Venice: July 1642, 1-15

Pages 86-100

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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July 1642, 1-15

July 2.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Spagna. Venetian Archives.
77. Nicolo Sagredo, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.
Since the announcement of the naval victory over France little has been said, or rather the true result has been concealed. On this side two galleys were lost, the Santa Magdalena and the San Tomaso, the former being burned and the latter captured. In addition about 300 were killed and wounded. Among the slain are Freicho, a leading commander, and Colonel Irconel an Irishman. (fn. 1)
Madrid, the 2nd July, 1642.
July 3.
Senato, Secreta. Deliberazioni, Rettori. Venetian Archives.
78. To the Proveditore General in Terra Ferma.
As Colonel Douglas justifies his demands by citing the example of Col. la Bastie, we must point out that the latter obtained such terms for a very large levy and under very different circumstances, in a thoroughly satisfactory way. You will draw the attention of Col. Douglas to this, and if he is willing to give way about the 10,000 ducats, we give you authority to promise him 1600.
Ayes, 120. Noes, 2. Neutral, 8.
July 4.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Inghilterra. Venetian Archives.
79. Giovanni Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
After assiduous application the commissioners appointed by parliament to make fresh regulations for trade, have established to the satisfaction of the merchants new prices in the payment of the duties for all merchandise which reaches or leaves the ports here, in the future. Incited by the directors of the Levant Company, two of whom are members of parliament ill affected towards your Excellencies, (fn. 2) the commissioners have joined with this deliberation, for submission to the Lower House, the bill to prohibit the importation of currants into this kingdom. This was read yesterday for the second time, in accordance with the custom, and was passed unanimously. To carry it through nothing now remains but to read it the third time and then send it to the Upper House for their consent. As that chamber at present contains none but those who never disagree with the decisions of the Commons, the bill will undoubtedly pass, and to that extent will satisfy the iniquitous desires of those who, stimulated by passion and moved by hopes of forcing your Serenity to reduce the duties with the expectation of further advantages, have so energetically pressed for this measure, which I have done my utmost to prevent.
Well informed merchants are opposed to this innovation and admit that it is injurious, while it is intensely disliked by many who are accustomed to devote themselves to this trade every year. But in order not to prejudice their other interests they cannot and dare not offer open opposition to the wishes of the directors of the Company, so I am told, and so they are constrained to suffer the loss with patience.
When I had word of this new move I lost no time to going to meet some of the members of the Upper House and to impress upon them the prejudicial consequences which this measure will involve. With every courtesy they assured me of the utmost good will, but from what they said I gathered that they are not disposed to oppose the proposals of the Commons. Accordingly in order to prevent, if anyhow possible, this bill from receiving his Majesty's consent, and guided by the orders of your Excellencies of the 30th November, I have made up my mind to send the enclosed letter to-morrow to the Secretary of State at York, charging him to transmit it to the king. I considered it would be a good plan to write in a reserved manner as well as to adopt an insinuating attitude towards his Majesty, for I know that such a tune sounds gratefully in his ears and facilitates the successful conduct of business with him (ho creduto vantaggioso consiglio formarla in termini riservati non meno che d' insinuatione verso la Maesta Sua, sapendo io che il tuono di voci tali s' accorda con la sua orecchia et agevola seco la felice condotta alle negotiationi).
I am not sending the copy of the bill to-night because it is registered with the document of the custom house, which is very lengthy and which I cannot have before to-morrow ; but I will discharge this debt with my next despatch, and I am waiting for the prudence of your Excellencies to supply me with instructions for this thorny affair.
Meanwhile, in order that your Excellencies may have full information about all particulars I have to report that the quantity of currants brought to this kingdom in the present year, and the scanty sale for them owing to the troubles of these times, which compel every one to be less prodigal, has lowered the price from 42 shillings, at which they used to sell these last months, to 28.
London, the 4th July, 1642.
Enclosure. 80. Giovanni Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador, to the Secretary of State.
