Venice: April 1633

Pages 88-101

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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April 1633

April 1.
Senato, Secreta. Deliberazioni. Corti. Venetian Archives.
132. To the Ambassador in England.
We see from your letters of the 18th February, received with those of the 11th, that Anstruther has told his Majesty that he had informed the States that he was to offer the Princes of the Union 10000l. sterling a month. As we have no advice of this from the Hague, and consider it a matter of some importance, we shall be glad to know if this payment is really made ; and if the matter is discussed it will be advisable to listen to their opinions ; or if it is doubtful, you will adroitly bring the matter forward, as it will be most helpful to the cause for Germany to see that England is not abandoning her.
Ayes, 82. Noes, 2. Neutral, 8.
April 1.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Inghilterra. Venetian Archives.
133. Vicenzo Gussoni, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
For the affairs of Germany, in which their sole object here is to re-establish the Palatine's heir in his dominions, the king here desires not only the interposition of France but some closer union as well, by means of some fresh alliance with that crown with special regard to the said affair. The Ambassador has already sketched this in outline in the first proposals made by him at that Court, in conformity with commissions from here. These extend to a statement that for the service of Germany they will contribute money in the place of English troops ; if it should not be considered advisable to send out any more, after the experience of those who went under the Marquis of Hamilton, at great expense with little advantage, who were finally dissipated and dispersed in Germany.
As they lent a favourable ear to these proposals in France, Weston has sent their answer to this Court by express courier. In substance it represents the readiness and excellent disposition of France to co-operate about the dominions of the Palatinate. He adds that with regard to the provision in question they will send the necessary instructions to the Ambassador Fontane for treating of this matter in the way best calculated to please this crown. Upon this reply they recently sent forthwith the royal commissions to Weston to take leave and return to this kingdom, where his return is daily expected.
From the account of the above particulars related to me in confidence by the Lord Treasurer himself at a long interview which he had with me the day before yesterday, I could see quite well that they are more eager than hopeful about the declarations and interposition which they desire, not openly, but in essence, in a matter of such importance and of such great interest to Italy.
Seeing the opportunity afforded me by his remarks and by the confidential nature of his conversation, I drew his attention to the treaties for peace in Germany through the proposals and missions of the King of Denmark to Cæsar and Wallenstein. He remarked very gravely that in this matter a friend of the public cause was bound to feel great apprehension. Upon this point they had in these last days sent numerous cautions and instructions to Anstruther to make every possible effort to keep the Princes of Germany united. From their union more than from anything else, he told me, they recognise here that the disapproval and refusal of such treaties may depend. These have been placed on the carpet by Denmark for his own interests with tho emperor, so he assured me, and more particularly for the question of the Hamburgers, who have already obtained in the imperial Court some declaration prejudicial to the fortifications of that monarch on the River Elbe as being in the jurisdiction of the Duke of Holstein and subject to the empire. He added that so far the Swedes had not given their assent to these negotiations of Denmark ; the Chancellor Oxestern was going to take part in the diet of Heilbronn in person. The moment Anstruther has completed his negotiations at Keisershuten with the Duke of Symeren, he is to proceed to that diet with all speed in order to perform the necessary offices with all those princes for a sound union between them and for the common cause. As regards England he is to make the same offers as were recently laid before the Court of France from this quarter.
He told me that the intention and attempt of France to obtain possession of the places in Alsace was a very difficult matter, since they know here that the princes of the party are not at all inclined to see the French plant their feet so far in Germany. From this I gather that he is very doubtful about Fichiers, the French minister to the Princes, bringing back any satisfactory conclusion. At this point he remarked that the Spaniards and Austrians could not suffer the presence of the French at Treves and on the borders of Germany, and with the special object of shutting out the French they would close their ears to other difficulties in the peace negotiations. He wound up by saying that these were so numerous and so inextricably interwoven and entangled with each other that one might count on any accommodation in Germany being a long way off until it was seen what the fortunes of war would produce by fresh operations.
It came out that he held precisely the same opinion about the negotiations of the Spaniards in Flanders, in spite of the deputies of Brabant staying on at the Hague. But in this particular I observed that he was more reticent and more sober in speaking to me, as being a matter to which they have not chosen to pay attention here. While we discussed other matters, I had an opportunity, before the interview ended, of carrying out my instructions about the ordinary ambassador as well. I did not forget to point out that a definite decision on the subject would be the right thing, so that this mutual interchange of ambassadors might be seen as soon as possible. He answered me in these very words, The king will certainly send the ordinary ambassador to Venice. When I asked him to see that when the nomination was made the good results of it might be carried into effect in the shortest time possible, he said he would speak to the king about it. I tried to urge this on him.
