Venice
November 1620, 17-28

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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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477-486

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'Venice: November 1620, 17-28', Calendar of State Papers Relating to English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 16: 1619-1621 (1910), pp. 477-486. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=88773 Date accessed: 23 July 2014.


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November 1620

Nov. 17.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
628. To the Ambassador at Rome.
The Catholic ambassador Bravo recently informed us that his master had given him leave to return to Spain. He afterwards let us know that the secretary of the embassy will remain here to carry on any necessary negotiations. We have decided to make him a presentation, with other marks of our esteem for him. We send you this for information, so that if any one asks you or if you hear anything said, you may make use of it for our service.
The like to:
France, England, Savoy, Germany, Florence, Milan, Naples, the Hague.
Ayes, 129.Noes, 1.Neutral, 4.
[Italian.]
Nov. 17.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Savoia.
Venetian
Archives.
629. ZUANE PESARO, Venetian Ambassador in Savoy, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The English agent here, in one of many conversations upon the affairs of Germany, told me that Sir [Henry] Wotton should be returning very soon to his residence at Venice, as owing to some suspicion of those of the religion the emperor had quietly suggested that he should leave, and the ambassador is awaiting the commands of the king his master.
Turin, the 17th November, 1620.
[Italian.]
Nov. 17.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Signori Stati.
Venetian
Archives.
630. CHRISTOFFORO SURIAN, Venetian Secretary in the Netherlands, to the DOGE and SENATE.
A merchant of Ireland has recovered a bronze piece of ordnance from the wreck of the Sta. Giustina, out of the sands of the shore, where it was buried. By contract with the captain of the ship he was bound to take it to Encusen at his own charges, for 400 florins. On the way he put in at Dieppe to discharge some merchandise, and there they detained the gun upon some pretext, compelling him to spend 134 florins in litigation. He has brought the documents here and has applied to the States through the English ambassador to provide a remedy. They have asked me to write to the Ambassador Contarini to arrange with M. de Langerach to make representations.
The Hague, the 17th November, 1620.
[Italain.]
Nov. 20.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
631. GIROLAMO LANDO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The Parliament is not only decided upon, but proclaimed, as your Excellencies will be glad to see from the enclosed printed paper, which I have had translated. The news of this decision has been sent to the King of Bohemia, Germany, the United Princes, the representatives of his Majesty, and to the Ambassador Wotton in particular, to notify the emperor, so that he may the more readily decide for peace and to recall his forces from the Palatinate. It now appears that the Spaniards are aiming at peace with remarkable energy, either with their habitual artifices in order to cool off his Majesty, or after having proved their strength in so many directions without success, because they really wish to embrace it. But no prudence in the world would suffice to unravel so difficult and involved a business.
It is considered certain that parliament will also be convoked in the other two kingdoms of Scotland and Ireland; in Scotland at all events, whither they have despatched some cavaliers to arrange about levies of troops and the numbers which can be amassed at the present moment. The rage against the Spaniards and their partisans is extreme, and people speak very openly against them, and some of them will possibly run no small risk, many being already alarmed, the authority of such assemblies being indeed very great in these parts. There are endless discussions in which one hears that they not only want to break off all negotiations for a Spanish marriage and help the Palatinate, but Bohemia also and every other interest of the Evangelical religion. They are also highly incensed at the action of the King of France against the Huguenots. One also hears them speak a little of the importance of the blow which has fallen on the Valtelline, as with the possibility of entering parliament every one here poses as a statesman and a prudent politician (mentre ogn'uno qui, col'habilità di poter entrare in Parlamento hora fa dell' huomo di Stato e del prudente politico). These are the usual discourses of the multitude when they find themselves with liberty and some amount of power, though the results frequently turn out very different. This may easily happen owing to their great preoccupations with the internal disorders of the kingdom which they display and to regulate which they will doubtless devote themselves with more enthusiasm.
The king is already preparing and arranging many things to give some satisfaction before the parliament meets, as he prudently wishes to make a show of granting voluntarily what he would be compelled to concede by necessity.
