Venice
February 1621, 16-28

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Institute of Historical Research

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Allen B. Hinds (editor)

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1910

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566-583

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'Venice: February 1621, 16-28', Calendar of State Papers Relating to English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 16: 1619-1621 (1910), pp. 566-583. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=88780 Date accessed: 21 August 2014.


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February 1621

Feb. 16.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
737. To the Proveditore General in Terra Ferma.
We note your prudent negotiations with Colonel Peyton upon his proposal to levy English infantry. We have resolved to direct you to send him here, so that we can settle with him the more speedily. We desire you also to send Milander upon his offer to levy troops.
Ayes, 121.Noes, 2.Neutral, 5.
[Italian.]
Feb. 16.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Savoia.
Venetian
Archives.
738. ZUANE PESARO, Venetian Ambassador in Savoy, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The English agent here has heard that the people of Cavoretto have received victuals at the duke's expense. He told me he had heard that the offices of your Excellencies were being pressed in England with his master. He rejoiced that the common service would benefit in this way, and that there was better hope in the deliberations they were to make. He said he had instructed his secretary to impart his business to the Ambassador Lando, and to ask for the favour and protection of his instances.
I told him that his confidence was very well placed, and the ambassador would neglect nothing likely to serve the general good. As the interests were important and inseparable your Serenity would omit no useful act, and you hoped to see excellent results and decisions worthy of the occasion and of the greatness and power of his Majesty.
He told me that he hoped so, but that he wished he had the reins of the deliberation in his own hands, wavering not a little in his hopes.
Turin, the 16th February, 1620 [M.V.].
[Italian.]
Feb. 16.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Signori Stati.
Venetian
Archives.
739. CHRISTOFFORO SURIAN, Venetian Secretary in the Netherlands, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The person who reached Zeeland, whom I reported last week as having come from England, was not an ambassador of that monarch, but the Cavalier Aston, (fn. 1) sent to the King of Denmark. When he arrived here I called upon him. He also told me that his Majesty had declared he would assist the republic, and he had not only express orders to say so when occasion demanded, but to use it in the service of your Serenity whenever necessary. He returned my visit. He is proceeding to Denmark, but will first see the Count of Oldenburg and the Duke of Brunswick to incite them to the service of the affairs of Germany. He will do the same with the King of Denmark. This Aston was presented to the Assembly of the States by the Ambassador Carleton, where he declared that his sovereign was most concerned about the affairs of Germany. The king asks the States to have arms for 20,000 foot, as he has none, and they have consented to provide for 12,000. The Ambassador Carleton will have charge of the provision.
This morning the two commissioners have left for England who recently came about the affair of the East Indies. After lengthy discussion they have not obtained complete satisfaction, but they have enough to suffice for a satisfactory adjustment of the differences.
The Hague, the 16th February, 1621.
[Italian.]
Feb. 19.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
740. To the AMBASSADOR LANDO in England.
Your letters of the 15th ult., besides the negotiations of Cadenet, tell us of your conversation with the prince, the differences of opinion among the ministers, and the representations made to the Spanish ambassador. You have acted with your customary prudence to our entire satisfaction. You will now ask for audience of his Majesty and thank him for his office with the Spanish ambassador, for informing us of it through the Secretary Calvert and his declaration that he will assist our republic in case of invasion, expressing to him how much we value his good will, and how necessary it is that he should form some resolution such as the needs of the case require, as from the very reply of the ambassador he may clearly perceive the evil intentions of Spain and their aim to upset Italy and to harass the republic in particular, as they not only increase their forces in the state of Milan, but arouse the distrust of their neighbours and endeavour to strengthen themselves in the Valtelline. They have recently concluded an alliance with the Grey league against all comers and encourage discord in the Grisons for their own profit.
Leopold is massing troops on our frontiers and cherishes designs very prejudicial to the liberty of our republic. The nature of his machinations appears from the enclosed copy of an anonymous letter, which we send you to use for our service, with his Majesty in particular. They are encouraged by their success in Germany and by the hope that France being involved in other matters, may not be able to pay much attention to Italy. There is only his Majesty, recognised as interested by both parties. Accordingly you will represent to his Majesty how necessary it is that he should decide to act effectively in defence of his son-in-law and the liberty of this province, by a numerous levy and whatever else his prudence may suggest. You will try to induce him to make a fuller declaration of his intentions, to discover with more certainty what we may expect from him, while we are preparing for our own defence and collecting troops on every side. If you have an opportunity you may learn what we may expect in the matter of levies and other things.
You will continue your negotiations for enlisting 1,500 foot and will keep up negotiations with others who propose to come to serve us. especially any military leaders and General Cecil among others. If he is not there you will speak to the earl his father, to learn his mind, or with others who are fitted for our service, informing us of their condition and claims, so that we may give the necessary orders. We recognise clearly that we shall have to agree to the conditions sent you. We have arranged for Colonel Peyton to come to Venice and we will send you word of what we arrange with him as a guide in your negotiations.
You will endeavour to increase the confidence the prince shows by communicating the above news, if you think fit, encouraging his favourable opinions. You will also speak upon the present posture of affairs and the ban against the Palatine with those in authority about his Highness, so that they may persuade the prince to favour the interests of his kinsman by approaching the king.
You will endeavour to have a good understanding with the ambassadors of Holland, now in that kingdom, and to learn their negotiations, as we wish to be sure that in negotiating with you they observe the same terms as M. de Langerach did.
