Venice
December 1619, 21-31

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Institute of Historical Research

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Allen B. Hinds (editor)

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1910

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85-99

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'Venice: December 1619, 21-31', Calendar of State Papers Relating to English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 16: 1619-1621 (1910), pp. 85-99. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=88745 Date accessed: 24 July 2014.


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December 1619

Dec. 21.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
152. To the Ambassador in Spain.
At Naples they are awaiting orders from Spain, but the Duke of Ossuna is actively raising money. The galleys which were stopped are to set out for the east. The vessels detained at Naples are to be sent to Apulia to lade grain for the Court. Don Ottavio of Aragon has been stopped by bad weather. Four ships of the religion of Malta have engaged the Barbary pirates with success. A person has arrived from Constantinople to deal with the slave question. The Uscochi are said to be engaged by Ossuna.
We send this for information.
The like to France, England, The Captain General at Sea, Savoy, Constantinople, Germany, Milan, Florence.
Ayes, 138.Noes, 1.Neutral, 4.
[Italian.]
Dec. 23.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Savoia.
Venetian
Archives.
153. ZUANE PESARO, Venetian Ambassador in Savoy, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The resident of England told me that the Ambassador Dorchester has left Pontebba and proceeded to Nürenberg where he arrived in time to render useful service. He will go on thence to London. He told me he was sorry not to have visited Venice. I followed the instructions of your Serenity, explaining the functions of the Board of Health, the necessity of care at present, that the same treatment was meted out to all, including out own ambassador Giustinian, and such measures were necessary for the general health. I told him that the ambassador himself appreciated these reasons, but your Serenity, as a sign of friendship, had ordered facilities to be given for his journey, and given him presents and refreshments.
He said he had received information and thanked your Excellencies. He told me afterwards that the emperor had sent a special person to Nürenberg to discover the meaning of the meeting there. He had not been admitted, but was dismissed at once. The King of Bohemia was strengthening his position while things were going badly for the Austrians. Things had gone so far that every one must be interested. All the supporters of the Palatine would help him, including his master.
He said that the emperor had abdicated the crown of Bohemia. I found that he wanted an embassy to be sent to Bohemia, telling me that the Palatine was really king. He said that the republic had been the first to honour Henry IV as king. The Bohemians would consider the claims of the Duke of Savoy to be king of the Romans when the Imperial Chamber next met at Spire. I found that they encourage hopes in the duke of settling the affair of Montferrat by judgment of the Imperial Chamber, not of the emperor.
He told me that the duke had assembled his sons and made the eldest ask Filiberto what security was there that the Spaniards would keep their promises. Filiberto turned red and said nothing.
Turin, the 23rd December, 1619.
[Italian.]
Dec. 24.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
154. ANZOLO CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The Imperial ambassador has had two audiences and asked for help. Most of the ministers, especially Luynes, the Chancellor and Puisieux incline to grant it; but there are difficulties, as if the king declares for Ferdinand they will mortally offend the ancient friends and allies of the Crown. They thought of sending a force into the Palatinate, but that would enrage the King of England, who gives out that although he did not advise his son-in-law to accept the kingdom of Bohemia, yet as the act is committed, he will not abandon, but will assist and protect him. After much discussion the ministers decided to offer the king's mediation in the difficulties in Germany.
They do not give the Palatine the title of king here, alleging as an excuse that the King of England has not yet declared him as such.
Paris, the 24th December, 1619.
Dec. 24.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Signori Stati.
Venetian
Archives.
155. CHRISTOFFORO SURIAN, Venetian Secretary in the Netherlands, to the DOGE and SENATE.
I have discussed the articles of the treaty with the deputies and the Prince of Orange. In the preamble they agreed to remove the words considered unnecessary. They wished to retain the words high and mighty States General, but I represented that the titles most illustrious and most excellent had been given to them by the most serene republic and were commonly used among great powers. The English ambassador rendered his assistance here as he has done in other difficulties, showing the greatest interest in the whole affair, in conformity with the commands of his king and out of his remarkable devotion to the most serene republic. (fn. 1) This same ambassador showed me in his register a letter from his king to the States at the time of his return here, in which he styles them high and mighty.
The Hague, the 24th December, 1619.
[Italian; deciphered.]
Dec. 24.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Signori Stati.
