Venice
October 1620, 2-8

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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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420-430

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'Venice: October 1620, 2-8', Calendar of State Papers Relating to English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 16: 1619-1621 (1910), pp. 420-430. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=88769 Date accessed: 23 July 2014.


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October 1620

Oct. 2.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
564. GIROLAMO LANDO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
I see how easily here they forget or put aside the execution even of the most important affairs, more particularly at the present crisis, when the great mass of business disgusts them, and the delights of the chase break in upon all attempts at application. However, I have not slackened in my solicitude and in conformity with the promises made to me by the king they have issued orders to encourage the Grisons and Swiss, as I have availed myself in particular of the goodwill of the Secretary Naunton, who has proved an excellent spur and an executor at the same time. He it was who obtained the commissions from his Majesty, and on receiving them he carried them into effect without delay, in answering Mr. Wake at Turin and recommending the letter to the master of the posts here, since the ordinary had left three days before, so that they might go without delay by a safer and quicker route. In substance the letters state that his Majesty highly praises his agent for his good offices, and commands him to continue the same with diligence, exhorting the Grisons and Swiss to defend their liberty boldly with the sword and to try to recover what has been lost, showing their peculiar and ancient valour, so often displayed for other princes. With regard to a declaration he suggests that he has been urged by Carleton from the Hague in the name of your Excellencies, but that on this subject and all other particulars I had already spoken and acted with him sufficiently, and he had given me answer and every satisfaction possible.
I communicated to the same secretary what your Excellencies committed to me in your letters of the 4th and 11th, September so that he might bring it all before the knowledge of his Majesty, giving him a particular account of the descent of the Swiss to the relief of the Grisons, of the long engagement ending in the rout of the rebels and the Spaniards, and the capture of Bormio. I drew his attention to the importance of the capture and told him of the order of your Excellencies to the most Excellent Paruta to supply them with men, arms, food and munitions with the object of the complete restitution of the Valtelline to the Grisons, and the establishment of peace. I concluded that the most serene republic would not fail to play her part with all the means that she might consider necessary, only she could not sustain the burden alone, but if every one did what was expected of them, great benefits might be anticipated. This was the more necessary because the Spaniards and Leopold were constantly increasing their forces.
This same fashion of imparting information to the secretary from time to time in the course of a few weeks, will in my opinion, be the best way, in order not to annoy his Majesty by asking for fresh audiences, which he abhors by nature, as in this way we can continue the offices and keep up the confidential relations. Accordingly I shall follow this plan, especially as your Excellencies have left the matter to my judgment. I hope that my poor efforts will not prejudice the public interests, as the earnestness and zeal so far displayed by me certainly have not proved impertinent and have not gone so far as to try the king's satisfaction or that of the ministers, in fact I venture to say that without his Majesty little or nothing would have been done. But for some days it will be as well to lie quiet.
At the first opportunity I will present to his Majesty the letters of your Serenity about Colonel Peyton, whose interests greatly concern the king and some of the ministers. So in any case I believe that any satisfaction and honours received by him will create a good impression here.
The affair of the Turkish fleet at Manfredonia excites the ill affected to the wildest maledictions and slanders against the innocent republic, some going so far as to say that her galleys joined those of the Captain Pasha. (fn. 1) What distresses me most is that not only the Spaniards but another of the ambassadors also speaks upon this subject with little reserve. I do not fail to speak out in the sense indicated by your Excellencies, and the well disposed, the more prudent and dispassionate approve. When the news first arrived some said at once that the Turks had been stirred up by Ossuna. As malignity allows no room for reason it looks so far as if they were growing angry because their slanders and the evil seed they scatter about do not produce the results they would like in this country, which is so disposed to love your Serenity.
The Viscount de Lormes, who was sent here a while ago by the Secretary Suriano, is having frequent conferences with the Marquis of Buckingham, although he tells me that it is only about the sale of some secrets he has about artificial fireworks, machines of war and other things. It gives me some suspicion either that he wishes to renew negotiation over his business or else that he may run into peril of his own life. So I thought it best to urge him to return to the Hague where he can rejoin Pasini, and afterwards proceed with greater facility, either to Venice, or to Sus, to rejoin the pirates, which would seem the better course as they are no longer in Barbary. I have sent a full account of all this to the Secretary Suriano.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Oct. 2.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
565. GIROLAMO LANDO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
News has recently come from Bohemia that Bucquoi has suffered a serious reverse, Dampier being almost completely destroyed. Owing to this, Saxony and Bavaria have withdrawn. This is a solace to the troubles of Germany, from whence we learn that the United Princes have inflicted considerable damage on the country of Mayence, and that the soldiers of Vere have joined them in the Palatinate with the Walloon cavalry of Prince Henry of Nassau, all burning to fall in with Spinola. The latter, however, by the capture of four important places, continues to advance further in the conquest of that country, which he secures with good fortifications.
