Venice
December 1620, 4-15

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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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486-499

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'Venice: December 1620, 4-15', Calendar of State Papers Relating to English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 16: 1619-1621 (1910), pp. 486-499. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=88774 Date accessed: 21 October 2014.


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December 1620

Dec. 4.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Spagna.
Venetian
Archives.
639. PIERO CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The English fleet has already passed the Strait and is now in the Mediterranean. With it is Captain Mainwaring, the sometime famous pirate who a while ago offered his services to your Serenity. (fn. 1) He is to proceed to Algiers and in the name of the King of England demand reparation for the 136 English ships which have been plundered by these pirates in three years, otherwise he is to declare war on them and inflict the utmost damage possible. However but little advantage is expected from this mission.
Madrid, the 1st December, 1620.
[Italian.]
Dec. 1.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Signori Stati.
Venetian
Archives.
640. CHRISTOFFORO SURIAN, Venetian Secretary in the Netherlands, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The French ambassador came to see me the day before yesterday. He said the Elector Palatine would find it difficult to resist the strength of the House of Austria, the more so because the one who ought to help him did not do so, signifying the King of England. This discouraged the others and the help of the States alone was not enough.
The Ambassador Carleton is much grieved at the news of the defeat of the Palatine, as one who is really interested in the general good. Every one here is anxious to know how his king will receive the news, and if it will stir him to some proper decision. Some feel sure that the ambassador has written to-day by express courier, informing his Majesty of the opinions held here and their expectations, and it may be that his own honour and the peril of the king and queen may move him.
The States have to think of their own interests as well as those of their friends, and it is even said that Prince Henry will be recalled.
The English ambassador visited me on Friday and said he had received instructions from his king that day to exhort their High Mightinesses to consider the Grisons and the affair of the Valtelline and to abide by the advice and propositions offered by the most serene republic on the question. He said he was glad of these instructions and to have this opportunity of serving the republic and he left it to me to decide what was best to be done. Yesterday I went to thank him for his office in the Assembly on the subject. He said he had found the States disposed to do something, but they did not see how they could send any minister of the Swiss without being asked, and they seemed inclined to use the opportunity of the ambassador whom they propose to send to Venice. He said they ought not to delay, but they said they had not yet decided about the missions to France and England and the season was not good for travelling. The ambassador told me these particulars in a great hurry, sending his despatch to England. I shall see him again and if there is anything else I will report it.
Yesterday he took with him to the Assembly an English knight and the brother of the Bishop of London, who have come to negotiate with the directors of the East India Company and arrange about the damage done to the English ships. (fn. 2) They will ask the company to send their ships well armed and provided owing to the news of the levy in Seville of some galleons and of 10,000 foot to send to the Indies. The two left to-day for Amsterdam. Some think that they are to investigate opinions upon the affairs of the West Indies, and if they make a company they would like to do so in conjunction with the English. This question greatly exercises Prince Maurice, as the sea towns of Holland and Zeeland offer strong opposition, owing to their great interests.
The Hague, the 1st December, 1620.
[Italian.]
Dec. 2.
Cons. de'X.
Parti Comuni.
Venetian
Archives.
641. In the Council of Ten.
That the chamberlains of this Council pay to the legitimate representatives of Girolamo Lando, ambassador with the King of Great Britain, 50 ducats for expenses to that amount incurred by him in the public service, as shown by his letter of 6 November last.
Ayes, 14.Noes, 0.Neutral, 1.
[Italian.]
Dec. 4.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
642. To the Ambassador in Spain and the like to the other Courts.
The Spanish ambassador in London, after having refused for several months to visit our Ambassador Lando, recently sent a gentleman to propose that they should meet as private individuals when he would lay aside his claim to superiority. The Ambassador Lando, while acknowledging the compliment remarked on the novelty of the proposal, and the impossibility of divesting themselves of the character of ambassador. He expressed himself as perfectly ready to meet the Spanish ambassador if he was treated no differently from the ambassadors of crowned heads. This reply entirely falls in with our wishes, that our representatives shall not yield a step to the Spaniards, as thereby they would prejudice us with other crowns also.
In similar circumstances you will adopt the same course.
The like to:
Rome, France, Savoy, Milan, Naples, Florence, Vienna, the States, Zurich.
To the residents, without the last paragraph.
Ayes, 154.Noes, 2.Neutral, 3.
[Italian.]