Represents the mischief that may result to their respective princes from the proposal to stop the importation of currants, in the injury to the royal revenue and to the sale of cloth. Quite twenty ships are devoted to this traffic alone and their owners will lose their only frieghts while the price of currants will be raised, all for the benefit of a few individuals. It will also give the Dutch a chance to capture this trade. Asks him to lay these considerations before his Majesty to the end that he may give orders to put a stop to so mischievous a design, which will not only injure his subjects but prejudice friendly relations between this nation and the most serene republic, which have lasted so many years.
London, the 5th July, 1642.
[Italian ; copy.]
July 4.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Inghilterra. Venetian Archives.
81. Giovanni Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
No reply has yet been given to the king's last proposals touching the accommodation. These are all restricted within the limits of an admirable moderation, and the most noteworthy may be summed up as follows : that parliament, with the approval of both Houses be removed out of this city, and he suggests six others for the parliamentarians to choose from viz : Oxford, Cambridge, Winchester, York, Coventry, Bristol and Nottingham His Majesty promises that he will proceed to any one of these and take part with proofs of sincere zeal. He asks for the withdrawal of some decrees to the prejudice of his royal authority and prerogatives. He asks that the fortress of Uls be promptly handed over to him and the disobedience of the governor there chastised by a severe punishment. He demands that the command of the militia of the kingdom be confirmed to him again by a new act of parliament and that the authors of seditious tumults shall be seized and imprisoned, subjected to the censure of parliament and then tried in accordance with the laws of the realm. He offers to uphold all the rest of their decrees and to grant a general pardon for the relief of everyone.
Lengthy conferences have been held upon the tenor of these proposals, and although those who truly desire to see an assured peace established in England consider them worthy of prompt acceptance. But the interested parties who through the force of such an agreement foresee that the greatness of their present fortune would inevitably collapse, labour with all their might to prevent them being accepted. They endeavour to show that they are contrary to the constitutions of the crown, to the merit and confidence of this city and to the dignity of parliament. They protest that they will never agree to them and that they will boldly press forward until they have completely carried out their original designs. In this way they make it evident to men of right feeling that the promptings of ambition alone and the instinct of self preservation induce them to take the most desperate resolutions to the public hurt.
Meanwhile by letters to the magistrates of this city and by proclamations his Majesty has commanded that no one, under pain of severe punishment, shall venture to contribute money, lend plate or afford any other assistance whatever which may facilitate the levy of troops which parliament proposes to assemble. He also threatens to suspend the privileges of London, which are important, if it abandons its duty of obedience and conspires in the prosecution of these military preparations. He declares roundly that the end of the parliamentarians is directed to the repression of religion by force, to impede the free course of the laws, to introduce tyranny and to destroy his royal person in abolishing his authority. He asserts for his part in the most positive manner that he is devoted to the idea of peace, that he aspires to nothing but the welfare of his subjects and only the preservation of what is lawfully due to him. For the purpose of setting forth these admirable intentions of his with arguments to carry more conviction, the king has had a new manifesto printed, signed by all the lords and other members of parliament who are present with him, in which the same ideas are expressed, and they try to make it clear that nothing but the immoderate cupidity of private interests governs the deliberations of the present parliament, and that in the midst of the public troubles and disorders some are studying how they may usurp for themselves the crown and the fortunes of the people.
Parliament, on the other side, by a counterblast, sets forth its own sincerity and its constant zeal for the public welfare and liberty. It makes known its suspicions that his Majesty cherishes in his heart secret designs to ruin the present parliament. It admonishes the people of the necessity for arming to put an end to the unjust ambition of pernicious counsel, supported by the king, and offers its protection to those who favour so just a cause, which is common to all. (fn. 3) And so these unhappy people attacked by the frequent appearance of these numerous documents, so mutually contradictory, set about to adopt the opinions which best square with their own disposition, and with such divisions separating men in opinion the tranquillity of this prince grows faint amid the disasters of most mischievous events (onde combattuti questi infelici sudditi dalla frequenza di tante scritture l' una altra si contrario, s' appigliano a qual parere che piu quadra al proprio confacimento, et a questo modo dividendosi gl' animi fa languire la quiete di questo Principe dentro l' angustie di ben molesti avvenimenti).