The Spanish ambassador, who had audience the day before yesterday after great efforts to obtain it, thought that his Majesty would inform him about the said deliberation, but he never opened his mouth on the subject. He went to offer excuses about the guns which were furtively taken out of the kingdom, as I reported. He laid the blame on an old secretary of his, who has not served him for a long while, who recently came here incognito and cannot now be found. He also went to complain about the imprisonment of some priests and because they had been despoiled of everything which they had. He said this was due not to his Majesty but to the raging zeal of some ministers, against whom he inveighed strongly. Finally he took upon himself to recommend some cavaliers and others who have recently been imprisoned on the charge of having begun to make a collection among the Catholics of money for the emperor, it being considered that they had got together a good sum and hoped to obtain 100,000l. that is 400,000 crowns, and more. (fn. 1)
The king answered brusquely upon all these points, especially the last, calling those men rebels and traitors. And whereas the ambassador, in recommending a doctor More, also implicated, but less than the others, put his hands on his breast and said: Sire, I swear to God that he is as innocent of all trace of treason as I am myself, the king replied: I fully believe it, and after the audience he laughed heartily over this with his Councillors, imitating the ambassador's action, the speech and the reply. However, More's release followed, but not that of the others. (fn. 2) Their trial is being continued by some of the ministers and it is thought that the case may even go before the parliament. Whatever happens is bound to strike a hard blow not only at these invididuals but at the whole body of these poor Catholics, as the result of the action of those who pretend to defend and assist them, but who in reality do nothing more than precipitate disaster and punishment, what they consider medicaments frequently proving blows at the heart.
While the ambassador was at the said audience, some members of his household finding themselves alone in a royal gallery containing a large portrait of Henry VIII. with a representation of the capture of Boulogne in France and another picture representing some valorous action of the English in Ireland against the Spaniards, tore up the whole of the head of Henry and the part of the picture representing the town, and also destroyed the other picture about Ireland in which the Spaniards were named. There is a great commotion about this, but perhaps it will die down, as upon other occasions similar affairs of great consequence have been dissimulated. The partisans of the ambassador go about saying that the deed was done on purpose by others in order to throw the blame and the odium upon him and his. They by their proceedings are succeeding in rendering other Catholic foreigners odious and subjecting them to the most rigorous observation. Thus six days ago it happened that the ambassadors of Spain and Savoy, with the agent of Flanders, were altogether in the house of the French ambassador, as there exists the closest intimacy between them. It was observed and reported that they remained shut up together for more than six hours on end in one room. This passed from mouth to mouth, and has excited general suspicion and much ill-feeling.
The ambassador of Brandenburg, after being knighted by the king, has taken leave. He performed the offices he desired by letter and also promised to send an embassy when required.
Although the rumour of a junction between the English and Dutch fleets still continues I am assured that it is not true. It may simply be that some ships casually encountered at sea, joined themselves with those of Mansfelt as friends, because by the latest advices received by the ambassador of the States from the Low Countries, those who were preparing against the pirates had not so much as left Zeeland. Similarly of the other news from Germany reported abroad, little has been verified except that the forces of the emperor make no material advance.
London, the 20th November, 1620.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Enclosed in
the preceding
despatch.
632. Proclamation summoning a parliament for the 16th January next following.
Given at Theobalds, the 6th November in the 18th year of the reign. (fn. 3)
[English.]
Nov. 20.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
633. GIROLAMO LANDO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
I have paid my respects to the king at Theobalds, thinking it a favourable opportunity to see him for mere compliment, which sometimes pleases him more than business, before he went to Newmarket, where he is to stay six weeks. He embraced me with great affection, and I presented the letter of your Excellencies about Colonel Peyton. He rejoiced to observe the readiness of your Serenity to favour him, and said he knew the colonel to be a very worthy and meritorious person. When I proceeded to thank him for his offices in favour of the Grisons and his last orders to Turin, he began to tell me with much graciousness that he would impart to me the replies he had received up to that moment. From France, that the French mean to apply themselves to the subject seriously, so that it may be healed. From Spain, that his ambassador had not yet been able to perform the offices committed to him with the king, but wrote that he expected a favourable reply from the nature of his conversation with various ministers. He added that the Governor of Milan had certainly acted in order to acquire glory for himself and not because of any orders he had received. Wake wrote to him from Turin that the duke seemed ready, as soon as he could to oblige the King of Bohemia with 100,000 crowns as a loan. He had replied with orders to thank his Highness, but to tell him that he would please the king more if he directed his thoughts to the Valtelline and restoring the liberty of the people there and of that important gate of Italy.