Dec. 4.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
643. To the Ambassador in England.
You have done right in withholding your decision about the conference which the Spanish ambassador proposed to you, as his proposal was evidently designed to gain an advantage over you where your prudence has hitherto foiled him. Your replies were absolutely correct and in conformity with our wishes. We have already expressed to you our wish that you shall not give way before any of the Spanish ministers or allow them to treat you differently from the representatives of crowned heads, a position which the republic has held among the greatest crowns of Christendom. You have fully fulfilled your instructions and it only remains to us to commend your action. If the proposal be renewed you will adhere firmly to the same postion.
We have informed all our other ambassadors of the event and of your prudent reply.
This week we have received your letters full of advices and punctual in the execution of our instructions. With regard to the raisins, the question has been deferred to a better opportunity which you should be able to recognise as you are on the spot.
Ayes, 154.Noes, 2.Neutral, 3.
[Italian.]
Dec. 4.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
644. GIROLAMO LANDO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
His Majesty's ambassadors write that they find, not by means of formal proposals, but underhand, that the emperor would readily consent to make peace by some arrangement, whereby he would leave the incorporated provinces to the Palatine, but the kingdom of Bohemia should remain to him for life upon condition that after his death it should descend to the Palatine's sons. In this way it would become no longer elective but hereditary. They had sent to the King of Bohemia to ask him to signify if he would consent, either sending secretly to them or to his Majesty, so that some negotiations might be built upon his reply. But the answer destroyed every hope, as the new king declared he was determined not to give up either the realm or the title except to main force, and not to let the crown be taken away unless he lost his head at the same time. He would first see the Palatinate fall with his children and all he had, except his honour, and if he did not receive help from others he hoped to have it from God.
His Majesty is thinking over the reply. He seems very undecided in the matter. It is thought that he has some proposal in his mind which he considers reasonable and honourable. If his son-in-law does not agree, from whom he expects obedience and respect it may easily cause offence, which would certainly not be left uncultivated by the skill of the ministers and partisans of Spain here. They seem to aim chiefly at an armistice by means of intervention from this quarter, in order to negotiate subsequently with greater advantage, and to do the best possible for their own affairs, overcoming the present situation which is unfavourable to them.
By his method of negotiating it seems that the Ambassador Wotton is somewhat suspicious of the King of Bohemia and his partisans here, and many in comparing old affairs with these new ones make various comments.
We hear that the English in the Palatinate are ill paid and express themselves as dissatisfied with the treatment of the Germans. Thus they fear some unfortunate results may ensue, especially as various suspicions have arisen here about the United Princes, and they notice particularly that they do not seem to mind if Spinola remains in the Palatinate so long as he inflicts no harm on their dominions. These suspicions have been greatly increased by the discovery that at Nürenberg the imperialists covertly passed some office so that the command of the forces of the Union should not be conferred upon Prince Henry of Nassau.
These suspicions, although they show more clearly the need of help for the Palatinate from this quarter, yet I do not know if they increase the king's good will, although they do that of the generality, who are not only suspicious of the princes and of the Spaniards everywhere, but of the King of France owing to his action against the Huguenots; of many ministers here and perhaps I may add of his Majesty most of all. They discuss the whole situation with more freedom than ever, expressing very lively opinions upon the welfare of their kingdom and the preservation of the religion which they profess. Perhaps this kingdom has never had its eyes so wide open, profiting by the example of the last two parliaments and the long period during which they have not been assembled, and it has never been so teeming and pregnant with ideas and grievances as now. Accordingly the proposals in the parliament are bound to be very high, with no small danger of revolution, although frequently what is feared does not happen, or at least the breaking up of the Assembly if the king has not the settled intention to act in earnest. His Majesty recently remarked wrathfully that his people are becoming too republicanising, and the favourite marquis remarked in a certain conversation, that whoever gives rein to the people will make the King of Bohemia laugh. Accordingly there are signs that their tepid inclinations run some risk of growing even colder still (li quali si come mostrano maggiore il bisogno de'soccorsi nel Palatinato da questa parte, cosi non so se faccino accrescere la volontà nel Re, bene l'accrescono nell'universale, non solo ingelosito dei detti Prencipi e dei Spagnoli in ogni parte, ma del Re di Francia per le attioni sue contra Ugonotti, di molti Ministri qui et non so se debbo dir anco principalmente di questa Maesta, tirando il tutto con discorsi più che mai liberi a concetti vivacissimi della salute del loro Regno, e della conservatione della religione che professano; mai havendo esso Regno havuto forse gli occhi tanto aperti per li esempii di due Parlamenti passati, e per il longo corso che non si sono ridotti, ne essendo stato tanto ripieno e pregno di pensieri e di disgusti quanto è hora. Onde nel Parlamento le propositioni hanno ad essere altissime con non poco pericolo di novità, sebene spesso quello che si teme non viene, o almeno di spezzare l'Assemblea, se il Re non ha ferma voluntà di far da dovero, il quale ultimamente con isdegno disse che li suoi populi devenivano troppo republicanti come il marchese favorito in certo discorso tocco che chi lascierà far a sudditi faranno anco ridere il Re di Bohemia. Onde la tepida inclinatione accenna di andare a rischio di raffreddarsi anco d' avantaggio).
