Venice
February 1621, 1-13

Sponsor

Institute of Historical Research

Publication

Author

Allen B. Hinds (editor)

Year published

1910

Pages

548-566

Annotate

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

Citation Show another format:

'Venice: February 1621, 1-13', Calendar of State Papers Relating to English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 16: 1619-1621 (1910), pp. 548-566. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=88779 Date accessed: 16 September 2014.


Highlight

(Min 3 characters)

February 1621

Feb. 1.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Spagna.
Venetian
Archives.
716. ALVISE CORNER, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The English ambassador has been to see me. He told me that by order of his Majesty he had recently spoken to the king here upon the Valtelline, pointing out to him the gravity of the affair and the serious consequences involved. The ambassador told me that he had spoken to the king only. His Majesty replied that everything had been settled to the universal satisfaction. He did not wish to make any acquisitions, but simply to secure that his friends should not suffer wrong from the Grisons. The ambassador used these words and urged me strongly to inform your Excellencies of them, since he says that his king committed this office to him at the request of the most serene republic. I replied in a similar manner, thanking him for what he had done and for letting me know. In the course of the conversation I did not neglect to show him how harmful it would be if the Spaniards were allowed to advance into the states of others, and what a momentous thing it would be if they remained absolute masters of that pass. But in truth this cavalier is more inclined to hunting than application to business. He has sent a man post to England with the reply received, so he told me.
Madrid, the 1st February, 1620 [M.V.].
[Italian.]
Feb. 2.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Signori Stati.
Venetian
Archives.
717. ZUANE PESARO, Venetian Ambassador in Savoy, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The Protestant Cantons are arming, being suspicious of the power and designs of the Catholic Cantons, and fearing that France means to break off the alliance with them, and they speak openly by instigation of the Duke of Savoy. Thus it appears that the Resident of England has some orders to have a secret intelligence, while the Bernese stand on their guard along their frontiers near the duke's territory.
The offices of Cadenet in England will serve for nothing more than to sound that sovereign's feeling about the renewal of the truce, discover his inclinations towards the Huguenots, and try and find out his disposition as regards a marriage with Madame Henrietta, but not to treat for the settlement of anything whatsoever.
Turin, the 2nd February, 1620 [M.V.].
[Italian.]
Feb. 2.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Signori Stati.
Venetian
Archives.
718. CHRISTOFFORO SURIAN, Venetian Secretary in the Netherlands, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Prince Maurice has heard with much displeasure of the treaty made between the Spaniards and the Orsini house. He said: The Spaniards wish to make themselves masters both of states and of individuals, and we ought to keep a sharp eye upon their proceedings But the question is, what can we do, since in various ways they have won over both France and England. He asked me what the most serene republic would do. I answered in general terms. He seems to desire war, but with considerations worthy of so prudent a prince. In referring to the question of prolonging the truce or declaring war he remarked: What shall we do without the help of France or England, those two Courts may be said to be completely won over by the Spaniards. The King of France is young, and the favourite rules; the King of England will not move, and loves peace. We get nothing from the ministers of both crowns but fine words, so I do not see what we can hope for.
Although it is the general opinion that the ambassadors will bring back a clear decision for peace or war, his Excellency remarked that they had no authority to deal with either question.
The Hague, the 2nd February, 1621.
[Italian.]
Feb. 2.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Signori Stati.
Venetian
Archives.
719. CHRISTOFFORO SURIAN. Venetian Secretary in the Netherlands, to the DOGE and SENATE.
I performed the offices with the ambassadors of France and England which were committed to me. Both thanked me for this sign of confidence. The Ambassador Carleton said it showed the extreme violence of the Spaniards, that not content with winning over the Italian princes, they should also intrigue for individuals. If the princes who suffered did not offer resistance they would inevitably be lost. He was sorry about the Grisons, but much more at the grave prejudice received by your Serenity through the loss of the Valtelline. He promised to send word to his king of everything.
The Hague, the 2nd February, 1621.
[Italian.]
Feb. 4.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Svizzeri.
Venetian
Archives.
720. GIOVANNI BATTISTA LIONELLO, Venetian Secretary to the Swiss, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The English cavalier Murton has been at the fair of Strasburg these last days to receive from the merchants the money taken there which was delivered to them in England, to the amount of 300,000 florins, which will be devoted to the defence of the Palatinate.
Zurich, the 4th February, 1620 [M.V.].
[Italian.]
Feb. 5.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
721. To the KING of GREAT BRITAIN.
When our Ambassador Lando spoke to your Majesty about the present troubles of Christendom, you replied by giving him your opinions, so worthy of your prudence and zeal for the common benefit. We recognise that your Majesty foresees the dangers which may become imminent if a proper remedy be not provided. We desire to thank your Majesty warmly, assuring you that we have received these open declarations with the utmost satisfaction as a clear testimony to the excellent disposition you cherish towards the union of interests which we have with your Majesty. We desired to signify this much to your Majesty in addition to what our ambassador will say.
Ayes, 149.Noes, 7.Neutral, 8.
[Italian.]
Feb. 5.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
722. To the AMBASSADOR LANDO in England.
Your letters of the 8th inform us of your prudent representations to the king upon the present distractions of the world, in response to which his Majesty declared his mind, saying especially that he would secure the recovery of the Palatinate by force if it was not freely restored, and would allow the Dutch to enlist men in his kingdoms, and would assist the republic if she were molested. We have learned all this with the utmost satisfaction, and have written a special letter to thank him. You will ask for an audience and present this, thanking him for his benevolence towards the general welfare, and especially for his declarations in our favour. As it behoves the general service that his Majesty should not only preserve this good disposition, but should be still further spurred to more open and effective decisions, you will represent to him the great military preparations of the Spaniards, and that in addition to their progress in the Palatinate and elsewhere they can attack the republic simultaneously in several places both on sea and shore, and by these artifices they keep apart and occupied all the princes of Christendom, with the firm intention of never restoring the Valtelline or other countries which they occupy. They propose to prolong the truce in Flanders in order to secure themselves against a diversion from that quarter, which might retard their progress towards universal dominion. The best means of avoiding such eminent perils would be a strong diversion from that quarter. With these ideas and others suggested by your prudence you will endeavour to impress upon his Majesty the dangerous position of present affairs, and the harmful consequences that may ensue unless their career is cut short by a union and by rapid and strenuous resolutions, to obtain a stronger declaration from his Majesty in favour of the republic. We shall await advices from you of what you do in this matter.