I replied that I prayed God France would really see that things went no further, not merely express wishes to that effect, and that matters were restored to their pristine state, as if things went further the interests of Italy would suffer severely with those of many princes beyond the Alps, including the greater number of the allies and friends of his Majesty. Spain was never at a loss for fine phrases, but one had to look at their actions. They had frequently made the most liberal and just promises. I referred to promises for the restitution of the trading galleys and the removal of the Uscochi, which had never been carried out. His Majesty with his large experience of affairs must have frequently noticed this. I praised his Majesty greatly for the terms of the letter to Wake.
By his gesture the king showed that he approved entirely of what I said. He then remarked: The affair is grave both for Italy and elsewhere; for my son in particular, as I have several times remarked; the republic ought not to abandon him. I replied: Sire, the republic has done all in her power, but it is neither possible nor reasonable that she should bear the whole burden alone. You are right, he said, France, the Duke of Savoy, all must act. What is the pope doing? who has such great interests. As I had no instructions from your Excellencies, I ignored this last point. I said: Your Majesty speaks most prudently. Every one ought to act and in that case I doubt not that the most serene republic would perform what was expected of her. I suggested that the emergency required some striking action from his Majesty in addition to his offices, and in so just a cause and for numerous reasons the world expected much from his royal protection and great power. At this point the king reverted to the offices. He said he was most ready to write to the Hague to the Ambassador Carleton, and to speak here to M. Caron, to induce their High Mightinesses to listen to any instances made by your Excellencies, just as the Secretary Naunton had previously written by his order and is instructed to speak to the ambassador in his Majesty's name, since he himself has no chance of seeing him these days. His Majesty expressed all this in the liveliest manner, showing a disposition more zealous and anxious to do something useful than I had ever observed before. This is the result of time and circumstance, although he is not yet ripe for that vigorous action which the emergency requires without delay, yet it gives room for hope that it will mature some day, especially as I have heard that he gave his councillors thoroughly to understand that the affair was highly important, and the action could not be supported. Thus it is reported that for this reason also he consented the more readily to summon a parliament.
After that, if things turn out well, but not before, he may be really in a condition to help his friends and allies. At present he is destitute of money, the seed from which all succours spring, and for lack of which, more than for any other reason perhaps, affairs in these parts go haltingly and their speech is chilly, and indeed this may easily be understood and is not imprudent until the outcome of this same parliament.
The king terminated the audience by saying: I remind you that if the republic arms and has to choose a military commander, I hope she will remember my recommendation of Prince Joinville, my cousin, so that the offices of others may not be preferred to mine. I replied what your Serenity had already written to me on this subject, assuring his Majesty that his authority would always prevail over that of any other with your Serenity, who esteemed him more highly than all the other princes of the world. I think he raised this point in order to urge your Serenity to arm and do something more, but your Serenity should consider this proposal carefully so that at least you may show that you attach importance to his Majesty's intercession. It would also serve to remove all trace of dissatisfaction from his Majesty's mind, as he shows himself so friendly and claims to have done so much and to have received so few favours from your Excellencies, not from lack of will but of opportunity. If this idea is not his own it is certainly frequently suggested to him, as in this Court they never lose an opportunity of doing their utmost to shake his good disposition towards your Serenity.
London, the 20th November, 1620.
[Italian: the part in italics deciphered.]
Nov. 22.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Costantinopoli.
Venetian
Archives.
634. ALMORO NANI and ZORZI GIUSTINIAN, Venetian Ambassadors at Constantinople, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The ambassadors of Hungary and Bohemia have made their public entry. (fn. 4) We sent some of our household to meet them. Many also went from the households of the ambassadors of England and Flanders, but none from France, possibly because of the dispute about precedence with England or for other causes not yet known. By order of the Pasha the whole cavalcade passed before the house of the imperial ambassador, who had his doors closed and the imperial arms removed.
The Vigne of Pera, the 22nd November, 1620.
[Italian: deciphered.]
Nov. 24.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Signori Stati.
Venetian
Archives.
635. CHRISTOFFORO SURIAN, Venetian Secretary in the Netherlands, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The Princes of the Union have written to the States asking them to continue their assistance to give instructions to the ambassadors whom they are sending to England to speak strongly to the king and never cease to urge him to take greater resolutions. They also ask them to make similar representations to Carleton. They have also written to the king to the same effect. I understand that their High Mightinesses will certainly write seriously to his Majesty, though they do not expect to reap much advantage from their offices.
