Venice
January 1621, 1-9

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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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508-522

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'Venice: January 1621, 1-9', Calendar of State Papers Relating to English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 16: 1619-1621 (1910), pp. 508-522. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=88776 Date accessed: 01 August 2014.


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January 1621

1621.
Jan. 1.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
670. GIROLAMO LANDO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Sir Robert Murton only left yesterday on his mission to the United Princes. (fn. 1) He took instructions and letters of the tenor which I reported and was accompanied by the remittance of the 30,000l. This sum was kept in a safe under four keys, afterwards reduced to two, with danger of its disappearing. Thus long before the news of the disaster in Bohemia arrived the Ambassador Dohna urged that it should be remitted without delay, with the mission of some individual to meet the princes; but he could not gain his point. On the other hand, when he recently went to the king at Newmarket he found the decision already ripe, although strongly opposed by some of the ministers, who, when they could not stop this action, did the utmost in their power to gain time by raising discussions and disputes and trying to insert vexatious conditions, such as to act only if the Palatinate be not restored or as the necessities of the moment may demand, devices calculated to make friends despair, not to console them. But at length after various lengthy consultations with the king and the prince and some of the leading favourites, the point was settled to the satisfaction of the ambassadors, and probably for the consolation and relief of the princes, to whom he immediately sent the news post, to save time upon the departure of Murton which had been so much delayed. However the king clearly remains rooted in his intention never to cease aiming at negotiation. This might reasonably be allowed in the case of Bohemia, but not in that of the Palatinate, where his Majesty should be a party not a mediator. However the Spanish ambassador well knows how to feed him with hopes in this also, and how easily the restitution of what has been occupied may take place, although doubtless he aims not so much at restitution as at obtaining plenty of time for conquering the rest.
They are trying to obtain from the city a loan for a large sum, the king asking for 100,000l. The guilds have already decided to pay the money which they are accustomed to spend yearly in sumptuous banquets in their halls, and by suspending them they will have from 10 to 15,000. (fn. 2) With this they hope to supply the most urgent needs of Germany. One of the ministers has proposed to devote a portion to the new queen and to send her a gentleman to offer consolation. But while it would seem that his Majesty himself should be inflamed to do this by natural affection, his ministers, although friendly, maintain a due sobriety in their manner of speaking about the way of treating his own daughter. They are also arranging for Anstruther to go to Denmark to collect the money already notified. Possibly he will leave with instructions for larger demands and to encourage the excellent disposition of those parts to adopt more resolute action.
It seems that it has occurred to the king to send immediately an express to Spain to make very emphatic protests unless they restore the Palatinate in six weeks or two months. The Ambassador Dohna suggested indeed that it would be more to the purpose to send to Spinola. But everything encounters opposition. The wisest think that by merely arming resolutely, sending a powerful force out of the kingdom and putting a really formidable fleet to sea they would provide sufficient medicine for the infirmity. The king avoids making any boasts, possibly with prudent doubts that he might not be able to carry them into effect, since all results depend upon how the Parliament turns out, which alone can supply the money and maintain the war, and he must look to his own subjects and nowhere else.
The Secretary Naunton has had certain Catholics observed and discovered that a great quantity of money had passed to the hands of the Spanish ambassador. The king does not yet know it, but either he will not believe it or the ambassador will gloss it over, since the king continues to honour him greatly, and frequently sends to visit him. Recently he sent Lord Digby to comfort him and guarantee him against the people, and to excuse in some sort the aforesaid mission to the princes.
Letters come from Malaga from General Mansfeld commanding the twenty ships. It is understood that they are proceeding towards Algiers. The ministers here who urged the king to send them show letters from Spain commending them in flattering terms and lauding them to the skies, saying that this Crown never came to a more worthy decision. Yet they have accomplished extremely little, and apparently they are merely defending the coasts of those who at that very moment are trampling on his Majesty's own children. The people grumble that the king is labouring to consolidate the members of a most powerful body, for whose dissolution they ought rather to operate. One of the leading ministers has clearly expressed his suspicions that the Spaniards, when they perceive that this kingdom is really moving, will arrest those ships in Spain.
The Ambassador Wotton writes that he was proposing to proceed to his embassy at Venice, in execution of his instructions. But the ministers here say that he had orders to remain in Germany until he saw the emperor's forces thoroughly victorious over the King of Bohemia, or vice versa, and even then not to leave but to write for his Majesty's placet. Yet he may possibly be tired both of the expense and the whole business, and it is thought that at the present moment he cannot be far from Venice.
