Venice
November 1620, 1-14

Sponsor

Institute of Historical Research

Publication

Author

Allen B. Hinds (editor)

Year published

1910

Pages

462-477

Annotate

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

Citation Show another format:

'Venice: November 1620, 1-14', Calendar of State Papers Relating to English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 16: 1619-1621 (1910), pp. 462-477. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=88772 Date accessed: 30 July 2014.


Highlight

(Min 3 characters)

November 1620

Nov. 3.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Signori Stati.
Venetian
Archives.
611. CHRISTOFFORO SURIAN, Venetian Secretary in the Netherlands, to the DOGE and SENATE.
In accordance with the advice of the Ambassador Trivisano I am sending to Venice the Viscount de Lormes accompanied by Pietro Falgher. I think Pasini will follow them. Your Serenity will thus be able to obtain full particulars upon the matter. His Excellency did not think that the subject should be abandoned.
The Hague, the 3rd November, 1620.
[Italian.]
Nov. 3.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Napoli.
Venetian
Archives.
612. GASPARO SPINELLI, Venetian resident at Naples, to the DOGE and SENATE.
They say that letters have arrived here from the Archduke Albert of Flanders, asking urgently for some provision of troops. From this they argue that they fear an outbreak of war in those parts, since it appears that the progress of Spinola in the Palatinate has disturbed the King of England, and that possibly it may at length lead him to help the King Palatine, his son-in-law, in some fashion.
Naples, the 3rd November, 1620.
[Italian.]
Nov. 6
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
613. GIROLAMO LANDO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The ambassador of Bohemia has gone to Court to complain to the king about the letter which I sent to your Excellencies with my last despatch, and with the purpose of offering remonstrance upon many points, and also to remind his Majesty that on previous occasions he did not show any aversion to approving of the decision of the Bohemians to take their kingdom from the house of Austria, when it was not yet matured, which encouraged them to proceed the more readily with their design. The Spanish ambassador has sent several copies of this letter and of the first one to all the ministers of his Catholic Majesty, so that they may be scattered throughout the world. In particular he has sent several to Spinola, so that they may be distributed in his army and throughout Germany as well as in Bohemia among the other armies of the emperor, of which they are daily expecting some notable news since it is considered certain that by now some important battle must have taken place, and for that reason the youthful King elect of Bohemia was expected in Friesland, to stay in charge of the Countess of Nassau, wife of Count Ernest Casimir.
The same Spanish ambassador has furtively sent out of the kingdom a hundred large pieces of artillery, almost all of iron. The customs officials of the town of Luus have been sent to prison for this by the Star Chamber, and many other pieces have been arrested, which were all ready for export at the instance of the same person. Some say that they forged the name of Lord Cheri, without whose leave no ordnance may be taken out of the realm, since his lordship swore in the presence of the Council that signature to a licence, which the customs officials presented in their defence, was not written by him, and he had even refused leave to those who came in the ambassador's name to ask for it. (fn. 1) It is true that two years ago the king granted leave to the ambassador to take away some 100 pieces, as I reported, but the manner in which it has been done has given great offence here, the more so because it is publicly stated that on the strength of that permission he has at various times taken away over four times as many. It is understood that he has done this not merely for the service of the Catholic king, but as a mere matter of business, to sell them to the Dutch. Thus on the one hand it appears that the Spaniards are providing their enemies with arms, while on the other we see them taking ordnance from these realms; when the Dutch and all the other friends of this Crown are forbidden to do so. This is the reason why conversation in every direction upon current topics is tinged with amazement and disgust. (Da che nasce che li discorsi nella congiontura corrente per ogni parte sono volte al stuppore et al disgusto.)
The instructions which were sent to the ships and arrived too late, as I reported, were not only drawn up by the king's order and sent by those ministers who are most friendly to the Spaniards, but were not even registered and placed on the files, according to the usual practice. This arouses the suspicion that it was about something of importance, but it is universally believed that it was for nothing more than to make the ships start at once, the king being wroth at so much delay in their departure after the other orders which they had received. I can discover no more except that they are going to Spain and against the pirates, as at first arranged, notwithstanding that they write here from Spain that some ships of the Catholic king with 6,000 men are about to be sent to the East Indies to engage and drive out the English and Dutch. This gives rise to discussion in certain quarters whether they may not unite with the English, who are already so irritated with the Dutch, to crush the latter, and after that to beat the English also. Two pinnaces have remained here, which could not accompany the fleet because they were not ready. However, they are to proceed on the 25th inst. to the Strait and join the fleet in Spain.
In the prisons of the priests here they have found ten altars, at which in one morning thirty and more masses were celebrated with special prayers to God for the success of the emperor and of Spinola's army and for the extirpation of the Palatine and his followers. They removed from them a quantity of very rich sacerdotal vestments, a number of books and printed matter, which they were scattering broadcast in the kingdom, and numerous letters, one of which reported from Spain that no one at that Court contemplated the marriage with this country, although the chaplain or minister of the English ambassador there had wagered many dubloons that within the space of a year the princess would have proceeded to these shores. (fn. 2)