We send you the copy of an office performed in the Collegio by the agent of Bohemia, and the reply of the Senate thereto. This will serve you for information to use as our service requires. You will continue to negotiate as heretofore with the Ambassador Dohna.
Sir [Henry] Wotton, on his return to reside here as ambassador of his Majesty, has reached Rovere on our frontiers, and has written to the Rectors of Verona as you will see by the enclosed copy. We have replied in complimentary fashion, and we have already given the requisite orders for the necessary quarantine to our Board of Health. We have further ordered our Rectors to afford him frequent entertainment during the period of quarantine to the cost of 200 ducats and to give him every facility on his passage through our state. This will serve you for information and as an expression of our great esteem for his Majesty.
Ayes, 130.Noes, 3.Neutral, 4.
[Italian.]
Feb. 19.
Senato,
Terra.
Venetian
Archives.
741. To the Rectors of Verona.
On receiving your letters with those written by the Ambassador Wotton of England, with the news of his arrival on our frontiers, we called the Proveditori alla Sanita to the Collegio, and they, in consideration of our respect for the person of the said ambassador and of his position as minister of the King of England, will give orders that he shall not be detained in quarantine longer than is absolutely necessary. We are pleased with what you have done and direct you to treat him in the best manner possible, sending to visit him and supplying him with refreshments to the sum of 200 ducats and giving orders so that he may receive every commodity during the time of his quarantine, and in his subsequent journey to this city. You will inform us of what you do in execution of these orders
Ayes, 130.Noes, 3.Neutral, 4.
[Italian.]
Feb. 19.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Spagna.
Venetian
Archives.
742. ALVISE CORNER, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the DOGE and SENATE.
They now publish greater and more easy hopes of the marriage alliance with England. A few days ago the Dominican friar, confessor of the Ambassador Gondomar, left for Rome. They say that his Majesty and the Council lean absolutely to favour it and that they will obtain the most ready and eager co-operation of the pope, with his complete satisfaction. However, these rumours are put about to mitigate and divert the ardour of the King of France in the present affair of the Valtelline.
Madrid, the 19th February, 1620 [M.V.].
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Feb. 19.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
743. GIROLAMO LANDO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The King of Spain has himself written to his Majesty offering fresh hopes for the restitution of the Palatinate. He says that the king has acquired so much merit with him by remaining impartial, that although the Palatine is not worthy, owing to his evil operations, yet he will employ every effort to induce the archduke to recall Spinola with the emperor's consent. Thus it appears that all the negotiations have been transferred to Brussels, and his Majesty builds greatly upon such letters.
By the king's order the ambassadors of the States have laid their proposals before the Council, leaving them in writing also. They amount substantially to fresh incitements to afford the necessary help to Germany and the Palatinate, with the ideas already indicated, that the Spaniards usurp the liberties of others with the intention of bringing all under the unbearable tyranny of a universal monarchy; that they are not really so invincible and formidable as they appear, and to defeat them nothing further is required than a good understanding and a league between those powers who have reason to fear their predominance. They go on to speak of a renewal of the alliance with this country, and to ask what they will do to help, the truce expiring so soon, without breathing a word about its extension or about negotiations for peace. According to what M. Caron has assured me they have no instructions to open their mouths on the subject, but simply to speak with war in view. Thus they and those who accompany them go about saying that the Spaniards, who could not overcome them in so many years of conflict, are trying to gain the victory by ease, the poison of which has appeared in a few years, and the present time is not one for anything but swift decision and strong action, the iron and fire of a well conducted war being the sole means to heal ail sores. So far as I can discover their principal object is to stimulate his Majesty's interest in the Palatinate and to lead him towards a diversion, which would be the best thing for every one, and if possible also to designs against the West Indies, which would please the people here better than anything else, as they are more drawn by nature and their usual employments to maritime than to land affairs, while there is the additional hope of acquiring great wealth and of striking at the leading veins which supply the Spaniards with that gold blood which does more than anything else to maintain their greatness and ascendency. But the king is far from cherishing such ideas, thinking, unless appearances belie him, that the Indies do not belong to this kingdom.
The said ambassadors have not hitherto conducted any negotiations about herrings or any other point, saying that this is no time for disputes between friends, but for fighting enemies. But here they will not lose sight of these questions
The Spanish ambassador attends to nothing at present except to observing and combating their negotiations, and he has whetted all the swords of his power and sagacity for the purpose. He brings up everything that can cast odium upon the States and your Excellencies as their allies, inventing things out of his own head and doing everything to dissuade the king from uniting with them in any fashion, and to frighten your Serenity by binding your tongue and hands with fear.
The ambassadors have told me in the name of the States that they have instructions to recommend to his Majesty the interests of the Valtelline also, and said they would do so at their first audience. As I wished to learn how the affair stood here I thought it advisable, with full confidence, to tell them what has happened so far. I do not know what his Majesty will think when he finds the affair recommended to him by those to whom he recently recommended it. The Secretary Calvert told me that fresh orders had been sent to the ambassador in Spain that he must not tire of doing everything in his power to see that his Majesty's promises are carried out, telling me very clearly that while the king here is involved in so many directions, nothing further can be expected of him in this matter.
