Venice: March 1636

Pages 525-538

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

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March 1636

March 2.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Germania. Venetian Archives.
615. Giovanni Battista Ballarino, Venetian Secretary in Germany, to the Doge and Senate.
On Wednesday in last week a courier arrived from England in twenty days with a letter to the emperor and instructions to Teller to press for some definite resolution about the Palatinate, and to say that any delay in answering would be interpreted as a sign that Cæsar was reluctant to give satisfaction and that action would be taken upon the courier's return. The messenger reported that couriers had also been sent to Spain and Sweden, but he may have spread this report with design. This action has made the emperor and his ministers anxious ; but when Teller went to audience of his Majesty soon after he remarked, as if on his own account, that the difficulty could not only be adjusted, but that England might be brought to make a defensive and offensive alliance with the Catholic if only they would listen to justice and reason. For this purpose his Majesty should send a special embassy to London, as this would certainly please his king. The emperor seemed inclined to do this and said that they would answer the letter, showing their good will, but that the Duke of Bavaria is the sole cause of delay and Cæsar cannot refuse to hear him.
Meanwhile Verteman's despatch has been postponed for some days, and they may decide to send an ambassador, the only doubt being a question of prestige. Some think it would be better not to take any resolution, to compel England to arm, and then do, as an act of necessity, everything that is asked to give complete satisfaction to the Palatine. In this way Bavaria would have no just cause for complaint, and if England was armed they would more easily reap the fruits of an alliance, which would otherwise be liable to uncertainty.
All are not pleased with this idea, though they do not mind about Bavaria, whose loyalty to the House of Austria is suspect. They might grant the Palatine his hereditary dominions. Bavaria is considered to be very friendly to France at heart. They know he is responsible for the objections raised by many to the diet. It is believed that neither Cæsar nor Bavaria will be able to realise the results of their exertions unless England is first satisfied and a general peace made in the empire.
Vienna, the 2nd March, 1636.
March 6.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Haya. Venetian Archives.
616. Francesco Michiel, Venetian Ambassador at the Hague, to the Doge and Senate.
The Prince told me that he had seen letters from one John Zavadesky, a Pole, to one of the ambassadors in Poland, stating that the ecclesiastical estates had at last given their consent to the marriage of the king with the Palatine princess, and he was to go to England by way of Holland to conclude the affair. The whole Court is on tiptoe for the confirmation of the news, as this alliance is considered most important and advantageous for the common cause. They say that the pope has said under his breath that he will not refuse his blessing once the marriage is concluded.
M. di Beveren saw me on Monday and said that he was leaving this week. He is a gentleman of breeding and talent and displays an aptitude for negotiation.
The Baron di Rasechurt, Grand Master of the Artillery of the Duke of Lorraine, has left Brussels for England by order of the duke, his master. (fn. 1)
The Hague, the 6th March, 1636.
March 7.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Inghilterra. Venetian Archives.
617. Anzolo Correr, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The pleasures of the carnival prevent all serious business. The chief news is the king's choice of the admiral of the new fleet in the person of the Earl of Northumberland. He is one whose years have not yet given him great experience of naval matters, but as he is of very noble birth and endowed by nature with great prudence and ability they hope for good results. He is to sail by the middle of April with twenty five of the best ships and to wait for the others at sea, which will be sent to him in a few days. His commissions will resemble those given to the Earl of Lindesay last year, namely to scour these seas, keep a free way for all nations and to get others to render obedience and recognise the supreme authority of the king's flag. He will also have orders to prevent all those who have not first obtained licence from the king, from fishing, a claim lately revived, which greatly disturbs the Dutch. The earl declares that he will carry out his instructions with punctuality and rigour without regard for any one soever, if they will not render obedience, and that he will enforce them even against superior numbers. The Court expects much from his resolution believing that he will do his utmost to win reputation and respect from the successful conduct of this, his first conspicuous and important charge. The French seem to pay little attention to the sailing of the squadron or to the earl's threats. They say that their king will not have a single ship with his flag flying in the Channel, as the whole French fleet is destined for the Mediterranean.
