Venice
March 1620, 17-31

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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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201-219

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'Venice: March 1620, 17-31', Calendar of State Papers Relating to English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 16: 1619-1621 (1910), pp. 201-219. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=88753 Date accessed: 25 July 2014.


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March 1620

March 17.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
292. ANZOLO CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The English ambassador came to see me the day before yesterday and told me that the king his master had heard with infinite satisfaction that the most Serene Republic had accorded the title of king to the new sovereign of Bohemia, and he was instructed to express his Majesty's immense obligation to your Excellencies for this action. As I had heard nothing about it and had received no instructions, I confined myself to generalities saying that your Serenity never failed to honour your good and sincere friends. The ambassador added, my king is beginning to rouse himself in the interests of his son-in-law; he has not actually declared himself but he is beginning to think about it. He has instructed me to speak to the king here, saying he has heard rumours that some are advising him to invade the Palatinate, a thing which would never be tolerated in England, and therefore he begged his Majesty not to permit it. He also had orders to do everything so that no Frenchman should receive permission to go and serve the emperor in Germany, as if the King of France desires to be arbiter in the matter it is most necessary that he should avoid the appearance of unduly favouring either of the parties. The ambassador also told me that the Palatine had asked the city of London to lend him money, and they had shown the utmost willingness to give him a large sum. I asked him to tell me the amount of this money. He said that he did not know precisely but it was considerable and adequate to the necessity. I thanked him warmly for the information. He had audience before me and on the same day, namely, yesterday.
Paris, the 17th March, 1620.
[Italian.]
March 17.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Signori Stati.
Venetian
Archives.
293. CHRISTOFFORO SURIAN, Venetian Secretary in the Netherlands, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The Ambassador Carleton, in the name of his king has notified the States that his Majesty wishes a term to be put to the fishery question, intimating that if the Dutch wish to fish they must recognise their obligation to his Majesty and give a proper recognition. (fn. 1) This seems very strange, especially at the present time when matters of greater importance require consideration, concerning Germany, the Bohemians and his Majesty's son-in-law, for whom they are doing everything possible. His Excellency told me in great confidence that the king could not possibly have the satisfaction he claimed, because for these fisheries the people of this country will give up helping others and will make war, seeing that from thirty to forty thousand people live by them and possibly more. He said that every one concluded this question was promoted by the Spaniards, who had also tried to alienate France from these Provinces and were now doing the same with England. They would try to think out a reply calculated to divert the king from this ticklish affair, at least during the present circumstances.
The Hague, the 17th March, 1620.
[Italian.]
March 19.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
294. GIROLAMO LANDO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
I communicated to the king at a special audience the events of Medole on the frontiers of our state and that of Mantua, and the designs of the Duke of Feria upon Castiglione; the steps taken by the Senate and their prudent provision for the quiet of Italy and the safety of your Serenity's dominions owing to the importance of that position. The king received the office graciously. He told me that he had heard the same from the Ambassador of Savoy. He put various questions to me, asking about the exact position of the place and its lord, of which he had little or no knowledge. I was able to give him the information owing to some experience of those frontiers which I have had on more than one occasion. He asked me what the Duke of Mantua was doing in all this, but as I have no information from your Excellencies I could not answer this single point. He suggested that the whole thing might be settled by now, as he thought it unlikely that the Spaniards would desire so many wars at once, in Germany, in Bohemia and in every part of the world. In connection with the troubles in Bohemia and Germany he said that they wanted to make it a war of religion, and the pope is ordaining jubilations. But most decidedly, from every point of view, it could only be called a political war (guerra di stato) as it was entirely about a crown and a kingdom. He continued: Yesterday the French ambassador came to inform me in the name of his king of the choice of four ambassadors to negotiate for a settlement of these affairs, exhorting me not to allow the conflagration to spread and become universal, but to join with him to obtain peace. I replied that if his king would propose and point out to me the way of obtaining a settlement and the steps which must be taken I would willingly do my part, as I desired nothing better than an accommodation. With this his Majesty closed the audience, signifying that he could not think of any possible means and thanking me warmly for the confidence of your Serenity, so constantly shown towards him.
They say at the Court here that the late Prince of Castiglione remained under the protection of Spain during his lifetime. Accordingly the Governor of Milan may have moved simply in order to reduce to obedience those recalcitrant subjects of the Lord of Solferino, and nothing worse. But they would not be sorry in this country to hear of the continuance of those troubles, as they think they will engage and lock up the forces of Milan in those parts, and consequently the emperor will obtain no help from them against the new king. When I kissed the hands of the Prince of Wales recently, he expressed this idea to me unreservedly, with joyful countenance and openness of heart, proper to his age and ingenuous nature, after he had asked me to give him information about the circumstances.
The French ambassador professes to have made the representation above named to his Majesty, not from the prompting of his king or to invite the king here again to join him for peace, since he remarked months ago that he had made offers enough, but in reply to a representation recently made by his Majesty at Paris through his ambassador with the Most Christian, as the English king still doubted whether France would declare or had declared for the emperor, and so he said it would be better to join together for an accommodation. The king, his master, had accordingly directed him to express his constant readiness for any such purpose, as might appear to all the world by the choice of so solemn an embassy. The ambassador is conducting the affair so as to reflect great credit on his king. At the first audience after his Majesty's return from Newmarket he never said a syllable about it, but simply waited to see whether his Majesty would say anything. As the king never made the slightest reference to it he went fully into the subject at his next audience, but with this deprecation, that he did not make it as a proposal but as a reply, saying that his master had instructed him not to make any further request. He lays stress upon this in his private conversation, that now his master has done everything in his power for peace, he will also do his duty in war as a most Christian prince.
