Venice
May 1621

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Institute of Historical Research

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Allen B. Hinds (editor)

Year published

1911

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39-57

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'Venice: May 1621', Calendar of State Papers Relating to English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 17: 1621-1623 (1911), pp. 39-57. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=88814 Date accessed: 23 August 2014.


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Contents

May 1621

May 1.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Firenze.
Venetian
Archives.
41. GIOVANNI FRANCESCO TRIVISANO, Venetian Secretary in Florence, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Since the news received here that both the Spaniards and the States were more inclined to continue the truce than to a rupture, being persuaded to this by the Most Christian and the King of England, and while they were anxiously awaiting confirmation, feeling that the interests of the King of Great Britain in his son-in-law would lead him to recognise that if a rupture did not take place in Flanders, the Spaniards would render themselves stronger in the Palatinate and restitution would become more difficult, a a courier arrived from the Ambassador Medici in Spain confirming the death of the Catholic King, and adding that the new king has issued orders for the arrest of all Dutch ships in his ports, and never to admit them in the future. The new king and his council seem determined on war. All the princes of this province and all good Italians should rejoice greatly at this.
Florence, the 1st May, 1621.
[Italian.]
May 3.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Signori Stati.
Venetian
Archives.
42. CHRISTOFFORO SURIAN, Venetian Secretary in the Netherlands, to the DOGE and SENATE.
They derive great hopes from the warlike measures of the King of Denmark. His Excellency told me that that monarch was awaiting a reply from the King of Great Britain, but even if he did not receive one he would not stop. I think his Excellency has advised the King Palatine to have patience, especially as the King of England apparently only means to negotiate with the Emperor through Digby, a copy of whose instructions, brought by the Ambassador Dohna, arrived here yesterday. I called upon that ambassador yesterday and he spoke very highly of the Ambassador Lando, as one who always favoured the interests of his master.
The six ambassadors of the States accompanied the Baron Dohna. They bring nothing but good words from the King of England both for the King Palatine and for these provinces, although he promises to assist the latter in case of war.
The Hague, the 3rd May, 1621.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
May 7.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
43. GIROLAMO LANDO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The speech made by the King to Parliament on Friday, anxiously awaited by everyone owing to the important events of the time, proved languid and did not nearly reach expectations; the same may be said of another delivered on Tuesday. (fn. 1) His Majesty pointed out to the houses the time already consumed being now towards the end of April with the hot weather and the long vacation approaching, when every one has work to do at home, and he thought they would all be tired before Midsummer. Accordingly he exhorted them to take in hand first the most important and necessary business leaving the rest for another time. He went on to speak of his own great needs, showing they were due to two causes, firstly his own liberality and secondly the deceit of those he had trusted. He excused himself for the former by saying that when he came to the throne he was received with such joy by all and with such demonstrations from the Scottish frontier to this city that he thought he could never give enough to the English to recompense them, and to the Scots who came to serve him he thought he could do no less than give them a livelihood according to their condition. He continued: If I had won the crown by war, as Henry IV of France did, I should have learned to know the value of a penny, the lowest coin here. But what I have given away does not amount to so much as the frauds of my officials to whom I have entrusted my treasure. He entered at some length into his present necessities, saying that the greater part of the subsidies given to him, although he had not yet received anything, had been already expended or allocated to help his son-in-law, his daughter and grandchildren, who are now all upon his hands. He mentioned the expenditure incurred upon Sir Horace Vere and the English companies in the Palatinate, and the very heavy cost of the embassies upon the same business, and spoke of his efforts for the recovery of the country, calling the Lord Treasurer to witness that for arms alone he had expended 18,000l. sterling. He ended by confessing that although he had made preparations for war he wished first to see what negotiation could do and to that end Lord Digby would go to the emperor and then to Spain with good hope. If the Palatinate could not be recovered in this way, he would look to win it afterwards by war. He begged them, however, to consider what it meant if they were forced to take up arms and to recognise that he would need a much larger amount of money. Upon this and other points, especially about doing justice, he gave little satisfaction to all, seeing that his customary coldness, an unusual langour, his aim to gain time by negotiation appeared more strongly than ever, and he betrayed that