Venice
April 1621, 1-10

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Institute of Historical Research

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Allen B. Hinds (editor)

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1911

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1-16

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'Venice: April 1621, 1-10', Calendar of State Papers Relating to English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 17: 1621-1623 (1911), pp. 1-16. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=88811 Date accessed: 25 October 2014.


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April 1621

April 1.
Collegio
Secreta.
Esposizioni
Principi.
Venetian
Archives.
1. The secretary of the English ambassador came into the Cabinet and spoke as follows:
It is with regret that I come to deal with unpleasant matters, and I would willingly avoid it if I could. The ambassador directs me to represent to your Excellencies the serious trouble that weighs upon his mind at the beginning of his embassy. Three reasons contribute to strengthen his feelings. Firstly, the ambassadors of the republic are always treated with conspicuous deference in the Court at London and by his Majesty. Secondly, the King of Great Britain has done for your Serenity what he refused for his own son in law. Thirdly, the emperor, though armed against his Majesty's kin, received the ambassador with greater honour than was ever shown before at the Imperial Court to any ambassadors of the greater powers. In view of these facts the ambassador viewed with wonder and mortification the scanty number of senators who came to meet him and accompany him to the Cabinet, so different from what used to be. He felt much disposed to abstain from visiting your Serenity, and would certainly have adopted that course but for the inconvenience of those who went to meet him. Nevertheless he recognised the slight put upon his king, which has become a topic for scoffing references in all gatherings, because such ceremonies are public to everybody. The ambassador cannot therefore overlook this matter, because his king's dignity is concerned, but he hopes that some means may be found of repairing the slight. He suggests that two of their lordships, who did not take part in the ceremony, shall visit him and explain in the name of all the rest that the neglect was due to the distractions of their private affairs. This would satisfy him and re-establish the dignity of his master. (fn. 1)
The doge replied that of all crowned heads, the republic esteemed and loved none so much as England. Englishmen are welcomed like our own children. The ambassador is in a better position to appreciate our disposition than any one else. A larger number of senators was selected than usual, but it was reduced owing to various accidents. Yet the public sentiments remain unchanged, and we ask you to assure the ambassador that we all welcomed him again most gladly, and if necessary we will fully prove it. With this the secretary departed.
Shortly afterwards the secretary returned to the door of the Cabinet where he saw the Secretary Vincenti and told him he had reported the doge's reply to the ambassador, who, after consulting another person, said that he adhered to his original idea, and could accept no other satisfaction than what he had proposed.
[Italian.]
April 2.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
2. GIROLAMO LANDO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The parliament is working harmoniously with the king and each strives which can please the other most. Thus the former proceeds cautiously, exercises great moderation over foreign affairs and abstains for the present from touching upon the points which might displease his Majesty, attending simply to the regulation of its own affairs, with the intention doubtless of destroying in the long run by the slow and gradual methods adapted to the temperature and the form of this government, and bringing about the ruin of the fabric erected so high by the Spaniards in a short time. Matters have already gone some distance against some of the greatest, and his Majesty, who sees much further than he sometimes shows, allows it and seems content, inciting them to continue their justice. He even went so far as to say that if the favourite marquis himself had committed any errors they should punish him, without thinking of him or what he is now but as what he was when first he arrived at the Court. As Easter is approaching, at which time they are accustomed to adjourn the parliament for some days, he sent to tell the Houses that they might make what arrangements they pleased to continue or return as they liked. If these remarkable signs of agreement continue, which make every one marvel and cause too much comment and some indication of change, they may give birth to great results in time. But things sometimes change in a single day, and therefore the most prudent do not hasten matters but proceed cautiously and logically in their actions.
The Polish ambassador, son of the Palatine of Sandomiria, arrived in this city this week. (fn. 2) He comes to move the king to help his master against the Turks. At his public audience he received courteous replies but only in general terms. He has been highly favoured by the Spanish ambassador and appeared at the Court dressed altogether in the Spanish fashion. They think that he will obtain nothing more than some representations to Constantinople and some levies of troops from this kingdom. Apparently he will ask for Irish and Scotch levies rather than English, and indeed but few of the last would go to such service, owing to the length of the journey and the doubt that they might be employed somehow to the prejudice of the King of Bohemia.