The audience of the ambassador of the Margrave of Brandenburg has been delayed; but without this he has obtained fresh letters for Poland, which he has sent to his master by express courier. He also proposed to ask for the sending of a special embassy to that king, because although it could no longer arrive in time for the diet about the elector's business, yet it might serve to bring about peace between the two crowns of Poland and Sweden, since as the truce was prolonged a little while ago, with no small difficulty, both parties seem disposed to come to a reconciliation. For this purpose an agent arrived here from Sweden a few days ago, with letters which may also contain some proposals from those parts of a marriage with his Highness here, as that king has a sister to marry.
Some say, although possibly foolishly, that the three ambassadors chosen by the States for here, in addition to the negotiations about the fisheries, the affairs of the East Indies, numerous commercial matters and the events in the Palatinate and Germany, have to make the proposals for some marriage, with the promise of as large a dowry as the Spaniards offer, and there does not seem to be any lady except the one mentioned above, if Catholics are excluded.
While on the subject I must not forget to say that, although it concerns a thing assuredly very remote, the secretary of the favourite marquis wrote some days ago to Mr. Wake at Turin, by special courier, something which has not been discovered. It may possibly be in order to keep alive in some sense a friendly disposition in the event of new marriage negotiations with his Highness, although religion, the want of money to provide a large dowry, which is greatly desired here, and to assign the pensions eagerly looked for by many, and the age of the princess are very considerable drawbacks. However, in any case the marquis and the dowager countess would like to be the procurers.
The Secretary Naunton, as if on his own account, has also written to Mr. Wake after his Majesty's declarations telling him to try and keep the duke well disposed. The agent himself writes that besides the negotiations with Lesdiguières and your Excellencies and his disposition to act for the liberty of Italy and the recovery of the Valtelline for the Grisons, the duke had not given an absolute negative even about the 100,000 crowns asked of him by the agent himself, as a loan, in the name of the king and the estates of Bohemia. No doubt your Excellencies will have received his reply from the proper place. This news has pleased the right minded ministers here greatly. But the king has commanded no reply to this letter of Wake, which is full of other highly important points, except to praise his diligence in sending news notwithstanding also that he received some incitement from the Secretary Naunton at my instance. In short the ardour to work at affairs here endures but a short space, and they walk with hobbling gait for the business of others. Thus Aerssens writes from the Hague that the States have been delighted to hear of his Majesty's declaration, but they do not place entire confidence in it.
The English ambassador at Paris has written no more than I reported in my last about his representations to the ministers there about the Valtelline.
London, the 6th November, 1620.
[Italian.]
Nov. 6.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
614. GIROLAMO LANDO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
In my weakness I am bound to have recourse to your Excellencies in a case which has arisen unexpectedly, in connection with the Spanish ambassador after a silence of many months, who has acted not from friendship or to honour your Serenity or myself, but, I believe, out of pure artifice in his own interests. Four days ago I met him in the street, as frequently happens, he being in a litter and I in a coach, in some fields near the city. I made way and saluted, as usual, while he replied with his customary courtesy or rather more if anything. He continued his journey towards Eghet, a village four miles away, and I mine towards home. Soon after I arrived a gentleman came from him saying: My master salutes you, and adding that if I cared to go after dinner and take the air near Eghet, he would meet me somewhere in the fields, as he desired good relations with me. I expressed my thanks and assured him of the esteem which the republic entertained for his Most Catholic Majesty. I said I only desired that he should treat me in a manner befitting my rank as the ambassador of a prince always recognised as ranking among the crowned heads. If he would do this I would meet him at Eghet, elsewhere in the country or at his own house. The gentleman replied: My master desired to see you as Sig. Girolamo Lando not as ambassador. I said that I could not divest myself of the character my prince had put upon me, and asked him to treat the republic of Venice in my person as it deserves. The gentleman promised to tell the ambassador, and after I had expressed my desire to serve his master, he departed.
As the gentleman did not come back, I sent my secretary Zon on the following day to return the compliment, to show that I would willingly embrace any opportunity of friendship, saving the dignity of your Excellencies. For this cause I told him to use no other title but Most Illustrious, which the gentleman had given to me. He expressed my thanks for the honour done to me and repeated what I had said to the gentleman, saying that I was most anxious to enjoy confidential relations with him. The ambassador replied in terms very flattering to myself. He wished to meet me as a private gentleman, as he could not treat me as an equal as ambassador, not because he did not wish to see confidential relations existing between the Catholic ambassador and the minister of a great prince, but because he had instructions to the contrary; and he showed letters from his king of the 10th June last, praising him for having held out against the French ambassador and telling him to suffer no innovations in dealing with the Venetian. The secretary replied that it would be a much greater novelty for the ambassadors to meet together as private individuals, and an entire novelty not to treat as equals. He spoke of the