Venice
January 1621, 22-29

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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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533-548

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'Venice: January 1621, 22-29', Calendar of State Papers Relating to English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 16: 1619-1621 (1910), pp. 533-548. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=88778 Date accessed: 20 October 2014.


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January 1621

Jan. 22.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
698. GIROLAMO LANDO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The French Ambassador Extraordinary here has alone absorbed all the honours which the other ambassadors of princes usually enjoy in the course of a year. In addition to what the king has done, Viscount Doncaster in particular has given a banquet in his honour, at which his Majesty and the prince assisted and they say it cost him 2,000l., that is 10,000 ducats. (fn. 1) They will not find any money afterwards either for fleets or for armies. But whereas the French ambassador has enjoyed these airy demonstrations, the Spaniard has what is more solid and important, being more influential than ever over his Majesty or over those who guide him, making use for his own advantage of festivities, masques and all distractions from business, to which he has devoted himself incessantly these last days, as the older his Majesty grows the more he takes pleasure in what he did not care for when young.
In addition to what I wrote in my last despatch, the king has had another secret audience with Cadenet, lasting two hours, in which he remarked that it was not the Huguenots who went about disseminating the doctrine of assassinating princes, and beyond question they stood as better defenders of the frontiers of France against Spain than the Jesuits and corrupt and malicious persons. He clearly perceived that if these were trampled upon and others of his religion against whom they are directing their lightning, they would afterwards think of aiming a blow at these realms; therefore he could do no other than strongly resent such action. Rebels and traitors ought to be exterminated, and are unworthy of the protection of any prudent prince, but it is not reasonable that those who had received so many privileges from his Majesty's father and grandfather should be despoiled of their towns and fortresses and oppressed by the Catholics without deserving it. Pity, conscience and religion compelled him to intercede for them and not to allow them to fall. He advised the Most Christian not to involve himself in such an evil undertaking, because it could not redound to the honour and welfare of his kingdom, and he hoped he would accept such salutary advice from an old king. Such is the substance of the reply which was given formally, although as the ambassador brought no letters of credence upon business, but simply for salutations and compliments, they seemed in some sort to treat the whole matter in a conversational way.
The French have taken umbrage at the discovery that one of the two Huguenot gentlemen who accompanied the embassy, has been to Doncaster's house to speak secretly to the king.
Upon the point of republics the ambassador has certainly said nothing except in general terms, inveighing greatly against those peoples who aim at withdrawing themselves from obedience to their legitimate sovereigns, and suggesting the propriety of monarchs standing together, as I wrote. No other business has transpired so far, since everything takes place with such great secrecy, so that not even the French ambassador in ordinary has assisted at the audiences. Only on the subject of the marriage, a gentleman of the marshal (fn. 2) in his name has spoken to the Secretary Naunton, not to make a formal proposal but simply to advise him that the whole realm of France would desire it. Naunton also appeared to reply not as secretary but on his own responsibility, saying that when such negotiations were promoted on previous occasions it clearly appeared that they were simply desired to break up those with Spain, and as they are short of money in these realms France would undoubtedly have to offer as large a dowry as Spain. To this the gentleman replied that although the Most Christian is short of money, M. de Luynes could easily lend him some, and ultimately the secretary promised to speak about it to the king. I have not yet had an opportunity of discovering anything further. The French go about saying that it is not their practice to offer their women, while the Spaniards for their part declare that it is not reasonable that a Prince of England should take to wife the younger sister of the consort of the Prince of Savoy.
With regard to the Valtelline the same marshal (whom owing to present circumstances and for every other respect I have taken especial pains to honour, sending my own brother to meet him on his entry) told me in particular that the republic and the other Italian powers were interested for their safety and the kingdom of France for her honour, since she alone not the King of Spain nor the republic, had an alliance with the Grisons. To the instances which I thought good to make to him, finding that expected them, to use his influence with the favourite in a matter of so much moment, I obtained a most friendly reply with a show of great esteem for your Serenity.
The king has sent word to the Ambassador of the States to write in his name to the Prince of Orange and their High Mightinesses to enquire whether with their own money they can find arms for 20,000 men, as here they have not nearly enough to supply them. There is no lack of ministers who in order to drag matters out, propose to send for armourers here to make them. Thus everything tends towards procrastination.
