Venice
October 1620, 11-20

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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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430-447

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'Venice: October 1620, 11-20', Calendar of State Papers Relating to English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 16: 1619-1621 (1910), pp. 430-447. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=88770 Date accessed: 22 July 2014.


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October 1620

Oct. 11.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
575. GIROLAMO LANDO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
In the churches of foreigners here, before the king's declaration, they offered special and solemn prayers with fasting for the Falatinate and the Evangelical religion in Germany. Such a ceremony has not taken place since the death of Henry IV of France. They fear, however, that the said religion will suffer a severe shock both in this kingdom and elsewhere.
All think that the king's decision to declare himself, either came to birth in a moment, or that it had been formed in his mind long before, and he had not disclosed it to any one, not even to the favourite Buckingham except quite recently. One thing above all others makes this likely as if the marquis had known or suspected it before, he would much sooner have shown himself favourable and affable to the Ambassador of Bohemia, for the very reason that he adopted this course immediately after the declaration. However, this took place by the king's authority, who made them embrace in his presence as a sign of reconciliation. The differences between the two certainly arose from the suggestions and intrigues of the Spaniards, but there was an apparent root in the obtaining for Vere the command of the troops who went to Germany, while the marquis supported a Cecil, and bitter words passed on the subject.
Four days before the declaration the Ambassador Dohna began to suspect that something favourable might happen, but neither he nor any one else expected so much at that time. Lightening appears before thunder, but especially the king's acts of reconciling him with the marquis, and then an exceptional banquet given by a Cavalier of his Majesty's chamber, to which many of the leading nobles were invited including the Lord High Admiral. There the wheel of the proceedings varied greatly, with indications, which never prove fallacious in this Court, of some favourable issue, and now the Lord High Admiral shows himself more enthusiastic over these affairs than any of the others.
The king wished to make the declaration not only to the Lords of the Council but to many persons of position who do not usually take part and who received an extraordinary summons. All that day his Majesty seemed unusually happy. At the banquet he proposed many toasts to the prosperity of his children, and had an unusally large quantity of wine distributed and drunk in the Court, especially among the courtiers of the prince, as if the news of some great victory had arrived (si dimostrò la Maestà Sua tutto quel giorno con insolita maniera allegra; alla cena molti inviti fece per la prosperità di suoi figliuoli, e fece oltre l'ordinario dispensare e bevere gran quantità di vino nella Corte e massime alli Corteggiani del Signor Prencipe, come se la nova di qualche grande vittoria fosse pervenuta).
The prince has had a large share in bringing about the issue of this declaration. He spoke strongly in the Council and this encouraged many of the councillors while it dismayed the opponents. He referred chiefly to the point of religion, which has the strongest influence with him, and the favourites who surround him are most enthusiastic in the cause (per far nascere questa dichiaratione, grande parte ne ha havuto il Signor Prencipe, il quale con efficaccia parlò nel consiglio; che ha dato spirito a molti consiglieri, e che ha atterrito li contrarii; toccando massime il capo di religione, che e nel suo animo potentissimo, mentre li suoi più favoriti, che lo circondano, sono in questa parte ardentissimi).
The king remarked several times to those about him that he would never again trust any Spanish ambassador or minister, as his patience had simply increased their arrogance. If necessary, he himself would go to the defence of his kindred; he had nothing to think of except to leave his dominions at length to his son, and he had always been accustomed to say that he would not unsheathe his sword except in a case of extreme necessity. But once he had unsheathed it, to put it back would not prove so easy a matter. To this a Scottish knight rejoined: If you wished to put it back, I would run off with the sheath.
Twice this week the Spanish ambassador has had audience on the subject. At the first, the king complained that he had deceived him. He had told him that only Bohemia was in question, and for that, he himself could testify that he had always said that he would not meddle there. But he was bound not to allow his children to succumb or his religion, against which they seem to have special designs. He enlarged upon this greatly with much fervour, speaking in the presence of the prince, who took greater courage, and of the councillors, who stood a short way off. In a loud voice, so that they might hear, he added that he marvelled and grieved that the Catholic king should have informed the King of France that Spinola was to attack the Palatinate, while he had not done the same to him. He added that no reply had ever come about the marriage nor had the secretary returned.
The ambassador, seeing the flame kindled so brightly, thought it better not to employ his ordinary water of light jokes (concetti facetti). He denied that he had deceived his Majesty. He said he had always explained that the king his master wished to recover the Kingdom of Bohemia, that he would rather lose all his dominions than abandon that. As for France, they enjoyed such intimate relations with that monarch that they were bound to inform him. He had never said anything about Spinola because he had not been asked. If they had asked him he could have said no more because he did not know what was to be done.
The king spoke very loudly. He repeated, what he has said several times, that he knows no king who can prevent him from doing what he ought for the defence of his children. He refused to believe both the first and the second advices of the action of Spinola, but now he perceived clearly that he aimed at slaughter, destruction and the occupation of the Palatinate, which he might call his own, in consideration of the possessions of his daughter there.
The ambassador made a strong complaint against the Secretary Naunton, saying he had treated him badly and was a very bitter persecutor of the Catholics and of the subjects of the archduke. The king replied with some sharpness that his ministers must be respected, remarking that it was not customary for his secretaries to do anything of moment without his placet. But finally his Majesty desired that they should be reconciled, as they were.