Of the two points covered by his Majesty's declaration, one was to make a large provision of money immediately, to gain time for the preparation of artillery, munitions, ships and other things necessary for the transport of troops to help the Palatinate and to begin to levy them, so that the resolution might be supported by armed power and the negotiations for peace receive this assistance.
The other concerned the parliament. This is going on well, the proclamation to summon it being issued and in spite of the vigorous opposition of many it is thought that it will assemble at length. But the first, although it began generously with the money paid by the Lords of the Council and with the numerous letters sent about the kingdom, now seems more dead than asleep, as they do not receive so much as a reply. Since the publication of the letter of the Marquis of Buckingham to the Catholic ambassador, which I reported, no one has paid a single Jacobus, not from any fear of displeasing the king, as was the case with the collection made by the ambassador of Bohemia, but because every one fears that once the money has been gathered in the king, raising the pretext of some dissatisfaction with his son-in-law about the negotiations for peace, will abandon his kinsman and keep the funds for himself and his favourites. In short the aspect of everything depends exclusively upon the results of the parliament, and many predict a happy issue, because his Majesty may hope to have more peace if he declares war than if he decides to remain at peace.
A book by the hand of an unknown author entitled Vox populi (fn. 3) is circulating in certain quarters, severely castigates the Spanish ambassador here, who therefore foams with wrath in every direction and it is said that he has sent it to the king to make complaint. This has transpired and given rise to much comment.
London, the 4th December, 1620.
[Italian.]
Dec. 4.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci.
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
645. GIROLAMO LANDO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The Secretary Naunton has strongly urged the ambassador of the States, in the king's name, to induce his masters to hearken to any instances of your Excellences about the affairs of the Valtelline. The Secretary Calvert, also by royal command, told me that he had sent fresh instructions to the ambassador resident in Spain, to make further strong representations, so that deeds may answer to words. He tells him to thank his Majesty for the general promises, which, in themselves could not be better, but adds that it is necessary for him to write in resolute terms to the Governor of Milan, telling him that he has exceeded his orders, and commanding him to destroy utterly the forts built and allow matters to return to their pristine state; as while it is only reasonable that he should favour the Catholics he must see that they do no prejudice to those of the reformed religion.
I find that the partisans of Spain here are endeavouring to gain an advantage for their side by cherishing strong hopes in the king that his Catholic Majesty will certainly satisfy him on this point, and he is very glad to believe it, being jealous that no prince but himself shall have the glory of arranging the matter. Thus the letters from the Spanish Court, from the English ambassador and others, and the speeches of the Count of Gondomar to his familiars suggest that the Spaniards by no means desire war in Italy at the present moment. But in any case it is well to be on one's guard, as they probably profess more than they will perform.
I have spoken to the said ministers and to some others about the office performed in Rome by the ambassador of the Most Christian king. Every one would like to hear something of the pope's reply, upon which I have no light; but Gregorio, their secretary at Venice, reports in his last despatch that his Holiness tacitly agreed to allow your Serenity to levy troops secretly in his state. God grant him long life, and true peace and prosperity through the ages to the most serene republic.
London, the 4th December, 1620.
[Italian.]
Dec. 5.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Roma.
Venetian
Archives.
646. GIROLAMO SORANZO, Venetian Ambassador at Rome, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The courier of Bavaria arrived on Tuesday with the news of the defeat of the Bohemians, the fall of Prague and the flight of the Palatine and his wife. (fn. 4) Some think that the Palatine, with his large forces may still face the enemy, but others doubt this. One could wish for greater vigour on the part of the King of England and a firmer resolution in favour of his son-in-law. As there are such considerable Spanish forces in the Palatinate, while Bohemia lies open and ready to fall into Cæsar's hands, his situation is precarious and should induce England to hasten to render him vigorous assistance.