Cholb, a gentleman of the Duke of Symeren, arrived here recently. After a long audience of his Majesty he is pursuing his offices with the ministers here. He says that the duke, his master, has accepted the administration moved chiefly by the persuasion of the King of Great Britain, and in the confidence of prompt assistance from this quarter to obtain relief for their common nephew. In such a matter I fancy that he is pressing them hard and insisting strongly in order ,to obtain the most speedy resolutions, representing that the present state of affairs does not admit of further delay. He has been to pay me a purely complimentary visit. He hinted to me that he had found them very well disposed in these matters and added that he would redouble his efforts in order to obtain some satisfactory resolution.
At this moment letters have reached the palace which relate, I hear on good authority, that a numerous fleet of warships of the King of Denmark has sailed for the Baltic, giving rise to all sorts of comments about his planning some enterprise.
According to the general talk the queen is again found to be pregnant. This increases the content at the Court and the king, in particular, seems very happy about it.
My last despatches from the Senate are of the 25th of February.
London, the 1st of April, 1633.
[Italian ; the fart in italics deciphered.]
April 8.
Senato, Secreta. Deliberazioni. Corti. Venetian Archives.
134. To the Ambassador in England.
After we had closed our despatch of last week yours of the 27th ult. reached us with particulars of what is being done for Germany. The enclosed will show you the representations of Colonel Holch to Wallenstein in the name of the King of Denmark, proposing that that sovereign shall mediate a peace in conjunction with the King of England and the opinion of the emperor thereon. You will find out all that is passing at Court in this matter. So far we have no letters from you this week.
Ayes, 122. Noes, 2. Neutral, 2.
April 8.
Senato, Secreta Dispacci, Inghilterra. Venetian Archives.
135. Vicenzo Gussoni, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The Ambassador Weston has returned recently to the Court from the round of his embassies. Before I had an opportunity of going to see him as I was trying to do, as courtesy demands, he chose to make a special visit to this house. He told me he had given the king a full account of the entertainment he had received from the most serene republic, to whom he expressed himself as supremely obliged. I assured him of the esteem of the state for this crown and his own personal merits. I then proceeded to fulfill my instructions about the release of Hyder's chests. In thanking me for this he said he had received from the Resident Rolanson a copy of the letter written on this subject to the Proveditore of Zante and he had already made the requisite report. With regard to his negotiations at the French Court, and the proposals for a union for the affairs of Germany and in particular for the restitution of the Palatinate, he intimated to me that matters remained in the position which I have indicated in other letters, since the French incline on the one hand to satisfy England while on the other they point out that they must be governed in the matter in accordance with the negotiations of Fichiers. While this confirms that the instructions to be given to Fontane on the subject will have to depend upon this, I also perceive that he also, has come to the opinion which I have discovered in the ministers here, who show me that they have little hope of the interposition and a declaration from France such as they would like here for the interests of England in the Palatinate.
At the palace they are waiting with interest and anxiety for news of the Ambassador Anstruther, since they are apprehensive lest the Austrians, in promoting negotiations for peace in Germany, may be aiming at winning over the Elector of Saxony, and by an armistice or in some other way to dissociate him somehow from the party of the other princes. For a close union and understanding between them they will keep up their offices from this quarter, and renewed royal commands upon this have been sent to the Ambassador Anstruther. I also gather on good authority, that in addition to this, if he happens to find that the negotiations with the Imperialists for the establishment of some adjustment in Germany are progressing, he is to make the most strenuous efforts so that the interests of the Palatine's heir shall not be excluded.
The son of the Chancellor Oxestern has been to take leave of me on his departure. Although he had no commissions to show in the capacity of a minister, yet the members of the government here, and the king himself, who has seen him and entertained him several times, have tried to impress him thoroughly with the good intentions which they have here, ready to be made manifest in deeds, for the service of the common cause in Germany. Upon this Oxestern uttered these words in the course of the conversation with me, England promises much, but is tardy in fulfilment. He told me that in France he would find letters from the Chancellor, his father, to whom he proposed to return with all speed, since he had no business at that Court, except to pay his respects to the king and cardinal to take leave.
Colonel Hebron has arrived here to make a levy of 3000 Scots for the service of the Most Christian. (fn. 1) The French minister here is at present labouring at this, as a royal decree was published shortly before forbidding in general levies of troops which are to be taken out of this kingdom. They seem to be observing this so strictly that they refuse to the Dutch even a small number of recruits for filling up the English regiments who are in service in Holland.