In this city the lowest classes, with obstinate perseverance, are constantly affording evidence of their passionate partiality, in supporting the proposals of parliament. Their strong sympathies induce them to offer for this object not only their work but their humble fortunes as well. In addition, mastered by this predominant feeling, they do not hesitate at times to prevent by seditious tumults the publication of the king's proclamations. But on the other hand those who possess larger means and who experience the loss from the diminution of trade, do not join in for the same ends and deeply resent this licence. But overcome by the fear of chastisement they have not the courage to make any opposition or even to refuse to meet the obligations and payments which are demanded of them in this connection (in questa citta la gente piu minuta con ostinata perseveranza dimostra sempre piu la partialita di sua passione nel secondare i proponimenti del Parlamento et con il favore di grande inclinatione offerisce a tale oggetto l' opera non meno che le povere fortune, sne ne lascia tal volta tirare da effetto si predominante di impedire con seditiosi tumulti che li proclami del Re siano publicati. Quelli all' incontro che possedono piu larghi commodi et che in la diminutione del traffico provano il danno, non conspirano nei medesimi fini, et risentono vivamente queste licenze, ma persuasi dal timore de' castigi non gli resta cuore di contraporsi ne di ricusare tampoco di soddisfare a quegli obblighi et agli esborsi che sono loro addossati in questa occorenza).
In this way the parliamentarians assert that the contributions which they derive from this city amount to a considerable sum of money, and they feel confident that within a period of ten days they will have at their disposition three regiments of cavalry, all well mounted ; so much so that the leaders of this party, encouraged by such prompt acceptance, become more and more hopeful of a successful issue to their designs, while prudent men become less sanguine than ever of seeing the differences here settled and tranquillity quillity restored without trouble, as their definite termination still remains subject to the uncertainty of events.
All the same, in the provinces the disposition of the lower nobility to support the interests of the king shows itself constantly on the increase and from every part of the kingdom they are hastening to York to offer him their personal service with the homage of their devotion.
The commissioners sent to York these last weeks with instructions to prevent the people of those parts from taking the royal side arrived back unexpectedly in this city yesterday. (fn. 4) It has not yet transpired what causes led to their return and it has given rise to all sorts of discussions. With the departure of these ministers the king is relieved of the apprehension of mischief which might be feared from their making a long stay in that country. At the same time it has also cut off any communication that he might have through their means with the parliament, and that will render the negotiations for an agreement more difficult supposing that the parties decide to enter upon them with equal sincerity.
Into the towns of Newcastle and Baruich, both frontier fortresses towards Scotland and the former only a short distance from York, his Majesty has introduced numerous garrisons of armed forces. The precise reasons which have induced him to hasten to take such a step have not yet transpired. What makes it the more noteworthy is that in the last settlement with the Scots he bound himself to leave those fortresses in the charge of their inhabitants only and this breach of an agreement amid circumstances of such difficulty hardly promises a successful outcome from this innovation.
To the agent kept by his Majesty at the Most Christian Court (fn. 5) he has sent strict orders to present to the king there the most lively remonstrances against his ambassador here for having addressed himself to the parliament and for having shown his partiality upon other occasions towards those who are ill disposed to his Majesty. But the ambassador affects to care nothing for the king's sentiments and continues to hold frequent secret conferences with the commissioners of Scotland. By such empty shows he increases the indignation of his Majesty and at the same time augments the suspicions entertained about the intentions of that nation, whose actions, in the presence of all these agitations, do not escape the narrowest observation.
By a fresh despatch to Holland the king has countermanded the orders sent to the Princes Palatine to come over to this side, thereby to disarm the suspicion that he means by force of arms to vindicate his rights against the rebels, which he has so far sighed in vain to achieve, and to deprive them of the pretexts by which they endeavour to justify their haste in making warlike preparations.
The fourteen ships which the merchants here have undertaken to send to the relief of Ireland are all ready in the Downs and with the first favourable wind they will start on their voyage to those parts. They are furnished with numbers of troops, as well as abundantly supplied with provisions and munitions of war, so it is hoped that their arrival will prove of great assistance for the defence of that island.