This embassy with that of France is still postponed, and apparently they will not start before quite the middle of next month, since the congregation of Holland meets at the beginning, and the deputies wish to examine the instructions.
The Hague, the 24th November, 1620.
[Italian.]
Nov. 27.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
636. GIROLAMO LANDO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The ambassador of Bohemia has been to see me about the important affairs of the Valtelline. After many particulars he confined himself to two points, first that your Serenity might need troops for the recovery of the pass and for other attempts which the Spaniards might make, and second, that the republic being cut off from receiving help from outside was bound to try some means to raise this close siege. He then remarked: I know the intentions of the king my master and I believe that the King of Hungary also would willingly do anything for the Venetians. With the provinces of Carinthia and Styria we have friendly relations, and it would be easy to make some arrangement. I should like to know if the republic would listen to such proposals, and not answer in general terms but distinctly and resolutely. This is the best opportunity we shall ever have. The Spaniards themselves could not complain if the republic, shut in on every side, looked out for assistance. I have no instructions, he added, but I know well that I could have and everything could be arranged between your Excellency and me without any fuss or embassy, it being the fashion nowadays to transact important affairs in secret. It would be advisable to make an agreement that the Bohemians, Hungarians and Germans should not lay down their arms or conclude any treaty without the consent of the republic, just as the States of the Netherlands, before committing themselves, wished to have a promise from the States of Bohemia never to lay down their arms without their consent. He remarked to me that the Duke of Savoy kept promising more and more, and the king here, supposing the parliament proves satisfactory, as he hoped, which would appear in two months or so, would manfully do his share, so that if the States do not accept the prolongation of the truce which has been proposed to them, the Spaniards will be attacked from several quarters, and good results might be expected in the Valtelline and everywhere else.
I had committed to memory the reply made by your Serenity on the 5th March, which was sent to me, to the gentlemen of the King of Bohemia who went to Venice with similar proposals. I said I felt sure that your Serenity would welcome any proposals for operations directed towards the opening of the pass to the republic for receiving succour since it would be for the general good, but as I had no instructions whatsoever on the subject, I could do nothing more than praise him and thank him for the idea. He begged me to write about it, as he merely wished to know whether your Excellencies would listen to anything, because the affair would be arranged according to your pleasure.
There the subject was left. I would not absolutely bind myself to write while he did not make me any formal proposal. I shall await your Serenity's reply.
London, the 27th November, 1620.
[Italian; deciphered.]
Nov. 27.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian.
Archives.
637. GIROLAMO LANDO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The courier from Spain who arrived recently brought word of the office made by his Majesty's ambassador with the Catholic king about the Valtelline. That the reply was full of the most specious phrases and stated substantially that the Governor of Milan certainly had orders to look after the interests of the Catholics, but perhaps he had exceeded them. That his Majesty's offices are always welcome and especially so in this case, and they would produce good results as he would see. The letters have been sent to the king at Newmarket.
The same courier also brings word that numerous difficulties stand in the way of the marriage negotiations. The Jesuits in particular strongly oppose them, while the king's Dominican confessor is in favour of the match. By this and other news they try to rouse his Majesty's jealousy and to render him more infatuated than ever over this business, especially in exciting hopes for peace, either in order to destroy if possible the decision to summon parliament, or at least to postpone the carrying of it into effect. Its destruction may be hoped from the smallest delay, although the orders have now gone too far.
The Agent Wake, so far as I can secretly discover, continues to send news from Turin of some important design, arranged between his Highness and Lesdiguières, which if not fomented by his Majesty appears at least to meet with his entire approval. (fn. 5)
We hear that the brother of the King of Bohemia has arrived at the Hague, after leaving his brother's son with the Countess of Nassau. (fn. 6) He seems to intend to proceed to this Court to inflame his Majesty and give spirit to others in present affairs by his presence. It is not known if the king will be altogether pleased by this visit, as on the one hand he hates to be solicited much and on the other his suspicions are easily aroused. It does not yet appear what will happen. I understand that he will stay at the Hague until the king gives him a hint, in accordance with which he will come on here, go to Denmark, or make some other resolution. If his Majesty does not express his wishes, it is thought that the prince will come here to kiss hands, being so near, and stay on or not according to the welcome that he receives. It is greatly desired by many, especially because of the meeting of parliament. In that they think that the son of the King of Bohemia will be naturalized to render him capable of succeeding to this throne, the laws of the realm providing that no one can succeed who is not either a born or a naturalized Englishman.