By the preparations made up to the present and which are still in progress the king's journey to Scotland remains as they say, irrevocably established. I enclose a list of the great lords and officials who are appointed to attend his Majesty's person on the journey.
The ship of war commanded by the English admiral, (fn. 2) when it was bringing the Ambassador Weston to this kingdom from France, fell in with a fleet of eight Dutch merchantmen of the India Company. Requiring these to lower their topsails as a sign of obedience and respect, such as the English claim without distinction from everyone, especially in these waters, it fired two guns with shot at the ships in question. They also replied with shot, and also prepared to put themselves in battle array The Englishman, realising that the odds were too heavy against him, as indeed they were, was obliged to abandon his pretensions, stand off on another tack and retire. One already hears murmurs at Court about the offence received, and the deputy of Holland here is labouring to smoothe matters and excuse the incident.
The last state despatches to hand are of the 3rd ult.
London, the 8th April, 1633.
[Italian ; the part in italics deciphered.]
Enclosure. 136. List of lords and officers appointed to attend his Majesty on his journey to Scotland, May, 1633.
The Lord Chamberlain, Earl of Pembroke and Montgomery.
The Lord Treasurer, Viscount Weston and Earl of Portland.
The Lord Marshal, Earl of Arundel and Surrey.
Lords of the Bedchamber.
Duke of Lennox.
Marquis of Hamilton.
Earl of Carlisle.
Earl of Holland.
Earl of Monmouth.
Sir [Robert] Carr, Keeper of the Privy Purse.
Earl of Northumberland.
Earl of Rutland.
Earl of Southampton.
Earl of Salisbury.
Earl of Northampton.
Earl of Newcastle.
Four Bishops.
The Vice Chamberlain.
A Secretary of State.
A Secretary of State for Scotland.
Treasurer of the Chamber.
Master of the Wardrobe.
Gentlemen Ushers of the Privy Chamber—two.
Gentlemen of the Privy Chamber—nine.
Assistants of the Bedchamber—six.
Gentlemen pensioners who guard his Majesty's body—thirty six.
Keepers of his Majesty's body. Gentlemen—two.
Gentlemen ushers of the Presence Chamber,—three.
Gentlemen of the Chamber,—three.
Assistants of the Chamber,—three.
Cup bearers, 2.
Carvers, 2.
Sewers, 2.
Assistants of the Privy Chamber,—four.
Master of the Requests.
Chief of the Ushers.
His Majesty's Jeweller.
Great Wardrobe,—twelve.
Master of the Couriers.
Couriers, 8.
Ushers, and others under them,—twelve.
April 13.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Constantinopoli. Venetian Archives.
137. Piero Foscarini and Giovanni Capello, Venetian Ambassadors at Constantinople, to the Doge and Senate.
We have thanked the English ambassador as instructed for his friendly behaviour over the improper visit of the French ambassador to this house. He received the office with an expression of friendly obligation and much modesty. I, Capello, saw him afterwards and fully confirmed the appreciation of your Excellencies for such a token of his perfect friendliness and your great esteem for his merits, of which your representative could not fail to speak at the Court of his king. This seemed to please him greatly.
The Vigne of Pera, the 13th April, 1633.
[Italian ; deciphered.]
April 14.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Signori Stati. Venetian Archives.
138. Alvise Contarini, Venetian Ambassador in the Netherlands, to the Doge and Senate.
In the diet at Helbrum the deputies of the Administrator have been recognised not only as ministers of the Princes of the Palatinate, but as those of an elector, although the French Ambassador Ficchier would only visit them as deputies of the Administrator, thus giving offence to the Palatine House and the English ministers. The course followed by the Chancellor Oxenstierna in this particular has pleased every one and gives great satisfaction to Germany, from his readiness to restore the Palatinate. Anstruther was going to confer with him, and advices of the result are expected very soon.
The Hague, the 14th April, 1633.
April 15.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Inghilterra. Venetian Archives.