London, the 4th July, 1642.
[Italian ; the part in italics deciphered.]
82. Giovanni Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
After I had written my preceding despatches an individual has been here who favours me with particulars of all that takes place in the parliament. He reports that in the sittings of to-day the Lower House again examined the king's proposals about an accommodation, and after perilous disputes it was resolved, with shame on the malcontents, that it may not be lawful for parliament to interfere in the distribution of offices or of any appointment soever in the kingdom or in the royal household, but that all should remain subject to the judgment and disposal of his Majesty, in conformity with the laws. The point is one of great importance and one on which the ambitious ones have insisted more than on any other, with the intention of despoiling those who now discharge their functions and subsequently appropriate them to themselves. The same gentleman told me further that upon this occasion many parliamentarians declared themselves favourable to the king, some of whom have in the past shown a scant regard for his interests, while others, uncertain about themselves, have up to the present remained bound in the modesty of a prudent silence.
Even the Council of London, being admonished by his Majesty's commands, previously reported, has to-day intimated to parliament through the mayor that it will not consent to any payment of money whatever to meet the cost of the new levies or other requirements of the kingdom, since they are determined to avoid everything that might prejudice the duty of loyal obedience which they profess for their lawful sovereign.
Further, letters have arrived this day from the new governor of Uls, reporting that with the growth of the royal party in that town, if measures of a drastic kind are not speedily taken for securing the place he cannot feel confidence in himself and will not answer for keeping it much longer faithful to the parliament.
This succession of unexpected events and reports has depressed the rebels and they came out from parliament this night full of confusion. The partisans of the king, on the other hand, take heart again and feel confident that an advantageous adjustment may ensue within the space of a few days, consonant with his Majesty's dignity.
London, the 4th July, 1642.
83. Giovanni Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
When I went to call on Lord D' Andover, the ambassador elect to your Serenity, when talking on many things I found an opportunity to refer tactfully to the mistakes that had occurred in the past in the reception of the ordinary Venetian ambassadors, and hinted that on the arrival of the Ambassador Contarini these would be corrected. Later on I did not forget to set before him suitable representations about the affair of the currants, urging him to put a stop to the efforts of persons acting from self interest. I quoted all the arguments and he promised to do everything in his power. With regard to the reception of the ambassador he assured me that if I would let him know precisely what was desired I should receive prompt satisfaction. He has now gone, one day recently, to York, to serve the king and procure the assignments for the expenses of his embassy. From what I can see he has spoken to his Majesty upon both subjects and now, at midnight, his gentleman, back from York, has just come to this house. He has given me the enclosed paper from his master, written by express command of the king, as he definitely states, accompanied by his own assurances of service to the most serene republic. I will make a reply in general terms to-morrow, sending him a copy of my letter to the Secretary of State and of the resolution of the Lower House.
London, the 4th July, 1642.
Enclosure. 84. To Giovanni Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador. The king commands me to assure your Excellency that he will not fail to satisfy the republic, to which he is specially bound. I am directed to ask your Excellency to inform his Majesty how he can show his respect to the republic, when he will see that the defect is put right.
Signed : C. de Howard.
York, the 19th June, 1642.
[French, with Italian translation.]
July 5.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Germania. Venetian Archives.
85. Thadio Vico, Venetian Resident in Germany, to the Doge and Senate.
The mediators have presented to the English ambassador a paper which I have not yet seen ; but it does not satisfy him. The smallest satisfaction which he claims from the emperor is a declaration that the Palatine Princes are guiltless of offence against the empire. After this the ambassador reserves it to himself, when he has returned to England and conferred with parliament, to take steps calculated to bring Bavaria to reason. But the emperor will not make such a declaration, and so the ambassador, if nothing better turns up, will depart re infecta, and with no hope of anything good.
The ambassadors of the Palatine and of Denmark will go home when England does.
Vienna, the 5th July, 1642.
July 7.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Haya. Venetian Archives.