To the request for a provision of weapons in the Netherlands the Prince of Orange has replied that in case of need they can find them for 20,000 men; a single merchant in Holland has made preparations to furnish 10,000, and even more would be ready in a month or so; but they want the money down. In this connection M. Caron informed me that for arming the 3,000 English who went to the Palatinate under Vere, not a farthing has been paid to his masters so far.
We hear that an ambassador from Poland will arrive at the Hague and come on here to ask for levies of men and succour against the Turk. I think I see in this the finger of the Spanish ambassador. They have flatly refused permission to the Duke of Nevers to take out ordnance.
News has come of the arrival in the Palatinate of Sir [Albert] Murton, from Lorraine, where he has been to try and secure their neutrality. He will proceed to the meeting of the Princes at Elbrun.
The other day I was the only ambassador who had the honour of being admitted to see the parliament, the manner in which they sit, and the king of his royal throne. They continue to arrange their business and have preferred, as a first request, that everyone of them shall have liberty to speak without fear of punishment and without reserve. If this is freely allowed it will give rise to many highly important consequences. Parliament displays every disposition to supply the largest sums of money for current affairs, but expresses a firm determination to know how it will be spent. They begin to make favourable predictions of the issue; but there are many thorns and irritants while already there has been bitterness over some very free speaking. Some show themselves exceedingly rigorous against the Catholics, and they are going through all the points, as the interests and sympathies of the kingdom are infinite, and the people mean to settle these before they satisfy his Majesty's requests for money, whereat he is most indignant.
The news of the pope's death, (fn. 2) which arrived here by way of France, has not excited much comment, and has aroused no remarkable sorrow in any one except the Spanish ambassador. They only look to the next election and hope for a pope adapted to the importance of the times.
London, the 19th February, 1620 [M.V.].
[Italian.]
Feb. 22.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Savoia.
Venetian
Archives.
744. ZUANE PESARO, Venetian Ambassador in Savoy, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The English agent has been to see me by the express command of his king. He told me that his Majesty had issued a declaration in favour of your Excellencies. The representations of the Ambassador Lando, combined with the instances of this Court as presented in his letters, disclosing the vast ambitions of the Spaniards, made the king decide to suffer their overbearing behaviour no longer, especially as his Majesty heard of their preparations by sea and land which threatened the republic. Nevertheless he had made a declaration which he judged best for the general interests, and stated that he would employ all his forces against those who wished to harm your Serenity, whether by sea or land, valuing these interests much more highly than those of the Palatinate, which touch him so nearly. His Majesty had also told the Catholic ambassador resident with him of his intentions, and had held a council of war to provide sufficient money and arrange other matters. As his Majesty had no resident with your Serenity, he thought I should be informed in order to send word to your Serenity.
I thanked him suitably, and said how useful such a declaration would prove, not only to divert present dangers, but to establish the general peace for ever, while it would render us eternally obliged.
The agent then told me that he did not think the truce would either last or be prolonged, since neither king wished to intervene. The Spaniards desire neither the truce nor war, but monthly armistices, in order to keep the States intent upon their own affairs, and unable to help their friends.
He afterwards spoke about the imperial ban against the Palatine. He said this was an evil to be bought for a great weight of gold, since the balance which kept decisions in suspense will now descend on the better side; Germany at length will show proper resentment, and those who have hitherto been considered partisans of the house of Austria being offended, affairs will take a better course.
His king had sent to the king and queen Palatine the brother of Buckingham, his favourite, to console them and promise every assistance, taking a large sum of money.
The States of Holland in choosing an ordinary ambassador for your Serenity, have arranged that he shall travel by way of this Court to negotiate for a league between his Highness and themselves. He feared, however, that in this quarter they leaned in another direction, as the duke seemed to care little for the interests of the Valtelline, and was altogether cold and different from his usual opinions. He indicated to me that he also had good commissions for the Marshal Lesdiguières, since his Majesty set great value by his advice. He would not give me the particulars, in obedience to his instructions; the old man's ideas are turned more towards harming the Spaniards, but with the special object of peace in France and the safety of his co-religionists. However, I will obtain the particulars at a good opportunity.
Of Cadenet, the agent told me that at two audiences he had said nothing about the marriage. Upon the affairs of the Valtelline and the Palatinate, the two kings were in absolute agreement, and Cadenet had departed highly satisfied. Gabaleoni, the ambassador of his Highness, indeed wrote the exact opposite, but that was no wonder as he had arranged everything with the Ambassador Gondomar. His Highness told me that his ambassador wrote that they said nothing about the marriage because the king began by saying that he had arranged a marriage with Spain, and thus closed the negotiations. Cadenet had advised the prolongation of the truce, but the English king would not agree. Upon the interests of the Huguenots his Majesty had replied that he desired their protection.
I have thought it prudent to advise your Excellencies of this discrepancy in the reports.
Turin, the 22nd February, 1620 [M.V.].
[Italian.]
Feb. 22.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Savoia.
Venetian
Archives.
745. ZUANE PESARO, Venetian Ambassador in Savoy, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Cavoretto has left for the Marshal, bearing assurances of the duke's good will, but urging him not to go to Court. The English agent, on the other hand, warmly urges him to go, declaring that the slightest harm done to him would result in the loss of the crown of France; by his influence he will arrange the religious question, will discover the proceedings of the Court and their designs, and will compel the Duke of Savoy to decide and make a declaration.
Turin, the 22nd February, 1620 [M.V.].
[Italian.]
Feb. 23.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Signori Stati.
Venetian
Archives.