139. Vicenzo Gussoni, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
So far as one can gather the negotiations of the Ambassador Anstruther are in good train in the opinion of the ministers here. They think here that a great point has been won for the interests and reputation of this crown in what Anstruther in his last despatch says he has been assured, with regard to the decision of Saxony and Brandenburg, who are united and steadfast in the common cause, not to accept any settlement unless the adjustment of the affairs of the Palatine house is included therein. Owing to its very important consequences this news was, by his Majesty's order, immediately communicated to Cholb, who has recently arrived here with commissions from the Princess Palatine and the Duke of Symeren. In order to send him off again at the earliest possible moment, for which he is most anxious, they have informed him that the king has decided to send letters of exchange, payable at Frankfort, which will be consigned by Anstruther to the duke, his master. He is to employ it for the administration which he holds in such way as he considers most profitable for the service of the Palatinate.
Cholb expressed himself to me as well content with such a response to his offices. He intimated to me in confidence that he intended to stay here until the letters of exchange were carried into effect, in order to obtain by the speed of the provision the largest sum and the most advantageous terms possible. He confirmed in a long conversation what I had gathered in a private and confidential interview with one of the lords of the government.
Although these lords are not without some uneasiness about the negotiations for an accommodation which seem to be on foot in Germany, yet they seem for the most part to be all of one mind that an adjustment is most difficult and all but impossible in the present state of affairs, and the numerous conflicting interests involved, and the point which is more essential than all the rest, about inducing the Imperialists to disarm, without which the Protestants will not be able, according to the talk among the ministers here, to have any security in any sort of negotiation or imperial promise. With regard to the promised interposition of Denmark in such a transaction, they interpret it as prompted by a consideration of the special aims and interests of that king with the emperor. Accordingly the ministers here do not seem to attach great importance to them, and they do so the less since the last despatches received from Anstruther. He writes that he found the princes perfectly united and agreed in their determination to uphold their party. It is upon this that they base their most solid hopes here, since they recognise that negotiations of any kind of England either at Vienna or in Spain always prove vain. Accordingly the general opinion among the ministers here is that the recovery of the Palatinate can only be looked for at the hands of the enemies of the House of Austria. For this reason they seem to make little account here of a closer understanding and union with the Spaniards, who, for their own ends, desire to press their advantage with this crown in every possible way.
Reports have reached this Court of the preparations going forward both in the kingdom of Naples and in the state of Milan for the coming of the Cardinal Infant. Various opinions are expressed about the manner in which he may travel to Flanders, and they do not consider as devoid of mystery the stay he has to make in that peninsula, while they observe with remark and astonishment the way in which certain of the Italian princes vie with each other on this occasion, in announcing so openly their dependence on the crown of Spain.
The despatch of the Count of Ognati to the emperor is attributed here to some more recondite end not disclosed as yet, since for the diet of king of the Romans they consider present circumstances unfavourable for that which the Austrians and Spaniards wish to attempt in the matter of that election.
The latest despatches of the Senate to reach me are of the 11th of March.
London, the 15th April, 1633.
[Italian ; the part in italics deciphered.]
April 16.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Constantinopoli. Venetian Archives.
140. Piero Foscarini, Venetian Ambassador at Constantinople, to the Doge and Senate.
My predecessor left yesterday. The ambassadors have rivalled each other to honour him. On the morning shortly before rising England sent his secretary to say he had orders from his master to accompany his Excellency to the sweet waters, and in spite of his courteous resistance, England would not hear a word of abstaining because of the command he said he had.
The Vigne of Pera, the 16th April, 1633.
April 22.
Senato, Secreta. Deliberazioni. Corti. Venetian Archives.
141. To the Ambassador in England.
We have written before that notwithstanding the efforts made at Court and with the King himself for sending an ambassador to us, no one has been sent though an appointment has been made, and we do not know the reason. You will find out what is going to be done in this matter, because every one knows that this correspondence is necessary and what discredit and discontent will be caused if it is not kept up.
Ayes, 71. Noes, 0. Neutral, 0.
April 22.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Inghilterra. Venetian Archives.
142. Vicenzo Gussoni, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The ministers here hold fast to their opinion that the negotiations set on foot for an accommodation in Germany will lead to no result. They remark indeed that the Spaniards are eagerly encouraging every idea of bringing peace to the empire, possibly with the notion of having the emperor's forces, as well as their own, free and united for their designs in other quarters. The union between the princes of the party is considered thoroughly established, and they have listened with approbation here to the proposals of the diet of Heilbronn. It seems that the Chancellor Oxestern has got the most necessary resolutions in good train at that assembly also, where they have granted to the representatives of the Administrator of the Palatinate the usual prerogatives of those of electors. They have specially remarked this at the Court here and it has much gratified them.