At the same audience the Baron of Rodes, a Fleming, Knight of the Order of Santiago, came in the company of Gondomar to speak in the name of the Archduke Albert. He is here without the title of ambassador, and so none of the diplomatic corps has visited him. He offered excuses for the reply given by his Highness to his Majesty's ambassadors, saying that what Spinola had done was by order from Spain, according to commissions subsequently given to him by the emperor, of which his Highness knew nothing. The king replied that he could never have believed that the archduke his cousin would have behaved in this manner. It grieved him deeply and would lead to the spilling of much blood. So he left very ill satisfied. The king concluded the audience by saying to the Count of Gondomar: We will meet again two days hence.
London, the 11th October, 1620.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Oct. 11.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
576. GIROLAMO LANDO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Two days later the king sent Lord Digby to tell the ambassador, that he would expect him at a hunt of hares. The ambassador went, taking with him several dogs and birds. But when he reached the court he found no hunting by the king, nor any diversion. He remained with Digby in the park for four hours when his dogs had time to catch six hares, awaiting a summons from his Majesty, who was engaged with the Council. The court showed him little honour, and the courtiers for the most part did not even salute him. At length he was summoned before the king. His Majesty declared himself fully, as I reported. He mentioned the things referred to before and other matters. The ambassador replied as before, but neither said very much.
On the following day he had audience of the prince, who spoke about the same declaration, with fewer words but more angry and bitter. He said: You must know that at bottom this concerns my sister. So the ambassador has experienced a most unpleasant time. He now seems fatigued, and is newly indisposed by his customary and also unaccustomed humours.
Every day they hold most lengthy Councils, which all turn upon the easiest way of raising the money required. From the phrase contained in the declaration, that his Majesty will put himself in a state of preparedness with the aid of his subjects, they gather that his intentions are not so far removed from summoning a parliament, as many hope and all desire. Thus there are widely diffused rumours that it will meet, and the people will pay the king's debts, and will bind themselves to pay 20,000 men furnished for war. The partisans of Spain do not desire it, because it is the proper means of maintaining a long war. They spread abroad that it would be better to obtain a benevolence, and that the king has the power to send men and raise money. But this would be the most hateful course. The king perceives that in the parliament he should now have the support of all those great and powerful persons who would be opposed to him at other times and on other occasions, and may hope to obtain the unobtainable. However, I abstain from prediction and shall await the issue (vanno sceminando esser meglio cavare una benevolenza da populi, e che il Re potrebbe anco per obligo mandare genti e cavare danari. Ma questo e il termine più odioso. Il Re si vede hora dover havere favorevoli nel Parlamento tutti quei grandi e più potenti che gli sarrebbono contrarii in altri tempi et occasioni; puo sperare di conseguire l'inconseguibile. Io non faro tuttavia preditioni, riportandomi all'essito).
The other day the king summoned the English merchants to obtain money from them on loan. But of these some declined because they were too poor, others because they pretended to be. They excused themselves on the ground of slackness of business, and of the hard knocks they frequently received not only from ill fortune but from ill will also. His Majesty requires that huge mountain of gold which his favourites enjoy.
The twenty ships are anchored off the isle of Wight. The time would be very suitable for their departure. But under the pretext of making an exchange of sailors they have received orders to go to Plymouth, where about this time, more than a hundred ships are accustomed to return to this island from the fisheries. This seems to disclose their purpose, which is expected to be executed, to exchange many of these new and inexperienced sailors taken from the ferries here, for the others who are highly skilled. I now hear that orders have been sent to have them arrested. However, they have not published this, but say that they are waiting because the provisions, especially the beer, are spoiled and it will be necessary to change them. No one believes any longer that they are going against pirates. So it is a question whether the arrangements made about them with the Spaniards will be effected. They will at least serve to cause great uneasiness to the Spaniards, as they may appear like so many hands clutching at the throat of Flanders and of other dominions of the Catholic king.
The purpose of sending Sir Henry Bruce, a Scot, to Scotland to levy 2,000 men, and the other 10,000 who they say will be levied here, is to send them all to the Netherlands, so that an equal number of well furnished men may march thence to the Palatinate, or do what may be decided. They think that the Prince of Orange will now be proclaimed General of the Union, and as such he will attempt some worthy enterprise without breaking the truce.
Every one applauds the king's resolution. All the wrath and impatience of the people is now converted into love and affection. In a moment all things have changed marvellously. The difference and the change are hardly credible. No one speaks any more about Digby going to Spain or about the marriage with the Spaniard. (Ogn'uno applaude alla risolutione del Re. Tutto lo sdegno, e tutta l'impatienza dei populi hora in amore et in affetto si vede convertito. In un momento sono cangiate meravi-gliosamente tutte le cose. E la diversità e la mutatione a pena e credibile. Non si parla più che Digbi sia per andar in Spagna ne del matrimonio con la Spagnola.)
The king and many of the ministers have some idea of printing a manifesto as a justification to the world and to show that his Majesty has been deceived. But perhaps they will not do so for many reasons, but chiefly because it will be difficult to restrain the people from committing some notable outrage upon the Spanish ambassador.
The other day the prince fetched the Ambassador of Bohemia in his own carriage. Whereas only a little while ago he was practically abandoned even by those of his own party, who were alarmed and scarcely dared to visit him any more, he now enjoys the attentions of the nobles and of men of every condition, who hasten to his house to show him honour. This morning when he went to Church thousands followed praising and blessing him.