746. CHRISTOFFORO SURIAN, Venetian Secretary in the Netherlands, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The extraordinary ambassadors sent by the King of England to arrange a settlement between the emperor and the king Palatine arrived here yesterday evening from Hamburg. They will have no special audience in the assembly of the States because they have no letters of credence, but it is thought that their Excellencies will leave nothing undone to make strong representations to the ambassadors about the affairs of Germany. I called upon them, assuring them of your Serenity's esteem for their king. They are lodged in the house of the Ambassador Carleton and I believe that they will start in two or three days. One' of them remarked to me that in this journey and in the negotiations with the Spaniards and the house of Austria, he noticed they seemed to aim chiefly at gaining time in order to advance their interests. They had represented this to the king their master and would impress it upon him on their arrival in England.
The Viscount de Lormes is here, to learn your Serenity's decision about the pirate ships, and if I wish him to go to Venice and will give him money and a person to go with him. I thought the ordinary would have brought me instructions, but as I have none I do not know what to do. He asks me to give him a paper as a safeguard. I shall not do so, and if he goes off I shall let him, since I have heard nothing from your Serenity.
The Hague, the 23rd February, 1621.
[Italian.]
Feb. 26.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
747. GIROLAMO LANDO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The secretary of the Agent Wake has recently arrived here from Turin, and he went immediately to the king at Theobalds. He said he had come to ask for his salary from his master, but considering the present circumstances and what this minister has done to fan some spark of fire which may burn up for the general interest, I have made great efforts to discover what he is really bringing, with that tactful dexterity which is highly necessary here for a thousand reasons. Accordingly under the seal of profound secrecy I have come across grave matters, which may doubtless be known to your Excellencies, but which I think it my duty not to pass over.
Wake writes that the Count of Mansfelt has sent letters to the duke and to himself offering his services both to his Highness and to the most serene republic, either to make a diversion or to attempt to recover the Valtelline, offering 6,000 foot, 4,000 horse, six pieces of artillery, powder, shot, lead and other things. The duke inclines to accept the offer and hopes your Serenity will concur, especially if his Majesty joins in and shares a portion of the expense. He spoke about it to the Ambassador Pesaro, who made prudent suggestions upon two points, what reliance could be placed in the individual, and the notification due to the French. With regard to the French the duke replied that they had already declared for the Valtelline and were interested in the affair in general; and their confidence must depend upon deeds not words, and Mansfelt had been the first to serve the King of Bohemia and the last to leave him. On this point my informant told me he felt sure that he was most faithful, and he knew that the evil reports about him originated from the bad offices of the Count of Vlach in particular, with that appearance of negotiation with the emperor, which is notorious, which had been conducted, however, with the full knowledge and consent of the King of Bohemia. That monarch, being rendered finally suspicious by Vlach and others, decided to make a thorough inspection of all Mansfelt's papers; but he found nothing, and so the general's integrity was thoroughly vindicated, the more so as he never showed any resentment at this action, which he might have taken as a grave affront, but remained most constant in his fidelity. Wake has strongly urged this question upon his Majesty in the duke's name, representing vividly to him the perils which the Spaniards threaten by their preparations and ambitions, and the need to move without delay both for the recovery of the Palatinate and the Valtelline, affairs which ought to be managed together by a mutual understanding. He suggested that a diversion would provide the best means of assisting both. He urges many cogent arguments on this subject, but writes that the duke would not declare himself absolutely to the Ambassador Pesaro for fear lest the matter, on reaching the Senate, might leak out and spoil everything; but he proposed in passing towards the Valtelline to occupy the part of Burgundy which is subject to the Spaniards. This is substantially all there is about the first business.
The second relates that Lesdiguières has sent one of his gentlemen to Turin, who in addition to reporting the marshal's readiness to act in concert with the duke, as incited by your Excellencies, pointed out that if the king here desires to recover the Palatinate, as he professes, with a large army, it would be better to cut down the expense and send 15,000 men instead of 30,000, who would not waste the country so much or be such a charge upon the United Princes, and to arrange with Lesdiguières to levy 6,000 foot and 1,000 horse, which could be obtained from Dauphiné and the neighbouring parts, with which they could create such a diversion that both the Valtelline and the Palatinate would revive.
Some months ago, as I advised your Excellencies, I discovered something general upon this subject about which Wake has frequently written to his Majesty; but everything passed with such secrecy that no one except the king and the Secretary Naunton, who received the letters, had any knowledge of it what- soever. Thus if the letters arrived when his Majesty was in the country, the secretary did not send them on to him in the usual way, in order that they might not pass through the hands of many persons, but reserved them until his return, to tell him privately. If his Majesty did not show approval of this, neither did he blame it, but seemed rather pleased than otherwise; although he never intended to become mixed up in it himself; for his nature is such that in his heart great strokes sometimes please him when they turn out well, but he has no inclination to devise or handle them, and if they turn out badly he wishes to be free from every imputation of having fomented or advised them. At the present moment he seems to me to show himself even more inert than usual, for when he would not have taken it ill that others should act, although he could not make up his mind to do anything himself, he seems now to dislike the idea of others doing anything. (Ma non già mai con voluntà d'imbarazzarvise ella stessa, essendo in somma di animo tale che nel suo interno li grandi colpi alle volte le piacciono, quando sono ben sortiti; ma non inclina al macinarli ne trattarli, e si male succedano, vuol essere libera da ogni imputatione di haverli o fomentati o consigliati. Et a presente anco più dell' ordinario mi pare, che si scuopra arrestito; onde dove non haverebbe havuto disgusto, che gli altri facessero, sebene non si sapesse risolvere a far ella hora pare che habbia anco lontano l'animo dall' inclinatione che gli altri faccino.)