Private letters relate that the Ambassadors Cornual and Vueston are at Hamburg on their way back home. No letters to the king have appeared from them announcing the events of Bohemia, the particulars of which have at length arrived with a gentleman sent by the new queen. Although the fall of Prague is confirmed, yet as not more that 8,000 men were slain in both armies together, while the new king was not present at the battle and is now in Silesia with a good force of men, it appears that, as usual, report has exaggerated, and now things begin to assume their proper proportions the blow, although severe does not appear so serious as was at first feared. The reverse is attributed to the Hungarians and to the disorder of the Bohemian army, which was taken by surprise, as well as to the good intelligence possessed by the imperialists both from the camp and the town, to which they ascribe the victory more than to their valour.
I thought the moment of the repetition of his Majesty's declaration opportune to refer with one of the well disposed ministers here to the first in commendation, availing myself of the liberty granted to me by your Serenity in your letters of the 30th October. I did the like with the Ambassador Dohna, with whom I maintain the most cordial relations, as I try to do with all the other diplomatic representatives, knowing how advantageous this is to the public service.
London, 1st January, 1620 [M. V.].
[Italian.]
Jan. 1.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
671. GIROLAMO LANDO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
A gentleman who has arrived from France announces the intention of the Most Christian, upon the occasion of his visit to Calais, so near to this kingdom, to send Cadenet, brother of Luynes, to his Majesty, as an extraordinary ambassador, purely as a matter of compliment. He should arrive in a few days. But one of the leading ministers here has informed me in great confidence that it is really intended to divert them here from affording any assistance or incitement to those of the religion, by opening proposals for a marriage, since the French king seems fully determined to trample the Huguenots under foot and to besiege la Rochelle. Accordingly Cadenet has instructions to instil into his Majesty's mind ideas calculated to increase his ill will towards republics and free states and towards those people who show themselves recalcitrant to monarchies. The latter ought to have a good understanding among themselves so that the evil seeds may be completely rooted out, which seem to be springing up in all parts of the world, and those unions which the people themselves desirous of liberty and free states seem inclined toward in these times more than in any other, with such evil results and possibly worse objects, ought to be suppressed.
I have endeavoured to get to the bottom of this, knowing the importance of the point for your Serenity, and that this root, planted or increased by the action of the Spanish ambassador on his last journey through Paris, may easily grow, as here also he has by indirect and crafty ways prepared for its growth in the congenial soil of the king's mind. In learning what the Secretaries of State know on the subject I find it perfectly true that they have been advised as above in letters from France from several sources, but on the matter touching the republics by one person only, unnamed. From what I have been able to gather, in the same manner, they have heard from the other sources of information that the Most Christian intends to tell his Majesty that his intention to bridle the insolence of the Huguenots and render them obedient has nothing to do with any visit to harm the reformed religion, but is simply to punish certain turbulent individuals and those who want to form a political state. So far as I am able to discover the issue I will do so and report.
Here the embassy is regarded as a manœuvre of the Jesuits. It does not at all please the generality. The king seems to laugh at it. They do not know whether it comes with the object of diverting him from helping his ancient friends of the same religion, or because, as he only moves with so much difficulty for his own children, he may not give occasion for the suspicion that he will move willingly for others (o per che non movendosi egli senon tanto dificilmente per li figliuoli suoi non gli para di dar occasione a'sospetti, che volentieri si possa mover per altri).
The ambassador will be accompanied by about 300 persons, by a large number of cavaliers and with great pomp and circumstance. They will receive him with the greatest honours. His Majesty has been privily warned by a reminder of what a priest, (fn. 3) I forget who, said five or six years ago, who came to this Court to reveal a secret, saying that under the pretext of a great embassy from France they designed to make some attempt against the king's life while hunting. At the time it seemed a dream, but now everything points to its realisation; however in any case silence is necessary and possibly here they will not neglect precautions, especially as it appears that the idea of this mission is an old one and was mooted some months ago when the Most Christian went to Amiens, but owing to the movements of the Queen Mother they did not reach Calais and it fell through.
There are rumours here that they are reinforcing the garrisons at Calais and on the other frontiers of France towards this country and the Netherlands, with the idea that those of la Rochelle have taken heart from some office of his Majesty, and base great hopes upon the meeting of Parliament here.
