Venice: June 1642

Pages 67-86

Calendar of State Papers Relating To English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 26, 1642-1643. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1925.

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June 1642

June 2.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Haya. Venetian Archives.
61. Zuanne Zon, Venetian Secretary at the Hague, to the Doge and Senate.
The Prince of Orange left for Wesel two days ago, making his first halt Viana, and then proceeding the next day to Buren, where he will wait for the Queen of England, to take her with him to the army. She left this morning with all the Court, with the sole object of satisfying her curiosity and of seeing the Province of Utrecht and other leading towns of Holland on her return.
The ambassadors elect for England, in order to please the queen and the Prince too, before he left the Hague, hurried on their preparations, and they had already arranged to start on the 3rd inst. But one of them has been seized with a serious illness, bringing him to death's door, (fn. 1) and this has stopped their going, not without a suspicion on her Majesty's part that this is a device of the States to procrastinate and avoid committing themselves, enabling them to look on without interfering beyond their first demonstrations of zeal, in order to make her Majesty believe that the government had a friendly and sincere feeling for the royal house.
Cressi, after performing his mission from the Most Christian in paying his respects to the Queen of England, and his offices in the General Assembly, has set off towards the Court.
I expressed to the Princess Palatine, in accordance with the instructions of the 9th ult., the state's appreciation of Prince Rupert's offer, assuring her of the Signory's deep regard for her House. She assured me how much she was indebted to the most serene republic and said that she would write to her brother about it. She asked your Excellencies to bear her son's offer in mind, as she was most eager to see him employed under the protection of your Serenity. I performed a similar office with her sons.
The Hague, the 2nd June, 1642.
June 6.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Inghilterra. Venetian Archives.
62. Giovanni Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in England to the Doge and Senate.
Since the recent despatch reported of the commissioners to Uls, with instructions to prevent the movements of the king's supporters, which are constantly generating in that place, and to encourage the others not to fall away from their attachment to the parliament, they have had the new remonstrance against the proceedings of the past government printed and published, in order to keep steadfast the detestation of the people for the king and his ministers alike. But as this paper only repeats what they have tried to give currency to upon other occasions, it has not produced the impression that was expected and they are looking for other inventions whereby they may attain the same end.
Yet by a resolution of both Houses a decree has been issued to the effect that as the present efforts of the king make it clearly evident that he contemplates waging war against the parliament, in such case the confidence in good governance which the people have entrusted to his Majesty's charge must be considered as broken off, and in that event it will be unlawful for any one to render him assistance or to follow him under pain of incurring the penalties of treason and enmity to the state.
The king on his side has published other documents, in which by solid arguments he exposes the interested passion by which the parliamentarians are inspired, his firm determination not to depart from the laws of the country, with other praiseworthy ideas, which have given general satisfaction and deprived the publications of the other side of much of their credit.
In accordance with the arrangement there assembled at York on Friday the gentlemen of that county, of Lincoln and of other neighbouring counties. These arranged in divers troops presented themselves to the king and with voices of sincere devotion offered him their faithful service protesting that they would spend their property as well as their persons in his cause and in defence of his royal prerogatives.
His Majesty responded to these offers by expressing his perfect gratification. He assured them that his desire was for peace and a good understanding with parliament ; his efforts were sincerely directed to secure the felicity of his subjects and for the maintenance of the laws of the realm and the re-establishment of the Protestant religion. With this and other abundant assurances of regard he endeavoured to render them steadfast in their opinion, telling them that he would avail himself of it at the proper moment. Subsequently he enjoined them for the most part to return to their homes, burning with enthusiasm for his service, only keeping near him 500 men on foot and fifty mounted, to whom he commended the defence of his person and promised regular pay, even though they had declared that they would serve him at their own cost.
Admonished by this example of their own duty many lords of the Upper House, being also invited by letters from the king, have set out without delay for York to offer him fresh proofs of loyalty and obedience. Among these are numbered some who hitherto have supported the principles of the most seditious. But what makes this the more remarkable, the Great Seal also, who in the past has shown himself utterly opposed to the interests of his Majesty and to whom is entrusted the task of seeing that the laws are carried out, being convinced by this most righteous incentive, has gone off unexpectedly to York, taking with him the royal seal. (fn. 2) This has left the ill disposed parliamentarians here on the horns of a serious dilemma, both in respect of the credit which this move on the part of such a high official of the crown will bring to the actions of his Majesty, and apprehension that with the information he possesses he may make known to the people by a public declaration their seditious designs, and not without misgivings that others of the same party may embrace the same policy. Accordingly although they make the utmost pains to prove that they are not disheartened, yet all are impatiently watching to see what results an incident so unexpected will produce. It raises the hopes of many that this will suffice to make the people realise that considerations of private cupidity and not only the public welfare have supplied the motive for the use of so much violence and in this way the Hydra of so much rebellion may drop dead. But those who are attached to Puritanism with obstinate fanaticism declare that the departure of this minister and of the other lords is all a trick and covers other plans destructive to the service of his Majesty. But these have not yet come to light, nor indeed are they credited by the wisest men.
All the military officers who have taken service under parliament these last days, to proceed to the defence of Ireland, upon hearing this news, have likewise proceeded to York, announcing that they mean to follow the king's side at all hazards. At the same time it still remains uncertain what plans his Majesty hides in his breast, to wit whether he means to vindicate his rights through the medium of the laws or by an appeal to arms, but his real intentions should disclose themselves within a brief period.
With this succession of fortunate incidents which presage a better fortune in the future for this most noble house, a report has just come that troops have reached his Majesty from Holland, sent by the queen, with considerable sums of ready money raised upon jewels which she has pledged to merchants of Amsterdam. If this news should prove true the arrival is the more opportune since it is chiefly on account of shortage in this particular that the spirited plans of this good prince have languished up to the present.
