Venice
March 1621, 12-20

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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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592-612

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'Venice: March 1621, 12-20', Calendar of State Papers Relating to English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 16: 1619-1621 (1910), pp. 592-612. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=88782 Date accessed: 30 July 2014.


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March 1621

March 12.
Senato.
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
764. To the Secretary SURIAN at the Hague.
We send you a copy of the letters recently received from the Ambassador Lando in England, from which you will perceive not only the wishes of the king but also the astuteness of the Spanish ambassador in trying to give him a bad opinion of the republic. These letters will serve you chiefly for information; we also wish you to use them for our service, especially if the Prince of Orange mentions the subject or an opportunity presents itself, to show how the Spaniards are trying to prejudice the king against the league, although he advised it, and it was arranged through the advice and efforts of his ambassadors. They only wish to disturb the confidential relations existing between his Majesty, the States and us and gradually to induce the king to blame what he advised, thus disclosing the malignity of their proceedings.
Ayes, 144.Noes, 9.Neutral, 6.
[Italian.]
March 12.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
765. To the Ambassador LANDO in England.
From what the king said to you in audience and what you say in your letters of the 5th ult. we clearly recognise the influence of the Spaniards at that Court and the arts of their ambassador to excite distrust and dislike of us in his Majesty. You gave very suitable replies entirely to our satisfaction. But the reply which his Majesty is so anxious to have we shall avoid giving, in order not to enter upon negotiations of such a character and for other reasons also. However, you must be careful to convey this in such a manner that his Majesty takes no offence. When, as a sign of continued confidence, you communicate to his Majesty the events of the Grisons, contained in the enclosed copy of our communication to the Most Christian ambassador, or if his Majesty again raises the subject, or if you see that he might take offence at its being passed over in silence, you will express the same ideas as you did at the audience, saying that the republic has always shown the greatest respect for the Spanish crown and therefore we are the more grieved at the fabrications brought to his Majesty's ear that we have caused offence to the Catholic king since we have always behaved with the utmost sincerity to every prince and to him in particular. The republic was compelled to make the league with the States to defend her own liberty against the plots which compassed our state and the city of Venice in particular, as his Majesty knows full well, as he not only advised the league, but through his ambassadors smoothed away difficulties and brought it to a successful issue. These plots have never ceased, but have rather increased. This appears clearly by the collecting of such large forces in the state of Milan and the occupation of the Valtelline, separating our state from the Grisons, which means cutting off Italy from her good friends, and thereby facilitating the Spanish designs upon Germany, as appears from their uninterrupted progress, as they need fear no obstacle to the realisation of their ambitions, placing their principal hopes upon the mistrust which they sow everywhere by means of their sinister offices.
In addition to occupying the Valtelline they have made an alliance with the ambassadors of the Grey League, the one of the three which is nearest the state of Milan, in order to create trouble in the other two leagues and compel them to sign the articles arranged by the ambassadors at Milan or else by force and gold to make greater conquests in those parts. They have attempted such things before, but have never succeeded owing to the resistance of France, ourselves and his Majesty, for he interposed, writing to the leagues and ordering his ambassador here to send his secretary to the Grisons. We send you a copy of these letters for your information. You will use these arguments and such others as your prudence may suggest, so that his Majesty may not take offence at your silence, or if the subject is raised again you may represent the present state of affairs, the need for universal peace and of a strong resolution to secure it, assuring his Majesty that the republic has always loved peace and concord with all the powers, and to this end alone all her operations tend, trying thus to disabuse his mind of the hurtful ideas our enemies are spreading and tactfully exposing the art and astuteness displayed by the Spaniards in these representations to his Majesty to put our operations in a bad light; and making him see our uprightness and sincerity. You will try and increase the confidence and friendship of the prince by such means as you think proper and so as not to arouse suspicion in his Majesty; and you must keep the king's familiars, ministers and favourites friendly. You will encourage the friendship of the Earl of Arundel in particular.
We have no information about the men of the ship Gran Zeffiro, and have written to the Proveditore of the fleet for information. When it arrives we will tell you what to say to the owners, and meanwhile you will assure them of our goodwill. You will do your utmost to prevent the Cavalier Lazari's efforts to get his Majesty to renew his offices with us to grant a command to the Prince Joinville.
Ayes, 144.Noes, 9.Neutral, 6.
[Italian.]
March 12.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
766. GIROLAMO LANDO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
I had audience of his Majesty yesterday at Theobalds, where I received remarkable honours by his Majesty's orders from the favourite marquis, the captain of the guard (fn. 1) and others, who fetched me and brought me on my way. I thanked his Majesty for the last representations made by him in Spain and at the Hague to the States about the affairs of the Valtelline, remarking that his continued interposition was bound to prove most helpful, especially if advanced in a vigorous and resolute manner befitting his greatness and the necessity. I also thanked him warmly in the name of your Excellencies for the expression of opinion he gave me at my last audience and of his intention to secure the recovery of the Palatinate with a powerful army if it was not freely given up, and to permit the States to levy as many men as they pleased from these realms, and assist the republic if she was invaded.
I presented to him your Serenity's own letter in execution of your orders, and told him how the situation in the Grisons grew constantly worse and worse, with all the particulars which have reached me in several despatches; how such events linked themselves with the progress of the Spaniards against the King of Bohemia in those provinces and in the Palatinate itself, whereof your Excellencies had received the particulars with feelings appropriate to your wishes for the general safety and every other respect. I added as a suggestion that a diversion would prove most opportune to stem the tide of their good fortune in Germany, and it would coincide very conveniently with the expiration of the truce in Flanders. I laid stress upon the military preparations of the Spaniards everywhere and the fear that they might attack the republic simultaneously both by sea and land in several places. I proceeded to the communication sent to me by the Council of Ten, the snares they spread in order to disunite and keep occupied all the princes of Christendom. I mentioned here how the house of Orsini had gone over to Spain and how by threats they tried to remove Don Virginio from the service of your Excellencies, with remarks upon the consequences.