he would not proceed as readily as he pretended for the punishment of the crimes of the greatest and those most about him, who have recently received the most extraordinary honours, being supported by the Spanish party with all their might. However, as he did not declare against it the processes begun by the parliament will continue. But the fresh provision of money is very dubious as seeing the slight inclination to do what is required by the present circumstances, they resent sucking their own blood merely to be expended uselessly; moreover as a fact the scarcity of money in the realm is greater, and the means of collecting a quantity of it more difficult, than their pride feels inclined to admit, since everyone spends more than he has, trade has diminished, much gold has been transported and everything is in astonishing disorder. (Ma nel punto di nove provisioni di danari questo resta molto sospeso per che scuoprendo la poca voglia di far da dovero per l'urgente bisogno, abhorisse di succhiarsi il proprio sangue per che resti senza frutto consumato, oltra che in efetto e piuù grande la scarsezza di danari nel Regno e più dificile il modo di ammassarne in quantità di quello che fastosamente si professa, tutti spendendo più che non hanno, li negocii essendo dimminuiti molto l'oro transportato e le cose tutte sregolate a maraviglia). On the other hand, if they should show reluctance or parsimony in this, it may serve his Majesty as a pretext for doing nothing and to lay the blame for irresolution and delay upon the kingdom. Whatever happens, the king's intentions are clear, he will let no one move him, not to unsheathe the sword before Digby's negotiations in Spain. Before the latter has left, has seen the emperor, negotiated and reached Spain the summer and all the present year will have gone.
The Ambassador Gondomar expresses his intention of leaving here soon. I understand that he has written to Spain that nothing remains for him to do, as he has already accomplished all that could be desired, the Palatine being crushed, Germany subjected and everything put right. Here he begins to say that it will be better for the negotiations about the marriage and restitution for him to be with his master at the time of Lord Digby's arrival to assist both. Indeed these two affairs must necessarily keep exactly in step with each other at that time, so it may suit the Spaniards better either that their ambassador should not be here or a new one who can offer excuses and gain time. However, as the minister always acts with the most subtle artifice I do not know what to say, seeing that he is so triumphant in all his negotiations, and although his art of bewitching owes more to the king's nature than his own skill, and it would seem that he might count upon a continuance of irresolution, yet he does not seem to have great confidence in others.
Having passed some office for the return of the fleet of twenty ships he says it has made an agreement with the pirates to its shame, and various other things of the little service it has rendered, but doubtless with the object of removing even this cause of alarm from his king and rendering this kingdom completely disarmed in every part. This has led his Majesty to tell the merchants interested in the private ships that if they like to keep them for another six months he will agree to keep the royal ships out also, but if not he will summon them all home. They answered that they would willingly make the provision if they were paid their outstanding debts. As this involves many difficulties the result remains uncertain.
London, the 7th May, 1621.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
May 7.
Senato.
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
44. GIROLAMO LANDO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Sir [Francis] Nedersol, who was agent in his Majesty's name with the Princes of the Union and secretary to the Queen of Bohemia has returned here with all speed bringing the bad news of the treaty made between the princes and the emperor and the necessity for Mansfeld to withdraw entirely from Bohemia. (fn. 2) The articles of the treaty will doubtless have reached your Excellencies. Within a month the princes must dismiss all their troops, and Nedersol's principal object seems to be to induce his Majesty in the Palatine's name, to provide enough money to keep them on foot for the defence of that part of the Palatinate which still remains. The treaty, from which the state of Juliers and Cleves is excluded at his Majesty's request, provides that Spinola shall make no attempt against the Palatinate before the 14th inst. Accordingly the king recently sent for the Spanish ambassador. Before he arrived the king spoke strongly on this subject to his followers, and said what great things he would do. He actually did begin to say that these were not the promises in negotiation concerning his children and similar things. But when the ambassador replied that in war every one sought his own advantage, he answered with great reserve and even diffidence, asking finally merely that he should write and try and obtain a truce for another month since Spinola would only agree to one month. The ambassador promised to do this. Nedersol is specially charged by the King and Queen of Bohemia to impress upon his Majesty the importance of the treaty, and the States have written to the Ambassador Caron to perform an office in conformity and to try and induce him to send at once to see if it is possible to galvanise the princes. The result of their action will appear, but there is little hope of energy in this quarter and still less that he will infuse energy into others who are practically corpses, dead and buried.
