Venice
January 1620, 22-31

Sponsor

Institute of Historical Research

Publication

Author

Allen B. Hinds (editor)

Year published

1910

Pages

139-156

Annotate

Comment on this article
Double click anywhere on the text to add an annotation in-line

Citation Show another format:

'Venice: January 1620, 22-31', Calendar of State Papers Relating to English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 16: 1619-1621 (1910), pp. 139-156. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=88749 Date accessed: 01 October 2014.


Highlight

(Min 3 characters)

January 1620

Jan. 22.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
206. GIROLAMO LANDO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
After I had sent off my letters of the 12th, 14th and 15th inst. by the courier Bosis, his Majesty, instead of desiring Donato to come in person to the Council, as I wrote he had done, ordered the Secretary Naunton to send him a paper so that he should answer in writing and in no other way. The paper sent was either mine which I consigned to Sir [Henry] Wotton at his Majesty's request, or the substance of it. I have not been able to discover exactly what it was, but Donato's reply shows that it must have been almost in the same words. I enclose this, as I succeeded in obtaining a copy word for word from the original. But the way I obtained it was so remarkable that I say nothing about it.
His Majesty left for Theobalds yesterday after dinner. Before he left a decision was finally taken to forbid Donato henceforward to frequent the Court of the king or the prince, and to order him never to come within a mile of these Courts, wherever they may be. As the Courts are constantly moving about, he will not be able to settle in any place in the kingdom, without disobeying. He has further been directed to leave London within a month and never to approach within five miles of it, as your Excellencies will see from the enclosed order of his Majesty and the Council, signed by Edmondes and sealed with the royal seal which was consigned to me this morning by the Secretary Naunton, in reply to my exposition. I have had it translated as best I could, but possibly it might have been done more accurately. Thus we have gained one of the points which the Senate desired, as set forth in my instructions of the 8th November, namely to induce his Majesty, without an express request from your Excellencies, to dismiss Donato from the Court.
The other point, to have him dismissed the realm, may not be obtained, as owing to the laws of the realm neither his Majesty nor any of his ministers has been able to take it into consideration. Although I am certain that it has entered the minds of others besides Naunton to banish him from England only, but to allow him to live in Scotland, Ireland, or some other island subject to this crown. That they did not adopt this resolution was due not to the attitude of Buckingham, who no longer favoured Donato boldly, but seemed rather desirous that your Serenity should be satisfied, but to that of the prelates and those who are the pillars of the religion here, some of whom, as I have remarked before, were formerly more ready to declaim against Donato's bad character and showed his Majesty things written by him to your Serenity against the king, the Duke of Savoy and some of the ministers here. But now for some little time, whether from design or something else, they have changed their style and are now among Donato's chief supporters. Besides the visit which Donato paid to the French preaching last Sunday week, which I reported, he went again last Sunday, the very day when his paper was to be read in the Council, and because the preaching was almost over at the time he went, he went on to the Flemish preaching which takes place later in this city. I feel sure that this was simply a device to help him. Whatever the reason, his action is already known throughout the Court and throughout the city, more than I could wish, because it has helped him greatly. London, the 22nd January, 1619. [M.V.]
[Italian.]
Enclosed in
the preceding
despatch.
207. At the Court of Whitehall on the 10th January, old style.
Present:
His Majesty the King.
Lord Archbishop of Canterbury.Lord Carew.
Lord Chancellor.Lord Digby.
Lord Privy Seal.Mr. Treasurer.
Lord Steward.Mr. Comptroller.
Lord ChamberlainMr. Secretary Naunton.
Earl of Arundel.Mr. Secretary Calvert.
Lord Viscount Wallingford.Master of the Rolls.
Lord Bishop of Winchester.Master of the Wards.
His Majesty having considered the exposition of the Venetian ambassador and the reply made by Donato, although not bound to take action either by the laws or by justice or for any other reason in what has been alleged against Donato by the republic of Venice, has nevertheless decided that henceforward Donato shall not approach within a mile of his Court or of that of his son the Prince of Wales, and within a month of this date he shall leave London and not presume for the future to come within five miles of that city. Of which his Majesty's pleasure and commandment the said Donato is hereby to take notice and dispose himself accordingly, upon such peril as may ensue upon neglect hereof.
[English.]
EDMONDES.
Jan. 22.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
208. GIROLAMO LANDO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Yesterday morning Sir [Henry] Wotton came to see me, and as if of his own motion, but certainly inspired by Naunton and possibly by the king's command, he said to me in confidence that his Majesty had met his councillors twice in his desire to satisfy your Serenity on the subject of Donato. He had found himself in a dilemma between two extremes, his desire to satisfy the most serene republic, and his horror of breaking the laws of the realm. He told me there was not a single councillor who did not dissuade his Majesty from touching this affair, and any decision that was taken was due to the action of the king alone with the sole object of gratifying a prince for whom at other times he had made declarations such as he will not make now for his own son in law and daughter. He hinted that he had gathered that nothing more could be done in this affair than to banish Donato from the Court and keep him five miles away. He went on in a rambling way to indicate that even in conceding this much they had done something of the greatest moment, never