Word comes from several directions that although the French certainly desire the pass in the Grisons to be free they do not want it to the advantage of your Serenity. They are in collusion with the Spaniards and are dragging out the negotiations to the end that the Protestants may be excluded from using that way, the whole being arranged to the detriment of the republic for the profit of the two crowns alone. That the pass should remain free for Catholics only was actually suggested by a member of the household of the French ambassador here, no ordinary man, and recently by the ambassador himself.
The merchants of the Turkey company have made loud compliments to the Lords of the Council against their ambassador now at Constantinople for injuries and wrongs which, it appears, their factors receive from him daily. Accordingly angry letters of reprimand have been sent to him with the idea of depriving him of his post. (fn. 4)
A Dutch ship returning from the East and driven into Plymouth by stress of weather, has been arrested by virtue of an old order of the Lord High Admiral, issued on the arrival of the news of the conflicts between the Dutch and English in those parts. Its cargo is worth about 80,000l. They think it will be released since it brings letters to the merchants of the companies here stating that since the arrival there of instructions about the agreement arranged here, the two nations have remained at peace and concord. So the same merchants are labouring for its release.
I have received your Serenity's letters of the 17th and 25th November and the 10th December, and am overwhelmed by the honour done to me as regards my bearing towards the Spanish ambassador. With regard to the departure of the Ambassador Bravo from Venice, I must state that here they not only augur badly for your Serenity, but the secretary of Mr. Paul Pindar told me that on his return from Constantinople he went to visit the said ambassador in his master's name, and when he remarked in some connection that he thought he had seen his Excellency the day before in a certain street of the city, he had replied, It was not I, Mr. Secretary, because it is not safe for me to walk about Venice.
London, the 1st January, 1620 [M.V.].
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Jan. 3.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
672. GIROLAMO PRULI and ANZOLO CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassadors in France, to the DOGE and SENATE.
We have been to see the Garde des Sceaux. In the course of the conversation he remarked, The most serene republic has no ambassador in England. We told him that she had. He replied, Write and see that the king there may act vigorously so that those of the religion may remain at peace and obedient in this kingdom, as I feel sure that great benefits for the general service will arise from such a course. We assured him that your Serenity would make suitable representations, though we tried to make him realise that for the Valtelline to fall into the hands of the Spaniards was a more important matter than the affair of the Huguenots.
We asked him what had happened about the truce with the States. He said war there would not be the worst evil imaginable, but his king always worked for peace with his good neighbours. As a proof of this they had sent Cadenet, brother of Luynes, to England for the prolongation of the truce, and to obtain in return the restitution of the Palatinate if possible.
Paris, the 3rd January, 1621.
[Italian.]
Jan. 3.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
673. GIROLAMO PRIULI and ANZOLO CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassadors in France, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The Marshal of Cadenet has proceeded from Calais to England on a solemn embassy. He is followed by many nobles, and among other persons of consequence in his train he has two princes, the Duke of Albuf and the Count of Alè, (fn. 5) and twelve knights of the Holy Spirit, all persons of distinction and merit. There are various opinions about the object of this embassy. Some assert that they want to take up again the negotiations for a marriage between Madame and the Prince of Wales. Some say that they will ask the English king not to meddle in the affairs of the religion or intervene for an accommodation, but try to induce them to submit to the will of their master. Some-think it is more likely that he has gone to negotiate for the prorogation of the Dutch truce, and some that it is about the affairs' of Germany, to get the King of England to induce his son-in-law to come to an arrangement with the emperor giving up the kingdom of Bohemia entirely and so facilitating the restoration of the Palatinate and incidentally the restoration of peace in the empire, upon which a settlement in Italy would follow, with the restoration of the Valtelline. All these points they say will be included in Cadenet's negotiations and laid before the King of England.
But the chief object for the sending of this embassy in the judgment of the wisest, is to divert the king here from treating with the Huguenots of France, and prevent him from encouraging, assisting and protecting them, thus depriving them of such a strong support with the idea of also depriving them of the means to make themselves stronger and more resolute in maintaining their pretensions against the service and wishes of his Most Christian Majesty. (Ma il principale oggetto al sicuro col quale si spiccal' Ambasciata i più sensati concludono esser quello di ritirare la Maestà della Gran Bertagna dalle prattiche di questi Ugonotti del Regno; divertire che non siano da lui fomentati, aiutati e protetti; e levar loro un tal' appoggio per fine di toglier ad essi il modo di rendersi maggiormente vigorosi e rissoluti di sostentare le loro pretensioni contro il servitio e voluntà di Sua Maestà Christianissima.)