Meanwhile everything here goes to indicate their increasing disposition to make effective contributions. Cholb is working hard for this, in the determination not to leave without security for the fulfilment of the intentions and promises he had obtained. He intimated to me in confidence that he considers the fulfilment the more sure and near at hand because it is unquestionable that these last days they have sent news of it to Bosuel, the minister in Holland, with definite orders to communicate it to their High Mightinesses, for the purpose of finding out what England may with certainty expect from their assistance, by joining their efforts with those made here in the service of the Palatinate.
For those interests the government here would wish to see better progress with the negotiations already instituted by the Ambassador Weston in France, about a closer union with special regard to the relief of the Palatine's heir. The Treasurer does not fail to incite Fontane and smoothe the way for the overtures made by his son in France on the subject. The ministers here consider that the French by their plea that they must be governed in this matter by the course of the negotiations of Fichiers in Germany, are merely introducing delays, and the English call this delay coldness on the part of France, which in a matter of so much importance to them here, serves to give greater vigour to the intention of the Spaniards. These on the other hand endeavour to secure all the profit they can with this crown.
The Dutch deputy, at several interviews which he has recently had with the lords here, has tried to dissipate the impression caused by the report that the truces in negotiation with the States were nearly adjusted.
They speak here about the visit to Italy of the Cardinal Infant as of something mysterious, the move being taken for the purpose of giving a direction to events according to what the Spaniards consider most advantageous for themselves. The lords here say that this direction will be decided by the trend of events in Germany.
His Majesty's departure is definitely arranged for next May. They have despatched special orders and couriers to have the necessary quarters prepared in every place where the Court and the king's suite will have to pass. His Majesty seems to be leaving in a more contented frame of mind now they are assured that the queen is enceinte.
A paper with the articles and proposals laid before the diet of Heilbronn has arrived here together with a list of the princes and others taking part in that assembly. The enclosed sheets will at least serve to show what is published at this Court, and as a check.
The latest letters to arrive from the Senate are dated the 18th of March.
London, the 22nd April, 1633.
[Italian ; the part in italics deciphered.]
Enclosure. 143. Articles proposed to the Princes and Estates assembled at Heilbronn by the Chancellor Oxenstern, after a long harangue.
Dated at Heilbronn on the March.
[French ; 2 pages.]
144. List of the Princes and Estates assembled at Heilbronn.
[French ; 3 pages.]
April 28.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Signori Stati. Venetian Archives.
145. Alvise Contarini, Venetian Ambassador in the Netherlands, to the Doge and Senate.
The Prince of Orange set out yesterday. Princes Charles and Rupert, sons of the Princess Palatine, accompanied him as adventurers, in order that they may learn military discipline, so she says.
The Hague, the 28th April, 1633.
146. Alvise Contarini, Venetian Ambassador in the Netherlands, to the Doge and Senate.
No advices have arrived about any operations or proposals of the Ambassador Anstruther at the diet of Elbrum, although they announce that it terminated satisfactorily to every one. I am assured that the ambassador made no proposals here except in general terms, saying that the king would supply what was necessary in money or men for the service of his nephews. I am the more certain of this because a person who declares that he saw his commissions told me that they contained nothing about the 10000l. sterling, although Anstruther, on behalf of England recognised Duke Louis as minister of the Electorate as well as of the Palatinate, a point to which they attach importance
The Hague, the 28th April, 1633.
April 29
Senato. Secreta. Dispacci, Inghilterra. Venetian Archives.
147. Vicenzo Gussoni, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
Anstruther's commissions to the Princes of the Party in Germany extend to offering contributions from this quarter up to the amount of 10,000l. sterling a month. Working from this and with the power of such an offer he has already begun his negotiations. These are directed to asking for the places which the Swedes hold in the Palatinate ; in trying to get them from their hands and then consigning them to the Administrator. That prince will then place the garrisons and pay them as well as everything else required for the defence of the Palatinate and the service of the common cause in Germany, with the help of the monthly assistance indicated. This is the most important point among the numerous articles which are proposed together with this offer, with regard to what they want the negotiations of Anstruther to secure here. His last letters report an increase in the hopes of successful progress in the matter, since he writes that by the general union and by the good resolutions taken by the last diet held at Heilbronn he has found them all of one mind in their desire to uphold their party and the interests of the Palatinate firmly and steadfastly. He adds that his offices have produced an advantageous impression, particularly upon the Chancellor Oxestern, who expressed himself as favourable to handing these places over. But he also adds that the Swedes claim that the war expenses in the capture of the fortresses in the Palatinate must be taken into consideration.
