered here as involving considerable consequences, as indeed it does, owing to the incalculable loss inflicted on the Dutch, rendering their present needs the more sensible as they are made greater and more urgent.
Yet another Dutch ship, which was chased by a Dunkirker right into one of the ports here, was arrested by a squadron of this fleet. (fn. 1) The Dutch captain himself arrived here yesterday. He has appealed to the Ambassador Joachimi for the release of himself and his ship, feeling sure that the ambassador will take energetic steps on his behalf ; but it is not certain whether he will succeed, since it is only reasonable that the English should, once in a way, take some redress for the damage which the Dutch are constantly inflicting on them without any consideration.
Letters from Danzig of the 16th ult. report the progress made with the negotiations for a truce between Poland and Sweden. The news received from that quarter from day to day is always entirely contradictory.
No courier has arrived this week with news of Flanders and Germany, and the ordinary packet from Italy is also lacking.
The queen is staying at Richmond to be near the prince, who has not yet entirely recovered from his indisposition.
I am anxiously awaiting the return of the Secretary Windebank from Court for the recovery of my servant, who is still a prisoner, as I would not offer the surety which they demanded. I have informed myself about the process and I find that while they were furious to injure my men, yet they all depose with one voice that they were the first to start the brawl, and they have also found out the name of the one who committed the homicide. They have asked me to give him over to justice. But as he escaped, being fearful from the first, they are very glad that this has happened. On the other hand, they themselves admit his innocence and express the intention, even if the king does not order it, to send him back to me at the first term, as a matter of justice. Neither the customs nor the laws here allow me to hope for more, as there is the recent example of a servant of the Swedish ambassador extraordinary Oxenstern, who was arrested for a crime, and though absolved, he was judged by the ordinary forms of justice. I shall try to secure some advantage, and I do not altogether despair, although when it is a question of the death of a man, there is no severity that they do not exercise.
London, the 7th September, 1635.
[Italian ; the part in italics deciphered.]
Sept. 11.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Francia. Venetian Archives.
537. Alvise Contarini, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
The English ambassador is visiting all the ministers except the Cardinal, whom he will not meet owing to the pretensions raised by the late Ambassador Wake. I hear that he is to perform special offices for the restoration of Lorraine.
Paris, the 11th Sept., 1635.
Sept. 13.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Haya. Venetian Archives.
538. Francesco Michiel, Venetian Ambassador at the Hague, to the Doge and Senate.
A courier from London has caused the Resident to go to Rhenen to see the Princess Palatine and give the king's answer to her entreaties. The exact nature of his commissions is not known, but it is understood that the Princess will not receive any consolation beyond fair words. Many believe that the mischief comes from some of the ministers there, all dependants of Austria.
The Hague, the 13th September, 1635.
Sept. 15.
Cinque Savii alla Mercanzia. Risposte. Venetian Archives.
539. The captain of the English ship "Hector" (fn. 2) represents that he came from London with goods and was refused leave to depart empty unless he found a pledge not to go to the Levant ports, and he asks for leave to go without such a pledge. This ship put in at Leghorn, where it left the most valuable part of its cargo. It took on board coloured and other stones and later laded other goods at Zante, coming on here afterwards. The English merchants here asked that it might have leave to lade currants at Zante without paying the 5 per thousand. When this was not allowed they asked permission to lade empty casks for Zante. This would not be refused if the captain is ready to give a pledge that he will not lade any goods in the Gulf, will do no hurt to Venetian ships and goods in the Gulf will not go to the Levant. But as he said he wished to go to Syria, the pledge not to go to the Levant was demanded. He then asked permission to go empty.
We consider the decision of this to be a matter for the Senate. We do not think it advisable for vessels to sail empty, especially to the Levant. Thus, in 1626, to encourage Westerners to come to this city the import duty on goods from the West was halved and the export duty on many goods was reduced, and leave was given to lade currants at Zante without paying the duty of 5 per thousand. This ship will have enjoyed these advantages. The practice of leaving London with full cargoes of various merchandise and instead of coming straight to this city with their entire cargoes, to go off to Genoa, Leghorn and other marts to unlade there the best of their goods, and afterwards bring the remainder, which they cannot dispose of elsewhere, while filling their ships with lead, wood, verzin, and other things of no great moment, a new practice begun by these ships, is not what was expected of them, and it was not for this that the inducement of the reduced duty was offered. And now it appears that they propose to come here for their own advantage solely, even depriving Venetian ships of the freights from Zante, Cephalonia and Corfu and then leave here empty. This does not appear tolerable to us, and especially if it is to go to the Levant, whither they take coined money and perhaps other goods, since all the efforts of the Magistrates do not suffice to prevent smuggling, as we have already discovered by experience in the case of the English ship "Parangon," which left here for Ancona, and then proceeded to Constantinople with many goods. And by these indirect ways the foreign merchants who dwell here trade with the Levant contrary to the public intention, afterwards sending to the West the capital which ought to come here. From this it follows that in Cyprus our ships have nothing to do, as by this means cotton is taken away from them. It is the same thing in Syria. If the object of the captain of the "Hector" is to proceed with the reals from here to Syria, as we are sure is the case, in order to buy cotton in Cyprus and gall nuts at Alexandretta, he can provide himself with those commodities here for the same money. The injury is so self evident that it is enough to point it out.