way that the imperial ambassador at Rome deals with the Most Excellent Soranzo, and the customs of the Catholic king to treat the Venetian ambassadors at his Court as the equals of those of crowned heads. To the first he replied that the action of the imperial ambassador had been an error. To the second he said that his king, to honour the republic, treated her as he did not treat some ambassadors of kings, Poland for example. If your king acts thus, why do not you? asked the secretary. I know my instructions, he replied. Then possibly because he noticed that the secretary always called him Most Illustrious, though he did not show the slightest indication, he showed letters from the King of Denmark and other kings giving him the title of Excellency. The secretary remarked that it was not a question of titles but of treating as equals, and if that were settled they would choose any title they pleased; when the King of Poland or other monarchs wrote to the ambassador of the republic, he understood that they used the title of Excellency, as did the pope. The ambassador, who is naturally a great talker, went on to say that he was an honest man, he valued the Catholic religion more highly than obedience to his master, he was a good friend to the republic and had sometimes been taken for a Venetian; he would rather see the republic as the friend of his king than the Turk, with whom the Catholic king is now making a treaty; he grieved to see Spanish ministers contaminating the friendship which ought to exist between the two powers. He then came back to the point, that if I liked, he would lay aside the character of ambassador in order to meet me, as he was anxious to do, since the three or four Catholic ambassadors in this diabolical country ought to stand together. He would treat me in the best way he knew, as he could do what he pleased provided he did not prejudice the honour or infringe the orders of his king. The secretary said he could only refer the matter to me, but he did not see how I could divest myself of my character as ambassador, though he felt sure that I would do everything in my power to serve him with due respect to his charge. Good, he answered, and even if he cannot, we at least are friends, Mr. Secretary. The latter agreed, adding that I also was his friend and servant.
In reflecting upon the subject, I think there are various things to be considered. If we visited without the Spanish ambassador recognising me as the ambassador of your Serenity, after he has openly declared that he would not do so, it would amount to admitting the impossibility of the ambassadors of Spain and Venice negotiating together; and I doubt whether I ought to honour privately one who will not afford due respect to the prince whom I represent. Secondly, I claim a title which the Spanish ambassador will not give. Thirdly, it is not my province to remove the character given me by your Serenity. Fourthly, even if I could do so, and we met as private persons, I could not change my state as a Venetian nobleman owing obedience to the laws of the republic, whereby I could not speak to him without leave except under necessity, and even with leave only in general terms.
His own arguments in no wise affected the above; he suggests the points of religion, the circumstances of the time and the country where we are. They are all worthy of consideration, but if the ambassadors of Spain and Venice cannot visit each other about them, certainly Girolamo Lando and Don Diego Sarmiento cannot. As he honoured me highly by this visit, and as I always suspect that so sagacious a minister does nothing to his own prejudice I feel sure that he considers it to his advantage to prejudice your Serenity in this way. and so I ought not to fall in with his plan. God knows what it is, perhaps to fabricate some imaginary affront. However, I have kept my hand on the reins. I think it will be best not to send my secretary or any of my household to the said ambassador without necessity, but I will keep up relations through the ambassador of Savoy, who seems the best fitted, as he is very confidential with him, and a long while ago he reverted to the matter with me, doubtless by the ambassador's suggestion. I will try and draw out the affair, while showing the most friendly disposition, and say I am waiting to hear from your Excellencies, though without letting it be understood that I require instructions, though I beg you will send them without delay. If I show myself as anxious to confer with the Spanish ambassador as he with me I think I shall deprive him of any advantage he might expect to gain by publishing the proposals which he has made to me.
London, the 6th November, 1620.
[Italian.]
Nov. 7.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Roma.
Venetian
Archives.
615. GIROLAMO SORANZO, Venetian Ambassador at Rome, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The declaration of the King of England has been published in favour of the Palatine, his son-in-law. If it is followed by prompt and vigorous action his Majesty's reputation will be increased, and he will afford a great service in the present emergencies. Here they remark that the said monarch is very short of money and although he has plenty of men ready he will not make any move worth considering. Here, however, they say what they like.
Rome, the 7th November. 1620.
[Italian.]
Nov. 7.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Firenze.
Venetian
Archives.
616. GIOVANNI FRANCESCO TRIVISANO, Venetian Resident at Florence, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Owing to his relations with the emperor and on the score of religion also, the Grand Duke has always desired the defeat of the Bohemians. Now, however, he hopes that the States, Gabor and the Princes of the Union will lead the Spaniards to give up all their ambitions in this province and to abandon the Valtelline. Thus he does not regret when actions go against them and he heard with particular pleasure of the declaration of the King of England that he would assist with all his forces in the defence of the states of his son-in-law and grandchildren. They announce here that his Majesty had spoken very seriously to the Spanish ambassador Gondomar, after the news of the invasion of the Palatinate by Spinola, as every one reckons that with such a counterpoise and reinforcement, the Spaniards will be obliged to labour hard, and it will not be so easy for them to turn their minds to fresh disturbances in Italy, and so they will do their best to make friends with the Duke of Savoy and secure their position here.