I could write of many other things, but in order not to weary your Excellencies I will confine myself to these only. I must not forget to note that no letters have arrived from Italy this week by the ordinary of Antwerp. It is thought that they have been intercepted. They should be of the 10th ult. God grant that they contain nothing of moment. They also think that some despatches of those already sent to Venice have also been intercepted. This sort of thing may happen frequently with so many armed forces covering the face of the world. My secretary Zon has never omitted to send a duplicate every week. Perhaps even this may not suffice. In any case I hope that a circumstance that depends upon fortune may not be attributed to my remissness.
London, the 11th October, 1620.
[Italian.]
Oct. 12.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Svizzeri.
Venetian
Archives.
577. GIOVANNI BATTISTA LIONELLO, Venetian Secretary with the Swiss, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The Princes of Germany recognise that they have no hope of salvation except in opposing Spinola. They are waiting to see what the King of England will do upon the news of the invasion of the Palatinate, as he promised them great things if Spinola should be the first to lay violent hands upon it.
Zurich, the 12th October, 1620.
[Italian.]
Oct. 13.
Cons. de 'X.
Parti Secrete.
Venetian
Archives.
578. In the Council of Ten.
That a secretary of this Council, after enjoining due secrecy, read and leave a copy with the Collegio and the Senate, of what has been stated by a confidential person upon the affairs of Constantinople, so that they may use it as they think best for the public service.
Ayes, 5.Noes, 9.Neutral, 2.
The negative carried.
[Italian.]
Enclosure.579. It is undoubted that when the Ambassador Bravo perceived the trouble raised by the Porte against the republic, and learned the orders of the Senate to settle the matter by hook or by crook, he tried to stop the peace by opening negotiations with the Grand Vizier through one Matthias de Lasartes sent by arrangement between him and the Governor of Milan to induce the Turks to attack Venice. One Ognat, a renegade, supported this attempt, and Ludovico Ro. The Grand Vizier, in negotiating with a great prince, an enemy of the Turks, had to act with great caution. The Spaniards knew, or at least pretended to know that the republic had given orders to her bailo to poison the Grand Vizier. Glover, the English ambassador at Constantinople, was the first mover of these negotiations between the Spaniards and the Turks.
[Italian.]
Oct. 15.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Savoia.
Venetian
Archives.
580. ZUANE PESARO, Venetian Ambassador in Savoy, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The English resident told me that the Bernese continue constant in their good disposition, but no friend could advise them to take more important resolutions without good and open assistance.
Turin, the 15th October, 1620.
[Italian.]
Oct. 15.
Cons. de 'X.
Parti Secrete.
Venetian
Archives.
581. In the Council of Ten.
That three letters be communicated to the Collegio and Senate, by a secretary of this Council, after imposing a solemn oath of secrecy. one written by the Governor of Milan on the 25th September last to Don Juan Vives; the second written by the Spanish Ambassador Gondomar in England from London on the 16th July last; and the third to the aforesaid ambassador from the Lord High Admiral of England of the 20th June last.
Ayes, 13.Noes, 0.Neutral, 1.
It was read and the whole left to the Secretary Alberti.
[Italian.]
Senato,
Secreta.
Comunicazioni
dal Cons de 'X.
Venetian
Archives.
582. Translation of letter from the Governor of Milan to Don Juan Vives.
In the Valtelline, the Venetians, finding things were not going well, have induced the Duke of Savoy to intervene, and with the arrival of Lesdiguières at Turin, the arrangement with France and the older negotiations, they hope to raise trouble in Italy. Accordingly I am the more sorry at the delay in sending troops from Naples; everything depends upon my receiving speedy help. I am sending urgent messages for this.
[Italian.]
Senato,
Secreta.
Comunicazioni
dal Cons de 'X.
Venetian
Archives.
583. Translation of letter of the Count of Gondomar.
Your Excellency's letter of the 2nd June gave me great content. I am much harassed by many ills, but still I am always ready to serve you. All must regret the delay in the passage of men and money from Naples to Flanders as the whole purpose and aim of the Palatine and his ambassadors, if they cannot obtain men or money here, is to obtain embassies, letters and words to embarrass our arms. If the Palatine can hold on until the beginning of winter he will gain many advantages. I have told the king here that so far we shall inflict no harm upon the Palatine. He complains that the count will not listen to reason. The king so far remains unwilling to declare for the Palatine or give him help. They have so pestered him to make him act that to-day I found him very incensed against that party and well disposed to ours. Nevertheless he will resent the utter ruin of the Palatinate, because he fears that [the Palatine] will come here with his children and form a party with the Calvinists of his own particular sect (perche temc che venga qui con suoi figliuoli e faccia parte con li Calvinisti della sua particolar setta). Accordingly I rejoice that they have delayed to send word to the King of France on behalf of our king that he has ordered his forces to enter the Palatinate, as they have already written from Paris and elsewhere, making a great commotion. I said I should rejoice greatly if it were certain, for then Germany would not fall entirely to the Turks and might have peace. I wish it were already done, as any hour might bring something to prevent it, and they recently reported here that the archduke was dead. God preserve him.