The king expresses feelings of bitter resentment against the French ambassador because of the offices performed by that minister with the parliamentarians about the negotiations for an alliance between the Austrians and this crown. By means of the Secretary of State he has sent word to the ambassador in writing informing him that he has no certain information about these negotiations and they are not of a sort that he would easily credit. At the same time he expresses his displeasure that the ambassador has ventured to address himself to parliament and wishes to know if this innovation of treating with his subjects without his consent in a matter of such consequence, has been done by order of the king, his master, or is an independent action of his own, and if there are some special reasons which have induced him to take so considerable a step, in contempt of his own sovereignty, with other expressions indicating great resentment. The ambassador is a cavalier and possibly more skilled in the manipulation of arms than in the conduct of great affairs. Without considering how he commits the king, his master, he announces that he acted as he did by commission of the Most Christian. He professes to care nothing for the indignation of his Majesty, and what excites more remark, he frequently has long conferences with the parliamentarians who have promoted the present troubles and with the Scottish commissioners as well. This gives greater weight to the report that France is doing everything in her power to keep the disturbances in this kingdom going for a long while, taking advantage of these civil disorders to facilitate the success of their own designs. Accordingly vigorous criticisms of that crown and its minister here may be heard among the most patriotic men here (onde fra gli uomini piu zelanti risuonano vive doglianze contra quella corona et questo ministro suo). The Spaniards also do not forget to intrigue with this object, but with greater reserve and less publicity. They also conspire with France to the hurt of this king, although for the rest their interests and inclinations are so much at variance with those of the French crown.
The Ambassador Ro reports from Vienna that all hope having fallen through of being able to conduct the affairs of the Palatine House to a successful issue by a longer stay at that Court, he has decided to depart when the Whitsun festivities are over. If this has actually happened, your Excellencies will have heard it from the secretary Vico.
London, the 6th June, 1642.
[Italian ; the part in italics deciphered.]
June 13.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Inghilterra. Venetian Archives.
63. Giovanni Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The Great Seal reached York all right on Tuesday in last week. Some leagues outside the city he was met by the royal coaches and he was afterwards received by his Majesty with every token of regard and comfort. But he, when he approached the king, with acts of public penitence, asked pardon for what he had done in the past contrary to the obedience and service that he owed. He promised to serve with sincere zeal and perfect loyalty in the future. As his Majesty appeased him with fulsome expressions of gratitude, it has encouraged others among the most flourishing nobility to follow the example of this leading minister. Since his departure and that of the others who set out these last days, the majority of the lords of the Upper House and many members of the Lower, incited by letters from the king, have also set out for York, and they have left parliament so thinned that in the Upper House not more than sixteen members can be counted. All of these, as leaders of the Puritan party and of the seditious designs, are possibly without hope of finding any safe place of redemption, and so they stand closely together among themselves, despising the danger of punishment always intent on inflicting further hurt on the royal interests (dopo la partenza di cui et di quelli che s' incaminorono li giorni precedenti, li maggiori parti della Camera Alta con molti Parlamentarii della Bassa, solecitati del Re, sono passati eglino ancora a Jorch et hanno lasciati si spopolato il Parlamento che nella Camera Alta non si contano di presente che soli sedici Parlamentarii, li quali tutti come capi della partita Puritana et dei seditiosi consigli, disperando per avventura di trovare sicuro luoco di indulgentia, si tengono fra loro strettamente congionti, et sprezzando i pericoli del castigo machinano sempre piu di nuoia agli interessi reali).
The most secret motives which have induced his Majesty to summon these lords to his side with so much urgency have not yet transpired with any certainty, and in discussing it every one speaks according to his personal bias, and amid all the uncertainty the course that he will follow involves the most remarkable consequences (et fra queste incertezze prendono sotto i piu curiosi effetti li consigli che abbraciera).
Meanwhile the king has increased the number of the foot guards for his person to 1200 men, and has also set up one company of 200 horse which is in constant attendance on him. This last is composed of gentlemen of very rich and honourable estate. He has given the command of it to the Prince of Wales, in order to do greater honour to these loyal men and inflame their zeal for his service. On Friday he held a review of these troops and subsequently they made promise to him on oath to follow his fortunes at no matter what hazard. After this the gentlemen offered to raise 200 men each whenever his Majesty should issue the command, and when circumstances demanded it. It must be left to time to show whether these liberal offers will be carried into effect. Prudent men consider that the operation of this rather than of arms will prove more helpful to the king for bringing to a successful issue the conduct of his most righteous designs.
To all his subjects of ordinary condition in the county of York his Majesty has sent orders to assemble this day at a place a short way from that city, (fn. 3) where he will meet them to acquaint those people also with his intentions in the hope of persuading them to join with him of their own free accord for the advantages held out (sperando persuaderli a seco conspirare con pronta volonta nei pretesi vantaggi). More certain particulars of the results produced by these representations are eagerly awaited with anxiety.
By fresh printed orders the king has further repeated his commands to all ministers of justice, commanders and officers of the militia and to the troops themselves not to obey any precept whatsoever of the parliament without his Majesty's express commission. This has proved so effective that many of the county of Middlesex, when commanded by the new lieutenant (fn. 4) to appear before him to make their muster, roundly refused to obey and many who went to the place of assembly, before performing the usual exercises boldly demanded whether this was being done by order of the king, and when they were told it was by order of the parliament, a portion of them returned to their homes with flags flying and drums beating, without submitting to the execution of this order. All this tends to prove that the majority of the people in their hearts preserve that natural respect which is due to their legitimate sovereign, and it does not seem likely that they will support the proceedings of those who, amid these public troubles aspire to aggrandise and assure their own private conditions.