Florence, the 7th November, 1620.
[Italian.]
Nov. 8.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Spagna.
Venetian
Archives.
617. PIERO CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The English ambassador has returned from the Escurial, where he was to have spoken upon the affairs [of the Valtelline] as I informed your Excellencies. As he is slightly indisposed I have not yet seen him.
Madrid, the 8th November, 1620.
[Italian.]
Nov. 10.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
618. ANZOLO CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The Huguenots are very fearful that their places of safety may be taken away from them. The king would dearly like to do this; his victories have given him courage, the majority of the ministers advise it and Father Arnaux the confessor enjoins it. The belief that the Huguenots by themselves are weak, without external assistance from Germany, Holland or England, also invites him, and they have given instructions to Marsigliac, who was recently sent to Rome, to ask leave of the pope in the king's name, to sell the goods of the Church to devote the money to making war on the Huguenots.
Paris, the 10th November, 1620.
[Italian.]
Nov. 10.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Savoia.
Venetian
Archives.
619. ZUANE PESARO, Venetian Ambassador in Savoy, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The English resident said to me that their ambassador at Paris wrote to him about the Valtelline saying that the French have resolved to accept the establishment of the Catholic religion with the promise of the Spaniards in writing to withdraw from their positions, and they will allow the valley to remain under the rule of dependants of the Spaniards.
He also told me that he had orders from his king to make suitable representations to the Swiss, the Grisons and the people of the Valtelline, and he would do so in an emphatic manner. He said he had no orders to speak about the declaration of his Majesty, but that they would either have to destroy the house of Austria in Germany or admit its hegemony. This was the moment for your Serenity to enter upon a defensive alliance with the King of Great Britain; there would be good things for the Duke of Savoy and his sons abroad, hinting at an ecclesiastical electorate for the cardinal and Alsace for Prince Tomaso. He added that if things prospered in Germany he would send his secretary post to the King Palatine to inform him of the state of affairs. He suggested that the time was constantly becoming more opportune for negotiating with the most serene republic and improving mutual intercourse.
I have reported all this so that your Excellencies may have an idea of the opinions of this minister with whom I maintain the most confidential relations.
Turin, the 10th November, 1620.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Nov. 10.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Signori Stati.
Venetian
Archivos.
620. CHRISTOFFORO SURIAN, Venetian Secretary in the Netherlands, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Last Sunday the Viscount de Lormes started for Venice accompanied by Pietro Falghero. They received 300 florins for the journey. Pasini left for Brussels, where he needs to look after his house after an absence of four or five months, but if your Serenity requires his presence he will abandon everything and go to Venice.
The Hague, the 10th November, 1620.
[Italian.]
Nov. 10.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Signori Stati.
Venetian
Archives.
621. CHRISTOFFORO SURIAN, Venetian Secretary in the Netherlands, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Their High Mightinesses are discussing what instructions to give to the ambassadors who are leaving for France and England. They do not know what to decide about France, as they feel no little uneasiness at the proceedings of the king and his ministers against the Huguenots, and even suspect a secret league between some of the powers against those of the reformed religion.
They are also dissatisfied because the King of Great Britain seems so far from doing what they consider to be his duty in the common interests and for the service of his son-in-law. The proposition of M. Carleton when he expressed the declaration of his king was considered most feeble (d'assai fiachezza). Not content with writing it to the Assembly, he also wrote to Prince Maurice. When I visited the French ambassador I obtained a copy, which I enclose. This also has delayed the mission of the ambassadors to his Majesty, while they wish to discover something from the quarter of the Archdukes as to what is to be done in the matter of the truce.
The eldest son of the King of Bohemia is now in Friesland in charge of the wife of Count Ernest of Nassau.
The Hague, the 10th November, 1620.
[Italian.]
Enclosed in
the preceding
despatch.
622. Copy of letter of Sir Dudley Carleton, Ambassador of the King of Great Britain, to the Prince of Orange, on 21st October, 1620, in conformity with the Ambassador's exposition made that same day in the Assembly of the States General.
The States General have recently approached my sovereign, first about their own affairs and then upon those of my friends. Upon the first his Majesty will await the arrival of the embassy extraordinary.
On the second point, asking for assistance for his Majesty's son-in-law, his Majesty commands me to say, in conformity with his answer to M. Caron, that although the affair of Bohemia was undertaken without his knowledge or advice, and he kept neutral so that he might act as a mediator, yet in the matter of the defence of his children and their patrimony he does not consider himself a neutral. He had written to the Archduke Albert and then sent special ambassadors to his Highness and to the leading princes of the empire, to whom he intimated that if any one invaded the Palatinate he would be compelled to defend his children. He declared the same thing shortly afterwards both to the King of Spain and the emperor. Now an actual invasion has taken place, which he never believed would be attempted, and he is bound to act in interest, honour and justice. I am charged to thank the States for their readiness to help, while assuring them that his Majesty will not fail to do his share. Although he has no assistance ready before the winter, yet if he cannot have the happiness to bring about a peace during the winter, which he will first of all attempt by all the means in his power, while in the mean time he will make every preparation for war, so as to treat for peace with greater advantage, and be in a position to make actual defensive war in the spring if the negotiations prove fruitless. This is the charge I have to deliver.