Here they fear that the purpose of practically all the Catholics is to beat the Protestants in Germany, Bohemia, Switzerland, the Grisons, France, in the Low Countries with the root of the Armenians and possibly here also and in the kingdoms of Scotland and Ireland, by some internal machinations. They make the most urgent representations to his Majesty on every hand, especially on the part of the States. Their ambassador and the Ambassador of Bohemia have spoken very freely, the latter remarking that now his Majesty seems so suspicious about sending men to help his son-in-law against the Spaniards, though he was not so suspicious in the affairs of Juliers, in which his own general and 6,000 foot were engaged. Although many ministers continually spur him on and they have shown him letters from his representatives abroad, from lords and individual Englishmen, who write that they wish they were dead, so that they might not hear the opprobrium and the unworthy attributes cast upon their nation throughout the world at this time, and the hard blows showered upon their king, who was always considered most prudent, yet he can never really make up his mind upon anything (ben che molti ministri continuamente la spronino e che le siino mostrate anche lettere e di suoi Rapresentanti fuori e di Signori e particolari Inglesi che scrivino non vorrebbono esser vivi per non sentire gl'obbrobrii e li attributi indegni per tutto il mondo dati alla natione in questo tempo, e li gran colpi dricciati contro il loro Re, che sempre fu stimato prudentissimo; egli a nulla veramente si risolve). Thus to a letter written to him by the Duke of Deuxponts from Heidelberg, whereof I enclose a copy, with a translation from the French, for those of your Excellencies who care to see it, he has not even yet sent a reply, and the good spirits which seemed to be roused in him at the news of the first assault upon the Palatinate seem now quite damped by the artifices of the Spaniards and of those at his side who support their interests; but even more certainly because of his especial genius to keep as far as possible removed from the complications and toils of actual war. Thus although the Ambassador Caron suggests that he has made some promise of money to the Ambassador of Bohemia and told me that he hoped it would amount to about 80,000l. and as his Majesty has no credit here, they propose to obtain it at Amsterdam upon jewels, whereof this crown has abundance or upon some other security, I have not yet found any proof of this and I believe that it has been suggested merely to profit the affairs of Bohemia and to keep matters flourishing. Thus I hear that the king is now going in great detail into the accounts of what he has done for his son-in-law, the troops levied here, the money paid, the collections made and being made, which he professes amount to the sum of 100,000l. sterling, of the other 100,000l. sent and obtained as a loan from the King of Denmark, whereof the sum already reported has been paid. So his Majesty considers that he has quite done the share which could be expected from him.
The Ambassador of the States confesses that he does not really believe he will declare himself any more at present, but hopes he will do so after a while. He bases his belief on the king's conversation, which certainly is very different from what it was, and upon the apparent decline of his hopes about the marriage, since the courier Riva has returned of the Ambassador Gondomar, although the latter keeps up his artifice by a thousand devices. It transpires, however, that they think little about the business in Spain.
The Ambassador Dohna now receives frequent audiences. He was to have one yesterday at Theobalds. There has been no time to learn what success he had. A meeting of all the Councillors has been announced for Sunday at Hampton Court. They think it is about this affair. But his Majesty has already declared that he will never accept advice about making peace and war, but only about the manner of maintaining one or the other, whichever may seem good to him. (Ma si e già dichiarata Sua Maestà di non voler mai restare consigliata del far pace o guerra, ma solo del modo del mantenere o l'una o l'altra, quando a lei para proprio.)
A certain number of the other 2,000 soldiers are crossing the sea in groups, to join the first with Vere, but they go slowly because money is short. The captains appointed over them raise loud and noisy complaints against the Ambassador Dohna because of so much delay.
The twenty ships have left the Downs and gone to the isle of Wight, still on the coasts of this realm. It is thought that they will continue their voyage with no further instructions than the original ones against the pirates. However, they may easily do something yet if they like. Those who wish to see them engaged upon other things say that this year, with the advantage they enjoy of entering the ports of Spain, the English may easily render themselves thoroughly acquainted with the country and coasts, so that at another time they may do something noteworthy against their natural enemies. I have some inkling that the Spaniards propose to get the French also to join this fleet. In this way they would tacitly arrange a league between the three crowns, at least to all appearance, although without articles or terms. Also that they propose to kindle some dispute between the English and the Dutch. This might not prove so difficult owing to the rivalry now existing between the two nations because of the events in the East Indies.