The list of the council of war which was drawn up has not so far gone beyond mere discussion if it be not suspended, and yet we are almost at the end of the month of January, and time is not lame but most swift. The Ambassador of Bohemia in particular frets and torments himself at the lack of application, the languor and irresolution with which they proceed. He urges the king ad nauseam, but when he remains silent he sees things stand still. To-day they speak one way, to-morrow quite differently, and what is more, they cast doubts upon what has been written and printed. Thus a matter which they may have considered at times is believed done and announced as executed. His Majesty promises and ordains various things moved by his own affections, inclinations and prudence; then shortly afterwards, being dissuaded and turned the other way, by three or four, I do not know how, he withdraws and changes them, apparently not remembering what he has said or what has been ordained. In addition to his natural leaning to quiet there are the interests of those who are better fitted to manipulate goblets than to deal with affairs and who are fearful that in case of war or pressure of circumstances the king may be constrained to fall back upon others and that parliament may have an opportunity of clipping their wings. Accordingly with that body on the point of meeting they are exerting to the utmost their almost unlimited power, but if parliament does not regulate these countless disorders, affairs cannot fail to go very wrong. (Come ciò che si ha tal volta pensato, si crede d'haver esseguito, e se pubblica per effetuato; promettendo ordinando la Maestà Sua per affetto e per inclinatione e prudenza propria varie cose, che poco dopo poi da tre o quattro, non so come, rivoltata e rimossa, le ritrata le varia, con dimostratione di non ricordarsi il detto, e l'ordinato all'inclinatione propria naturale alla quiete, aggiongendosi l'interesse di questi più atti a maneggiare li pinceri che a trattare gli affari; dubbiosi in guerra e nella necessityà de' negocii, che ella resti constretta a valersi d'altri, e che il Parlamento habbia campo di pennarli. Onde nel presente procinto della riduttione di questo, fanno l'ultimo sforzo della potenza quasi omnipotente loro; e s'egli a punto non è quello che dia regola a tanti disordini non potranno caminare le cose al certo senon molto riverscie.)
Villiers has left. He will find the Queen of Bohemia at Brunswick as she did not care to take refuge in the country of Brandenburg. This gives rise to some comment. He will be followed by Anstruther with a remission of some 20,000l. for the queen to make good the loss of her household goods. The latter will then proceed to Denmark. But as the principal object of that monarch at present is to get the environs of Bixera conferred upon his second son (for which he is getting representations made with the States from this quarter to use their influence, though with little success), and as the king's subjects do not seem at all inclined to make extraordinary contributions, they fear that as things are going in a halting fashion everywhere with Germany, Bohemia, the United Provinces and the Hanse towns, the Spaniards alone moving by leaps and bounds, Denmark also may show a considerable amount of tepidity.
The six commissioners of the States are expected. here very soon. The ministers opposed are now making the most of the fishing question with his Majesty, so that upon their arrival he may be thoroughly ill disposed towards them.
Murton, sent to the Princes of the Union, should proceed to their diet. Here it is understood that they are negotiating for a truce. They have left the time of his arrival in Venice to Sir [Henry] Wotton's own pleasure. Cornuals and Vueston have been recalled, without instruments; perhaps they think there that they can more easily arrange a peace with the Spanish ambassador alone. That individual states that his Majesty, by his remarkable goodness and prudence, has acquired such merit with the king his master that three lines alone in his letter which he has written will suffice to bring about the restitution of the Palatinate. The king lets it be understood that without such restitution he will have no marriage, while the ambassador states that both will be accomplished if he will grant some greater liberty to the Catholics of these kingdoms. However, they have received news that Spinola has captured Friburg, an Imperial town near Frankfort, (fn. 3) with even greater designs, never regarding the season in order not to lose the opportunity.
London, the 22nd January, 1620 [M.V.].
[Italian.]