When I visited the ambassador he told me that another minister of his king should be at Venice and urged me to arouse your Excellencies against the Turks. I expressed the devotion of your Serenity in the interests of Christendom, since you acted as the bulwark of Italy, but spoke of the incessant harassing of the Spaniards which compelled you to see to your own defence, a thing which doubtless prejudiced all lovers of the common weal and tended to the greater triumph of the Turks.
Sir Andrew Sinclair, a Scot of distinction, ambassador of the King of Denmark, has also arrived. He says that he left the King of Bohemia and other princes assembled together, with the best resolutions for the public weal. (fn. 3) At the Hague very promising negotiations were taking place between the said king and the States. From what the ambassador told me they turn upon a league between his Majesty and all the said princes, offensive and defensive, which is to embrace the Hanse towns also, by settling all past disputes, and thus forming a body adequate to the emergencies of the time. They think that this ambassador may do much here as he enjoys great credit with the king and his negotiations are expected to resemble those proceeding at the Hague; but nothing exact is known so far. Yesterday he went alone to Theobalds to see his Majesty, and the Ambassadors of Bohemia and of the States also went there. The negotiations with the last seem to be going more smoothly and they have postponed all treaty about the fisheries and the East to another time. All went really with but slight differences in their affairs and the same object to stir up his Majesty and bring him to a proper frame of mind.
The king continues to turn over the reply to be given to the United Princes of Germany, not having decided upon anything since the arrival of Murton, who is also at Theobalds. He seems to grow more angry the more he thinks of it and even turns bitterly upon the person who brought him such unreasonable and offensive demands. With so much pressure some sap ought ultimately to be squeezed out, especially as there has been plenty of time for the fruit to ripen. In a few days we ought certainly to be able to see whether it will be sweet or sour, but meanwhile no one would be so bold as to predict what will happen, as there are numerous indications in every sense.
The Duke of Bouillon offers the king two or three thousand French, some exiles, who would go to the Palatinate in his pay. The proposal is considered improper upon every consideration.
Digby was received at Brussels with great honour. He has had his first public audience of their Highnesses, but the private one of the Infanta alone, the archduke suffering from the gout, or perhaps it was the trouble of the house of Austria. They deputed the confessor (fn. 4) to negotiate upon the question of the restoration of the Palatinate, and he saw the ambassador several times. But as the news only arrived yesterday I cannot discover that he gave anything but general replies, full of the usual specious phrases, and in order to supply more food for hope they have despatched two councillors, one to Germany and the other to Spain. A gentleman of quality and prudence, in a position to know a great deal, told me that the Spaniards aim at negotiating for the restoration of the Palatinate, not to the Palatine, who is under the ban and has been deprived of his electorate, but to his sons as being the grandchildren of the king here, to gratify him.
There has been a great stir here at the news that Peckius, the Chancellor of Brabant, was sent with others by their Highnesses the very day after Digby's arrival with rumours of proposals for peace or an extension of the truce. Many leading ministers suspect that Digby, by his Majesty's order, had some negotiations upon these points, although such negotiations would be like a knife to wound himself. In fact it would appear even less seemly for Peckius to proceed to that quarter if Digby had proposed the matter as the Spaniards might with more decency have continued it by means of others, than begin it on their own account, not without baseness.
News has since arrived that the chancellor has returned to Brussels after a short stay at the Hague. The matter is much discussed and they think it will all end in nothing. Your Excellencies will learn everything from the proper quarter, and I need only add that such negotiations seem to indicate a strong desire in the Spaniards for peace or a truce in that quarter, and on the part of the States, although their ambassadors seem resolute for war, of some disposition for a truce if not for peace, although not desired by the provinces considered most robust and secure of Holland and Zeeland, which derive great advantages from the clash of arms; however, the others, which face the enemy, seem to incline that way.
London, the 2nd April, 1621.
[Italian.]
April 2.
Senato.