I went on to speak of the firm resolution of the Spaniards not to restore anything, either the Valtelline or any other country which they have occupied, but they would gain time by a specious show of negotiation, and benefit by the delay, their chief object being to slacken the necessary provisions of his Majesty. I insisted upon the importance to them of retaining some fortress in the Palatinate, from which root they might spread abroad the branches of their machinations. This would prove more easy for them if the truce was arranged with the States, as they would be safe against receiving any diversion from that quarter or any harm. In short I tried to impress upon his Majesty in every way I knew the perilous situation of present affairs, the prejudice and harm which may be expected unless they try to cut short the career of so many grave and universal prejudices by speedy and powerful resolution, and in order to obtain from him some further confirmation and declaration of his wishes in favour of the republic. In her name also, seeing that she felt called upon to provide for her own affairs, I made the request for permission to levy 1,500 foot, as being highly necessary. I built upon the promise previously made to me at Salisbury by the mouth of the Marquis of Buckingham, as without such a grant I should hardly find any one willing to negotiate with me about the said levy. In this connection I told his Majesty of the report that the Spaniards propose to levy troops both in this kingdom and in Scotland.
The offices and the letter of thanks gave great pleasure. His Majesty seemed grieved that matters were going so badly in every direction. He approved by his gestures of everything that I said, and of his decision to recover the Palatinate, of allowing the States to levy troops and of helping your Serenity in case of attack, but he added nothing further to extend his declaration, which certainly in his mind remains confined to those limited terms which I set forth clearly in my letters of the 5th inst. He told me that he had sent Digby, who will see how things are going. He added:—But my son goes wandering about all over the world, he cannot be found and it is a long time since he let me have any word of him. I understand that he is going to the Hague. He expressed this in a manner to show clearly his disapproval, and that he laid the blame on him, in great measure, because matters were not settling down.
At the point about the diversion he said to me: I cannot make a diversion, unless I first break with the King of Spain and make war upon him, from which he seemed most remote. I suggested that the States if set on and assisted might strike the blow. He answered:—Flanders is thoroughly fortified. The ambassadors of the States have only lately been after me on the subject, but these diversions—he stopped and shook his head. He went on to tell me laughingly of the proposal of Mansfelt and the Duke of Savoy, that the latter under the name of a diversion and in concert with Mansfelt, his familiar, proposed to acquire Burgundy for himself. Upon these matters he added: I do not know what I have to do or to meddle with them; besides which, I cannot do everything.
Upon the matter of the Orsini he seemed much impressed, and anxious to hear all the particulars. Upon the point of the Spaniards intending to retain fortresses at the restitution he said: Undoubtedly they will try to secure advantages, but I shall not fail to play my part. He seemed to linger affectionately over the idea of restitution and trying to fall in with his pleasure. He said nothing of the hope they have of drawing his Majesty into a league, although I repeated it to him, but seemed very undecided on the point.
He laughed at the idea of a league between the emperor, the King of Spain, and the Dukes of Saxony and Mantua, saying that it could not be made, but I fully believe that it is desired by the Spaniards. About France that the disorders between his Majesty and the Huguenots afforded a good opportunity, he added:—It is only too true, as I believe that all the said aids are most true; and that the Spaniards will not fail to do everything in their power to advance their own affairs, although after all these were only conversations between ministers.
He proceeded with great sobriety of speech to deal with my request for a levy, saying that he would willingly grant it to your Serenity. When I remarked, in order to facilitate the business, that it was a small number, he replied: Yes, indeed, very small. The opportunity seemed favourable, and once they are lost there they are slow in recurring, so I added that if his Majesty would accord greater facilities for a more serious situation, which God forfend, it would spare me the trouble of bothering him with fresh requests and would afford a greater testimony of the affection which he has always borne for the republic. He replied:—I grant you up to 3,000 at your pleasure. Speak to the Secretary of State that I may give him the orders, as was done on a previous occasion.
The end of the audience turned upon the designs of the Spaniards to enlist troops in these kingdoms. His Majesty made me repeat the point. He asked me what they thought of doing with these troops. I said I did not know but certainly they would not think of making them do anything either against his Majesty or his friends and allies. He indicated that this would not take place, and it may be that it will not for the time being, but if the Palatinate is restored by means of negotiations, your Excellencies may believe that the Spaniards will have very little difficulty in obtaining it, since at the present time they are taking out the guns I wrote about, to the disgust of the parliament, and of every one in the kingdom.
Meanwhile, also, others have enjoyed the same liberty. Thus a Lord Arundel (fn. 2) and other Englishmen formerly went to Brabant to serve the archduke, to the number of 800 and more, but being ill treated, since the Spaniards did not really trust them, and knowing at that time that their action did not fall in with the king's true inclinations, which seemed very different then from what they are now, they returned. More than that number of Irish are at present there in that service, very brave men. They have even gone to the Palatinate with Spinola, and they are always passing to that service of their own accord owing to their great sympathy with the Spaniards. That sympathy also seems on the increase in this kingdom very much beyond the ordinary. Accordingly I think that some may even go from here, one by one, without any leave, and if things go on as they are doing at present, the Spaniards may certainly count upon this henceforward, many having already gone so far that they are more zealous and devoted to the interests of the Catholic king than the Spaniards themselves (e se le cose camineranno come vanno facendo, al certo Spagnoli di qua inanzi ben se ne fideranno, ridotti di già molti a termini tali, che sono più di loro stessi appassionati e legati agli interessi del loro Re).