For my own part I may add that now the States know my king's intentions, they should get your Excellency to do what you can to help the Palatinate before retiring to winter quarters, since my king's assistance will not be ready.
The favourable reception accorded by the States to this declaration and their inclination to give greater help to the Palatinate makes me hope that they will write to your Excellency and to their representatives in the field in conformity with my request, while I have not the slightest doubt that your Excellency will do all that is humanly speaking possible.
[Italian.]
Nov. 13.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
623. GIROLAMO LANDO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The king came to London the day before yesterday, being compelled by many affairs concerning the kingdom only which are annually settled at this time in the Court here. But he has scarcely touched the city, which he absolutely detests, proceeding towards Theobalds, having despatched his business with all speed, and given audience to the ambassador of Brandenburg who hopes to receive satisfaction in his requests. He also spoke in particular upon the decision to summon parliament. Some who do not want it have proposed that so great a matter be abandoned especially as it is forbidden by the laws, but this would not readily be supported in the present state of affairs, despite the pressing need, in order not to have to put up with it afterwards, following the same precedent, for other detestable occasions. The partisans of Spain have done everything in their power to prevent its taking place. It seems that the king wished to be petitioned for one, but the generality did not mean to do this in order to avoid binding themselves to do everything subsequently after his fashion. This occasion pleases the people greatly, as they hope to get things back into their ancient channels, in which case they are most disposed to expend any large sum of money and do everything that the king wishes. It is understood that he has now decided in the Council to convoke it; but at present they are trying to keep this decision secret, as they propose first to obtain as considerable a sum of money by benevolence as possible. Accordingly they have to-day despatched about a hundred fresh letters, besides those reported, to various country gentlemen, asking them for a loan of 1,000l. each or a little more or less, hoping in this way to gather a large amount. The king continues to temporise, either in the hope that the necessity will pass of itself, or at least to put off the evil day as long as possible. But the minds of his subjects remain in suspense, with much offence, as the poisonous delay constantly causes fresh humours to arise and strong opinions, and it seems to augment rather than decrease the popular passions. These are not thought so dangerous in discussion, but it is considered most dangerous to allow any ideas of diminishing the liberty of the state to take firmer root, or of defacing the old orders in which the people glory and take pride. To remove or diminish the opposition between these and the king, they propose to forbid that the members of the towns and counties, who in great part are usually of the Puritan sect which inculcates high and free speech, spreading a thousand roots in men's minds contrary to superiors, shall be other than Protestants of the type universal and allowed in these parts. If this serious business has a happy ending, as it will undoubtedly produce many fluctuations and much business, it will all help to strengthen this throne to do what it wishes for the Palatinate and for any other emergencies. But the last parliament, which met two years ago, had a most unhappy conclusion. (Ha versato anche particolarmente sopra la risolutione di ridure Parlamento. Alcuni che non lo vorrebbono hanno proposto che si getti una tanta cosa sopra tutte prohibita dalle leggi, che non sarebbe sopportata facilmente nella presente occorrenza, sebene preme assai, per non haverla poi sotto l'istesso essempio a sopportare per altre abhorrite anchora. Li partiali di Spagna hanno fatto ogni loro sforzo perche non segua. Pareva che il Re ne volesse essere pregato. Ma l'universale non ha sentio di farlo per non tirarsi ad obligo di essequire poi tutto a suo modo. Al populo molto e grata questa occasione, perche spera di ritornare le cose negli antichi termini, dispostissimo in tal caso di esborsare ogni grande summa d'oro, e di fare tutto cio che voglia il Re. Il quale hora si intende che si sia resoluto con il suo Consiglio di convocarlo. Ma si procura per anco di tenere la resolutione secretta, designandosi prima per benevolenza di raccorre maggior quantità di danaro che si possa; per lo che sono hoggi ispedite intorno a cento nove lettere, oltre le già scritte a diversi Signori in Paese, dimandando l'imprestido di mille lire poco più poco meno per uno; sperandosi di amassare di tal modo un gran monte. Va temporeggiando il Re, con speranza, o che il bisogno per se stesso si spenga o per deferirne almeno l'efetto molesto quando più si possa. Ma restono con molto disgusto sospesi gl'animi dei sudditi nei quali semper nuovi humori la dilatione vellonosa va facendo sorgere li concetti di rigore parendo, che in loco di detrimento augumento porgino alle passioni populari; quali non tanto stimano pericoloso il parlare quanto pericolosissimo il lasciar fare maggior radice alli pensieri volti alla dimminutione della libertà dello stato, et al disfacimento degli ordini vecchi, de quali li suddetti si gloriano e vanno altieri. Per levare o diminure il contrasto e l'oppositione di questi al Re, si pensa di prohibire nel Parlamento che li Deputati delle Città e delle Provincie, quali in gran parte solevano essere della setta puritana, che insegna il parlar alto, e libero con mille radicei nell animo contrarie a superiori, non possono più essere, che protestanti della religione universale, et in queste parti permessa. Se questo grave negocio, il quale senza dubbio molto fluttuatione e molto affare produrà, haverà felice fine, sarà il tutto per dar forza a questa Corona a far ciò che varà per il Palatinato, e per qualsisia altra occorrenza. Ma l'ultima ragunata ii anni fa successa, infelicissima fu la conclusione che hebbe.)