Parliament, on the other hand, although reduced to such feeble numbers, does not give way to fear and it keeps keenly on the watch for everything likely to render suspicious the actions of his Majesty, while recovering for itself the applause of the generality. They have had printed a fresh manifesto, full of the most seditious expressions, whereby they are trying to interest the people in their cause and to impress upon the minds of the most simple that the king has no ownership over the fortresses and towns of the crown, which are entrusted to him for the sole benefit and advantage of the people ; that it remains for parliament to decide as to their disposition, without the royal consent, that his Majesty is bound to consent to all the laws that parliament sees fit to submit to him. In conclusion they affirm that if the king succeeds in humbling the present assembly, composed as it is of men of such enthusiasm for the public service, with it will perish beyond repair the privileges of the country, the liberty of the people and the laws of the kingdom. Such statements sound very plausible in the ears of the people here, and they do not fail to arouse feelings prejudicial to the interests of his Majesty more especially in this city, where more than anywhere else the infection of Calvinism has spread its roots. Since the chief doctrine of this faith is to recognise no superiority or magistracy it has done as much mischief to the temporal monarchy of the present king as it did anciently to the spiritual dominion of the Roman church.
To the counties where the people show a greater disposition to favour the king's side commissioners have been sent for the purpose of turning their minds away from such good sentiments and to defend the decree of the past week whereby all and sundry were forbidden, under pain of incurring the penalties of treason, to assist his Majesty in the present emergency. They have had printed and published two old acts of parliament passed in the time of Kings Edward II and Henry IV in this connection, (fn. 5) although they have no correspondence with the conditions now prevailing. But this is all done with the object of proving that not private interest but wise statesmanship and the carrying out of the laws govern the decisions of the present times.
While the parliamentarians are engaged in these astute efforts in their endeavours to counter such measures as they have reason to fear in the future, they have at the same time chosen commissioners with instructions to make enquiry as to the best means of arriving at a composition between his Majesty and the parliament. After various discussions these have drawn up eighteen articles, upon which they pretend to base a settlement and with the consent of parliament they have since sent these to the king by a gentleman. From what I gather they comprise such hard conditions and so dishonourable that there is no possibility of the king accepting them. Although this is perfectly well known to the authors, it in nowise disturbs them, seeing that their principal aim is to make it appear by the device of this project that they cherish thoughts of peace and feelings of respect for the king, in order to throw upon him the responsibility for the continuation of the troubles and differences, and so damp down the acclamations which are at present heard in the country in favour of his interests.
By means of secret intelligence his Majesty tried to obtain entry into Uls, but the stroke failed through lack of faith in the person who promised his assistance, and also by the absence of reserve among those who had the management of the design. (fn. 6) The unlucky result of the plan renders it more difficult than before to realise this most important advantage.
Some portion of the arms and munitions from that fortress, which were laded upon two ships before the movements of the garrison reported, have arrived at the Tower here, affording peculiar satisfaction to the members of this parliament.
The news that the queen had sent money to his Majesty from Holland is completely confirmed, but the actual amount remains uncertain. Everyone exaggerates or reduces the sum according to his own personal bias, which in these times obstinately possesses the minds of the parties (la quale in questo tempo usurpa ostinatamente gl' animi dei parti).
In Ireland the insurgents continue to make ever greater progress in consolidating their hold over the island. They have utterly broken up the English troops and at present are scouring every part of the kingdom without resistance. Amid the agitations that prevail here there is no means or sincere disposition to repair these serious disasters, so it is to be feared that the island may be finally separated from the dominions of this crown, not without indications that with the progress of time it may inflict further injuries on the English in the navigation of these waters and fresh blows against the whole of England as well (non senza apparenza che con progresso del tempo facci assentire agl' Inglesi nella navigatione di queste acque maggiori danni, et all' Inghilterra tutta nuove percosse ancora).
They have written to the Ambassador Ro approving of his idea to come away and have sent him orders to do so without delay, so he is expected at Court within a few weeks. He has sent to the king the very unpalatable paper of declaration which the emperor had given to him, upon the interests of the Palatine House. Although I am persuaded that your Excellencies will have received it by this time from the Secretary Vico, I must not pass it over either.
London, the 13th June, 1642.
Postscript : At this very last moment I have succeeded in getting a glimpse of the articles offered by parliament to the king for a composition. I enclose a copy translated into Italian for those of your Excellencies who care to read the particulars. You will observe how far removed they are from what is proper and how they aim at reducing the authority of the king and of the monarchy as well, and to lay the foundations of a government resembling that of the States of Holland.
[Italian ; the part in italics deciphered.]
Enclosure. 64. Terms of Agreement demanded for the restitution of the Prince Palatine in the Lower Palatinate.
(1) Sacra Caesarea Maj. liberosque Friderici Palatini statim a reatu ex facto sive proprio sive patris contracto ; praevia tamen ex illorum parte debita submissione (scripto vel per legatos facienda) et renuntiatione foederum quoruncumque praesentium et futurorum contra sac. Caes. Maj., S.R. Imperium ejusque Electores atque Principes et status Imperii, necnon Augustam Domum Austriacam absolvet.
(2) Restituet illos in ditiones paternas Inferioris Palatinatus quas Rex Catholicus et Elector Bavariae possident in qualitate feudi Imperialis eoque statu quo nunc sunt.
(3) Restituatur loco praefecturae Germersheim Comiti Palatino pretium quo dictae praefecturae hypotheca domui Palatinae fuit comparata.
(4) Fiat superioris Palatinatus restitutio sed non prius, quam Imperatori a rege Magnae Britanniae vel Palatino simul ac semel xiii milliones florenorum Rhenensium exsolvantur quibus S. Caes. Maj. Electori Bavariae hoc praetium emptionis pro superiori Palatinatu solutum restituere et sic superiorem Austriam ab onere hypothecae et evictionis liberare queat. Interim vero dum praedictarum xiii. millionum solutione integra Electori Bavariae satisfactum fuerit, manebit idem Elector tanquam dominus in quieta possessione superioris Palatinatus eoque in omnibus et per omnia fruetur prout nunc possidet et fruitur.