London, the 12th March, 1621.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
March 12.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
767. GIROLAMO LANDO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
To judge by their proceedings the Spaniards aim both at a league with this country and at the other objects indicated in the preceding letter. But some points are still immature and do not appear clearly, as the negotiations of the Ambassador Gondomar are almost impenetrable, since they only take place with the king and two or three members of the Cabinet, who are his strong partisans. It seems that he always has the doors thrown wide open and free access, where others have to contrive and struggle. He is contriving also to make himself an intimate and a courtier and it is also thought an adviser of the king, who actually in many matters desires his opinion or answer before deciding; it is even said that he himself drew up the despatch and commissions for the Ambassador Digby, who has gone to Brussels. The said letters are not communicated to other ministers or to the Council, unless on some point upon which his Majesty does not incline to give them satisfaction, and the letters which arrive from Spain usually get into the hands of this man or of the said two or three, and are scarcely seen by the others, a very great distinction being made between minister and minister in this particular, while on the other hand the affairs of every other part are frequently dealt with too openly and publicly. Thus by passing also through the hands of the partisans of Spain they are dragged out at length and thwarted, and therefore the most prudent course for the moment in this quarter is for every prince to keep his counsel upon certain secret points which it is useful not to have known. There was a very convenient way to his Majesty's ear through the Secretary Naunton, by whom some business was transacted with the knowledge of the king and himself alone. Now this is closed, and as the Spaniards easily succeed in capturing the ministers of this country who specially serve the king in their Court, so the English ambassador at present in Spain is greatly dependent upon them and seems to write only for their great advantage. The general effect of all these things may be easily imagined by the prudence of your Excellencies. (Pare ch'egli habbia sempre le porte spalancate e gli aditi liberi, dove gli altri spesse volte hanno da pensare o stentare. Si va rendendo familiare, corteggiano et e creduto anche consultore del Re, che in molte cose in effetto prima che si risolva vuole il suo parere o la sua risposta: onde viene detto che egli stesso habbi fino formato il dispaccio et la commissione all' Ambor Digbi partito per Bruseles. Ne li detti negociati sono communicati ad altri Ministri, ne al Consiglio senon in alcun punto nel quale Sua Maestà non inclini di dargli sodisfattione, e le lettere che vengono da Spagna capitano d'ordinario in mano di questo o dei detti due o tre, ne a pena sono vedute da altri, facendosi distintione grandissima da Ministro a Ministro in questo proposito; dove che all'incontro gli affari d'ogni altra parte sono molte volte trattati troppo alla luce et al scoperto. Onde passando pure per mano delli più affettionati a Spagna, sono e tirati in longo et attraversciati. E però il tacere per hora con questa parte certi punti secretti e che non può giovare che si sappino; sara per ogni Prencipe efetto di molta prudenza. V'era la posta all'orecchie di Sua Maestà ben propria per via del Segretario Nanton, per la quale alcun negocio restava maneggiato con la sola notitia del Re e di esso Ministro. Hora é otturato. E come avviene che li Spagnoli rapiscono facilmente li Ministri di questa parte che specialmente servono il Re nella loro Corte, anco l'Ambr. Inglese ch'é in Spagna al presente, dependendo molto da loro, pare che non scrive che con il loro molto vantaggio; le quali cose tutte quali efetti possino produrre alla singolare prudenza dell' EE.VV. puo riuscire sommamente facile il comprendere.)
The ambassadors of the States have presented the explanation of their paper which turns upon the question of an alliance, and they have shown his Majesty what sort of alliance they suggest. They claim to have many alliances with this crown, but they aim especially at forming a new one by joining if possible the affairs of Germany with their own, and inducing his Majesty through those interests to assist them. They say that once the league is broken and war breaks out in Flanders they can do a great deal for the Palatinate by themselves which means that they will draw his Majesty with them to make a diversion through them. They claim also that his Majesty and the King of France should make the Spaniards disgorge 20,000l. sterling and more for damages their people have suffered from them in the time of the truce, the two crowns being bound to maintain all the articles of that truce.
The king caused them to be asked if they hold commissions to negotiate about the fisheries, and because they answered no and that as the affair was a delicate one it had better be postponed to another time, his Majesty grew angry. Moreover he keeps making fresh delays, possibly he wishes first to see the outcome of the embassy to Brussels and especially of this Parliament, which has these last days gone forward with great strides, since the king seems to preserve a certain balance and shows such moderation that he seems satisfied if the Spanish ambassador is satisfied and still more so the people. The wisest consider that his Majesty acts thus both in order to continue his designs for the Spanish marriage, if the negotiations for restitution prove successful, and if they go ill to have his kingdom better disposed to supply his needs. Accordingly he has issued orders, though not by proclamation, that all the English Catholics and other Catholics domiciled with their wives shall leave London and ten miles round it so long as the Parliament lasts. From this much lamentation has arisen in every direction and it seems that the Parliament is relieving itself by removing many monopolies and punishing various individuals, whilst it goes turning about the crowd of courtiers and some of the leading ministers, including the favourite himself.
This is the point which will either lead to the dissolution or suspension of the assembly, or will quickly bring about a great change in the aspect of affairs, and indeed this week matters do not seem to be going quite so well for the Spaniards. At the same time they are not prospering altogether for the others either, the king himself being certainly greatly perplexed as to what he shall do, nor is he altogether clear as to which way he will follow. Accordingly the decision to make the levies I wrote of in my last despatch to reinforce Vere is not yet entirely mature, indeed the spark of the idea seems rather to be dying although it is not altogether extinct.
The other day they directed and carried out the musters of 7,000 men of those inscribed in these parts and on the same day they issued orders for many parts of the kingdom likewise. But it was only to see whether the soldiers were armed, and they discovered many irregularities, and in order to show both the Spanish ambassador and the Lords of the Parliament, who were all stirred, not to say in revolt, at the offence already reported which is now appeased, with what ease the royal will can quickly command troops. They would like such a display, moreover, to suffice to procure the restitution of the Palatinate, without proceeding to more extreme measures.
