Venice
October 1620, 21-31

Sponsor

Institute of Historical Research

Publication

Author

Allen B. Hinds (editor)

Year published

1910

Pages

448-462

Annotate

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

Citation Show another format:

'Venice: October 1620, 21-31', Calendar of State Papers Relating to English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 16: 1619-1621 (1910), pp. 448-462. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=88771 Date accessed: 31 October 2014.


Highlight

(Min 3 characters)

October 1620

Oct. 21.
Misc.
Cod. No. 46.
Venetian
Archives.
597. HIERONIMO TRIVISAN, Venetian Ambassador Extraordinary in the Netherlands, to the DOGE and SENATE.
After dinner the Ambassador Carleton came to visit me and told me with joyful countenance that his king had decided to declare in favour of the King of Bohemia, owing to Spinola's invasion of the Palatinate. His Majesty had maintained his neutrality in the affairs of Bohemia, because neither the king nor the Bohemians had told him of the election before it took place, but he had never pretended to keep neutral about the Palatinate, and now he saw it invaded he was preparing to succour it, beginning by sending money. If in these few winter months the Spaniards do not give him satisfaction, he will move strongly in the spring.
I commended the resolution, saying it ought to be hastened as the circumstances do not admit of delay. I pray God that the winter cold may not cool this heat, as every one fears.
We have no news here except that Prince Henry joined the Princes of the Union on the 7th inst.
The Viscount de Lormes has returned from England and seems very impatient because no reply has arrived to his last letters. I pointed out the difficulties, but could not appease him, and he asks that he may have leave to go. I do not think that the matter should be given up so and I have persuaded him to go to Venice. I would take him with me, were he not so determined not to travel through France.
The Hague, the 21st October, 1620.
[Italian.]
Oct. 22.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
598. To the Ambassador in France.
The three leagues of the Grisons resolved to arm despite the efforts of the French ministers, and they captured the country of Bormio, but owing to lack of provisions, they were subsequently driven out by the Spaniards. You will ask for audience immediately to narrate these events, explaining that the Grisons acted independently out of desperation, but their cause is that of France and of this province. By such movements the Grisons are playing into the hands of the Duke of Feria, who has merely strengthened his hold upon the Valtelline, and masses his forces on our frontiers. To make a further impression, and to induce them to insist upon the carrying out of the treaty you will briefly refer to the Spanish progress in the Palatinate, the marriages with Mantua, the ideas about Sabioneta, and the fresh demands for the bishopric of Coire for Leopold.
The like, mutatis mutandis to Rome.
The paragraph containing the news to Germany, Constantinople, the Generals, Naples, Milan and Zurich, to serve as information.
The like to England, the Hague, Savoy and Florence, adding:
We direct you to impart this information, pointing out its importance to the general welfare, and how the Spaniards are drawing advantage out of it all, for the advancement of their interests everywhere.
Ayes, 88.Noes, 0.Neutral, 0.
[Italian.]
Oct. 22.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
599. To the Ambassador at Rome.
The Nuncio Scappi told our secretary at Milan that one Captain Tognold, a Grison in our service, by order of our Rectors of Bergamo had written to some of his native leaders, inciting them to recover the Valtelline and promising help from this quarter. Tognold denies having written such a letter. We are sure that all unprejudiced persons will recognise the true state of the case.
The like to:
The ambassadors in Germany, France, Spain, England and Turin, and to the secretaries at Naples, Florence, the Hague, and the secretary at Milan.
Ayes, 114.Noes, 1.Neutral, 0.
[Italian.]
Oct. 22.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Costantinopoli.
Venetian
Archives.
600. ALMORO NANI and ZORZI GIUSTINIAN, Venetian Ambassadors at Constantinople, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The Pasha shows a better disposition towards the new imperial ambassador, Gallo, than his predecessor did. This appears from the fact that he does not discuss the affairs of Hungary and of the King of Bohemia with the ambassadors of England and Flanders with so much satisfaction as the other did, and indeed he does not refer to them at all unless provoked.
The Vigne of Pera, the 22nd October, 1620.
[Italian; deciphered.]
Oct. 22.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Spagna.
Venetian
Archives.
601. PIERO CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The English ambassador has not yet been to the Escurial, but has been detained these last days in receiving his wife, who has come out to him from England.
Madrid, the 22nd October, 1620.
[Italian.]
Oct. 23.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
602. GIROLAMO LANDO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The Spanish ambassador goes about complaining that in the two audiences which the king, recently gave him he said nothing further about the declaration which he made on the day before the last. In this way he wishes to insinuate quietly that he did not understand what his Majesty said to him, with only too great clearness and in wrath. In his complaint, not only about the declaration but the manner of making it, he remarked that in any case he would send post to Spain Father Maestro and the courier Riva, to take all particulars of the matter and of the ill treatment meted out to him.