He not only received the reply mentioned above, but a request from the king that they would show him in writing the instructions which will be given to the four ambassadors in question, in order to decide upon them. But the ambassador laughed at this request, saying that his king did not issue instructions to his ambassadors to be examined at this Court. The Ambassador Dohna laments all this not a little, as it indicates that his Majesty is considering and aiming at an accommodation, and so he fears that it will serve to postpone a decision still further, which he asked for so long ago. He fears this the more because the exposition of the ambassador and the king's reply took place not simply verbally but by the exchange of formal documents. Although that is a common practice at the Court, yet it denotes greater reflection and gives more reasonable grounds for comment.
London, the 19th March, 1620.
[Italian.]
March 19.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
295. GIROLAMO LANDO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The king is at present at Theobalds and for some days he will divide his time between London and some of the palaces in the neighbourhood. He is followed by Bunynchausen, agent of the Princes of the Union, who never ceases his solicitations for a final decision, because he sees the Spanish Ambassador Gondomar on his back, who has at length arrived in this kingdom. He entered this city yesterday, the 18th inst., before an exceptional concourse of people, and was met, honoured and lodged by the king's order, receiving a remarkable welcome. He has come with the title of ambassador extraordinary, but it has come out that he will stay here a year at least.
He has been awaited by all the Catholics of this country with the utmost expectation, as it is announced that he brings the marriage upon which they found extensive hopes of seeing the true religion restored and established in these parts. The Protestants and the generality not only view him with jaundiced eyes, but one already hears bitter speeches and very improper remarks, vigorously expressed, about the peace of these kingdoms if the marriage takes place; so the more prudent and the wise fear mischief and bode no good from his coming (da tutti li Cattolici di questi paesi era atteso con somma attentione, publicatosi, ch'egli porti il matrimonio da loro sperato gran porta e scalla per vedere restituita, et redrezzata a queste parti la vera religione. Dalli protestanti et dall' universale non solo con occhio torto viene veduto; ma si odono già discorsi acerbi et vivacissimi concetti, molto improprii, quando restassero efettuati per la quiete di questi Regni; onde li più prudenti e savii temono male ne sperano alcun bene dalla sua venuta).
I am told that his Majesty, who has not yet seen him, hopes for a speedy conclusion of what he has come to negotiate, while the ambassador, doubtless, is particularly anxious to procrastinate and draw things out. The eyes of everyone are now fixed upon him and all ears are open to hear the particulars of his negotiations and the results achieved.
Quite recently the Ambassador Dohna and Sig. Bunynchausen were summoned by the king's order to treat upon the request of the Princes of the Union with the Secretaries of State, Naunton and Calvert, who in his Majesty's name pointed out that he also had a league with the house of Austria, a thing they say they had never heard. The King of Bohemia had decided to accept the crown without his consent; the Princes of the Union were not yet attacked; the new king in possession of the crown of Bohemia might be called the aggressor and the Austrians the defenders even when they invaded the Palatinate. They concluded that the king did not mean to do anything as in duty bound, but whatever he did would be purely and simply out of courtesy.
Bunynchausen made reply, which he put in writing by request, asking that the articles might be produced as they undoubtedly bind his Majesty to render assistance. He did not know whether his Majesty was or was not in league with the house of Austria, that was no concern of his. He said frankly that this was merely cavilling and impertinent subtlety. It was no good waiting for the princes to be attacked, as after the blow had fallen, they could no longer repair but only avenge ill. He had not to speak of the new King of Bohemia but simply of the Princes of the Union and the Palatinate, which was a member of their States and the abode of the children of his Majesty's daughter. He concluded by saying that he would accept nothing except what was due, as to accept as a mere act of courtesy would affect too prejudicially the other allies of the Princes in the present state of affairs, and thus beyond the interposition of their league the princes would receive little assistance. He pressed urgently for a decision one way or the other, and said that he would be absolutely compelled to leave in a few days in any event.