Rome, the 5th December, 1620.
[Italian.]
Dec. 5.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Firenze.
Venetian
Archives.
647. GIOVANNI FRANCESCO TRIVISANO, Venetian Resident in Florence, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The representations of your Excellencies have produced no effect here, and they remain firmly of opinion that a league between the pope, the Spaniards, the republic and the Grand Duke will entirely remove all the troubles and difficulties which weigh upon this province. The Grand Duke is confined to his bed with the gout, but I made my representations through Signor Francesco dal Monte. He also thought this league highly necessary, and said that his Highness considered it the only remedy. The Spaniards have lulled every one to sleep, as the French do not move. The King of England is a timid and peaceful prince who so far has not made the smallest demonstration in favour of the Palatine, his son-in-law; how much less will he do anything for others or for the republic in particular. The Duke of Savoy can do nothing without the French, and the Spaniards count on winning him over entirely. The Turk is a youth devoted to his pleasures, and the Grand Vizier will not want to court trouble, while it is always better to have the Turks for enemies. The States of Flanders had enough to occupy them at home, as the Catholic has decided to declare war against them. On the other hand the Spaniards have three powerful armies on foot. He concluded by saying that the Grand Duke would lay all these considerations before your Excellencies. I replied with great energy, endeavouring to make him realise the common peril.
Florence, the 5th December, 1620.
[Italian.]
Dec. 8.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Savoia.
Venetian
Archives.
648. ZUANE PESARO, Venetian Ambassador in Savoy, to the DOGE and SENATE.
I have learned from the English agent here the truth about the rumoured revolt of Mansfelt. He told me that as the King Palatine had heard the rumours and had not taken any proceedings, the Count's fidelity could not be suspect. Mansfelt certainly complained of wrongs, as he had served without pay for several months with few men and munitions. He would like to return to the service of the Duke of Savoy or the most serene republic. The agent said they must do their utmost to keep him, as he had too much information.
The agent went on to say that the defeat will not bring ruin. The slain were not numerous and if they had money they could easily gather their forces together again. He thought the Palatine was at Ratislavia, the capital of Silesia; the Moravians and Silesians had an army; Gabor is still powerful and perhaps the Palatine will confer with him; other provinces of Austria are in revolt, so that it will be easy to recover, though they had suffered loss of prestige.
He said the real danger was that some accommodation should be made in Germany, which would certainly be to the general loss, as if the operations of the common interests were disunited, the blow would fall upon the public weal. Your Excellencies should let the king his master understand that you desired a universal settlement, that all should have security, and that Germany could not have peace if Italy had her gates open. He would willingly represent all this to the king himself, but he would like to have his offices backed by the authority of your Excellencies and his Highness, who with Holland and Venice might so operate as to make certain of this desirable security and liberty.
I praised what he said warmly and said that the question was constantly becoming more important. Every one was looking towards the might and example of the King of Great Britain. Your Excellencies would do your part and the greater powers should do theirs.
The agent went on to speak of the unfortunate state of affairs and of the importance of the conquests made by the Spaniards. France had always made good promises but had acted badly. He did not see what remedy could be expected from that quarter, although the Most Christian had acted to the satisfaction of his master upon the point of the invasion of the Palatinate. The Spaniards have gained too much, as by this last acquisition they have joined Wesel to the citadel of Milan, forming a covered gallery through the states of Cleves and Juliers and the Palatinate into the Valtelline and Italy.
This week this resident has informed his Highness of the declaration of his master in favour of his son-in-law, that his Majesty, upon seeing the invasion of the inheritance of his own grandchildren has decided upon its recovery, and as the means employed hitherto have not sufficed, he will use a remedy proportionate to the necessity, arming himself powerfully with the intention of using the sword, and in the meantime he will make provision for a war of long duration.
Turin, the 8th December, 1620.
[Italian.]
Dec. 8.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci.
Signori Stati.
Venetian
Archives.