As a matter of fact the ministers here devote their energies solely to the question of the Huguenots, in the hope of healing this internal sore before addressing themselves to outside affairs. They recognise the danger, which would be the greater if the King of England intervened; they hear that after the departure of Cadenet the assembly of la Rochelle sent to offer to give that place into that king's hands if he would not fail in giving them help. Every day we hear rumours of the Huguenots in all the provinces, often fomented by the Catholics in their own interests; they are providing money, arms, munitions and men. At la Rochelle they are preparing their cahiers to be presented to the king on his return to Paris.
The Count of Soissons has sent M. de Senetter (fn. 6) to treat for his return to Court, but the ministers of his party have advised him not to put this affair in train for the present, before he sees what effects the embassy of Cadenet produces upon the point of the marriage, as if they arranged this with England he would have greater advantages in making his terms about returning to Court, and if not he would always have plenty of scope for presenting his request to the king to obtain Madame as his wife. Accordingly Senetter has returned without arranging anything.
Paris, the 3rd January, 1621.
[Italian.]
Jan. 4.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Savoia.
Venetian
Archives.
674. ZUANE PESARO, Venetian Ambassador in Savoy, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The Marshal Lesdiguières has written to the English agent here, confirming his steadfastness. That minister has spoken to me about it with great relief. He told me that he had written making various proposals, to which he hoped to receive a favourable reply.
Turin, the 4th January, 1620 [M.V.].
[Italian.]
Jan. 5.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Signori Stati.
Venetian
Archives.
675. CHRISTOFFORO SURIAN, Venetian Secretary in the Netherlands, to the DOGE and SENATE.
In conversing with me Prince Maurice said that he thought the Spaniards would try to prolong the truce for three or four months, in order to pursue their designs in Germany or elsewhere. It was necessary to thwart their ambitions, but he did not know how he could do so if France and England did not decide to help these Provinces, of which there was very little indication. France was in a disturbed state. In England they could hope but little, as it did not seem that the assistance would prove sufficient. In addition to this there was the king's natural inclination for quiet, and his being led astray by the lies of the Spaniards, so he thought they could not expect much from that quarter. He did not actually say that the States would be forced to enter into negotiations for a truce, but your Serenity will fully understand his meaning. I have sounded some others, and the ambassadors destined for France and England are bound to throw some light on the subject. I will endeavour to discover all that I can.
I did not fail to make the communication to the English ambassador. He thanked me warmly, and said he was delighted with the honour done to him by your Serenity. He said he was pleased to see the way your Serenity faced the present circumstances, and every one ought to do the like, especially those who feared the greatness of Spain. There ought to be a good understanding among them. He said two things were necessary, quite different from the past, the one to remain no longer neutral, and the second to arm for offence and learn from the Spaniards. He saw the difficulties in the way of a league, but every one should be on the watch against being deceived. He said he hoped that as his king had made up his mind to summon parliament and send money to the princes he would do something more for the common service. He promised me that he would not fail to write to his Majesty upon the confidence which had been shown to him, and would at the same time urge him to come to some decisions worthy of the present emergencies. He assured me that he would perform the same offices here.
The Hague, the 5th January, 1621.
[Italian.]
Jan. 5.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Signori Stati.
Venetian
Archives.
676. CHRISTOFFORO SURIAN, Venetian Secretary in the Netherlands, to the DOGE and SENATE.
It appears that the ambassadors for France and England are to leave within ten days. Those for England hope to arrive there before the meeting of parliament, which is for the 26th inst. new style. They hope to start at the earliest opportunity and to make representations to his Majesty at the same time for the service of Germany.
The King of Denmark does not seem so inclined to help the Princes of the Union, owing to his difficulties with Bremen. The English ambassador at a recent audience asked the States to interpose with the Bishop of Bremen and ask him to give satisfaction to that king; but the States said they did not see how they could do so. Some one has told me that the said king after sending the first sum of money for the Palatine at the instance of the King of England had tried to obtain a contribution from the estates of his realm, but it was refused.
I have received fresh letters from the Viscount de Lormes, begging me to help towards his release, so that he may continue his journey after paying the debt due at the inn. I have recommended his release to the Duke of Bouillon, but I have not sent him any money. The gentleman who brought the news said the Viscount declared he had been robbed in the forest of Ardennes, and he had seen him enter Sedan on foot without a valise.
The Hague, the 5th January, 1621.
[Italian.]