I have found out a very great design which if not discovered may easily succeed, and which aims not only at the conquest of states but at acquiring great wealth, and will not only render an army very satiated, but make a prince very strong. I could not get any more from the source, but only from a rivulet, which may spring from the same fountain at Turin and from Mr. Wake himself, though I am not sure, but I have an inkling that it is against the city of Genoa. I have no doubt that your Excellencies out of consideration for the fatherland and out of respect for Turin will allow this to remain buried in the most profound secrecy, as is highly necessary. I have not concealed it believing that the knowledge might prove highly important to your Excellencies for other reasons.
The said letters of Wake were directed to the Secretary Naunton. He received them, being under arrest in his house without any power to do more than receive the despatches sent to him, or any right except to keep the seals, which, however, serve him for nothing except to give him some ray of hope; he sent them to others. Accordingly I fear that what has passed most secretly will no longer remain concealed from the Spanish ambassador. One may call this a most unlucky circumstance since it certainly would not have happened but for the arrest of Naunton at this particular moment. Much might be said on this subject, but perhaps it will suffice if I remark that the wisest ministers and the leading ones at present say clearly and frequently that the said ambassador knows everything the self same day it is heard or happens, whilst the most rigorous silence is imposed upon all the others in these circumstances. This also appears clearly enough from the results, which are only too apparent.
Wake's secretary has had two interviews with the king. I thought indeed that his Majesty would at least keep affairs in suspense until the rising of parliament, but I know for certain that he showed himself cold as ice in listening, and warmer than a flame in rejecting, stating very clearly in his usual way that he ought not to meddle with such affairs which he had never liked; that he cannot manage so many things at once; he has resolved to recover the Palatinate and has opened negotiations for the purpose, and if these do not suffice he will have recourse to arms. Possibly no other reply will be given, as on other occasions similar points have been left without any reply; and if one is given it will be to the same effect. I will keep a look out to see what happens, but unless there is some change I think it will be superfluous to trouble your Serenity again.
Wake wrote on many other subjects, but notably that Gabor with a powerful army has decided for war and proposes to seize an early opportunity for attempts upon Fiume, Trieste and Segna, in which places your Excellencies are greatly inclined to purchase; that the duke remains in excellent relations with you and thinks no more of joining with the Spaniards, seeing himself injured by them in so many ways. Finally he reports a statement of his Highness that if his Majesty sends an army into the Palatinate he should strike a blow at the ecclesiastical electors, as the ones who have given such help and encouragement to Spinola, relating some ancient examples of similar actions by the same house of Austria, and saying that in such case they could elect new archbishops, but they should not make them Protestants in order not to turn the war into one of religion, but they might choose the Cardinal his son for one and some Venetian noble for another. These ideas are possibly not so much the duke's as Wake's. It also seems to me that the aforementioned affair of the Count of Mansfelt is proceeding with the knowledge of the King of Bohemia, with whom Wake is most intimate. Like the others of his party Wake does what he can to revive it, but doubtless in ways that rather show his own zeal than any sympathy on the part of his Majesty, who seems to grow colder every day, while I fear that the ardour of many of his subjects is also cooling more than necessary, from their fear of compromising their fortunes. In such case complete victory will remain with the Spaniards here, without opposition. If the agreement aforesaid were effected it might doubtless afford relief to the king Palatine, who does not at present know how to maintain those men, since he has no money, and in this way he would interest both your Serenity and the duke, with sword in hand, to the delight of many of the ministers here, although I cannot say of those who have the largest share in controlling the government.
A gentleman has also come from Murton bringing fresh incitements from the United Princes, who are much encouraged and heartened by the king's expressions and the representations made in his name and by the first money they have received. That is only a small drop, quite insufficient for their affairs, and they expect something much more adequate, and speedy action corresponding to the words. It is thought that he will take back replies of the usual tenor, copious and specious promises, to be followed by slowness in preparation and execution under the bridle of negotiation and depending on the parliament.
London, the 26th February, 1620 [M.V.].
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Feb. 26.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
748. GIROLAMO LANDO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
I enclose a copy of the substance of the king's speech to this parliament, which I have had translated. I had great trouble in getting it owing to the efforts to prevent its circulation, contrary to the general custom, for such things are usually printed. I think your Excellencies will find it worthy of perusal and consideration.