Jan. 22.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
699. GIROLAMO LANDO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
I have recently seen the Marquis of Buckingham, as I thought it best for the service of your Serenity to converse with him after his conversation with the Spanish Ambassador, which I reported. He told me, speaking emphatically, that he felt sure that if I were the King of Spain and he the republic of Venice, as friends, and I saw him help my enemies, associating with them and supplying them with money, I should be angry and do everything in my power to exhaust him in every possible way. I told him that if I were the king I should not plot against the liberty or dominions of those who were the legitimate owners, and it would not be reasonable to be angry with anyone for defending himself. I expressed the opinions I had used with the Secretary Calvert, described in my last. He did not know what to answer, though I clearly perceived that he would not budge from his position. Yet at the last he made me many offers both for the Valtelline, upon which he laid great stress, and for everything else. When I pointed out that the league with the States had been asked and facilitated by his Majesty and greatly commended after its conclusion both to me and other ambassadors of my masters, he said that possibly the Ambassador Carleton had favoured it on his own responsibility and not by royal instructions, or the king might have praised it then, but time, father of all knowledge, might have shown that it was not very proper just now, remarking that the affairs of Bohemia and so many other accidents might have turned out better if they had occurred earlier, but they happened to coincide with the time of the expiry of the truce. To my argument that France and England had also succoured the States in the heat of the conflict, he at first opposed a direct negative, but when I adduced the pledges held by this crown of Brill and Flushing, he remarked that the king or Queen Elizabeth might have done so, but we had to consider whether it was reasonable. I replied that a defensive league such as that of your Serenity was always reasonable, just as the plots, the machinations and aspirations upon the liberty and dominions of others were unreasonable. I said there was no doubt but the offices of the Ambassador Carleton had been performed in accordance with reiterated orders from his Majesty, just as I was sure that without variation of ideas the king praised the successful issue of that affair in view of the machinations of those who aspired to dominate the world to the danger to all, which demanded a perfect understanding among those powers who love their own and the general weal.
He then began to tell me that the king is now really thinking of the interests of all Christendom, he is most determined to recover the Palatinate, that he is disposed to do what he can for the republic, but hinted, I know not how, that as his Majesty was embroiled in all directions he did not see how he could attend to everything, and if the Spaniards strike as effectively next summer as they did last, he would be compelled, he thought, to procure peace at all costs, both in Flanders and throughout the world. The question of the Valtelline also disturbed him; for the States, if necessary, he would do anything, but he stated this very coldly. He concluded by saying that the king would not suffer his friends to be attacked, he would give me audience as soon as he had a little time, at which he was sure I should receive complete satisfaction.
I cannot bring myself to believe that he touched such points with so little reserve and at the same time betraying such ignorance, with the consent of his Majesty, but I hope it all comes from another source, as I think the Spaniards are just now trying hard to cause their decisions against your Serenity to reach you from many quarters, possibly merely to divert you from interesting yourself in the Valtelline. I referred to the promises which the king had made to me that he would declare to the Spanish ambassador himself his intention of assisting the republic if she were attacked. He answered that the ambassador had replied so modestly and gently that he did not seem to deserve threats. I rejoined that his words might indeed have been sugary, but were really poisoned and amounted to a decision to trouble the republic. I will wait to hear what his Majesty has to say to me. He has sent to say that he will see me at Theobalds, whither he is proceeding to-day and will give me the earliest day possible.
I perceive that this point has been raised to produce great consequences both here in the present circumstances and possibly elsewhere with opinions about religion which cannot appear in this Court, for the purpose of estranging his Majesty from your Serenity and from the States, by suggesting that they are rebels and that the republics are now uniting against the monarchies, and in this way to bring odium also upon the Bohemians, the Princes of Germany to some extent, and the Huguenots of France, with others like them. All this makes me think it better to keep silence in order that the impression may not become more deeply rooted and become increased by disputation, with the worst results. I will advance the arguments to his Majesty as I see necessary which seem to me well adapted to the affair, unless I am much deceived, declaring that I am simply speaking for myself, as I have done both with Calvert and with the Marquis. I shall not speak without provocation to any but ministers who are very well disposed, as I am afraid of stirring up too much mud if I trouble these waters. I anxiously await your Excellencies' instructions so that I may act with more freedom.
London, the 22nd January, 1620 [M.V.].
[Italian.]
Jan. 21.
Inquisitori di
Stato.
Busta 442.
Venetian
Archives.
700. GIROLAMO LANDO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the INQUISITORS OF STATE.
Dionisio Lazari, knight, on whose proceedings your Excellencies commanded me to keep a watch, is now here again. He came with the Extraordinary Ambassador of France, to stay some months. After his departure from England he was declared a gentleman in ordinary of the chamber of his Most Christian Majesty, at a salary of 2,000 francs. Last week he sent a letter to my house of which I forward a copy. He told me he had been sent with letters to the king and prince from the house of Guise, with a special commission about the command of Prince Joinville under our republic, through the intermission of the king here, and if it were not arranged, to offer his services for the Palatinate. He has commissions in writing under many heads, and orders to visit the ambassadors of crowned heads here, except Spain, owing to current events. He told me that since the occupation of the Valtelline the Guise party have entirely given up their Spanish leanings. He also had orders to thank me for what I had written home about the command. He was further ordered to give the Queen Regnant's hearty salutations to the king and those of many French lords, in fact he is like half an ambassador or agent. I will keep an eye on what he does.