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
3. GIROLAMO LANDO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The prince has honoured me with an interview, alone with his secretary, an old man, his tutor, (fn. 5) of the best opinions, who acted, as interpreter. I was able to speak to him of jousts and horsemanship, in which are his chief delights, but also upon the current affairs of the world and especially the interests of your Serenity. I read him the unsigned letter sent to your Excellencies. I found on the whole that his Highness's feelings and ideas are very right and proper. He is much concerned about the interests of his brother-in-law and sister, and the imperial ban in particular has stirred him greatly. He thinks the preservation of the most serene republic and of the States highly important. He seemed much impressed by my remark that the Spaniards aim chiefly at breaking these two keys which keep the door locked against their universal monarchy, as well as by the letter, which he urged me to read to the king, his father. I told him that I had orders to do so at the first audience. He told me that the king was so taken up in every direction especially by the affairs of the Palatinate that he really did not see what he could do for the Valtelline or for the republic beyond the levies granted to me. I told him of the declaration made to me in case the republic was invaded. It seemed to please him. I insisted that the affair of the Palatinate was bound up with the very important question of the Valtelline and with all the other affairs of the world. He replied that the king would certainly do his part. He was now negotiating and if this did not succeed he would never fail to carry out what he had declared, not by diversion, because really they could not hear of that, but in every other way. When I remarked that long negotiations were injurious and insidious, and that the Spaniards always promised restitution but never effected it, he answered: The king told the Spanish ambassador, and caused it to be repeated at Brussels and everywhere else, that he would interpret every reply which aimed at delay as an absolute negative.
He afterwards asked me if the affairs of the Valtelline were settled as announced. I told him that they were more tangled than ever, and the articles arranged with the Grison ambassadors at Milan clearly showed the abominable objects of the Spaniards. He seemed to desire further information, so I left his Highness a copy of what your Excellencies sent me, which pleased him greatly. The seed sown in the favourable soil of this prince may not produce any important fruit for the moment, seeing the very modest influence he has over the king; but the more he interests himself in current affairs the greater the advantage when the time comes, and one has the greater freedom in sowing them seeing that he never takes the smallest step outside the king's pleasure, and so there is no occasion for arousing any suspicion. This will serve as a reply to what your Excellencies suggest in your letters of the 12th ult. received yesterday. I have always endeavoured to encourage confidential relations with the favourites, and especially with the Earl of Arundel, but indeed in these important times, some of those of the Spanish party cannot be brought to more than ceremonious appearances, though I try to gather even this fruit by reciprocal attentions and in every other way possible.
I have received from the Secretary Suriano at the Hague the missing articles about levying troops, and I will follow the agreement made with Colonel Peyton and the necessary orders for the ships to bring the men. I venture to add that the longer the delay the greater will be the Spanish opposition and that of the others I wrote about, who go round corrupting the minds of many. Moreover, with the other levies going on, the country is being constantly drained, and a man of birth is necessary to support the levy. I may also add that we shall hardly reduce the companies to 200 heads; the payment of 30l. in current money is considered very little. However Sir [Edward] Sackville, the Earl of Dorset's brother, seems more eager than ever to serve your Serenity and desires nothing beyond honour. Everyone praises him highly. He will not mind if other soldiers serving your Excellencies receive higher pay. I think your Serenity will have to consider the pride of the nation more than the question of money; without this these people would never be satisfied however high the pay. I think also that the time should be settled, as if they thought they might be dismissed by your Serenity the moment they arrived, they would never sign on. I see no mention, either, of subordinate officers, in the paper sent to me. I simply mention these matters out of my zeal for the public service.
London, the 2nd April, 1621.
[Italian; the part in Italics deciphered.]
April 3.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives
4. To the Ambassador in England.
His Majesty's ambassador arrived here recently, and as the day of his arrival and the following day coincided with the ordinary nomination of senators, he came and performed his first offices, presenting the king's letter. To-day he has sent his secretary to make complaint in the Collegio because he was received by a small number of senators, calling it a slight upon the prince he represents and going far beyond what the event requires. This would have surprised us with any one, but it comes most unexpectedly from an ambassador who has lived so many years in our city and knows the esteem of the republic for the king and his ministers, particularly because of the feeling he shows over a thing which frequently happens and also at what he proposes for his satisfaction, upon which he has twice insisted, so contrary to the ancient practices of the Senate or its dignity. You will see our reply, and if the minister is only well disposed, he will be thoroughly appeased. This evening we shall send our secretary to read an office confirming the good will of the republic towards the king and his ministers. This will suffice to inform you of what has taken place. However, if the ambassador persists in his first intentions, the matter would become serious, occurring at the beginning of his charge, and we shall send an express courier with such instructions as we consider necessary.
This week we have no letters from you as they were intercepted on the road. Those of the Secretary Suriano suffered the same fate, although the particulars of both have arrived. We shall await the duplicates.
Ayes, 139Noes, 3.Neutral, 15.
[Italian.]
April 3.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni,
Venetian
Archives.