As people have gone about the Court and throughout the city exclaiming that he had deceived his Majesty, by promising that Spinola would not enter the Palatinate, he has written a heated letter to the favourite marquis, protesting that he had never done anything of the kind, nor had any one else either for him or for the king his master, and declaring that if he could not remove this false impression by any step he might take, he would leave the kingdom and publish a printed manifesto in defence of his own honour and that of his master.
The king sent the enclosed reply through the marquis, of which I send also a translation. Possibly his Majesty thought it enough to have struck the blow, by uttering the strongly worded statement I reported, or perhaps he thought it better to soothe him, having possibly gone somewhat further than he intended. This proves sufficient to remove the slightest stain of imputation and therefore saves the face of himself and his king, and has completely destroyed the notion held by many of printing a manifesto of his Majesty. Now their ardour seems greatly cooled, and they are chiefly concerned to see that the plans and affairs which they have with the Spaniards are not absolutely thrown overboard, after they have satisfied the ambassadors of Bohemia and the States, many of the ministers and the people, with whom the hope of the assembling of parliament constantly increases, a point which cannot be settled before the return of his Majesty to London.
With regard to the mission of Father Maestro to Spain, the king let it be understood that he did not wish the ambassador to proceed to extremes which he had not contemplated himself, and that he would like to see the Father before he left. Accordingly the priest went to take leave and had a very long and most secret audience, after which letters from Spain arrived or were manufactured, reporting that the marriage articles had been approved there, as I reported in my last despatch. Accordingly they now say that Father Maestro will not go to Spain, but will proceed to Rome for the dispensation, and the courier Riva will only accompany him as far as Paris. It is quite possible that this may not happen either, since at present all talk of his departure has entirely ceased.
By such devices the Spaniards endeavour to secure advantages in their affairs. Perhaps they hope to make some impression upon the king's mind, to sow doubts in the hearts of their opponents and encourage their supporters. Of the latter, the earl of Arundel and Digby recently went to call upon the ambassador. They tried to console and mollify him, saying that his Majesty could do no less than make a declaration for his own kin, but that this should not affect his friendship with the King of Spain or break off the thread of the marriage negotiations and other affairs. However, the Count of Gondomar has written another letter to the marquis stating that as many in this kingdom have doubtless sent word to Spain of his Majesty's declaration, and as the report must have reached all the dominions of the Catholic king, he would warn them (showing his usual ingenuity) that he could not assure them how they would receive and treat the twenty ships, which are supposed to be going to those parts, although they had been eagerly awaited by the Spaniards for many days, and therefore he advised him not to let them start.
Buckingham replied in the king's name that he was sorry his Excellency took such an extreme view of the matter, so remote from the intentions of his Majesty, who believed that the ships had already started and who could in any case entertain no doubts about the treatment they would receive. The letter is expressed in so reserved and cautious a manner as not to bind them one way or the other in sending the ships. Accordingly it has not altogether satisfied the ambassador, who indeed is very anxious about this fleet, because he fears, that if it enters the seas of Spain it may suddenly or after some time behave differently from what has been arranged, and that in any case it will prove of very little use to the interests of his king unless he can make sure of keeping it engaged according to his own ideas. But the matter is too delicate and anxious in the important affairs of these times, being one of those things in which the evil closely approaches the greatest good that could be desired. It is even a considerable advantage if it remains in these waters, since it is still at Plymouth and it seems incredible after it has been made ready and maintained at such expense, that it should remain idle thus. It is reported that an express courier has gone with orders for it to start without delay. The exact contrary has been whispered in my ear on good authority, and as I play the prophet unwillingly I must await the result.