We enclose a copy of a paragraph of a letter of the Secretary Antelmi, from which you will see the hopes and plans of the Spaniards to obtain troops from England and Scotland. This will serve you for information, to use as our service requires, with his Majesty and his ministers.
Ayes, 149.Noes, 7.Neutral, 8.
[Italian.]
Feb. 5.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
723. To the PROVEDITORE PARUTA in Terra Ferma.
We have arranged for an inspection of our artillery, munitions and gunners by Sig. Giovanni Martinengo. We also propose to enlist two or three thousand foot, Dutch and English, and consider that MM. Milander, Thine and Reiton, possibly Colonel Rocca Laura and some others may be ready to command them. We therefore direct you to consult the Proveditori General at Verona, and secure the best terms you can with reference to the agreements already made with the Dutch, though without definitely settling anything. You will particularly specify the time and the route to be followed by the soldiers to reach our state, sending us word of everything and awaiting our orders.
Ayes, 113.Noes, 2.Neutral, 6.
[Italian.]
Feb. 5.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
724. To the Ambassador in England.
As warlike preparations and military forces constantly increase on our frontiers, and as we do not know the reasons for such proceedings, though they certainly aim at disturbing the peace and quiet of others, we think it necessary to protect ourselves and among other things we propose to enlist 1,500 men in his Majesty's dominions. We therefore direct you to treat with Lord Dingwall (il Baron d'Inquel), a native of Scotland with connections in Ireland, and at present resident in England, with numerous adherents everywhere, for his assistance in enlisting a good number. There are also Lords Nort and Vuilebi, the former having always displayed the most favourable disposition towards our republic, and the latter being the one who formerly enlisted troops to serve the King of Denmark. (fn. 1) We believe that both would welcome the opportunity of rendering a service. But you will endeavour to arrange this levy of 1,500 foot either with them or with others, upon the conditions contained in the enclosed note, which is the same as that sent to the Secretary Surian at the Hague to enlist troops there. We warn you that all must obey our leading commanders. If any one of the persons mentioned claims some advantage in salary for himself, you will not seem averse to procuring satisfaction for him, telling us of his wishes, so that we may decide in accordance with their merit and experience. When you have arranged this levy, and his Majesty's leave is necessary to carry it into effect, you will approach him and his ministers to obtain it, and we trust in his goodness and friendly disposition to obtain it, as the republic has always held the greatest regard for him and her interests are at one with his in resisting invasion and preparations for defence against those who aim at nothing short of universal dominion.
To obtain the necessary money you will use letters of exchange, as has previously been done in similar cases. We expect to hear full particulars from you with your customary ability and diligence.
Ayes, 157.Noes, 0.Neutral, 1.
[Italian.]
Feb. 5.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
725. GIROLAMO LANDO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The crown and sceptre of these realms seem at present to be in the hands of the Spanish ambassador almost absolutely, since in addition to the blow struck at the Secretary Naunton (for no reason at all except through a treacherous intrigue of the ambassador, and because the secretary always seemed disinclined to give credence to his negotiations, although hope of his re-establishment has not entirely vanished), one hears daily of some other stroke in every variety, and the best ministers appear in great peril, as at the present moment the ambassador is devoting his chief attention to uprooting all the plants which do not bend to his breath (la corona e lo scettro di questi Regni pare che al presente siino in mano dell' Ambasciatore di Spagna quasi assolutamente, poi che oltre il colpo datosi al Secretario Nanton non per altro in efetto che per un insidiosa trama del medesimo e per essersi egli mostrato sempre poco inclinato a prestare fede alli suoi negociati se bene non resta anchora distrutta la speranza della sua redintegratione, ogni giorno se ne sente alcun altro in tutti li generi, e si vedono li migliori Ministri in pericolo grande, non versando egli in alcuna cosa più al presente che in spiantare tutte le piante che non si piegano al suo vento).
Thus they are examining various individuals, even the very gentlemen and servants of the ambassador of Bohemia about certain pamphlets and papers which have appeared blaming the emperor, the Catholic king and Gondomar himself, and upon words uttered against the coldness of his Majesty. The Ambassador Dohna himself is not spared from their plots and attempts, not only on the subject of the money collected, but upon the examination of the paper last presented. They are trying to inflame the king's wrath upon the two leading points contained in that paper, first, that the Bohemians and the new king never took any step, small or great, without his Majesty's previous knowledge, and if he did not agree to the acceptance of the crown, neither did he express any dissent at the moment, and when the ambassador came to this Court, he offered in his master's name to relinquish the crown if his Majesty wished. He answered: I do not say this. In the lifetime of the Emperor Matthias, when Baron Dohna, his brother, was here and they told his Majesty that the Bohemians did not consider Ferdinand as their legitimate sovereign and desired to elect another, he replied that he did not approve of the people rising during the emperor's lifetime, but he advised them to publish their reasons and jus eligendi after the emperor's death, and upon the nullity of Ferdinand's election, choosing another, in which case he would help them. In fact experience shows more clearly every day that they say various things here which subsequently they deny having said.