5. That a secretary of this Council be sent to read the following to the English ambassador:
The friendship and esteem of this republic for his Majesty have been proved by deeds on every occasion, answering to the good will which he maintains towards us. Your Excellency has previously filled this position worthily and has had ample opportunity to recognise our sincerity in this, which leaves no room for a shadow of doubt. You must also be aware of the great esteem the Senate entertains for you. They deputed a larger number of senators than usual to meet you, in order to show their desire to afford the greatest honours to the ambassador of his Majesty. Possibly confidence in numbers accounted for some diminution, a thing that frequently happens, and one which has never excited comment. Certainly it could make no difference to one for whom the republic has so fully expressed her esteem. We feel sure that your Excellency will recognise from this statement the sincerity of our disposition and that this will suffice to show the continuance of our deep respect for his Majesty.
Ayes, 139.Noes, 3.Neutral, 15.
[Italian.]
April 3.
Senato,
Terra.
Venetian
Archives.
6. To the King of Great Britain.
Your Majesty's ambassador, Wotton, has performed his offices and presented your letter, which greatly increase our desire to show our esteem for your Majesty. You will always find us most ready to reciprocate your friendly sentiments, and we wish you all felicity.
Ayes, 145.Noes, 4.Neutral, 14.
[Italian.]
April 3.
Secreto,
Terra.
Venetian
Archives.
7. To the Prince of England.
Acknowledgment of letter presented by Wotton, with expression of their desire to increase the existing friendship and union of their mutual interests.
Ayes, 145.Noes, 4.Neutral, 14.
[Italian.]
April 4.
Collegio,
Secreta.
Esposizioni
Principi.
Venetian
Archives.
8. I, Antonio Antelmi, in conformity with the orders of your Serenity, went yesterday evening to the English ambassador. After I had read to him the deliberation of the Senate he said:
I am indebted to his Serenity for sending a minister to my house at this hour, but I am not satisfied with the reply to my complaint. If I may say so without offence, the republic had no reason for treating his Majesty in my person in so shabby a manner, which would also be shabby for a minister of Savoy or some other inferior power. I do not know if my secretary expressed himself well, but I wished him to ask if any ambassador of his Serenity has ever been treated in our Court in a manner unbecoming to the dignity of the republic. If I was received so honourably at the Imperial Court, by an unfriendly prince, I ought to expect more consideration from a power which professes so much esteem for his Majesty, especially as he made declarations for the republic such as he did not make for his own son-in-law. Perhaps I shall send back the secretary to express himself better. I am bound to tell you that among the principal cares of his Majesty is the manner of receiving and entertaining ambassadors and we are instructed to be most punctilious in the matter as such ceremonies are public and affect the reputation of princes.
For these reasons his Majesty will be much offended by the news of this affair. I have hitherto abstained from writing to him about it, as I know him well, although the matter really required the despatch of an express courier. For my own part I am disappointed. I expected a readier response to my proposal, so that I might be able to lay before his Serenity matters of considerable importance. However, negotiations have no place when dignity is in question, and some weeks of silence count far less in the relations of great powers than some weeks of dissatisfaction. Now, in addition to the original question, there will be added the knowledge of the slight attention paid to my representations, tattle will spread, and if I passed over the affair I should become a laughing stock both here and at our Court where the Catholic ambassador is a very able man.
After listening to the long reply of the ambassador and observing his emphatic gestures, I endeavoured to soothe him, saying that he could afford to ignore tattle and he might rest assured of the disposition of the republic towards his Majesty and his ministers. He answered: the assurances of the Senate only confirm my desire for satisfaction as my reception was public and caused amazement or derision, while this is only private. It does not concern me, but my king, and I cannot toy with his Majesty's honour. I hope that the Senate will reconsider the matter.
With this I left, the ambassador accompanying me to the canal doorway and compelling me to shake hands.
[Italian.]
April 4.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Milano.
Venetian
Archives.
9. GIACOMO VENDRAMIN, Venetian Resident at Milan, to the DOGE and SENATE.
His Excellency has sent il Castillano to the Valtelline, with supreme power and authority, accompanied by Captain Thomas Sculer, an Englishman, considered a good soldier, and fifty arquebusiers on horse.
Milan, the 4th April, 1621.
[Italian.]
April 5.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Savoia.
Venetian
Archives.