With regard to the affair of the Archbishop of Spalato, Pasini returned in haste to Brussels and obtained a safe conduct for Galarati from the nuncio. Galarati has left with this and a little money, which I lent him, and I am waiting to see what will happen. I consider this the best way. I think it impossible to get the original news sheet of Italy except with luck.
London, the 22nd January, 1620 [M.V.].
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Enclosed in
the preceding
despatch.
701. Reverend Father:
I am pressed because the courier is leaving even now. I reached London safely to-day, thank God. I stay here some days for business with his Majesty. I will let you know of my condition from time to time. I will look for your letters in the packet of the Ambassador Lando.
DIONISIO LAZARI, knight.
London, the 8th January, 1620 [M.V.].
[Italian.]
Jan. 23.
Cons. de'X.
Parti Secrete.
Venetian
Archives.
702. In the Council of Ten.
That to-morrow morning the letter of the ordinary confidant of the 16th inst. be read by a secretary of this Council, after imposing a solemn oath of secrecy, and a copy left with the Savii of the Collegio, so that they may impart it to the Senate in whole or in part, as they consider best for the public service.
Ayes, 13.Noes, 0.Neutral, 0.
Read in the Collegio on the 24th and left in the hands of the Secretary Comin.
[Italian.]
Enclosure.703. LETTER of the CONFIDANT.
I did not leave for Milan, but stayed on a week feeling sure that the negotiations of the Grisons would drag on, as they wished to discover the intentions of the King of France and the Duke of Savoy and to give the King of England hopes of the restitution of the Palatinate. The Marquis Spinola being consulted judged that if the Spaniards moved in Italy they would have to do so in such force as to win right away; this would be very difficult, as the truce in Flanders was about to expire and the Turks might move. Supposing the emperor could take Prague they thought he should make terms, restoring the Palatine to his state and so pleasing the King of England, with whom they might take the opportunity of making a league, while keeping certain places of the Palatine which would be useful against the Netherlands, to be restored only at the end of the war. He advised that in such case they should break the truce.
This opinion was submitted to the Council of State and approved by those opposed to innovation and by the enemies of the Duke of Feria. (fn. 4)
16 January, 1621.
[Italian.]
Jan. 23.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Roma.
Venetian
Archives.
704. GIROLAMO SORANZO, Venetian Ambassador at Rome, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The affairs of Germany are disordered and if the help came from England for the Palatine, which it appears they are preparing since they heard of the loss of Prague, it is thought that the Palatine may present a bold front and greatly perturb the house of Austria. It is said that Spinola's army is largely composed of veterans and it will be difficult to expel them from the Palatinate.
Rome, the 23rd January, 1620 [M.V.].
[Italian.]
Jan. 24.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Svizzeri.
Venetian
Archives.
705. GIOVANNI BATTISTA LIONELLO, Venetian Secretary to the Swiss, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The diet of Arau has been prolonged for some days. By news I have from the Palatinate, the Margrave of Baden has gone to Worms to act as general in place of Anspach. They are expecting an ambassador from England to the princes, who have recently received from the king there promises of liberal assistance in men and money.
Zurich, the 24th January, 1620 [M.V.].
[Italian.]
Jan. 26.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Signori Stati.
Venetian
Archives.
706. CHRISTOFFORO SURIAN, Venetian Secretary in the Netherlands, to the DOGE and SENATE.
On Saturday the six ambassadors left for England, and the four for France this morning.
The States have received very bad news, that the Palatine has abandoned Breslau and withdrawn to Berlinghen, and that Moravia and Silesia will throw themselves into the arms of the emperor. The prince, who spoke to me with much feeling about this news, declared that in his opinion, in order to induce the King of Great Britain to give up all thoughts of arming, they would make a show of restoring the three places in the Palatinate taken by the Marquis Spinola, which would also serve to stop any idea on the part of that monarch of landing a considerable force in Flanders. I gathered from his Highness also that the ambassadors who have gone to England have instructions to urge such a diversion upon his Majesty if they see any chance of opening such representations.
The Hague, the 26th January, 1621.
[Italian.]
Jan. 27.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci.
Svizzeri.
Venetian
Archives.
707. GIOVANNI BATTISTA LIONELLO, Venetian Secretary to the Swiss, to the DOGE and SENATE.
There is nothing fresh about the United Princes except an assembly to be held at Elbrun, with the hope of some accommodation, as they think that the emperor will agree to leave the Palatine his hereditary states, while the latter will give up all claims to Bohemia, being advised to this by all, and by the King of England in particular. At all events, if Spinola will withdraw from the Palatinate and not attack any of the princes, they promise not to meddle in the affairs of Bohemia.