The obtaining of volunteers here for the Palatinate proceeds very slowly, because there is little money and the king does not favour it. Some leading captains, to whom the Palatine's ambassador had given patents, have turned back and for the moment I see nothing here that need cause us anxiety, because the king and the prince have given me their word and promise that they will not send any succour to the Palatine either directly or indirectly (non vedo in questa parte cosa che si potra da pensiero, perche il Re e il Prencipe mi han dato la sua fede e parola di non inviar diritta ne indirettamente al Palatino alcun soccorso). With regard to the king's consent to the Palatine levying volunteers, I have displayed a great deal of feeling, and the Marquis of Buckingham, Lord High Admiral and the leading favourite wrote me the enclosed letter.
This king is sending out several ambassadors. Sir Henry Button has left for Nancy, the court of the Duke of Lorraine, or wherever he may find him; for Munich to the Duke of Bavaria; for Prague to the Palatine, and for Vienna to the emperor, and thence to Venice to reside in the embassy. Don Conway and Don Richard Reston, Condes, secretary of the embassy and Thomas Dickenson are going from here to Brussels with letters for the archduke and others to the ecclesiastical electors, to the Duke of Saxony and other Princes of Germany. These ambassadors and the secretary have been to take leave of me, saying their king ordered so and to ask me to perform good offices for peace. They swore to me that they were taking word to the Palatine urging him to accept what was just as it was not just for any one to help him to defend himself without reason. I told them how deeply our king is interested in the peace of Germany and how much he regretted being forced to take his present action, though he would never lose sight of peace. They told me that the king here also desires it. When they left yesterday the king sent to me Sir George Calvert, Secretary of State, to show me their instructions. They show that the king wishes to remain neutral, without compromising himself, to procure peace and that no one shall enter the Palatinate, because it is the patrimony of his grandsons and there are involved the dowry and maintenance of his daughter. I said this was an excellent clause if the Palatine would leave Bohemia alone.
The king has secretly instructed the Earl of Gerosveri, who has gone to take the waters of Aspach and who is a great favourite of the Duke of Bavaria and has been with him a long while, to speak to the duke and induce him to try and arrange a settlement between the emperor and the Palatine. The earl is a devout Catholic and my very intimate friend, so that I venture to assure myself that he will desire and try to set on foot what is for God's service and that of the king our master. May the other ambassadors whom this king is sending do the like (questo conte di Gerosveri e intiero Cattolico molto confidente amico mio, tanto che ardisco assicurarmi che desidererà et procurerà incaminar questo che sia servitio di Dio et del Re nostro signore, cosi fossero gli altri Ambasciatori che questo Re ha mandato et manda).
It is so cold here that I usually keep a fire in my room.
[Italian.]
Senato,
Secreta.
Comunicazioni
dal Cons. de'X.
Venetian
Archives.
584. Translation of letter of the Marquis of Buckingham to the Count of Gondomar.
I have told his Majesty all that you asked me about the affairs of Germany and the levies now being made for the Palatinate. His Majesty commanded me to inform your Excellency of all that has taken place in the matter, whereby I doubt not you will be satisfied of the constancy and integrity of his Majesty's proceedings.
The Princes of the Union, as you must know, not long ago sent an ambassador to his Majesty asking for help of 4,000 men, claiming that he was bound by treaty to help them. His Majesty refused, as he was not bound by treaty, adding that if he helped in this affair it would make it appear that he had some hand in the revolt of Bohemia, which took place without his knowledge or participation, and he would do nothing which might involve him either directly or indirectly in this affair. The same princes afterwards sent another messenger to shew his Majesty what peril they were in, especially the Palatinate, where his children might be disinherited, and asking for help, but they received the same reply which the ambassador had given to the ambassador. Baron Dohna pressed his Majesty to send some troops, however few, to act as a garrison in the Palatinate for the security of his grandchildren, but he refused resolutely, being determined not to compromise or declare himself. Baron Dohna then asked that his Majesty would grant what was not refused to other princes, to levy volunteers. His Majesty replied that he would have the matter discussed by some of his Council of State.
Seeing that such leave had been granted to the Kings of Denmark and Sweden, the Duke of Muscovy, the Archduke and the States of Holland, and it would be considered strange to refuse it to the king's son-in-law, the lords of the Council were unanimously of opinion that the king could not but grant it. Accordingly he gave leave to Baron Dohna to levy volunteers at pleasure for his master at his charges. However, that your Excellency may see his impartiality, his Majesty has charged me to assure you that if his Catholic Majesty ever has occasion to ask for similar levies his Majesty will readily oblige him.
This is not the unequal manner which your Excellency alleges to have taken place at other times, when men went to serve the other side, animated by the leading ministers of state, those who went to serve his Catholic Majesty being discountenanced, but is in conformity with the friendship and alliance desired by both crowns. His Majesty has also commanded me to tell your Excellency that although he might have allowed the princes to levy men freely with their money in any way they pleased, yet for the satisfaction of the world and especially of the King of Spain he desires the volunteers to be employed solely to guard the Palatinate and his grandchildren, without meddling in the affairs of Bohemia or attacking other princes. And that it may appear that he has not failed in anything leading towards peace, which is his principal aim, he has appointed a solemn embassy by which he hopes to open a way thereto. He hopes that your Excellency and the Catholic king will rest assured that all his proceedings tend to this end. He has ordered his Secretary of State to wait on your Excellency and acquaint you with the instructions given to these ambassadors, and if there be anything else upon which your Excellency desires satisfaction, I shall be glad to know it, since his Majesty desires us to proceed in all friendliness with your Excellency, between the King of Spain and his Majesty and between their ministers, and so I hope for many opportunities of serving your Excellency.
