Venice
May 1620, 1-9

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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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245-252

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'Venice: May 1620, 1-9', Calendar of State Papers Relating to English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 16: 1619-1621 (1910), pp. 245-252. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=88756 Date accessed: 19 September 2014.


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Contents

May 1620

May 1.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Costantinopoli.
Venotian
Archives.
342. ALMORO NANI, Venetian Ambassador at Constantinople, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The new English ambassador paid his first visit to the Pasha, who received him in very ordinary fashion, as he did not even take the trouble to put on a robe. This is all I am able to say about the affairs, as at present it is very difficult to obtain information.
The Vigne of Pera, the 1st May, 1620.
[Italian; deciphered.]
May 2.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Costantinopoli.
Venetian
Archives.
343. To the Bailo at Constantinople.
We send you a copy of the letter to our captain of the armed ships about clearing the sea of pirates. We wish you to make representations to one of the officials saying that all our expenses for this purpose are useless if these rascals find a place of refuge in the Sultan's fortresses. You will keep us fully informed about the negotiations with the Imperialists for a truce and do everything in your power to prevent it, acting, when you see fit, in conjunction with the Ambassadors of the States and England. We enclose a letter from the King of England of great interest, which directs his ambassador to afford every assistance to our affairs. You will speak to the ambassador as you judge best, returning hearty thanks to his Majesty for his interest in our affairs.
Ayes, 141.Noes, 2.Neutral, 5.
[Italian.]
May 2.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archivos.
344. To the Ambassador at Rome and the like to the other Courts.
There may possibly be something said that in England our ambassador and the Spanish ambassador do not visit each other and hitherto have had no relations, and, as is usually the case, this has been represented to the advantage of others and against us, the real reasons being suppressed. We therefore think it befits the public service that you should be fully informed of everything, and we enclose a copy of the letter of our ambassador, which you can use as your prudence may suggest For the same purpose we enclose what we are writing to the ambassador on the subject.
To Spain add: You will also do your best to discover whether the Ambassador Gondomar had any instructions on the subject, and send us word of any particulars.
Ayes, 147.Noes, 0.Neutral, 4.
[Italian.]
May 5.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Savoia.
Venetian
Archives
345. ZUANE PESARO, Venetian Ambassador in Savoy, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The duke told me that with regard to the troops the Contador had come here, and Navarra wished them to go through Burgundy and Lorraine, apparently to Flanders. The English resident has tried to find out the exact number of these troops. He was told there were 3,000, one half Lombards and one half Spaniards. The duke informed me that they were negotiating for 3,000 foot now but there would be 7,000, namely 4,000 Italians, 1,000 Spaniards, 1,300 of the king's terzo and the rest private horse.
The English resident has earnestly requested that these men may not pass by the valley of Aosta as by that route they would approach too closely to Geneva, the Bernese and the Pays du Vaud, as well as the Margrave of Baden. In gaining this point he thought he had done a great deal both in serving these friends and in adding three days to the journey to be performed by the men. (fn. 1)
Turin, the 5th May, 1620.
[Italian.]
May 5.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Savoia.
Venetian
Archives.
346. ZUANE PESARO, Venetian Ambassador in Savoy, to the DOGE and SENATE.
A gentleman has come to the English agent here from Bohemia, with letters for the duke from the king and the Princes of the Union. They ask that Spanish troops may not be allowed to pass through this state to help the emperor. Upon this point the duke said that the resident himself might reply. He knew of the old and new conventions with the Spaniards. If the King of Great Britain would declare himself, he would not only refuse the pass but make other declarations.
The minister himself says that up to the present the princes have no cause to complain of the duke, as he has done nothing worth mentioning for the house of Austria; he would not even publish a manifesto against the Palatine, which would have meant nothing. I find that the secretary was sent to report a most excellent disposition in the duke towards the affairs of Germany; that he will march in line with the King of Great Britain, but without a declaration and without assistance he cannot and will not move. That the troops which pass through will arrive very late and practically scattered, and he expresses the opinion that once Italy is free from the troops invasion will be easier, with the ultimate intention, guided by the replies from Spain and the certitude of peace in this province, of sending them troops.
The same agent confided to me that he could not prevent the passage of the Spanish troops, but by his instructions he was rather to favour it. He added that the duke told him that the French advised him to consent, but the Spaniards did not need such offers since the duke has always shown himself most ready to satisfy them.