Sir [Roger] Nort returned here recently from the shores of the Amazon. He brought goods worth about 100,000 crowns, and expected, by reason of royal orders already written to return at once. But immediately he arrived he was imprisoned in the Tower by the command of his Majesty, and the goods arrested, as belonging to certain Irishmen who inhabited that country many years ago, which the Spaniards have never even seen, it is stated, and by many of the leading gentlemen of these realms. It would seem that at the present moment every other power and all reason must give way before the caprices of these Spaniards, and if parliament does not prove physician enough to heal the corruption of this body I fear nothing else will suffice. It ought to begin next Tuesday unless a fresh prorogation comes out. Upon that point I cannot really venture to prophesy owing to the inconstancy which grows worse here.
A report got about to-day that the king had appointed Lord Digby to go as ambassador to the Archduke Albert. The real reason does not appear very clearly as yet, but they think it is about the Palatinate, which means delay over useless negotiations.
The French embassy which was expected to act as a check upon the Spaniards and to disconcert them greatly, has actually sent them into the fray with renewed ardour. Not only has it entirely freed them from all misgivings, but has let them see further into the king's mind, while capturing the favourites completely, especially at a time when so much bad news arrives from every quarter, particularly the announcement that the new king has joined his wife in her retreat in the country of Brandenburg, so that everything seems to prosper for the house of Austria. This has brought them to the summit of authority and power, there being a notable change in the course of one week. No one dares to speak any more or knows what to believe, except that the king is firmly convinced that he cannot keep at peace or remain alive except by close union with them, and that by such union alone can he easily obtain the restitution of the Palatinate and the means to impose his will upon all the world. My subsequent letters may perhaps show this even more clearly. (Niuno ossa più parlare ne sa che credere, senonche il Re habbia fermo concetti di non poter star in pace ne in vita senza essere ben unito con loro, e che dall' unione con questi solo possa trare facilmente la restitutione del Palatinato et il modo di dare legge a tutto il Mondo. Le sussequenti mie lo possono dimostrare anco d'avantaggio.)
The six commissioners or ambassadors of the States have arrived, but at an unfortunate moment, since unless there is a remarkable change in opinions and action, they will not be able, any more than the other representatives who are acting for the general welfare, to meet with anything but thorns and most difficult obstacles, and will be compelled to toil hard in the smallest and most reasonable affairs.
The Queen of Bohemia has given birth to a son. (fn. 2) I learn in confidence that as soon as she is strong enough she intends to come here. Although this will not please the king her father he may not be able to refuse her an asylum in her present situation. If it takes place it will be an event of great importance which might easily give rise to most notable incidents (sara effetto di momento grande, succedendo, et atto a produre accidenti notabilissimi).
The Spanish ambassador continues more than ever to spit out his usual venomous sentiments against your Serenity. This and various reports, has led many of those who served in the fleet, who appreciated their ready and generous payment, to offer themselves to me for fresh service. Although on the one hand this might be desirable, yet it might turn out very injurious, as I have discovered that he is setting traps, as the reports all come from his house and from those of his party, and I have good grounds for suspecting that he himself has sent some to offer themselves to me.
The Cavalier Dionisio Lazari has again returned here and is treating with the king about Prince Joinville entering the service of your Serenity, and if this is not arranged, to offer his service for the Palatinate to his Majesty. It has been suggested that the king shall write a letter on the subject to your Excellencies.
Some English merchants, owners of the ship Gran Zaffiro, have come to complain to me because about the end of October two galleys of your Serenity detained four men belonging there in the waters of Ragusa, and asking for their release, upon which they also seem determined to have recourse to the Council and the king. As I had no information on the subject I replied that without their making such appeal I would write to your Serenity, but as this had happened, there had been some disobedience, possibly the men of the ship would not show their patents and remove the doubt whether they were pirates. I think they left quite content and diverted from making any other movement, but yet very desirous of receiving the favour from your Serenity. I shall await your reply on the subject.
The two royal pinnaces sent after the fleet of twenty ships with refreshments, left the Downs recently.
Many shipwrecks are reported in these seas, and the capture of some pirates in Ireland, who have suffered the extreme penalty.
London, the 5th February, 1620 [M.V.].
[Italian.]
Feb. 5.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
726. GIROLAMO LANDO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
In my audience at Theobalds I told the king all that your Excellencies charged me in yours of the 31st December, about the offices of the ambassadors in France, the king's reply, the plans to re-unite the Grisons, the tirelessness of the republic in working for the good of her friends and for the general liberty, and the instructions given to the Secretary Lionello. I did my utmost to show the merits of your Serenity, the notable progress of the Spaniards everywhere and the confusion of the Grisons. For greater clearness I told him the news which reached me by the letters of the 8th January at the very moment when I was going to the audience, with the paragraph from Soranzo's letter from Rome and the opinion of the French ambassador there; so that he might be impressed with the necessity for union of preparation and representions, following the example of the Spaniards themselves, adding the news of the conquests of the Imperialists in Moravia, the unhappy condition of the Palatinate and Germany, and everything else calculated to break the ice, with the purpose, indicated by your Excellencies, of inducing his Majesty to join with representation and actions in the declaration of the Most Christian.
He showed that he did not fully understand the nature of the Grey league, and had little acquaintance with such matters. He said: What do you expect from those poor people, vile in spirit and in strength? What can I do? You see the desperate state of affairs. I have told you before that it is not in my power to embrace all the interests of the world. I will act for the Palatinate, but I do not see how I can bind myself to anything else. I have already made strong representations for the Valtelline. I replied that the King of France despatched a special embassy, and declared that if speedy restitution did not take place he would have to unite with the other parties interested. I could get nothing out of him except a languid statement that he had consistently offered his good offices, and that he expected little good from this French embassy, since the Spaniards had replied as they did to his ambassador, saying that the forts were necessary for their requirements in Germany and Bohemia, and they would not budge, whatever might be said or represented. I retorted: Then it is necessary to face the facts. He answered: These things concern the French, adding that he had repeatedly referred to the matter with the Ambassador Cadenet, recommending it to him in the strongest manner, and enlarging upon the blame that Gueffier deserved. But he had never answered a word, either yes or no,while upon the question of the Palatinate he had declared himself copiously, and had directed his ordinary ambassador in France to repeat his offices and had got him to send a letter with a detailed account of what was said to him. He told me in substance all that I wrote to your Serenity on the 29th ult., that the Marshal had practically touched upon nothing but the affair of the Huguenots, upon which he modestly told me his replies, which were as I advised.