The Ambassador Dohna received no reply whatever for his affair, and has obtained nothing further from the King beyond what he got on the day of his arrival. When he asked the mayor of London to induce the city to grant a certain sum of money to his master as a loan, the mayor did not show any alacrity, and knowing that he could not decide anything without the king's consent, I understand that he raised the subject and received permission to do what he pleased and what the city might agree to. The king at the same time, intimated that he was bound to feel pleasure at any display of courtesy towards his daughter and his son-in-law, but that he would not take any active part in the matter himself. All this still takes place with the utmost secrecy. The question under discussion is how much money to lend and how to obtain it, a matter involving no small difficulty. Dohna's first demands were for 50,000l. to 60,000l. sterling, but it is thought that the loan will be 100,000l., as since he has discovered the readiness of the mayor and aldermen, who form the Council of the city, and has obtained the king's consent, he is trying to obtain as much as possible. I am told that the clergy are willing to give an equal amount, the originator being the Archbishop of Canterbury, who will provide a large sum out of his own revenues. But they entertain the project of not sending out the money in bullion, but to pay the sums to troops levied in this kingdom, in order to have more time to provide the money and to be more certain that it will be well employed. They also wish to make a greater show, this being the chief object with those who hope to induce the king to make a declaration. It is also thought that the new king may be in as much need of men as of money, since Germany, and one may say the whole world is now reduced to a penury of soldiers owing to the numerous levies which are being made universally. For this a fresh permission from his Majesty will be required, but all the things requisite are not yet mature, matters being still in a very raw state. If they bear fruit and the anticipated results ensue, assistance of moment will proceed from this kingdom to the new king, a point of great consideration, although it will not come in appearance from the king. In this way his Majesty will be enabled to keep everything going, maintaining the thread of his negotiations and plans with the Spaniards, and drawing remarkable advantages from balancing Gondomar against Dohna, while he continues to show his readiness to treat for peace for which he really has so much inclination. He seems at least to aim at preventing the war from becoming one of religion and to keep France, which in these days is more Spanish than French, from supporting the emperor, and thereby to limit considerably the area of the present disturbances if not to extinguish the flames altogether.
The levy of Andrew Gray, the Scot, of 2,000 foot, proceeds steadily, as he has already received the royal patents. There will be 1,000 English and 1,000 Scots. They will be paid with the new king's money and for this purpose letters of exchange have already reached the merchants Burlamacchi and Calandrini. He has also received permission to beat the drum as well as to give the royal title to the new king. He began to beat the drum on the very day and almost at the very hour when the Spanish ambassador entered London, and in the direction of his house at the moment of his arrival there. This gave the ambassador great offence and they expect that he will make a complaint to his Majesty.
His Majesty has renewed his pretensions for a debt of 130,000l. which he claims that the towns of Brussels, Antwerp, Ghent and Bruges owe to this crown. But the question has previously been raised and settled. (fn. 2)
A certain Sir [Roger] North (Cavalier Nort), a gentleman of good family, of this kingdom, is preparing to take two ships to the West Indies, towards the Amazon (la Riviera detta delle Anazoni). But the Spanish ministers have strongly urged the king to stop him, arguing that he is only going to fight the ships of their king and do harm; and it appears that he has been stopped. This event has done not a little to increase the roots of discontent and make the branches spread of the dissatisfaction of many (Efetto quale fa non poco crescere le radici der disgusti, et dilatere le rami del mal contento di molti).
Sir [Henry] Wotton tells me that within a month he will certainly start his journey to return to the embassy with your Serenity, with increased revenues and money for the expenses already incurred and those he has to make. But for the present he is disappointed in his plan to obtain the office of Secretary of State. I understand that he may easily go to Bohemia and to the Princes of the Union, with instructions from the king, as I intimated before to your Excellencies.
London, the 19th March, 1620.
[Italian.]
March 20.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
296. To the Ambassador in England.
Our Bailo at Constantinople has had occasion of late to avail himself of the influence and good offices of the ambassadors of friendly powers, who have acted with great courtesy and readiness in favour of our affairs. We desire you to express to his Majesty our gratitude at the favour which we have received. You will add that the Grand Vizier at present is most evilly disposed against us and it will benefit our affairs greatly if his Majesty will send express orders to his ambassador for the continuance of his good offices. We ask this favour to increase our indebtedness and our readiness to reciprocate his Majesty's kindness upon all occasions. You will try to obtain that the letters on the subject may be sent to Constantinople as soon as possible.
We wish you to perform the same office with the prince, as well as all other offices committed to you, if you find that it meets with the king's approbation.
We have received your letters this week with our customary satisfaction.
Ayes, 84.Noes, 0.Neutral, 0. (fn. 3)
[Italian.]
March 21.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
297. To the Ambassador in France.
There is still no certainty about the departure of the Duke of Ossuna from Naples. Cardinal Borgia seems anxious to leave as soon as possible for that charge, saying that he is not obliged to await an answer from Spain. He has approached the pope to facilitate matters. Ossuna says he will leave at once and expects to overcome all difficulties, chiefly through the emperor's favour. He is still raising as much money as he can, turning it all to his private use. He proposes to send his natural son Pedro to Flanders to command the 6,000 troops reported to be sent there from Naples. Orders have been issued to recall the six galleys sent to the east. Ossuna has ordered payment to be made to the Uscocchi because they came so readily to serve his Majesty. He is drawing up a paper to justify himself against the imputations made against him at Court.
We hear on good authority that the general of Croatia has paid all the troops at Carlistot for four months granting them leave to stay at Segna with their families, and he will go there himself shortly to enrol them anew. All this is contrary to the treaty, which the republic has observed punctually.
The like to:
Spain, England, Savoy, Constantinople, Germany, Florence, the Hague, Grisons. Rome and Naples the last paragraph only.
Ayes, 150.Noes, 0.Neutral, 4.
[Italian.]
March 21.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Firenze.
Venetian
Archives.