This minister communicated many important particulars to me. The new diet had been opened at Prague when the king bound himself to maintain from his hereditary dominions 8,000 foot and 12 guns for the defence of that kingdom to the end of the war. Gabor has a good understanding with the Bohemians, having sent his troops to serve them, and he wished the United Provinces to enter the truce with Cæsar and procure a general armistice, but the States refused. The Cossacks helping the emperor are men expelled by the King of Poland to save the Turks from trouble, all the blame lying with the emperor's brother Charles who as a subject of the Palatine for the bishopric of Breslau (Vratislava) will be called upon to render account, and if he does not appear he will be declared a rebel. Liberty of religion will be granted and the subject bishops will receive the best treatment. The Bohemian army will direct its attention to prevent the passage of fresh troops and to occupy the pass of Paxo as the most important. The Duke of Saxony has declared himself neutral, and has offered to England and the States General a passage through his dominions for all the troops they may send to help the Bohemians; so they will have a very short journey to Bohemia if they land at Hamburg, one of the Hanse towns.
He told me a great deal about the help which the English have disposed for the service of the Palatinate. All eyes in his country were directed that way; he and his descendants were the star in the east of their kingdom so long as the prince remained unmarried and childless, and the king could not prevent this, everything being done with his Majesty's permission.
The duke, however, told me that the latest advices brought word of the withdrawal of the help, and that the ambassador of the Princes of the Union had left in high dudgeon. Your Excellencies will hear the truth from the proper source.
The agent added that the French seem to be behaving well, as they have sent word to his master of the instructions they are giving to their ambassadors for Germany, so that his Majesty may make additions and alterations and both sovereigns may act together for the welfare of Germany.
At the same time this minister is not without some misgivings that the Spanish forces may be about to attack the Palatinate with assistance from the French, notwithstanding the declaration made, because although the men are directed towards Flanders they could easily join others for that undertaking. He said that would amount to a declaration of war upon England and would light a conflagration in France from Calais to Marseilles, intimating disturbances among those of the religion.
He further said that the Spaniards seem to be arming in order to break the truce with the Dutch, but the Most Christian king and his master will work for its prolongation.
The duke seems anxious for the conclusion of the marriage between the Spanish princess and the Prince of Wales, but this does not prevent him from proposing that if it should fall through he hopes his Majesty will graciously confer the honour upon one of the infantas here, and declares he is ready to spend as much as 200,000l. sterling, so the agent intimated to me.
Turin, the 5th May, 1620.
[Italian.]
May 6.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian Archives.
347. To the Ambassador at Rome.
We enclose a copy of what our Ambassador in France, Contarini writes about the representations made by Gueffier since his return to the French Court about the affairs of the Grisons, especially against the interests of our republic, together with a copy of our instructions to the ambassador on the subject. We wish this to serve for information to be used as you may think our service requires.
The like to the following:
Spain, England, Savoy, Germany, The Hague, Zurich, Milan, Naples, Piazza, Florence.
Ayes, 103.Noes, 0.Neutral, 2.
[Italian.]
May 7.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Provoditore
della
Armata.
Venetian
Archives.
348. ANTONIO CIURAN, Proveditori of the Fleet, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The exigencies of the public service have compelled me to go to Zara, where I communicated your Serenity's orders to the Proveditore Zorzi and embarked 150 of the troops of Colonel Peyton, sending 100 to the custody of the two galeasses remaining at Liesina for lack of the necessary provisions. When the Captain Pisani of the galeasses returned I told him of this, and that he might use the remaining 50 to reinforce the light galleys, taking them all back to their garrison when the present necessity has passed.
The galley at sea off il Sansegno, the 7th May, 1620.
[Italian.]
May 8.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
349. GIROLAMO LANDO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The collection for the new King of Bohemia does not exceed the amount of 13,000l. sterling made in this city. It remains to see what the clergy, the nobles and the country will do. The idea of the king is for others to act, but he does not wish to do anything open for the present. He wishes to encourage his subjects and cultivate the disposition of others and without involving himself to endeavour to sustain and satisfy his son-in-law as well as possible. His most intimate ministers freely say that if his Majesty declared himself the war would become one of religion the day after and he would have no further opportunities for negotiating the accommodation which he aims at, and that can be more easily arranged when the parties fighting have become tired of the expense and travail and of the destruction of their own states, while they would be invigorated by powerful external assistance.