Dated at the office, the 15th September, 1635.
Alvise Basadonna. Savii.
Alvise Mocenigo, junior.
Pol Antonio Valaresso.
Vettore Pesaro.
Sept. 15.
Collegio, Secreta. Esposizioni, Principi. Venetian Archives.
540. The Ambassador of Great Britain came into the Collegio and spoke as follows :
My confidence in your Serenity's desire to give satisfaction to his Majesty and relieve his subjects who trade in these waters emboldens me to come again to beg you for the despatch of those affairs and memorials which I commended to you. I feel sure that your Serenity recognises that trade is human and necessary and that you will hasten to favour a nation that esteems you above all others and encourage mutual trade, when that is so important to a mutual understanding and advantage, as my king is ready to do.
I have a kindred matter to add, namely the loss and expense owing to the ship (fn. 3) still remaining in port which a while ago petitioned to leave empty for the Levant. I ask for its despatch, why the Five Savii will not give it and to tell me what are the difficulties, that I may smoothe them away or report them in England, so that they may be aware of the good intentions and orders of your Serenity, and that a bad impression may not be created by the representations of others.
The doge replied that they were anxious to do everything to please his Majesty. Sometimes things were asked which could not be granted by the laws, as some of the statutes and laws in their interests could not be altered. They were not fully informed upon the things which he asked, but within the limits of the law they would do everything possible to please his Majesty and his lordship.
The ambassador said he would like to be informed about the laws, because what is due and just should always command assent. The doge said, Let the merchants come with memorials, and they shall be satisfied. The ambassador bowed and departed.
Sept. 17
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Inghilterra. Venetian Archives.
541. Anzolo Correr, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The day after my last despatch the Secretary Windebank arrived here from the Court. He told me he had spoken to his Majesty about the affair between my servants and the people, and fully set forth the reasons why I claimed the release of my courier. He told me that the king replied very decidedly that as a subject had died and he was constantly being bothered for the punishment of delinquents he did not feel at all inclined to take the case out of the hands of the ordinary judges, as it would create too much discontent among the people and it would be improper to break the laws of the realm in such cases, which were equally unalterable for all. I told him I was astonished to hear that, contrary to the practice everywhere, they meant to judge my servants according to the ordinary forms, as if the character I bore did not distinguish me from ordinary persons. The secretary rejoined, The laws of this country are indeed very different from those of all others, because they make no distinction of persons, and where a death occurs, and in this more particularly, where the people have been so much roused, his Majesty cannot change the ordinary procedure without prejudicing his own interests.
I replied that this peculiarity of the laws applied to the king's subjects but not to ambassadors and their dependents, whose privileges would amount to nothing if they were not outside the laws. Justice and reason were on my side in this case, but even if they were not this respect was due to me. I knew that the matter had been misrepresented from the first. My servants were unarmed and only acted in self defence. It was only a natural law to repel force by force. I therefore had good cause to resent the imprisonment of my servant, especially as I knew he was innocent. The secretary replied he was innocent in so far as it had been shown that he was not the actual murderer ; but he was an accomplice and subject to the same penalty as the principal, so that he was amenable to the common law and could not be let off. I then said that I would speak expressly to the king. He told me I could do so when I pleased, but I must not complain that he had not warned me that I might get a disagreeable answer. This gave me cause to consider that I might meet with some mortifying repulse from his Majesty, if I spoke to him. To avoid this and because of a slow fever which has kept me in bed since Sunday, I decided to wait for what time and repeated offices would effect. But I see no opening, since nothing has been decided so far by me or the other ambassadors, who consider the interest a common one, but I will try to secure something while waiting for your Excellencies' commands. So far I have not involved the name of the state in the matter and will not do so without orders.