Venetian
Archives.
156. CHRISTOFFORO SURIAN, Venetian Secretary in the Netherlands, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Although the report of an embassy from France is confirmed from an outside source, yet M. de Langerach in his last letter only makes a passing reference to the subject, so that their High Mightinesses think it can only be scattered rumours, possibly intended to discover what may be the intentions of the King of Great Britain with respect to the continuation of the truce.
The ambassador extraordinary of England has not yet arrived. The cold, which was intense for two or three days, has delayed his journey. They think, however, that he cannot arrive later than the present week. Their High Mightinesses would like to provide him with a lodging but they have no suitable house to offer him and to put him in an inn would not seem decent, nor would Carleton allow it. So I fancy he will stay at the embassy and his household will go where it can. Their High Mightinesses wished to have him away from Carleton's house because they desired to pay all his expenses. They wished to do the same to the Ambassador Lando, but I entertained him at the embassy.
The Hague, the 24th December, 1619.
[Italian.]
Dec. 24.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Signori Stati.
Venetian
Archives.
157. CHRISTOFFORO SURIAN, Venetian Secretary in the Netherlands, to the DOGE and SENATE.
I am writing to the magistrates of the Board of Health for the release of one Henry Balan, an Englishman, courier of the King of Great Britain, whom Carleton hears those magistrates have thrown into prison. The ambassador thinks that the man committed his fault out of pure ignorance, and begs that his offence may be condoned because he is a subject of his king, a courier and a foreigner. The ambassador spoke to me about this expressly and particularly, saying he looked for every favour from your Serenity. I therefore recommend this affair very strongly.
The Hague, the 24th December, 1619.
[Italian.]
Dec. 26.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Capitano
General
da Mar.
Venetian
Archives.
158. LORENZO VENIER, Venetian Captain General at Sea, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Your Serenity's orders about sending out and paying off ships shall be executed as soon as the money arrives, and everything is in readiness.
The troops of Peyton shall be landed at Zara. The Italians at Liesena and Curzola shall be sent to Corfu. All the troops of M. Rocalora shall be sent to Venice as soon as possible. I have informed him of the order, which has pleased him greatly.
The galley at Liesena, the 26th December, 1619.
[Italian.]
Dec. 27.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
159. GIROLAMO LANDO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
After I had sent last week's despatch your Excellencies' letters of the 23rd and 30th November reached me with news and the last with copies of the correspondence between the Lieutenant of Udine and his Majesty's ambassador; and a notification of the orders sent to Padua for the sons of the Earl of Arundel. To-day the letter of the 7th reached me with news.
Up to the present I have not heard that any information has reached here about the incident of the ambassador, except among merchants, or that any bad blood had been caused. However I will keep on the look out to crush any evil seed that may arise.
His Majesty is at Royston, whither he proceeded yesterday from Newmarket. He will be at Theobalds only next Wednesday, the 1st January, to come to London on Friday the third to celebrate the Christmas festivities. I have not neglected my duties and sent my secretary Zon to the house of Sir [Lewis] Lewkenor, master of the ceremonies, and have asked others and the Secretary Marioni, who has gone to Newmarket to take leave of his Majesty, to repeat my humble request for a first audience, as I have already been here eleven days. I have let it be understood that I am quite willing for it to take place at Theobalds, if that will suit his Majesty's pleasure and convenience. They replied that his Majesty would only stop a very short time at that place and would prefer to see me in this city. He would have no room to receive me there. They gave me the hope that it would take place on the day of St. Stephen, old style, that is the 5th prox.; but not before. I can do no more than bear my retirement with patience; it grieves me the more as I am thereby made weaker and more useless, than I am naturally, to serve your Excellencies. I clearly perceive that in this country all things move very slowly; haste is of no use and it is better to show phlegm than too much zeal.
I do not know if the circumstance about Lord Hay, even if they put a bad construction upon it, could delay the time of my audience, or the second one which I am to ask for after it. Already, although I have not said anything about a second audience after the first, I find they are sure that I shall ask for it. A hint has been conveyed to me in the course of conversation, how much his Majesty dislikes giving frequent audiences; that his Majesty gave the first audience to the French ambassador in ordinary many days before his arrival in London. A second secret one for serious matters which he had to negotiate upon, was not arranged until eight days later. They have told me other similar cases. I pretended not to care much any way, but when I have had the first audience I see clearly that I must leave no stone unturned in order to have the second soon. I certainly will do my best.