done before in this kingdom, where they freely allow everyone to live. Queen Elizabeth always left an asylum open to every one; the present king refused extradition to the King of France and others in the case of persons who had fled to live in these parts. In Italy also the princes allow guilty persons to take refuge in their States, and neither give them up nor chase them away. He referred to the crimes of Donato, in the way many others have done, as I reported, and like Calvert in particular, that his crimes were great as judged by the laws of the republic but not by those of this kingdom. He mentioned that the republic had not asked for anything, but simply placed herself in his Majesty's hands. He afterwards said that Donato offered to prove that he had not been to Court on the day when I had my audience at the time when I was there. He wished me to observe that the things done by the republic at the request of his Majesty's ambassadors, including himself, were not to be compared with this; and he suggested that if he himself had received favours in Venice he had also met with rebuffs there. To pass over all the things which he said to me, which were countless and for the most part the same as what I have repeated so often, he told me he had come to prepare the way and act as an antidote, and he advised me to accept his Majesty's decision gladly as a great testimony to the esteem which he has for the republic, in thus deciding to do what he has never done for other princes, of his own motion and without the advice of any of his councillors. Wotton said he merely said what he heard on his own responsibility and as a friend of the Most Serene republic, not by command or with the concurrence of any one. He begged me to persuade your Serenity to give up pressing this matter henceforward. In conclusion he clearly stated that the king hoped ultimately to restore Donato to his country, and that to please him, your Excellencies would take Donato back as one absolved. He mentioned that the Senate had done as much for the King of France in the case of her ambassadors, why should they not do as much for his king. He also spoke of the Secretary Marioni, saying that he had carried out his instructions very well and deserved the thanks of your Serenity.
I replied thanking him for the confidence he had shown to me. I had made the exposition to the king in the name of your Serenity and had asked for nothing, which meant asking for everything, as the meaning of your Excellencies was quite clear. I could not believe but that the king would come to a decision worthy of himself and of the friendship which he bears for my country even greater than he had suggested to me. If I might state my opinion I thought your Serenity would be very ill pleased as I had told him before, saying that the republic would not be satisfied unless Donato was banished both from the Court and the kingdom. I related all the reasons of the republic which I need not repeat now for fear of wearying your Excellencies. I said particularly that in this case of a guilty ambassador, only the laws of his own sovereign could be considered. In Donato's case there was no question of national laws. I said I knew full well that his Majesty had prudent councillors, and that all did not advise him against satisfying the republic, a power so devoted to this crown, but nevertheless any decision taken by the king, even entirely alone, would be welcome to your Serenity, who well remembered the declarations made by his Majesty in favour of the republic, which filled her with gratitude. I said that even if his Majesty had taken some extraordinary resolution about Donato it would have been very reasonable, as the case was extraordinary both because of the crime and the criminal, who was a Venetian ambassador. I declared that the other cases mentioned about other princes, did not resemble this one, as no one could deserve satisfaction more than the republic which certainly surpasses all other princes in affection for his Majesty. The princes of Italy often hand over criminals to each other and your Serenity had done so frequently. With regard to Donato's offer to prove that he had not been at Court, I thought this question was beyond doubt, as I would not tell a lie and would not speak without absolute certainty. Moreover I could prove it, if it were fitting for an ambassador to depend upon such proof. I would not draw any comparisons between this affair and the satisfaction granted to his Majesty's ambassadors as I need only state that the republic was always ready to satisfy this crown and its ministers most readily in serious matters upon mere suspicion; the republic has never measured her favours and thinks more of what she has received than her own deeds. I did not think he could reasonably complain of any rebuff received at Venice, knowing that the public and individuals had always liked, esteemed and honoured him. I touched thus lightly upon all the points he had raised. When I came to the part about the king's plan to restore Donato to his country I smiled and said that I certainly hoped and expected a worthy decision from his Majesty, and I thought he had come to give me a hammer-stroke and cause me dismay. I said that I had come to cherish to the extent of my powers the good understanding existing between the republic and his Majesty and would always labour to that end.
London, the 22nd January, 1619. [M.V.]
[Italian.]
Jan. 22.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