The Spaniard has written yet a third letter to Buckingham, stating that since he has heard many strong notions expressed by the common people about the declaration, and as he does not know what it really was, since the king did not declare himself sufficiently to him, he would like to have it in writing to send to Spain. Buckingham sent a very full reply, doubtless framed entirely by the king, in which he says that his Excellency's request is quite reasonable, although he ought not to pay much attention to what is said by the common people; who are naturally talkative and enlarge upon everything. It goes rambling on into a number of notions concerning the war of Bohemia, saying that his Majesty would not declare whether he considered the action of the Bohemians reasonable or no and refers to the good offices he performed with his son-in-law and all the world for peace; his excellent proposal to follow up the negotiations for some agreement until they could make preparations to give effect to his declaration, which has ultimately been made in very suave fashion after a reference to the reasons which have occasioned a delay in making it until the present time and those which have led him to make it now. In fine, it is considered a most prudent letter which does not give away the king's advantage in any point. The ambassador has weighed and sifted it with much subtlety. He has now laid aside his arms of rigour and devotes his abilities to behaving with suavity and mildness, employing every artifice that he knows, being fully aware that his Majesty enjoys negotiating with him, with all the alertness that he knows how to employ, and that he has fallen in with an encounter suited to him, and speaking for himself he knows how to negotiate so much without the help of the councillors (essendo in somma stimata una prudentissima lettera che in alcun punto non declini da ogni avantaggio del Re, dall' Ambasciatore pesata e crevellata con molta sottigliezza, hora ingegnandosi con deporre l'armi del rigore, di portarsi egli anchora, con soavità e dolcezza impiegando tutto l'arteficio che tiene, ben' accorgendosi che S. Maesta gode di trattare seco con altretanta accortezza, quanta egli sa usare, e che ha incontrato in scontro proprio per lui, e che sa, volendo per se stesso, senza l'aiuto de' Consiglieri negociare altretanto).
London, the 23rd October, 1620.
[Italian].
Enclosed in
the preceding
despatch.
603. Letter of the Marquis of Buckingham to the Count of Gondomar, ambassador of his Catholic Majesty at London.
The king has declared in his full Council and generally to all that the King of Spain, your Excellency, the Marquis Spinola, or any other on behalf of Spain has made any promise to him that the forces of the Marquis Spinola should not enter the Palatinate; on the contrary his ambassador in Spain and the Spanish ambassador here have always assured him there was no hope they would do otherwise. I can myself testify that on this point your Excellency has always spoken like a good minister of your sovereign. The king has certified this to be true and declares he will be very angry with any one who states so great a falsehood as the contrary, and has commanded me to assure your Excellency of the same.
Theobalds, the 2nd October, 1620.
[French.]
Oct. 23.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
604. GIROLAMO LANDO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
I have executed the commission of your Excellencies in your letters of the 19th and 25th ult. with the Secretary Naunton, who has charge of affairs of state here, whilst the king, now at Royston, takes a turn through a number of his palaces in the country, until All Saints day. I told him of the skirmish between the Grisons and Swiss and the Spaniards, the movements of the former without awaiting help from your Serenity, and the important results of abandoning Bormio. I told him the reasons why the Senate had decided to send an ambassador extraordinary to the Most Christian, thanking him for the good offices he had performed, and asking the secretary to impart all this to his Majesty as soon as possible, so that he may be able to exert his influence in helping the Grisons and doing whatever else he may think proper in the interests of so just a cause. He pressed me, in order that he might be able to inform his Majesty more precisely, to give him the substance and principal points in a note. I thought it best to do so, since as this minister is busily occupied in the greater part of the affairs of this Court, it would be no wonder if his memory could not retain even some of the essential particulars.
He told me, what I certainly believe, that the movements in the Valtelline had also exercised a great influence in causing his Majesty to declare for the affairs of Germany. He had heard recently with great satisfaction that the Most Serene republic had decided to help the Grisons, not only with money, but with munitions, arms and men, and that they had already begun to recover the country. He was likewise grieved to learn from France with what little respect they had treated the representations made in the name of your Serenity. In this connection he remarked: The king there is young and does not know how to rule. He added that other letters had recently arrived from France, which he had sent to the Court on the preceding day brought better news, it appearing principally that the Prince of Condé was beginning to understand this business in a proper manner.