Jan 8.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
677. To the Ambassador in France.
In the Grisons the Spaniards steadily spread the bases of their power, after entering therein under the cover of religion, and have so entrenched themselves that the task of dislodging them becomes every day more difficult. They have already totally won over the Grey league, which openly announces that it will renounce its union with the other two leagues. Spain keeps a body of troops there to uphold this if necessary by force. On the other hand, by bribery and by imprisonment they renew the disorders of the country; and although the French and Swiss ambassadors seemed to have arranged some corner of quiet, yet the Spanish party succeeded in getting it postponed, while in the meantime they strengthen themselves, so that no one dares to withstand them.
That the like, mutatis mutandis, be sent to England, Turin and the Hague.
Ayes, 126.Noes, 0.Neutral, 4.
[Italian.]
Jan. 8.
Senato,
Terra.
Venetian
Archives.
678. The English Colonel Peyton has requested that 500 ducats may be given to the company of Captain Thomas Laedam of his charge, now in this city, in order to clothe them in the rigour of this winter, and whereas the Ragionati in the accounts rendered, have retained all that is due to them which has been earned in the fleet, and whereas it is advisable to satisfy this worthy individual:
Resolved that 500 ducats be given to the said captain, to be deducted from the pay of his company at the rate of 100 ducats a month, the Proveditore Paruta in Terra Ferma being notified thereof for the replacing of the said money.
Ayes, 131.Noes, 5.Neutral, 20.
In the Collegio on the 7th January.
Ayes, 19.Noes, 0.Neutral, 3.
[Italian.]
Jan. 8.
Senato,
Secreta,
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
679. GIROLAMO LANDO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The king returned to London on Saturday morning, and when many of the Council gathered in the presence of himself and the prince he gave orders to the Secretary Naunton to give him an account of all the current affairs of the world of the greatest importance. He did so, telling of the affairs of Hungary, Bohemia, Germany, Italy, France, Flanders and others. His Majesty then urged each one to give him their opinion upon these affairs, and what he ought and could do. Not one dared to utter a word. Finally Naunton himself suggested that as his Majesty aimed at negotiation and peace, he ought to think of arming himself without delay, because once armed he could either make war or conduct negotiations with greater hope of success. The king praised this idea and instructed him to make a note of those individuals who seemed to him best fitted to form a council of war, which should discuss the things necessary for a great levy of infantry, cavalry, ships, artillery and all other appointments, whereof a long list has already been drawn up for the approval of his Majesty, who is understood to have passed it yesterday. The king then went on to speak of his own accord with great presumption of his own forces. He knew well that as the monarch of three large kingdoms he could very easily send one large army to Bohemia, one to Germany and one to Flanders, and do even more. But it was necessary to consider whether this was expedient. As for the Palatinate, he declared afresh that if it were not restored he would recover it at all costs, employing all his forces both by invasion and for a diversion. On this point he dilated much more freely than he has ever done previously either publicly or privately. He then proceeded to lament that his son-in-law paid little heed to his mediation or advice. Not only before but after the rout of the Bohemians he had replied more resolutely than ever that he would listen to no proposals for a settlement before the emperor recognised him as the legitimate elected King of Bohemia and allowed him the free enjoyment of that kingdom and the incorporated provinces, and should withdraw his forces from the Palatinate, making complete restitution and compensation for the damage inflicted. To this the king wrathfully exclaimed, What else could he demand ? A fine thing to be unwilling to yield on a single point! Then Viscount Doncaster threw himself on his knees and asked pardon if he spoke freely. He said the King of Bohemia did not deal thus with his Majesty as with a father but as with a mediator. He could not speak otherwise from considerations both of honour and duty, as he was not at liberty himself to yield any part of an elective kingdom, and as for the Palatinate, he ought not to prejudice the patrimony of his children. The king seemed much mollified; accordingly he has decided to send Villiers, elder brother of the favourite, (fn. 7) to the King and Queen of Bohemia, to the latter to offer consolation and to the former to try and induce him to give ear to proposals for negotiation.
They hear that the queen has taken refuge in a fortress of the Margrave of Brandenburg three days distance from Hamburg, where she will lie in. She recently sent a very indignant letter to the king, at reading which his Majesty exploded with wrath, which is easily aroused in him. However such offices act like using blisters,—painful, but calculated to rouse him from lethargy and reawaken his feelings.