(5) Sub hac vero restitutione Palatinatus superioris non intelligitur comitatus Chamb. utpote qui jam antiquitus non ad superiorem Palatinatum ad sed ducatum Bavariae jure pertinet.
(6) Religio Romana Catholica ejusque exercitium publicum ac nominatim monasteria religiosorum ac Collegia Patrum Societatis Jesu cum fundationibus in eo statu quo nunc in Inferiori et superiori Palatinatu sunt etiam post factam restitutionem maneant et conserventur.
(7) Donationes et subinfeudationes a S. Caes. Maj. et Electore Bavariae factae in Palatinatu inf. sicut res judicatae vel legitime transactae in suo robore etiam deinceps permaneant quemadmodum etiam subinfeudationes res judicatae vel legitime transactae usque ad restitutionem futuram.
(8) Idem quod de Palatinatu Inf. dictum in religione Rom. Cath. ejusque exercitio publico monasteriis et ecclesiis PP. Soc. Jesu ; item donationibus, subinfeudationibus, rebus judicatis vel legitime transactis observetur quando ad restitutionem Palatinatus Sup. devenietur.
(9) Fructuum praeceptorum vel percipiendorum distractorum mobilium damnorumve per hos motus bellicos datorum vel aeris alienis nondum persoluti nomine ; nihil omnino contra quemquam eorum qui dictas ditiones restituendas nunc possident vel imposterum donec restitutio fiat possidebunt praetendatur.
(10) Ad dignitatem electoralem quod attinet ea cum omnibus suis juribus annexis apud ser. electorem Bavariae Maximilianum ejusque masculos descendentes permaneat ; nullo vero masculo ex hac linea Maximiliana amplius superstite, tres alii masculi a Gulielmo V quondam duce Bavariae descendentes, secundum ordinem primogeniturae in eadem dignitate electorali annexisque juribus succedant, et demum post hos tres successores defunctos alternatio inter reliquam lineam Wilhelmianam et lineam Palatinam incipiat et exercitium actuum electoralium ad proximum successorem qui Friderici Palatini transferatur et durante ejus vita apud eundem etiam permaneat ; post illius vero obitum ad proximum successorem lineae Wilhelmianae iterum redeat, et simili modo per totam ipsius vitam permaneat et sic deinceps vice versa inter has duas lineas Wilhelmianam scilicet Bavariam et Palatinam, in perpetuum donec utraque superstes fuerit alternetur, sed utra ex his duabus lineis primo in totum defecerit tunc dignitas electoralis cum omnibus juribus annexis ad superstitem lineam pertineat.
(11) Prestentur ex adverso et reciproce ea super quibus de ineundo foedere conveniendum erit ; conventumque fuerit nec non nisi respectu dicti foederis simul cum hac restitutione transigendi habeatur pro oblato ex parte S. Caes Maj. illud ad quod S. C. Maj. suo et reliquorum interessatorum nomine se se declaravit.
(12) In omnibus iis de quibus utrinque praestandis et exequendis conventum fuerit stabiliatur sufficiens assicuratio. (fn. 7)
65. Proposals made by Parliament to the king for the reconciliation of differences between His Majesty and Parliament.
Dated the 12th June, 1642. (fn. 8)
[19 Articles, Italian, from the English.]
June 14.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Germania. Venetian Archives.
66. Thadio Vico, Venetian Resident in Germany, to the Doge and Senate.
The English ambassador, when I saw him one day recently, confided to me that he had recently offered 600,000 thalers to the duke of Bavaria, that is to say to the mediators, in the name of the Palatine House, as an acknowledgment, but not as a lawful debt (per una riconoscenza pero non gia per debito giuridico), for his claim of four millions. All the same the ambassador did not hesitate to tell me with perfect frankness that he expected nothing good from this side, unless force or the negotiations at the Diet of Frankfort, appointed for the beginning of August, should succeed in overcoming the distractions, the delays and the lack of good will of the other side.
Vienna, the 14th June, 1642.
June 16.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Signori Stati. Venetian Archives.
67. Zuanne Zon, Venetian Secretary in the Netherlands, to the Doge and Senate.
The government have once again directed the ambassadors for England to set out at the first opportunity. But the queen, seeing that affairs there have become somewhat favourable for her husband, is persuaded that their offices may prove of scant advantage to her house and does not urge their departure. She intimates that it is better to wait and see whether affairs there will straighten themselves of their own accord without the application of more vigorous remedies.
I hear that the queen is ill pleased because the States, in conferring the quality of extraordinary on Joachimi, have directed him to stay with the parliament in London, and under the pretext of his ordinary residence there to cover the declaration already made that he will be ambassador to the Parliament, and the other two to the king, so that the treatment of those most complicated differences may be conducted with more satisfaction to the parties, and interposition made with more vigour. The queen cannot swallow this, considering it too prejudicial to the royal dignity, and as she wants this deleted from the instructions to the ambassadors she does not display much eagerness for their departure. Her Majesty has heard with much sorrow of the failure of the enterprise of Ult. She has sent 30,000l. sterling to the king, raised on a portion of her jewels, which she has pledged to merchants. She proposes to go to Breda, to spend all the rest of the summer there.
The Hague, the 16th June, 1642.
June 16.
Collegio, Secreta. Esposizioni, Principi. Venetian Archives.
68. A young man came into the Collegio in the name of the Secretary of England and said a few words in conformity with a memorial which he gave to me, the secretary, and which was read.