The letters of the Secretary Gregorio from Venice this week bring three matters which have not produced a good impression on the king's mind. The first is that the Duke of Feria is very doubtful about what to do further. He has orders from Spain covertly praising his operations up to the present in inciting the Catholics, but warning him not to stir up humours which would bring about a war in Italy, as that would be considered inopportune at the moment and would endanger the reputation of his Catholic Majesty. The second, that he has in fact met with a stronger resistance than he expected. The third, that the pope also is secretly assisting the interests of Italy. The Spaniards go about vaingloriously declaring that Pimentelli and Bravo recovered Bormio by force and courage, slaying all the defenders, and they refer with angry scorn to the decisions and strength of the republic. I will not fail to announce the truth. I thought it as well to advise many of the leading nobles here of what the Secretary Scaramelli wrote me from the Platz about this skirmish, in which so many Spaniards fell. I also will not neglect some suitable office with the favourite, the Archbishop of Canterbury and other ministers, so that they may use their influence in a matter so worthy of his Majesty's consideration, to make him think of increasing his own glory by a greater exercise of his prudence, authority and power. I shall point out that since his declaration for the Palatinate, it is only reasonable that he should seize the opportunity to benefit the affairs of the Valtelline, which are unquestionably related.
I have discovered an extraordinary amount of curiosity here upon this question, owing to the numerous enquiries made of me about it for a few days past. Accordingly I thought I would send my secretary Zon to Court under the pretext of asking the Marquis of Buckingham, as Lord High Admiral, for leave to take away the guns of the wreck which might be recovered by the diver; to recommend to him at the same time this serious business of the Valtelline and beg him to agree to allow me to set forth certain things here to the ministers, as I recently did to the Secretary Naunton, to impart them without delay to his Majesty and use his influence in favour of this necessity, since all the letters sent to the Court in the usual way, no matter what their business, pass through his hands. I also asked that since I understood that his Majesty had spoken with the Ambassador Gondomar on the subject he would graciously consent to inform me of the reply.
His Excellency listened to the secretary with remarkable courtesy, and with sincere signs of a change of opinion upon current affairs. The secretary, who bore himself with great prudence and entirely in accordance with my wishes, received the reply, that as regards taking away the guns, he would give the necessary promise, as that depended upon him alone. But owing to the large number of ships that are wrecked on the coasts of Ireland it is necessary to supply not only the number and weight of the pieces, but their marks. I at once wrote to the Secretary Surian for these particulars so that there should be no further delay for this cause in a matter which has been prolonged by so many hindrances.
As regards the office passed by the king with the Spanish ambassador, he said that his Majesty had spoken very strongly, but only received a very general reply. This consisted, after some rigmaroles, of a confession of the importance of the affair, the efforts which the Governor of Milan is devoting to it, hoping to render himself glorious in Spain if he renders himself completely master of that country, although he did not know how the news of these disturbances would be received at Court.
In reply to the third request about my exposition to the Secretary Naunton and my offices with his Excellency he promised that the speed with which he brought a matter under his Majesty's notice should be in proportion to its importance, and a reply would be given. He asked the secretary to remain until the following day, and with copious promises and offers he seemed disposed to secure my satisfaction by letters or otherwise, if any other circumstances of importance occurred.
On the following day when the secretary went to the Court, the marquis had him conducted to what he believed to be his Excellency's apartments, but which were actually those of the king, who was lodged under a poor and narrow roof. His Majesty, after consulting the favourite sent for him at once, against the use of his nature, as far from seeking he usually avoids such occasions. This is a great sign, which will cause no small stir in the Court. Speaking very graciously and showing his marked desire to satisfy your Excellencies, his Majesty said: Tell the ambassador that I have heard from the marquis what you have set forth. The question concerns me very greatly and I have always attached a proper importance to it. But, you see, I am such a long way off. I have written to Spain and France and to Turin, so that Wake may pass an office with the Swiss and Grisons, and I have spoken to the Ambassador Gondomar here. I do not know or see myself what more I can do. If the ambassador has anything to suggest, let him do so, as I am disposed in any case to show the most serene republic the friendship of my heart, as I have tried to do upon other occasions. What is the pope doing? he is a neighbouring Italian power. He added: I assure you, and you will assure the ambassador, that I am well informed. The King of Spain at present does not desire war in Italy, and he has written to the Governor of Milan to be careful not to move in that direction. This coincides with the news sent by Gregorio.