I hear that the King of Bohemia, on reaching the Duke of Brunswick, found him disposed for a meeting with the King of Denmark at a place four leagues from Hamburg, where they are to meet the princes of the circle of Lower Saxony in person on the 11th inst., those of Luxemburg and of Middelburg and Holstein also and yet others, who are all arming, Brunswick alone forming two regiments of infantry and 1,000 horse. They think that Sir [Robert] Anstruther who has already left here, will also arrive there at an opportune moment.
From Brussels we learn that the Spaniards are arming strongly, that the Prince of Simai is forming a regiment of Germans for the Palatinate, that they are levying ten companies of Burgundians and ten others of Walloons whom some think to be for Italy. I hear also that they say the engineers of your Serenity are unable to fortify Verona, and so the bodies of the soldiers in the field must suffice.
All these days I have been negotiating with the commissioners for the levies. I encounter very great hindrances and difficulties, and the omission to send me the note of the pay given to Roccalaura's men prevents me from settling the most essential point. Next week I will give your Serenity full details of all that I have done, since eight days only do not suffice to put all the information and the negotiations in good order.
London, the 12th March, 1621.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
March 12.
Inquisitori di
Stato.
Busta 442.
Venetian
Archives.
768. GIROLAMO LANDO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the INQUISITORS of STATE.
I thought over what his Majesty said to me, which I reported in my letter to the Senate of the 8th January. At the audience yesterday I questioned his Majesty about it. He said that he knew no more, but if he heard anything he would declare it like a sincere friend. I have led round the conversation to it with some of the most prudent ministers, through whose hands the most secret affairs pass, but I obtained nothing but generalities, and that the Spaniards are aiming at Verona and a governor has fled. I have heard nothing more except universal rumours mostly put about by the Spaniards and their supporters that their king must be master of Venice by the middle of next summer, and some broken down courtiers and other sorry creatures go about saying that the Catholic king has been patient with the republic far too long, and recalling the money given to Mantua, Savoy and the Palatine, the league with the States and such things. Such matters are heard daily as I have informed the Senate. There is nothing especially secret of which I need to inform your Excellencies solely, but I am keeping a sharp look out.
London, the 12th March, 1621.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
March 13.
Collegio.
Lettere.
Venetian
Archives.
769. To the Proveditore General BARBARO.
We enclose a paragraph from a letter of our Ambassador Lando in England about the representations made to him by the owners of the ship Gran Zaffiro, who state that four men were detained by our galleys in the waters of Ragusa. We direct you to take information about this, and send word to us of the reasons, so that we may be able to reply.
By virtue of a deliberation of the Senate of the 12th March, 1621.
[Italian.]
March 16.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
770. GIROLAMO PRIULI and ANZOLO CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassadors in France, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The secretary of the ambassador of the States has been to see us to impart information. He said that the king here had not yet given a formal answer. The Palatine was going to confer with Count Maurice. The King of England was behaving well. He is giving help to the States and his son-in-law and that he was really arousing in earnest. We thanked him for his courtesy.
Paris, the 16th March, 1621.
[Italian.]
March 16.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Signori Stati.
Venetian
Archives.
771. CHRISTOFFORO SURIAN, Venetian Secretary in the Netherlands, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The important point at the present conjuncture is that the States do not know what they may promise themselves from the Kings of France and England in case they are compelled to make war. Assistance from either quarter seems unlikely. The alliances with these powers expire with the truce and only reasons of state may move them to support this republic, whose fall would increase the greatness of Spain. The ambassadors at those courts ought to urge the kings to see to these interests.
I have recently visited both the ambassadors of France and England, but have been unable to gather anything from them about the truce. Both confess they do not know what will happen.
The Hague, the 16th March, 1621.
[Italian.]
March 16.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Signori Stati.
Venetian
Archives.
772. CHRISTOFFORO SURIAN, Venetian Secretary in the Netherlands, to the DOGE and SENATE.
An ambassador arrived yesterday from the King of Denmark. (fn. 3) No one met him, as even the English ambassador only heard of his arrival after he had taken his quarters. He brings word of a meeting of princes in Holstein to discuss the affairs of Germany.
No news has yet come of Digby's arrival at Brussels. We only learn that the archduke has issued orders for his honourable treatment. Those who know say that the Spaniards think these compliments will suffice instead of restoring the Palatinate, for which he has gone.
However, the States hope that the King of England will finally be undeceived and take a worthy resolution. The Ambassador Carleton holds the same opinion. He told me he had an earnest of this in the order which had reached him to prepare weapons and armour for 12,000 foot.
The States are making preparations to receive the King and Queen of Bohemia, who are expected in a fortnight.
The Hague, the 16th March, 1621.
[Italian.]
March 16.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Savoia.
Venetian
Archives.
773. ZUANE PESARO, Venetian Ambassador in Savoy, to the DOGE and SENATE.
I have not been able to discover what the English resident negotiated about, but here they treat all advances from that quarter with the most absolute contempt, since the king there never performs anything of value, although the resident is constantly stating that his Majesty and the States are quite willing to spend a certain sum of money for a diversion.
He told me that Cadenet's mission was simply to discover the king's intentions since the French wished to move with advantage either to unite against the Spaniards, or else, if the King of Great Britain will not do anything for the Palatinate, the Most Christian will do nothing for the Valtelline.
Turin, the 16th March, 1621.
[Italian.]
March 19.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
774. GIROLAMO LANDO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The last letters of your Serenity to reach me are of the 19th ult., enclosing the very important letter which reached you unsigned, and with the office of the agent of Bohemia and the reply of the letter of Sir [Henry] Wotton. I have disclosed the contents of this, although I do not find that he has yet written anything, and I have also spoken about the preparations of your Excellencies to give him a hearty welcome. I will execute all my commissions punctually and those with the king at the first opportunity, though some delay is inevitable because I only had audience the other day, and I must await the reply of the Senate to what his Majesty said to me the time before last.