649. CHRISTOFFORO SURIAN, Venetian Secretary in the Netherlands, to the DOGE and SENATE.
I have been able to learn nothing more from the English ambassador except his assurance that he will always be ready to do anything to satisfy the republic. The ambassadors have not left for France and England. Besides the two provinces of Holland and Zeeland, who are sending their ambassadors to the two crowns, the States have arranged that Utrecht and Friesland shall send, the former to France and the latter to England, and because there are three deputies of Holland going to the King of England and only two for France, they are going depute another.
The Hague, the 8th December, 1620.
[Italian.]
Dec. 10.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
650. GEROLAMO PRIULI, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The English ambassador has been to call upon me. Apparently all his concern is that if the Most Christian king arranges this matter of the Valtelline, as he fears, the Protestants will suffer prejudice. He turned to me with great vehemence saying: It is a great matter, that they wish to compel men who are satisfied to address their prayers to God and do not wish to trouble with the saints, to act differently from their just desires. I shrugged my shoulders at this piece of frantic theology and told him that I imagined that everything would be settled without introducing changes, and that all those, who had hitherto inhabited the Valtelline, would return and exercise their devotions as they had done up to the present, so that both Protestants and Catholics would have their proper share, and I thought this was what the Most Christian king intended.
The ambassador courteously offered me his assistance and said he had instructions to make strong representations to the king here about the Valtelline, while his sovereign has written to the Swiss and has made strong representations in every direction.
The above is as much as I gathered from this minister who both in his speech and action assuredly resembles a soldier more than an ambassador.
Paris, the 10th December, 1620.
[Italian.]
Dec. 11.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
651. To the Ambassador Lando in England and the like to the Secretary at the Hague, mutatis mutandis.
The news will have reached you of the rout of the Bohemians, the loss of Prague and the retreat of the Palatine, and his Majesty will have considered how these events must alter the position of affairs, how they will put heart into the Spaniards and alarm those princes who fear their predominance. You will make the most of these considerations as the situation only too clearly requires. We wish you to say further to his Majesty and the Lords of the Council that we now perceive the threatening and stormy aspect all around, the vast and comprehensive machinations of others, their preparations, traps and general operations in conformity, a general situation and course of events so adapted for them, so that the imminent peril to individuals and communities calls for great and speedy provision. In this province the Spaniards are shutting off all means of defence from its princes, all means of affording help to their friends, all hope from the Grisons of recovering the Valtelline, internal quiet and general liberty. They are bringing large forces of every nation into the Milanese, with arms and munitions, and neglect nothing that may serve for the subjugation of Italy.
In Germany, since these events, they speak freely of the total destruction of all who stand in their way and they have arranged to divide the Palatinate among the imperial defenders. Where the time does not appear opportune for force, they use blandishments, whereby they obtain the revocation or enfeebling of those decisions which are necessary to make a counterpoise and maintain peace among the powers. In Flanders, by not making any declaration about the expiry of the truce, they wish to see whether it will suit them better to negotiate or to make a rupture. Yet we must not allow ourselves to sink into despondency. Prudence and vigour are more necessary than ever. We who are so near this province will do everything in our power, and we are sure that his Majesty will give the matter the deep consideration it so urgently requires. You will enter upon all these considerations and speak to any others where you think our interests will be served.
Ayes, 134.Noes, 0.Neutral, 0.
[Italian.]
Dec. 11.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
652. GIROLAMO LANDO, Venetian Ambassador in England to the DOGE and SENATE.
Whilst the Spaniards and their followers in this kingdom are triumphing at the capture of Prague, which they claim, and of further progress of Spinola in the Palatinate, the Ambassador Gondomar displays great moderation, and with calculated prudence goes about saying that he would rather hear news of the conclusion of peace, than of battles. Everyone else laments the misfortunes of the King Palatine, and the unhappy fate of the beloved queen, who in her flight never had a helping hand from her father to protect and accompany her. Tears, sighs and loud expressions of wrath are seen and heard in every direction. They have even found letters scattered in the streets, against the king, threatening that if his Majesty does not do what is expected of him, the people will assuredly display unmistakably their feelings and their wrath (lacrime, sospiri, parole altissime di sdegno si vedono e sodono da per tutto, e lettere anco sparse si sono trovate per le strade contro il Re, minaccianti, che se la Maestà Sua non fara ciò che se le aspetta, il populo darà ben'a conoscere lo sdegno e l'animo che tiene).
But these are not the proper remedies for the circumstances. The idea is now being put about with various and ill grounded reports, that it is not possible to do anything to help. The Spaniards encourage this notion in order to damp the ardour here, and some of the ministers do the same, possibly with the object of allaying the dangerous general excitement.