Upon the point of the letters to France, Spain and Turin, and speaking to the ambassador, the secretary humbly asked the king if he had received a reply from anywhere. He answered: No, only from the ambassador, and repeated what was previously reported by the marquis. On the other point, he said he did not know what I could suggest to one so prudent as his Majesty, beyond what I had fully said to him and indicated upon several occasions but all reflections upon this were best left to his Majesty, so great and generous a prince, to find a means, beyond what he has done hitherto, to the increasing indebtedness of the republic, by the exercise of his great authority and power, to stay the progress of these disasters which under the false pretext of religion, may easily result in the complete loss of the Valtelline. With regard to the pope he said he thought that he could not declare for any party, for reasons of religion. He said it might be true that the King of Spain did not desire war in Italy, yet they saw these disturbances constantly increasing whilst the Governor directed all his energies to the advancement of his vast ambition. The king concluded by saying: You speak true; but I do not know how things are going or how those devils of ministers will behave (il re sigillo con dire. Voi dite il vero Ma non so come vadino queste cose e come quei Diavoli di quei Ministri si governino).
I shall not fail to cultivate the disposition which I think I see in this matter, although the words are the same as those uttered upon other occasions. I will proceed with the tact that your Excellencies rightly suggest, and will try not to show more ardour than is proper, for that would do harm at a moment when I really think I am making some progress. Time and chance alone, as a rule, produce great results, although it is true that this affair seems to brook no delay. Many of the ministers here perceive the full importance of the point, to some extent for the interests of Italy it is true, but chiefly, at this crisis, for those of the King of Bohemia and Germany, because they perceive this ring will complete the chain between the state of Milan and the Tyrol, with the most important consequences. But they all apply themselves with great zeal to the more urgent necessity, that of the new king and of the United Princes, and they have no time to spare for an accessory and not a principal point. Moreover, the ministers of the opposing party will not neglect any opportunity of combating every thing soever calculated to annoy or prejudice the Spaniards, especially inflamed as they are at this moment with deep wrath by his Majesty's declaration. It seems clear to me that as the previous reluctance of the king to declare himself for his son-in-law left no grounds for hope or so much as desire that he would declare for others, so now that he has declared himself for the Palatine many are taking up the excuse that he cannot do so much for so many parts or undertake more for more remote interests.
London, the 23rd October, 1620.
[Italian.]
Oct. 24.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Roma.
Venetian
Archives.
605. GIROLAMO SORANZO, Venetian Ambassador at Rome, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Here they believe that the imperial army has already drawn near to Prague and what they desire they readily believe. They think it very strange that the King of England does not show resentment at hearing of the Palatinate being attacked by the forces of Spain, and if that sovereign shuts his eyes and ears to that movement they think it is because he has decided to entertain no thought of anything but his hunting and other pastimes, and they think that the Spaniards keep him fascinated with the hopes of their marriage, and that the said king has no other preoccupation beyond avoiding giving them offence (pare strano assai che, sentendo il Re d'Inghilterra che il Palatinato venghi assalito dall' armi di Spagna, non se ne risenti, et se quel Prencipe chiude gli occhi, e l'orecchie a questa mossa si crede che sii risoluto di non voler altri pensieri, che delle sue caccie et de'suoi trattenimenti, et si tiene che Spagnoli lo tenghino fascinato con la speranza del lor matrimonio, et che quel Re non habbi la mira ad altro che a non disgustarli).
Rome, the 24th October, 1620.
[Italian.]
Oct. 27.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
606. ANZOLO CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The Ambassador of England here in informing me of the declaration recently made by his king in favour of his son-in-law for the protection and defence of the Palatinate, told me two particulars in confidence, the first that the King of Great Britain will endeavour to collect a most powerful army, but his principal aim will be to treat for a settlement, although armed, of these affairs of Bohemia, and propose terms for an amicable agreement; the second is that he does not think that the king will agree to assemble a parliament on any account to obtain money, so his Excellency feared that the other means adopted to obtain funds would not suffice to maintain a long war, though all his Majesty's subjects of every condition would display the utmost readiness to make the contributions imposed upon them in so just a cause.
Paris, the 27th October, 1620.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Oct. 30.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
607. To the Ambassador in England.
We have received various despatches from you, the latest being of the 8th and 11th inst., and from them we learn your continued diligence in your charge, to our complete satisfaction, with important particulars about the declaration made by the king in the interests of the Palatinate, and we shall eagerly await further news on the subject from you. We direct you to pass such offices with his Majesty, the prince and the ministers in commendation of this most prudent and worthy resolution, as you may think proper. You will act with the circumspection required by the conditions, and we feel sure that you know what is necessary. You will also pass an office of compliment with the ambassador of Bohemia, expressing the satisfaction caused by his Majesty's declaration. We are sure that you will neglect no chance of cultivating good relations with this minister. We shall await with interest your report of what takes place.