86. Zuanne Zon, Venetian Secretary at the Hague, to the Doge and Senate.
The States claim that the French no less that the Portuguese and the English opposing the king are much indebted to them for the stay of their fleet at Dunkirk. The French because of the help that the Dunkirkers might give in Catalonia ; the Portuguese because 4000 infantry are ready to embark in that port to reinforce the Spanish army, and the parliament because in a letter from the Spanish ministers to the King of England, recently intercepted by the Dutch, they excused their delay in sending prompt succour to his Majesty on the ground of the obstacle offered by the Dutch fleet. The States defend their action as being in their own interest to let matters proceed thus, and care little about pleasing the queen here. But she sends frequently to the army, urging the prince to help now that circumstances seem somewhat favourable to the royal cause. As he cannot contribute all that he would like to this, he has to put her Majesty off with fair words, instead of deeds.
They talked recently, though the report has died away with the arrival of good news from England the day before yesterday, of her Majesty, in her dissatisfaction at the behaviour of this country, going to Breda, staying there some days under pretence of taking the waters of Spa, and then proceeding to Antwerp, to ask for help from the King of Spain, as she cannot obtain it here.
Princes Roberto and Maurice set out for England the day before yesterday. They take arms and a certain amount of money, raised on the queen's jewels for the king's service. People think here that the princes are ill advised to meddle in the quarrels of their uncle with parliament, as they cannot do so without risking the establishment of their mother, which is derived from property in England.
On the same day there set out for France a gentleman sent by her Majesty in response to a complimentary mission which she received last week from the king, her brother.
The Hague, the 7th July, 1642.
July 9.
Senato, Secreta. Deliberazioni, Rettori. Venetian Archives.
87. To the Proveditore in Terra Ferma.
We note that Colonel Douglas has accepted 1600 ducats for the command, but we will not grant his demand for 2000 when he takes the field, nor will we give him permission to take leave of absence for three months, to treat of his own interests.
Ayes, 131. Noes, 1. Neutral, 6.
July 11.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Inghilterra. Venetian Archives.
88. Giovanni Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
Since the last resolution in parliament in favour of the royal authority on the question of the distribution of appointments and the selection of councillors nothing further has been done towards the moderation of the other preposterous demands which were presented to his Majesty, as I reported ; neither do we hear that the negotiations for an adjustment are progressing with hope of a speedy and happy conclusion. At present indeed all the consideration of the two parties is directed towards making provision for the war. The parliamentarians who incline to the prolongation of the troubles devise fresh inventions whereby they may impress on the minds of the generality that the king will not hear a word about any agreement, but that all his moves are directed to clearing the way so that he may be able to rule the people despotically by the destruction of this parliament. Under such pretexts they are pushing on feverishly with the levies of horse and foot which they propose to assemble, ostensibly in order to remove from his Majesty's side and to punish those lords who turn his thoughts away from peace, but with the secret design of securing to themselves a long tenure of their present authority, by means of armed force, and force the king, if anyhow possible, to bow to their lawless pleasure.
Some small portion of this cavalry being ready, on the 5th inst. a review was arranged which they endeavoured to hold with the maximum of ostentation with the purpose of restoring this parliament to the height of its original prestige. Since the departure of so many of its members and the disunion which has become manifest among those who are left, its credit has fallen greatly with men of moderate opinions and it is now propped up by interest rather than supported by popular enthusiasm (il quale dopo la partenza di tanti parlamentari et la disunion che palese apparisce fra quelli che sono redutti, e caduto assai di credito apresso gl' uomini di moderato sentimento et hora rimane spallegiato dall' interessi piu che secondato con i favori dell' acclamatione universale). Moreover the money and plate collected from the common people here does not reach by a long way to the amount which was cunningly announced, since the total will not exceed 8000l. sterling, which is a trifle by comparison with the multiplicity of the demands.