298. GIOVANNI FRANCESCO TRIVISAN, Venetian Secretary in Florence, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Since the arrival of Count Orso from Rome here, the idea of proposing a league to his Holiness is no longer mentioned. However I have been told in confidence that the Spaniards will not let it sleep. They have made the attempt, not with the idea of joining with your Serenity, which they would never do except in the direst necessity, but in order to establish the alliance with the pope and the Grand Duke without including the most serene republic, advancing this pretext, that your Serenity has not listened to such proposals but at present you are thinking only of allying yourself with heretics, negotiating at the present time for a league with the King of England. Accordingly such a league is highly necessary to frustrate the evil designs of the republic to introduce such barbarians and infidels into Italy, which would involve the worst consequences and threaten to infect the whole Catholic religion. In this way the Spaniards endeavour to render the republic suspect to the other powers.
Florence, the 21st March, 1620.
[Italian.]
March 23. Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Savoia.
Venetian
Archives.
299. ZUANE PESARO, Venetian Ambassador in Savoy, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The agent of the king of Great Britain here has had a special audience of the duke and told him that following the example of his Highness, who interposed between the Most Christian king and his master to settle the disputes between them, he considered it his duty, owing to the affection of his Majesty for his Highness, and his friendship with the republic, to beg his Highness to weigh thoroughly the present circumstances so that great wrath may not arise out of a small disturbance. He spoke about the privileges of ministers, and even when they have done wrong they are subject to the laws of their own sovereign, not those of the country where they live. The promise of a minister must always be believed, and I understand that he advised him to imprison the Cavalier. This minister told me all this, assuring me that the duke is full of good will, and he told me the replies given by his Highness, that everything done by his Majesty and his ministers was valued by him, but the affair was not such as to require interposition, as his affection for the most serene republic would always lead him to esteem her ministers; the affair would be speedily settled but my indisposition had caused delay.
I thanked the minister for his good offices and intentions and I was particularly favoured in having him speak thus without any movement on our part.
I think the agent was moved to take this step from his ambition to intervene, but more to show the duke that for an outrage upon a priest of the house of Gabaleoni in England, his king has ordered as many as thirty arrests, doing all that the minister could desire, so that they have received the most complete satisfaction here. He wished to convince the duke how different this was from the proceedings at this Court. (fn. 4)
Turin, the 23rd March, 1620.
[Italian.]
March 23.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Savoia.
Venetian
Archives.
300. ZUANE PESARO, Venetian Ambassador in Savoy, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Manœuvres have taken place with the cavalry here, quite 1,500 in number. It is said that the duke will dismiss a large proportion of them, to please the country, but they believe the duke will wait to see the issue of events, giving hope of sending them to help the Germans or on the other hand to help the emperor. The soldiers are sent to the house of the agent of England to offer their services for the king Palatine, but he contemns the offer. They think that necessity will compel the disbanding as the country cannot support the burden any longer.
Turin, the 23rd March, 1620.
[Italian.]
March 27.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
301. GIROLAMO LANDO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The king returned to London to give audience to the Spanish ambassador, after which he at once departed towards Newmarket, but in two days he will be back here again. There were two audiences, one public and complimentary, the other secret upon affairs. On his way to the first, accompanied by many gentlemen, the ambassador was thrown down by the sudden sinking of the floor of a passage near the hall of the guards. There was a considerable fall, and with him the Earl of Arundel and several noblemen also fell; but they were helped out and escaped with nothing worse than the fright. (fn. 5) Many of his attendants and others did not get by without hurt. The people, according to its wont, has drawn various prognostications and auguries from this event.
In the second audience he only spoke in general terms about the good disposition of his king towards the crown, of his desire for an accommodation in the present state of affairs, and of his steadfast adherence to the marriage negotiations, standing upon his honour and reputation, and expressing the desire for some points to be moved from this side. The king replied in equally general terms, and the audience was considerably prolonged by the ambassador's minutely relating to this Majesty, who was curious about it, the reasons for the deposition of Lerma and other Spanish affairs. Thus, so far as one can see it is not yet possible to tell what will come of his mission here. Perhaps he will speak more clearly at another audience, which he will have soon. Opinions are already being expressed that he will not stop a year here but he will leave and possibly very soon. But I leave it to time, which habitually differs from prophesies and rumours. They say that he brought with him a lot of money to spend among various individuals, who were filled with high hopes before his arrival on hearing of large remissions made to the merchants. He has not made any complaint to the king about beating the drums for the new King of Bohemia, although he said something about it to the ministers. He said, I have come to set the drum beating and to cause arming in England, and he says the same privately, declaring that the English deceive the Spaniards and the Spaniards the English. Because soon after he left this kingdom things began to appear to the prejudice of the Spaniards and the House of Austria; the arrangement with the States about the West Indies, the sending to Germany of Sir [Isaac] Wake, now agent in Savoy, to foment the minds of the Duke of Savoy and others about the election of the emperor; the fact of the coronation of the Palatine as King of Bohemia, and the protection afforded and the closer union than ever with all the powers opposed to the House of Austria.