In the affairs of the Valtelline we have to add that the Spaniards continue to tighten their hold upon the valley, by strengthening their forces and adding fortifications; thus clearly manifesting their intentions, their acts proving very different from what they go about saying. We hear also that the French take exception to these matters, and the ambassador of the Most Christian king has made strong representations to the pope, declaring in particular that his Majesty will not tolerate such action by the Spaniards, and is resolved that the valley shall return to its pristine state.
You can use this information with the king and ministers in such way as you consider best, to make them see the importance of the affair and endeavour to make a good impression on his Majesty.
Ayes, 100.Noes, 2.Neutral, 0.
[Italian.]
Oct. 30.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
608. GIROLAMO LANDO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Many copies of the letter written by the Marquis of Buckingham to the Spanish ambassador, which I sent to your Excellencies with my last, have been found scattered about the streets of recent nights. We have not seen any copies of the second letter about the ships. This is a clear sign that it is not altogether to the taste of the Spaniards, but with more artifice and advantage than the others. The last, though issued in the same manner, was stopped, a circumstance remarked upon by the leading and wisest ministers. The contents are of great importance demanding much consideration. For although the Spaniards fear that it may be written craftily for the purpose of deceiving them the more, as they observe that some points are not touched upon, notably the incitement of the States to employ the army which they have on foot to these urgent necessities; on the other hand the ambassador of Bohemia is very resentful about it. He thinks it discloses what is really at the bottom of the king's mind. From what I hear he proposes to make complaint to his Majesty on the subject. When your Excellencies hear it you may be able to form your opinion thereupon. The Spanish ambassador admits to his intimates that upon the subject of religion in particular his Majesty spoke to him in a different fashion face to face and the ambassador of Bohemia marvels that in the same his Majesty never hints a word about the declaration in defence of the other states of the United Princes besides the Palatinate, to which his Majesty now seems to confine it, while at the same time he expresses so many opinions which reflect upon the king his master when there seemed no reason whatever for expressing them.
Father Maestro has left for Spain. It is rumoured that he is going to Rome for the dispensation and will first proceed to Brussels to receive some useful instructions there.
The ships have at length left Plymouth and the kingdom, having started on the 21st inst., according to news received thence by letters of the 24th. They were provided with food for six additional months, making fifteen in all. Some say that the instructions have been changed and that the commander has orders not to open them except at some distance from the kingdom. They also say that finally other orders were sent to him, but he had already left. The messenger followed him some leagues out to sea but could not catch him up, and finally they despatched a ship post haste after him The truth is that nothing is yet known, but I understand that the whole business was in the hands of those ministers here who are the strongest partisans of the Spaniards, so it is sure to prove satisfactory to the ambassador.
Some have begun to persuade his Majesty that now he has declared himself it is not proper that the collection of the money should remain in the hands of the ambassador of Bohemia, but it should pass through those of his own ministers. If the king decides upon this he will do the worst thing possible for obtaining good results from the parliament, supposing he decides to assemble it, as the ill disposed, upon the pretext that the money will be absorbed by favourites and wasted, will display a reluctance to supply any, and affect the well disposed equally (la quale capitando a questa resolutione fara il peggio che possa fare anco per cavare buon'efetto dal Parlamento, quando resolva di ridurlo, poi che li mal disposti con il protesto che il danaro resti assorbito da favoriti et mal menato, mostreranno renitenza anco per renderne altretanta nei bene animati).
The offer of the Councillors, already reported, has now extended to other earls, barons and simple gentlemen. What was originally a voluntary offer has now become a request for a benevolence, the king having so far had over fifty letters written in his name, exhorting many persons to imitate the others by paying down a certain sum; the letters also state that such an earl or such a person has offered so much. It is proposed to devote the money to making a levy of troops, and that the amount shall reach about 300,000l. When his Majesty reaches Theobalds or London in eight or ten days time, they will come to a full decision about the method of giving a steady effect to the declaration, whether by means of a parliament or otherwise, upon which the Council has been engaged all these weeks.