I hear that Sir [Henry] Wotton has been commissioned by his Majesty to come and pay me a visit in his name, He has been chosen for this duty as he is ambassador elect for your Serenity. It cannot be long before he comes and the delay simply arises from the distance of the court from this city.
Sig. Marioni took leave of the king, who seemed glad to see him. He returned to me yesterday and tells me that so soon as he has settled some affairs here and has taken leave of some of the gentlemen, as he thinks he must do, he will set out for Venice. I thought fit to urge him to start at the earliest opportunity, as I have done before. I think he will do so. I continue to carry out my instructions as concerns him and I will do much more after he has left.
All the matters which I wrote last week about Donato continue to receive fresh confirmation. I find the opinion general here that the sale of his goods did not realise 5,000 crowns. From the enclosed note your Excellencies will see that he sold silver for 1,450l. sterling, equivalent to 5,800 crowns. I got this from the Goldsmiths themselves who bought it. They add that Donato may still have in his possession silver to the value of about 600l. sterling or even more, but they do not remember exactly what there was. They do not know if any was sold separately to various private individuals, as they think, or whether Burlamacchi has it, as he had the principal hand in all this affair, or what else may have been done with it. Thus the total value of the silver would amount to about 8 or 9,000 crowns. The goldsmiths estimated it as some such amount. They told me that on his arrival here he had a quantity of plate made.
Since my arrival in this city Donato shows himself but little in the streets. He keeps very retired and no longer appears at the Exchange or in frequented places. When I first came they said he had left London. He spent one day at a country place of Calandrini, which he visits frequently, I believe. He came back directly. He has been recently in the company of these Italian merchants and the Ragusan Gradi to dine sometimes at the house of Girolamo Scalio, which he hires as people do in Venice, for amusements and entertainment. He is trying to help his cause by a show of modesty and retirement, and also, probably, because of what the Secretary Naunton said to him before my arrival, as Marioni reported. Although Naunton, when asked, said he gave that advice of his own motion and not from the king, yet he knows that great ministers rarely take such steps without a hint from their masters.
The Ambassador of Savoy has been to see me privately, and the French ambassador did so before. The former told me that Naunton not only advised Donato to live a little more retired, but cautioned him against frequenting the house of the Spanish agent in particular. Donato replied that with regard to living in retirement, he would leave London if he felt that his life was safe. He had only been twice to the Spanish embassy, to mass, and if he went there again he promised to bring his head to his Majesty to have it cut off. I understand that at the time when Naunton spoke in this fashion, letters arrived here from the Secretary Gregorio relating that on my arrival I should make some representations in this matter but that general complaints were heard in public places at Venice that his Majesty allowed Donato to appear so freely, circulate openly in the city and frequent the Spanish embassy. Since my arrival here he has been once to hear mass at the Savoyard embassy, but I hear that he stopped outside the chapel in a more retired place and as soon as mass was over he left with celerity, seemingly avoiding an exchange of words with the Savoyard ambassador since the imprisonment of Alessandro at Turin. This has mortified him above everything, as he fears that Alessandro may be sent to Venice and will disclose everything. This may easily happen, seeing that the duke is not yet appeased, as he hoped. On Christmas day he attended mass at the prisons, where it is celebrated for all Catholics, and yesterday he went to the house of a private gentleman where they celebrate secretly. Yesterday evening and Sunday night I hear that he went to the French ambassador's house and stayed about an hour each time, but I have not learned any more so far.
London, the 27th December, 1619.
[Italian.]
Enclosed in
the preceding
despatch.
160. Note of the silver sold by Donato.
£
Lord Arundel bought silver of the church, seven bottles of wine and other silver for 200
Madam Rutini bought white silver for 300
Sig. Lionello Grantfil bought two basins with gilt mugs and other things for 100
The Goldsmith of the Green Dragon bought silver plate and two gilt basins for 450
The Goldsmith of the Vine bought silver goods worth 400
Total, 1,450l. or 5,800 crowns.
The goldsmiths think that silver to the value of about 600l. sterling remains in the hands of Donato or Burlamacchi, or has been sold piece by piece.