The news came eight days ago from Brussels, where the air resounds with festivities and rejoicings. It also comes from other quarters, though not as absolutely certain, for example from Heidelberg in a letter of the Duke of Deuxponts, who makes fresh instances for help and a very explicit declaration, not to consist simply of words but of speedy and energetic deeds if the news prove true. The same is also gathered from a letter of the 9th November which has been printed from the Duke of Bavaria to the Elector of Mayence, and causes amazement that after so long an interval no advices have arrived from the king or queen or from any of the ambassadors or ministers of his Majesty from Bohemia, since it seems incredible that a Court so deeply interested in these affairs should be so ill advised. The news spread immediately to many of the ministers, who spoke very strongly to the king, to the ambassador of Bohemia, and to the Court at Newmarket, although on plucked and drooping wings.
His Majesty is very sad and grieved, and whereas, on the preceding days, without any concern about the bitter weather prevailing he could not have enough hunting of the hare in that cold and wind ridden country, he has since then remained constantly shut up in his room in great sadness and dejection, forbidding the courtiers any kind of game or recreation. It is understood that he has several times remarked that he never wished to meddle in the affairs of Bohemia, and he clearly foresaw these disasters. But at length he has shown various signs that he really means to help the Palatinate and is steadily determined to listen no more to words or to the singing of deceitful sirens. He reverts to the idea, which, as I reported, seemed to have vanished, of trying to collect as large a sum of money as possible to supply the urgent requirements until the time that parliament meets, and to give effect to the decisions which will be taken.
It seems that they have decided to send the two merchants Calandrini to Nurenberg to remit the money to the United Princes. To these, by his Majesty's order, the Secretary Naunton has very secretly despatched a gentleman with all speed, who also takes a reply to Deuxponts, to hearten them with a more open declaration, to the defence of the Palatinate and of their dominions, asking them to resist as boldly as they can and assuring them that he will begin to assist them with money without delay and with men and everything else to the extent of his power, with all speed. The king has desired that all this should take place with the utmost secrecy, in order that it might not encourage those likely to compose the coming parliament in their wish to reduce his Majesty by necessity to do whatever they wish (il che tutto desider il Re passi con secrettezza per non dar animo maggiore a quelli che doveranno ontrare nel sudetto Parlamento, di voler ridure la Maestà Sua per necessilà od ogni loro volere). But every one fears that the succour will prove late and the help inopportune, as every one clearly perceives that what might easily have been prevented with small forces and at a slight cost can now only be repaired and made good by a great effort, a pouring out of gold and the shedding of much blood.
There no longer seems any doubt now about the meeting of this parliament, which at first, indeed, seemed somewhat in the balance, this comfortable certitude apparently deriving from such unpleasant reports. Assuredly it will either impose a strong curb upon this government, and compel it to proceed after its own fashion, by vigorous spurring, or it will come to an unhappy end, with the worst consequences, with inevitable danger of disturbances which will be encouraged as much by the Spaniards as kindled by the people here. (Al presente non si mette più dubbia la riduttione dell' istesso Parlamento che appariva prima veramente un poco vacillante, da cosi spacevoli voci parendo che si cavi questa certezza di contento. Et al certo egli o metterà una grande brigha a questo governo, per farlo maneggiare a suo modo con caldissimi sproni, o restera infelicemente terminato con pessime consequenze, e con inevitabile pericolo di tumulti, quali saranno non meno da Spagnoli fomentati che da questi populi accesi.)
London, the 11th December, 1620.
[Italian.]
Dec. 11.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
653. GIROLAMO LANDO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The Spaniards are now absorbing the whole world in their talk, and from this successful beginning they imagine that they will shortly accomplish their plans in every place. From whispers which reach me from several directions and by well grounded advices which I have received from Brussels I hear that they aim particularly against your Serenity, since France is divided against herself, Savoy they consider belongs more to them than to its own duke, this kingdom will not move, they assert, except by words and mediation, the rest of the world affrighted and subdued, the other Italian powers rather in chains than free, or of slight strength, the hope of help cut off through the occupation of the Valtelline, from all except the States by sea, while they could account for them by making peace, by prolonging the truce or by a merely defensive war.