Greenwich, the 20th June, 1620.
[Italian.]
Oct. 16.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
585. GIROLAMO LANDO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The Spanish lords here and their followers now say that the king has made no further declaration at present beyond what he made before, since he always professed that he would defend the Palatinate. They pretend to laugh at it, hoping that the deeds will not correspond with the words, which grow more and more ardent. Thus many ministers with the right sentiment would rather that his Majesty said less and did more. The Spaniards hope that the Marquis of Buckingham will not remain constant in his present ardour, and say that he is violent. They go about saying that the declaration is ill timed, and even go so far as to state that his Majesty has a greater opinion of himself than strength. The Ambassador Gondomar gives out that the empire and the Catholic religion are at stake. He disseminates the opinion that if the Palatinate is lost, after all nothing worse than an elector falls, but if anything happened to Ferdinand, not only he but the emperor would disappear, and all right-minded persons should resist this, especially with these clouds appearing from the Turks, and after a year at most they would leave the Palatinate to the Palatine.
Some here think that the mere form of the declaration will suffice to produce a better state of affairs. But the wisest do not believe that the Spaniards will so easily relinquish what they have acquired from fear alone. Among his intimates his Majesty has remarked that the King of Spain is more beholden to him than any other prince soever, as when he came to this throne he found his subjects devoted to privateering and to scourging the Spaniards with the discipline of the famous Queen Elizabeth. He bridled him, pulling the reins with violence. In return for this that king now shows him little respect and displays great ingratitude. He added, the teeth and bites of those beasts which are usually slow to move are frequently more dangerous and more difficult to shake off, than is the case with those which move readily. (Sua Maestà ha detto fra li suoi domestici che il Re di Spagna le è più tenuto di ciò che sia a qualsivoglia altro Prencipe; poi che quando arrivò a questo Regno ritrovando li sudditi già tanto avezzi alli corsi, et a flagellare Spagnoli con la disciplina della famosa Regina Elisabetta; li frenò, dando di mano violentemente alla briglia. Ma che in concambio hora gli. dimostra poco rispetto e grande ingratitudine, soggiongendo; ma li denti e li morsi di quello fiere, che sogliono stentare a moversi, sono bene spesso più dannosi è più difficile da staccarsi che delle molto facili al moto.)
He has also sent word of his resolution to those who are harassing Germany and those who have gone to defend it. He has sent word to the emperor and the King of Spain and has instructed the Ambassador Wotton to do the same with the Duke of Bavaria. To the last named he states that his Majesty, in his desire for peace has done everything in his power to give it to the world. He has exercised extraordinary restraint, patience and phlegm. He declared that he would not meddle in the affairs of Bohemia because he hoped to acquire such merit that no one would think of attacking the patrimony of his grandchildren and the dowry of his daughter. Now he perceived how little consideration they had for him he could do no other than declare himself openly for the defence of the Palatinate and the Princes of the Union, to which he is bound by the treaty of union. To this he will devote all his strength, if a true peace does not follow and if they do not withdraw their forces from spilling his blood.
His Majesty afterwards wrote to the States, the United Princes, the King of Bohemia, his daughter, the grandmother of his grandchildren, the Duke of Deuxponts, and the Duke of Wirtemberg. He thanks the last named for what he is doing for the Palatinate and especially for affording a refuge in his dominions to the said children. In gratitude for this he offers all his forces for the defence of the duke's dominions if they are invaded, and of those jurisdictions which his brother enjoys in the heart of the dominions of Leopold. To the grandmother he wrote with his own hand, recommending the children. He wrote also to his daughter similarly declaring that he will defend her dower and the patrimony of her offspring. He thanks the States and the United Princes warmly for what they have done hitherto. He begs them to continue until he has put himself in readiness. While arming himself, he says he will do every thing during these winter months to procure peace, but if he cannot obtain it, he will employ with all vigour, the forces that he will be busily collecting in the meantime.
They are writing to all the ambassadors and representatives of the crown to this purpose, but I do not find that they think at present of informing the princes about it in his Majesty's name, except those mentioned above, for reasons already given. The Secretary Naunton has written to the Ambassador Wotton that as ambassador to Venice he may inform the Secretary Gregorio.
The king has given special orders to the Council to discuss the question of summoning a parliament. The Lord Chancellor and the principal secretary have drawn up a paper containing all the chief reasons for calling it and the ways of overcoming many difficulties. This is a very weighty matter which cannot be arranged in a moment. However it seems to be in good train, and there appear to be good grounds of hoping for it. Meanwhile the Lords of the Council have voluntarily promised 50,000l. to the king as a gift, to be paid within eight days. The prince gives 10,000 of them to the Ambassador of Bohemia. He may be described as more in funds than his father owing to the prudent frugality and order with which he is accustomed to live; each earl will pay 1,000, and each councillor of the long robe 500, some more and some less according to their quality. Others of the Court have also come readily with contributions. The Earl of Southampton has given as much as 3,000 with a promise of 300 a year for the war. Every one is making a special effort in order to incite the king.