Zurich, the 27th January, 1620 [M.V.].
[Italian.]
Jan. 29.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
708. To the Ambassador in France.
The news which reaches us clearly shows the intentions of the Spaniards to trouble this province both by sea and by land, and especially our republic. They constantly strengthen their hold upon the Valtelline and keep up the disturbances in the Grisons with the intention of driving them to form an alliance with the state of Milan, which seems near to coming about. They aim at stopping the Grisons and Swiss by bribery, their principal object being to secure the Valtelline and still more to keep those important passes and all Rhaetia under their control to the exclusion of the other powers. They think of coming to some settlement in the Palatinate, retaining some fortresses, in order to profit in the negotiations in Flanders about the truce. They propose to send a fleet into the Gulf, to move forces in the Tyrol on our frontiers, to form a league of powers with some talk of dividing their conquests and to foment troubles in France, to prevent disturbance from that quarter. In short they aim at compassing all their desires and expect to encounter no obstacles.
The like to the ambassador in England, adding:
We instruct you to communicate these particulars to his Majesty as you may see fit, to make him see the operations of the Spaniards, referring to the point that though they pretend to desire an accommodation in the Palatinate their real object is to stay his Majesty's preparations and to retain those fortresses. This will prove easier for them if a truce follows with the States. You will impress his Majesty with the gravity of the business and stir him to make demonstrations worthy of his greatness and glory and of his interests in the Palatinate, and also to prove himself what he has always been in favour of our interests. You will speak to the same effect and more openly with the ministers and others, as you think proper, trying to make the best impression on their minds to interest them in the affair. You will also try to ascertain whether in case of need we could obtain leave to use a certain number of his Majesty's ships of those now in the Mediterranean, and if you find a good opening we direct you to ask for such leave, and if you obtain it to get orders sent to the captains of those ships, and all other requirements, sending us the duplicates, so that we may use them as our service requires.
Ayes, 166.Noes, 2.Neutral, 18.
[Italian.]
Jan. 29.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
709. To the Ambassador in Savoy.
With regard to what the duke said to you about the offers of the Count of Mansfelt to enter our service, although your replies to his Highness and the Resident of England were prudent and adequate, we wish nevertheless to express our intentions for your guidance. You will go to the duke and tell him we welcome the proposal as we think highly of the Count of Mansfelt, but the difficulties in the way are great, and we cannot bear the expense, and thereupon you can dexterously revert to the duke's suggestion of interesting the King of Great Britain in the expense, and repeat what the English resident said, in order to discover the duke's opinion.
You will maintain confidential relations with the English resident, especially commending his opinion that every one should take his share in the present emergencies, and referring to what you said to the duke, in order to learn from him not only what is being done, but the opinions and resolutions of his king also.
Ayes, 166.Noes, 2.Neutral, 4.
[Italian.]
Jan. 29.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
710. To the Ambassador in England.
We enclose a copy of the letters of our ambassador at Turin, from which you will see the proposals made to us by the Duke of Savoy about the offer of the Count of Mansfelt to enter our service or create a diversion, and how the English resident there has negotiated with our ambassador, approving of the proposal and offering to recommend it to his king, and speaking also of reducing the expense to a fourth. We send you this for information and that you may discover how the resident represented this affair, the nature of his offices and what is the king's view of the matter, especially about giving ear to it and in helping in the expense, in conformity with the suggestion of his minister, and to discover the opinions of the ministers, especially the leading ones and those who have a large share in such resolutions, sending us word of all.
We have your letters up to the 12th inst., which give us complete satisfaction and we commend your prudence and diligence.
Ayes, 166.Noes, 2.Neutral, 4.
[Italian.]
Jan. 29.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
711. GIROLAMO LANDO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The king here can contrive that no rose bursts into flower without a number of thorns sprouting. The oath has been administered to the members of the council of war, numbering eleven, and they have begun their deliberations, with orders to discuss means for recovering and defending the Palatinate. (fn. 5) To satisfy the request made by the United Princes the king has written to the free towns belonging to the Union urging them to stand fast by the alliance and to its renewal, as for them it expires in May. I enclose copies of these letters so that your Excellencies may see how proper and ardent they are.