Such is the present state of the affair. Their intention here seems to be to proceed to the actual payment of this monthly contribution in proportion as progress is made in the future with Anstruther's negotiations. But the gentleman of the Duke of Symeren and of the Princess Palatine, who still stays on at this Court for the same interests, aware of the delays that may prevent the effectuation where he requires despatch and promptness, in accordance with his instructions, never ceases to urge strongly the most speedy conclusion. In the end he has obtained something that seems to promise a successful issue to his efforts. He has certainly brought the despatch of the money, which is to be made from here in letters of exchange upon Frankfort, to what there seems good reason to believe a very speedy arrangement, which the ministers here are at present trying to make with the merchant Burlamachi. He offers to undertake to forward any amount of money by means of his letters, either of exchange or of credit upon Germany ; but he states very definitely that he means first to have full security for the assignments, according to the practice in commerce.
Foster, a gentleman of the household of the Treasurer has left unexpectedly and with all speed for France these last days. There are various opinions about this despatch, as they whisper that he took secret commissions. Although many, not without a good show of reason, conjecture that it will have something to do with Sciateonuf, sometime French ambassador in this kingdom and now a prisoner in France ; yet we learn on good authority that he takes with him orders to use in case he finds them well disposed and has an opportunity, to suggest the taking up with greater vigour of the proposal already broached by the Ambassador Weston for a closer understanding between France and England with respect to Germany and the Palatinate in particular. I have notified his Excellency Soranzo of this.
The ministers here say that France promises a great deal for the joint support of the great interests which England has in the affair in question, but they add that they do not know what to believe, seeing the delay introduced from that quarter to the proposals made from here. This Court also has taken very ill what they call the excessive reserve shown by Fichiers towards the representatives of the Palatinate Administrator, since he refused to recognise them in the capacity of representatives of an elector at the diet of Ailburgh.
The Earl of Holland, notwithstanding his credit in the royal Council and the favour and protection of the queen, has been on the verge of utter ruin owing to a quarrel with the Treasurer's son, and a challenge to a duel. The latter after being expelled from Court and placed under guard in a house in his own village, (fn. 3) has since, to the earl's mortification, been declared a member of his Majesty's council, thus affording a fresh demonstration of the king's regard for both father and son. For the rest they attribute to the queen's intercession the process begun against the earl by five commissioners by the king's order. The earl was subsequently reconciled with Weston and two days later obtained his Majesty's pardon, who received him into favour once more.
News having come that two very rich Dutch ships returning from India, have cast anchor near the port of Plymouth, orders were immediately sent to his Majesty's armed ships to put to sea and compel those two ships to enter the port, where they will have to remain sequestrated owing to the pretensions advocated with much bitterness, by the English merchant companies against the Dutch ones for debts amounting to a large sum. But the deputy Brasser, being forewarned opportunely, contrived to get information conveyed to the ships in time, and this enabled them to escape from the English by putting to sea at once, while the warships were on the way to surprise and seize them. (fn. 4) This incident has been published everywhere and only serves to increase the ill feeling between the two nations, which already runs very high. There are some who say that although this step was apparently taken at the request of the English merchant companies and to satisfy them, yet it received a strong impulse from the incident I wrote of, when some Dutch ships refused obedience to the English Admiral, who was flying the royal standard, and was taking back the Ambassador Weston to England.
The reports about the Cardinal Infant's visit to Italy have changed, and it seems that the Spaniards mean to postpone it until a more favourable opportunity occurs for their service.
As I am about to despatch these letters the last from Your Serenity of the 1st inst. reach me. I will go on as I have done until now, to the end that the general interests and the service of Germany may not be abandoned by England.
London, the 29th April, 1633.
[Italian ; the part in italics deciphered.]


  • 1. Sir John Hepburn, who in the previous year had been serving under Gustavus Adolphus. He had since gone to France and at the beginning of the year was made Colonel of 2000 Scots to form a special guard for the French King, with a pension of 2000 crowns. See Augier's dispatch of 21 Jan. 1632/3 O.S. S.P. Foreign France. Vol. 93.
  • 2. The Bonaventure, Capt. Thomas Ketelby. For the Commander's own account of this incident See Cal. S.P. Dom. 1631-3 page 580.
  • 3. There are several papers on this quarrel in the Domestic State Papers. See Calendar 1633-4, pages ix., x., 3, 11, 12, 14, 15.
  • 4. The ships were in Stokes Bay, and got away on the 23rd N.S. The war vessels sent to seize them were the Fifth and Eighth Lions Whelps. Cal. S.P. Dom. 1633-4, pages 16, 17.