Advices from every quarter state that the blame is entirely laid upon the king here. All men blush and lament bitterly, the good sigh and weep, all prudent men clearly perceive the imminent danger to Christendom and the threat to all lovers of liberty, observing that if this kingdom dissociates itself from its old and natural friends upon an occasion of such importance and consequence, it will soon become a prey to the feigned and pretended underminers of its power and corrupters of its manners.
The King of Bohemia has also sent to Denmark and in conjunction with the States is trying every means to keep on foot some negotiations with the princes and provide some remedy, if only temporary. Some greatly fear that the King of Denmark seeing affairs in Germany desperate may also stay his hand, especially as the ambassador here has gained little and leaves very ill content, although he renewed the ancient alliance, because he saw too clearly the aversion to do anything really good. He told me plainly that one had to be satisfied with what one could get amid so much corruption. He added, however, that his master already has numerous forces on foot, and though he protested to his Majesty that he would do nothing unless together, he might change his mind and he thought he might make some attempt.
The rumour of truce or peace in Flanders continues. It may serve the Spaniards to adjust their affairs in Germany thoroughly. News has also arrived of some movement but it is not confirmed. Some warships of the States recently stopped an English ship that was going to Ostend with tin. (fn. 3) It will be released, the tin being kept and paid for at the current price. Some other ships arrested a barque with letters for some ships which were to reach the isle of Wight from Lisbon, and ultimately they fought and took two of them, with a quantity of silver from various parts and divers merchandise. The other two Brazilians escaped, one to Plymouth and one to Calais. At present the Channel and these waters are full of such ships of war so that no barque can pass without being observed by the Dutch.
The king has complained to the French ambassador because they never made any reply to the numerous points which he raised with the Ambassador Cadenet. He would like the affairs of the Huguenots, which become more troubled than ever, to be settled, and repeats loudly that he cannot abandon them. He promises his good offices and intercession for them.
I have received your Serenity's letters of the 10th and 16th ult., and am much consoled at the news that the Ambassador Wotton has expressed himself satisfied in the matter of his complaint. I have not heard a word said about it here and in any case I can use the information sent to me. I was also glad at the order to supersede the levies, the necessity having passed. I will execute the other commissions with his Majesty next Sunday when audience is appointed for me, as well as those given me before, which I have not yet had an opportunity of doing.
London, the 7th May, 1621.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
May 8.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Germania.
Venetian
Archives.
45. PIERO GRITTI, Venetian Ambassador in Germany, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The French ambassadors took leave of the emperor last Monday. They told him of the decisions of the king about the Valtelline but said nothing about the Palatinate, remarking that the Most Christian thought that the King of England would be the first to support the interests of his son-in-law here by his representations. But in private conversation with ministers they let it be understood that their king would not allow it to remain in the hands of the Spaniards, who would thereby hold one of the gates of France.
Vienna, the 8th May, 1621. Copy.
[Italian.]
May 8.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Firenze.
Venetian
Archives.
46. GIOVANNI FRANCESCO TRIVISANO, Venetian Secretary in Florence, to the DOGE and SENATE.
They are sending off the ambassadors destined to inform the Courts of the Grand Duke's death and the present government. (fn. 4) There set out recently the Cavalier dell' Antella for Parma, and Sig. Giuliano de' Medici for the Archduke Albert, the States and the King of England.
Florence, the 8th May, 1621.
[Italian.]
May 10.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Savoia.
Venetian
Archives.