In the absence of the doge the senior councillor Sig. Giovanni Moresini said : We have heard your request. These Signors will consider the matter. With that the young man made his bow and went out.
The Memorial.
On the 25th ult. Giovanni Pisini, a servant of the house of the ambassador of Great Britain was arrested by order of the Proveditori alle Beccarie. It was hoped that he would be released at once when it was known that he was a servant of that house and especially as he was not guilty of anything. Yet on Monday, the 2nd, when I sent to ask for his release, I was told that as he had been so many days in prison they wished to see the process to despatch it as soon as possible in the course of law. I now ask that he may be released at once out of respect of that house and because he is not guilty.
June 20.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Inghilterra. Venetian Archives.
69. Giovanni Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
In accordance with his Majesty's command reported, the assembly of the common people of York met on Friday in the present week. Some 60,000 and more persons came together, spread over a large field and divided into a number of companies. The king made his appearance there accompanied by many lords of the highest nobility, by 600 cavaliers and by other armed forces on foot. He set forth to the assembly the motives for his stay in that corner of the kingdom. He assured them that it was due to considerations of preserving the royal person and dignity from the licentiousness of many who by seditious tumults had obliged him to abandon his residence among them. He was persuaded that the people of those parts, following the example of the nobles would show forth an equal readiness to serve and obey him. He claimed this solely for the defence of the religion established by Queen Elizabeth, for the maintenance of the laws of the crown and of his lawful prerogatives, as well as of the rights and liberties of the people, and in conclusion for the continuance of the public quiet. He protested the unchangeable devotion he felt for the preservation of the Protestant religion and the grief with which he saw it corrupted by new sects, not without peril to the stability of the church and that of these states as well. He went on to express his feelings of loving kindness to all and of regard for the people there in particular promising that they should enjoy his constant protection as well as every favour and advantage. He concluded his speech by urging them to defend his royal honour and prerogatives.
The observations of his Majesty were listened to with the utmost attention and the majority responded to them with loud shouts of applause and showed an equal readiness to follow his suggestions. But some obstinate professors of Puritanism, being worked upon by the commissioners whom parliament is at present keeping in that district, instead of joining in with the company in their praiseworthy acclamations, separated themselves from the rest and pulled out a petition to present it to the king in which they beseech him to come to a good understanding with parliament, to send back the lords here who are obliged to attend, to take part in the continuance of the debates, to dismiss the armed guards and to avoid occasions for fresh troubles. But the earl of Lince, Great Chamberlain of the realm, and lord Savel, who were present with his Majesty, both persons of high rank and notable following in that country, having got wind of this unexpected move, prevented the attempt being made for the time being by vigorous menaces. The seditious ones, finding themselves disappointed of their expectation, withdrew apart to the number of 5000 and went away brimming over with dissatisfaction.
The king, for his part, having performed what he intended to do, returned the same evening to York, accompanied by his usual following and by quite 20,000 of the people there, all of whom he enjoined to return to their homes, as they did. The deputies sent a detailed account of all these events to parliament. That body, stirred by the tremors of apprehension and moved similarly by hostile feelings, after mature deliberation, has declared Lince and Savel inflammatory disturbers of the public peace. (fn. 9) They have sent an individual to York with orders to take them prisoner and a strict precept to the sheriffs, commanders and officers of the militia to support the execution of this command. They are showing the utmost vigour to see that this is effected as well as an inclination to have recourse to the most violent measures, since parliament is persuaded that once the king is deprived of the assistance of these two faithful ministers, all the rest, stimulated by their fears, will withdraw, without any further persuasion.
With this intent they have decided to assemble, within the period of 10 days 10,000 foot and 2000 horse, to be sent to York and wherever it may be most desirable. The parliamentarians concerned cherish the belief that the people there who at present favour the proceedings of parliament, will gladly join these troops and become thereby so much more powerful that they will be strong enough to hold the other side in awe, and to remove those difficulties which have so far retarded the realisation of their ambitious projects (dandosi a credere questi parlamentarii che quella gente la quale di presente favorisce gl' andamenti del parlamento si gionti prontamente a queste truppe et gli accresca tanto di vigore che vaglia a contenere il contrario partito et a togliere quelle difficolta che hanno fin hora riuscito dei loro ambitiosi proponimenti).
The public pretext by which they endeavour to justify the assembling of this army to the community, is the need of making sure of the two noblemen named as guilty of tyrannical conduct in depriving the people of the means of setting forth their lawful objections to their own sovereign. But those who observe these preparations with unprejudiced eyes clearly discern that they cloak more far reaching designs and are designed to compel the king by forcible means to grant them the advantages they claim and to establish themselves in control of the government and of the richest and most honourable appointments of the crown at the same time.
To meet the cost of this new militia the parliamentarians who are here have with one accord to pay down 200l. sterling each at once. They reckon that this will be enough to maintain it for six weeks. Meanwhile of the Council of London, which is now composed of men who are mostly Puritans and outspokenly hostile to the king's interests, they are asking for 100,000l. sterling by way of a loan, with which to meet these emergencies and others which may require urgent attention. What will be the effect upon his Majesty in particular and upon the people at large of this sudden step towards arming, if their decision is actually carried into execution, remains doubtful as yet, and great curiosity is felt as to what will happen next, as from, the experiment each of the parties will gain experience of the extent of its own power (quali mottivi tuttavia sia per eccitare nei particolari di Sua Maesta et nei populi universalmente questa improvisa mossa d' armi, quando effectivamente si prattichino gl' effetti di questa deliberatione dubbioso rimane ancora et degli eventi si attende curiosamente il successo sotto i cimenti di cui fara esperienza ciascheduna delle parti della grandezza del proprio potere).