Meanwhile they have made the concession that the servant shall be kept in a place apart and not in the ordinary prison. But this is a small matter since he is to be judged by the common law, and will only escape the gallows by the king's grace, a law which seems to me too severe, not to say unjust. It is certainly an extraordinary thing and almost impossible to believe that the facts have been proved so entirely different from what actually took place, by this perfidious and barbarous people, in a matter of such publicity, and it is impossible to make it appear otherwise since it is not possible to produce any testimony except that of the enemies themselves. I hear further that when the time of the trial comes they mean to demand of me three or four others, besides the one who escaped. But I am determined not to yield as I am sure they will not take them by force.
I have had an opportunity of finding out the contents of the letters and secret negotiations which were dealt with at the last audience which the Savoyard minister had of his Majesty. They contained the ordinary letters of the duke to the king to thank him warmly for the obligation he had put him under by the readiness he had shown to devote his offices for the re-establishment of a good understanding with your Excellencies, upon which the duke would send full instructions if need were. The king remarked that the, sooner he heard of the successful issue of this affair, the better he would be pleased, and he would always be glad to take it in hand.
The Dutch ambassador went to Court as soon as he heard of the capture of his ship, and he is still there negotiating, with what success does not appear. The English merchants here make trouble for him, since they claim and are trying to get compensation for the great amount of damage which these same Dutch have recently inflicted on them.
In the mean time the fleet is engaged in replacing the provisions of food with all speed, in order to execute his Majesty's orders without delay, to cruise towards Scotland, always with the aim and intention, so far as one can understand, although they proclaim differently to avoid an encounter with the ships of France.
From France we hear of the recovery of Bingen in the Lower Palatinate by the Cardinal of La Valette, under the eyes of Galasso's army at which they are greatly delighted here, since it confirms the hope of the Most Christian's assistance there. But no further news has arrived this week.
I have received this week the state despatches of the 2nd ult. With regard to the offices of the Ambassador Fildin about the merchants I will endeavour to see his Majesty as soon as he approaches this city. For my own part I venture to think that the offices are from the ambassador alone, although he may be sure of his Majesty's approval. I am confirmed in this opinion because some weeks ago I had occasion to congratulate his Majesty, more particularly about the sailing of the fleet. Although he responded very promptly I noticed that when I first opened my office the king seemed undecided and as it were listening to something new to him. I also found that the ministers also had not the information that was required of them either, because immediately I was strong enough, and before speaking to his Majesty, especially as he is so far away, I thought it a good plan to make some representation in the first instance to one of the secretaries of state, in conformity with the instructions sent to me, to see if by that means I could find out.
London, the 17th September, 1635.
[Italian ; the part in italics deciphered.]
Sept. 18.
Collegio, Secreta. Esposizioni Principi. Venetian Archives.
542. The Ambassador of Great Britain came into the Collegio and spoke substantially as follows :
Your Serenity's reply to my last office encouraged me to enquire what the laws demand in such cases as that of our ship detained here, (fn. 4) so that I might be able to smoothe away the difficulty, in my zeal to encourage free trading between our states, as is the case in England and as I believe you desire, though I ask for nothing outside the law. With all my efforts I have only been able to find this paper here, which he showed. It was the decre, about ships of the 31st August, 1602. He asked that an article of this might be read, and this was done. He said, Our merchants do not evade but readily submit to the strict law, but the Five Savii judge differently and mean time the ship remains in port, I cannot say at how much expense and how much duty, so that if your Serenity does not intervene I have no hope of a favourable issue to the affair. If you do so it will confirm the affection of my king render the whole nation beholden and encourage it to continue and increase trade.
The doge answered, Trade is precisely what the republic desires to increase and maintain. For the rest, laws are the foundation of princes ; they depend upon the magistrates, who carry them out. The Five Savii in this case had to see that there was no infringement of the law, and to do justice ; if there was no infringement, they will let the ship go, but if there was, they must see that the law is observed. We esteem his Majesty and shall always prove it by our acts.
The ambassador again referred to the article to which he had drawn attention. The merchants and those interested in the ship in question will give pledges and observe that law entirely provided they are despatched and suffer no further loss.
The doge replied, We do not know about that ; there may be other laws or decrees. We will send for the magistracy of the Five Savii and hear how the matter is proceeding, and right shall be done.
The ambassador then began to speak of Colonel Duglas, and to recommend his despatch. The doge said they would gladly accede to his requests, and in this matter they would do everything possible, but here again the law stood in the way. The ambassador then bowed and departed.