47. ZUANE PESARO, Venetian Ambassador in Savoy, to the DOGE and SENATE.
I spoke to the duke about the troops. He seemed somewhat annoyed at drawing back after having gone so far. In Piedmont a diversion would be easy and would cost little. He did not understand such closeness when there was a profusion of gold. He learned from England that they were making a levy amounting to hundreds of thousands of crowns.
Turin, the 10th May, 1621.
[Italian.]
May 10.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Signori Stati.
Venetian
Archives.
48. CHRISTOFFERO SURIAN, Venetian Secretary in the Netherlands, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Letters have reached the English ambassador from the secretary of his king reporting his Majesty's displeasure at the news of the agreement made by the princes and especially at the exclusion of his son-in-law, and speaking very strongly. The ambassador told me all this in Italian, holding the letter in his hand. He was to assure the Palatine that the king had done everything possible and would restore him to his ancient titles and dignity. These particulars were communicated to both princes, who received them gladly, but they would like to see results. They propose to thank his Majesty, sending back the gentleman who was at the Hague on their arrival to urge them not to cross to England.
Prince Maurice said to me, speaking roundly: the King of England would like the king to renounce his pretensions by provision and afterwards obtain his patrimony or the Palatinate for him, but I advise him not to allow himself to be so easily persuaded and if he has to renounce one thing to keep the other in hand. I hear that the king will try to get one of the two princes to go to England, but I think he will not find it easy to persuade him. M. Caron has received instructions to do what he can in the name of their Excellencies.
These princes acknowledge great obligations to the States. The Queen shows splendid spirit and her generous heart seems to despise the injuries of fortune. They go out hunting most days, usually accompanied by Prince Maurice.
The Hague, the 10th May, 1621.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
May 14.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
49. GIROLAMO LANDO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
In presenting to the king the letters of your Serenity in reply to those offered by the Ambassador Wotton, I developed the ideas given me and thanked him for the favour of the levy granted by him. His Majesty heard me graciously. I went on to speak of the Grisons and the extreme violence of the Duke of Feria, and the designs of the Spaniards which threaten Italy and your Serenity in particular. I proceeded to tell his Majesty about the anonymous letter, having had no previous opportunity owing to his occupations and because I thought it better to postpone asking for an audience, and that the remembrance of the matter about the league with the States might be forgotten and also to discover what had taken place about Wotton's complaint. About the letter I said your Serenity, from experience, had always stood close with your friends and for defence alone you had already arranged an alliance with the States. I let this fall so quietly that it merely sufficed to prevent an absolute silence, which I thought inadvisable for many reasons. The king said nothing at this point, and seemed to attach no importance to the subject, or to have forgotten it. He seemed to consider the letter a vain thing, remarking that owing to the return of Spinola to Brussels with 6,000 men and for every other respect the Spaniards would not attempt any such thing at this moment. As regards the Grisons he confessed that the articles arranged at Madrid were very unjust and blamed the governor's proceedings, but he added: Yesterday evening I received letters from Spain, the whole Court has changed, and, laughing loudly, the Duke of Ossuna is a prisoner. He is better there than as governor of Naples. Uceda, the confessor, and many others have fallen. The whole government has changed its aspect. The new king, owing to the offices of M. de Bassompierre, has himself written to order the Duke of Feria to restore the Valtelline to its pristine state and remove the garrisons. I asked his Majesty what was said about the forts. He replied: They order everything to be restored as it was before, so they must be demolished. I asked if any time was appointed. He said the order states it must be done immediately. The Secretary Cerisa wrote this to my Ambassador Aston at Madrid so that he might advise me, and the letter has arrived quite recently in eight days. I pretended to share his Majesty's hopes but said it might be prudent to suspend full credence till one saw some results, referring to past promises which were ill observed, such as about the merchant galleys and other things, when they had given their word to the greatest princes of the world. He answered: I feel sure this will take place. The promise has been given to a King of France. They also see that the same business concerns me greatly. The princes of Italy and the pope seem jealous. There is the Catholic's signature. About the merchant galleys the promise was not really given to a great king. When I did not accept this, but quietly repeated what I had said before, he said that affair turned out badly because Ossuna was protected by Uceda, who enjoyed the greater part of the booty and countless other gifts. Things are changed now and the Duke of Feria is a different sort of man, and although he had done wrong in the Valtelline, even then one could only say that he was serving his master well. I said I prayed God that his Majesty's hopes might be justified as the peace of Italy and the world required, and I did not doubt but his authority and interposition would have great influence, when he would have a large share of the glory. This pleased him greatly, and he said: That is just what they write to me; I should like to show you the letters, and immediately after the audience he sent them to me by Lord Digby, which showed that owing to the offices of that ambassador and to please his Majesty they took this course the more readily.