Severe commands have been sent to all the members of parliament who are with his Majesty to come back to the regular meetings here within the term of the 26th of this month, otherwise they are threatened with severe punishment. It is believed that the more timid and those who are not inspired with extraordinary enthusiasm for the royal cause, will not be inclined to expose their fortunes to the hazard of future events by a repetition of their disobedience, but that many will decide to return and subsequently conduct themselves in the way that the trend of events may suggest to them.
Being warned that the queen had recently sent to his Majesty from Holland drafts on the merchants here to the amount of 20,000l. sterling, raised on the security of the crown jewels, parliament has seized the capital in the hands of debtors and prevented the king for the present from making use of this money, the lack of which, more than any other circumstance, keeps him reduced to his present straitened condition.
After long discussions held by the Council in Scotland upon the troublous events in this kingdom, they have issued a decree that they will not intermeddle in these civil disorders, unless with the consent of both parties Scotland acts as mediatrix for a perfect adjustment. (fn. 10) By this his Majesty's hopes of enjoying assistance from that quarter and parliament's fears of finding an obstacle there to the fulfilment of their designs, have alike vanished. However, with the object of justifying the sincerity of his intentions, his Majesty has sent letters to that Council in which he informs them of the reports spread here, namely that he favours the Catholic religion, has intelligence with the rebels in Ireland and cherishes the idea of introducing armed foreigners into the kingdom. He protests from his heart that these reports are false, and he has no other objects at heart than to maintain the Protestant profession, to help his people and to preserve, with the ancient rights of his own sovereignty, the public quiet and concord between the two nations.
By a paper which has been published parliament is now labouring to persuade the people that they are not obliged to render obedience to the last proclamations of his Majesty, which forbid them to place themselves under the command of the new lieutenants in the militia. They argue that the authority of the parliament has no dependence on that of the king, but that they have the power to ordain differently from what his Majesty commands, and no subject may evade the fulfilment of parliamentary orders without incurring the penalty of disobedience. Although such opinions offend the ears of more moderate men yet they meet with the fullest approval among the generality while they strike a fatal blow at the continuance of monarchy. (fn. 11) Thus the crown, attacked from so many quarters, is languishing under the need of a powerful arm to uphold its prerogatives in this country valiantly by prudence.
The gentleman sent with the proposals for an agreement has returned from York. He reports that he faithfully presented them to the king and was told that after his Majesty had considered them he would inform parliament at a suitable moment of what precisely his intentions are.
London, the 20th June, 1642.
[Italian ; the part in italics deciphered.]
June 21.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Germania. Venetian Archives.
70. Thadio Vico, Venetian Resident in Germany, to the Doge and Senate.
The Mediators have been trying to induce England to provide a larger sum than the 600,000 thalers for the restitution of the dominions of the Palatine. The Ambassador Ro will not hear of it, because he sees that it is a part of their roundabout procedure here and also because he knows about the understanding between Bavaria and France. He found it out chiefly from the orders and remonstrances sent him by the parliamentarians about the complaints of the French minister, that Ro had offered to bind England in a defensive and offensive alliance with the Austrians. Ro has written to both houses of parliament protesting that he has never gone so far, and that he merely said generally that when the Palatine was re-established the king of England would employ all his offices to procure the peace of Germany. The ambassador says that if the parliamentarians had made enquiries to find out what he has done the Frenchman would not have had occasion to make all this disturbance, because he would have knocked up against the truth of the matter (perche haveria toccata la verita della cosa). Thus when demands were made of him here for such an alliance, he recognised that it was only duplicity to prevent the business ever reaching an end ; he had always declared that he would never consent to any treaty nor to anything likely to involve engagements of alliance prejudicial to the French and Dutch, on any account.
Vienna, the 21st June, 1642.
June 21.
Senato, Secreta. Deliberazioni. Rettori. Venetian Archives.
71. To the Proveditore General in Terra Ferma.
With regard to the petition of Colonel Douglas about his command, you are to get him to take up the command upon the terms that you consider proper, but not to exceed 1500 ducats a month, that being 300 ducats above what he is receiving at present. If he does not consent to this you will know what to say to him. You will report what happens because if the Colonel persists in his refusal we contemplate allowing him an absolute leave. We confide the matter to your hands.
Ayes, 120. Noes, 0. Neutral, 4.
June 23.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Haya. Venetian Archives.
72. Zuanne Zon, Venetian Secretary at the Hague, to the Doge and Senate.
The Palatine Princes, Maurice and Roberto, are leaving shortly for England where they are to receive some military employment in the service of the king, their uncle, if he means to make war on the Parliament, as is stated.
The Hague, the 23rd June, 1642.
June 26.
Collegio, Secreta. Esposizioni, Principi. Venetian Archives.
73. The Secretary of England came into the Collegio and spoke as follows :
A long time since I asked your Serenity for the release of a servant, imprisoned by order of the Magistracy of the Beccarie. As the secretary to whom the memorials were given was sick and some of the magistrates away from the city I have seen no decision. The servant has been treated with great severity, being kept more than a month in a dark cell without knowing why. If the houses of foreign ministers and their servants are not to be exempt from the ordinary law, except in case of serious excesses, as is the custom everywhere, and as is observed in England towards the ministers of the republic, let justice at least be administered and allow him to redeem his character against those who have falsely accused him, and do not allow this partiality to one Legrenzi, who has contrived this business and who boasts of keeping the man in prison.
The doge replied, an enquiry has been instituted about your memorials, and that made a decision will be taken. He then asked the nationality of the prisoner. The secretary replied that he was a subject of the republic. You see, said the doge, that the obligations involved in being a subject are never lost. The secretary then bowed and went out.
June 27.
Senato, Secreta. Deliberazioni. Corti. Venetian Archives.
