Venice: October 1640

Pages 85-90

Calendar of State Papers Relating To English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 25, 1640-1642. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1924.

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October 1640

Oct. 9.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Zante. Venetian Archives.
119. Marco Foscolo, Venetian Proveditore of Zante, to the Doge and Senate.
Encloses account of the amount received in respect of the tax of 5 ducats per thousand, which account is kept separately. Zante, the 29th September, 1640, old style.
Enclosure. 120. Note of currants laded on ships which were not furnished with a guarantee from the Five Savii alla Mercanzia.
1640. thousands. ducats.
26 Mar. from Marco Corcondilo for 7, 43,209
26 Mar. " Spencer Cuper " 20, 124,
26 May " Simon Coppio in the name of Abram Coppio " 177,884 1164,44
8 Aug. " Gefer De " ,800 4,48
19 Aug. " Antony Fen " 1,800 11,8
19 Aug. " Giovanni Hemens " ,900 5,29
20 Aug. " Thomas Davis " 48, 297,30
21 Aug. ", Thomas Langster " 5, 31,
21 Aug. ,, Richard Colmen " ,500 3,5
21 Aug. " Thomas Fid " 1,200 7,22
21 Aug. " Antony Fen " ,250 1,27 3
22 Aug. " Thomas Davis " 1,839 11,22
24 Aug. " Thomas II " 4,988 30,46 1
25 Aug. " Marco Fanle Pedotta " 10,200 63,12
25 Aug. " Marco Fanle Pedotta " ,388 2,20 1
1802,339 5
In addition for the respective exactions (tanti scossi) (fn. 1) as by the account sent, from 1st August, 1639 to 19th March, 1640 17718,159
Nicolo Aragon, fiscal auditor.
Oct. 12.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Inghilterra. Venetian Archives.
121. Giovanni Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
On Thursday last week the nobles of the realm assembled before His Majesty at York, in accordance with their summons. In a grave voice the king explained to them that in sudden invasions in the past his predecessors had been accustomed to send for the peers of the realm in order, by their help and advice to provide for the safety of the country and valiantly to repel the enemy. Profiting by this example he felt sure that on the present occasion he would find them prompt and loyal for the same purpose. He added that he desired nothing more earnestly than to make known to the people his excellent intentions. He had decided to summon parliament without further delay, and in the presence of the assembly he commanded the Lord Keeper to send forthwith commissions to the secretary of state to have it proclaimed for the 13th of next month. This was done, to the general satisfaction.
After this despatch His Majesty continued his speech, asking for their opinion as to how he should bear himself to the rebels, and what answer he should give to their petition, which he had read for all to hear. In the second place he said it was necessary to give their attention to the measures requisite for the support of the army until parliament had granted the subsidies required to maintain it, insisting with great urgency that it was not safe or decent to dismiss the troops at a time when the Scots had a strong footing in England.
With these offices of His Majesty as well as at the summons of parliament, the Assembly expressed complete satisfaction, and it was decided to send to the Council of this city four of the leading nobles in the name of the whole peerage (fn. 2) to induce them to make a prompt loan of 200,000l. offering to bind all the peers of England for the security of the capital, and with a definite promise to cause compensation to be paid out of the first contributions granted by parliament. With this they adjourned the discussion of other matters to another day and so this first meeting was dissolved.
Shortly after this a person sent expressly from the Scottish camp arrived unexpectedly, with a petition from that people conceived in the most humble terms, beseeching His Majesty to be pleased to send sixteen members of the English nobility to meet a like number from their side at a place equidistant from each army, to try and arrange some settlement which would put an end to the present differences, with mutual satisfaction. At this overture His Majesty decided to assemble the nobles afresh, to whom he communicated the proposal. They subsequently resolved to accept promptly, and at the same time made choice of the deputies. It has not escaped observation that these persons so chosen have all declared themselves in the past in favour of the Scots, and equally zealous for the calling of parliament. It is believed that by this the king aims at sending persons acceptable to the Scots and at the same time to conciliate some of the most seditious to himself by the honour of such an employment.
Without waiting the Assembly sent the news of this decision to the Scots by the Sig. di Bolat. (fn. 3) Gratified at the promptness with which the king embraced their proposals and at the nomination of the delegates, the Scots sent back letters to His Majesty and the Assembly full of the utmost respect and thanks, notifying them that on the 11th of this month their deputies will be at Ripton, a place 30 miles from York, and will there await the English, to discuss terms of peace. Supposing that the enemy sincerely desires this, of which many are very doubtful, it is thought that the chief difficulty will be in finding a prompt means of satisfying them for the compensation they claim for the expenses and losses suffered, and in especial to induce them to withdraw to Scotland, before the meeting of parliament, a point upon which His Majesty insists more than any other, and rightly, not only as being seemly but because the sojourn of such large hostile forces in the realm in time of parliament may encourage the license of the members, whose demands are expected to be most insolent.