He stated to me, what I consider very remarkable, though I have already indicated it. He said: I made myself perfectly plain to Cadenet and got him to write to my said ambassador that France must not believe that I am becoming Hispanified because I am negotiating for a marriage with the Spaniards; for while it is quite true that the business is taking giant strides forward and has been brought to an excellent state, yet I have declared and always will declare that I do not mean to abandon my old friends or allow them to be molested, just as I shall never give my advice and help to them to trouble the King of Spain or anyone else. (Mi sono lasciato intendere con esso Cadenet, e l'ho fatto scrivere al detto mio Ambasciatore, che la Francia non creda ch'io m'inspagnolisca per che tratti matrimonio con Spagnoli; per che se bene è vero che il negocio a grandissimi passi veramente camina, e si è ridotto a buonissimi termini, tuttavia mi sono dichiarato e mi dichiarerò sempre che non voglio abbandonare li miei vecchi amici ne permettere che siino molestati, como io non darò mai il mio consiglio et aiuto a questi, per che travaglino ne il Re di Spagna ne alcun altro.)
I did not omit to suggest that representations were required more in Spain than in France, although they were praiseworthy anywhere, but his Majesty either kept silence or at least did not answer. And yet he naturally concurs readily so far as words alone go. Perhaps he thinks that he has given enough of these, or else that he cannot now in honour express himself with less zeal than the King of France or accompany his words with less resolution.
This is all I can write upon the first point of the audience. I may simply add that I have clearly discovered that to represent to his Majesty that matters are at the last extremity produces an effect precisely opposite to what one might expect, as the breath which ought to kindle his wrath and stir him to decision, actually tends to extinguish those small sparks which occasionally appear. Thus the ambassador of Bohemia has remarked to me in confidence that he frequently did not know what terms to use to advance his affair, because if he brought news of his master's prosperity he noticed that not only the king but even many of those who favoured him most cooled off, upon the consideration that the necessity was not so great. If he reported adversity, they slackened even more, despairing of the affair and saying that they did not know how to revive a corpse. And in effect, on the one hand the king becomes more fearful and stops in his desire to involve himself, seeing that matters have gone so far, and on the other hand he believes that his son-in-law will be obliged to give greater heed to his advice.
London, the 5th February, 1620 [M.V.].
[Italian.]
Feb. 5.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
727. GIROLAMO LANDO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The king further proceeded to say to me: I have not let you know everything what took place between me and the Spanish ambassador about the republic, because I thought it best to tell you some points myself. As I had no time to see him, being so busy over my numerous affairs, I sent to ask him the reason for such armaments, especially as I heard something shouted against the republic, which I love so dearly, and whose interests concern me greatly. I did this moreover because the ambassador and I have a compact that if I conceive any suspicion or doubt about anything, I will immediately address myself to him, who always deals frankly with me, and he has promised to do the same with me. He replied, what I have reported and what his Majesty repeated, pointing out in particular many things done by your Serenity to the prejudice of the king his master, the league made with the Netherlands, his enemies, at the time of the expiry of the truce, and the rest which I advised. He called his Majesty to witness that his king would submit the matter to him, and if he liked he could bring the affairs of the republic into complete quiet before the middle of April. The king remarked: I did not know what reply to give to this without hearing the answer of the republic, for which I ask you, showing himself completely deluded by the ambassador's form of speaking.
I said your Serenity had always respected the crown of Spain; the league was made for defence and for no other purpose whatsoever. I adduced the examples of France and this country, and said that if any blame was due they had originated it, who had troubled the quiet and liberty of your Serenity by so many machinations, entering the Gulf with their fleet, seizing trading galleys, fomenting those infamous pirates the Uscocchi, and cutting off every way by which your Excellencies could receive assistance from your friends; not observing the promises which they had made under the authority of the greatest princes of the world, and being apparently more determined than ever just at present to subjugate innocent peoples who loved quiet, under the false pretext of religion, with no ostensible object except to put the republic and all Italy in fetters. Now they publish their designs abroad, which they would be unable to carry out if the princes who ought to be concerned at their predominance, had a good understanding together. This showed the necessity of coming to a closer union with those friends who could give assistance and who in the past had allowed them facilities for hiring men and ships.
The king replied: You are right, without a doubt. I also recognise that the league was necessary. I replied: Your Majesty even assisted to bring it about. Your ambassador at the Hague, by your express orders, several times exerted himself in its favour. When I informed him of the result he was glad and commended it highly. For the States and for you, he remarked, I consider it proper As for the offices passed by me you know that I am always ready to favour the republic and my friends. My help was asked and I gave it readily. As regards France and England, he remarked in a quiet way (toccò in certa maniera sobria) that the Spanish ambassador excused those actions as very old or initiated by the sovereigns reigning at the time. Upon the point of the plots and machinations he said: You are right, they are very strong reasons, but not as a reply to the Spanish ambassador by a third party interposing, like myself, and selected by him as judge. I mildly suggested that your Serenity is a free prince and not accustomed to disclose the basis of your affairs to everyone as you do to his Majesty, owing to the remarkably confidential relations existing. The ambassador's craft clearly appeared in this and tended as much to the detriment of his Majesty as of the republic, and to say that the league was defensive sufficed to satisfy any body and admitted no reply. That is true, he said, although the ambassador declared it was also offensive. Availing myself of the Senate's letter of the 24th January of last year I reminded his Majesty of the substance of the articles. But he began to say that although defensive it might easily become offensive; on the expiry of the truce the States would attack, and if the Spaniards attacked them they would also fall upon the archduke's dominions, and so the war would become offensive and defensive. The Dutch would go to the East and West Indies, and if the republic provided them with money for defence, they could easily employ it for other things besides.