74. To the Ambassador in England.
Acknowledge his letters of the 6th inst. which show his usual application. The continued disturbances which steadily grow worse call for exceptional observation of the movements and negotiations which are taking place to find out whither things may be tending. Enclose the usual sheet of advices. Writing to the secretary at the Hague instructing him to keep the ambassador informed of what is taking place in those parts.
Ayes, 123. Noes, 1. Neutral, 2.
June 27.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Inghilterra. Venetian Archives.
75. Giovanni Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
Parliament is proceeding to carry into effect its decision to collect a corps d' armee sufficient to counterpoise and perhaps also to forestall the efforts of his Majesty and they leave no means untried which may facilitate the successful accomplishment of this design and at the same time the motives for so hazardous a decision acceptable to the generality. To this end they have published a fresh manifesto in which they set forth the growing apprehension that the king, under the influence of pernicious advice, has concentrated all his energies on destroying the present parliament by means of force, and with it the public liberty. They vehemently exhort the people to provide against such a terrible misfortune by proving their real devotion and ask everyone, in the support of so just a cause to contribute money or plate and supply arms and munitions in proportion to their respective means, promising that their capital shall be restored to them again with the addition of 8 per cent. by way of interest. (fn. 12) To rouse their enthusiasm to meet these demands by the force of example that have passed a resolution that all the members of parliament shall be under an obligation to pay down a stated amount and to provide a certain number of horses, apportioned according to the condition of the individual.
The members of the Upper House, which at present is composed only of those few individuals who have rebelled against the service of his Majesty and are without hope of pardon or security, upon which they are now actively engaged, have given a reply, not only agreeing but offering even more extensive assistance with prodigal liberality.
A similar disposition has not appeared in the Lower House. Many have not only refused to submit to these contributions but also decline to agree to the resolution to resist his Majesty with armed forces, which they characterise roundly as irreconcileable with the duty which they owe as loyal subjects and with the laws of the crown as well.
The merchants who profess Calvinism and the lower classes among the inhabitants of this city pursue the promptings of their violent passions without reflection rather than their real interests. They are inspired by the seditious notions of this manifesto, which has filled their hearts with terror, urging that if they abandon this cause their case will be desperate and insisting on the other hand that they should shake off the yoke of the monarchy and join together, some with money and others with their old silver plate which they possess to meet the needs of these emergencies. The parliamentarians announce that by such devices they have up to the present collected 100,000l. sterling, with which and with other sums which they promise themselves from this city, considered to be entirely devoted to them, they feel confident of maintaining in strength the troops they are collecting for a period of three months and render their cause so strong that their party may subsequently constrain his Majesty by means of an adjustment to grant them the advantages they claim, with security.
The king on his side steadfastly pursues the most righteous course he has mapped out for himself. He finds the disposition of the nobility and of the provinces increasingly favourable to his interests. With the approval of the lords about him he has printed and published another declaration, which could not be better received or more greedily read by men of right sentiments. In this he replies argumentatively to the lies disseminated by parliament, showing by clear demonstration to his people the arts whereby they try to render his name hateful, the disorder and injury which the ambition of some parliamentarians has inflicted on the country. He shows the just causes of his resentment against many ; proposes forty articles for the accommodation and concludes with praiseworthy protests that he aspires to nothing beyond the maintenance of religion and the laws, the preservation of the peace and of his royal rights, and offers to devote himself and his children to so laudable an object. With such dulcet strains he has charmed the feelings of unprejudiced persons and in addition to the lords reported some other members of the Upper House, including some leaders of consideration among the malcontents. These, in token of their repentance, set out unexpectedly for York two days ago, to repeat to his Majesty their protests of devotion, arousing the resentment of those who are determined to persist in their obstinacy to the very last extreme.
The thirteen counties which constitute the country of Wales, inspired by their duty as loyal subjects, have sent their deputy to the king with the offer of 10,000 men paid for the defence of his royal person and prerogatives. (fn. 13) They offer moreover that in case of urgent need they will add 20,000 valiant men in addition, as the people there are disposed to devote their lives as well as their fortunes in the cause of the king their sovereign.
Besides the county of York those of Lancashire, Leicester, Buckingham and d' Arbi have declared their complete submission to his Majesty's commands while that of Kent remains constant to the same excellent disposition in its readiness to prove by deeds, when the time comes, the sincerity of its zealous loyalty.
A number of soldiers have escaped from the fortress of Uls and have enlisted under the king's flag. As sentiments of devotion to the king are still heard in the place, the rebellious governor, in alarm at this and apprehensive that some disaster may occur at any moment, has sent urgent letters to parliament asking that 500 Scottish soldiers may be sent to him to enable him to keep the people there in subjection and the English garrison as well. There being no means for sending these, they adopted the expedient of despatching a Scottish commander experienced and trusty to keep the place in good order. (fn. 14) When this officer entered the town, the governor, who had grown more and more doubtful of himself, handed over the command without delay and being unwilling to expose himself any longer to the licence of the people there, he took ship to return to London, leaving that fortress at the disposition of a foreign commander. The parliamentarians are apprehensive that he may prove less obedient than the other and that what has been done may supply the king with an opening to make himself master, to their detriment, of so considerable a place.
In Scotland many communities have presented petitions to the Table of the Council there, that is to those who govern, representing that since from their birth they have been under the obligation to defend the king and his prerogatives, and seeing that these are now lost through the tyranny of the English parliament, they may be set up again by the armed power of that crown or at least that they may find means to achieve the same end by means of an agreement ; otherwise they protest that they will not sit still and see so just a king suffer such crying wrong from his own subjects.