The affairs of the Palatine both at Paris and Vienna remain stationary, and nothing is done here. M. di Seneterre is waiting for leave to return to France. The Spanish Resident Nicolaldi has obtained permission without difficulty for the conveyance to Dunkirk, under convoy, of a million of francs lately arrived on board an English vessel. (fn. 2)
His Majesty has not come to any decision about the sentence reported in Ireland, and so it remains in suspense. Meanwhile the Viceroy there has obtained leave to come here to Court to exculpate himself from the charges made against his rule in the last troubles. The king thinks highly of him and says he has been very well served, so his coming will only serve to defeat his opponents. Some indeed think that he may take this opportunity to induce his Majesty to give him the treasurership, both to make use of his services in that important office and to satisfy the Irish, who would gladly see him removed from that government. In spite of these rumours Cottington does not lose his well founded hopes, secure that the king is satisfied with his present management. Meanwhile newer rumours that his Majesty inclines to give the treasureship to the Bishop of London do not disturb him, while it is quite certain that the vacancy of this office occasions quarrelling and strife among the courtiers who are most in credit, and all these confusions do not tend to the service of the crown, so in one way or another it is thought that the king will soon be compelled to come to some decision.
The Secretary Coke has recovered, and although feeble under the weight of his 76 years he appeared this week at the Council. Little more is said about the disposal of his office, and it is thought that so long as he continues to discharge it in good health, it will not be taken away from him. The Earl of Carlisle also is much better and likely to live. The king comforted him greatly by the honour of a visit, when he stayed some hours, giving him every sign of affection.
The day before yesterday a courier brought news from Italy which greatly distressed the Court, of the death at Florence of the eldest son of the Earl of Pembroke. (fn. 3) His Majesty feels it especially, because of the loss to the earl, who is his Lord Chamberlain and whom he particularly loves, and because the young man recently married by his order a daughter of the late Duke of Buckingham, whose memory is deeply rooted in his affection. As a sign of his grief at this event he has ordered the abandonment of some entertainments which were arranged for these last days of the carnival.
I have received the ducal missives of the 26th January.
London, the 7th March, 1636.
618. Anzolo Correr, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
Panzani has received letters from Cardinal Barberino this week about the change of the inscriptions in the Sala Regia. He has tried to justify the reasons given for this step with the foreign ministers and with people of Catholic leanings. He stated that Pope Alexander went to Venice not as a refugee but in triumph, and there made peace with the emperor. The republic arrogated too much to itself. Previous connivance was no reason for the continuance of what investigation proved to be wrong.
To prevent the spread of bad impressions I have spoken to the French ambassadors and to other leading ministers of the Court. I showed them the validity of the claims of the most serene republic and that the eulogy had been ordained by Pope Pius IV. This was not a private matter. Your Excellencies felt bound to preserve so precious a capital. I certainly convinced all those with whom I had occasion to speak, so I think that Panzani's eloquence and art will be spent in vain. (fn. 4)
London, the 7th March, 1636.
March 14.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Inghilterra. Venetian Archives.
619. Anzolo Correr, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The Ambassador Poygni showed me in confidence the reply given to the English Ambassador in France about the proposed exchange of Lorraine for the Palatinate. It is to the effect that the reply was not such as his Majesty had a right to expect after the care he had shown for the interests of the king of Great Britain. Public report gave out that a person had been sent to the emperor with the same proposal, and he thought it best to wait and hear the emperor's decision. The ministers here admit that this version is substantially correct. They say they are well aware that if it was seriously proposed to take this step the French would have nothing to do with it. The suggestions which they have had submitted are designed solely for the purpose of obtaining a legitimate pretext for declaring war against the Spaniards. They have had this clearly stated to the Secretary Botiglier by the ambassador, but he has not chosen to listen, possibly because they are intent on other objectives. The reply can only serve to confirm England in the opinion they hold of the lack of sincerity shown by France in dealing with this question. That the courier sent to the emperor took nothing beyond the petition for the investiture of the Prince Palatine, recently emerged from his minority. This was a necessary office about which they cannot reasonably raise objections in France.