Wake's secretary has either gone or is ready to start back for Turin at any moment. I do not find that the substance of the reply to Mansfelt's proposal is different from what I wrote; perhaps they give some vague expressions, but destitute of any real meaning. They say that while his Majesty is negotiating for peace he ought not to mix in anything else; but if he cannot obtain this he will afterwards consider what he ought to do. I have recently heard the question of the affair of Mansfelt and the other designs of the Duke of Savoy discussed by persons of such low condition that I have been amazed, accordingly I must once more insist upon the necessity of not writing or negotiating here matters which ought to remain secret.
The Ambassadors Cornouals and Vueston have returned, and as it it is understood that all the forces in the Palatinate have now been recommended to the Duke of Bavaria, they consider any further negotiations of Digby at Brussels superfluous.
In this Parliament they are punishing many and purging the domestic affairs of the kingdom. Some Cavaliers who have been arrested have taken to flight, (fn. 4) and the lightening seems always to threaten the highest towers most. They have found the affairs of the realm in such disorder and confusion that the wisest consider either that they will never be put straight, or else that it will only be effected in the space of eighty years with great application and by the observance of the rules they impose. They find in particular a great scarcity of current coin, and that the East Indies in particular absorb all in exchange for spices with a notable diminution of the winning of tin, cloth and other natural merchandise for which gold used formerly to flow in from every quarter.
They think here that the Prince of Orange will have sent to meet the King of Bohemia at his entrance to the Hague, and some say the queen also. The king and some others greatly fear that they will come here, and I have heard that they have sent orders to the Ambassador Carleton to divert them from any such idea. I hear also that the same ambassador is renewing the negotiations with the States for an alliance with the Duke of Savoy, according to instructions received many months ago, as I wrote.
News has arrived by a gentleman sent by Villiers that he has spoken to the King of Bohemia and given him his Majesty's advice, which amounts substantially, from what I can gather, to this, to give up Bohemia and rest content to return to the Palatinate. It is reported that he inclines fairly well to accept this advice. But really from good sources I do not find that he does more than reply in the most general terms, that he will always follow the opinions of his Majesty if he can do so with safety, and honour. Accordingly this same Villiers has gone on to the queen to urge her to induce a better disposition in her husband. Now the ministers here say, and the Secretary of State himself expressed it clearly to me, that the negotiations for restitution will take a long time, but it does not matter because they know well the advantage they have over the Spaniards, in the long run, and how easily they can compel them to effect it at one stroke. They even go so far as to say, without a thought of the wrong, the dishonour or anything else, that his Majesty can arrange a treaty as easily after the Palatinate has utterly fallen as now in its present condition.
The Spaniards report that a courier has arrived in Brussels from Spain, bringing word that the Catholic king does not on any account desire peace or a truce with the States except on three conditions: the demolition of the forts which impede the commerce of Antwerp, liberty of conscience in that country and that they shall entirely abandon their traffic in the Indies. The other day, when the king was speaking to the Spanish ambassador here about the claims of the States for compensation for the damage they have received during the truce, the ambassador took great pains to show that they had been the first to strike the blow; some report that he went so far as to say that his Master did not consider that he had a truce with them any longer. The same ambassador goes about saying that his king desires war both with the States and with all those who help them, as if they were not assisted by others, especially with money, they would very soon fall while with such help they will maintain themselves for a while.
The extraordinary ambassadors of the States are asking for the despatch of their business and for leave to return. They have been told so far, that as regards the damage for which they claim compensation, they must make a definite claim, and his Majesty and the King of France will unite to procure for them reasonable satisfaction. His Majesty has also caused the Council to ask them whether, in the first paper which they presented they desired to have his help to procure peace or the prolongation of the truce. He had not clearly understood this point, and the Spaniards have put abroad many false suggestions on the subject. He has shown his readiness, in some sort, to give them his assistance upon this point also, and that is a circumstance worthy of mature consideration. They replied that they had commissions to speak neither upon the truce nor peace, but simply to learn what his Majesty proposed to do for them upon the expiration of the truce. In reply to the requests which they subsequently urged upon him to devote himself to the recovery of the Palatinate, he asked them to put down in writing the manner and way he should adopt to do so. They replied very fully, suggesting two courses, to send an army to the country itself, and to make a diversion, pointing out all the difficulties in the way of the former, and the ease and advantages of the latter course, for which they make very liberal offers in the name of their masters. His Majesty thanked them for all this, but added nothing further except that he would do everything in his power if restitution did not take place and his son-in-law followed his advice.
I have kept up the most friendly relations with these ambassadors, in accordance with your Serenity's suggestion. I have never heard anything from France about what M. de Longarne did and declared to the ambassadors, but I will say that when I arrived at this Court I found the abuse in negotiating with M. Caron and others had gone very far. As I could not bring myself to continue this, the breaking off of negotiations with several ministers followed as a natural consequence. With some of these ministers the French ambassador treats in the same wrong style. I have tried a middle course in order not to run to extremes, especially in the situation which I found here when I may say that everyone was preoccupied by the endeavour to combat and thwart me. I also considered the great difference between giving others something more than belonged to them and receiving less than one's rights from others, upon which I have always been most punctilious. I have asserted a distinct superiority over M. Caron, in particular, who cares little for appearances and attends more to his affairs, since he usually visits me four or five times for one visit which I pay him. This has given a rule for the extraordinary ambassadors, who have visited me twice running. I venture to suggest that it would be best to draw up a definite regulation to guide all your representatives, which could be done better when those representatives are changed than in the course of their charges. However, I will zealously carry out your commands.