They are trying to increase the value of the money, already too high, which would inflict great loss on the merchants and foreigners. The proposal is for the king's advantage and to prevent English money from leaving the kingdom any more. To make money they have also sold several offices, that of Lord High Treasurer to the Lord Chief Justice for 30,000l. which opens the way for other places of succession and profit. They also are creating earls, viscounts and other titles, whereby they have obtained considerable food for the royal necessities and for the desires of the favourites. (fn. 3)
They speak here with great rejoicing of the death of Dampier (fn. 4) and the success which has crowned the arms of the King of Bohemia and the United Princes, with rumours of the capture of the bridge of Openehin, although with the loss of many English, and they consider that Spinola's army has been greatly diminished. (fn. 5) But it would be imprudent of me to advise your Serenity on this subject as you will have received authentic news much sooner.
News has come from Lisbon that another fight has taken place in the East Indies between the English and the Dutch, the latter being worsted. However, it is not credited since no confirmation arrives from elsewhere, and perhaps it is put abroad by the merchants here for their own advantage. We also have news of great losses inflicted by the pirates in the seas of Spain, where they have landed 4,000 men on the island of l'Euiza and captured three Dutch and two English ships in the neighbourhood, laden with salted fish which they were taking to Italy from Newfoundland.
It is reported that the fleet of Dutch ships and that of his Majesty have united, and some declare they have seen them sailing together off Plymouth, whence comes news in confirmation. If this were true it would be of the greater importance because it has happened with the utmost secrecy. I dare not affirm it, as, if it were so, it would mean that the Spaniards also have been deceived, no easy matter to effect. The rumours and opinions are renewed and are repeated even by the great, that the General has many sealed instructions. They now declare that he has four, one of which is only to be opened off Lisbon. Some say that they have designs upon the fleet from the Indies of the galleons of the mainland, which has not yet reached Spain. If they fall in with this they are to attempt some great stroke, but if it fails, the whole will be buried in silence, and they will afterwards proceed with the Spaniards in the manner arranged. I fancy this idea is built more upon the desires of many than upon any foundation of reason or knowledge because there is either nothing or else the affair has passed through the hands of the king and the Lord High Admiral, the favourite, one might say theirs alone.
At the annual change of the Lord Mayor, (fn. 6) as the Chief Magistrate of London, the usual festivities took place, but it is noteworthy that I was invited to a most sumptuous banquet with the Lords of the Council and the ambassadors of Bohemia and the States.
London, the 13th November, 1620.
[Italian.]
Nov. 13.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
624. GIROLAMO LANDO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
One day recently the Secretary Naunton, with that confidence which he observes with me out of his friendship for your Excellencies and his anxieties about the current affairs of the world, told me that the Secretary Wake wrote from Turin about the visit of Lesdiguières to confer with his Highness, and he thought it would be a good opportunity to urge his Majesty to give instruction to Wake to encourage in the king's name both the duke and the marshal in their sentiments about the Valtelline. This happened at the very time of the return of the Secretary Zon from Court, where he met with the favours I reported, both from the favourite and the king. As I had no special orders from your Serenity I thought it better not to make a definite request, but I took the opportunity of thanking Buckingham for the favour about the shipwrecked guns and his friendliness to the republic, to write the letter of which I enclose a copy, which Naunton has supplemented by recalling the aforesaid office at Turin. I refer in the letter to the promise made to me at Salisbury about levying troops, so that it may never be called in question, as I know by long experience of this Court, that sometimes they promise verbally what they afterwards forget or do not wish to keep, and so deny, and I thought if once in writing it would be secure and I should not subsequently be under any imputation. As the opinions expressed by the king and the marquis to the secretary are intended to create the impression that his Majesty will do more than he has done, and as signs of remarkable favour appear, I have referred to the declaration so that they may not be able to accuse me of not having spoken clearly, and that I have not known how to ask, as at times they are accustomed to say about the representatives of princes, and that their good intentions had ended in nothing owing to my silence. I also thought fit to answer what the king said about the Catholic king not wanting war in Italy.
The opinion expressed in the reply, which your Excellencies will find enclosed, that they hear that everything has been settled, is either untrue, since nothing has come, I am sure, from any quarter, unless it be the opposite from many parts, though it may come from the Spaniards, with their usual tricks, or it arises from the marquis's lack of application and of knowledge of affairs, though he wants to embrace them all, or from the small attention which the king himself pays to the advices. He sometimes allows letters to remain whole weeks upon his tables without reading them, although they are important.