But it is quite easy to see that all this cackling is not natural but merely raised for the purpose of keeping the Prince Palatine quiet, because at bottom the reply given assuredly did not displease them, since delay is the sole point at which they are aiming in the conduct of this affair, and they try to gain it by underhand means. For although the time calls for action, they believe that prudence counsels sitting fast rather than an adventurous policy. They have never even been willing to admit that Teller has powers to engage in any particular negotiations, but they raise their eyebrows and say that he has only gone to demand of the emperor whether the declaration which he has made in the treaty with Saxony touching the interests of the Palatine, represents his final determination. They deny any knowledge of the appointment of commissioners to treat with Teller, and declare that if he has gone beyond his instructions he has done so of his own caprice, and not by order from the Court. However they do not go so far as to blame him or to say that they will punish him if he has gone beyond the limits of his instructions. This makes it probable that they propose to adopt this method to attribute to the imprudence of the minister all the unpleasant results which they will gather from these negotiations at that Court.
The Palatine himself is also of the same opinion and he complains mildly that they do not talk to him straightforwardly, but he has to conquer by tact and patience the hardness of all the most knotty interests, and he certainly uses them very suavely.
The expenses originally incurred for his table and household, although the coming of his brother, Prince Rupert should have led to their increase, have been greatly reduced, as they make 30l. sterling a day suffice, where they began with 70l. He does not like this change, because of the consequences, but he dissimulates his feelings with great prudence. He is somewhat distressed to see the marriage between his sister and the Polish king cooling off, indeed he has almost given up hope of it, alarmed by the current report that the states of Poland will not give their assent from fear lest, upon its conclusion, all the brothers may proceed to the kingdom to share their sister's good fortune and this may give the English an opportunity to rid themselves of the burden which they bear for their sakes. The Palatine's councillors have spoken freely about it to the ministers here, telling them that without some good resolution from this quarter the marriage will never be concluded, the form of religion, upon which the Poles are now haggling, being only a pretext for delay, and if the first and more important difficulty were removed they would not oppose the gratification of their king any longer.
Their answer here is that this cannot be the cause of the difficulty, because the Poles are quite satisfied about the upright intentions of his Majesty towards the interests of the Princes, his nephews as shown by the treatment which they receive here and the promises never to abandon them. To this they reply that deeds are needed, not polite phrases, as time is passing, the negotiations are growing old and meanwhile the French and Spaniards will be compelled to come to some agreement between themselves, leaving those who remain outside it to bear the burden. Such arguments hardly admit of a reply, but the king and Council do not feel the necessity of making one and they are constantly trying to find the best way to console him.
Letters received yesterday from Calais report the arrest there of a gentleman found on an English ship, who stated that he was coming with commissions from the Princess Margaret, now governor in Portugal. (fn. 5) Many think this was a trick to get him out of a difficulty, and they seem unconcerned about the matter here. The letters also report Spanish designs on La Fere.
A gentleman has left London this week on his return to the queen mother at Brussels having been sent by her merely with congratulations on the birth of the last Princess. He is said to have done nothing else and it is probable as he stayed a very short time and the matter is in other hands. However this may be it is clear that he returns with very great presents of jewels, said to have been given to him personally, but they say with more likelihood that he is to hand them to his mistress. From time to time that princess will obtain some relief from this Court, because there is much sympathy for her present condition ; but there are great difficulties in the way of getting the king to admit her into his dominions as she desires. However, if she suddenly decides to come they may receive her and treat her well in the end.