The goldsmith of the Green Dragon previously made some plates for Donato, whose shape did not please him. There were thirty pieces of 1,200 ounces each. He would not take them. The goldsmith made others of the same weight but a different shape, and for this he paid about 200l. down.
[Italian.]
Dec. 27.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
161. GIROLAMO LANDO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
They still persist here in procrastinating about the affairs of the Palatine to the top of their power. The ministers say that his Majesty is proceeding with great prudence in this affair, and is himself tempering the counsel that almost every one gives him, to make a generous declaration and is moderating the ardour of others with the water of his maturity, with that phlegm that is due and proper. They speak of a league between the pope, Spain, the Grand Duke and other princes of Italy. They seem to be anxiously waiting to hear what decision the Duke of Savoy and the most serene republic will come to about the Palatine. When anyone speaks to the Ambassador Gabaleoni on this subject he answers that they must first await the decision on this side, where the interests are greater. I do not answer for your Serenity because I still remain in the house and have no opportunities. But in any case such a question would merit laughter rather than an answer, but if it is made I will maintain a due reserve.
The king sems to fear that the Bohemian war will become one of religion and so the King of France may agree to help the emperor, although the news from France received here shows that with the usual fluctuations in that most troubled kingdom new storms and troubles are threatened from the old sources of the queen mother and the Prince of Condé, and so the king there will have enough to do. But news has also arrived from that Court that the emperor's ambassador on the 5th inst. left St. Germains to go and see his Majesty and had audience on the following day. He spoke to the ministers entirely to their satisfaction and it is thought that he tried to obtain some promise of assistance for his Imperial Majesty. They fear this the more owing to the great influence which the Spaniards exercise in that Court and over the ministers, and also because the Most Christian king may fear lest the Palatine, who is so close to his dominions, may become too great by this new crown, by having two votes for the emperor, and with the additional possibility of becoming king of Great Britain, as only a single life stands in his way.
All the people here seem infuriated at this long delay, as they naturally detest the Spanish name and power, and the house of Austria. They would gladly seize upon the opportunity to engage in a war with the latter, and they consider this the most worthy, proper, reasonable and necessary chance that could offer itself. The ministers also and the members of the Council, with a few exceptions eagerly desire and promote assistance for the Palatine. That prince, on his own account and on account of the princess his wife, has such powerful adherents, and such a powerful and numerous party in the Court and kingdom that the Ambassador of Savoy told me that if they put it to the vote whether the Prince of Wales or the Palatine should succeed to the throne he felt sure that the latter would win easily owing to his great popularity (il quale per lui e per la Principessa ha cosi grandi adherrenze et cosi numerosa et potente fattione a questa Corte et in questo Regno che questo Sig Ambre di Savoia mi ha fino detto in tale proposito, che se hora fusse l'occasione che si trattasse di far succedere per elettione a questa Corona oò il Prencipe di Vuaglia ò il Palatino al sicuro egli crede che questo di gran longa prevalirrebbe con li favori che tiene).
His partisans aim not only at preserving for him the crown of Bohemia, which they do not believe can ever be taken away from him, as they think that if all other help failed him his supporters in Germany alone, his own forces and the resolution of the Bohemians, who will fight to the last gasp, they feel sure, will suffice, but they also aim at making him emperor at all costs. These same persons, I understand, do not hesitate to encourage the idea in his Majesty that with the two votes of his son-in-law and as chief of the United Princes of Germany he may one day aspire to the election of himself as emperor, and therefore they do not fail to insist that it does not become his Majesty's greatness for his daughter to be less than queen or his son-in-law less than king, in addition to his obligations through the ties of blood and as head of the Princes of the Union. But his Majesty, though he listens to everything, does not yet seem persuaded by any single argument or by all together, but shows an inclination to live without vexation, not to desire what belongs to others, but for every one to enjoy his own, rest contented and not claim the possessions of others. Being naturally inclined to peace he tries every means to secure its continuation. He lets it be understood that he cannot countenance the practice of deposing kings, and risings and tumults among the people displease him more than anything, as his published books clearly show. He has maintained with weighty arguments how damnable are such doctrines supported more particularly by the Jesuits, although by the grace of God and possibly also owing to their sins and the sins of those who listen to them, there is a reaction against such things and against them and those whom they proposed to help.