On the very same day after dinner the king gave audience to the Spanish ambassador, and whereas in the morning he spent two hours with his Councillors, he now spent three with the ambassador. Thus some of the ministers here call the latter a new councillor of his Majesty. At the end of the audience he introduced his two sons, one of whom had recently come from Madrid post with the courier Riva. Since his arrival the Spaniards freely state that the Spanish marriage has been arranged and ratified by the king and Council and nothing remains to be done except to obtain the pope's consent and so get the dispensation more easily by his Majesty's consenting to allow the Catholics more liberty in his dominions. They assert that Father Maestro, sometime agent here, has already gone to Rome for this dispensation. Since the same arrival the ambassador also goes about freely stating that the Spanish forces amassed in large numbers in Flanders and Italy, will have in the spring to make a distinction in the latter province between those who are good friends of his Catholic Majesty and the others. I am told that when he spoke to this effect to the Ambassador of Savoy here the latter replied that if they proposed to inflict any harm upon Italy France would not suffer it. The Spaniard retorted that if the Court of Spain would listen to his opinion he would advise them to give help to la Rochelle and even call in the Turks. Thus a few days ago in the presence of many leading magnates, he praised the king here and the King of France and then launched out into abuse of the Duke of Savoy, calling him ungrateful for the honours which he had received in his children in particular, and of the most serene republic, calling her proud, and she wishes to butt against his king; biting his finger, he added: Any one who possesses courage and resolution can do this if he wishes. The opinion is now in everyone's mouth that the Spaniards mean to attack your Serenity. One individual told me that when he happened to be deciphering a number of letters he had a very intimate conversation with the agent of Flanders here, who let slip that in the spring the emperor will certainly invade the State of your Excellencies with the assistance of the forces of those Princes of Italy who are bound for the defence of the Duchy of Milan. I expect similar advices reach your Serenity from every quarter.
Cadenet has reached this kingdom with about 500 persons in his train. He makes his entry into London to-day. He will be honoured, as he claims, with the most extraordinary favours.
The Agent Trumbull writes from Brussels that his Highness has sent to the Most Christian at Calais the Count Cantacrois as ambassador extraordinary, to pay his respects and to make representations upon three points, that his Majesty shall not join in a closer union with this crown; that he shall not give ear to the Protestants in the Grisons, Switzerland and Germany, and that he shall not allow any representations of the English king to divert him from his admirable resolution to extinguish the pernicious root of the Huguenots from his kingdom.
A vigorous proclamation has been published here against those who speak or write too freely of the government and of matters of state, (fn. 8) but when everyone is silent air and earth ultimately cry out.
London, the 8th January, 1620 [M.V.].
[Italian.]
Jan. 8.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
680. GIROLAMO LANDO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Your Serenity's letters of the 11th December with important communications upon the affairs of the world have reached me. In my zeal to execute my instructions I had audience of the king very suitably before the Ambassador of the States, with whom I have worked in concert, and who had instructions three or four weeks ago, as I wrote, which he has not been able to execute before, to speak very emphatically and clearly on the subject and finally to come to the point of a diversion and the invasion of Flanders, with protests to the Archduke and Spinola, to be accompanied, where necessary, by simultaneous and sufficient military preparations.
His Majesty received me in his bedchamber, being attacked by a slight touch of gout, which does not allow him to go out, unless with difficulty. I told him that I felt sure that so prudent a king who was so deeply interested, had, like your Serenity also, pondered deeply upon the news of the defeat of the Bohemians, the loss of Prague and the retreat of the new king, all events of the greatest moment in themselves and much greater in their consequences, since they changed the complexion of everything, encouraging the vast ambitions of the Spaniards, who now threaten everyone, and for the greatest occasion for anxiety to those powers who have reason to fear their predominance. The black clouds are gathering, with the thunder of so many sounds and the flash of so many arms in every direction and may well call into action the prudence, virtue and vigour of every prince who loves the weal of Christendom and the general liberty, which those of the contrary party, not only by military action, but by tricks and machinations, use every means which they think will lead them to universal dominion, being puffed up by their prosperity and by such propitious events. In Italy the Spaniards deprive the princes of their means of defence, while they fill the state of Milan with troops and warlike materials, depriving the Grisons of all hope of recovering their liberty and the Valtelline, which was already well garrisoned. In Naples the prudent rule of Cardinal Borgia was changed, who had given the people time to breathe and showed a peaceful disposition. The movement in the Tyrol could be intended for nothing else than the oppression of Italy. In Germany, since their success, they speak quite frankly about destroying those who resist them and have already begun to treat for the division of the hereditary dominions of the Palatine among the defenders of the empire. In Flanders, although they do not declare themselves, the end of the truce being near, they disclose their aims to seize every advantage and they hope, now they are in the saddle, to harm every one at once, seeing clearly that if three other blows were struck similar to those which they have given to Christendom this year, their whole erection would be thrown open to view. Where they see no immediate opportunity of using force they employ deceitful negotiations and blandishments and thereby arrest those resolutions which at other times acted as a counterpoise to bring about the balance so necessary for the general quiet. On this last point, which is the one that acts best with the king here, I thought well to add that it was the sole aim of your Serenity, as it had ever been, though to obtain it we must not cringe, but act in concert and make every preparation for resistance. It would be most imprudent to wait until they laid down their powerful arms out of courtesy in the midst of their success, and until they restored the Valtelline and the Palatinate; since the fate of Wesel and of the promises about restoring the trading galleys afforded an example, and showed that the peace we desire can only be obtained by mutual understanding and resolute action. I laid my case before the king in this fashion, concluding that the republic would show little gratitude to God who had given her liberty if she did not defend it to the last gasp. This seemed to me a fitting counterblast to those who propound the new doctrines against republics and free states. Finally I said that your Serenity felt sure his Majesty would survey all the events of Christendom, as was most desirable.