A few days ago Sig. Felice Rurago, sometime secretary of the Marquis Spinola arrived in Brussels, sent by the Governor of Milan to the said marquis to proceed to Spain, it is thought upon negotiations for levies for that duchy. He let slip to a servant that as the forces of the Bohemians and the United Princes were still vigorous, the chief preoccupation of the Spaniards was to harass the republic, either by exhausting her through compelling her to make a useless expenditure of money and strength, or by defeating her, she could not expect help from any direction, and as she had no commanders either trustworthy or experienced and her frontier fortresses were very denuded, they thought the task a very easy one.
I have thought it right to report these matters even though they may have already reached the ears of your Serenity, since it has frequently come to mine in this kingdom, which seems so devoted and friendly to your name.
His Majesty's ambassador writes from France that they seriously contemplating at that Court a renewal of the marriage negotiations and of sending some person worthy to make the proposal, for the French have learned from the Spaniards the art of fettering the king here by such negotiations. At the present moment they think they might prove useful in order to prevent him from affording any assistance to those of the religion, just as they have proved so useful to the Spaniards in preventing any help for the Bohemians or the Palatinate so far.
London, the 11th December, 1620.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Dec. 12.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
654. To the Ambassador in Savoy.
You will thank the duke for communicating the news from Germany, and tell him that the defeat of the Bohemians is confirmed. The results may be grave and the princes of this province are called upon to face a serious situation and to defend the liberty of this province. It will help them to make active representations to both France and England, and to come to a good understanding with the princes of the province. You will try to discover his Highness's opinions in the matter.
We are glad to hear of the continued good will of the English agent. You will try to keep him equally well disposed and incite him to induce his king to afford assistance in these affairs.
Ayes, 106.Noes, 1.Neutral.
[Italian.]
Dec. 15.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
655. GEROLAMO PRIULI and ANZOLO CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassadors in France, to the DOGE and SENATE.
There is some talk that M. de Luynes or the Marshal de Cadenet may easily cross from Calais to England to renew the negotiations for a marriage between madame and the Prince of Wales, and in that way to induce the king there not to take up the cause of the Huguenots, of which the Most Christian king seems to have some fear, and even to get that sovereign to use his influence to persuade the Huguenots to desist from their assemblies and from making cabals against the service of their king. The Huguenots clearly disclose their intention of disturbing the peace of the kingdom, since they are beginning to assemble in all the provinces.
Paris, the 15th December, 1620.
[Italian.]
Dec. 15.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Signori Stati.
Venetian
Archives.
656. CHRISTOFFORO SURIAN, Venetian Secretary in the Netherlands, to the DOGE and SENATE.
M. de Randuich has returned, one of the Council of State who was sent by their High Mighinesses to reside for some months with the Princes of the Union. He says that they have resolved to face the enemy and recover what has been lost, chiefly with the assistance of the King of Great Britain. They hope that he will not delay any longer to make a strong declaration. Meanwhile General Horace Vere with his English is with them. Only the Earl of Essex has left for England, in the belief that the news from Prague will arouse the king to send help to his son-in-law and that he himself will receive a charge befitting his rank.
Their High Mightinesses have no news from England and the Ambassador Carleton himself is waiting to hear his Majesty's decision.
I understand that yesterday their High Mightinesses met some of the directors of the East India Company about the business of the East Indies, in order to arrange the whole matter and a division satisfactory to the coast towns. Naturally they have the affair at heart. Everything depends upon the way it is carried out, which is not expected, unless war breaks out. I will keep myself informed about what takes place.
The Hague, the 15th December, 1620.
[Italian.]

Footnotes

1 The ambassador seems to have confounded Sir Henry Mainwaring with his brother Sir Arthur. The latter went with the fleet in command of the Constant Reformation. Sir Henry remained in England as Lieutenant of Dover Castle, and was chosen as one of the burgesses for Dover for the parliament of 1621. Cal. S. P Dow. 1619–23, page 212.
2 Sir Dudley Digges and Maurice Abbot brother of the Archbishop of Canterbury. Letters from and to Sir Dudley Carleton, page 505.
3 S.P. Dom. Jas. I. Vol. cxviii No. 103. The pamphlet was written by Thomas Scot, rector of St. Saviour's, Norwich, who subsequently took refuge in Holland and became preacher to the English garrison at Utrecht. Cal. S.P. Dom. 1619–1623, pages 219, 224. Dic. Nat. Biog. For the episode See Gardiner; Hist. of Eng. iii. pages 392, 393.
4 The battle of the White Mountain outside Prague was fought on the 8th November.