10. ZUANE PESARO, Venetian Ambassador in Savoy, to the DOGE and SENATE.
His Highness told me of the advices from England and the offices performed by the English resident. He seemed to think that the promise of the Catholic king to restore the Palatinate might lead to the continuation of the peace in Flanders, as that king would certainly try for it, and the Archduke Albert might even now have orders to make some proposals to the States. He showed me a letter from Gabaleoni stating that the Ambassador Gondomar had complained that his Highness was no good friend of his Catholic Majesty, indicating that the king had shown Wake's proposals to him. The ambassador charges the king with bad faith and with confiding too much to the Spanish ambassador. His Highness expressed his disgust and told me it was most unfortunate that the Spaniards enjoyed such widespread influence.
Wake's secretary (fn. 6) has since returned, apparently with his tail between his legs, although he says that they are making great preparations in England for a diversion, but the king wishes to see what will be done about the restitution of the Palatinate and what results his ambassador to the archduke in Flanders may obtain.
Turin, the 5th April, 1621.
[Italian.]
April 6.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
11. To the Ambassador in England.
On Saturday evening we sent a deliberation to be read to his Majesty's ambassador upon the complaint he made about his reception. Although we expected that this would appease him, he persisted in his original extravagant demands. We are therefore compelled to send these presents by express courier, and as they should arrive some days before the ordinary, we send you copies of the earlier packet including our reply to the king. The presentation of this will afford you an opportunity of asking for an audience and of introducing the matter in a discreet and gentle way. You will speak of the presentation of his letters, confirming his good will, to which we fully respond, and which we highly value owing to our mutual interests, and which is cultivated by his Majesty's prudent ministers. We have expressed the same to Wotton and have welcomed him with the affection due to himself and the office he bears. We only regret that he has commented upon the number of senators sent to meet him, which no one has ever been accustomed to remark. You can tell his Majesty of the ancient use of the republic in such circumstances as the way described in the enclosed copy of the letter we are sending to the courts. You will add that the esteem for the ambassador is shown by the quality of the senators sent not by their numbers, and how impossible it is for them to satisfy every one, especially one who has held the post before, like Wotton. However, yielding to the feeling he displayed, we sent him a reply to be read by a secretary, expressing our entire friendship towards the king and his ministers. You will conclude the audience by assuring his Majesty of the affection and esteem of the republic, which nothing will change. You will speak to the same effect to such ministers as you think fit, adding some expressions of surprise at the attitude taken by the ambassador. Although we desire the king to receive his first impressions by your voice, it may be that you will not be able to obtain ready audience or you may think it better to wait for an opening, so we leave this to your prudence; in what is expressed above you have our feelings. We have omitted nothing on our side in our treatment of the ambassador. If any of the ministers speak to you about the demands made by the ambassador, it is necessary that you should know what we think. We therefore state that we consider the claim for satisfaction in a case where there has been no default, both unusual and unexpected, much more so to prescribe the manner, and even if we conceded these points we could not allow two senators to go to his house. Moreover, it would tend to arouse similar pretensions in others and impose impossible obligations upon the Senate. The subject has moved us greatly, for its own sake and because it might give rise to consequences prejudicial to our excellent understanding with that Crown.
We must not forget to add that the ambassador's secretary came to the doors of the Collegio yesterday to enquire whether the Collegio would meet to-morrow, indicating that the ambassador has some thought of an audience. We do not actually know whether he did this to retard our decision or with some other purpose, but we shall keep these presents ready to add a copy of what he may say and if there is nothing that requires fresh deliberation we shall send off the courier with all speed.
Ayes, 154.Noes, 2.Neutral, 3.
The expedition of the courier with these was suspended. See the letter of the 10th inst.
[Italian.]
April 6.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
12. To the Ambassador at Rome and the like to the other Courts.
Information about Wotton's complaint, to be used if any one discusses the question. It is customary on the arrival of ambassadors for the Senate to indicate a superfluity of senators to meet them, of the higher ranks for crowned heads, of lower grades for those of lower rank. So many are nominated because it is impossible to fix anything definitely, but as a consequence the number of senators is never equal at such ceremonies, and consequently no one suspects us of showing any inequality thereby, and no ambassador has ever claimed to be more or less honoured by this difference. The fact that the Senate nominates not private individuals but members of its own body, a thing that is not done by any other prince, is the most that can be done, and makes the act depend upon quality not numbers. Wotton was received first in this way, an excessive number of senators was nominated, invited by his Serenity himself, with Marc Antonio Correr at their head, who went with seventeen other senators, other royal ambassadors being received sometimes by more, sometimes by less. From all this it appears clearly what little ground the ambassador has for complaint. This will serve for information to use if you hear anyone misrepresenting the facts of the case.