The Ambassador Wotton writes from Vienna (fn. 2) that he had proposed four articles to the emperor. First, that his Majesty should agree to some negotiations for peace. Second, that he should inform the king his master of his rights in the present affairs. Third, that he should decide to make a truce, and fourth that he should allow couriers to pass freely between Vienna and Prague. He received a satisfactory reply to the first, second and fourth, the emperor seeming inclined to an accommodation, and consigning to him two long papers with a full account of all his rights, while allowing the couriers to take only the ambassador's letters. But his Majesty would not consent to a truce, having already engaged his reputation too far, and in any case he could not agree to one without the concurrence of his allies and those who are interested for him or without previous knowledge of the decision and settled will of the Palatine. Wotton has informed the French ambassadors of all this, and with them he has written letters to Bohemia to the Ambassadors Cornuuals and Vueston and in their absence to Sir [Francis] Nedersol, his Majesty's agent. The news reached the king yesterday by express courier, and beyond a doubt it will remove him still further from all thoughts of a declaration, because he will consider it a good opening for peace negotiations, which he has constantly said and still says that he will keep in view, a disposition by which the Spaniards know well how to profit. Meanwhile we learn that the King of Bohemia is fully resolved to lose the Palatinate and life itself rather than give up that kingdom. Some persons, who speak fair suspect that this will not fail to give rise to proposals, which, if not embraced by the king, may bring him into disfavour with his Majesty here, involving the worst consequences. (Alcuno di buon discorso sospetta che non mancheranno di far nascere partiti, che non abbracciati da esso Re, possino farlo capitare nella disgratia di questa Maestà, con pessime consequenze.)
London, the 2nd October, 1620.
[Italian.]
Enclosed in
the preceding
despatch.
566. Letter of the COUNT PALATINE to the KING OF ENGLAND.
Sire, at the same moment I have received two things absolutely contradictory. The first is the answer given by the Archduke Albert to the ambassadors of your Majesty, stating that the emperor and he had formed an army for the emperor's service, but had not yet decided how to employ it. The second is the declaration made by the archduke to the Princes of the Union that the army has been formed by the emperor against the Palatinate. Your ambassadors are witnesses that the moment they had given this answer they sent the army towards the hereditary dominions of your children. This is how the house of Austria and Spain puts into practice its professions of friendship towards your Majesty. My kinship and obligations to this electoral house, my affection for the well being of your children, lead me to speak freely and say that since the archduke and Spain have resolved to despoil your children, it is more than time that you made up your mind to thwart such pernicious designs by the powers which God has placed in your hands. The use of the imperial power is quite unjustifiable as the whole difficulty lies with the Archduke of Austria and not with the chief of the empire. It is still more unjust for the emperor to pose as a judge in the matter, which is an abuse of the authority of the empire. I humbly beg your Majesty to maintain the rights, the innocence, honour and dignity of your children. The whole of the Evangelical Religion and Germanic liberty are interested therein. Your Majesty has three courses open; to send a large force of troops; to supply a large sum of money, and to create a prompt diversion in Flanders. The first requires much time, the second is necessary and the third seems the most proper and useful. Your Majesty will please excuse this overture. It is the same as the United Princes have made in their recent letters.
JOHN, Count Palatine.
Heidelberg, the 17th August, 1620.
[French.]
Oct. 2.
Inquisitori di
Stato.
Busta 442.
Venetian
Archives.
567. GIROLAMO LANDO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the INQUISITORS of STATE.
I have had Sembenini's room opened and his letters examined. They contain nothing of the slightest importance. His father seems to have urged him to write something, but certainly he is not capable of doing it.
Letters have recently reached me from Dionisio Lazzari, purely complimentary, with two others for the Ambassadors of France and Savoy, which I have sent on without delay so as to cause no trouble, as experience has taught me that they lay a thousand traps to make trouble, and I try to avoid them.
London, the 2nd October, 1620.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Oct. 5.
Collegio,
Secreta,
Lettere.
Venetian
Archives.
568. Deputation of Secretaries of the Senate.
For affairs of England, the States, the Grisons and the Swiss.
Antonio Antelmi and in his absence Pietro Darduino.
Antonio Padavino.
[Italian.]
Oct. 5.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Spagna.
Venetian
Archives.
569. PIERO CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the DOGE and SENATE.
At the Strait of Gibraltar they are again erecting the mole, with orders to add other fortifications to those already made, to close that passage with a good naval force and keep it guarded against pirates. Instructions have been sent to all the ports that when the English ships arrive there which they say the English king is arming against the pirates, they shall be well received and supplied with whatever they may need.