It seems that the Ambassadors of France and Savoy, always linked together in everything, not without causing suspicion and not entirely to the taste of the Court here, aim at thwarting the alliance, although in their conversation and upon every occasion they display not the old but the new disposition of France and Savoy towards the House of Austria. France, now that the princess is married, cannot have an eye on her own negotiations, and the prospects of Savoy seem too faint to afford hopes of a prosperous conclusion. However the heart is ready, the ears are open and tongues also are set wagging. The States show themselves ready to prevent the alliance with Spain at every opportunity. Moreover the representatives of the new king and of the United Princes are not keeping their eyes shut or their ears stopped.
A Cavalier has been sent by his Majesty to the King of Denmark with the express title of ambassador. (fn. 6) They say that one will come from those parts to this crown, and that the King of Denmark is most ready to help the new king, at least with large sums of money.
Bunynchausen still remains on here. Although he obtained the king's promise, committed to writing, that he will help the princes, and this general point is considered settled, yet they seem undecided whether to help more with money than men, and more in men collected here than elsewhere, while there is still some ambiguity about whether it is done as a duty or out of courtesy. Thus things drag along, but with more appearance of a wish to do something, until the true trend of affairs appears from the negotiations of the Spanish Ambassador, so they consider.
The mayor and aldermen of this city have met several times about making a loan to the new king. His Majesty encourages this secretly, as I wrote, and he has also added two bishops (fn. 7) to the Archbishop of Canterbury so that jointly they may succeed in obtaining a loan from the clergy. But those of the city and many of the clergy also, although very disposed and determined to help the new king, nevertheless raise difficulties about granting it, as they desire the meeting of a parliament, and would like, if they could, to compel his Majesty to summon one, at least for the continuation of the assistance and for the time that is to come. With this they persuade themselves that his Majesty would make a more speedy, clear and open declaration (Più volte si e ridotto il Maer della Città con gli Aldermani per fare imprestiti di danari al nuovo Re. Il che Sua Maestà fomenta sotto mano, come si e scritto havendo ella anche aggionti due Vescovi all' Arcivescovo di Conturberi perche unitamente procurono di cavarne dal clero. Ma quelli della Città et molti di questi anche, sebene dispostissimi et risolutissimi di aiutare esso nuovo Re. tuttavia promovono qualche difficultà nell' ordine, desiderando la riduttione di un Parlamento et volendo pure, se potessero, necessitare Sua Maestà di chiamarlo, almeno per la continuatione delli aiuti et per il tempo che ha a venire. Col che si persuadono di far dichiarire anche Sua Maestà più presto, chiara et apertamente).
A renewal of the difficulties has arisen between the English and Dutch about the fisheries especially the herring fishery. The king has spoken about it to the Ambassador Caron here, and has also caused the Ambassador Carleton to make representations to the States. His Majesty requires some contribution or recognition from the Dutch, if they desire to fish. They, on the other hand, lay claim to the fisheries, from their possession of them for many years. They do not seem inclined to yield in the matter, as the industry affords support to 30,000 persons and more.
Owing to a dispute between the glass workers in Scotland and those of England, his Majesty has recently issued a new proclamation that no one shall import glass into England of any description whatsoever, from beyond the sea, upon very severe penalties for the vendor, those who have it brought and the workers themselves. (fn. 8) This has seemed to me to be worthy of the notice of your Serenity owing to the interests of your subjects of Murano. It was at first granted to some privileged individuals only, by arrangement with whom the glass founders were able to import glass. But this can no longer happen, as the new order expressly states that what has previously been allowed can no longer be conceded, so that the art of making glass may be more fully perfected. At present they only allow the importation of some new invention, with the permission of four commissioners, who are some of the leading lords of the royal Council already chosen a few months ago. By this order they also mean to prohibit looking glasses, of which they make a quantity here. Various subjects of your Serenity, some outlaws who have taken refuge in this kingdom, where many natives of Murano may now be met, work at making looking glasses and flint glass or teach how to make them. One of them, so I am informed, has given instruction how to make curved flint glass, Murano fashion, another how to clear it better, so that there are many English who work admirably, and the crystal attains a beauty, not sensibly inferior, but of quite equal quality to that of Murano, which used once to have the pre-eminence and was the pride of all the world.
London, the 27th March, 1620.
[Italian.]
March 27.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci.
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
302. GIROLAMO LANDO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Seeing that the Count of Gondomar, the Spanish ambassador, has actually arrived in this kingdom I have consulted a letter of the late Ambassador Barbarigo of the 29th January, 1615. (fn. 9) He relates that the same ambassador, who was then residing at this Court, did not move to visit him on his arrival, as all the others did, and as custom dictates. He let it be understood that he had a particular esteem for the Ambassador Foscarini, but he could not negotiate with his successor in the same manner, but must make some difference in titles. He told Foscarini that he had instructions only to give the ambassadors of your Serenity an inferior title to his own, and for such reasons, he abstained from returning his visit. Thus the Ambassador Barbarigo, up to the time of his death never had an opportunity of exchanging visits with the Spanish ambassador.
I have reflected that with the minister of so great a prince it is necessary to act with all prudence and circumspection, and that it would not be good to abstain from negotiating with the ambassador, especially in the present state of affairs, since nothing but harm could result from the absence of negotiation with any minister whatsoever. Accordingly, I inclined to show honour to the ambassador and not revive any past disputes, to avoid debate upon points of ceremony which could not afterwards be yielded without great prejudice, as they cannot easily be overcome. I proposed to go to his house to pay him a visit, with the intention, if he did not receive me upon an absolutely equal footing, as I could not be sure he would, to pretend not to notice, and afterwards to write to your Excellencies about the event and learn your good pleasure for the remainder of my embassy. I was not without the hope that in spite of the nature of his race he would decide to show me more honour when he found me ready to treat with such courtesy.