His Majesty moreover is especially infatuated by his desire for a marriage with Spain. He believes that this would greatly strengthen his position, make his life more safe and that of the prince his son, and assure the peace of his dominions. He takes into consideration the power of the Spaniards, the assistance which the pope and other Catholic princes might give them, the movements and disturbances which might be started by the Catholics in his own dominions, who are numerous and who have a large following, especially in Ireland.
The income which he enjoys does not exceed the ordinary expenditure in time of peace, and although the people, upon whose contributions depends the maintenance of all decisions and all armaments, display so much eagerness for this war, and would certainly contribute very large sums of money with the greatest readiness, to carry it on, owing to their affection for the Palatine, yet his Majesty detests the idea of summoning parliament, and, as I wrote in my dispatch, continues reserved and irresolute.
The ministers who follow the lead of the Spaniards neglect no arts to keep him in this frame of mind. They express to his Majesty their fears that the new King of Bohemia will follow his ambitions more than becomes the moderation of a great prince, and I hear that they even try to arouse in him some jealousy of the Palatine and his ambitions upon these kingdoms. These agents of the Catholic king do not hesitate to go about openly saying that it is impossible for the Palatine to move without assistance from this quarter; now they perceive the reason why he married the princess, when he was no equal match for this crown; the late Prince of Wales had these ideas, and as they could not be carried out owing to his death they thought of doing so in this way. But they must reflect that the late prince had very extravagant ideas upon other subjects and possibly the Palatine has the same aims. They finally say that if any steps are taken on this side, the friendship of their king will assuredly be lost, as he is absolutely determined to devote his dominions and his very person for Ferdinand. When these things are reported to the king they make a great impression upon him, which is augmented by the news, which has recently come, of the arrival in Spain of a very rich fleet, the gold of which will mostly be devoted to these emergencies.
Nevertheless no one would venture to say what decision his Majesty will ultimately take. The wisest think that as it would never do to offer the Palatine nothing, owing to the close relationship of their interests and as a small offer would not become the reputation of the crown while it will not be possible to expect a large offer, unless the king changes his character and opinions, it will accordingly be necessary to postpone still longer his Majesty's decision about making offers and promises of assistance, and these will not be carried out except after a long lapse of time and many delays, and they will simply serve to keep up appearances or for little more. Thus the most experienced men say that the declarations must not be slight or mediocre, but very great and for numerous succours, not in order to carry them out but to provide pretexts for long delays and better chances for interruptions and obstacles to prevent their fulfilment. In this way they think they will whet the appetite of the world while they could easily assure the Spaniards that no effective help would be given, and thus satisfy them. This party think that nothing will be done except to make a great ado, much powder and smoke without any bullets, in order to supply the necessary defence for the king's son-in-law.
Sir Albert Morton was in this city on the 20th, who went from his Majesty to the Palatine some months ago. He went on to the Court, but hitherto very little has been discovered of what he brings. He keeps silence and so does everyone else, as the profoundest silence has been enjoined upon all current affairs, so much so that anyone arriving in these islands would think that the people had lost their tongues. He certainly brings word of the coronation of the Palatine and the princess, and confirmation of the coronation of Bethlehem Gabor as King of Hungary, so that they no longer deny these events here and admit their knowledge and belief. He brings word that the Palatine has very strong forces, that Vienna is in very straitened circumstances. The forces of Gabor and of the Palatine had united and were carrying everything before them; the diet of Nürenberg will send a solemn embassy to his Majesty in the name not only of the new king but of all the Princes of the Union; the ambassador had not been appointed at his departure but he would be a person of great distinction. Accordingly the rumour has died away that the ambassador would be the Baron Dohna or his brother. Morton says that he thinks the ambassador chosen is on the road and possibly only a short distance away. Thus the new king and the Princes of the Union are reported from these parts to have sent the Landgrave of Hesse as ambassador to the Most Christian king. This embassy is eagerly expected as everyone believes that it will put an end to the irresolution; but in the meantime they keep procrastinating, using the pretext of this ambassador and saying that they will decide when he comes.
London, the 27th December, 1619.
[Italian.]