They have deputed certain individuals who are going through the whole kingdom and the principality of Wales to make a description of the arms which may be collected for use. In this way they propose to serve two objects, firstly to provide the soldiers who are being levied, and secondly to deprive the people of weapons, or at least to discover in whose hands they are, especially at the time of the parliament. If they do not do the same in Scotland and Ireland they have at least resolved to give orders for arming in both kingdoms, just as they have issued instructions for a census and review of all the ships on these coasts. As they reckon that the money which the parliament may decide to contribute cannot be obtained in less than a year, they are thinking of some means of getting it to provide for the urgent need, more particularly by availing themselves of the Crown jewels. Accordingly the Lord Treasurer and another minister have spoken to the Ambassador of the States about obtaining the value from Amsterdam, negotiating only for 100,000l., but they insist that the jewels shall not leave the kingdom, but simply remain as a pledge in the ambassador's hands. This point is a difficult one to resolve both for the satisfaction of himself and that of the merchants. He offers, indeed, to have them conducted by a ship of war of the States, and have them returned in the same manner when the debt is paid. I have an inkling that his Majesty entertains some idea of asking for a loan from your Serenity and for this among other reasons he did not care to satisfy the instances made to him by the Ambassador Dohna to recommend your Excellencies the offices of his son-in-law upon the same purpose. If this be so then the words spoken by the marquis against the league may not have been without intention or without the king's consent, in order to lay stress upon their favours and to make the success of their request easier. They are accustomed to proceed here by similar devices.
A new prorogation of the meeting of parliament has been issued for another week, upon the pretext of the gout from which the king is still suffering. Such a thing has never happened before, as no delay has ever postponed the first meeting. But now they are indeed trying to change the ancient institutions in everything as much as possible.
The new Ambassador of Bohemia has been called upon to defend himself before the Council these last days from an imputation laid against him at the instance of the partisans of Spain, of having diverted to his own use the money collected for the new king, upon which merchants and others have been examined. His Majesty has had a long discussion with this ambassador, by which it appears that he wants to dispose his son-in-law towards peace and giving in. He used violent language saying that he had written telling him to submit to reason and to his advice, which, however, he does not express, and he will recover the Palatinate, otherwise he threatens to abandon him altogether. However, it is thought that the king only wishes to constrain the Palatine to put himself in his hands, and may judge that the wavering and the method of procedure of this Court in every direction are at present extending in the same direction, for the purpose of obtaining good results from the Parliament more easily. In fact, his Majesty, remarked to the same ambassador, Let me see what my kingdom wants to do, and if that behaves well, do not fear but I will speak and act in a fitting manner. (Lasciate ch'io vedo quelle che vuol far il mio Regno, e se questo si porterà bene, non dubbitate ch'io non parli e non operi da dovero.)
The same ambassador when reporting to his Majesty that the armistice to which the United Princes inclined by the interposition of the Landgrave of Hesse in the name of the emperor, had been torn up by Spinola, greatly perturbed the king by saying that he did not wish to arrest the fortunate progress of his arms. But the Spanish ambassador gently salved the wound by reminding his Majesty that he had always told him that no satisfactory arrangement would ever be made without his Majesty's own interposition. The Ambassador of Bohemia has drawn up a paper showing how it is impossible for his master to yield for reasons of conscience, honour, his oath and many others besides. His Majesty wrathfully replied that he also had his conscience, and it is a fine conscience to make sport of crowns, telling him: Your master wishes to remain constantly at war.
His Majesty also disputes with his secretaries about inserting in his declaration for the Palatinate the clause, "I will try for a satisfactory settlement this winter, and if I cannot obtain it I will attempt to recover the Palatinate by force in the spring." He pretends that he never gave any hint of abandoning negotiation, and that he always had such an end in view. And yet what he wrote then was revised and corrected by his Majesty himself, even where he spoke of a diversion, as I reported to your Serenity, and this took place in the presence of the Lords of the Council. Similarly these last days he persists in stating that he did not fix the parliament for the 16th but for the 23rd inst., it now being postponed to the 31st, though he himself drew up practically the whole of the proclamation and it has already gone to the press. In this fashion matters continue to fluctuate to the confusion of every one and very frequently they say things which afterwards they deny having said. Thus, although some rays of light appear through the clouds, it will be prudent not to place too much reliance upon them, but to suspend judgment until the results of the parliament appear.
London, the 29th January, 1620 [M.V.].
[Italian.]
Enclosed in
the preceding
despatch.