Deputies have arrived here from the county of Somerset and have presented a petition to parliament to find some way of accommodation with the king. (fn. 6) These people profess themselves completely satisfied with his assurances with regard to the public liberty and declare that if these dissensions continue they will have no choice but to stand firmly in defence of his interests. Such a declaration is at once favourable to his Majesty's prospects and damaging to those of the other side, and for this reason every effort is made to keep the petition a secret and to discredit ... (fn. 7)
... (fn. 8) of parliament, the gentlemen and parliamentarians who are with his Majesty in considerable numbers, have had a manifesto printed in which, after lamenting the hard necessity in which his Majesty finds himself, they announce that they feel themselves in duty bound through the obligation of their birth, to assist with the devotion of their entire fortunes to dissipate the misfortunes which are being prepared for their country and their prince by the immoderate ambition of a few individuals ... (fn. 8) document they have bound themselves ... (fn. 8) at their own expense for the defence of so just a cause, 2000 horse paid for three months. (fn. 9)
The king, for his part, thanks the forwardness of these loyal subjects, and by a solemn oath has promised that he will never abandon them to be ruled by their advice, to maintain inviolate the Protestant confession and to preserve in their pristine vigour the royal prerogatives and those of parliament as well.
Other private gentlemen have made similar offers and with the king's power and credit increasing daily ... (fn. 8) free from apprehension, and consequently the malcontents may find it difficult to bring to perfection the machinations which they have taken in hand.
Meanwhile by fresh proclamations his Majesty has sent a determined precept to everyone not to afford obedience to the lieutenants chosen by the parliament, but only to those who will be sent by himself with patents under the Great Seal of England to take part in the command of the militia of the country. He has sent trustworthy men of character in every direction on this errand with instructions to prosecute those who with parliamentary commissions are so audacious as to continue to discharge the functions of the office to which they were appointed.
In the county of Lancaster the earl of d' Arbi has taken possession in the king's name and with little opposition, not only of the government but of the magazines of munitions and of arms that were in that district. In the city of Lincester also Baron Astin has compelled the earl of Stanford to take to flight, after some resistance. He had been sent with orders from the parliament to assemble and inspect the militia there. (fn. 10)
Although these incidents partake rather of the nature of private quarrels more than they indicate intentions, yet the parliamentarians display feelings of great annoyance. They have been meeting continually to discuss the means whereby they may be able to prevent ... (fn. 8) which daily ... (fn. 8) with application, with the determination ... (fn. 8) if possible, the authority.
... (fn. 8) resisting ; they have forbidden obedience to the lieutenants chosen by his Majesty and have also prohibited under severe penalties the transport to York of arms, saddles and other munitions, with the purpose of throwing obstacles in the way of the king's levies and retarding his military preparations. With such measures taken in opposition by each side against the other, and with the constantly increasing animosity and licence it becomes more and more likely that after such a prolonged recourse to the pen they will let loose the reins of passion and ultimately appeal to the arbitrament of the sword. From this situation fearful disasters are anticipated for this country and so many ... (fn. 8) moved by apprehension of the approaching calamities, are retiring beyond the sea.
In spite of the declaration of the Council of London that in consequence of his Majesty's precepts they would not supply money or any other sort of assistance which might encourage the present disorders, pressure is being brought to bear by threats and coaxing respectively to persuade them to co-operate in the plans of the parliament. As there is some suspicion that the mayor, (fn. 11) in whose hands is the direction of the government, is partial to the king's interests ... to strip him of his office and ... (fn. 8) imprisonment. If this is done it may lead to considerable disturbances in respect of the privileges of the city, which with violence ... (fn. 8) would remain unaccomplished ... (fn. 8)
The ambassador of the Most Christian announces that he will proceed very soon to York for the purpose of justifying himself with the king about his late proceedings. He has now changed his style and is trying every way he can to mitigate the bitter feeling that his Majesty declared that he cherished against him. This action has given rise to the belief that in France they do not look with approval on his shows of public confidence and other demonstrations of friendliness with which he has favoured the rebellious parliamentarians.
Many ships from Spain have put into the ports here this present week. They have brought 500 cases of ready money, which has afforded relief to the exigencies of this mart whose customary trade has been cut to the quick by the disturbances of the present day.