That the following be added to the secretary at the Hague:
We desire you to communicate this event to Mr. Carleton, who was ambassador here for several years and always showed himself well disposed, as if on your own responsibility, when you have a favourable opportunity. You will try to impress upon him how far the pretensions of Wotton to satisfaction and to prescribe the manner, are removed from the habits of the republic, so that he may report your communication to his Court with advantage to our service.
Ayes, 154.Noes, 3.Neutral, 2.
The present were suspended and regulated under the 10th inst.
[Italian.]
April 6.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Signori Stati.
Venetian
Archives.
13. CHRISTOFFORO SURIAN, Venetian Secretary in the Netherlands, to the DOGE and SENATE.
One hears of nothing but preparations for war. Some think it is only the beginning of a breach, and they must try to secure the intervention of other powers, especially the two crowns, to procure a good peace by means of an armistice.
The King and Queen of Bohemia are at Emmerich and will reach the Hague on Saturday. The French ambassador told me that he knew on good authority that the Ambassador Carleton had to make them both understand that they must not go to England on any account, that being the king's desire, and he has prevented the Palatine's brother (fn. 7) from going thither. I tried to obtain some particulars from Carleton. He told me that he did not think that either the king or the queen would cross the sea owing to some doubts about their welcome, and also because it might do more harm than good to their affairs.
The Hague, the 6th April, 1621.
[Italian.]
April 7.
Collegio,
Secreta.
Esposizioni
Principi.
Venetian
Archives.
14. The English ambassador came into the Cabinet and said:
His Majesty wishes me to inform your Serenity of my negotiations in Germany with the emperor, Bavaria and Leopold which I fancy comprise matters affecting the interests of the republic. However, I do not propose to touch upon the matter at the present audience. I come with good wishes for the present holy season. I am resolved to say no more upon the subject of the complaint which Gregorio di Monte made in my name, though I feel sure that you recognise the justice of my position. After hearing what the Secretary Antelmi read to me from the Senate of your affection for my king and your friendly feeling for me, I shall waive the whole matter and not allow it to stand in the way of my desire for good relations between my king and your Serenity. I assure you I have written nothing to his Majesty about the affair and will not do so. (fn. 8) In my earliest years I made a vow to God never to tell a lie, even if the world should dissolve. If pretences and artifices are the stock in trade of an ambassador, I had better return home. My king is sincere and truthful and has no use for ministers who act otherwise. I have nothing further to add to this audience.
The doge replied, We are gratified that your Excellency accepts the assurances of the republic. In a republic and in a Senate of aristocrats things cannot be estimated in the same manner as elsewhere. The receptions of the papal nuncios and of the emperor's ambassadors and others have frequently been similar. We pray that God may grant all prosperity to his Majesty and his Highness the prince. We shall always readily listen to your Excellency. With that the ambassador departed.
[Italian.]
April 10.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
15. To the Ambassador in England.
As the English ambassador seemed determined to insist upon his first ideas, we decided to send you letters by express courier, but on hearing that he proposed to ask for audience on the following day, we stayed the courier. He now declares himself satisfied and that he will not write to his Majesty, recognising our excellent disposition. Accordingly we have no need to send the courier. As the matter may crop up in England we send you full particulars so that you may follow the entire course of the business, not in order that you may speak to the king or any other upon a matter already settled, which the ambassador himself wishes buried in silence, but in order that if the event is reported at the Court in a sinister manner you may simply refer to the general facts of the case. We are sending a short account to the courts as you will see.
When you present our letter of reply to his Majesty you will take the opportunity to thank him in our name for the permission to levy troops, saying that we derive the utmost consolation from his constant friendship towards the republic. We have not sent you the articles made with Roccalora as we have to give the necessary orders, and we will send these on to you with instructions. Meanwhile you will not hurry the negotiations for levies and ships, while keeping them on foot.
Ayes, 154.Noes, 0.Neutral, 1.
[Italian.]
April 10.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
16. To the Ambassador at Rome and the like to the other courts.
Mr. Wotton recently arrived here as ambassador of England. He afterwards sent his secretary to complain of the small number of senators who met him, saying his king's honour was concerned.