Such subtle and far drawn arguments from his Majesty's mouth amazed me, although in these days one ought to have learned to marvel at nothing here. I replied that your Serenity's league certainly did not go beyond defence; if the republic was invaded the States were bound to assist her, and vice versa, nothing more. At this the king remarked: That is the real point to advance and the true reason but I will await the reply in the name of the republic. I assured his Majesty that the republic always acted with complete sincerity and had no other object than her own defence and the preservation of what God had given her. This was an instinct even wth brute beasts, and as the conversation led on to a consideration of the general interests of the world, and seeing that his Majesty enjoyed speaking, I remarked that the Spaniards on this flood of good fortune, might easily conquer all, and would possibly show themselves most cruel towards those whom they now flatter. He said: We must procure peace at all costs as they are really too prosperous, I observed: They will not stay their career from growing tired of conquests. He repeated the old idea, that the Catholic had told him that God had given him so much he desired no more. He added, sighing: What is worse they are making their conquests by arms, so it is necessary to cut away their legs by accommodation and peace. I agreed that a good accommodation was desirable, but we could not reasonably expect one unless we cut off the aforesaid legs with the sword, or at least accompanied our negotiation by vigorous action. At this he made a sign without uttering a word, but which seemed to me to speak very clearly to the effect that everything might be settled without recourse to arms.
I let him clearly understand that I had written to tell your Serenity that he had declared he would intervene in case of invasion and had promised to tell the Spanish ambassador so much, but as I did not see this last point effected, I feared two evil results, first that the ambassador might think that his Majesty admitted the truth of his statements; second that your Serenity might consider it a step backwards. I am going to say it and confirm it, he said; but I do not believe that the Spaniards will invade the republic at present, although their object is to make her spend money and so make war on her purse. Moreover I thought it best not to proceed further with the ambassador before I received a reply from Venice, as I told you, since he referred to me so modestly. With this the king entered upon compliments and words of friendship and honour.
I hope that all these matters of great moment, confused as they are, will excuse the length of this present despatch.
London, the 5th February, 1620 [M.V.].
[Italian.]
Feb. 6.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
728. GEROLAMO PRIULI and ANZOLO CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassadors in France, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The affairs of the Huguenots remain in their usual state, and they are only discussing here the way of granting their requests.
The Marshal of Cadenet has returned from his embassy to England, having received the highest honours and rich presents from the king there, and expressing the greatest satisfaction with the whole of the Court. He brings word of the constant good will of his Britannic Majesty towards the Most Christian king and his desire to see this crown again at peace, and free in particular from civil discords. That he will warmly represent to the Huguenots that they must recognise the duty of obedience and loyalty to their sovereign, and if they refuse, they must not rely upon his protection. On the other hand he begged his Most Christian Majesty to maintain them in their ancient privileges and to keep the edicts of pacification granted to them by his predecessor, so that they may have cause to continue to serve his Majesty with the more loyalty and ardour. This last is not too well received here, as they suspect from it that the King of England rather inclines to protect the Huguenots. They, on the other hand, have heard it gladly, and glory in it. But actually many who know his Majesty's slowness and how alien his nature is from resolving on any generous and difficult undertaking, do not believe that he will ever set on foot so readily any design in favour of those of the religion.
The papal rescript has arrived giving permission for the sale of ecclesiastical goods in the manner reported. It is understood that the pope advises the king not to make civil war at present but rather to consider the affairs of the Valtelline and the operations of the Spaniards.
Paris, the 6th February, 1621.
[Italian]
Feb. 9.
Senato.
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Signori Stati.
Venetian
Archives.
729. CHRISTOFFORO SURIAN, Venetian Secretary in the Netherlands, to the DOGE and SENATE.
They have not yet settled upon the day for the departure of the deputies to the Princes of the Union. It is thought that they are awaiting news from France and England, especially by means of their ambassadors, who have already reached those Courts, they think. They have no doubt about England, because on Friday week they entered the River Thames.
The Spaniards say nothing about the truce. If they renew it, it is thought they will do so entirely to their own advantage, and see that it extends beyond the line, and that they do not allow the Dutch to trade in the West Indies. These are important points, because at present the English are joined with this nation, and they ought to know to which direction the King of Great Britain leans; and the Dutch have gone a long way towards forming a new company for the West Indies.
The English ambassador told me recently about the declaration made by his king against those who would assail the most serene republic, and that he would make it openly to the Spanish ambassador. He showed me the letter of the Secretary of State containing these particulars. I thanked him suitably.
There was one particular in the letter, namely, the existence of a strong and universal feeling against the Spanish ambassador, already known for his deceits and artifices, and that even his Majesty was not too well satisfied with him. The letter was in English, but so expressed that one could clearly perceive that the Secretary (Naunton, I believe), was very far removed from Spanish sympathies.
It was reported this morning that an English ambassador had arrived in Zeeland. If this be true, it must be the brother of the Marquis of Buckingham, (fn. 3) who is going to Custria to the Queen of Bohemia; if he comes here I will pay him my respects.
The Hague, the 9th February, 1621.
[Italian.]
Feb. 10.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Savoia.
Venetian
Archives.
730. ZUANE PESARO, Venetian Ambassador in Savoy, to the DOGE and SENATE.