Dec. 27.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
162. GIROLAMO LANDO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
It has come to my ears that some of those returned to this kingdom from your Serenity's fleet, have let out that when the English ships return which served the most serene republic, many claims will be made against Burlamacchi in particular, who acted as pledge for your Excellencies, because they say that the terms of the contracts were not observed and because they suffered a great loss in values through the rise in the rate of exchange. I am sure that if they are of this mind they will come to trouble me also; and that will tend to the discredit of the republic and cast a slur upon her good name. I send this information because I think it would be as well to send over the full receipts, so that they may have no grounds for a claim, otherwise there will be endless trouble such as the Secretary Suriano experienced at the Hague, especially as the seamen of these parts are very impertinent and unreasonable.
The master of the posts here has come in the name of the master of the posts at Antwerp to ask me for the payment of 200 crowns for letters, as I notified from Brill. He said that he was himself a creditor for 25 crowns, and urged that payment should no longer be delayed. He was compelled to collect all that was due to him as he was one of the merchants condemned by the Star Chamber, and his fine amounted to 4,000l. sterling, or about 16,000 crowns, although he hoped to obtain more grace than the others. I answered merely with generalities, saying that I had written to your Excellencies, though I did not know if the money was really due by the republic, and by tactful management I sent him away fairly satisfied. Beyond a doubt, however, he will come back to importune me, I hope that instructions upon this will soon reach me in reply to my letter from Brill.
As regards the fine inflicted upon the Flemish merchants, although they thought that they would not have to pay more than a small part of that immense sum, it is now being exacted with the utmost rigour, much of the money which was to be exacted for this cause being assigned as a gift to various ministers at the Court, so the merchants are compelled for the most part to go to prison until they pay while their houses are sealed and all their belongings, whether great or small, laid hands on. It is thought that many of them must infallibly be ruined unless the king takes pity and pardons them, preventing further proceedings. There is a great outcry and lamentation about it. As all the Flemings on this Mart are interested in the matter, they say that reprisals may easily be made in Flanders for this unaccustomed rigour, by trumping up something similar against the English merchants in those parts. It cannot fail to react most prejudicially upon the relations between these two nations.
London, the 27th December, 1619.
[Italian.]
Dec. 28.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
163. To the Ambassador in Spain.
The six best of Ossuna's galleys are to leave at once for the east. The provisions for the emperor have been suspended, as they are awaiting orders from Spain. Ossuna is actively collecting money; they say he has received unfavourable letters from the Court. About sixty Uscochi have arrived in Naples and Ossuna has publicly promised to employ them. It is thought that he wishes to take them to the Gulf to inflict damage. At Naples they say that Ossuna wishes to bring back the two Maonas from Baia. This is for information.
The like to France, England, Savoy, Constantinople, the Captain General at Sea, Milan, Germany, Florence.
Ayes, 145.Noes, 0.Neutral, 13.
[Italian.]
Dec. 28.
Senato,
Terra.
Venetian
Archives.
164. It having been decided to allow Bertuci Contarini, then Lieutenant of Udine to spend 100 ducats in entertaining the English ambassador returning from Germany, and the ambassador having returned home by another way, so that there was no opportunity of making this expenditure; that the previous order be torn up and a note of its deletion made, in order that the restitution made by Contarini may appear.
Ayes, 138.Noes, 4.Neutral, 18.
[Italian.]
Dec. 28.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
165. GIROLAMO LANDO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Sir [Henry] Wotton has been to see me to-day and passed two offices in the name of his Majesty with an amplitude of prudent phrases and a display of great friendship. He first congratulated me on my safe arrival in these parts, with many expressions about myself which I need not repeat. He then told me that his Majesty would reach London on Thursday or Friday next. He had heard of my requests for an audience and regretted that he had been too far away to receive me. After thinking it over he did not wish to inconvenience me at this season of excessive cold to go to find him along muddy, broken roads, and out of the city he could not receive me with ceremony befitting a representative of the most serene republic. He asked me to be so good as to await his return to London where the first audiences are usually given with somewhat more pomp. The Lord Chamberlain would arrange the exact day and would send me word.
To the first part I returned thanks in the name of your Serenity and myself. To the second I remarked that I had more than once made a modest request for an audience as soon as possible owing to my zeal to revere his Majesty and dedicate my services to him and to fulfil my instructions, since I had been chosen and sent on this embassy with some haste, although my departure from Venice and my journey were delayed by my indisposition. The cold could not be so great or the roads so bad as to quench my zeal to do my duty and to see so great a king. Nevertheless I was here to obey his Majesty, and I had preferred my requests only subject to his convenience and disposition. I would await his Majesty's arrival in London and the honours to be shown to the republic in this city rather than elsewhere, hoping to find everything ready at that time and in abundance.