The king heard attentively and sighed at the part about deceitful machinations. He interrupted me when I spoke about the great preparations saying, It is true, I have heard the same. But how do they manage for money. I said I thought they were still using the greater part of the millions which came from the Indies in the fleet for the service of individual merchants, and when fortune is favourable it facilitates everything. He afterwards made me an admirable recapitulation of everything that I had said to him. He bewailed and expressed great sorrow at the universal peril, saying that he had pondered it often. He added, You speak to me of Italy, Bohemia, Germany, Flanders and the whole world. I cannot do everything, though I will certainly do my part and as much as I can, knowing how important it is that all who love the general welfare should do so. As regards the Palatinate, I have already bound myself to recover it for my grandchildren if it is not restored. That restitution I will procure, but as you have very properly stated it is necessary to negotiate sword in hand, and I see perfectly well that such is the true way to get it again. If it pleases God to spare my life I will send 20,000 men this summer to effect the recovery. In this I will employ all my strength, being bound by my promise and honour. With Bohemia I have nothing to do and never wished to have, as I do not like to see this novelty of the people conferring and taking away crowns at their pleasure (non piacendomi queste introduttioni de populi di mettere e levare le Corone di capo a lor piacere). If I can bring about a reasonable accommodation I will devote myself thereto with all my heart, but otherwise I shall not interfere. He cursed the day when these disturbances began, the origin of all the mischief, and blamed the originator. In Italy, if it be true that in addition to the arming in Milan, the rumours of arming at Naples and so many threatening signs, Leopold has really gone to Trent, it would be a serious matter. The affairs of that Province concern me greatly; those of the republic,—he spoke with great tenderness,—as much as my own. In fact, if the republic is invaded I will assist her to the utmost of my power and I will say so much to the Spanish ambassador. His king remarked to my ambassador with his own lips that God had given him so much in this world that he was content and desired no more. At this I remarked that we must look at deeds. The king rejoined, You are right; but we will let him speak, because the more he speaks the more reason we shall have to complain if he acts contrary to his words. He continued, I am a poor king but quite content with what God has given me. I shall never go of my own accord to invade the dominions of the King of Spain or his friends if he abstains from invading mine, and those of my friends. But if they are attacked I shall defend them as much as I can and shall rest content if he does the like. As regards the Valtelline I have interposed my offices and I shall willingly do whatever is in my power. The French have already declared that they desire restitution; what is the pope doing ? I replied that I could give his Majesty no well grounded information on that point. I understand, he said, that he is behaving very well. You know that I have no influence with him. Neither have I performed any office with the Grand Duke. The Duke of Savoy, I doubt not, will behave well. The Swiss of Zurich and Berne, I hope, will be ready; poor things, they have done little in trying to do too much. Upon this subject I will speak warmly to the French ambassador here, who is coming, as you know, with the most notable embassy ever seen. That king is now at peace, that is if he wants to be. Here he shut his teeth and remarked with great emotion, But if he means to go against those of this religion, I mean of my religion, I hope that God will help them, and I shall not be able to allow it, and this is precisely what I shall tell that ambassador. (Quel re hora e in pace, se però vuol esser in pace. E qui molto concitatemente disse, stringendo i denti; ma se vora andar contra quelli della religione, dico della mia religione, spero che Dio li aiuterà, et io non potrò patirlo: e questo a punto e quello che voglio dire all'istesso ambasciatore.) I hope for the truce in Flanders; I shall allow the States to levy as many men as they want from these kingdoms. In short, I have reviewed the whole field and will do everything I can, and am most anxious that the republic may remain far removed from all harm; let her remain on the alert and guard especially against conspiracies and treason within. I hear that there are traitors among you, that the governor of one of your fortresses has fled on the discovery of his crime. I expressed amazement at this, as I had heard nothing about it. He said, I assure you that we are so advised, and I beg that you will keep the closest watch for such things, as the principal aim of your enemies is this, and they keep weaving plots. Keep an eye on your own people and on Venice too. I shall not fail to act as a good friend and if I hear anything more I will tell you. I humbly thanked his Majesty for this, and so the audience terminated.