When I saw his Highness I spoke to him about the business of Mansfelt. The duke said that he had felt unsettled by the reports about the count, but the English resident's declaration of his loyalty had reassured him. If the King of Great Britain would share in the expense, as the agent suggested, he would strain every nerve to pay his share. However, he greatly feared that monarch would claim nothing more than the restitution of the Palatinate, which the Spaniards may concede, and so all hope in that quarter would disappear.
I also spoke to the agent of England about Mansfelt, encouraging the opinions which he professes. He certainly shows the utmost good will, and offers himself freely for the common service. He seemed to appreciate greatly the prudent reply of your Serenity. He told me that Mansfelt was now aware of these negotiations, and they would arrange matters according to the decision of his king. The aspect of affairs was changing, and some good signs still remained in Bohemia, so it would be best to keep Mansfelt there to trouble the house of Austria in that kingdom. The hope of any change depended on the confidence they could place in a letter written by the count to his Highness stating that the emperor had not that certainty of victory that was reported. If matters were settled there, they could employ the count in the Tyrol and in recovering the Valtelline.
In these negotiations he has acted with the object of keeping the affair alive; to avoid compromising any interests; and to drive home the fact that every one must perform his share. I encouraged his idea that the king his master should incur the cost in the matter recently under discussion.
Turin, the 10th February, 1620 [M.V.].
[Italian.]
Feb. 10.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Savoia.
Venetian
Archives.
731. ZUANE PESARO, Venetian Ambassador in Savoy, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The marshal will certainly go to the Court, and he promises the duke that he will induce France to arm against the Spaniards. The agent of England, however, told me to warn the marshal to be on his guard lest the duke should negotiate with the purpose which he suspects. That minister has made representations on behalf of the Bernese about the fears which they conceived, and his Highness has promised that he will always be ready to fulfil his obligations and will dissuade the Catholic Cantons from cherishing any evil designs against the Protestant.
Turin, the 10th February, 1620 [M.V.].
[Italian.]
Feb. 11.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Spagna.
Venetian
Archives.
732. ALVISE CORNER, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the DOGE and SENATE.
We hear that quite recently fifty Turkish pirate ships passed in sight of Cartagena, and that in Africa they are actively arming many more to go out buccaneering; and in those same waters of Cartagena twenty-two Dutch ships have also been sighted, going in chase of the pirates, while the English fleet remains fast at Alicante.
Madrid, the 11th February, 1620 [M.V.].
[Italian.]
Feb. 12.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
733. GIROLAMO LANDO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
On Tuesday took place the meeting of the parliament, to which the king and prince went with the nobles of the realm in the robes of their order, with a numerous and most splendid cavalcade, as is customary upon such occasions. His Majesty touched upon many points in the speech he delivered, the grievances, the farms which they call monopolies here, and the expenses which it is necessary to incur, offering excuses and promising reform in a gracious manner. He also embraced many other important points, upon all of which I will obtain full information to lay before your Serenity, as I think it may deserve consideration for various reasons. However, I will give an abstract of the more important things. He first spoke about the affairs of Bohemia, relating the reasons already repeated why he had not wished to meddle with them. Of the Palatinate he said that his grandchildren were the heirs and had never offended any one, and he would recover it for them, although by negotiation backed by armed force, with the determination, if negotiations did not succeed, to imperil his three kingdoms and risk his own life and shed the blood of his own son, upon whose head he laid his hand at this point. For this he asked the assistance and succour of the people. In conclusion he also spoke of the marriage with Spain, saying he heard that every one spoke a great deal about it, with some idea that he had grown cold or that it would cause some prejudice to religion. Upon this he enlarged showing the firmness of his intentions and urging the bishops to perform their part for the preservation and increase of religion, declaring that he would never effect this business without a due regard for such increase and the welfare of Christendom. Upon this point, however, he did not give general satisfaction, because they cannot see what is really at the bottom of it, but upon other subjects he seems to have pleased them well enough, speaking with great eloquence. But they fear craft in every direction. Accordingly, beyond a doubt, many aim at making sure of actual results.
Now the aspect of everything depends upon this assembly. If impatience at supporting its medicaments when it really comes to apply them, does not increase the infirmity, it alone can be the physician to heal them. In a little while we shall be able to see what we may expect from this quarter, in present affairs.
These last days his Majesty has created many barons and earls, not only to obtain money thereby, but to render the old ones less proud by increasing the numbers of their order (fn. 4) ; they have complained loudly about it. In order to obtain a majority in the parliament both the realm and the king have devoted extraordinary attention to choosing the members. Those members who belong to the Spanish party now show themselves the strongest supporters of his Majesty, prepared to oppose the opinions and harshness of the others. Accordingly they are going the way to root themselves more deeply in his favour. But matters are in such a state that everything may suffer alteration and notable change, and certainly no prudence could foretell the result. (Ha creato in questi passati giorni Sua Maestà molti Baroni e Conti, non solo per cavarne danari ma per rendere meno altieri li antichi, multiplicando il numero del loro ordine: quali per ciò grandemente si dogliono e per havere maggiore partito nel Parlamento per la scielta dei soggetti del quale estraordinaria applicatione ha posto et il Regno et il Re, et nel quale quelli che sono del partito Spagnolo si dimostrano hora li più partiali della Maestà Sua preparati a contrariare li spiriti e le durezze degli altri. Onde caminano per la via di radicarsi più profondamente nella gratia di lei. Ma le cose sono in termine che il tutto può ricevere riforma et alteratione notabile ne v'e prudenza certo che possa predirne l'essito.)
Many workmen have been set to make weapons for the whole kingdom. The members of the council of war have made a calculation that 900,000l., making about a quarter of a million of gold, will be required to arm, transport and maintain 25,000 foot and 5,000 horse in the Palatinate for a year. (fn. 5) One does not know how this calculation will work out in actual practice. They have offered no advice about a diversion as the orders they received from the king stated that he asked nothing from them but simple answers to the questions put. But it appears that the point will undoubtedly be raised by the parliament.