For the war it seems that they have special designs upon the King of Denmark, and I have discovered that under cover of that monarch they think of levies from these kingdoms, and for greater secrecy the arrangement will pass not under the name of his Majesty but of the Prince of Wales. However, all these things are far off and not fully matured, and concern the future more than the present, when the need is not considered so great. Perhaps they are only intended to cherish and keep alive the hopes of the new king and not to offend the confederate princes, friendly to this Crown.
Upon the question of a composition they seem to be waiting for the King of France to send a copy of his instructions to his ambassadors, but meanwhile nothing happens. They say either the embassy will be sent with insincere intent or else that the Most Christian wishes to make the accommodation alone although he professes that he will do nothing without his Majesty, and without his authority and intervention the new king would not agree to co-operate at any time. Such emulation is an idea thoroughly rooted in this Court, and there is no lack of ministers in France who would like to kindle a conflagration between the two crowns, while the grains of dissatisfaction about the affair of the tournament and the Spanish ambassador, help to nourish ill feeling between the French and this nation.
The reply recently arrived from France upon this last question stated that the ambassador here makes no special demonstration of his feelings on the subject, but in an underhand way he contrives to convey that the matter is serious, while at the same time he maintains a good understanding with the Spanish ambassador, and it already shows that in France they suspect that all this discussion has arisen in order to strike a blow at the chain which unites France and Spain. They are now trying to heal the wound, and are devising honours to satisfy the French ambassador. Many of the leading nobles and favourites of his Majesty have called upon him recently, people who are accustomed to weigh and measure the visits and compliments which they pay in very delicate scales.
Yesterday, for the feast of St. George they celebrated the annual solemnity of the order of the Garter at Greenwich, when they invited the French ambassador to see it and also to dinner. The Ambassador of Bohemia and I were also invited, but no others. This is no ordinary invitation. However, France did not come, studiously professing himself somewhat offended. (fn. 2) Neither did the Ambassador of Bohemia attend, but at the ceremony the coat of his master was shown and a place left vacant for him, as is customary in the case of any knight of the order who happens to be absent, just as if he were there. His Majesty has not yet decided whether the coat should be shown as that of a king, because the title was given to him not as king but as Count Palatine, and because they do not know what place he should take as regards the King of Denmark, who belongs to the order also. Accordingly I went alone, and received great honour, being embraced by the king, the prince and all the Cavaliers with great affection. I greatly enjoyed the curious ceremony as well as the very remarkable joviality at the Banquet.
With regard to the Spanish marriage, great artifice has been employed in the selection of the ten Commissioners of whom I wrote. They have excluded some of the leading ministers such as the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Marquis of Buckingham and others. It is thought that all the parties are merely playing a game and only contending as to who shall prove the cleverest at negotiation. This feeling arises on this side not from a lack of desire but from the absence of hope and because they have no confidence in the sincerity of the Spaniards' proceedings although they ask nothing of them that might not readily be granted and propose conditions which cannot be rejected.Accordingly the king, although favourably inclined, and greatly delighting in Gondomar's suave and plausible demeanour, does not venture to disclose himself completely as yet nor can he proceed with the absolute frankness and decision required for actually closing the question, precisely because he fears that some poisonous snake of artifice lurks hidden beneath these lovely flowers (si va credendo et comprendendo più tosto che ogn'uno attenda fin hora a burlarsi et non ad altro più, che a contendere di accutezza et finezza di negotio, cio nascendo da questa parte, non per manca-menti di desiderio, ma per difetto di speranza, et per non fidarsi, che da Spagnoli con sincerityà si proceda; tutto che loro non dimandino cose se non grandemente concessibili, et conditioni che non possono rejettarsi. Onde il Re, benche ben moso et che molto s'indolcisca nella bella et soave maniera di Gondomar, non ardisce pero d'intieramente scuoprisi anchora, ne può procedere con quella intiera franchezza e risolutione che allo stringere da dovero sarebbe necessaria; dubbitandosi a punto che sotto cosi vaghi fiori vi ha nascosto alcuno nocivo serpe d'artificio).
The day before yesterday the secretary of the agent Wake (fn. 3) came with great diligence from Savoy. It appears that his Highness wishes to follow in his Majesty's footsteps in the present conjuncture and not to declare before he does for the new king. He also wishes to know if he is sure to have the support of these realms for his own defence. He makes proposals to offer his cavalry, considered here as the best now to be found in Christendom. He intimates that he will also send Prince Tomaso. From all this I gather that he would willingly throw in his lot with this country and the States, and would pave a way for a marriage, his principal aim. He expresses opinions which will give great satisfaction here, not only from an appreciation of his renowned valour, but more for having a Catholic prince on the side of the King of Bohemia, which by itself and by the spirit which it would arouse in others would do away with any notion of calling it a war of religion.