209. GIROLAMO LANDO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Yesterday I sent one of my gentlemen to the Secretary Naunton to learn something about the conclusion of the matter, as I knew that his Majesty was about to leave. The secretary said that he had orders to communicate the king's decision to me, but being unwell and unable to leave his house, he begged me to visit him this morning. Accordingly I went. He began with copious excuses for not having come to me. He told me, in his Majesty's name that the king had met his councillors twice on the subject of Donato. He had diligently examined my exposition and a reply given by Donato. He did not see why he should refuse breathing space to Donato either by the laws of God or of men, or in particular by the laws of the realm. If he were banished from these realms he would have to go either to princes friendly to the republic, such as his Majesty, who would follow the king's example and dismiss him or hand him over to the republic, or else go to the States of enemies, which would be worst of all. So although his councillors agreed with much reluctance, his Majesty, in consideration of the present state of affairs and from his desire to stand well with the republic, decided to banish Donato from the Court and from London. He then took up the order and handed it to me in the king's name, adding that inasmuch as his Majesty had never granted such a favour to any prince for any demand whatsoever, so he does not wish it to constitute a precedent, and swears that he will never make such a concession to the King of Spain, the King of France or all the world together. He said he had sent word of the order to Donato this morning. He spoke to me much as Sir [Henry] Wotton had done, especially on the points that the princes of Italy are accustomed to grant exiles asylum in their States and not to hand them over, and that the republic at the instance of the King of France had pardoned her ambassadors who had committed the crime of high treason. (fn. 1) I made a suitable reply, saying upon the last point that his Excellency was not well informed. He answered that Wotton had told his Majesty so. I retorted that if Wotton had said so he was not well informed either, although he had been in Italy and at Venice. He told me he had heard of Donato's bad character, that he had put to death one or two of his servants and had sold copies of the letters written by him to Venice against his Majesty, the Duke of Savoy and some others. The king was very well informed about all these things, but he is so kind, tender and compassionate that he did not want to seem to punish him for this, and would not deny him his protection, though he only allowed him breathing space and gave him no salary or stipend. He asked me to represent the course of this affair in a favourable manner to your Serenity. He said that in my exposition he had perceived some indication that the republic did not think she had a good minister at this Court of late, and he would like to say that Sig. Marioni had done his part and shown all diligence to obey your Serenity, as if he had been the greatest enemy Donato ever had. I said that for my part I should always respect the decisions of his Majesty; I had nothing further to add except that I would represent everything to your Excellencies in the most favourable manner as I always hoped to do. I then proceeded to answer the points raised by Naunton, which were substantially what I have written before, and with which I fear I have wearied your Excellencies.
London, the 22nd January, 1619. [M.V.]
[Italian.]
Jan. 24.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
210. GIROLAMO LANDO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The ambassador of the States has been to see me. He told me that he had advices of two things from his masters, which caused them remarkable satisfaction. One was the conclusion of the defensive alliance with the Most Serene republic, and the other the decision taken by them to send a large number of ships of war to the West Indies to harass the Spaniards, not at the extremities but in the heart of their greatness, by interrupting their trade and staying the abundant flow of gold, silver and wealth. He said their decisions had been thwarted on previous occasions by Barnevelt, but since his death they had been revived and triumphantly carried. He approved of both decisions highly, as conducing more than anything else to the quiet of the world and of your Serenity in particular and his masters, and to confound and rebuff the Spaniards. I discovered afterwards that he has commissions from the States to support with all his power all the instances made by the ambassador who lately came for the new King of Bohemia.
This same ambassador of the States went to the king at Theobalds, where an audience had been appointed for him, in order to urge his Majesty, in the name of the States, to come to some resolution, saying that if his Majesty does not make up his mind, neither they nor any one else will be able to do so, and that loss of time in such questions is a matter of the highest moment. The Spaniards and Austrians know how to conduct their affairs with their followers and are collecting huge forces for the spring. If his Majesty does not decide to help his son in law and his daughter, as he should do by kinship and by every other consideration, the new king will find it difficult if not almost impossible to maintain possession of what God has given him; for the Almighty, when he grants a favour to men, wishes them to do their part to keep it and to show that they deserve it. So that this representation might prove a powerful stimulus to goad the king to take some resolution. However they think he will procrastinate as much as possible.
Meanwhile the news has come that the Count of Gondomar, the Spanish ambassador, who left here more than a month ago and who was reported to be going to France, is only a short distance from these shores, although it is not yet known whether it really is the count. Many persons of sound judgment consider that no formal decision will be reached on this side before his arrival. When he has come, as he is of the same good quality as the other ministers of the Catholic king, so far as I gather, and very much to the taste of his Majesty here, who has proved him at other times and who takes great delight in the jokes with which he introduces all business, they anticipate a thousand inventions and involutions to put the time on, than which nothing is easier in this country, and probably nothing more noxious in the present circumstances.
The ambassador of Bohemia, whom I have visited with all the other ambassadors here, exerts himself to set forth the arguments of the Bohemians and their new king, and to urge his Majesty not to delay action, which is required for every consideration and is anxiously awaited by the whole world. We now hear that the king desires to have the position of the Bohemians put down in writing, especially upon the point that their kingdom is elective. The same ambassador is also working hard with the ministers, who for the most part incline to his master. He goes at night, first to one and then to another and effects more in essence than in appearance. It is said that he will follow the Court into the country, but so far he has not left the city.