I could fill many sheets of every despatch with the events which are happening daily in this parliament, but I think it best to pass over those which are neither very important nor curious, and those which do not particularly concern your Excellencies. The prince attends very regularly and seems most anxious to learn and render himself conversant with affairs. It has been decided that all those who belong to the same body shall celebrate the communion together in the church, for the purpose of discovering the Catholics in this way and expelling them, so that they may not take part, as they have already expelled some for not taking the customary oath, and others upon the pretext of some irregularity in their election, but really because they were or were suspected of being Catholics. There is also some notion of expelling all the London Catholics from the city so long as the parliament lasts, with even greater projects, to which, it seems, the king does not agree. Some persons have made a great uproar because at the very time that the Protestants come out from the preaching in a certain church, the Catholics issue in large numbers from the house of the Spanish ambassador, which is opposite, Upon this point a notable controversy has arisen between Calvert, the Secretary of State, and one of the king's councillors, (fn. 3) who, however, shows himself very opposite to his Majesty. In repeating his words the secretary remarked he had said there existed connivance between the king and the Spanish ambassador. At the word connivance numbers rose to repudiate it, saying that the councillor had not said so. Very angry words followed, with proposals to expel him from the parliament, ending with a decision to ask for a declaration from his Majesty of the way in which he proposed to effect the Spanish marriage without prejudice to religion, not to speak of its increase. Owing to these events all proposals for providing the king with money have been interrupted for some days or remained without root, and they have entered upon other questions on which many desire to receive satisfaction first. But to-day, it seems, a report states that they have decided to give two subsidies to his Majesty, amounting to some 200,000l., or about a million of gold. If this be true and it is not accompanied by numerous conditions and provisos, as seems probable, it will be a matter of great moment, occasioned perhaps by the news arrived from the Palatinate of wavering among the free towns and among some of the United Princes, and of fresh hostile action on the part of the ecclesiastical electors and of the French Court, where the flame of war seems thoroughly ablaze against the Huguenots.
The House sent the other day to complain to his Majesty about the leave granted to the Spanish ambassador to take out 100 pieces of ordnance, which I have already reported, remarking in particular that if he wishes to recover the Palatinate, there is no need for him to supply the Spaniards with arms, and if he does not aim at recovery, it is superfluous for him to make his present requests of his people for help in money. It seems the king replied that leave had already been given, so he did not know how he could take it back, showing himself determined upon having it exported. Indeed the prevalent majority in this parliament is utterly hostile to the Spaniards, and the lower House, consisting of representatives of the kingdom, is the least courtierlike and shows more zeal with less reservation. Nevertheless it remains extremely doubtful whether it will prove equa to bring about a real change in the aspect of affairs. (l'istessa Assemblea mando l'altr' hieri a far condoglienza con la Maestà Sua della concessione data all' Ambasciatore sudetto di Spagna per estrahere li 100 pezzi di cannone gia scritti, in particolare toccando questo concetto, che s'ella vuole ricuperare il Palatinato, non bisogna che somministri armi a Spagnoli, e senon ha mira di ricuperarlo, sovverchio è che faccia le instanze che fa di soccorsi di danari a suoi populi. Ma pare ch'ella habbia già resposto, la licenza essere data. Onde non sappi come ritrattarla, mostrandosi risoluta di volere che li estraga. Esso Parlamento in somma per la parte maggiore che predomina e in supremo grado disposto contra Spagnoli, e la Camera bassa composta dei deputati del Regno, che e la meno corteggiana, e con meno rispetti, si dimostra la più ardente. Tuttavia molto dubbioso sempre più resto, se possa essere bastante per far mutare faccia veramente alle cose.)
The magistrates and estates of the kingdom of Scotland have met, and in reply to his Majesty's request for help for the needs of the Palatinate say that they can do nothing effective without a parliament in that kingdom also, and they have sent the archbishop of St. Andrews here to explain the matter fully to his Majesty.
I hear that the King of Bohemia proposes to go to the King of Denmark to urge him to relieve him and make a thorough peace with the Hanse towns, so that these also may act for his interests without fear. To obtain this peace it is thought that they will ask for interposition from this quarter, whither the king Palatine also proposes to come, after visiting the Hague. I find that the Ambassador Dohna has instructions to discover whether this will fall in with his Majesty's wishes, as otherwise he would not cross the sea, and it is not likely to do so, although the king Palatine has now changed his tone and lets it be understood that if his Majesty shows him reasonable proposals for peace, he will not refuse to accept them at his advice.
They have recently given two masques at the Court; one by the prince, to which the Spanish ambassador was the only one invited of the diplomatic corps, sitting next the king with every imaginable honour, and the agent of Flanders, who, however, had no place appointed for him. The other was given by some young gentlemen, at which only the ambassadors of the States attended; but they were placed above in a box, honours being accorded them in very sparing fashion. (fn. 4) Their negotiations also are prolonged and difficult, as they have not yet seen the king a second time or received any reply, although they have earnestly requested despatch to the proposal which they laid before the Council.
Many serious injuries are reported inflicted by pirates upon the Flemings and English. It is also announced that all the Dutch ships have been arrested in Spain; but the ice and the bad weather universally prevalent prevent the confirmation of the news.
London, the 26th February, 1620 [M.V.].
Postscript.—The news about the two subsidies is certainly true. It is reckoned that they will amount to from 80,000l. to 85,000l. each, a decrease from what they used anciently to be. They have been given to the king with a notification ... (fn. 5) for his Majesty personally, not for the Palatinate, for which the parliament offers any amount, to their very shirts, as I shall write more fully in my next despatch. Accordingly the king is highly satisfied and has informed the parliament that he will consider all their remarks upon the grievances of the realm, upon which he is ready to meet them half way. This beginning of a union of spirits between his Majesty and the people may prove of the greatest importance.
[Italian.]
Enclosed in
the preceding
despatch.
749. Speech of the KING OF GREAT BRITAIN in the House of Parliament, on the 23rd January, 1621. (fn. 6)
My lords and gentlemen:
In multiloquio non deest peccatum, said the wisest king, and I have proved its truth, as long discourses have frequently injured my health before, and I have previously shown my true inclinations. But as God may have found some fault in me or in you, they have not succeeded but have returned to my face, as happens to those who spit against the wind. So I may say with our Saviour, I have piped unto you and you have not danced, I have wept to you and you have not lamented. But I will not tire you with long speeches, because the fruit has been bitter to me. Accordingly I come to what you must address yourselves to.