However, it is understood that Prince Filiberto has again gone to Spain, and that his Highness is simultaneously negotiating with the emperor for a marriage, so they suspect that his negotiations have no other object in view than his own interests.
Sir James Magdonel has returned of his own accord to his Majesty's feet, a person of quality who fled to Brussels some years ago. His return is due more to the very scanty entertainment he received from the Spaniards, which did not nearly correspond to the promises made to him, than to any hope he has from his Majesty here. However, he will profit by the king's great natural clemency and by his pardon. If he is not allowed to return to Scotland he will at least have liberty to go about in this kingdom. (fn. 4)
Your Serenity's letters of the 4th and 9th ult. reached me somewhat late this week. I will try to execute the commissions upon the affair of Constantinople with all promptitude. Yesterday's ceremony allowed me no opportunity of speaking with the king on the subject, but I hope that it was not altogether useless to me, even so.
London, the 8th May, 1620.
[Italian.]
May 8.
Inquisitori
di Stato,
Riferte
varie.
Venetian
Archives.
350. Advices given to the Spanish Ambassador.
They said that a letter had been read from the Ambassador of the republic in England saying that on going to audience he had congratulated the king, insincerely, upon having made the marriage alliance with Spain. The king told the ambassador that it was not true, that thank God he was a king not for the purpose of being deceived, but rather to deceive those who wished to deceive him (il detto Re rispose al ambasciatore che non era vero tal cosa, et che per la gratia di Dio era Re, non già per esser inganato ma si bene per inganare chi lo vol inganar a lui). The ambassador wrote this with other circumstances.
[Italian.]
May 9.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Roma.
Venetian
Archives
351. GIROLAMO SORANZO, Venetian Ambassador at Rome, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The extraordinary imperial ambassador entered here with great pomp. I have called upon him and was received very worthily. We treated as equals. I have heard what took place upon this point in England, and previously I received detailed information from the Ambassador Lando, to whom I have sent word of what took place between me and the Spanish ambassador here.
The defeat inflicted by Bucquoi upon the Bohemian horse is much exaggerated here, both in its extent and in the number of the slain and the booty taken by the Imperialists. The Bohemians have received a severe check, and as no declaration appears from the King of England in favour of his son-in-law. they have some hope here that the latter may withdraw and yield the kingdom of Bohemia to Caesar. The wiser and more disinterested, however, think that the affair becomes blacker every day and that both sides will have their fill of vexation.
Rome, the 9th May, 1620.
[Italian.]
May 9.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Firenze.
Venetian
Archives.
352. GIOVANNI FRANCESCO TRIVISAN, Venetian Secretary in Florence, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Nothing has been said here so far about what took place at the visit of the Ambassador Lando to the Catholic ambassador in England. In any case, if the subject crops up in conversation I will avail myself of the information sent to me to explain the facts of the case.
Florence, the 9th May, 1620.
[Italian.]
May 9.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Zara.
Venetian
Archives.
353. ALVISE ZORZI, Proveditori of Zara, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The Proveditore of the fleet Ciuran has arrived here bringing orders from your Serenity to remove the English troops of Colonel Peyton from here to strengthen the galleys. I immediately selected 150 of the best under two captains and have put them on board the Proveditore's boats, and so he has returned towards the Quarnero with the intention of passing to the leeward. These soldiers have been paid until the 5th inst., although the money to pay them has not yet arrived, but I gave them their money for the whole of the present month, in order to remove every difficulty in the way of their embarking.
Zara, the 9th May, 1620.
[Italian.]

Footnotes

1 Through Wake's opposition the Duke of Savoy insisted that the Spanish troops should take the Mont Cenis route and proceed to Burgundy by way of Chambery and Pont Gresin. Navarra is the Spanish Secretary, and the Contador Don Juan Aissan, Contador General of the State of Milan. Wake's despatch of the 2/12 May, 1620. State Papers, Foreign. Savoy.
2 According to Salvetti the French ambassador stayed away from fear of meeting the Ambassador of the new King of Bohemia, and of having to recognise him as such. Letter of the 8th May, 1620. Brit. Mus. Add. MSS. 27962A.
3 John Jacob, sent with Wake's letters of 7/17 April. See State Papers, Foreign. Savoy.
4 Sir James Macdonall is now on his way towards England, as his antagonist, the Earl of Argyle, is coming hitherward from Spain. He is permitted by his Majesty to go into England by the intercession of my Lord Marquis Hamilton and some other friend. By which counterpoise, his Majesty (if Sir James prove an honest man) may keep the Highlands of Scotland in quietness and obedience. Letter of Trumbull of the 17th March N.S. State Papers, Foreign. Flanders.