Immediately after he had gone the secretary sent to the doors of the Collegio to ask if the orders had been sent for the dismissal of the ship Hercules, of which the ambassador had spoken. Reply was made, by order of the Collegio, that they would send for the magistracy of the Five Savii and enjoin upon them the observance of the laws.
Sept. 20.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Haya. Venetian Archives.
543. Francesco Michiel, Venetian Ambassador at the Hague, to the Doge and Senate.
The Assembly of Holland met last week. They decided to choose an ambassador extraordinary for England at the end of six months. They consider this necessary because of the agreements with France, but much more from the importance of preventing ill effects from the unfriendly disposition of that crown, which they clearly recognise, the news being confirmed that by the royal order the Dunkirk ships are to be convoyed, while the English protest loudly about Dutch ships pursuing Dunkirkers into English ports. Their High Mightinesses deny the fact and say that the English monarch is hunting for a pretext for a quarrel, guided by ambition and by some disease which disturbs his stomach (qualche humoro corotto che conserva nel stomaco). But they will try and smoothe things over by a conciliatory attitude, and will try to win the ministers at any price. They also have ready the presents for that king, six fine horses, amber, paintings and a large clock.
The Hague, the 20th September, 1635.
[Italian ; the part in italics deciphered.]
Sept. 20.
Cinque Savii alla Mercanzia. Risposte. Venetian Archives.
544. In the matter of the ship "Hector" (fn. 5) licence will be given for it to go to the west, upon the usual securities, but there is no precedent for granting one if he says he is going to the Levant, whether full or empty. There is no security that the captain will not do as others have done, smuggle out goods. We have learned from several sources that the ship unladed a quantity of merchandise at Zante, to be laded again on its return and disposed of in Cyprus and Syria, whence Western ships are said to sail and take goods to Zante and the other islands, cutting out the trade of Venetian ships, which find no cargo. It is clear that by such means foreigners and the English in particular, deprive Venetian ships of all hope and our merchants of the power to trade. We consider that some decree of the state is needed in order to prevent further ruin.
Dated at the office, the 20th September, 1635.
Alvise Basadonna. Savii
Alvise Mocenigo.
Pol Antonio Valaresso.
Vettor Pesaro.
Sept. 27.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Haya. Venetian Archives.
545. Francesco Michiel, Venetian Ambassador at the Hague, to the Doge and Senate.
The English fleet has stopped a Dutch vessel which was fighting a Dunkirker in the Narrow Seas. (fn. 6) Their High Mightinesses call this a kind of reprisals and the beginning of war, which they fear they may not be able to avoid. They held very lengthy consultations on the subject all yesterday and to day as well. Any steps they may decide to take will be strictly gentle in character, as they are most anxious to prevent ill feeling from growing, and will do more than they would at another time. They say plainly that time is not long enough to digest the poison that these extravagances will generate in the breast of these Provinces, and some day they will speu them in the face of England. Others say with great passion that in the face of these innovations they would do better to try and make peace with the Spaniards in order not to undergo injury and scorn from that quarter thro' their patience. Others again say that owing to the weakness of that kingdom they need not trouble about the forces of that crown, with no one but themselves to rely on, and once they were thoroughly defeated they would not know how to restore themselves again. Such talk shows the state of feeling in this country ; but they will keep it concealed until circumstances change.
The Resident of England returned two days ago from Renen, where he went to see the Princess Palatine, who has since withdrawn to a neighbouring village because of the plague. He says he informed her of a union of his king with the French and these States, in the interests of her House, which in no way agrees with what one sees. It is considered an artifice to console the lady, whom he found very distressed, and to keep himself in countenance, as he always asserted that these Provinces had no cause for alarm about the English fleet.
The Hague, the 27th September, 1635.
[Italian ; the part in italics deciphered.]
Sept. 28.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Inghilterra. Venetian Archives.
546. Anzolo Correr, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
After seventeen days of low but constant fever, I am at last free of it and able to return to my work. I hope that my omissions will be excused on this account.
In spite of the great reluctance of Baron Astenei, the ordinary ambassador designate to Spain, to start on his journey at this season of the year, he has been obliged to go, owing to the pressure of the Council and the express orders of the king. He embarked this week on one of the royal ships, which will take him to Galicia. The Spaniard should be there who has long been expected to reside at this Court. They say it is arranged that he shall avail himself of the same ship for his passage here. (fn. 7) The reason why they have hastened the ambassador's going is that he may be at that Court at the same time that il Teller is in Germany, so that they may negotiate in concert about the Palatinate.