We sent a secretary to his house to read a reply, showing that the republic had only observed her ancient practices and expressing our esteem for the ministers of such a king as the Majesty of Great Britain. The ambassador did not seem at first entirely to abandon his first ideas, but after reflection upon the subject and on the friendly representations made to him, he became content and came to the Collegio to testify so much personally.
We send this for your due instruction, not in order that you may speak about it.
Ayes, 154.Noes, 0.Neutral, 1.
[Italian.]
April 10.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
17. GIROLAMO LANDO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The prince bore himself admirably at the jousting last Saturday, and made a fine show with fifteen other gentlemen. (fn. 9) Of the Ambassadors, France, Poland, myself and Savoy attended, being present in a box, the Ambassadors of the States having a different place. Bohemia and Denmark, with no definite place assigned, were free to go among the courtiers like those of the king's household. Savoy and I dined in the house of France and we all three went to the Court together. The Spaniards have received no invitations this year, a fact which has excited no small comment in the present circumstances. His Majesty appointed a gentleman to wait upon each ambassador. He gave me Sir [Edward] Sackville, the Earl of Dorset's brother, a great favourite of his Majesty and of the prince, who always has him for his opposite in the jousting. As he is the one who proposes to serve your Serenity it has been interpreted that he has tacitly received the favour in spite of the command of the king and prince that no one should be recommended to me more than another for the levy. By Sackville and also by the Secretary Calvert, who told me in the king's name, his Majesty has declared himself completely satisfied with the reply I gave to the gentleman sent to me about the conditions of the levy and to make sure that your Excellencies had a due regard for the honour and interests of this nation.
The Polish ambassador, though visited by all the ambassadors including Spain, who shows him the utmost favour, has not returned the visits so freely, and has thus given offence. He has behaved well towards me as regards the title, but otherwise ill. I have treated him precisely as he has treated me.
His negotiations for levies have met with a favourable reception from his Majesty, who is always ready against the Turk. Apparently he has only to mention the number he requires, the more he wants the greater will be his difficulties, and he will not find it easy in any case; his Majesty also has told him that he must have regard to the needs of the king himself.
The Ambassador of Denmark, being a Scottish gentleman and of his Majesty's chamber, (fn. 10) may be said to follow him always, and, speaking very freely, urges him as much as he can. But the king has referred his negotiations to the Council, it is thought with the idea of dragging them out and doing little, although he seemed fairly well disposed. These negotiations confine themselves to stimulating him about the affairs of Germany, proposing that he shall embrace the league which has also been proposed to the States by those of the Circle of Lower Saxony, as a member of which the King of Denmark enters, who offers his own person and all his power to the same end. They would like to obtain from this quarter a promise of a good number of infantry, to be maintained, given not only verbally but in writing, signed by the king's own hand, and that he should begin to act at a time indicated in the ambassador's commissions. He is to say that they make this proposal to his Majesty in order that he may share in the glory of the recovery of the possessions of his children, but even if he will not take it up the King of Denmark and the other princes of the circle are determined to do everything in their power. But by the advice of the Ambassador of Bohemia and others, he will postpone a clear pronouncement upon this point of the negotiations, as they consider it more likely to damp than to inflame the spirits of the resolution. Nevertheless the ambassador has not failed to tell his Majesty that he wants a reply from him and not from the ministers and this is no time to listen to the insidious advice and talk of the Spaniards and their supporters, with similar expressions. But his Majesty gave the usual answer that he was in treaty for peace and he bases his hopes upon this. However, from what Digby writes, after four discussions with the ministers at Brussels he obtained nothing beyond words expressing a favourable inclination, and that they must wait upon the wishes of the emperor and Spain. So he may return here any day without any results, to bring back word of the particulars, and so the affair will doubtless drag on a long while, as every prudent man predicted and the king himself said he foresaw as much.