The audience of the Ambassador of the States was almost exactly similar in every respect except about Italy, of which he said nothing. His Majesty expressed the most settled determination to recover and defend the Palatinate though reluctant except at the last extremity to make a diversion, which the ambassador, at the instance of the Prince of Orange, urged upon him by many strong reasons, saying that it was the surest and least costly way of effecting the other. His Majesty remarked that they ought first to proceed by direct ways and afterwards by oblique ones. However, he concluded by saying that he would arrange with the council of war about providing arms, munitions and men, and with the parliament about the way of obtaining money, and before the time arrived for sending the troops across the sea they would have leisure to form the best decision as to the manner of employing them. He complained bitterly of the United Princes, that they had not contrived to do anything this year, and equally of the new king who was the originator of all the present troubles and was so obstinate about coming to terms. To the first point the ambassador replied that if his Majesty did not advise neither did he dissuade him. Such is the essential substance of that audience.
London, the 8th January, 1620 [M.V.]
[Italian.]
Jan. 9.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Spagna.
Venetian
Archives.
681. PIERO CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The English fleet has been to Barbary and demanded satisfaction for the damage inflicted by the pirates, otherwise they would bring utter ruin and desolation upon them.
Madrid, the 9th January, 1621.
[Italian.]

Footnotes

1 Thomas Locke, in a letter to Carleton of December 10, 1620, old style, speaks of Morton as having already gone (Cal. S. P. Dom., 1619–23, page 198). The money was paid out of the benevolence. See Gardiner: Hist. of Eng., iii, page 386. Morton's Christian name was of course Albert.
2 The City thinks it hard that, though their loan of 100,000l. is still retained without interest, and a contribution given for Bohemia, another large loan is asked; they compromise it by giving 10,000l., and will sell plate and dispense with their feasts till it is paid.—Chamberlain to Carleton, 22 Dec., old style, Cal. S. P. Dom., 1619–23, page 201.
3 Father Tomaso Cerronio, provost of San Fedele, Milan, who professed to have a plot against James to disclose, and was sent over to England by Wotton in the summer of 1617, Vol. XIV. of this Calendar, Preface, pages xliii, xliv. The plot he professed to disclose is recorded in Vol. XV., page 25.
4 Sir John Eyre was appointed ambassador at Constantinople in July, 1619, and was to receive a salary of 5,000 sequins from the Levant Co. Eyre complained that this salary was inadequate, so that he was ashamed to appear among the other ambassadors, and moreover, that it was not paid. Accordingly he exacted consulage from the English merchants, apparently with some severity. The company declared that by tyrannous and forcible means he had taken nearly 3,000l. more than his due, and by his extortions and ill speeches abroad had well nigh ruined their trade. The letter mentioned in the text was dated the 20th Dec., old style, and, in addition to reprimanding Eyre for his conduct, strictly ordered him to confine himself to his salary and to cease exacting the consulage.—Birch, Court and Times of James I., ii. page 315; Cal. S.P. Dom., 1619–23, pages 412, 413; Eyre's letter in defence of the 10th April, 1621, State Papers, Foreign; Turkey.
5 Charles II of Lorraine, Duke of Elbeuf and Louis de Valois, Count of Alais.
6 Henry de St. Nectaire, vulgarly called M. de Senetere.
7 Sir Edward Villiers, Buckingham's half brother
8 Proclamation against lavish and licentious speech in matters of state, dated the 24th December, old style. Cal. S. P. Dom., 1619–23, page 202.