While attention has been occupied with negotiation the Castellan of Edinburgh, having exhausted all his food after a long siege, has been obliged to surrender the place to the Scots, being allowed by the terms to go to Berwick with the whole garrison, as they have done escorted by the enemy cavalry.
The Ambassadors of Denmark have not yet returned from York. Their business is discussed with the same uncertainty as before. When they return to this city we shall learn more particulars. It matters very little amid these civil disturbances, which render this crown incapable of transacting effective business of any sort with foreign princes.
In response to the compliment paid by the Most Christian in sending a special gentleman about the birth of the new prince, the queen has appointed another individual who will soon proceed to that court in the same capacity, to express their Majesties' gratification at the happy delivery of the Most Christian queen, still further securing the dynasty. (fn. 4)
Amid the fluctuations of the present disturbances the negotiations of the ambassadors of the Catholic are suspended. Nevertheless recent orders have reached them from Spain to continue their sojourn at this Court.
London, the 12th October, 1640.
Oct. 18.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Inghilterra. Venetian Archives.
122. Giovanni Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
While engaged upon my preparations to proceed to the Imperial Court and only waiting for His Majesty's return, from whom I have not yet taken leave, the Senate's letters of the 28th ult. have reached me today, being brought in haste from Paris by courier, with instructions to suspend my departure until further orders. As His Majesty has so greatly delayed his return to this city, it is impossible for me to undertake so long and difficult a journey in the approach of winter, with a numerous company in a freezing and incommodious country. The public requirements will be fulfilled in every respect, and this accident will only involve personal discomfort, as regards the orders given by me at Vienna and the provision made for the journey.
As regards the instructions due to the new circumstances, the movements of armies and the summoning of parliament have tripled the difficulties. Even the Secretary Agustini has not escaped trouble, as he is bound to pay the rent of the house already hired. None the less these inconveniences will only serve to illustrate my zeal to serve my country.
On his Majesty's return I will present the letters sent about the concession made to Douglas, with the offices enjoined. If anything fresh is said to me about the detention of Bordet, I will make use of the reasons supplied, and of the views that I have previously exjDressed upon the same subject.
London, the 18th October, 1640.
[Italian ; the part in italics deciphered.]
123. Giovanni Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
After the Ambassadors of Denmark had set forth their instructions and heard His Majesty's views on the proposals, they returned here, determined to travel home with all speed before navigation is stopped by the ice in that freezing climate. Their offices consisted of a vigorous invitation to the king here to join in a new alliance with the Catholic and their master against the Dutch and the crown of Sweden also. They enlarged upon their grievances against the ministers of the latter state, complaining bitterly that they had not allowed the widowed queen to marry her young daughter to the second son of Denmark, as she was disposed to do. They asserted that for this reason alone she had fled from that kingdom, with the bitterest feelings. In the second place they offered their interposition to promote an agreement with the Scots, promising that if the Scots did not recognise their duty and were not disposed to accept a reasonable accomodation their master would promptly agree to supply the strongest aid to his Majesty's cause. There were other matters concerning the agreements already established with mutual satisfaction by the Ambassador Roe at that Court.
His Majesty made a prudent reply that under present circumstances he was not advised to consider negotiations for a new alliance, but he would postpone it to a better season. As regards his relations with his people he hoped to arrange a composition with them by himself, though he was duly grateful for the assistance offered. Thus the two ministers were persuaded by the troubled state of affairs and by His Majesty's decisive opinions, to take leave without insisting any more. They are now only awaiting the customary present before taking their departure, and under existing circumstances there is likely to be delay.