Accordingly, before any other ambassador, I sent my secretary to wish him welcome, as soon as he had arrived, informing him of my desire to kiss his hands and leaving it to him to decide when. He replied that in a day or two he would have seen the king and after that he would himself come and visit me. On the following day he received visits from the Ambassadors of France and Savoy. I sent the interpreter to ask what day and hour I could come. He said he was very busy that day, the next day he was going to public audience of the king, and the day after to a private and secret audience, and I might come the day after that. Accordingly I proposed to go and did not entertain the slightest suspicion of any difficulty.
But on one of the intervening days Father Maestro, the Spanish agent, came to visit me, and after passing compliments on his own behalf he told me in the ambassador's name that he fully intended to have a good understanding with me, but mindful of what had happened here before, and in order to remove all possible grounds of dispute, he desired to know my idea of how he ought to treat with me. I replied that I had such confidence in his prudence that I was also well informed about what had taken place I had decided to go and visit him, and I would trust to that freely. He continued to press for an exact reply about what I really desired, saying: Let us away with ceremony. I said I had not suggested the slightest difficulty but trusted to his inveterate good sense, and I hoped that he would not raise the question, but as he insisted I could only state that as the ambassador of your Serenity, it was only reasonable that I should be treated like the other ambassadors of crowned heads. At this the good father interrupted saying he did not think they could treat as equals. but the ambassador was far from thinking of any punctilio; he did not know if he had orders from Spain. He asked: Would you not admit a slight disparity with the Catholic king ? I replied that owing to the antiquity of her dominion, her liberty derived from God alone, as a virgin state, as recognised by the emperors and popes, the cardinals always giving your Serenity's ambassadors the title of Excellency, the republic had enjoyed for countless years the pre-eminence of kings, and in Spain itself his Catholic Majesty confers the same honour upon the ambassadors of the republic as upon those of crowned heads. I said that in this Court three Spanish ambassadors had dealt with Sig. Foscarini as an equal, including the Count of Gondomar himself. The Ambassadors of France also give us an equal title and the same rank as themselves.
He replied that he knew nothing of these examples, but that Gondomar certainly had not dealt with Foscarini as an equal. I retorted that if so, why did he raise any difficulty about treating Barbarigo in a different manner from Foscarini. At this he was silent, but afterwards he urged me to write to Venice. He asked me to cite as an example what was done at the Court of Rome. He intimated that some difficulty had arisen in France between the ambassadors of the emperor and of your Serenity. As regards the French ambassadors they speak their own language and use the word Monsieur. I replied that the French ambassador here generally speaks to me in Italian, and calls me Excellency, as he also does on the occasions when he speaks French.
He tried gently to persuade me to consent to a slight distinction; all would happen inside the walls of a single room. He intimated that if the question had not been raised now he would not have troubled about it. I told him that the ambassadors of the republic had not raised the point either now or previously, but their ambassador alone. I should have gone to visit him, and without saying anything simply trusted myself to his prudence. But now, seeing difficulties raised about visiting and being visited and already perceiving his intention to get me to make a bargain too prejudicial to my country I did not feel I could do other than beg him to use his prudence and not to be too scrupulous with an ambassador, who more than any one else dislikes these questions of punctilio and who desires to cherish good relations with him and serve him, and I enlarged in complimentary phrases.
The father replied with equal courtesy, offering his good offices and promising repeatedly to let me know the ambassador's decision. But after the usual Spanish fashion of promising much and doing little, the reply has not reached me. So I decided to send the secretary to hear it. He received the same opinions as I had heard from the father. The ambassador expressed his willingness to see me. He said: let the ambassador come; I shall not fail to treat him well, but it all amounted to a clear and distinct expression of his determination to remain superior in the title, and not to treat as an equal.
I could not see how to visit him and submit to a treatment so prejudicial to the interests and reputation of the most serene republic, and thus tacitly consent to some slight inferiority and formally yield the point by an express declaration, seeing Gondomar clearly intended not to treat me as an equal. If I yielded others might raise similar pretensions, since both the greater and the less seem only too much inclined to diminish the estimation of the most serene republic, against whose goodness and innocence the malice of many is only too great and deliberate, although unreasonable. I have sent word of all this to your Excellencies in order that you may send me such instructions as you consider the case may require, as the question is one of no small moment and worthy of consideration by the Senate. I beg them to pardon me for troubling them with this matter.
London, the 27th March, 1620.
[Italian.]
March 28.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
303. To the Ambassador in France.
The Duke of Ossuna has unexpectedly sent out by night a Flemish berton fully armed, with Uscocchi among its crew. Pilots for the Gulf went with it. They have orders to go to Cotrone, Gallipoli, Taranto and Otranto, while the necessary instructions will follow. It is thought to be going to the Gulf to keep up the uneasiness there. It is thought also that the two galleys which recently left Naples for Genoa may easily change their route and accompany it to go to Ragusa. Ossuna continues to draw up papers in his own justification to send to Spain, whence he expects to hear of the results of the offices of Don Ottavio of Aragon and the emperor's promises. On the other hand Cardinal Borgia lets it be understood that he will set out for Naples in a few days. He hopes that Ossuna will leave without waiting for him.