In pursuance of the proposal reported for the prohibition of the importation of currants into this kingdom the Bill was read for the third time in the Lower House on Saturday and was passed without alteration in the Upper on Monday. Then, together with the rest of the proposals touching the customs it was sent on Tuesday to York to be made valid by his Majesty's consent. I enclose a copy for your Excellencies to see. I have again renewed my representations to Lord Fildinch and other members of parliament, to prevent the enactment of such a mischievous innovation. But no effort has availed to achieve the end and considerations of private interests have prevailed over those of the public convenience. All the same everyone has openly admitted to me that they consider it prejudicial to his Majesty as well as to the subjects of your Excellencies ; that the offices of the directors of the Levant Company, of those interested in the suit of Obson and of a certain John Flich, in particular, who formerly used to live at Zante, have ... (fn. 8) parliament to this decision. To prevent its enactment nothing now remains except to importune his Majesty to refuse his consent. They told me once again, seriously, that the bringing of this fruit to England takes away a large sum of ready money to the dominions of your Serenity, involving this kingdom in a sensible loss, and that the multiplicity of gabelles and other grievances which British subjects pretend that they have suffered from in the islands of your Excellencies have augmented the ... (fn. 8) of the bill. I responded to all this in a suitable manner, casting discredit upon the malignity of such prejudiced information, with the addition of all the arguments formerly adduced. I have not yet received any reply from the secretary of State to the letter written. I expect it very soon, and when it arrives I will regulate my conduct in conformity with the requirements of the state's service and will do my utmost to persuade the king how mischievous this prohibition will be.
London, the 11th July, 1642.
[Italian ; the part in italics deciphered.]
Enclosure. 89. Article from the Bill about Customs, voted in the two Houses of Parliament on the 29th June.
That after the 31st August, 1642, no quantity of currants shall be imported into his Majesty's realms of England and Wales, by any merchant, English or foreign, or in any other way ; but that the importation be prohibited from that date, and all currants brought thereafter shall be forfeit, one half going to the king and one half to the informer.
[Italian, from the English.]
July 12.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Germania. Venetian Archives.
90. Thadio Vico, Venetian Resident in Germany, to the Doge and Senate.
The affair of the Palatine is left after all without any conclusion. The English ambassador has departed with a signature to the decree, which is utterly captious and entirely without substance. I enclose a copy given me by the ambassador himself yesterday morning, the day he left. He went away very ill pleased, yet he spoke highly of the emperor always and of his good intentions in this affair. He told me subsequently that all the mischief proceeded from Bavaria, owing to his uninterrupted secret intelligence with France. These relations moreover caused serious misgivings to the emperor himself. But some day or other and perhaps sooner than he thought, the duke might have occasion of testing the sentiments of England and of the other supporters of the Palatine House, since he had never been willing to accept any compromise during the negotiations, especially since these intrigues of his with the French.
The present which the ambassador received from his Majesty was a cabinet with various pretty devices in silver gilt, worth about 1000 thalers and no more, because things are very tight, as is well known.
Vienna, the 12th July, 1642.
Enclosure. 91. Decretum Caesareum de xxviii Junii anni MDCXLII.
Caesarae Maj. relatum est Legatum Anglicum jam hic commorantem a regia dignitate domino suo evocatum esse eumque intra x aut xii dies iter suum prosequi velle ; meminit autem Maj. sua quanto labore et sumptibus isteressati in hoc Palatino negotio et tot Regii et Electorales legati convocati sint ; item quo zelo, sollicitudine et diligentia toto hoc temporis spacio tam Ratisbonae, quam hic in his tractatibus laboraverint, facile quod potest conjicere illis nihil clarius accidisse quam si a parte Palatina specialis aliqua declaratio secuta fuisset. Nec dom. Anglicus legatus a prima sua declaratione usque ad ultimam in generalibus persistere noluisset.