The Resident Nicolaldi here says that he will proceed to Flanders as soon as the ambassador arrives, to undertake some important position which he holds in the household of the Cardinal Infant. He is such a diligent minister, with such keen penetration so versed in the proceedings of this Court and so intimate with the most influential in the government that the Spaniards certainly cannot profit by his removal.
A gentleman of the Queen Mother left here last week after being busily engaged in secret negotiations for a fortnight. They say he has gone to Germany to continue negotiations with Cœsar, and has only left an outline here, but all his transactions were so secret that I do not think their real marrow can be reached. Yet the French ambassadors assure me that the Queen Mother is trying through him to arrange a new league between the emperor, the king of Spain and his Majesty here directed against France. They are not sure about the particulars of the negotiations or of the replies given him, though they suppose he went away hopeful or he would not have gone to Germany. It is also very likely, since for the sake of reputation they very often like to handle negotiations even when they have no intention of doing anything in reality, that they have pretended to give ear to the proposals of the queen, without any idea of proceeding further. But it will be difficult to discover the real essence of the affair before the return of the Court.
For the release of the Dutch ship seized a fortnight ago in the Downs the Ambassador Joachimi has followed the king for ten days through forests and the roughest places, where he was hunting, but without ever being able to obtain any categorical reply. (fn. 8) All they tell him is that the matter will be gone into carefully and justice done which means that the longest way will be taken, as is usually the case here in all matters of any importance. But that would matter little if there was any hope of the restoration of the ship. But the incensed way in which they speak against the Dutch because of their recent capture of some English ships shows beforehand that all efforts and labour will be thrown away. The ambassador, however, uses strong arguments, saying that if the English have suffered hurt and loss from certain individuals, so long as they know for certain that these irregularities were not committed by order of the States or with their permission, it is not reasonable, before making official representations for redress, to proceed with so much resolution to acts of open hostility against their ships of war, as they have done on this occasion. That is not the way to respond to the sincere respect which the States profess for his Majesty, but it amounts to a declaration against them of a determined and open hostility, without choosing to say a word and without cause.
But these arguments produce no effect whatever, and it is the belief of everyone that the ship will ultimately be confiscated. The Dutch will take this very ill and from what the ambassador himself said it might sting them to a desire for revenge. The ambassador told me further that his masters have at last decided upon sending an ambassador extraordinary here to see whether by this means, for which they have frequently expressed a desire here, it may be possible to arrange something about the old standing negotiations for an alliance. But they themselves are well aware that this mission will serve for nothing but appearances, since the difficulties are too arduous and the irritation of the ministers here too great to allow of any conclusion.
The Ambassador Scudamore reports that his audience of the Most Christian and his entry into Paris took place with entire satisfaction and decorum but he could not arrange to see the Cardinal without agreeing to what all the others did, about claiming the right hand in his own house. They are sticklish upon this point here, contending that as minister of the king the Cardinal cannot make this claim, and as Cardinal they do not recognise him as anything. Unless they change their minds, of which there is no sign, the ambassador will not be allowed to visit him, although they know that it will be of great advantage for all that occurs at that Court for him to do so. The examples of the Duke of Buckingham and of the Earls of Carlisle and Holland, who never raised such pretensions, although they were ambassadors extraordinary, serves for nothing.
They insist here that the conclusion of the new truce between Poland and Sweden is certain, and assert that now the king of Poland is relieved of all anxiety about war he will no longer delay his marriage with the Palatine princess. For this purpose they say he will soon be sending ambassadors here, with absolute powers to settle everything.
A courier arrived yesterday from the Ambassador Fildin, who says he made the journey in fifteen days. He was eagerly received owing to the desire at Court to hear news from Italy. He brought word of the siege of Valenza by the Duke of Chrichi, of the Duke of Savoy taking the field and other things. I have not been able to find out what the ambassador's despatches contained.
The prince has recovered from his illness and enjoys perfect health. The queen sometimes stays here and sometimes in her houses in the neighbourhood. Her pregnancy causes her much discomfort. Meanwhile his Majesty has gone a long way off, hunting in the wildest forests, and there is no hope of seeing him near here for some time.
I have received your Serenity's letters of the 8, 11 and 18 August with the orders with respect to the trade carried on by the merchants here in Constantinople, and in particular about the cloth with fringes (cimozze) according to the Venetian style.
London, the 28th September, 1635.