In Naples they think of nothing but providing money for Germany, but hitherto they have decided nothing. They cannot sell the royal places owing to numerous difficulties.
The Ragusans are scattering provisions for the Turks by land and sea, with the intention of infesting the shores of Apulia. Ossuna desires this in order to have a pretext for stopping at Naples.
We send this for information, to use when necessary.
The like to:
Spain, England, Savoy, Constantinople, Germany, Milan, Florence, Piazza, the Hague.
Ayes, 158.Noes, 0.Neutral, 2.
[Italian.]
March 28.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
304. GIROLAMO LANDO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
To-day Baron Bunynchausen has returned from Theobalds. By his importunity and zeal he has obtained a decision from the king, and if not entirely satisfied has obtained one in terms that afford him considerable relief. It will be consigned to him in writing by the secretaries to-morrow or the day after. He proposes to leave for France without delay. As this matter is kept most secretly among certain individuals I have not been able to discover it, but next week I hope to inform your Serenity.
In addition to what I wrote yesterday I have to add that the king will reach London to-morrow to give audience on Sunday to the Ambassador Gondomar, since whose arrival his Majesty has continually disclosed more and more inclination towards the interests of his son-in-law, certainly encouraging if not altogether accepting the ideas of the city and the clergy to advance him loans. To-morrow, I hear, they will decide about the loan from the city.
I have received three packets of letters from your Serenity. Two, of the 22nd, with news and the order to remove the word 'enemies' from the third article of the treaty with the States. I did so immediately in my copy. The third, of the 28th, with orders to inform his Majesty of the favourable turn of affairs at Medole, which I will execute at the earliest opportunity. I rejoice to hear that spark has been extinguished and pray that God may long keep the heavens serene in our parts.
London, the 28th March, 1620.
[Italian.]
March 28.
Senato,
Mar.
Venetian
Archives.
305. Whereas Marco Anzolo Viaro has besought that an English berton namen Nademe, bought by him may be made Venetian, being built of wood, well armed, swift, adapted for war and could be usefully employed in the fleet, as shown by the remarks of the Proveditori and Patrons of the Arsenal and the Proveditori of the fleet, though experts say that it lacks 24 of the 600 tons required by the laws, though its displacement exceeds the amount: that notwithstanding this shortage the ship be made Venetian, provided she be manned with Venetian sailors as enjoined by the laws, and shall enjoy the privileges of ships built in this city.
Ayes, 143.Noes, 9.Neutral, 14.
On the 21st March in the Collegio.
Ayes, 19.Noes, 1.Neutral, 1.
[Italian.]
March 29.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Spagna.
Venetian
Archives.
306. PIERO CONTARINI. Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Two ships have left Lisbon and two others are getting ready in order to take word to the Indies of the union of the English and Dutch fleets destined for these parts. In order to arm their fleet better, which is to leave next month, they have given leave to enlist foreign troops, a thing previously strictly forbidden.
Madrid, the 29th March, 1620.
[Italian.]
March 31.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
307. ANZOLO CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the DOGE and SENATE.
When I was conversing with the English ambassador upon current affairs in Germany, he told me two things in confidence, one that he was going very shortly to Fontainebleau to make representations to his Majesty to this effect, that the King of England wished for a declaration whether the war of Germany was understood as a war of religion or of state. If of religion his Majesty would not suffer any prejudice to the Protestants, as it was equally his intention that the Catholics should be well treated, and that every one should enjoy full liberty; he had exhorted his son-in-law in Bohemia not to do any harm to the Catholic religion, but rather to favour it, permitting the celebration of the ancient rites. If it was a war of state, it behoved the king of France to observe a strict neutrality, necessary to one who might be an arbiter in the affair, and so relieve others from the necessity of making a declaration, because there is no doubt that if France leaned to one side others would lean to the other, so that the fire would not be extinguished but inflamed.
The other thing the ambassador communicated was that the object of his representation was not only to induce the King of France to abstain from assisting the emperor, but to create an opportunity for the King of England to be asked also to join in arranging a settlement, a thing which his master greatly desires.
The ambassador informed me in the strictest confidence that his king had an extraordinary passion for peace and detested disturbances; he has no money, and what matters more, he will not ask for any from his subjects. In the absence of this commodity, which is one of the chief sinews of war, he will try negotiation and give up all idea of fighting. (Che il Re, suo signore inclinato extraordinariamente alla pace, et aborrisca i travagli; non ha denari e quel ch' importa più, non vuol demandarne a'sudditi, e mancandogli questo istrumento, nervo, ch'e principale nelle guerre, tenterà il negotio, e abbandonera l'arme.) Nevertheless he is very anxious that the ambassadors for Germany (fn. 10) should leave here as soon as possible. He is instructed to urge this most strongly and repeatedly, so that an armistice may be arranged and negotiations begun. They will deal with four points, so the ambassador told me: first, that the Palatinate be made a kingdom; that the present King of Bohemia renounce his vote for the emperor to the Duke of Bavaria, and only keep his vote as Elector Palatine, a satisfaction designed to allay the suspicions of the world that they want to elect an emperor who is not a Catholic. Thirdly, that some territories now incorporated in the kingdom of Bohemia and adjacent to the Palatinate, shall be annexed to the Palatinate. Finally, that Upper and Lower Austria, Styria, Carinthia, the Tyrol and Alsace shall be reserved and guarded for the emperor, all provinces that threatened to withdraw from Ferdinand. Your Serenity may have heard these ideas from elsewhere, but they are not unlikely since the irresolution of that king leads him to prudence and a desire to temporise with negotiations, rather than a determination to take greater and more vigorous action.