I then entered upon the question of the Palatinate, describing the wretched condition of his son-in-law, his daughter and grandchildren, the disunion of the United Princes, all things falling wretchedly, and said that I hoped his Majesty's declaration followed by suitable action would procure the restitution of the country, so nearly lost, as appears from printed papers, which fill all well affected minds with compassion, and notably your Serenity's. He replied: I have great hopes of that restitution, and my hope has increased in the last two or three months. I am conducting negotiations. The new King of Spain advises me at this very time of his satisfaction at the truce arranged with Spinola and he hopes my desires may be further fulfilled, assuring me that he will use every effort to induce the emperor to gratify me. I could not refrain from saying that the Spaniards make promises easily but fulfil them with difficulty, and the truce will end soon. That is true, he replied, but we shall try to prolong it, and restitution really does not concern them but the emperor. I remarked that his Majesty's resolve to accompany his negotiations with preparations for war was warmly approved by your Serenity as the best way to facilitate them. But he did not like this at all and said: Who can do other than believe when a prince promises and a great king? A man who does not keep his promises is a villain and a rogue. In the affair of Juliers the States would never believe, but they came off badly in consequence. Seeing him in this frame of mind I thought it best not to ply him further, but concluded with the flattering statement that his Majesty and the most Serene republic are the only powers who sincerely and heartily desire peace, and your Serenity's only concern is that we may not mistake the way to obtain it. He praised and approved this, seeming absolutely certain of peace, with great confidence and cheerfulness.
London, the 14th May, 1621.
[Italian.]
May 14.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
50. GIROLAMO LANDO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The ministers, especially those most engaged in affairs, go about proclaiming the news of the restitution of the Valtelline, as if it had taken place. They seem so certain that they wax wroth with any who express doubts. I also passed a full office with the prince, presenting your Excellencies' letters. He was pleased and made a gracious reply. He spoke to me on the subject, with various reflections made by his father, saying in addition that he felt sure that the new King of Spain wished to create a good impression at the beginning of his reign, being induced, as I well said, by a fear of France and by the good ideas of the pope and other princes of Italy. He said a great deal on the subject, as I gave him opportunities, and about the affairs of Germany, seeming much moved by the events. But the chief thing was that the United Princes ought not to blame anything but their own want of spirit, in making an accommodation with the emperor, and certainly could not reasonably attribute it to this quarter, as it was not true, as they apparently declare, that his Majesty had written advising them to make terms, as in such case they clearly should have included the Palatinate, which was excluded. They had begun to treat on the 6th March, old style, and his Majesty's letters by Trumbull did not reach them before the 2nd April. It is true that whereas the matter required that he should go to Spinola first, the latter artfully detained him until the princes had arranged the articles and only then allowed him to go to them. He told me further that he nevertheless hoped for the restitution of the Palatinate, because at present it seems that the chief aim of the Spaniards is entirely against the States, everything pointing that way, the new King of Spain having declared that he meant to reduce them to obedience with all his forces. For this purpose they must gather together all their scattered forces, and he remarked that once they were thoroughly engaged words and protests would have more influence with them. The conversation led me to remark upon the disbanding of the forces of the princes, and consequently the small garrisons the country will have and the great danger of complete loss in a few hours.