At last, after much trouble the French ambassadors have obtained the king's pardon for the condemned sailors. They will be set at liberty on the payment of a sum of money and the ship restored to the captain. (fn. 6) The Dutch ambassador has not had the same good fortune for his, who are still in prison without his being able to obtain any prospect of their release. Their Majesties propose to go to Hampton Court next week, to spend all Lent there. They have decided not to make the customary stay at Greenwich this year from fear of the plague, which has caused some ravages about there these last months.
I have received this week the usual advices with the state despatches of the 15th ult.
London, the 14th March, 1636.
[Italian ; the part in italics deciphered.]
620. Giovanni Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.
Two days ago a courier from England brought orders to the ambassador to express to his Majesty his king's gratification at the manner in which the emperor and the Catholic were dealing with the affairs of the Palatine family. The office gave great pleasure at the palace and did much to relieve them of the apprehensions which have perturbed the ministers here not a little of late. They are again feeling confident of making an alliance with that crown.
Madrid, the 14th March, 1636.
March 21.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Inghilterra. Venetian Archives.
621. Anzolo Correr, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
After the office of Treasurer has remained vacant a whole year the king has at length satisfied the curiosity of the Court and ended the agitation of the claimants by giving it to the Bishop of London. He unexpectedly gave the bishop the staff after the council on Sunday, and with it the position in the Council that usually goes with that dignity. Although one cannot say that this person is of more than ordinary birth, yet as he has always lived with irreproachable moderation, he has won the favour of the Archbishop of Canterbury, to such an extent that in a short time he has raised him to the bishopric of London, and amid the fluctuations of so many powerful pretenders has carried him into this most important office contrary to the expectation of every one.
The Court cannot help approving his Majesty's decision, yet it seems that they would rather the choice had fallen upon some one with greater experience of the estates of the realm and more versed in the affairs of the world. They do not think that one who has never had occasion to deal with anything but ecclesiastical affairs can have the capacity required for discharging such an office. Some complain freely that the most conspicuous offices and the greatest authority in the royal Council are falling by degrees into the hands of ecclesiastics, to the prejudice of the nobility and of those houses in particular which have always loyally served the crown. Others are distressed at seeing the hopes of those who imagined that they stood high in the royal favour dashed by this blow. The announcement is quite sufficient to show everyone to what a pitch the power of the archbishop has arrived, as it is certain that by his advice alone he has achieved what neither the offices of the most important lords nor the king's own inclination sufficed to do for others in such a long interval. I have had no opportunity to see the new treasurer yet, but I will do so to-morrow morning, as an appointment has been made, and I will try to win his good graces, as that may help the interests of your Excellencies.
The gentleman arrested at Calais by the French was not a messenger from the Princess Margaret, Governess of Portugal, but the Steward of the Duke Charles of Lorraine, sent on a private mission to the king here, who is much disturbed at this and insists on his being released. The French ambassadors have promised to write to France accordingly, and hold out hopes that the affair will be settled satisfactorily.
They have decided not to send any reply to the Ambassador Schidemore about the answer received, before the courier returns from the Imperial Court. He is expected in a few days. They believe that the Aulic Councillor sent by the emperor has set out for here, and if this is confirmed they will not move a stone before they have heard what he has to propose. Meanwhile the Palatine's affairs will remain at an absolute standstill, while the French ambassadors cannot do anything so they also will suffer the pangs of idleness at this Court, which at the present moment are shared by all. M. de Seneterre complains of having lost a year here without effecting anything. He is pressing for permission to return to France, but he is unlikely to get it until they see the results of the new embassy expected from Holland.
Letters have arrived this week from Gordon, the English Resident in Poland. He reports that all the differences between the king there and his estates over his marriage with the Palatine princess are adjusted, and that for the ratification of this a Polish ambassador will very soon come this way. He states more definitely that it will be the same one who came here three years ago with the first proposals when his Majesty was in Scotland. (fn. 7) The Dutch ambassador confirmed this to me, adding that he is to go to the Hague first to receive the word of the princess's mother. The news comes from a person of great credit and the declaration of the Dutch ambassador makes it look well authenticated, yet for reasons which I have given before and because they have so often been disappointed by so many false announcements, they are very cautious both in believing and in publishing the matter.