He brings word that at the diet of Nurenberg they gave audience to the emperor's ambassador in the presence of the new king. They told him that all the Princes of the Union, by virtue of their alliance, would in any event assist their colleague with all their forces, especially if his hereditary estates were invaded. He said that in the diet they had settled everything to the entire satisfaction of his master, but he did not enter into further particulars. He announces that your Serenity replied to the letters of his master in giving him the title of king, and the Spanish minister here, I understand, will not suffer it. I have been asked about it, but could only say that I knew nothing, since I have received no information on the subject from your Excellencies. I beg you to throw some light on the matter, especially as the affairs of the new King of Bohemia are closely bound up with those of this Court.
Viscount Doncaster since his return from his embassy, has urged his Majesty in the name of the States to do something in favour of his son-in-law, with the special purpose of making him believe that the smallest declaration on his part may give rise to great results since many princes are awaiting it and when it appears every sign of lukewarmness will vanish, which they now show, as they say that they do not wish to anticipate the action of greater princes, who have much greater interests than themselves. Nevertheless no decision has been made.
I acknowledge the receipt of your Serenity's letters of the 21st and 28th December.
London, the 24th January, 1619. [M.V.]
[Italian.]
Jan. 24.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
211. To the Ambassador in England.
The alliance having been concluded with the States, we are advised by our Secretary Suriano that the States informed the English ambassador resident there, and as we informed his Majesty of the negotiations it is fitting that we should impart to him the result. We therefore direct you to do this at a special audience, telling his Majesty that we have to look to our defence and safety owing to the insidious proceedings of those who seek to obtain the dominion of the world. We desire nothing more than to preserve our dominions and liberty. We hope that his Majesty will accept the communication as a sign of our esteem and will approve of our action as beneficial to the general welfare. We think his Majesty will have received the terms which were communicated to his ambassador; but if he asks for them, we send you a copy of the articles to communicate to him.
Ayes, 129.Noes, 22.Neutral, 43.
[Italian.]
Jan. 24.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
212. To the Ambassador in England.
Your letters give us full particulars of the proceedings of Donato and information upon more serious matters. We are well satisfied with you. We do not wish you to discharge the two servants of Donato whom you have kept on, or the one who is pensioned, so long us you find no shadow of disloyalty in them. But if you find them acting as spies on Donato's behalf you must do what the occasion requires. If Donato publishes anything to exonerate himself or for any other purpose, no notice must be taken, as such a person cannot do anything which affects the public affairs. But without engaging the public authority you will endeavour to prevent any such publication, sending all particulars to us.
With regard to the claims of the owners of the ships dismissed, we have to say that they have no grounds for any claims or complaints, as they were all well treated and indeed the ships were quite ready to continue to serve for considerably lower pay. The agreement is quite clear on the subject of money. The Ambassador Wotton spoke in the College in the interests of the soldiers and was quite satisfied with the reply given to him, seeing that they had no case. We send you word of what has taken place, to use as you may require, but we hope that no demand will be made, as the ships have received the best treatment from us and our representatives, and as much as the others, although they were weaker and worse equipped than the others in every respect.
The money for the posts for Donato's time, due to the master of the posts at Antwerp, must be paid.
With regard to the ambassador of the Palatine who is expected at Court you must know that we have thought fit to answer his letters with the title of king. We send you a copy of the letter written to him, which will serve you as a model when dealing with the ambassador.
Ayes, 109.Noes, 22.Neutral, 43.
[Italian.]
Jan. 25.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
213. To the Ambassador in France.
Don Ottavio of Aragon has not left Naples but is ready to start with a memorial to the king in favour of Ossuna. The Maonas have come back to Naples, but they say nothing about restitution. They talk of building large galleons. They are doing nothing for Germany. Ossuna has sent word to Spain of his reasons for sending Don Ottavio to the East and makes the most of the prize taken.
This is for information.
The like to:
Spain, England, Savoy, Constantinople, Germany, Milan, Florence.
Ayes, 160.Noes, 0.Neutral, 1.
[Italian.]
Jan. 25.
Senato,
Mar.
Venetian
Archives.
214. To the PROVEDITORE ZORZI at Zara.
For the payment of the troops and especially the English of Colonel Peyton, for which you have made us special request, we have ordered 10,000 ducats to be sent to you without delay. We do not think the provision of palliasses and coarse blankets to be necessary, as the men are well clothed and provided. With regard to the excessive numbers of the garrison, we have decided to keep only 150 to 200 of the Italians and send the rest to the galleys at Corfu.
That 10,000 ducats from the mint be sent to the said Proveditore for the payment of the troops as quickly as the Collegio may decide.
Ayes, 157.Noes, 2.Neutral, 4.
[Italian.]
Jan. 27.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Signori Stati.
Venetian
Archives.
215. CHRISTOFFORO SURIAN, Venetian Secretary in the Netherlands, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The States are making no move as regards the affairs of Germany, but are awaiting the decision of England. They have no news to please them from their ambassador with his Majesty. One letter seemed to raise the hope that the king might at length come forth with a strong resolution, but the Spaniards feel absolutely assured that the King of England will remain passive and not move a finger to help his son-in-law.