London, the 12th February, 1620 [M.V.].
[Italian.]
Feb. 12.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
734. GIROLAMO LANDO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
It is reported that Digby will leave in a few days. He will actually go to Brussels to negotiate for the restitution of the Palatinate. I find that the suggestion was his own. This can only be with some design in favour of the Spaniards, although he may wish to avoid that end, now the parliament has assembled, fearing for himself. He himself has given out that he will also go to Spain, but I hear that he will first return here. Every one believes that the Archduke and the Catholic king will excuse themselves, saying that the affair is not really theirs but the emperor's, and will even offer themselves as mediators with his Imperial Majesty. In this way the negotiations will occupy a very long time.
A gentleman has arrived here from Madrid in fifteen days, being sent by the English ambassador. It seems he brings word that there are greater hopes than ever both for the marriage, in spite of whispers of fresh negotiations with the emperor, and for the restitution of the T'alatinate, as well as about the matter of the Valtelline. On this last point I obtained the facts from the Secretary Calvert, giving him a fresh stimulus to urge on the king some further interposition, as something which would greatly assist the common interests and increase his glory. I enclose a paragraph from the ambassador's letter, which I have had translated.
The Ambassador Gondomar has obtained a fresh confirmation of the old licence to take 100 guns out of these realms, as he succeeded in inducing them to believe that the 200 which were taken out secretly were taken and sold in Flanders without his knowledge. It is thought, however, that in this as in many other matters, parliament may try to impede the concession.
Marshal Cadenet preferred some requests to take out a like number to the Lord High Admiral, in the name of the Duke of Nevers. The negotiations were left with the ordinary French ambassador, and their success is not considered impossible. A certain bishop of Maino, a Greek, who stayed here some months ago, also asked. I hear he is the one who called the Spaniards to those parts, and was high in favour with the Spanish ambassador. Perhaps they are weaving some plots together.
The commissioners of the States have had their first audience. After beginning with compliments they spoke vivaciously and at length about the affairs of Germany, the Palatinate and the United Princes, inveighing against the Spaniards, calling them their enemies and plotters against the general good. Some thought it improper to touch upon such points of business at a public audience, but it is considered that they did so on purpose in order to destroy the notion, disseminated by the Spaniards, that their special object was the prolongation of the truce. The king made a general reply, quite friendly, but reserved, promising to discuss business more fully later as soon as his affairs and the state of his health allowed, and to depute commissioners to treat upon their other business. They showed themselves ready to enter upon the most confidential relations with me, and I responded as the service of your Excellencies requires. In the conversations which we have had together so far they have shown a desire for war, which I have not failed to encourage, as if on my own responsibility.
I am assured that the king besides that he has frequently declared to his ministers that he would not interfere about the extension of the truce, referred to the subject with the Ambassador Cadenet, saying that he really did not know what to say on the matter; it was a thing from which either good or evil might result. If he spoke it would look like advice, and so he could not form an opinion.
The Catholic ambassador here says that his king does not want a truce but peace, but only upon two conditions, first that the States allow liberty of conscience in the country, and secondly that they recognise and conduct themselves as subjects of his master. They have never claimed more than this and could scarcely claim more.
A universal rumour got abroad that the Spaniards had made some attempt against the city of Verona. This took such firm root that I have had great trouble to dispose of it. By such fictitious reports the Spanish ambassador aims at discovering the sympathies of many, to excite comment and obtain advantages.
I have received your letters of the 14th January with enclosures. I have already executed your commands with the ambassadors of France, the States and Bohemia. The last said that the best way of keeping up their spirits would be a little help with money. I shall not be able to execute my instructions with the king for some days, because I had audience only a short while ago and because of extraordinary current affairs, except by means of ministers. I will do so in the way that seems best, and with that regard for their disposition that your Serenity prudently suggests for France and which is as necessary here as in that Court. I will also speak to the ambassadors, who, to tell the truth, are more swayed by their own inclinations and passions than by the interests of their princes. The evil is the greater here because the king's best intentioned councillors, although the most numerous, are the least favoured at present, and are less heard by his Majesty while they are also much afraid. When navigating so close to the wind one has to stand continually upon the alert, and keep very agile.
London, the 12th February, 1620 [M.V.].
[Italian.]
Enclosed in
the preceding
despatch.
735. Extract from a letter of his Majesty's Ambassador in Spain to the SECRETARY CALVERT of the 11th January, N.S.
I have spoken to the king and expressed the remarkable satisfaction of his Majesty at the reply given about the Grisons, with so much honour and esteem for his person. I said I had express instructions from my master to beg his Majesty to execute punctually his promises, letting the world see that the Duke of Feria had exceeded his instructions, and making him restore everything he has taken in those parts, a thing that cannot be done so long as he has the forts in his power.
His Majesty replied that he meant to keep his promise to my master; the Duke of Feria had only made the forts for the purpose of saving those who are placed under his protection, in order that they might not be destroyed by their enemies. He added that if any one could be found who would see that they were not delivered into the hands of their enemies to be devoured by them, he would immediately give satisfaction to his Majesty and to all the world, since he was free from the slightest desire to take advantage of their dissensions.
[Italian.]
Feb. 13.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Svizzeri.
Venetian
Archives.
736. GIOVANNI BATTISTA LIONELLO, Venetian Secretary to the Swiss, to the DOGE and SENATE.
In the Palatinate the war continues with more advantage than loss since the departure of Anspach. The Margrave of Baden has his forces in the Veteran, where he inflicts considerable damage. But they have great hopes of reinforcements from England, the States and other parts, while Spinola is awaiting necessary munitions.
Zurich, the 13th February, 1620 [M.V.].
[Italian; deciphered.]