712. Letter of KING JAMES to the SENATE of STRASBURG.
Although we learned your prudent steadfastness to the league from the letter sent us by Albert Morton, yet as that league expires next May we exhort you to renew it, seeing the unhappy condition of Germany and the state of the Palatinate, which we have resolved to defend with all our forces. As the danger increases it is reasonable to stand the firmer and to strengthen the bonds of union.
Whitehall, the 3rd January, 1621.
[Latin.]
Enclosed in
the preceding
despatch.
713. Letter of KING JAMES to the SENATE OF NUREMBERG.
Your league with the princes may expire next May; but at that time the dangers which led to its inception will be greater. If the enemy conquers, the liberty of all Germany will perish. No peace can be expected except in base servitude, religion will be suppressed and only those who think with the enemy will be safe. The fall of the Palatinate will prove fatal to its neighbours. If there were no treaty it would be necessary to make one, and the existing one should be renewed without delay. In order that the world may see what is expected of us, we have commanded our estates to assemble on the 23rd January, to discuss the ways and means of protecting the Palatinate whereby we shall find means to satisfy our children and the constancy of our friends.
Whitehall, the 3rd January, 1621.
[Latin.]
Enclosed in
the preceding
despatch.
714. Letter of KING JAMES to the SENATE OF ULM.
The most weighty reasons counsel the renewal of the league which expires in May. The liberty of Germany and the religion of those who differ from the pope are menanced; the Palatinate is invaded. Divided you will be the prey of the victor, united you may impose your own terms of peace. We have ordered our estates to assemble on the 23rd January so that we may decide how to defend the Palatinate. We have no doubts about your constancy to the league which is of such moment to the welfare of yourselves and of Germany.
Whitehall, the 3rd January, 1621.
[Latin.]
Jan. 29.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
715. GIROLAMO LANDO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Every day recently his Majesty has been dilating in his apartments with his familiars upon the Government of France and what a shame it is that that kingdom should be governed by a favourite. Thus without being aware of his own he blames the defects of others. Marshal Cadenet has left. He received from the king the present of a jewel worth about 10,000 crowns, and many cavaliers gave him horses. He presented the favourite with a ring, and also, in the name of the Most Christian, with a jewelled collar. Such are the chains which now fetter the whole world. As I am writing to my prince I may say frankly that these alone have any influence at present with him who can do most here. Hence it arises that the Spaniards, by skilful treatment and open behaviour, easily obtain the victory in their affairs, while the other ambassadors work by offices alone and compliments, which are very frequently esteemed torments, or by small donations, and encounter a thousand difficulties. Fifties and hundreds may, as I know by experience, prevail with lackeys and servants, but with the great and those who matter most, these are but drops in the bucket, better calculated to whet the appetite than to satisfy it. Private fortunes cannot meet all this. This is more worthy of the consideration of your Serenity in the present state of affairs than you may be inclined to believe.
The aforesaid French ambassador has left some thread for the opening of marriage negotiations. The Spaniards seem slightly jealous, especially as it is whispered that the king remarked that he wished to tell them plainly that if within three months they do not arrange with him, he will consider himself released from all engagements. For this reason also the notion of Digby's departure for Spain seems to be revived. No one can see how the French can give so large a dower. One of them let it be understood that M. de Luynes has 300,000l. in the citadel of Amiens. But while it is not probable that he would spend his substance for the crown of France, but would rather increase it, they also observe that such a sum would only provide half what the Spaniards offer. Possibly the latter do not intend to give so much, but only wish to frighten away others and so remain masters of the field to negotiate at their pleasure. Some of the wisest declare that in any case the greater part would be collected from the Catholics of these realms, just as at present they obtain a great part of what is now spent by the ambassador upon pensions, spies and other services.
Immediately after the departure of the French ambassador the Spaniard sent his steward to Spain, and had a long interview with the king and others with the favourite and some of the ministers of his party, the whole taking place with the utmost secrecy, while his Majesty speaks with a sobriety contrary to his nature of the negotiations carried on with him not without a suspicion on the part of many that this French embassy may result in hastening not in breaking off the marriage which he has in hand, although it appears that here he leaves an opportunity for proceeding with him with greater decorum. Some think that the question of a marriage was mooted by the French with the sole object of making them slack here in support of the Huguenots. Others declare that Luynes really detests the idea of a Spanish marriage for the prince here, since he does not enjoy the complete favour of the Queen Regnant, and it cannot prove advantageous for him for two princesses of Spain to reign in two powerful realms so near each other, and the movements of the Huguenots have been excited to be settled afterwards to the king's satisfaction by the conclusion of the marriage.