They say at Court that your Excellencies are on the point of concluding an alliance with Spain for the defence of the Milanese. Some of the ministers and the Secretary Cuch in particular spoke to me of it as if it was certain. He said he regretted it as he would rather the republic had worked for peace. I expressed my amazement and said I had no inkling of any such thing. As he insisted I was forced to tell him that his informant must be very ignorant about the republic and very ill versed in affairs. I felt sure that his Majesty would pay no attention to such a report. The French ambassadors laugh at it as a hoax. They say the story proceeds from Lord Fildin ; but I will not venture to assert so much as it seems unlikely that he, who has a reputation for prudence, should have written anything so absurd. From time to time false reports of this kind are circulated here, but I do not attach too much importance to them, as I know they are idle inventions which generally die at birth. I feel sure that what I said to the secretary did good.
I have received this week "the state despatches of the 21st February.
London, the 21st March, 1636.
[Italian ; the part in italics deciphered.]
March 26.
Cons, di X Parti Comuni. Venetian Archives.
622. In the Council of Ten.
That the jewels of the Sanctuary and the Halls of Arms of this Council be shown to the Counts of Liegne, Frenchmen, and to two English gentlemen.
Ayes, 15. Noes, 0. Neutral, 0.
March 28.
Senato, Secreta. Deliberazioni. Corti. Venetian Archives.
623. To the Ambassador in England.
Approval of his behaviour to the Prince Palatine and his brother, reported in his letters of the 15th and 22nd ult. Enclose exposition of the Resident Rolandson on taking leave. When an occasion presents itself he is to express to the king and ministers the satisfaction given by the Resident, in his negotiations, his modesty and discretion and his manner of dealing with affairs of state and of the English merchants.
That 300 ducats be paid to the representatives of the ambassador in England for couriers and the carriage of letters.
Ayes, 128. Noes, 0. Neutral, 3.
March 28.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Inghilterra. Venetian Archives.
624. Anzolo Correr, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
Before going to Hampton Court his Majesty wished to give the final orders for the equipment of the new fleet. Last Sunday in the Council, attended by the Earl of Northumberland, then first admitted as a councillor, the king nominated the vice admiral and all the captains of ships. Pennington will be vice admiral, a man considered prudent and of tried worth. As the captains are numerous it was necessary to select them from all sorts of people, as the kingdom is not so rich now as in the past in those who understand the profession well. However they have chosen the best and they hope for good results. All that remains now is to gather the sailors and provision the ships with food and munitions of war. The general seems to take especial care of this and hopes in a few days to have everything ready to sail.
The Dutch ambassador extraordinary who has been expected so long has arrived at last. He made his public entry on Wednesday and will have his first audience the day after to-morrow. During these three days the king will defray his expenses, but no more. Such is their unalterable decision ; they say it is the general practice and has been recently adopted in France. I sent my coaches to meet him and passed the ordinary compliments as I hope to have his confidence. They say he has brought with him seven horses, a service of ambergris and a quantity of fine pictures to present to the king on behalf of his masters. This first courtesy will prove acceptable and will certainly not prejudice his negotiations. No great curiosity is shown about these as their purpose is already known within a little.
The French ambassadors will now be able to push on with their negotiations but to change their disposition for quiet here, and to put heat into their lukewarmness, even if they intend to do something, is not a work of which the end will appear soon.