Madrid, the 5th October, 1620.
[Italian.]
Oct. 5.
Misc.
Cod. No. 46.
Venetian
Archives.
570. HIERONIMO TRIVISANO, Venetian Ambassador Extraordinary in the Netherlands, to the DOGE and SENATE.
We hear that Prince Henry with the cavalry and the English foot has crossed the Rhine at Confienza where Spinola crossed before. He let them think that he meant to cross the Moselle and the Bishopric of Treves, where the enemy were waiting to stop him. He will now have joined the army of the Princes.
The Hague, the 5th October, 1620.
[Italian.]
Oct. 6.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Savoia.
Venetian
Archives.
571. ZUANE PESARO, Venetian Ambassador in Savoy, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The Bernese have written to the Marshal [Lesdiguières], asking for his advice and assistance. He has replied offering his services to the extent of his powers and praising their prudence and conduct up to the present, especially in sending help to the Grisons, and exhorting them to re-establish peace in Switzerland.
The English resident has written in the same sense. He told me that the Bernese rejoiced greatly at the offer made by Lesdiguières to the republic, and to the common cause they would devote all their powers, even beyond the Helvetian custom, which means to spend money besides providing men.
I did not neglect to represent both to the Marshal and the resident how important it was to keep up the spirits of the Swiss and to find some assurance of liberty for the Grisons. It would be better to draw off the Catholic Cantons from their evil operations to the general disservice.
Turin, the 6th October, 1620.
[Italian, deciphered.]
Oct. 7. Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
572. ANZOLO CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Yesterday I visited the English ambassador and he told me of the representations he had made to the chancellor in the name of the king, his master, the French king being far away, about the affairs of the Grisons and the Valtelline. He had devoted his efforts to exhorting his Majesty to defend and protect the Grisons, especially the question of taking that most important pass, which would cause infinite prejudice to all the Princes of Christendom, the Spanish move not being out of zeal for religion, but simply a question of state and from their greed to add the Valtelline to the State of Milan. His Majesty was the more bound to provide a remedy because these disturbances have arisen through the action of his ministers.
The chancellor replied that these disturbances troubled them here; the Venetians had caused them and France could provide no other remedy than to make representations to Spain and the Grisons. They were doing so, although the king was engaged in serious affairs in his own dominions.
I thanked the ambassador for his courteous communication, and told him I would inform your Excellencies, who would be greatly obliged to his Majesty of Great Britain. He asked me to report all to your Serenity but not to say that the chancellor had accused the republic of being the cause of the troubles, as if the chancellor heard of it, he would lose his confidence. I promised him every satisfaction. I then gave him a brief account of the proceedings of Gueffier in the Grisons against our republic and against the instructions of his own king, as he maintained the closest relations with the Spanish minister Casati, and only supported the interests of that nation, and this had so worked among the people there that it gave rise to the present rebellion, and secured nothing but the advantage of the House of Austria, to the general detriment of all Christendom. I told him further how our republic had always respected the interests of the French king in the Grisons, never doing anything without first communicating with Gueffier.
The ambassador approved what I said. He then remarked, If the republic of Venice and the Grisons expect help from the French they will always be disappointed. The French want all to be dependent upon them, without regard for the interests of their friends. He had never received a good word from the ministers here in any negotiation whatsoever. In the affairs of Bohemia they freely said that the Palatine was the cause of all the trouble, and they want him to resign the crown of Bohemia, and as France is far away from the seat of disturbance they think of nothing except to avoid giving occasion of offence to the Spaniards. He expressed this with great feeling.
I understand, however, that the chancellor said laughingly that the King of England would like France to do what it concerned him to do, as so closely connected with the Palatine, in religion, blood and estate. To tell the truth, here they universally blame the King of England for the progress made by Spinola in the Palatinate; the Ambassador Wotton, by his orders, having advised the Princes of the Union not to attack Spinola in order not to afford him any pretext for attacking the Palatinate, possibly hoping that Spinola might thus be induced to abstain from any acts of hostility. Events prove the exact contrary. Spinola has taken Worms, and although the English ambassador here declares that his king will not permit these injuries, but will make a generous declaration followed by vigorous action, little good is hoped. There are also reports of wild confusion and disorder among the forces of the Princes of the Union.
Paris, the 7th October, 1620.
[Italian.]
Oct. 7.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Milano.
Venetian
Archives.