The person who came here in the name of the Elector Palatine and the Princes of the Union stays on at Amsterdam. They have not yet decided whether to send him with fresh requests for help and nothing will be decided before news comes from England, which they are awaiting with the utmost anxiety.
The Hague, the 27th January, 1620.
[Italian.]
Jan. 27.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Savoia.
Venetian
Archives.
216. ZUANE PESARO, Venetian Ambassador in Savoy, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The agent of England is still indisposed, but from the messenger who brought the news about Donato to me and the said agent, I find that affair has taken a very different turn. He said that he did not know the cause of this difference. He had good grounds for what he said to me, as Naunton is the chief secretary and a worthy man. He had thanked his king on behalf of the duke because his Highness's representations had induced the order that Donato should not frequent London, but if his Majesty, had known he certainly would not have suffered it. I could not say much owing to my slight knowledge of the turns of this affair, but I said that I hoped his version would ultimately prove the true one. He took the opportunity to remark that Wotton has again been appointed ambassador to your Serenity and has set out quite recently. (fn. 2) However I have not been able to obtain confirmation of his departure from England.
Turin, the 27th January, 1619. [M.V.]
[Italian.]
Jan. 30.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
217. GIROLAMO LANDO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
I enclose the account (fn. 3) for my expenses on my journey from Venice to London, upon the carriage of letters and couriers, and for the whole of the month of December since my arrival including the payments made to the Master of the Posts here and at Antwerp.
London, the 30th January, 1619. [M.V.]
[Italian.]
Jan. 30.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
218. GIROLAMO LANDO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The Ambassador Dohna continues to stir up his Majesty to help the king his master, but still nothing happens, and if he gains ground he does so step by step. The Ambassador Caron of the States is also working for him and so are almost all the ministers of his Majesty, except three or four, as I have written before. All the people and the whole kingdom show impatience at such irresolution. Nevertheless his Majesty remains reserved, he pretends that he has not yet weighed all the reasons and has not thoroughly made up his mind or satisfied his desire for peace. Dohna has had two very long audiences in which the king has listened to the arguments for the Bohemians and has weighed those of the Austrians at intervals. He showed by signs and speech that he could not listen without displeasure to the idea that kings and princes may be deposed by the people. But ultimately, notwithstanding this, he seemed more disposed to favour his son-in-law, saying that he would do something for him, though he did not state what.
His Majesty received from Doncaster a paper consigned to him by the emperor setting forth Ferdinand's case. He afterwards received another to the same purpose from the agent of Spain here, who conducts himself very warily to the extent of his powers. The king sent both to the Ambassador Dohna by the Secretary Calvert, so that he might answer the arguments, upon which the king desires some elucidation, particularly upon some letters of Charles IV in which it seems the kingdom of Bohemia is declared not to be elective? The reply was immediately drawn up in writing and was based chiefly upon the Golden Bull, made subsequently and adopted by the whole empire. The ambassador will uphold this reply verbally one of these days. He proposes to follow the king to Newmarket in order to urge a decision with all his might. He told me himself that he hoped to obtain it before his return to London. He will press for it the more strongly with the special object of obtaining it before the arrival here of Gondomar, the Spanish ambassador. I could easily perceive that he professes far more hope than he really cherishes.
The ambassador of the States had audience the other day and made representations in conformity with what I wrote in my despatch of last week. His Majesty replied that the Ambassador Dohna should certainly receive his decision before he leaves this Court. Whether this proves to be secret or public his Majesty will not fail to acquaint Caron with its purport immediately. He told him afterwards in the course of the conversation that he could not do less than assist his son in law. He has carefully weighed the pros and cons of the matter, but from all the information which he possesses and the news which he receives he knows that the Palatine is very well armed and thoroughly capable of defending himself, so that he can hold out for a long time yet without any assistance from this kingdom. If the notion, that Doncaster in particular has tried to impress upon his Majesty, that the affairs of the new king are in a flourishing condition and may easily continue on the full tide of fortune, are advanced with the object of benefiting his cause and inciting his Majesty to come to a generous decision, spurred by the hope of a successful issue, which they generally produce in such affairs, they have apparently brought about quite a different result and have rather damped than kindled the king's ardour.