The courier expected from Germany also arrived at the beginning of the week, but not with the good news expected. He brought despatches from the Secretary Teller with an account of his negotiations. That minister only reports the emperor's assurances of his readiness to give satisfaction to the king here, but with an intimation that a diet must be summoned to decide about the Upper Palatinate and the electoral vote. This means that for the moment they only propose to discuss about the Lower Palatinate, and for this too they ask for some one with more ample powers than Teller. That minister confirms the despatch of the Aulic Councillor, but does not hold out hopes of his starting soon and seems to think that he will not come at all unless they send some one else from here with full powers.
The ministers here do not approve of this style of negotiating, and they infer that the emperor is unwilling to conclude anything and is only trying to gain time, and that the Spaniards will not let go of what they hold without an equivalent. This means a declaration by England in their favour, and possibly that might not be enough as they claim compensation for the expenses incurred by them. However, it is thought that sufficient powers will be sent to Teller, as that way is considered the safest. But the most sagacious suspect a snare in the report spread by the Spaniards that the emperor will raise no difficulty about investing the Palatine with the Lower Palatinate, as they hope, by this worthless concession, to pledge England not to unite with France, and they reserve the question of the fortresses for future discussion, which they will always be able to find pretexts for postponing. This is a prudent consideration ; but they will not see it here, or they do not seem to pay any heed.
No instructions have been sent to the Ambassador Schidemor since the arrival of these advices, as they know that they will not produce a favourable impression in France, and when the French ambassadors resume negotiations they answer them more curtly than ever, In dealing with them they think nothing of throwing the gravest affairs into confusion over some simple question of decorum. This does not arise from lack of knowledge of affairs, but, and I say it without reserve, from rooted animosity against the French nation. It seems that not even the most urgent interests of their own king or that of his nephews suffices to eradicate it from the hearts of many who have the chief control of affairs here. This is a very notable failing which will always disturb any good resolutions made by his Majesty.
Fresh confirmation has arrived this week about the adjustment of the King of Poland and his republic over his marria'ge with the Palatine princess, to the great satisfaction of the king here and the Palatine brothers, who now speak of it as certain. The coming of the Polish ambassador to this Court for the confirmation of the marriage is also confirmed, and they think it will, not be long before he arrives.
Under the escort granted by the king here of two of his ships the Spanish Resident has sent the money reported to Dunkirk this week, but he has not yet sent the four ships which he obtained permission to send to Spain for the passage of the ambassador who is to come to reside at this Court. They do not like this delay, both because they want the ambassador to come, and because many believe it a joke, as they hear from Germany that he is staying with the Count of Ognat, his father, with little intention of coming here, unless he is again urged by a more vigorous impulse from his Catholic Majesty.
London, the 28th March, 1636.
[Italian ; the part in italics deciphered.]
625. Anzolo Correr, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
After I had sealed the preceding and was about to send it off the state despatch of the 29th ult. reached me with news of the receipt of the book I sent and instructions. I may add that the author of the book took occasion to answer another book, written many years ago by the Dutchman Grotius now acting as Swedish ambassador in France, entitled "Mare Apertum," in which I fancy the author tries to prove that no bounds can be set to the sea, and that no prince can claim special jurisdiction there. I have tried hard to obtain one for your Excellencies, but as it directly attacks the claims of this crown, no one ventures to publish it, and consequently it is very difficult to obtain. I have been promised one and hope that it will reach me in time to send with my next despatch, although I am practically certain that you will have had it a long time ago.
Those who claim to be injured by the book in question are really all those who have occasion to cross these waters. The Spaniards and the King of Denmark have expressed themselves, but only under the breath so far. The Dutch make a great outcry because of the fisheries. The French make the most fuss and they say freely that this year, when they are busy elsewhere they are determined there shall be no ships flying the royal flag in these waters; but when the aspect of things has changed they will not recognise any superior, as the English can adduce no solid reason in support of this pretension except that they have maintained it by force in times past, a thing they might not find it so easy to do in the future.