London, the 16th October, 1620.
[Italian.]
Oct. 16.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
586. GIROLAMO LANDO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Some ministers, whom the king did not seem to hold in particular account a few months ago, are now frequently summoned by him and set hard at work. One of them said to me, The king has lost two good opportunities. The first was at the request of the Princes of the Union, by deliberation of their assembly, that his Majesty should take advantage of the departure of Spinola from Flanders to make a diversion, while the States were ready to supply troops and everything else, as I wrote before, acquiring all places and fortresses in the name of his Majesty and leaving him actually in possession. But he did not seem inclined to this course at the time, nor does he now, because he says that would be absolutely making war on the King of Spain, from which he will abstain as much as possible, although in the long run he will have to fall into it. This idea of not making a diversion is clearly proved by the correction by his Majesty of a word in an extension of the declaration made in writing by the Ambassador Dohna and in conformity by the Ambassador Caron. I enclose a copy although I have reported the substance. I got it in French and have had it translated into Italian. His Majesty approved of it in every part. I have underlined the said word in the copy so that your Excellencies may see.
The other chance, he told me, suggested to him by many of his faithful servants, was to attack the Spanish fleet of the Indies, with the powerful fleet which he now has ready. They told him that if the affair of the marriage and of peace with the Spaniards turned out well, he could always restore the captured ships and plunder. If they turned out ill, the capture would prove very useful for the occasion. This idea was strongly urged by many upon the arrival of the news of the capture of Creutznach in the Palatinate. But his Majesty then seemed rather angered than otherwise by the idea, and gave orders that some dispatches which the General Mansfelt required, should be hastened on with extraordinary diligence. The fleet still remains at Plymouth.
The Spaniards now let it be understood that all the articles for the marriage drawn up here have been approved in Spain, and that they will immediately send to Rome to obtain the consent of the pope and the dispensation. They open the gate wider than ever, at this crisis, in order to allow fresh hopes to enter the king's mind. He, indeed, will always think a great deal of this matter, owing to the greatness of the blood and for many other reasons besides.
Sir [Henry] Wotton has received instructions to continue his negotiations for peace and to remain with the emperor for the present, his Majesty again reminding him of the question of useful help from Venice. It seemed that he desired to stay there, both for the sake of his own greater reputation, and in order, as a competent observer, to assist the interest of the King of Bohemia, of whom he seems a strong partisan.
News has arrived that whenever Spinola captures any place he has most solemn masses celebrated, meaning to force the people to adopt our Catholic religion. This causes great offence here.
Mr. Paul Pindar, who has returned from Constantinople, has been knighted by his Majesty. By the king's command he has been to call upon me and thank me for the honours received from your Excellencies. He told me that he stayed a long while with the Duke of Feria at Milan, from whom he received many honours. He saw him literally jump for joy, as did all the Spaniards, at the acquisition of the Valtelline, considering it especially as a yoke for your Serenity. I must not forget to state that a partisan of the Spanish ambassador let slip that that event was a model to imitate by manufacturing notable accidents to match in Venice and in the dominions of the republic. But I hope God will confound iniquity and protect innocence and justice.
I also think it worthy of your Serenity's notice that this Pindar told the king he heard with his own ears the Grand Vizier say that now the Ottoman Empire needs a taste of war, and the present conflagration in Germany afforded a good opportunity. Simultaneously, another Pasha, when some one remarked that the time had come for Bethlen and the lords of Hungary to choose a prince of Transsylvania, exclaimed: Ah, let us leave them to act. Whatever he does will help us.
Sir [Francis] Nedersol writes that the Turks are making great preparations on the confines of Lower Hungary; accordingly his Majesty has recently imparted this news to the Council, saying: If this continues, I hope to make peace in Germany, and I declare that I will go in person against the common enemy with any prince who will join me, and will employ all my forces. I desire no greater glory than to lose my life in battle against him.
I have performed the office committed to me by your Excellencies with the correspondents and relations of Mr. Wake, the agent at Turin. It gave great pleasure. He deserves much for his worth and his zeal for the general welfare. It will befit your Serenity's prudence to cultivate his friendly disposition, as he may easily be appointed to serve as ambassador at Venice, some time, as I have indicated before.
I thought it proper at the same time to perform a similar office with Lady Carleton, who is now here, the wife of the ambassador at the Hague, for all he has done to the taste of your Excellencies in the same matter. She also seemed greatly pleased.
I enclose copies of the intercepted letters, sent here by the States and deciphered, with the orders of the emperor. They allowed me the favour of hastily making a copy in secret. They are in Spanish. I send them merely to satisfy the curiosity of some of your Excellencies, who may be glad to see them.
I beg to acknowledge the receipt of your letters of the 19th and 25th ult. which reached me safely together this week. I will carry out the instructions with the ministers here, since his Majesty is now at Royston.
London, the 16th October, 1620.
[Italian.]
Enclosed in
the preceding
despatch.
587. Extract from the relation of the Ambassador of the King of Bohemia in England at Hampton Court, the 26th September [o.s.]