Apparently the king thinks of summoning the parliament merely to submit proposals for the defence of the Palatinate and it seems that he intends to use the marriage negotiations with Spain to induce the people to give him satisfaction, as it were by this threat. But already one hears very free speech, that the people must stand by the ancient liberty of their own laws, if his Majesty wishes to make this marriage with the Spaniard, with the conversion of his own realms, let him do so, but his subjects have no such idea. They seem determined to take up the business in the parliament at the very point where they broke off the last time, with little satisfaction on both sides, and they do not want any sort of limitation. They claim the reformation of various impositions laid on by his Majesty's sole authority without the consent of parliament, as well as of the monopolies granted by him to many individuals, for example of all beer, of all tobacco and so forth, at a single stroke, which burden the realm, and upon the alienation of much of the royal revenue, now enjoyed by favourites, which makes it necessary to impose fresh burdens, and upon other similar points, difficult to unravel, as for some time past the king has betrayed a very strong intention to limit the power of his subjects, not, one may say, without a great diminution of that hearty affection which they bore him at the beginning of his reign. (Pare che il Re pensi di chiamare esso Parlamento per non far altre propositioni che della difesa del Palatinato, e pare, che si sia per servire della trattatione del matrimonio con Spagna per tirare li populi quasi con questa minaccia alle sodisfattioni sue. Ma già si sentono concetti molto liberi che questi devono stare nell'antica libertà delle proprie leggi; che se Sua Maesta vuol far il matrimonio colla Spagnola, con conversione delli suoi Regni, lo faccia pure, che li sudditi non vi pensano. Si mostrano risoluti di voler ripigliare per a punto le trattioni nel Parlamento per le quali si sciolse la ultima volta con poca sodisfattione d'ambidue le parti, e di non volerle in alcuna maniera limitato. Sopra diversi impositioni per sola auttorità di Sua Maestà imposte senza la deliberatione dell' istesso, pretendono reforma; come sopra li appalti dati da lei a molti particolari di tutta la bira, di tutto il tabacco, per essempio e simili in un sol colpo, che tiranneggia il Regno, e sopra l'alienatione di molte entrate reggie, hora godute da favoriti; che rende poi la necessità d' imporre anco nuove gravezze, e sopra altri simili punti, difficili da sgropparsi, mentre l'animo del Re molto intento si scuopre da qualche tempo in qua a restringere l'auttorità a sudditi, ne si può dire, senza molta dimminutione di quel svisserato amore che li portavano nel principio del suo regnare.)
Mr. Thomas Edelsten, ambassador extraordinary of the Elector of Brandenburg, (fn. 1) has arrived here, after having been at the Hague. I have called upon him and almost all the other ambassadors have done the same. He says he has come to request his Majesty's offices with the King of Poland, who is raising some difficulties with his master about the investiture of Prussia, being chiefly angered because his sister has been promised in marriage to the King of Sweden, his particular enemy. The excuse offered is that the mother arranged the marriage without his knowledge. This also puts an end to any plans which might be cherished here and to the discussion of those who always believed that the question of the marriage of the prince here would be treated at length in several places, but that ultimately it would be arranged in Germany, like that of the princess, now Queen of Bohemia, where there is sympathy in religion with so many natural and eternal interests. The ambassador says that his master will go in person to the diet of Poland for the negotiations aforesaid.
Some days since they arrested here a priest of the household of the French ambassador, twice previously banished from these realms and too well acquainted with them, and who was released from prison a while ago at the request of the Spanish ambassador. They have given a sharp and angry reply to the strong remonstrance made by the ambassador.
I have heard, though in broken fashion, that letters have arrived to-day from Paris, relating that his Majesty's ambassador has made the representations committed to him about the affairs of the Valtelline, not to the king, who was absent, but to the Council. He found the chancellor and some other ministers unfavourably disposed, and that they laid everything upon the shoulders of the republic, but ultimately they had decided to write to Spain declaring that his Most Christian Majesty would not suffer these advances. I will not fail to gather more exact particulars from the secretaries here.
The Council has issued a new order, which will be printed, that no person whatsoever may take unworked wool out of the kingdom, as a relief to poverty and a benefit to trade. (fn. 2) This will inflict great damage upon many towns, especially in Holland, where they derive great benefit and advantage from English wool.
Your Excellencies' letters of the 13th August with the instructions about Cephalonia have only reached me this week. I will diligently carry out the instructions as soon as possible, but as the matter has encountered difficulties before, your Excellencies will allow me to postpone the negotiations for a while, until I have an opportunity which seems more satisfactory than the present moment, wherein the king and ministers have scarcely enough time to devote to matters of greater consequence, and would very unwillingly listen to the opening of such a subject.