The Ambassador of Bohemia had a very good audience at Theobalds, and, as he himself told me, without any unpleasantness (acrità), a thing which has never happened to him before. The king told him that if the negotiations did not terminate well and quickly he would do everything in his power. He is determined to employ the two subsidies granted by the parliament and the three granted by the clergy for nothing but the Palatinate and the needs of his children, although they were granted freely to do what he liked. He promised that when parliament reassembled after their fortnight's prorogation, he would make earnest requests for the same emergencies. He seemed saddened by the reflection that the money promised could not be had so quickly as the emergency required, which is only too true, and that the expense must be very heavy. The king also promised the ambassador to help many who had been deprived by Spinola of their possessions in this world, and yet maintain their loyalty for the new king. But he would not promise either to him or to the Ambassador of Denmark who also asked him, to make a request for this to the parliament before its prorogation, saying that it was not time. As a matter of fact they still seem to aim at delay and to wait and see whether in the interval matters may not settle down without trouble and expense. Thus many of the Assembly fear that his Majesty will give ear to all the hopes that the Spaniards give him so as to feed him upon these and allow things to be put off as much as they wish, while consuming the moneys supplied in embassies and negotiations, and acting in the reverse manner about the need for arms, which must not be reduced but encouraged. If this opinion does not change it will render a favourable reply to the request more difficult.
Meanwhile in order to comfort and encourage the United Princes, they propose to write fresh letters in reply to the offices of Murton, which will be full of the usual excellent phrases. They also propose to accompany them with a certain sum of money, for which they have tried to obtain a loan of 20,000l. from this city upon the credit of the subsidies, which will begin to come in next month. But it has refused. Now they are negotiating with the merchants for the same or a greater sum, and they think Burlamachi and Calandrini will probably manage it. But these succours will come very late and will prove very slight, while the six weeks of the truce of the Princes will have expired and their league will be over, accordingly one does not know what to think.
The Parliament has prorogued with the entire satisfaction of all its members and with a remarkable unanimity between the two houses. They passed a severe condemnation against Sir [Giles] Mompesson, the root of many disorders in the realm, who escaped from the chains of justice, and inflicted severe blows upon many great persons. Among these the Lord Chancellor has practically been deposed, the seal being taken away from him, although he is not yet dismissed. It is thought that similar disaster may overtake other persons like him.
The king spoke in the Upper House on the last day with such eloquence and benignity that he captivated every one and they all think that he has some good design in his heart, but possibly more for their own interests and those of the king than for those outside.
The ambassadors of the States had as bad an audience at Theobalds as the ambassador of Bohemia had a good one. The king approved of all that the Council had said to them in reply. Upon the questions of the herring fisheries and the trade in the East Indies, which they hoped would be postponed, he spoke very fiercely and noisily saying that before these were settled he would do nothing and it was not reasonable to have a closer union with those who caused him so much annoyance. At that same time, by his Majesty's contrivance, a great crowd of merchants of that company appeared on the scene, and spoke very bitterly against the ambassadors, asking the king not to allow them to leave the realm before they gave due satisfaction. There was a long dispute and many angry and heated words passed on both sides, very unfortunate under the circumstances. No doubt the king had carefully planned it all in order to afford him an excuse for doing nothing at the moment and to gain time. But the States also are blamed, even by those of their side, because they insist and show themselves so unyielding at this time with this country, which is of so much importance to them.
These ambassadors will leave in a few days, because they have no commissions to negotiate upon such affairs, and because, so they say, they are recalled to their own country by the expiry of the truce. It is thought that they will first induce their High Mightinesses to send other commissioners immediately for the business. But here they profess that similar intentions and promises have been made on previous occasions, and nothing happened, so I do not know how the matter may be settled.
London, the 10th April, 1621.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]

Footnotes

1 Wotton arrived in Venice on March 8 and went to the island of S. Giorgio for the customary reception about three weeks later, when only eighteen or nineteen senators came to fetch him to Venice instead of some sixty as usual. Pearson Smith:Life and Letters of Sir Henry Wotton, i. page 177.
2 Finett calls him Osalinskie. Count Palatine of Sindomerskie. Philoxenis, page 74.
3 At Segeberg in Holstein.
4 Fray Ynigo de Bricuelas.
5 Thomas Murray, who afterwards became provost of Eton. He was at this time about 57 years of age.
6 John Jacob.
7 Lewis Philip of the Palatinate. The Public Record Office has a letter from James to Carleton of the 13th March, old style, about preventing Frederick and Elizabeth from going to England. State Papers, Foreign: Holland.
8 This is not quite accurate, as in a despatch dated the Friday before Easter (i.e. 9 April, new style) Wotton mentions the scanty number of senators at his reception, but says the matter was subsequently rectified. State Papers, Foreign: Venice.
9 Saturday, 24 March/3 April, celebrating Accession Day. See Finett: Philoxenis, page 76; Nicholls: Progresses of James I. iv, page 659.
10 Sir Andrew Sinclair.


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