You are summoned to confer with your king on affairs of state and to advise him what to do. But before we enter into particulars, let us see what a parliament is. It is composed of a head, the king, and a body, the lords and commons. Parliaments have been used in all monarchies and were invented by kings to obtain the advice of their subjects. It would take too long to describe the different kinds of monarchy. Parliaments consist of more or less members, but where there is a monarch they have always derived their authority from him. A parliament man who affects popularity acts against the nature of parliament, because the free states of Germany, the Netherlands and where the king is elective, have no parliament.
Parliament is called to advise the king. Those by inheritance I call fathers of the country; for the government of the Church I summon the bishops; there are also knights for the shires and burgesses for the towns. You are met to consider the king's pressing affairs and to advise him. By his representatives he is always present in the Upper House, without which no law can be made. The king is to make the laws and you are to preserve them and confer upon the king's other great and urgent affairs. The House of Commons knows the needs of the country and should therefore ask the king for the reform of the laws. You will not be more ready to ask than I am to grant anything in reason. Stand firm to offer help to your king in his need, which is more due in England than elsewhere, because in England I venture to say all the people owe tribute to their king, wherefore a good king is bound to show them mercy and justice. The king should state his needs to the people, and they should satisfy them.
I have called the parliament for two special reasons. First to give orders, second to supply my needs. The king should try and make good laws. In corrupt countries many laws are ill executed, but as the bishop said to-day, good laws are made of bad humours. The king should govern well and make good laws as the older the world the fuller it becomes of sin and subtlety and therefore new laws are always necessary. I have summoned you to make new laws, to remove the bad and maintain the good. It is a big subject and I might say much, but I let be.
I pass to the church. There are enough laws if they were executed. In religion there are two ways of proceeding, persuasion or force. The whole world cannot make the smallest worm. The magicians of Egypt could not do it, and I hold that we ought not to force the conscience of any one. Latimer said well that the devil was a crafty bishop, and if our church tried as hard to inculcate the true way as the Jesuits, Puritans and others try to pervert it, so many would not go astray. Therefore I wish the bishops and ministers were more diligent and less idle. And although I do not think consciences should be forced, I believe that men should be compelled to obey the laws of their government.
Upon the marriage of my son, upon which I have negotiated with the King of Spain, if I arranged anything which was not to the glory of God, the honour of the kingdom and the advantage of our religion I should consider myself unworthy to reign over you. I have upheld that religion by speech and pen, and have suffered for it, as Bellarmine and others have attacked me. I have not grown cold, as some go about whispering, and I shall punish if any papist becomes insolent, but in order that they may remain quiet I desire the fear of God to be preached, and that the preachers set a good example by their lives and win those whom they can.
As regards my needs I will be very temperate. I have reigned 18 years and you have enjoyed peace and plenty under me. If this is wrong I ask pardon, as I judged it an honour to be a peaceful king. You have been able to enjoy peace under your fig trees and no one suffers want except those who have dissipated their inheritance or who will not work. You have been less liberal with me than with my predecessors, particularly the late queen, who had war in Ireland, as she obtained subsidies amounting to 350,000l. yearly, while I in 18 years have only had four, and not one these last ten years. Yet I have had as many urgent needs as any of my predecessors, and yet I have been advised not to be too troublesome. One reason why I did not get a subsidy from the last parliament was because I had one from the preceding; the other was that it did not reach my hands, and some said they would give me all they had if they were sure it would reach my hands; so I do not complain. Since then I have examined my affairs and have reduced the annual expenses of my household by 18,000l. and I hope to reduce the expenses upon the royal ships from 34,000l. to 14,000l., and the same for guns, in which I have employed Lord Arundel, who, through being a faithful servant, has earned the hatred of many papists. I know I have been blamed for choosing so young an admiral. Other kings have erred, but I think a young man, honourable and industrious, who will learn his business, may do as much as an old one. Though he has no experience he has chosen commissioners, and by their industry I have carried out more reforms than my predecessors.
The chief reason for calling parliament is the state of Christendom, which no one can contemplate without tears. I was not responsible for the beginning, but I hope to be the means of bringing the end. When the Bohemians expelled the royal ministers I tried to pacify matters, sending Lord Doncaster as ambassador, who was received very courteously; but in three days they made my son their king while I was mediator. I never consented for three reasons, firstly, religion, as although they said it was for religion I leave such ideas to the devil and the Jesuits, who began the notion of subjects rebelling for religion. Secondly, I do not think the laws of Bohemia provide whether the emperor governs well or no, as they might say Quis constituit me judicem inter vos? Kings cannot be judges outside their own realms, and I should not like another king to come and be judge here. Thirdly, I was a mediator and could not take arms with honour. However, I helped them, promising a contribution throughout my kingdom. Similarly I sent 30,000l. to the Princes of the Union to stop the invasion of my son's dominions, and now I want to make provision for war to restore my son-in-law to his ancient possessions. But I cannot expect anything from you unless I beg it as an alms.