London, the 30th October, 1620.
[Italian.]
Enclosed in
the preceding
despatch.
609. Letter of the Marquis of Buckingham to the Spanish Ambassador. (fn. 3)
I have shown your letter to his Majesty and he considered your request reasonable. He therefore commanded me to tell you that his declaration before the Council consisted in two points, first, to publish his innocence to the world in that he had never advised his son-in-law to accept the kingdom of Bohemia, but even dissuaded him, upon which he refers your Excellency to Lord Digby. He declared that he would maintain his neutrality for three reasons, firstly for conscience, secondly for honour and thirdly for example, because the religion he professed did not allow any transfer of crowns upon the pretext of religion. This was a just quarrel between our church and the Jesuits, who claim to set up and dethrone kings at their pleasure, while our religion inculcates obedience to temporal sovereigns even if they be Turks or infidels, and the world was inclined to make this a war of religion, to which his Majesty was strongly opposed. On the point of honour, his Majesty being requested by the King of Spain to do what he could to arrange an agreement between the emperor and the Bohemians, and the assumption of the Bohemian crown by his son-in-law taking place while his ambassador was in Germany to arrange this peace, it would have been dishonourable to assist his son-in-law. On the third point, this sudden transfer of a crown by the authority of the people was a dangerous example for all Christian kings; he himself is a hereditary monarch, and if this evil once became rooted no one can tell how far it might spread. It would affect far more his brother-in-law, the King of Denmark, himself an elected king. His Majesty let alone the rights of the people of Bohemia in the matter, being altogether ignorant on the subject. They would have to search their history and privileges before they could decide the point, with which he had nothing to do.
The second point on which his Majesty declared was the Palatinate. He informed his Council that he had spared no pains in negotiating with the King of Spain on the subject, and in sending a special embassy to all the princes of Germany interested in the matter, pointing out that his Majesty had faithfully observed his neutrality in the affair of Bohemia and had every reason to represent how the invasion of the Palatinate touched his interests, as he had given his daughter to inherit it long before any one thought of these miserable troubles. Now his grandchildren were the legitimate heirs and it was neither just nor reasonable to deprive them of their inheritance when they were in no wise guilty, especially considering the uniformly correct attitude of their grandfather. He could not deny that from Spain they had always warned him that the emperor would be compelled to create this diversion, to relieve the pressure in Bohemia and Austria, while your Excellency said the same and his ambassador in Spain gave him no other hope. But the Palatinate being actually invaded, nature compelled him to have recourse to all possible and legitimate means. As winter was approaching he certainly could do no more than make two different sorts of preparation between now and the spring, firstly, to do everything possible to procure a satisfactory peace between now and the summer, wherein he hopes to prove successful if his son-in-law will listen to his advice, and if the emperor's party will hearken to his overtures, and then the miseries with which Christendom is menaced of internecine war and invasion by the Turk will be avoided. If his son-in-law listens to his advice and the emperor's party will not, he will take advantage of the winter to make preparations for the defence of the Palatinate. If on the other hand his son-in-law will not follow his counsel, he will be constrained to abandon him to his own devices, even if the means for the defence of the Palatinate were all in readiness, as Lord Digby will inform your Excellency.
To conclude this long letter, his Majesty commands me to assure you on the honour of a Christian king that this is the pure truth, which has ever been expressed both in public and in private, and he feels sure that both your Excellency and the king your master will place more confidence in it than in any false information due either to malice or to ignorance.
[French.]
Oct. 31.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Roma.
Venetian
Archives.
610. GIROLAMO SORANZO, Venetian Ambassador at Rome, to the DOGE and SENATE.
They are waiting here to see what the King of England will do upon receiving the news of the invasion of the Palatinate by the Spanish forces. But the lukewarmness of that monarch, the aim he has set himself of not breaking with the Spaniards, his desire to arrange an alliance with the Catholic king by the marriage of his son, and this untimely resolution to unite his ships of war with those of the Spaniards give rise to the belief that he will even suffer the taking of the Palatinate and will calmly see his own grandchildren despoiled.
Rome, the last day of October, 1620.
[Italian.]

Footnotes

1 Carleton gives his name as Adolph Steyngen. Letters, page 499.
2 The Merchant Adventurers petitioned the Council on July 12 for the restraint of the export of wool. Cal. S.P. Dom., 1619–1623, page 164.
3 A copy of this letter, translated out of the French into English is preserved at the Public Record Office, State Papers, Foreign, Spain, which also possesses copies of the original French text.