It is understood that his Majesty has received letters from Spain announcing that Gondomar may arrive here in about three weeks; that he left as soon as he received the commands of the Catholic king, by letter, while he was at table, when he started off without a moment's delay. For this promptitude his master has already awarded him a magnificent gift. It is reported that he has arrived at Paris, but this news is not confirmed, indeed some say that there is no such haste, and the report of all this dispatch is a pure invention. His Majesty is eagerly awaiting this ambassador, as when he was here before he delighted him greatly for the reasons which I have already given and because although a Spaniard, he tries to conform in all things to the inclination and taste of the king without stiffness. Thus when hunting with the king he vies with him in putting his hands in the blood of bucks and stags, doing cheerfully everything that his Majesty does and in this way chiefly he has acquired his favour. Accordingly his coming here terrifies many in the present state of affairs, and all attach importance to it. (Sua Maestà attende questo Ambre con desiderio, perche l'altra volta che fu qui le riusci ministro di suo compito gusto, per quello ch'io ho scritto et perche egli senza sussiego, benche Spagnolo, procura in tutte le cose di conformarsi all'. inclinatione et al gusto del Re, con il quale, quando va alla caccia, a garra pone le mani nel sangue de Dami e de Cervi, facendo allegramente tutto cio che fa la Maestà Sua con che principalmente si ha acquistato il suo amore. Onde la venuta di questo molti atterrisce nelli correnti negocii, et viene stimata da tutti.)
On the 27th Aston left here for Spain to take up his charge as ambassador in ordinary of his Majesty. He will travel with all speed. Through these movements of ambassadors it is universally believed that his Majesty will come to no decision before Gondomar reaches this Court and Aston arrives in Spain, although it seems that these have nothing to do with the affairs of the Bohemians, and that the king ought to decide before Gondomar's arrival in order not to make his decision after. Almost every one believes that the king cannot do less than come to his decision ultimately under Gondomar's very nose, and consequently show the less respect for the Catholic king.
Some think that Gondomar brings fresh proposals for marriage negotiations, and with these, even if it does not come to anything which the Spaniards are thought to desire more than his Majesty, he might still put a bar upon any decision or postpone it for a long while.
Aston has instructions to show the Catholic king in particular that his Majesty had no part in procuring the election of his son-in-law or in advising him to accept the crown. (fn. 4) It is said that he also has to state that his Majesty is weighing the arguments advanced by the Bohemians and they appear to him very weighty. But I would not venture to affirm this last point as I know that the king let fall an expression which showed that he does not approve of some of their reasons. He showed clearly that he did not appreciate them all when he asked Dohna for a fuller declaration. They think that after the Spanish ambassador arrives Dohna will leave the Court very speedily, and the reply given by his Majesty to the Ambassador of the States, reported above, points in the same direction. In conversation with me, however, he spoke as if he might possibly stay on here a long time.
The Prince of Wales has been slightly indisposed recently, being tired from dancing in the masques, which are performed, but the humour lasted a very short time and was very insignificant, although it caused a commotion through the whole Court as is usually the case where princes are concerned, especially among the greatest, and gave rise to much discussion. On this account he did not leave London with the king. But his Majesty stopped at Theobalds to see the end of his sickness. He is now quite well. On Sunday morning he attended the preaching with an extraordinary following of gentlemen and courtiers. He has since gone after the king, who after embracing him, started straight off for Newmarket, in his eagerness for his usual beloved hunting from which he has abstained these last days, and which he particularly enjoys in this rainy weather.
The agent of Spain accompanied by the agent of the Archduke Albert brought a great bundle of papers for the Prince of Wales to read about the Bohemians and the claims of the emperor, saying, I beg your Highness to look at these, although I know that you have other things to do. The prince replied, I have nothing else to do at present than to think of the affairs of the Bohemians and of my brother-in-law and nothing occupies my mind more. I have recently read, considered and studied the claims of the Bohemians and they seem to me well founded. At every opportunity he displays his friendly feeling towards his sister and the new king. He has no inclination whatever to marry the Spanish princess, but his chief endeavour is to disclose no other aim than to second the king, to openly caress those who enjoy his Majesty's favour, to stand habitually at his side, to follow him and do his pleasure and not to move except as his father does (egli in ogni occasione mostra buon desiderio verso la sorella et il nuovo Re. Non inclina punto al matrimonio con la Spagnola. Ma procura di non scuoprire altro oggetto principalmente che di secondar il Re di accarrezzare apparentemente quelli che sono in gratia di Sua Maestà, di starle d'ordinario a canto, di seguitar di compiacerla et di non muoversi senon con il moto del padre).
The king in the dedication to his son of the book recently printed, shows how little a crown is to be desired, as being composed of thorns rather than of jewels like that of Christ, owing to the troubles it involves, and bringing more worry than happiness. (fn. 5) These sentiments bear very hardly upon the new King of Bohemia and are intended to keep the thoughts of the prince humble. However, the prince cannot keep his sentiments to himself so far as to conceal the great pleasure he takes in all demonstrations of honour shown to him, and he is especially gratified when the ministers of princes give him any information about their negotiatons and perform any office with him in the name of their masters (il quale non può però contenere tanto in se stesso il suo affetto che ne dia qualche segno di godere ogni di più le dimostrazioni di essere stimato, et di gustare particolarmente che li ministri dei Principi gli diino parte di alcuna cosa dei loro negocii, et passono qualche ufficio anche seco a nome dei loro Signori).
I will therefore seize every opportunity of cultivating the affection of this rising sun, which stands already high in the heavens and has grown much in the course of years.
London, the 30th January, 1619. [M.V.]
[Italian.]
Jan. 30.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
219. GIROLAMO LANDO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