The Spaniards, Danes and Dutch do not speak so resolutely, indeed they show a disposition to humble themselves, but on the grounds that the practice at sea has always been for the wea"ker to yield to the stronger. In this way they hope to avoid unpleasantness and not to prejudice their rights. They say that the author of the first book is writing a reply to this. As soon as it is printed I hope to have a copy, and I will' send it to your Excellencies as directed.
The sentiments of the king here upon the question of the States of Holland coming to terms with the Spaniards, of which you command me to inform you, are the same as I reported, the same interests remaining constant; but the jealousy has in great measure disappeared owing to the assurances of the Ambassador Joachimi. The ministers here, however, keep their eyes open, and are anxious for the continuation of the war. If the negotiations had been pursued they would have made some remonstrance to the Ambassador Extraordinary, but with a change of circumstances there followed a change of plan.
London, the 28th March, 1636.
March 28.
Collegio, Secreta. Esposizioni Principi. Venetian Archives.
626. The Secretary Thomas Rolantson, who was Resident for England, came into the Collegio and spoke to the following effect :
The spring is approaching and invites to travel. I am to return to England by his Majesty's order, and I have now obtained leave from the ambassador to go, so I have thought it my duty to come and inform your Serenity, and thank you ,for the favours and honours which I have received, and also for the English merchants out of regard for the king, my master. I will tell him all, and wherever I may be, at the English Court or elsewhere, I shall always be your devoted servant. Before I leave be pleased to let me know your wishes so that I may serve you, as is my duty. (fn. 8)
The doge replied, We have always seen you gladly as the minister of your king and for the modesty, discretion and prudence with which you have treated. We shall always be glad to do you a service. If the Signors here have anything to add, they will do so; meanwhile we wish you a pleasant journey. With this the secretary bowed and departed.
March 29.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Germania. Venetian Archives.
627. Giovanni Battista Ballarino, Venetian Secretary in Germany, to the Doge and Senate.
When the emperor thought that Verteman had already started for England, new difficulties were raised by the President of the Chamber about the money he wanted for his journey and because he wished to be something more than a Resident. This delay in a matter which they want to see settled has annoyed his Majesty so much that he would have nothing more to do with that minister and sent for Radolti, councillor of the Chamber, to give him the appointment, on the definite understanding that he must start in two days. Radolti accepted and left this city on Thursday evening with only two servants. I have seen his written instructions which are merely to point out to England all the reasons, supported by the decree of a diet, why the Palatine family ought to recognise the clemency of Caesar. That he will receive their submission orally or in writing and in return will assign to them sufficient property to enable them to maintain themselves in a condition befitting their rank. They demonstrate that the question of the electoral vote cannot be discussed now, not because of Bavaria, but because of the articles of peace with Saxony. In short there is no section of the instructions which does not leave an opening for settling the difficulties and meeting the claims of the Palatine family.
Radolti himself remarked to my informant that they had not thought it expedient to put in writing the instructions of most consequence. These were simply set forth verbally and fairly stated by the emperor in the presence of his full Council, to which he had Radolti introduced to inform him of what he was to do.
I find that the aim of the Austrians is on no account to alienate the favourable inclination of the English crown, but if it can be induced to enter into an alliance upon honourable conditions, this minister is to embrace the opening and not to lose the opportunity, promising the despatch of a special ambassador, if England will do the same as well as every other possible satisfaction which can justly be desired. With respect to the merits of the affair Radolti is not to conclude anything execpt in case of most obvious advantage and where there might be danger of losing it through delay. But if they insist at that Court upon despoiling Bavaria or on prejudicing him in any way, after exhausting every effort to induce those princes to relinquish such claims Radolti is to undertake, in the last resort, to send a report to the emperor and to await his reply, so that with the time thus gained they may be able to adopt that course which the circumstances of the moment may suggest. I fancy that Radolti has powers to treat for the exchange of the Lower Palatinate against states in Flanders or elsewhere, with the full concurrence of the Spanish ministers, but not to conclude anything without reference to Cæsar.