London, the 19th March, 1621.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
March 19.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
775. GIROLAMO LANDO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The Secretary Calvert has ratified for me the grant of a levy up to 3,000 men, accorded by the king. He said it was not necessary to execute it, except to insert in the patents given to the colonels and captains that they will serve the republic by virtue of his Majesty's grant. The Spanish ambassador will not let this pass, and says that he will ask for 6,000. He has complained about it to the ministers, if not to the king, and they have told him in excuse that his Majesty had always declared he would not abandon his old friends.
To carry it into effect I negotiated with Lord Dingwall, now Earl of Desmond, in Ireland. He has replied with an absolute refusal after telling me of his arrangements on previous occasions with two of my predecessors, and of his journey to Venice; he expressed his friendly feeling and said he was hampered by his wife, by disputes and by his other interests. I subsequently negotiated with the Earl of Oxford, a man of the highest birth and hereditary Lord Chamberlain of the kingdom. At first we discussed many points and he seemed reasonable, but afterwards whether through bad advice or his own counsels he suddenly changed his tone upon all the points and imposed such high conditions that we should need half a million of gold to effect the levy. As he tried to force me to embrace them by drawing in Lords Willoughby and Nort, in particular, with whom I have had some negotiations apart, and place me in some respect in a state of siege, I thought it would serve your Excellencies best to abandon all negotiations with him. Accordingly I continued to treat independently with the said lords. Although Willoughby came to offer me his services of his own accord, he makes many difficulties.
Nort seems well disposed towards your Excellencies but is still very far from the proper point. He suggested Roger Nort, his brother, to serve at sea, who was sent, as I wrote, by the West India Company to plant and encourage English colonies on the banks of the Amazon. Now he is out of the prison which he owed to the persecution of the Spanish ambassador here. He would be well adapted for the service of your Excellencies and would not make excessive demands if proper arrangements were made with him.
I find so far that I can arrange with two persons for the said levies, as your Serenity will see from the enclosed copies, which I send simply for the consideration of the Savii. I keep the originals duly signed. One, Sir [Edward] Sackville, brother of the Earl of Dorset, belongs to a great house, is of high spirit and universally esteemed, being considered one of the most active and generous persons of the kingdom. He cannot be called a great soldier because he has seen little of war, but true soldiers are rare here. He accepts practically all the conditions laid down by your Excellencies, and is as capable of carrying them into effect as any one else imaginable. I do not know whether the salary for himself may appear too high; it imposes upon him the maintenance of the necessary officers of the regiment, such as the lieutenant-colonel, the serjeant-major, provost, quarter-master and others; but in his person he merits a great deal, and it will avail much with the officers aforesaid.
The other is Captain John Byngham, an Englishman, not a man of birth, but the most highly esteemed soldier here. He is now captain of the trained bands of this city and its environs, being paid by this city itself. He was one of those chosen to serve on the king's council of war, and in all the calculations that were made, and one may say in everything, he alone laid down the law for the rest. He is sixty years of age but very robust. He served thirty years in war in France, Ireland and the Netherlands and was one of those who defended Ostend to the last, when he had command of sixteen companies from the States. His claims are by no means high, indeed singularly modest.
These two are among the best that can be obtained here. The first excels in birth, the second in experience, but both are equally well disposed, a very important consideration. The first would be much better to make the levy, owing to his following; the second to keep it under better discipline; but I doubt whether the king will let him go, owing to the need which they have of him, and the satisfaction he gives the city.
In the present circumstances a man without a considerable following would have a difficulty in enlisting any number of men here. Accordingly I would not look about for persons of lower condition, because they would not be likely to prove adequate to fulfil their promises, unless by an outpouring of the public money, although the country is very full of men. It is equally well provided with comforts and luxuries, rendering the people more disposed to these than to fatigues. Accordingly the levies which I have seen made by Gray and Vere, although they were for the King of Bohemia, who enjoys a universal popularity in the kingdom, did not proceed with so much ease as one might otherwise have expected, although levies were not given except at 10 shillings, that is two ducats and a half per head. There are also other difficulties, which I suggested to your Excellencies before, besides the levies granted to the ambassador of Poland, (fn. 5) who is said to have already arrived in this kingdom, and who is expected to ask for 10,000, although every one would rather go to Venice than to Poland. I have not lowered my eyes to persons of lower condition but have simply approached those who belong to families which can always be of assistance to your Serenity in these parts in other matters besides that of levies. Thus by having some members in our service we could begin to form a party which would always be favourable to the republic, and in the course of time it might happen that one of these would become a minister in great favour and with great influence over the king.
I will take the earliest opportunity of speaking to General Cecil, and will also keep up negotiations with others who may think of coming to serve. But your Serenity must not think of obtaining commanders of real worth from these parts because there are none. Thus if the king wished to make a great levy he would not know to whom he might fitly entrust the command. The best Englishmen are all in the service of Holland and are better fitted to command a regiment than to do more. One could find a greater quantity of men here well fitted to serve at sea, whose offers rain upon me especially those who recently served your Excellencies in the fleet, as I reported. Indeed I experience no lack of offers for every kind of service and find a universal good will towards your Serenity, such as I do not believe would be found towards any other prince soever, but really all are inspired by greed of gold, those of the highest quality the most. (Ma non si volga la Serenità Vestra a questa parte per havere capi da guerra di vera conditione, per che non vi sono. Onde volendo il Re fare levata grande, non saprebbe a che darne propriamente il commando. Li migliori Inglesi si trovano tutti al servitio in Holanda, e saranno più proprii per commandare un reggimento che per fare d'avantaggio. Maggiore abbondanza si trovarrebbe qui di huomini maggiormente anco atti al servitio del Mare, dei quali mi piovono l'offerte, da quelli massime che hanno servato l'EE.VV. ultimamente in armata, come pur avisai, cosi non mi mancono esshibitioni per ogni servitio, incontrando dispositione universale verso Vestra Serenità, quello che non credo s'incontrasse verso qualsivoglia altro Prencipe; ma tutti in efetto mirano all' ingordiggia del danaro, e più li più alti di conditione.)