I must not omit to inform your Serenity of the following particulars. From observation of the king's movements it is thought that if his Majesty finally decides to give some help to his son-in-law, he will do so simply to preserve the crown which he has already on his head, but will not encourage him in going further or in higher ambitions. When the resolution is taken, especially if Gondomar has arrived, they expect it will be to supply financial assistance in order that the king may not declare himself openly and offend the Spaniards and will be given secretly or at least with as little publicity as possible, so that some doubt may exist about it and it need not be admitted. This would not be so easy with soldiers or with other more apparent means, and moreover the Ambassador Dohna gave it clearly to be understood that his master had no need of men but of money.
I have been told that owing to the king's horror beyond everything else, of summoning a parliament, they propose to raise money by loan, believing that they will obtain large sums very easily owing to the fondness of the people and the nobles here for the new king. They hope that the same means will enable them to obtain sufficient money for the needs of the crown and for the requirements of his Majesty. The king has recently taken 10,000l. sterling from the merchants at 10 per cent. interest. This method, however, is very unlikely to succeed, as many here desire the meeting of parliament above all things, and by refusing a loan they think they will compel his Majesty to summon one. The partisans of Spain go about suggesting that the king might help his son-in-law without summoning parliament, by the use of the prerogative, ordering the people of the country to go and serve the Palatine for such a time, and having them paid by the kingdom as his Majesty might reasonably do by himself, but only in case of the defence of these realms. If he attempted to do so in the present circumstances he would not succeed, but would very probably excite dissatisfaction and disturbances (Questa maniera però dificilmente riuscira, perche all' incontro desiderando qui molti sopra tutte le cose la ridutione del detto Parlamento, con il negare l'imprestido crederrebbono di astringere Sua Maestà di ridurlo. Da parteali di Spagna si vanno suegliando concetti; che il Re potrebbe aiutar il Genero senza chiamare esso Parlamento, commandando di sua auttorità a quelli del paese, che andassero per tanto tempo a servirlo, et facendo, che dal Regno fussero pagati, e come può ragionevolmente da se stessa fare la Maestà Sua, ma solo in caso di difesa di questi Regni. Ma nel caso corrente, quando cio si tentasse, non riuscirebbe et causarebbe facilemente disgusti e commotione). So no man, however prudent, can form any well grounded idea of how and when any decision in favour of the new king can rise and maintain itself, which can be of any use. Many and various reports are current and reach here about him and other things, every one writing according to his prejudices. Some say that Gabor was to be crowned on St. Stephens day last. Some say that ambassadors have passed between him and the emperor to make conditions, the chief of which is that Gabor offers the title of King of Hungary to Caesar, but wants the government of the kingdom for himself. Others say that an alliance has taken place between Gabor and the Bohemians, who have sent him 100,000 florins for the payment of his troops, which he had asked for. Some declare that the King of France will certainly declare himself for Caesar; others that he will send ambassadors to arrange an accommodation before declaring himself. These opinions and advices all proceed from the lips of the leading ministers and noblemen of this Court, in spite of their divergent nature. The truth will reach this remote island, separated from the world much later than it comes to the ears of your Excellencies.
I must add that the Ambassador Dohna came to call upon me recently and told me that he received it as a certainty that the ambassador of the emperor in France had received a promise from that king, although the Most Christian ambassador here absolutely denies it. Dohna told me that the French king's brother, a prince of the most lively intelligence in spite of his tender years, had said in this connection, Why do we need to go after the rebels in Bohemia when we have so many rebels in France? The baron added that the assembly of the Huguenots and the queen mother, who is only a little way from Paris, would give them enough to think about and will stop all levies in that kingdom and all military preparations. He then turned the course of the conversation into other channels, saying that the Emperor had tried every means at Constantinople to induce the Turks to stop the progress of Gabor, but without any success. Gabor was not yet crowned but he could take the crown whenever he pleased. The confederation between Gabor and his king proceeded favourably and they hoped for good results. The Duke of Savoy had written to the pope or intimated to him, that owing to his influence in Germany he would do well to take a hand in these affairs for the sake of the Catholic religion, and in order not to give occasion to other princes to become more exasperated and move while they now stand quiet, as he understands that the forces of the Union are much superior to those of the emperor. He told me that the Jesuits, in their recent chapter general at Rome, had decided to contribute 10,000 thalers a month to Caesar. In conclusion he asked me whether I knew if the republic had replied to the letter of his master in giving him the title of king. He said he thought his king would soon send an ambassador to Venice. They say here that the republic has also chosen an ambassador for the king, and I have been asked about it, just as every day, I may say, some one asks me what your Excellencies will do in these affairs. I maintain a due reserve and reply in general terms. But I need some orders and light in the matter and humbly beg your Serenity once more to supply this so that I may not be compelled to hold my peace when it is important that I should speak, and so that I may not be compelled to trust to my own weak blindness in this dangerous way.
London, the 30th January, 1619. [M.V.]
[Italian.]
Jan. 30.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