Footnotes

1 Henry Bertie, Lord Willoughby of Eresby, took 4,000 men to Denmark in 1615. He offered his services to Venice in 1616 and again in 1617, approaching the Ambassador Barbarigo and the Secretary Lionello.—Vol. XIV of this Calendar, pages 209, 210, 411, 433.
2 Maurice, born at Custrin, on the 6th January, 1621.
3 It was Sir Robert Anstruther, not Sir Edward Villiers. See Surian's despatch of the 16th February below.
4 Viscount Haddington was made Earl of Holderness, Lord Norris Earl of Berkshire, and Bacon Viscount St. Albans, About the same time a new attorney, solicitor, recorder and chief justice were appointed.—Chamberlain to Carleton, the 3rd February, 1620, O.S. Birch: Court and Times of James I., ii. pages 217–219. In the course of a few weeks James had made several creations, Sir William Cavendish was created Viscount Mansfield; Sir Henry Carey, Viscount Falkland; Sir Henry Constable. Viscount Dunbar; William Fitzwilliam, Lord Fitzwilliam of Lifford; Sir Randal Macdonnell, Earl of Antrim; Sir Henry Montagu, Viscount Mandeville; Sir Toby Caulfield, Lord Caulfield of Charlemount; Sir William Fielding, Viscount Fielding. Nichols: Progresses of James I. iv, pages 628–630.
5 By the report issued by the Council of War on the 11th February, they estimated the total cost of raising, arming and clothing the force at 207,736l. 8s., and the monthly payment for salaries and hire at 76,074l. 17s. 8d., per month of 28 days, without reckoning various other incidental expenses. S.P. Dom, Vol. cxix, No. 93.