Teller recently sent an express to his king, without informing any one. He openly shows his mistrust of all the foreign ministers and sees them alone. To me he absolutely denied having sent off a courier, of whose despatch I was aware, and he has always kept silence about his negotiations, although I have tried to win his confidence. I am told that Teller will soon be returning home, his further stay here being rendered useless by the despatch of the minister sent by the emperor.
Vienna, the 29th March, 1636.
March 29.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Spagna. Venetian Archives.
628. Giovanni Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.
The English Ambassador has presented a new memorial to his Majesty asking him to use all his influence with Caesar to give the Prince Palatine the investiture of the Palatinate. They are anxious to take up this matter here feeling confident of concluding an alliance with that crown with greater ease. No reply has yet been made to the ambassador's offices, although one will be given soon.
Madrid, the 29th March, 1636. Copy.


  • 1. In a letter to Charles of the 14th Feb. the Duke of Lorraine recommends to him the Baron de Rochecour general of his artillery and gentleman of his chamber, whom he is sending to England. S.P. For. France.
  • 2. No doubt the ship mentioned in Capt. Stradling's letter of 14th Feb. O.S. Cal. S.P. Dom. 1635-6. page 228.
  • 3. Lord Charles Herbert who left England in August, 1635 for France, en route for Italy. He died of the small pox. The body was buried in the family tomb of the Marquis Malaspina. Salvetti, news letters of 3 August 1635 and 7 and 28 March, 1636. Brit. Mus. Add. MSS. 27962.
  • 4. The Sala Regia. adjoining the Sistine Chapel in the Vatican is decorated with late 16th Century frescoes illustrating historical scenes, among them the scene between Pope Alexander III. and the Emperor Frederick Barbarossa at Venice. Soon after Pope Urban's election he had the inscriptions under these scenes whitewashed. They remained in this state for several years and then he took the action which caused the trouble. He had all the inscriptions carved in marble, with the wording exactly as before, except in the scene of Alexander III. where material alterations were made, entirely doing away with a eulogy of the services rendered by the Venetian Republic on that occasion. At the same time an effort was made to establish and circulate the opinion that no services had been rendered. The Venetian Government was disturbed because their claim to dominion over the Adriatic rested upon the grant of Pope Alexander in recognition of services which were now denied. Nani : Historia Veneta page 304 : Relation of Rome of Giovanni Nani. apud Relazioni ed. Barozzie Berchet Vol. II page 17. Fielding to Coke 3 Jan. 1636. S.P. For, Venice.
  • 5. The person arrested was Baron Rochecour, coming from the Duke of Lorraine (See No. 616 at page 526 above). He was captured by Capt. Tassett, commanding a shallop of Calais, when crossing from Dunkirk in the King's packet. Cal, S.P. Dom. 1635-6, page 270. The Princess Margaret referred to is Margaret, daughter of Charles Emanuel I. Duke of Savoy and widow of Francis IV., duke of Mantua, who had been regent of Portugal since 1629. Hubner ; Genealogische Tabellen.
  • 6. The Officers of the Petite Marthe. See No. 570 at page 479 above, and Cal. S.P. Dom. 1635-6, pages 300, 323.
  • 7. John Zawadzki, who was in England in June and July 1633. See pages 120, 123, 131. 133 above. Gussoni in his dispatch of the 8th July makes a brief reference to a possible match, but says nothing of any definite proposals.
  • 8. Fielding had made up his mind to get rid of Rowlandson some months before. In his despatch of 7th October, 1635, N.S. he wrote "I cannot repose any confidence in Mr. Rowlandson, since I have cause to suspect his real intentions to serve his Majesty, by the examination of the whole course of his actions and proceedings, which make him appear rather a minister of this republic than of the king ... I do only wait for His Majesty's further pleasure and the payment of his arrears ... to discharge him of his further attendance upon my employment, unto which he either cannot or will not contribute anything of moment." S.P. For. Venice.