220. GIROLAMO LANDO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The day before yesterday Sir [Henry] Wotton came to me and said that he had been at Theobalds with his Majesty. The king had charged him to come and see me on his return to London, to salute me in his name and learn if I was completely satisfied with the decision taken about Donato, assuring me that he would never have done as much at the instance of any other ambassador of any prince whatsoever, and his Majesty did not wish it to create a precedent. Wotton told me the king had ordered him to tell me this, in the presence of many gentlemen and cavaliers, while he was waiting with the prince his son to set out for Newmarket. He afterwards continued, in a conversational way, to adduce various reasons why I should value this decision very highly, as apparently all the Court and the city think it a great matter. He also referred to matters upon which I have already written to your Serenity. I humbly returned my thanks to his Majesty for the great honour which he had done me. I told him that I had sent word to your Serenity of the whole affair and how it had been settled, showing clearly the most favourable disposition of his Majesty towards the republic, which I had clearly perceived. I said that I was minister here not to express opinions but simply to carry out instructions. I was bound in honour to waive my own satisfaction which could only consist in that of your Excellencies, and I prayed God that you might be content with this affair, upon which I had no opinion of my own, and I should have no personal opinion upon any subject apart from that of your Serenity. I said that I should always respect the decisions of the king, for whom I prayed to God every day, and that He would give me grace to exercise this embassy to the satisfaction of his Majesty and of my country. My efforts would always be directed to these two ends, to compensate for the numerous deficiencies which I recognise in other respects, and I hoped his Majesty would recognise my good intentions and excuse my failures. (fn. 6)
This last Sunday Donato again attended the Flemish preaching which is done in the French tongue. At present he walks almost every day from his house to the exchange, accompanied by the merchants I have mentioned before, Gradi the Ragusan, Salvietti the Florentine and Fedrici the Venetian. I cannot yet discover his plans, when he proposes to leave this city and where he proposes to live. When I hear anything that is well founded I will perform my duty to your Serenity.
Next week I will write what I have been able to discover about the Secretary Marioni. I defer this in order to clear up some points.
London, the 30th January, 1619. [M.V.]
[Italian.]
Jan. 31.
Senato,
Secreta,
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
221. GIROLAMO LANDO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
These last days, after I had caught a glimpse at the prince's masque, as I wrote, of Viscount Doncaster, I had no further opportunity of seeing him. He was staying in the country and when he returned, he was not at home when I went to call upon him. Yesterday he came to visit me and spoke in very honourable fashion of the most serene republic. He said he was very much bound to your Serenity for the orders given for his treatment and entertainment during the quarantine, which he knew no one was spared, not even the Ambassador Giustinian. He told me he would willingly go through it all again in order to see Venice afterwards, only he had been obliged to return to England. He remarked simply that your Excellencies were served by faithful ministers who showed great diligence coupled with exquisite courtesy. He seemed completely satisfied with what I said to him in conformity with the instructions given me by the Senate. He went on to say that the Spanish ministers here invented certain fabrications against him during his embassy, for his Majesty's consumption, from which he had some difficulty in clearing himself, as they all said he was a strong opponent of the house of Austria. This might have discredited his relations with the king as well as the questions which he was to submit to him. It is clear that he stands very high in his Majesty's favour, who they say will soon confer fresh honours and titles upon him.
Before the king left London he went with the prince and the principal gentlemen of the Court to a masque performed in Doncaster's house, where the viscount entertained them in the most lavish and splendid manner. He spoke to me in the most laudatory manner of the Ambassador Giustinian, saying that he was deeply indebted to him for the honours he had received in Germany, and how universally popular he is at this Court, where he acted as ambassador so worthily and was considered a man of great prudence and remarkable ability.
London, the 31st January, 1619. [M.V.]
[Italian.]
Jan. 31.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
222. To the Ambassador in England.
This week we received your letters up to No. 27, but we have not yet seen Nos. 19 to 23. They will probably arrive later. We commend your diligence in the matter of Donato and are fully satisfied. You know our mind with regard to the King of Bohemia and his title.
We send you a copy of what we wrote to the other Courts about the alliance, because it did not reach either the Secretary Marioni or yourself. You will use it as information to communicate the league to his Majesty, although as you will have probably done everything it will only serve for your satisfaction.
Ayes, 127. Noes, 3. Neutral, 39.
[Italian.]

Footnotes

1 Vincenzo Gussoni and Ottaviano Bon, who accepted and signed the peace arranged at Paris on the 6th September, 1617, contrary to their instructions. See Nani: Historia della Republica Veneta: i. pages 167, 168.
2 Wotton did not leave England until July.
3 The account is wanting.
4 Aston's instructions are preserved among the State Papers, Foreign. Spain, dated at Whitehall on Jan. 5/15, 16 19/20. He was to deal with three questions, though not all equally ripe for negotiation: the marriage; the state of Germany, especially Bohemia; and uniting the fleets against the pirates.
5 See note to No. 196 at page 128 above.
6 Wotton's account of this interview in a letter to Buckingham dated 25th January, 1619, old style, is printed by Mr. Pearsall Smith: Life and Letters of Sir Henry Wotton, ii, pages 180, 181.