The king having received the letter of the princes and read it carefully in my presence, said he was glad to see their good resolution and that they hoped to hold out and keep the rest of the Palatinate. He was most grieved at the misfortunes of the Palatinate, but he had already told the Spanish ambassador frankly that he would not suffer the patrimony of his children to be treated in such fashion. He had also sent to Spain and other places, and would do so again. He would also prepare a reply to the princes, declaring openly in favour of their arms in defence of the Palatinate and their own dominions and begging them to hold on valiantly until he had the means by the help of his people to put himself in a sufficient state of preparation to help them. He would also send special exhortations to the States of the Netherlands to employ the army which they have on foot for the succour of the princes as soon as possible for the said purpose, whether by diversion or otherwise.
[French.]
Enclosed in
the preceding
despatch.
588. Copy of letter of the Emperor to the Elector of Mayence of the 1st July, 1620.
His Majesty would willingly see the great conflagration in the provinces of Austria extinguished, as they have almost entirely lost their fealty and obedience. His Majesty finds two difficulties in the letter written by the elector to the Vice Chancellor of Ulm. The first is that the Elector of Saxony will not make up his mind about proclaiming the ban without consulting the other electors. The second is that the Dukes of Saxony and Bavaria delay their decision to attack Bohemia. To obviate this dangerous delay his Majesty has sent the Count of Zollern to the Dukes of Saxony and Bavaria, urging them to attack the Bohemians, and it is hoped that both will give his Majesty the help which they have promised for the recovery of his dominions. He has not yet heard what the Count of Zollern has effected with the Duke of Saxony with respect to the ban, but as delay is most perilous, his Majesty sends to the elector one that he has written to the Dukes of Saxony and Bavaria, to Zolern and Spinola, asking for his opinion and advice. If he is of opinion that they ought not to publish the ban without consulting the electoral college, his Majesty asks for a speedy notification so that the necessary steps may be taken without delay.
[Spanish.]
Enclosed in
the preceding
despatch.
589. Copy of letter of the Count of Oñate to the Duke of Bavaria of the 2nd July, 1620.
His Catholic Majesty has given orders for the payment of 36,000 florins for the use of the Catholic league. The emperor writes at length to you about the present state of affairs and his desire that you shall move against Upper Austria and Bohemia. Spinola has his army ready to invade the Lower Palatinate, and if the protestants hasten to defend it the duke can invade the Upper Palatinate which would remain practically defenceless. The Aulic Council agrees that his Majesty can give such commands to the Dukes of Saxony and Bavaria in so just a war; accordingly patents have been sent to Spinola.
Seeing that the Elector of Saxony persists in his opposition to the ban without a fresh consultation of the electors, his Majesty leaves the decision of this point to the duke, the Elector of Mayence and Spinola, asking the Elector of Mayence to consult the electoral college without delay, if he agrees with Saxony, and if not to send their decision to him as to when the ban may be declared, since it is highly important that Spinola should know the decision.
[Spanish.]
Enclosed in
the preceding
despatch.
590. Copy of letter of the Count of Oñate to the Archduke Albert, of the 2nd July, 1620.
The emperor learns that the Lutherans of Upper Austria have decided that if he will not accept their proposals, they will choose another sovereign. They are divided into three parties, the majority want to elect the Palatine, a smaller number do not wish to separate from Austria, and the smallest party remains neutral. They have finally decided to ask his Majesty to confirm all their privileges, including their confederacy with the Bohemians and the other Protestant provinces, and if he gave no satisfactory reply in a few days they would do what they thought best. I do not know whether they have presented this demand yet or what decision his Majesty has taken.
[Spanish.]
Enclosed in
the preceding
despatch.
591. Copy of letter of the Count of Oñate, Ambassador of his Catholic Majesty in the Court of his Imperial Majesty, to the Archduke Albert, of the 2nd July, 1620.
The Duke of Saxony raises difficulties about the ban against the Palatine without asking for the consent of the electoral college. He wishes to see the Margrave of Brandenburg. It is necessary to proclaim the ban to keep many princes from helping the Palatine, though to issue it against the wishes of the Duke of Saxony might alienate that prince. Yesterday the Aulic Council met and decided unanimously that his Majesty could proclaim the ban without asking for the opinion of others. His Majesty hopes that through the Count of Zolern he will be able to induce the Elector of Saxony to approve of the declaration of the ban, but if not he has sent to the Elector of Mayence as you will see by the enclosed letter, by whose opinion he will abide. Those who advise such a consultation say that they must not on any account offend Saxony. Those who are of the contrary opinion, think that by the consequent loss of time the whole summer may pass without any declaration of the ban. They say that if the Count of Zolern cannot obtain the consent of the duke it would behove them to enter Bohemia and rout the Palatine, when his own interests would impel him to consent to the ban. I think myself that it is better to submit these serious questions to those who have to execute the ban, namely, your Highness and the Duke of Bavaria. That is the object of this despatch so that if you think that the electoral college should be consulted, you may do so without losing a moment. The difficulty has arisen because I had no instructions when the decision came from Mulhausen. There is little doubt but that the electoral college would have agreed to the ban and so avoided this delay.
They assume here that your Highness's army can take the field without delay and make war on the Palatine, and that the Duke of Bavaria will move rapidly against the Palatinate. As many princes will desire to avoid danger and trouble I have advised the ministers here to issue orders for the defence of all those who declare for the emperor and to attack only the Palatine and those who protect him. I consider the action of the Duke of Bavaria most necessary, that he should invade Upper Austria and Bohemia, for which the imperial forces do not suffice. Upon this action depends that of your Highness and the Duke of Saxony and the good or ill success, of the diet of Ulm. When we know the result of the negotiations of Zolern, whereof no news has yet arrived, the emperor can issue his orders, Spinola can enter the Lower Palatinate, and the Duke of Bavaria the Upper.