In order to discover what he thought about Nedersol's proposals I said perhaps his Majesty might think of keeping those troops, he answered: The king considers that 4,000 English are worth more than 10,000 Germans. Their ill success is apparent and they would oppress rather than relieve that state which has already suffered so much. As regards Nedersol's offices which, in brief, were that the son-in-law should refer everything to his Majesty, who should, however, propose to maintain the said troops for at least three months and if in that time the Palatinate were restored, good, if not, they would serve to recover it, he received as a final reply, as he himself told me, although the king at first did not seem averse, only being racked a little for lack of money, that if his Majesty listened to such a proposal it would afford occasion to the other side to strengthen their forces in the Palatinate instead of withdrawing them as at present, whereby the country would be ruined by both parties, and the negotiations already begun, which he hoped by God's grace to complete successfully, would be absolutely broken off. For the rest he gave some hope of sending a larger amount of money to his son-in-law, to keep up sufficient garrisons in his country. Nedersol shrugged his shoulders saying: God grant that this may suffice as it practically amounts to submitting oneself to the enemy's discretion. He told his Majesty plainly that he must either consider the recovery of the Palatinate or have his son-in-law, daughter and all their household perpetually on his hands, as they have no means of livelihood.
The Spanish ambassador is confirmed here, with the intention to remove him in a little while. The new king has confirmed him as steward of his household, as he was to him when prince, and appointed him to the council of war. By his efforts a new truce has been arranged in the Palatinate for some time without a definite term, as regards Spinola and the archduke but not including the emperor.
The parliament has been very noisy (strepitoso) these last days, and the condemnation of the Lord Chancellor has taken place, a man of remarkable ability but equally remarkable rascality. He is to remain in the Tower during the king's pleasure; to pay his Majesty 40,000l. sterling and never again to hold any office or dignity. Even if he emerges from the Tower he must consider himself banished from the royal court and that of his Highness, to a distance of twelve miles. One who was his Majesty's Attorney General has attacked the Marquis of Buckingham so bitterly in this assembly, that finally, after much disturbance, he not being able to prove many of the things said, he has been sent back to the Tower to a confinement stricter than he suffered before for his fault or from persecution, as some allege. (fn. 5) The king now seems determined to maintain his favour at all costs. Amid these disturbances serious quarrels have arisen, dividing the parties so that few are left who are not interested in some sort, and the mutual understanding which existed between his Majesty and his subjects has largely disappeared (fra tali torbidi sono nati discordie rillevanti con divisioni con divisioni de' partiti nei quali pochi restano che non siino interessati in qualche maniera e si vede smarita assai quel lume di reciproca corrispondenza che risplendeva tra la Maestà sua et li suoi sogetti).
London, the 14th May, 1621.
[Italian.]
May 17.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Signori Stati.
Venetian
Archives.
51. CHRISTOFFORO SURIAN, Venetian Secretary in the Netherlands, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Up to yesterday evening, when I visited him, the King of Bohemia had received no letters from England in reply to the sending of the queen's secretary. They are waiting anxiously, not knowing what to think about the king, but they believe he will do nothing beyond offices and they are impatiently waiting to see what effect Digby will produce. Here they think that to obtain the restitution of the Palatinate, Digby will propose to the emperor that the King of England shall induce his son-in-law to give up all his claims and titles to Bohemia.
The ambassador spends his mornings and after dinner with their Majesties and is often at table with them. If he does not, his wife goes for walks with them after supper, down long avenues of trees. And so these poor princes try to forget their ill fortune. His Majesty told me he had little news, but some places were holding out well. He added that they lacked money and seemed to hint that the republic might provide some. The King of England might have done much by his example.
The Hague, the 17th May, 1621.
[Italian.]
May 17.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Signori Stati.
Venetian
Archives.
52. CHRISTOFFORO SURIAN, Venetian Secretary in the Netherlands, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The Elector of Cologne fears that the forces of Denmark may do harm to Munster, Paderborn and other places in passing through, and has sent to ask the States and the English ambassador to divert this evil, which seems imminent.
The Hague, the 17th May, 1621.
[Italian.]
May 17.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Treviso.
Venetian
Archives.