The Ambassador Dohna is sending his secretary to Germany, who by the king's order is to bring back a particular account of the damage inflicted upon the Palatinate by Spinola, and of the revenues which the Palatine received from that country. This will serve the demand for reparation, in his Majesty's plans for arranging peace. We hear that Spinola is treating the people of the Palatinate with great gentleness and discretion, restraining the natural rapacity and cruelty of his men, who, however, desire no other leader than him. This shows a notable prudence, in contrast to the cruel behaviour of Bucquoi in Bohemia, which is loudly blamed.
The action of the King of France against the people of Bearn causes great dissatisfaction here, and new instructions for fresh representations have been sent by express to the ambassador at Paris.
We hear that the twenty English ships have captured a Turkish pirate ship, with 200 Turks, three English leaders, who were immediately put to death, and 30 pieces of bronze ordnance. (fn. 7)
The Earl of Essex, who went with Vere's men, has returned to obtain some command in the new levies which are being made. So also General Cecil has come back with some other Englishmen who had commands in the Netherlands, with leave for some months. After the fatigues of the war, which speedily tire them, everybody reasonably likes a little rest.
Your Serenity's letters of the 30th October, which should have reached me with the despatch of last week, came all torn, though they were put together carefully by the master of the posts of Antwerp, who told me the courier had been robbed on the Venetian confines. They only reached me this week.
London, the 27th November, 1620.
[Italian, the part in italics deciphered.]
Nov. 28.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dellberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
638. To the Ambassador at Rome.
In the present disturbed state of affairs we have thought it necessary to see to the fortifications of Brescia and Bergamo and to the defence of Verona. We have therefore chosen four Proveditori General who are to decide what is necessary for the safety of Verona. We send this for information to use as you think necessary and as our service requires.
The like to:
France, Spain, England, Savoy, Germany, Naples, Florence, Milan, the Hague.
Ayes, 100.Noes, 3.Neutral, 1.
[Italian.]

Footnotes

1 Henry Carvell, of St. Maries, arraigned for sending money underhand against the Elector Palatine. Camden: Annals, apud Kennett: Hist. of Eng. ii. page 655.
2 Dr. More, a professed physician, but suspected of being a priest; physician to Buckingham. See Birch: Court and Times of James I, ii. page 212.
3 Cal. S.P. Dom. 1619–23, page 190.
4 On the 4th November, old style. Letter of Eyre of the 11th Nov. State Papers, Foreign, Turkey. The ambassador of Hungary was Stephen Korlath, and the ambassadors of Bohemia John de Cölln and Samuel Gschin von Besdiezy.
5 Lesdiguières arrived at Turin on Wednesday the 23rd September. He came ostensibly to treat for a reconciliation between France and Savoy, and to arrange a league with Savoy and Venice for the recovery of the Valtelline. Wake, however, suspected that something was being hatched against Genoa, and before very long the Duke of Savoy imparted the whole project to him. The Duke of Guise was deep in the business; he had a number of ships ready on the pretence of sending them against the pirates. Savoy's natural son, Don Emanuel, would have the command under the direction of the ex-pirate Eston. They would attack by sea while the duke and his French allies moved on land. They proposed to use money obtained from Venice for the purpose but did not intend to acquaint the Venetians with the design. In the month of November Manti was sent by Guise to Turin upon this business. Despatches of Wake to Calvert of 20/30 Sept., 3/13 Oct., 18/28 Oct. and 15/25 Nov., 1620. State Papers, Foreign, Savoy.
6 Lewis Philip; he left his nephew in the charge of Count Ernest at Zwolle. Letters from and to Sir Dudley Carleton, page 504.
7 This may refer to the event reported by Mansell in his letter to Aston, dated from Malaga on the 5th November, reporting that the fleet had chased two Turkish men-of-war, which, however, escaped, but rescued a small Bristol ship which was being pillaged. Brit. Mus. Add. MSS. 36,444.