The news of what takes place at Ripon in the conference between the delegates of the king and those of Scotland is awaited with great impatience. The Scots grown more daring than ever by their successes have freely intimated that before they enter into any conference His Majesty must declare that he treats with them as with deputies of the last parliament of Scotland, and obedient people, annulling the charge of rebellion laid against them. It is thought that the king, in his desire for quiet will oblige them, but it does not increase the hope of a speedy peace, since the people here also raise their pretensions very high. They demand the immediate payment of two million crowns in compensation for the loss and expense incurred in the present movements of arms. They protest that they will not evacuate this kingdom before all the articles agreed upon are first fulfilled and afterwards submitted to parliament.
Meanwhile they persist that large assignments shall be given to them for the support of their army, which, instead of diminishing, receives reinforcements daily. Since the surrender of Edinburgh castle 10,000 more Scots have joined them who have been quartered out by General Leslie at Newcastle and Durham. This shows clearly that on the enemy's side they are not acting sincerely about peace, but all their proposals are aimed at multiplying his Majesty's requirements by delay and to give them sufficient time to complete the fortifications begun, with which they can more easily resist the attack of the royal forces, and at the same time retain possession of what they have won, which is of large extent and of no less value, owing to the situation and fertility of the land.
The four lords sent from York by the Assembly of peers of the realm to the Council of London arrived on Friday in last week. They set forth the requirements of the crown, and by dint of much persuasion they obtained their consent to a prompt loan to the king of 200,000l., one half within 15 days and the remainder in the middle of next month. With this His Majesty will have the means to support the troops for some months, until he can receive fresh succour from the parliament. Misgivings increase that the deliberations of that body will be violent and prejudicial to the interests of the royal house.
The confessor of the Infante has arrived here from Flanders, who is proceeding with all speed to Spain. He circulates reports that he is taking overtures to that Court for a truce with the Dutch, but wise men characterise such revelations as fictitious and merely intended to excite alarm in the minds of the French.
This is all that I have to report today of events here, in the short time before sending back the courier to Paris.
London, the 18th October, 1640.
Oct. 27.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Haya. Venetian Archives.
124. Girolamo Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador at the Hague, to the Doge and Senate.
By order of the king of England the Resident Bosuel went recently to the Assembly to request the States to prohibit the supply of any kind of munitions of war to the Scots. He obtained an entirely satisfactory reply. It is probable, all the same, that the results will not prove equally satisfactory, since it is not possible to bridle the career of self interest here.
The Hague, the 27th October, 1640.
Oct. 31.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Francia. Venetian Archives.
125. Anzolo Correr, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
The day before yesterday the English ambassador brought up the subject of the reluctance of the ministers here to send an ambassador to his master, intimating that if this is not done he may be recalled. I took the opportunity to inform him of my offices in the matter, in the interest of the public tranquillity and chiefly to preserve good relations between two princes for whom the republic had once before had the good fortune to make peace. But I did not tell him of what the Cardinal had said to me in confidence, indeed I gave him to understand that they were not disinclined, only the pressure of business and the lack of suitable individuals had hitherto delayed a decision, more than anything else. The ambassador seemed pleased that I had spoken about it and assured me that he would inform his king. He asked me not to relax my representations, and I readily promised.
St. Germains, the last day of October, 1640.


  • 1. Scosso : riscotto or esatto from scuotere. Boerio : Vocabolario del Dialetto Veneziano.
  • 2. Salvetti, on 12th October, gives the names : the earls of Manchester and Pembroke, Viscount Campden and Baron Coventry. Brit. Mus. Add. MSS., 27962H. There were actually five lords, Baron Goring being the fifth. Cal. S.P. Dom., 1640-1, pages 113, 133.
  • 3. The messenger sent to the Scots was John Bellasis, youngest son of Thomas lord Fauconberg. He set out on the 28th Sept., o.s. Cal. S. P. Dom., 1640-1, pages 89, 99.
  • 4. M. de St. Ravy was sent with compliments on the birth of prince Henry. His letters of credence from the king are dated at Amiens the 28th August, and those from the queen at St Germain, the 2nd Sept. S. P. France, vol. 110. Mr.William Crofts was selected to return the compliment and offer congratulations on the birth of the French king's second son Philip, which took place on the 21st September. Objection being taken to the appointment in France, Sir William de St. Ravy, brother of the envoy from France, was ultimately sent over. Leicester's despatches of the 9th October and 27th November o.s. Ibid.