I shall continue the negotiations, awaiting the note about the pay given to Roccalaura's soldiers and the other information and orders which your Excellencies promised me in your letters of the 19th ult., especially the arrangement with Colonel Peyton. I must not omit to state at this point that some captains and soldiers returned here from Venice go about speaking of ill treatment received from him, but of the goodness of the republic, and already one hears almost universal rumours, practically, that no one will be found willing to serve the republic under him. However, if the enclosed agreements are ratified, that will not matter any more. It is always difficult to levy two regiments here except upon equal conditions, and any attempt to the contrary would certainly result in disorder and most harmful confusion. I have induced them to agree to accept the same pay as Roccalaura, as they say, with reason, that inequalities in payment lead to desertion, the men flocking to the standards where they receive more, and so their regiments would speedily be broken up, to the dishonour of themselves and their nation and to the prejudice of your Serenity. You must also consider that soldiers cannot easily be armed here the king having issued rigorous orders that all arms must be made and reserved for him, and even he has recourse to the States for greater provision, as I have written. Arms might possibly be procured from the Hague, the Secretary Suriano being ordered to procure them and send them on, but I think these persons would rather arm their own soldiers themselves. Thus those who recently went to the Palatinate with Vere, being provided in the Netherlands by the Ambassador Dohna, by means of merchants, were compelled, on arriving there, to change them all, owing to their bad quality. They would also like to have them all armed on embarking so that they might not encounter some mishap through travelling unarmed. Captain Byngham says that pikes and armour, though they do not seem adapted for ships, would prove both useful and necessary for boarding.
Sir [Edward] Sackville alone agrees to the 16s. for the levy, making the 4 ducats which your Serenity proposes to give, and also agrees to the soldiers bearing the cost of the voyage. But neither Captain Byngham nor any one else will agree to this, arguing that the poor soldiers might even claim more, as they incur more peril at sea than when they are in actual service.
London, the 19th March, 1621.
[Italian.]
Enclosed in
the preceding
despatch.
776. Agreement of Sir [Edward] Sackville.
To levy 1,500 to 4,000 men in the king's dominions.
To claim the title of colonel only and obey the superior commanders, on the understanding that they shall not be English.
To serve on sea or land, against any one except the King of Great Britain.
16s. a head to be given for the levies.
4l. sterling to arm and clothe each soldier, to be deducted from the pay.
The ambassador shall provide ships to take the men and arrange with the captains for provisions for the soldiers until they reach Venice or the place of the first muster.
To accept the same pay as Colonel Roccalaura and his men.
To receive 50 ducats a month for himself and his officers.
The republic shall engage him for a year or give him three months' notice.
Each soldier to have 1½ months' pay to return.
To have jurisdiction over the regiment in the manner granted to Count John Ernest of Nassau.
[Italian.]
Enclosed in
the preceding
despatch.
777. Agreement of John Byngham.
To levy a regiment of 1,500 men.
To have the title of colonel, obeying the republic's commanders.
To serve by sea and land where desired against every one but the king and the Netherlands.
The soldiers to be all armed and clothed before they leave England. To receive a subvention for this of two guineas for each soldier for clothes, to be deducted from their pay, and about 1l. 2s. for arms.
The levies to be ready in a month, for which he desires 20s.
To receive the same pay as Roccalaura and his men, and other foreigners.
To receive 50l. a month as colonel.
To be reviewed and paid like Roccalaura's men.
The ambassador shall find ships to take the troops out, and arrange with the captains to provide the soldiers with food as far as Venice, which shall be deducted from their pay.
[Italian.]
March 19.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
778. GIROLAMO LANDO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Troops may be taken from England to Venice in two ways. By armed ships: one by keeping them in service for some time, and the other simply using them to take the men. Ships for service would be of 250 to 300 tons like the last sent, with 60 or 70 sailors and from 20 to 25 pieces of ordnance. The others need not exceed 200 to 250 tons, the usual size of merchant ships, and they might go armed with forty men or less, and as they would not be intended for war they need not be so well provided. None of these would carry more than 150 or 160 soldiers, as it is necessary to see that they are not suffocated in the ship, especially in the summer time, as once past the Strait these men reared in a cold climate might suffer excessively from the heat, while they might encounter calms which would keep them stationary for whole weeks. Moreover it would be more difficult to keep the provisions. To send 1,500 men would require about ten ships, more depending upon their size than their burthen. If they are not required for service the price might be higher and they might be more difficult to obtain, although at the first rumour of hiring they all flocked to me to devour your Serenity's money. Accordingly, I have to proceed very cautiously. I enclose an estimate of the cost, but it is impossible to make a general rule, as sometimes there are more, sometimes less, ships here. At present there are many, but in this month of March they hire out, especially for Newfoundland.
The owners explain the high terms they demand, very different from what your Serenity wishes to spend, by saying that the merchants give the same. They also claim payment to cover the voyage both out and home, saying that if they went to Spain to load after taking the troops they would risk losing their ships. Although they can reap some profit in providing for the soldiers, yet they always take troops unwillingly since they often receive affronts from their insolence. It is impossible to estimate the cost of the journey to Venice except at so much per day, and as this cannot be known beforehand it is impossible to tell the cost of the voyage of each soldier. The idea of providing everything with your Serenity's money would, I understand, prove the worst course of all, as the captains of the soldiers and of the ships would concert together in order to defraud the public, and all the provisions would be exhausted, as happened to the Ambassador Dohna at Vere's last levy, who spent 14s. a head as far as Rotterdam, a journey which takes hours, not to say days, and 8s. as far as Brill a shorter journey.