These favourable incidents have encouraged the supporters of his Majesty and confirmed their hopes that the efforts of the rebels will prove vain, to their disgrace and the ornaments of his greatness will ultimately be restored to the king, to wear as his predecessors have done by so just a title. But those who are more cautious do not yet feel so entirely confident that this will follow, experience having shown them to what great changes affairs here are subject, and so they waver between misgiving and hope. Meanwhile his Majesty has deprived the earl of Northumberland, an irreconcileable leader against the royal interests, of the office of Lord High Admiral, and granted it to the earl of Lince, Great Chamberlain of the realm, his faithful servant. Whether Northumberland will give up his charge promptly, in the midst of the present disorders, is not yet certain, or whether this command of his Majesty will meet with due obedience from Vice Admiral Warwick, who belongs to the party, or from the captains of the ships is a matter for speculation and the result is awaited with anxious expectancy.
The Palatine Princes Rupert and Maurice are expected at York from Holland. The king sent for them intending to make use of them for the command of the army, if the obstinate temerity of his rebellious subjects should compel him to engage in a civil war to the general hurt. It is believed that they will bring with them a quantity of arms, munitions and saddles for horses, provided by the queen in Amsterdam. When parliament heard about this they sent three ships to the coast off Newcastle with instructions to stop the ships bringing these provisions. (fn. 15)
They are circulating reports here of successes won against the rebels in Ireland, though the particulars are not known as yet. It is believed that the announcement is a device of parliament designed to keep up their credit with the people, and consequently the confirmation of such great news is awaited with curiosity.
In the despatches of the past week from Vienna the Ambassador Ro reports that the mediators in the Palatine cause hold out hopes to him that the interested parties will moderate the severity of the last paper and he asks that he may be instructed how he must conduct himself in such case. They have sent him word that his prudence must decide from the nature of the proposals whether he shall continue the negotiations or return without more ado to England, in conformity with the first commands. But it appears that here they are disposed to settle the business on any terms whatever, no matter how disadvantageous, provided that some portion of the Palatine's dominions, however little, be restored to him, but it is feared that those in possession are not disposed to divest themselves of what they hold.
Amid much remark but scant commendation the Ambassador of France betook himself two days ago to the Upper House of parliament, although privately. He informed the members of that House of the restoration of the Cardinal de Richelieu to the favour of the Most Christian king. He advised them not to lose heart and to pursue boldly the thread of their designs, thus affording them an intimation that France and the Cardinal will be ready to support them. This has restored the parliamentarians to great spirits, but on the other hand those who are sincere Englishmen at heart are not a little incensed against that minister. He came to visit me yesterday and told me in terms of confidence that if their Majesties here, in accordance with the proposals made to them, had followed by open declarations the good fortune and greatness of the king, his master, they would not have found themselves involved in all these troubles, giving me frankly to understand that the disturbances of this kingdom are and will be fomented by France. I consider this worthy of the attention of your Excellencies.
I am unable to forward to-day the proposals of his Majesty for an agreement, because there has not been time to have them translated into Italian.
London, the 27th June, 1642.
[Italian ; the part in italics deciphered.]
June 28.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Germania. Venetian Archives.
76. Thadio Vico, Venetian Resident in Germany, to the Doge and Senate.
The English ambassador came to call the day before yesterday. He told me he had letters instructing him to take leave, in the gentlest manner possible (con tutta la maggior dolcezza). Yesterday the Count remarked to me that before the ambassador left they desired to present to him on behalf of the mediators a paper containing the more moderate points of the treaty, in order to prove to him the good intentions of the emperor. But I understand that the ambassador has no idea of staying long, and he knows that these fresh proposals are based on vain hopes. He wishes to leave next week.
Vienna, the 28th June, 1642.


  • 1. Jan van Reede sieur of Renswoude. Cal. S.P. Dom. 1641—3, page 329 ; Aitzema : Saken van Staet en Oorlogh, Vol. II, page 818.
  • 2. Sir Edward Littleton, Lord Keeper of the Privy Seal. He set out early on the morning of Sunday, the 1st June, and reached York on the 3rd. His absence was not remarked before Monday, the 2nd. Clarendon : Hist. of the Rebellion, Vol. II, pages 573, 574.
  • 3. Heworth Moor.
  • 4. Henry Rich, earl of Holland. Journals of the House of Commons, Vol. II, page 425.
  • 5. Apparently the Statute of Winchester, 13 Edw. I and the Statute of 5 Hen. IV on commissions of array. See Rushworth ; Hist. Collections Part III, Vol. 2, pages 661—9.
  • 6. An intrigue was conducted by a Mr. Beckwith of Beverley, and disclosed to parliament by Hotham. See Tickell : Hist. of Kingston upon Hull, pages 283—4. Rushworth : Hist. Collections Part III, Vol. I, pages 599—601.
  • 7. Lundorp : Acta Publica, Vol. V, page 785. An attested copy of this document dated 6 May, 1642, is among the Nicholas Correspondence Vol. I, fols. 333, 334, with marginal comments by Sir Thomas Roe. Brit. Mus. Egerton MSS. 2533.
  • 8. Journals of the House of Lords, Vol. V, pages 97-99.
  • 9. On the 6/10 June. Journals of the House of Lords, Vol. V, pages 108, 109.
  • 10. Decree of the 22nd April o.s. Register of the Privy Council of Scotland 2nd Ser, Vol. VII, pages 249-51.
  • 11. Declaration of the 6/16 June. Journals of the House of Lords, Vol. V, pages 112, 113.
  • 12. Manifesto of the 9-19 June. Journals of the House of Commons, Vol. II, pages 618, 619.
  • 13. Sir Richard Lloyd, attorney general for North Wales, on the 18th June. Cal. S.P. Dom. 1641-3, page 336.
  • 14. Sir John Meldrum, a Scottish soldier of fortune. He was sent to assist Hotham, who did not leave Hull at this time. Tickell : History of Kingston upon Hull, page 437.
  • 15. By a resolution of the 11-21 June four ships were sent to watch the northern coasts. Journals of the House of Lords, Vol. V, page 126.