Wotton afterwards hinted, as from himself, that his Majesty is slightly jealous of the favour and friendship of the republic, adding that perhaps some satisfaction will be given, but that he had simply come on this occasion to execute the commands laid upon him by the king. I replied that the republic could never believe that his Majesty's affection would ever be other than strong towards her, and she looked for every reasonable favour. She never asked for anything that was not just and she certainly deserves to be frankly met. Wotton himself knew how readily the republic always fell in with his Majesty's wishes. I told him that your Serenity was well advised of what he was doing here in favour of the republic and that your gratitude would always be clearly shown. This pleased him and he promised to come and see me frequently and to show himself in every respect as good a Venetian as I could be myself.
I will do my utmost to cultivate the confidence of this gentleman. He is highly esteemed at this Court, as I find more and more every day, as a man of much experience and great ability, and with a great style in negotiating, and because he is now very well disposed towards the interests of your Serenity, so I hope to make him even more so. I referred to him about his return to Venice. He said he always had his eyes turned towards Venice, but he could do nothing so far as this winter was concerned. He lives, I am told, in the greatest intimacy with the Palatine and is a very warm friend of the Princes of the Union.
In addition to the question of obtaining money, which he is asking of his Majesty for services already rendered at Venice and for those to come, he is also retained here by his desire to see what they will do at this Court towards assisting the Palatine, and to do what he can in that direction. I have heard that he has some idea of receiving commissions for Germany and for the Palatine, to be executed under the pretext of his return journey to Venice. These things cannot easily be carried out without a certain amount of time.
London, the 28th December, 1619.
[Italian.]
Dec. 29.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Spagna.
Venetian
Archives.
166. PIERO CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the DOGE and SENATE.
His Majesty is still very weak, though the fever has left him. On Christmas day the ambassadors went in order to pay their compliments in the usual way.
Don Diego Sarmiento stays on at Valladolid and the instructions for his embassy to England have never been sent to him. The courier is waiting for them and from what I hear there is no other difficulty except that of finding the money necessary for that service.
Madrid, the 29th December, 1619.
[Italian.]
Dec. 31.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Napoli.
Venetian
Archives.
167. GASPARO SPINELLI, Venetian Secretary at Naples, to the DOGE and SENATE.
An Englishman has passed, this way on his road to Constantinople, to act, they say, as ambassador for the King of Great Britain. (fn. 2) He received many courtesies from his Excellency, who gave him a passport and an escort as far as Otranto, whence he passed to Corfu and so to Constantinople. I sent word of this to the most illustrious lords of Corfu.
Naples, the 31st December, 1619.
[Italian.]
Dec. 31.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Signori
Stati.
Venetian
Archives.
168. CHRISTOFFORO SURIAN, Venetian Secretary in the Netherlands, to the DOGE and SENATE.
This evening the alliance between the States General and our republic was signed by the deputies and by me. I will inform the English ambassador of the event, in continuation of the confidential relations which exist between us, and in conformity with my instructions. With regard to the orders which you tell me by letter of the 14th, you have sent to the Ambassador Lando, I will keep them to myself, only speaking of them if I am very strongly pressed.
The Hague, the 31st December, 1619.
[Italian; deciphered.]
Dec. 31.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Signori
Stati.
Venetian
Archives.
169. CHRISTOFFORO SURIAN, Venetian Secretary in the Netherlands, to the DOGE and SENATE.
On the second feast of Christmas the ambassador extraordinary of England entered this town, honoured by the presence of Prince Maurice and the adherents of that house and by a great company of cavaliers. He stayed in the house of the Ambassador Carleton, where that ambassador has been entertaining every day. This morning he went to dine with Prince Maurice, and to-morrow evening he will visit Prince Henry. Every sign of honour is shown to him. I do not know what the French ambassador thinks about it, as they did not do so much for M. de Boissise.
On Saturday last this Viscount Doncaster had audience of the States, but merely a complimentary one. He exhorted them to look after the affairs of Bohemia, rendering help so far as they could. The office proved welcome and they replied in general terms, although the president said that these Provinces were doing everything in their power.