I have replied that so far as I am aware the business is not settled, but rather more involved. The king gave orders to his secretary to write to Wake, and he did so immediately with great diligence, being incited also by me. The letter is already well on its way, asking his Highness and the marshal to help your Excellencies in all your wishes and the present need. I fear that the help will arrive too late, but the distance of this kingdom separated from the world, and the defects of the Court here at the present time prevent the good will of ministers from having full play.
The Ambassador Trivisano has informed me from the Hague of the good offices performed by him there about sending a minister to encourage the Swiss and Grisons and some military leader; he also advised me of the reminder of the Ambassador Carleton, and how their High Mightinesses might condescend thereto in their desire to gratify his Majesty. Accordingly I thought fit to refer to this point with the secretary, asking him to lay it before his Majesty at a good opportunity, without my making another request. It may not prove difficult to arrange something, although at present he will confer with the States less willingly than with any one else, owing to the disputes I have already notified.
If this succeeds it will, I believe, put the finishing touch to all the offices which can be performed from this side. Although they are late or lazy, yet they rarely omit offices in favour of your Excellencies here, but like them to be clearly and specifically asked for. I venture to notify this for use upon other occasions.
As I stated in my last, I have spoken to the ambassador of Savoy here about the proposition made to me by the Spanish ambassador to negotiate as private persons. He said that no ambassador could divest himself of his position. He said he thought the ambassador might do now what he had refused to do at the beginning, and offered himself as mediator. I expressed my willingness to do what I said at the very first, if Gondomar would treat me in a manner befitting the dignity of your Serenity. In this way I thought I would drag things out, but he came afterwards to see me and said the Count did not blame but praised my decision not to see him as a private individual as he recognised the force of my reasons. His invitation arose from a strong feeling of friendship towards me personally. If the difficulty could not be adjusted he hoped that I should always consider him as a good friend, and that I would make use of him for myself, for others or the republic; while he would also confidently have recourse to me. I replied with similar offers and every courtesy. I think this will be the end of the affair, although the ambassador of Savoy keeps the threads in his hands, saying that accidents may change opinions.
London, the 13th November, 1620.
[Italian.]
Enclosed in.
the preceding
despatch.
625. Letter of the Marquis of Buckingham to the Ambassador of Venice.
I am sorry that owing to my absence from Court on a journey which I had to make to see a house and lands which I have recently acquired, prevented me from answering your Excellency so soon as I could have wished. On my return I communicated your letters to his Majesty, who, in addition to what he said to you verbally, has ordered his secretary to instruct his agent to incite the Duke of Savoy in his Majesty's name in the affair of which your Excellency writes. His Majesty understands that it has been settled. However that may be I doubt not Mr. Wake will acquit himself of his charge.
Royston, the 27th October.
[French.]
Enclosed in
the preceding
despatch.
626. Copy of letter of the Ambassador Girolamo Lando to the Marquis of Buckingham.
I am greatly obliged to your Excellency for your kindness about the wrecked guns, but even more rejoiced at your friendly feeling for the interests of the republic, especially in the affair of the Valtelline. I would remind his Majesty that the said valley is now absolutely in the hands of the Spaniards. The offices performed by him in France and Spain, with the Ambassador Gondomar and with the Swiss and Grisons have proved very successful, and the Senate is most grateful for these and for the promise made at Salisbury of permission to levy troops in this kingdom. Any repetition of these offices or delivering them elsewhere would doubtless prove most useful. I must not exceed my instructions, so I can do no more than remind his Majesty of the necessity for some declaration without delay in an affair which is the most important for many years in which the United Princes and the sincere friends of this crown have been involved. It would defend justice and the general liberty to the immortal glory of his Majesty. The republic has done everything in its power but it is neither possible nor reasonable that it should bear the burden alone, especially as it is a question not of defending but of recovering what served as a ladder to reach both near and far. His Majesty has always considered damage inflicted on his friends as done to himself. All delay is harmful, and while every one is waiting to see what the others will do the Spaniards are planting their feet firmly upon what they have usurped and the matter will only be rectified by the shedding of much blood. This may possibly be averted by the mere report of a strong decision. I will not tire your Excellency further, but I hope to derive much benefit from your favour.
[Italian.]
Nov. 14.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Roma.
Venetian
Archives.
627. GIROLAMO SORANZO, Venetian Ambassador at Rome, to the DOGE and SENATE.
I neglect no opportunity of stirring the French ambassador to exert all his influence in the matter of the Valtelline; we may hope that the king on his arrival in Paris may take some worthy resolution. They think that the declaration of England may incite the most Christian also to do something worthy, and those who desire the general welfare hope to see these two monarchies break away from the close confidence and intimate relations which they have had with the Spaniards. If this occurs they think it will bridle their vast ambitions to hold all under their subjection. They think that if England carries out the generous declaration in favour of his son-in-law, the Spaniards will have enough to chew and will be obliged to increase their forces substantially next year, and with so many affairs on their hands in different parts, they may not find it easy to sustain them all with vigour.
Rome, the 14th November, 1620.
[Italian.]