Paris, the 31st March, 1620.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
March 31.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Savoia.
Venetian
Archives.
308. ZUANE PESARO, Venetian Ambassador in Savoy, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The agent of the King of Great Britain has expressed his suspicions to me that the French wish to invade the Palatinate, and if the Most Christian king expresses his intention of doing any such thing, his master will declare himself very strongly.
This minister believes that the fleet which is being prepared in France is entirely for the service of the emperor. The embassy will do no good since the French will not recognise the Palatine as king; the ambassador will be repudiated, as the new king has done with the ministers of his own father-in-law. If they wish to profit under the pretext of religion, acting against the very interests of one who gave the crown to the house of Bourbon, let them do so by all means without seeking for vain pretexts. This minister seems very hot. He speaks of some declaration from his master, but one must judge by results.
Turin, the last day of March, 1620.
[Italian.]
March 31.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Signori Stati.
Venetian
Archives.
309. CHRISTOFFORO SURIAN, Venetian Secretary in the Netherlands, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Their High Mightinesses propose to send an embassy to England to give satisfaction to the king about negotiating upon the fishery question, but it will not be just yet. They thought it best, however, to confirm his Majesty in his opinions upon this point, and have written to their ambassador to perform an office with the king to that effect. They also prayed the Ambassador Carleton to do as much, and he promised to write. They hope to stay his Majesty for the present by representing the condition of Germany, because it deserves attention as concerning the general interests.
His Excellency was very glad to hear that Rocalaura and his troops were remaining in the service of the most serene republic. He told me that as Vere was returning to Venice he would send word to Rocalaura to do his utmost for the republic. I have told Verc of the satisfaction given by his offer. I have not discovered anything about his wishes except that he wanted the post of Colonel, an old claim. He says he does not ask for a higher wage than he now recoives as Lieutenant Colonel, but he desires the honour. When he arrives your Serenity will be able to gather what he wants and do what seems to you best.
Amsterdam, the 31st March, 1620.
[Italian.]

Footnotes

1 Carleton had a special audience of the Assembly on the subject on Friday, the 13th March, to which he received a reply in general terms. He also spoke to the members of the Assembly privately afterwards. One of them told him that "he put small difference betwixt prosecuting this difference and denouncing of war." Letters from and to Sir Dudley Carleton, page 447.
2 For money lent by Queen Elizabeth to the provinces. According to Trumbull's account the towns shuffled a great deal to avoid payment. The claim surprised them because they thought the bonds which the English resident presented had been lost in the fire at Whitehall. They first objected that the money was for jewels pawned to Queen Elizabeth. They afterwards made three formal objections of a different character, (1) that the deputies who contracted the debt had not been lawfully chosen, (2) even if they had been they could not so charge the country without a special commission from their superiors, and (3) no debt incurred could be valid without the approbation of their prince. Trumbull's despatches of 26 Feb./7 March and 14/24 March, 1620. State Papers. Foreign. Flanders.
3 The same entry occurs in the series, Senato, Secreta. Deliberazioni. Costantinopoli.
4 The reference is to a dispute between Pesaro and a Spanish cavalior at the Savoyard Court named Don Luigi Osorio. It arose from an accident that occurred at a masqued ball and threatened to develop into a very serious affair. Wake evidently thought that Pesaro made far too much out of a very slight affair but to prevent further mischief arising he had a special interview with the duke. As a consequence the duke ordered the arrest of Osorio, a course at which Pesaro expressed his complete satisfaction. State Papers. Foreign. Savoy. Letter of Wake to Calvert 21/31 March, 1620.
5 As he was passing from the Council chamber over the terrace to go to the great chamber. The Earl of Arundel hurt his face and Lord Gerard and Lord Grey were also injured, but two of the guard saved the ambassador from falling. Letter of Chamberlain to Carleton the 20th March, 1619, old style. State Papers, Domestic, CXIII. No. 32.
6 Sir Robert Anstruther.
7 The bishops of Durham and Winchester. See Cal. S. P. Dom., 1619–23. p. 132.
8 Proclamation of Feb. 25th. old style. Cal. S. P. Dom. 1619–23, page 125.
9 Venetian style, or 1616 by the Gregorian Calendar. The letter is given in Vol. XIV. of this Calendar, No. 162, at pages 115, 116.
10 The ambassadors chosen wore the Duke of Augoulêmo (Charles of Valois, Count of Auvergne), the Count of Bé thune and Charles de l'Aubespine, Sieur de Préaux.