I went to visit the ambassador and he received me with the utmost courtesy. His nature is such that in addition to the splendour he displays he makes himself loved by every one. In the course of the conversation he asked me if the most serene republic had any inclination to help the King of Bohemia. I replied that I could not know the mind of your Serenity which was governed by the course of events with characteristic prudence. In speaking of his own king he said he thought that his Majesty had done what he ought and on his arrival in England he hoped to find something good.
The French have been very troubled feeling sure that the ambassador has said something about the continuation of the truce, but Carleton absolutely assured me that not a word had been mentioned about it. I received the same assurance from a member of the States General.
The States have decided to await the course of events in Germany, The ambassador says that he left the emperor in evil plight and very ill provided for war. Preparations for war were proceeding everywhere.
The embassy destined for England will, they hope, discover the intentions of the king there, and so it is desirable that the ambassador should start soon, in order that they may be able to rule their conduct by what his Majesty may do and make a proper reply to the ambassador sent here.
The English courier, (fn. 3) about whose release I wrote a week ago, arrived here two days after Viscount Doncaster with letters for him. He made loud complaints. The ambassador himself showed me that he did not at all like being stopped at the frontiers of our state, as he was most anxious to pay his respects to your Serenity. He complained certainly with great moderation and seemed rather to praise an individual named Ferdinando Locatello who allowed him to enter the state at Pontieba. I explained the rigour of the Board of Health to him, and assured him that your Serenity greatly regretted the incident. He seemed satisfied and always conversed with me with every sign of confidence. He proposes to leave for England next Saturday. Perhaps your Serenity would instruct the Ambassador Lando to go and see him to remove any trace of bitterness which might remain in his stomach at being refused a passage.
The Hague, the 31st December, 1619.
[Italian.]
Dec. 31.
Senato,
Secreta,
Dispacci,
Savoia.
Venetian
Archives.
170. ZUANE PESARO, Venetian Ambassador in Savoy, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The duke seemed doubtful about the exchange of Montferrat. He told me he thought that the Spaniards inclined towards giving Cremona to Mantua. He told the agent of England that the exchange will certainly take place, possibly in order to encourage the idea that it will be necessary to move, and thus supply food to and receive nourishment from the negotiations of Germany.
Turin, the 31st December, 1619.
[Italian.]
Dec. 31.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Savoia.
Venetian
Archives.
171. ZUANE PESARO, Venetian Ambassador in Savoy, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The resident Wake has expressed a desire for an ambassador to be sent to Bohemia and another to the emperor. His king had been the first to recognise the emperor and they would do well to follow his example. The duke was a member of the empire; appearances could not prejudice his interests or his position with his friends.
The duke said he would send an ambassador with congratulations, and to state his claims upon Montferrat, and the wrong done to him by talking about an exchange before a decision had been given. He would express a desire for a decision but would not press the matter, because they are too prejudiced. So much Wake told me.
He advised that the duke should not send an ambassador to Bohemia before the King of England, as the duke should move cautiously. The duke told me this, and he wonders much what the intentions of the English may be though he considers this minister to be friendly and deeply interested in the religion. The duke expects no advantages from Germany as the Palatine simply thinks of securing his possession of Bohemia and not of ousting Cæsar. Wake spoke to me to the same effect.
Turin, the 31st December, 1619.
[Italian.]
Dec. 31.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Savoia.
Venetian
Archives.
172. ZUANE PESARO, Venetian Ambassador in Savoy, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The duke told the agent of England that they had asked him to act as general against the princes of Germany, and that the Cardinals do Retz and Rochefoucauld and the clergy of France would come to a decision without involving the French crown.
Turin, the 31st December, 1619.
[Italian.]

Footnotes

1 Difficulties arose over the commissions sent from Venice to Surian about the league, upon the questions of the title given to the States, and upon the navigation of the Adriatic. Carleton intervened with the Prince of Orange and others, urging them on no account to remit the treaty to Venice, where the opponents of the alliance would seize the opportunity to bring everything to naught. Letters from and to Sir Dudley Carleton, page 432.
2 Sir John Eyre.
3 Henry Balan See Surian_s third dispatch of Dec. 24th. No. 157, at page 88 above.