[Italian ; the part in italics deciphered.]
Sept. 29.
Senato, Secreta. Deliberazioni, Corti. Venetian Archives.
546. To the Ambassador in England.
The Ambassador Fildin has performed two offices, of which we enclose copies, that an English ship may have permission to leave here for the Levant. We enclose a copy of our reply, made after weighing the damage that would result to our trade and subjects from such a concession. We send you this information in case the ambassador writes and complains, as we feel sure that his Majesty will not expect anything unreasonable when he knows the true motives for our action in such an important matter.
Ayes, 119. Noes, 3. Neutral, 7.
548. That the Ambassador of the King of Great Britain be summoned to the Collegio and that the following be read to him :
We are anxious to afford you every satisfaction owing to our cordial relations with his Majesty, and we have recently made every effort to smoothe away the difficulties in the case of the ship "Hercules." But the obstacles in the way are greater than our desire to gratify you, as if we consented to allow this ship to go we should be ministering to our own hurt and should arouse the distrust of our own subjects, who would claim the same. We feel sure that your Excellency will accept this explanation in the assurance of our desire to please you in every possible way.
Ayes, 119. Noes, 3. Neutral, 7.
Sept. 29.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Spagna. Venetian Archives.
549. Giovanni Giustiniax, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.
The English Secretary is urging the Court to appoint an ambassador in response to the one expected soon from England. The object is possibly to obtain some advantage for the Palatine. The Count Duke protests their readiness to give every satisfaction about the Palatinate. New proposals have been put forward to give those princes a pension or some equivalent in Flanders, or Germany, or else some appointment here. From what the Secretary says I fancy that England would accept some arrangement that would satisfy the needs of those princes in a decorous manner, the chief aim of that crown being to establish them so that they would have no further need of the regular succour he supplies. The Secretary seems to consider the restoration of the electoral vote a great difficulty, and in talking to me seemed very pessimistic about the Palatine's affairs. No prince in Germany was willing to help him, and some had shown themselves hostile. The prince would be wise to make the best arrangements he could. This indicates that England would agree to any sort of remedy, however mediocre.
Madrid, the 29th September, 1635. Copy.


  • 1. The Sampson of Flushing, Capt. Jan Vandieux, a warship of 21 guns, taken by a squadron consisting of the Rainbow. Capt. John Povey, the Exchange and the Eighth Whelp, when chasing a Biscay pirate, and brought into Hull on the 19th August O.S. Memorials of Joachimi of the 6th and 25th Sept. S.P. For. Holland. Cal. S.P. Dom. 1635, pages 339, 340. The English Resident in Holland in his dispatch of 11/22 Sept. calls the Sampson "one of these nouveaux geux or freebooters." S.P. For. Holland.
  • 2. It should be the Hercules, master Mr. Knight, a ship of 500 tons which left England on the 18th April, Salvetti, news letters of 16 March and 20 April. Brit. Mus. Add. Mss. 27962. At the Court of the Levant Company held on 8th July 1635 it was proposed to send an empty ship to Venice to complain of the charge on currants not being taken off. S.P. For. Archives Vol. 149, and it would appear that the Hercules had thus received orders to go on empty to Venice on purpose to raise this question.
  • 3. The Hercules, see above.
  • 4. The Hercules. Fielding's letter and a copy of the doge's reply are in the S.P. Foreign Venice enclosed in the ambassador's despatch of 5/15 September. The ship was to discharge her cargo at Venice and go and relade at Scanderoon. The master, Mr. Knight, after losing 36 days, finally went off without having obtained licence. Ibid. Fielding's despatch of the 7th October.
  • 5. rectius Hercules.
  • 6. This must refer to the seizure of the Sampson on the 19/29 August. See No. 536 at page 446 above. The ship was seized because of the Dutch violation of the neutrality of Scarborough, shortly before, by chasing a Dunkirker right into the port and landing men to attack her. Cal. S.P. Dom. 1635. pages 273, 294.
  • 7. Lord Aston went on the Henrietta Maria, but his start was delayed by bad weather. Cal, S.P. Dom, 1635, pp. 382, 387, 396. The expected ambassador was the Count of Humanes. See No. 345 at pp. 269 above.
  • 8. This refers almost certainly to the Sampson, but this vessel was taken off Hull on the 29th August. See note to page 446 above. A French "pirate" was seized in the Downs on Friday the 7th Sept. (Cal. S.P. Dom. 1635, page 360), and it would seem as if Correr was confusing the two incidents.