I will try and recover what is lost by negotiation, but if that fails I will stake my crown, kingdom, myself and my son. But I can do nothing without my people, and so I ask for help to treat with arms in my hand, to obtain better terms. I may say that no King of England has ever received less help from you than I. It concerns my grandchildren and if the enemy prevails they will make it an affair of religion. I need speedy help, Qui cito dat bis dat. I shall spend it well.
If all could speak at once I think I should hear a universal acclamation. Consider the necessities of your king and the long care he has had of you, and the expense, over 40,000l. which I have incurred for the Palatinate. I know you are ready to ask me for many things. I reply, I have made the best judges I knew, without any bias and I have never tried to influence them except what was just and reasonable. Let them speak for themselves. If they have failed I will not spare them, as no one deserves to be king who does not wish to have his judges just and faithful. As regards the arts, it is strange that my mint has not worked for nine or ten years and I and my Council doubt if we shall ever coin money again. I confess I have been liberal, but the reason for my condition is what I said before. I do not want to make a feast every day. I may have been deceived and have done things harmful to myself and my people. If I am told of faults I will remedy them if I find them.
I do not wish you of the Lower House to meddle with laments against the king, the church, affairs of state or the prerogatives of the prince, as parliament has not been summoned for that purpose. If such a troubler is among you he is a spirit of Satan who means to subvert the good work you have in hand. I desire you to deal with me as I deserve, and I will reform things which are defective if you will inform me of them.
There has been always a great desire for a parliament here. They have previously been of two kinds. One, when I came to England, which was new, whilst the old men of the queen's time were very skilful from long experience. In the other a strange beast and devilish monster introduced itself, proposing to reform all things with the farms called monopolies, and although some about me were inclined to believe them I could never do so.
I thank you all. I leave my hopes with you, and you may rest assured that I shall never fail to be a king so long as I live. Deal freely with me so that the world may see what a happy sympathy exists between the king and his subjects for their felicity and his glory.
[Italian.]
Feb. 26.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Verona.
Venetian
Archives.
750. The Podestà and Captain of Verona to the DOGE and SENATE.
The ambassador of England arrived on the 11th inst. at the place appointed for quarantine outside this city. We have sent leading gentlemen to visit him more than once, and we have also sent refreshments as we shall continue to do, up to the sum of 200 ducats, as instructed. He seemed to appreciate these courteous demonstrations greatly and returned hearty thanks. He proposes to leave for Venice on Friday next week when the quarantine expires prescribed by the Board of Health, and will travel by the Adige. He has ten gentlemen with him at his table and as many servants. He says he has sent the remainder of his household and goods by sea, only keeping a few about him. He would have liked some of his gentlemen to see the city, but we told him we had no power to grant this as we were bound to obey the Board of Health. He seemed convinced. We will try to give him the satisfaction which we know your Serenity desires.
Verona, the 26th February, 1621.
[Italian.]
Feb. 28.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Spagna.
Venetian
Archives.
751. ALVISE CORNER, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The English ambassador told me he had again made strong representations to the king, by order of his master, about the occupation and devastation of the Palatinate by Spinola, saying that just as his king at the first acquisitions did not lift a finger to help his son-in-law, so now he will employ all his strength to help him. The king replied that what they did was for a diversion and they would not keep any of the Palatinate if he treated what he occupied in the same way. As a return of confidence I told the ambassador that an idea and a rumour were about that his Majesty was about to recover the lost states with a powerful force. He told me emphatically that he had heard nothing of this and did not believe it, as the past proceedings of the Elector, his son-in-law, had not pleased his Majesty.
Madrid, the 28th February, 1620 [M.V.].
[Italian.]
Feb. 28.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Svizzeri.
Venetian
Archives.
752. GIOVANNI BATTISTA LIONELLO, Venetian Secretary to the Swiss, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The Cavalier Murton is at Heidelberg on behalf of the King of England, to give encouragement and ask the union to continue the defence of the Palatinate, assuring them of the large sums of money and the big levies that will be made for their assistance. Spinola on the other hand has sent in the emperor's name to warn them to withdraw from that state, otherwise he will be obliged to carry out the orders he holds against each one of them. They are now discussing all this in their diet at Elbrun, and upon their decision will depend many important things in Germany and elsewhere.
Zurich, the 28th February, 1620 [M.V.].
[Italian.]

Footnotes

1 Sir Robert Anstruther
2 Paul V died on January 28, 1621 while celebrating the Battle of the White Mountain.
3 Sir Edward Coke. See Birch: Court and Times of James I., ii. page 222.
4 The first masque, to the Spanish ambassador, was given on Shrove Sunday the 11/21 February, and was a repetition of Ben Jonson's "News from the New World discovered in the Moon," which had been performed before the French Ambassador Cadenet on Twelfth Night. Gondomar sat under the state on the king's left hand, Van Male and Gondomar's two sons were placed over a box at the king's right. The second masque, attended by the Dutch Commissioners, at which James was also present, was given on Shrove Tuesday by the gentlemen of the Middle Temple. Nichols: Progresses of James I, iv. page 653. The text of Jonson's masque is given at pages 636–646.
5 Torn.
6 See Cal. S. P. Dom., 1619–23, page 217. The date given is wrong. Lando himself in his despatch of February 12, No. 733 at page 562 above, says that the king opened parliament and delivered his speech on Tuesday, i.e., February 9, or January 30, old style. Khevenhüller prints a German translation of the speech, apparently taken from the same copy used by Lando, and also dated 23 Jan. Ann. Ferdinandi, ix., 1521.