[Spanish.]
Oct. 16.
Collegio,
Notatorio.
Venetian
Archives.
592. An error was found in the accounts of Zara, to the public detriment and to the advantage of Colonel Henry Peyton of 481 ducats 12 grossi. To clear this up letters were written to the Proveditore Zorzi at Zara and a notification was sent to the ducal Notatorio on the 20th ult. The reply clearly shows that the money remained in the public caisse and no payment was made. Resolved that every part of the debt be paid and that the wages of the Colonel be not impeded thereby.
Ayes, 19.Noes, 0.Neutral, 0.
[Italian.]
Oct. 18.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Savoia,
Venetian
Archives.
593. ZUANE PESARO, Venetian Ambassador in Savoy, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The English agent here, negotiating secretly with Lesdiguières, has sent letters to Berne upon current affairs. Although he usually confides to me all particulars, he has been reserved with me this week. However, he told me that the Bernese would like the marshal to interest himself with the authority of the Most Christian, passing through Switzerland and bringing force to bear upon the Catholics to recover the Grisons and the Valtelline. But this was impossible with respect to France and also because of the condition of the Grisons.
He further told me that the ambassador of his sovereign now at Vienna, was negotiating most confidentially with the ambassadors of the Most Christian, in order to arrange a satisfactory settlement, there being four leading points: to designate the rights of the emperor to Bohemia; to ask for a truce; liberty to treat; and an exchange of letters and advices. But no reply came from the King of Bohemia, an indication either that the Bohemians would not consent, or would only do so with the concurrence of Gabor.
He added that the opportunity was becoming good and very soon your Excellencies will have a free passage for foreign troops, either through Istria or through Friuli.
Turin, the 18th October, 1620.
[Italian.]
Oct. 19.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Spagna.
Venetian
Archives.
594. PIERO CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The English ambassador has informed me of the orders which he has from his king to speak strongly to the ministers here upon the affairs of the Grisons, owing to the offices performed by your Serenity's ambassador in London, and that they had also spoken to the Count of Gondomar, the Spanish ambassador, begging him to write and represent everything here in good form, as he promised to do. As his Majesty was the good friend both of the republic and of this crown, he thought he could intervene to favour him by not disturbing any further the affairs of the Grisons, but to let them return to their former quietude, which would please everybody, and would earn the good opinion of a king who professes not to desire the possessions of others. He told me that he was going to the Escurial for the purpose and would speak with such spirit as he knew his master desired, and as his obligations towards our republic demanded.
I thanked him and expressed the indebtedness of your Excellencies to his king for engaging in a matter of such importance, which concerned not only the republic but all Italy, since they were closing the gates necessary for her defence, and so prejudiced all her friends and his Majesty in particular, by leaving that pass in the hands of the Spaniards alone by which alone they can communicate with his realms. I did my best to impress upon him that this was a common cause, of the utmost importance, to all those who had reason to suspect the power and designs of the Spaniards, because from what he said to me I gathered that his instructions lead him to perform the office rather because of the representations made by your Serenity than because he himself was interested. The ambassador promised that after he had executed his orders he would tell me of the reply he received.
Madrid, the 19th October, 1620.
[Italian.]
Oct. 19.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Spagna.
Venetian
Archives.
595. PIERO CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the DOGE and SENATE.
With regard to the ships arming in England against the pirates, in addition to the orders issued to the ports to afford them good entertainment, there is an idea that they will unite with the ships of his Majesty here which are in Vizcaya, to render the assault more powerful and the better to pursue those who scour the seas and who have recently taken three ships laden with merchandise.
Madrid, the 19th October, 1620.
[Italian.]
Oct. 20.
Misc.
Cod. No. 46.
Venetian
Archives.
596. HIERONIMO TRIVISAN, Venetian Ambassador Extraordinary in the Netherlands, to the DOGE and SENATE.
I imparted all the contents of your Serenity's news letters to the Ambassador Carleton, who certainly seems most devoted to the interests of your Excellencies, and told him of the request to send a mission from this quarter to the Swiss. He pointed out the difficulty because the Prince of Orange is away, and if a single member of the assembly objects it will be necessary to receive the assent of his province, while if his Excellency were there he would overcome all opposition. He told me that he would try and sow some good seed privately among the members of the government, and perhaps it would help if his king said a word to the Ambassador Caron, as here they desire to give satisfaction to his Majesty, who has received some offence from these parts, especially by their alliance with the Hanse towns, without having breathed a word to him.
I thanked him and will inform the Ambassador Lando of this conversation, leaving it to his prudence to decide what he shall do. I hear from several quarters that the reply will not be satisfactory, as it would be superfluous to send a minister without money.
As I write, at the second hour of the night, the Ambassador Carleton informs me that he has received letters which compel him to ask audience of the States to-morrow morning, and he will come to me later to tell me about it. I hope he has some good news about a resolution of his Majesty, and so I shall await him eagerly. I fear this audience will postpone the reply I expect from to-morrow to Thursday.
The Hague, the 20th October, 1620.
[Italian.]