Footnotes

1 I have not been able to find anything about this in the Star Chamber papers. A letter from John Woodford to Sir Francis Nethersole, of the 7th Nov. speaks of an attempt to export 180 pieces of ordnance under a forged warrant from Lord Carew (Cal. S.P Dom. 1619–23, page 190), but does not mention the place; possibly Looe in Cornwall.
2 Sir Clement Edmondes was sent with a sergeant-at-arms into Norfolk to fetch up one Sir Edward Carver, a recusant, upon suspicion or surmise that he should be treasurer of a collection among the papists for the emperor. How the matter will fall out, I know not, but it will be verified that were prayers for his good success, as likewise many masses to that purpose in a new prison here, belonging to the High Commissioners, where divers priests are, and have much resort to them by connivance; so that, upon search, there were more than forty rich capes found, besides multitudes of books, and other of their trumpery. Chamberlain to Carleton, the 4th Nov. 1620. Birch: Court and Times of James I, ii, page 212.
3 The sum is usually given as 20,000l. Cal. S.P. Dom. 1619–23, page 196. Salvetti calls it a vulgar report, but Buckingham at his impeachment admitted the payment of the money, though he said it was merely a loan to the king. Montagu received the white staff at Newmarket on the 3rd December. Dic. Nat. Biog. The following creations were made about this time, Richard Boyle as Earl of Cork and Viscount Dungarvon; William Cavendish, son of Charles Cavendish as Viscount Cavendish; Viscount Dunluce as Earl of Antrim and Oliver St. John as Viscount Grandison. Somewhat later the new treasurer was made Viscount Mandeville. Camden: Annals, apud Kennet: Hist. of Eng. ii, pages 654, 655.
4 Killed on the 9th October in an attempt to recover Pressburg.
5 Rumours of a defeat of Spinola by the Union with a loss of 8,000 men, and a report that Count Henry and the English with him had defeated Spinola's men sent to interrupt their passage of the Moselle, slaying 2,000 of them, are mentioned in a letter of Chamberlain to Carleton, of the 14th October, old style. S.P. Dom., Vol. CXVII., No. 13.
6 Sir Francis Jones, succeeding Sir William Cockayne.