The enclosed statement comprises ships for transport merely and ships for service. I beg your Serenity to decide between them in order to relieve me of doubt. To keep the ships for service would cost less, as they would bring the soldiers for the cost of their food only without any other claims, as happened with the soldiers of Colonel Peyton. You would save the hire and the monthly payment would not amount to the sum for hiring the soldiers. The owners and captains of ships desire to be paid bank money, and ask to be paid here monthly both for hire and provisions.
At my last audience his Majesty seemed to understand that I asked for a levy of ships as well as men or else he wished to divert me from doing so. Without my opening my mouth on the subject he remarked: Ships are another question. I replied: Sire, I make no request of your Majesty at the moment, but I trust that in case of need the republic would receive every facility and favour from your Majesty for these also. He simply repeated: That is another question, and nothing more; so I think it better, in view of such disinclination, to go no further. I hoped afterwards to obtain some greater declaration from the Secretary of State, but ultimately thought it better to remain silent than risk a refusal, especially as your Serenity has not given me any definite orders. Under the circumstances I fancy that ships can only be hired for transporting the troops to Venice, and if your Serenity wants them for service you must apply to Holland, and in that case you will have to consider various difficulties, particularly that of getting out of the Netherland ports, and especially from Texel to Amsterdam, as happened to the soldiers of Count John Ernest of Nassau, although that was exceptional and might not happen for a hundred years. It would have to be so arranged that the levies might not wait too long, with risks of desertion. The same consideration applies to the plan of obtaining arms for the men in Holland. The Dutch ships are larger, invariably much cleaner (universalmente più nette), (fn. 6) much healthier for the soldiers, and are more easily manipulated, because the Dutch live in a more orderly manner (più pareamente) than the English. The expense of bringing the ships from Holland here would probably be inconsiderable. But if the truce is broken and the States arm their fleets, both ships and sailors will become dearer than usual, there will be greater risk in traversing Spanish waters, there would be other considerable difficulties and the risk, possibly, of giving offence here.
London, the 19th March, 1621.
[Italian.]
Enclosed in
the preceding
despatch.
779. Estimate of expenses for bringing troops from England to Venice.
Armed ships for constant service, like the last sent, of 250 to 300 tons burthen, ask 300l. sterling a month and would carry 150 men without further hire.
Armed English ships of 200 to 250 tons, with only 30 to 35 men instead of 60 to 65, for hire only, would ask 225l. a month and would not carry more than 250 men.
Victuals would cost 9d. a day per head, making 168l. 15s. a month for 150 men.
Thus the cost would be 168l. 15s. or 675 ducats in banco, plus 20 per cent. of alloy, 810 ducats, or 52/5 ducats a month of thirty days for each man, that is 22⅓ Venetian soldi per man per day.
The hire of a ship for transport merely, being 225l. or 900 ducats, plus 20 per cent, for alloy, 1080 current money, comes to 73/5 ducats a head, and with 52/5 ducats for food as above give a total of 123/5 ducats.
To take men at the cost of the ship owners would be 9⅓l. sterling a head, to wit 6l. for hire and 3⅓l. for expenses, calculating the voyage at three months, equivalent to 37⅓ ducats di banco, and adding the 20 per cent. 442/3 ducats a head.
The expenses of taking 150 men to Venice by ships remaining in service, for three months at 3⅓l. a head come to 500l. sterling or 2,000 ducats, and with the 20 per cent. 2,400 ducats, or 16 ducats a head.
As Regards Dutch Ships.
A Dutch ship hired in Holland would cost 166l. sterling or about 664 ducats a month di banco, equivalent to 795 ducats current, and would carry 200 men, being about 4 ducats a head.
For provisions as above, 52/5 ducats, making 92/5 ducats a head or a third less than the English.
[Italian.]
March 20.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
780. To the Ambassador in France.
Although we are sure that what happened in Spain to the French ambassador's house has reached that Court, we send you a copy of what our Ambassador Corner writes on the subject. This will serve you for information to use as our service requires, and so that you may watch how the affair is received and what they say about it, trying to discover the true reason for the change in the Spaniards.
The like to:
Rome, England, Savoy, Florence, Naples, Milan. Saying instead of the first sentence:
You will see from the enclosed copies what we hear from Spain about an affair at the French ambassador's house, which, however, has been settled, and the angry way in which it was represented by the Spanish secretary, with the reply we decided to give.
Ayes, 156.Noes, 2.Neutral, 10.
[Italian.]
March 20.
Senato,
Terra.
Venetian
Archives.
781. That John Thomas, a Scottish gentleman and Henry Wolf be empowered to levy 200 ultramontane infantry upon the conditions provided by the laws for such troops. They shall be under the command of D. Durante Prigni, with other companies now being formed.
Ayes, 124.Noes, 12.Neutral, 24.
[Italian.]

Footnotes

1 Sir Henry Rich.
2 Thomas Lord Arundel of Wardou", who crossed to Flanders in the autumn of 1605 to command 2,000 of his countrymen there. James was very angry, because he had disobeyed a direct command, and ordered him to return at once. See Vol. X. of this Ca'lendar, pp. 271, 276, 277, 282.
3 Jacob Ulefeldt, chancellor of Denmark. Carleton speaks of his arrival and negotiations in a despatch of the 8th March, 1621, old style. S.P. Foreign, Holland.
4 Sir Giles Mompesson, arraigned for the abuse of monopolies, escaped from the clutches of the House of Commons on the 12th March and got across to France.
5 Finett calls him Osalinskie, Count Palatine of Sindomerskie. Finett went to Dover to meet him on the 18/?28th March, but owing to bad weather the ambassador missed him, and landed at Gravesend eleven days later.—Philoxenis, pages 74, 75.
6 It may mean nimbler instead of cleaner, but the context seems to imply the latter sense.