573. GIACOMO VENDRAMIN, Venetian Secretary at Milan, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The Countess or Princess of Arundel, an Englishwoman, has passed through Milan on her way to Padua to visit one or two of her sons staying there. As she wished to remain incognita and did not wish his Excellency to know that she was here, she arranged with a merchant, who placed her for a night in the house of one Sig. Ercole Visconti, which happened to be empty, the owner being away at his villa. When his Excellency heard this he was wroth, because he desired, so they think, to do her honour. He threw the merchant into a dark prison, with fear of worse, upon the pretext that he had not informed the magistrates of a foreigner staying in the city.
Milan, the 7th October, 1620.
[Italian.]
Oct. 8.
Senato,
Secreta,
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
574. GIROLAMO LANDO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
At length these heavy chains are broken. The king and Council have issued a most open declaration in approbation of the arms of the United Princes of Germany in defence of the Palatinate and of their own dominions; that he will not suffer the ill treatment of the patrimony of his children and is determined to exact reparation for the injuries inflicted. By a special mission to the Hague he urges the States to take the same line. They have their army on foot, ready for the moment when his Majesty, with the assistance of his subjects, sets himself in full and necessary preparation. The rejoicing is universal among the people here, and a corresponding discouragement exists among those of the opposite party. Every one had long dispaired of any such decision. Every reason of state, of kinship and of religion pointed that way, but the general behaviour led to an expectation of something different. Matters had reached such a pass that even the ministers esteemed most sincere, sound and zealous maintained a reserve about freely expressing their opinions contrary to the royal favour and inclination, and ultimately every one was afraid to speak. (è il giubilo universale di questi populi, come altretanto lo smarrimento de' contrarii; ogn' uno era già disanimato ad' aspettare tale risolutione. Ogni ragione di Stato, di sangue, di religione la persuadeva. Ma li andamenti tanto contrarii però la facevano sperare, ridatte le cose a tale che fino li ministri stimati li più sinceri, integri et ardenti andavano riservati in liberamente prononciare il loro senso contro il favore e la reggia inclinatione, temendo finalmente ogn' uno di parlare). In a moment, with a different turn, the wheel of fortune moves now in a contrary direction, and presents a very different aspect.
One of the chief reasons for the change was a very strong letter from the United Princes, sent post by one of the guard of the Margrave of Inspach, which reached the king the day before yesterday, accompanied by the escort of the Ambassadors of Bohemia and of the States, by whose offices his attack has resulted in the most brilliant success. He brought substantially a demand for a different decision from his Majesty, saying that the princes have thoroughly understood what he had to say to them by the Baron Bunynchausen, and by his own ambassadors, but now that the Palatinate is actually invaded and their forces are compelled to act on the defensive, there can no longer be any scruples against their preparing for offence. They ask that his Majesty shall decide yes or no, whether he will fulfil his obligations under the union, and if he will assist in the urgent need of his grandchildren, so that they may know what course to take.
It is true that at first the king wavered a great deal. The violence displeased him, and he still cherished the ideas he had so often expressed, that he did not wish to involve himself in trouble and complications, to have no extraordinary need of his subjects, of peace, of the Spanish marriage, of doing nothing to offend the House of Austria. He summoned frequent councils The partisans of Spain left no means untried to damp down every noble feeling and delay all decisions. However, at length what could never have been prudently predicted has come forth, and so far as I can discover up to the present, the replies to the princes will be full and quite satisfactory.
The Spanish ambassador previously had an audience lasting three hours, in which the king's wrath blazed fiercely forth. This evening he had another at Hampton Court, to which his Majesty summoned him. There they told him of the declaration, which he little expected, as it might reasonably be said that he arrogated to himself a practical omnipotence in this court (che si arrogava quasi la omnipotenza in questa Corte).
The favourite Marquis now appears hand in glove and most intimate with the Ambassador of Bohemia, well knowing how to change his sails in a moment, with great prudence, showing his friendship in the direction in which the royal favour seems to blow, though he likes to be considered the source of every benefit.
I send these particulars in haste to your Excellencies, leaving further details to follow by the ordinary of Antwerp. I recommend them to the Master of the Posts here, making use of the messenger sent to Turin by the secretaries here. They will be sending to the same effect but I have not had time to discover the exact purpourt. I thought it best not to stand at a little extra expenditure, though far less than sending an express courier, as your Serenity may be glad to have the earliest possible information of an event of such importance.
London, the 8th October, 1620.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]

Footnotes

1 See note at page 403 above.
2 Wotton's despatch is printed by the Roxburghe Club: Letters and Despatches from Sir Henry Wotton, printed from the originals in the Library of Eton College, pages 213–223, and is dated 7th September, old style.