Ut non amissa sint videt Caes Maj. quam necessaria sit dilectae Patriae interna quies et remotio omnis dissidentiae ; ideoque putat in hoc Palatino negotio non esse cessandum, sed cum omnibus interessatis ulterius serio agendum, ut haec tractatio, ad quam non tantum totum Imperium sed et omnes vicini Principes respiciunt, non sine fructu pereat. Petit ergo a dictis dominis regis et Electoribus ad interpositionem deputatis summa diligentia eo laborent ne hi tractatus ad alias conjuncturas aliunde tempus remittantur ; sed jam ex fundamento curentur et componantur bona spe freta per ipsorum dexteritatem et apud interessatos authoritatem, et unam et alteram ex principalibus difficultatibus superari posse ipsoque interessatos haud libenter visuros ut ea quae jam in hac causa elaborata sunt irrita maneant aut ad alium conventum remittantur. Hoc facientes domini Regis et Electorales consiliarii et deputati rem utilissimam perficient, obligabunt sibi hac interna particulari pacificatione dilectam Patriam habebunt inde sempiternam laudem et Caesaream gratiam, aperientque viam ad ulteriorem tranquillitatem. Quibus Caes. Maj. semper omni affectu addicta maneat. Signatum in Camera Imperiali Aulica.
Vienna xxviii Junii MDCXLII.
Ferdinandus Comes Kurtz
Johann. de Walderode
nomine Caes. Maj. dom. nostri clem, dominis Regio et Electoralibus consiliariis et legatis ad interpositionem in causa Palatina deputatis etc.
July 14.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Haia. Venetian Archives.
92. Zuanne Zon, Venetian Secretary at the Hague, to the Doge and Senate.
Three days ago one de L' Ile arrived from York, sent by the King of England express to the Queen here with letters which he had to throw into the sea because they fell in with some ships of the parliament, which proposed to search them. The news he brings orally is very favourable to the royal cause. He further states that he brought a royal order to the Princes Palatine to suspend their journey to that kingdom until they heard again from his Majesty.
The Hague, the 14th July, 1642.
July 14.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Ceffalonia. Venetian Archives.
93. Antonio Molino, Venetian Proveditore of Zante, to the Doge and Senate.
With reference to the memorial presented in the Collegio by the English Resident, I have only recently been able to confer with the merchant concerned, because he has been away. He came to me himself and only asked for the restitution of the steelyard which had been seized, as alleged, by an act in the process which ought not to be proceeded with further. I have conferred with the Proveditore Gritti of Cephalonia and we have agreed to satisfy the merchant, in such a way, however, as not to interfere with the due course of justice, the action taken being the result of the clemency of the state and done out of pure favour. I think that by adopting this way we shall avoid further annoyance to the functions of the state and that the Resident will have to accept it in the assurance that these merchants here always enjoy the most friendly disposition and every assistance from the public representatives.
Zante, the 4th July, 1642, old style.


  • 1. A three days fight begun off Barcelona on the 30th June. Tyrconnel, maitre du camp of the Irish brigade, perished on the Magdalena. Francisco Feijo de Sotomayor was one of the leading Spanish admirals. Duro : Armada Espanola, Vol. IV, page 298.
  • 2. Thomas Soames and Samuel Vassal.
  • 3. The king's letter of the 14/24 June addressed to the mayor, aldermen and sheriffs of London and the rejoinder of parliament on the 20/30 June are printed in Journals of the House of Lords, Vol. V, pages, 148, 152.
  • 4. The commissioners were Lord Fairfax, Sir Philip Stapleton and Sir Hugh Chomeley. Cal. S.P. Dom. 1641—3, page 322.
  • 5. Richard Brown, see his letter to Roe. Cal. S.P. Dom. 1641—2, page 363.
  • 6. On June 14/24. See Journals of the House of Lords, Vol. V, page 133.
  • 7. Obliterated.
  • 8. Obliterated.
  • 9. The manifesto and signatures are given by Clarendon : Hist. of the Rebellion, Vol. II, pages, 655, 656.
  • 10. It was Lord Strange who acted for the king in Lancashire. He did not become earl of Derby till his father's death on the 29th September following. The account given here of proceedings at Leicester does not tally with that given in Rushworth : Hist. Collections Part III, Vol. I, pages 669, 670.
  • 11. Sir Richard Gurney.