At the departure of the French it appears they left a rumour here, especially since the arrival of a gentleman from Paris, that these affairs may possibly be arranged easily. That Luynes by acquiring such merit aims at cultivating his Majesty's favour, because as he has many enemies and may fear a fall, he would like to stand well here, which is so near Picardy, as he might obtain assistance in an emergency, and as a place to put his treasure to which also he might retreat in case of need. There have also been many indications that the embassy aimed largely at establishing a union between the two favourites of France and England. Many are of opinion that the two crowns think of arranging together to procure peace throughout the world, for which, if gentle negotiations do not suffice, they will have to act more harshly by drawing the sword against those who show themselves recalcitrant. Accordingly they think that other reciprocal embassies will be arranged. Meanwhile his Majesty writes copious letters to his ambassador at Paris, narrating all the speeches he has made here to the Marshal, so that he may remind the latter of them and inform the king there. His Majesty says that although the Marshal came to him without letters of credence or instructions upon affairs, yet for the universal welfare he wished to open to him upon matters which he considers most necessary at this time, besides the question of the Huguenots, for whom he intercedes.
The letter states that at this conjuncture the crown of France ought to stand as united as possible with this crown, and unbiassed, so as to give peace to the world and prevent the greater exaltation of rivals. In their own dominions it was necessary to try and dissipate all clouds. His Majesty will try every means to recover the Palatinate and at the same time he begs the Most Christian to recover the Valtelline, by uniting with the most serene republic, the Duke of Savoy and other princes interested there and in the general welfare, since this concerns the kingdom of France from every point of view. I am assured by the ministers whom I begged to stir his Majesty up on this question, that it was presented in the most complete fashion. He remarks that France should have no fears about the marriage in negotiation here with the Spaniards, as at the very beginning of them his Majesty declared what he has frequently repeated, that if it takes place, his firm resolution to maintain perfect relations with his old friends will not grow cold, and he will not permit their dominions to be molested without cause.
They say that some conversation took place between the king and the ambassador about the prolongation of the truce in Flanders, and it seems hardly likely that they omitted this when they touched upon so many points. However, although I have kept my ears open I have not yet heard anything by direct and trustworthy means.
It is said that the commissioners of Holland who are expected daily, in addition to their instructions about the fisheries and affairs of lesser moment, are to state clearly that if his Majesty feels disposed to unite with them and make war, they are disposed to do so, but if not his masters will try and procure the prolongation of the truce. But the one will not be done without great difficulty and the other does not seem a propos at this time. The king has declared himself on the subject to his ministers more than once.
Audience is appointed for me to-morrow at Theobalds, when I shall execute your Serenity's commissions of the 31st December.
London, the 29th January, 1620 [M.V.].
Postscript.—The Secretary Naunton has been arrested in his house by the king's order, without the reason being known. (fn. 6) If this means his fall, it will be the greatest triumph for the Spanish ambassador and one of the most serious blows that could fall at the present time upon the interests of your Serenity for which I have always found him most zealous and sincere above all others.
[Italian.]

Footnotes

1 Chamberlain, in a letter to Carleton, estimated the cost at 3,000l., besides 300l. worth of ambergris, used in cooking.—Cal. S.P. Dom., 1619–23, page 214.
2 Un petit homme nommé Laforêt. Mémoires de Tillières, page 44.
3 Friedberg in Hesse, taken on the 18th December, 1620. Khevenhüller; Annales Ferdinandi, ix., 1160.
4 Also in the series Senato, Secreta: Comunicazioni dal Consiglio dei Dieci with a note that it is not to be shown to anyone without the consent of the Savii.
5 At a Council meeting held the 10th January, old style, the Earls of Oxford Essex and Leicester, Viscount Wilmot, Lords Danvers and Caulfield, Sir Edward Cecil, Sir Richard Morrison and Captain John Bingham, with Sir Horace Vere and Sir Edward Conway, if they returned to England in time, were appointed to act as a council of war for the affairs of the Palatinate. S.P. Dom. Vol. cxix., Nos. 21–23. Vere and Conway did not return, and their places were filled by R. Lisle and E. Sackville, who signed the report with the other nine. Ibid. No. 93.
6 The reason generally given was the King's displeasure at Naunton's listening to the proposals made to him by Laforêt during Cadenet's mission for a French marriage, without consulting his Majesty. Camden: Annals, apud Kennet: Hist. of Eng., ii., page 656. Memoires de Tillières, ed. Hippeau, page 48