53. ANTONIO BRAGADIN, Venetian Podestà and Captain of Treviso, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Your Serenity's letters of the 20th ult. about calling a muster of the infantry company of Captain John Thomas, a Scot, only reached me on the 13th inst. I took the muster and found that the soldiers I had previously enrolled were quite sufficient and the others fine troops, though they have not their arms yet. They number eighty-four.
Treviso, the 17th May, 1621.
[Italian.]
May 21.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
54. To the Ambassador at the Imperial Court.
The Ambassador Gritti advises us of the attempt of the Catholic ambassador to induce the emperor to interpose his authority in the matter of titles, a violent innovation to which we cannot agree. We send you our reply to the ambassador together with a copy of his letter, and as his Catholic Majesty's ambassador at the Imperial Court has written home for fresh instructions, you may be able to answer in conformity with our views, to maintain the public honour and dignity; but above all we desire you to penetrate into this matter as much as possible, sending us all particulars by your ordinary despatches.
The like to Rome, France, England, Savoy.
Ayes, 89.Noes, 1.Neutral, 22.
[Italian.]
May 21.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
55. GIROLAMO LANDO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Reprisals are increasing in these seas, the armed ships of the States having captured five other vessels to the estimated value of more than 100,000l. sterling. (fn. 6) This is quite enough to bring about a war. The king said as much to the Ambassador Caron, who feels sure that the Spaniards will begin, having already declared war in Spain and the Ambassador Gondomar had shown him a letter of the Catholic expressing a resolution against any kind of peace or truce, and as he feared some attempt at mediation he wished to show his Majesty that he did not desire it. The king seemed pleased at the good hope the Dutch have of the forces already on foot and expressed his great obligation to them for the welcome they had accorded to his children, who would not have known where else to look for a refuge.
We hear from Holland that the Prince of Orange will begin campaigning in two weeks, and from Brussels that the Spaniards are strengthening themselves, especially in Flanders. However, here they announce that they are aiming at a truce or peace, though without negotiations. This is merely a device in order to break at an advantageous moment. We hear of some hostilities between small bodies of soldiers issued from their garrisons, and that in some prisoners were taken on both sides. There was a rumour lately that the Prince of Orange was coming here or Prince Henry of Nassau. I now hear that they still entertain the idea and that the States have written to their ambassador here to discover his Majesty's feelings on the subject. They think it will all prove in vain as he objects to being urged to go where his inclination does not lead although he has the highest opinion of the Prince of Orange. Accordingly if he came he would undoubtedly meet with an honourable reception, possibly sufficient to produce great results. That is not so likely with Prince Henry, who has been here before, who does not enjoy the same consideration as his brother. If the visit is paid at a time when military requirements would seem to retain both princes in their own country, it would be a matter of great moment.
A gentleman who was at Brussels with Lord Digby and who went to the Hague to urge the sovereigns of Bohemia to remain there, has returned bringing letters thanking the king for the 20,000l. mentioned before, paid for their requirements and for the king's renewed protestation that he will reinstate them. (fn. 7)
Digby delays his departure, they say because he desires letters from the Spanish ambassador testifying to the emperor how well the Catholics are treated here, and which the ambassador will not give, saying it is not true. But perhaps the reason for delay is another not disclosed. In any case it serves the Spanish ambassador quite well, though it is thought Digby will not wait much longer. The emperor lets it be understood that he requires considerable satisfaction from the Palatine before he makes any restitution, and it is the same as was discussed between Digby and the ministers at Brussels.
The truce promised in the Palatinate at the request of the Catholic ambassador here was for no more than ten days, and in order to prolong it until the 14th June they are apparently asking for letters from his Majesty himself requesting it and undertaking that no change shall be made there by any one soever. As the Duke of Bavaria is not included in this truce it is thought that he will certainly seize the opportunity to absorb the Upper Palatinate, where Mansfield was stationed with a certain number of men though without money. Thus the complete fall of that country is considered inevitable amid the disunion of the princes which the diet they are to hold at Heilbronn is expected only to augment, unless the King of Denmark and others as announced apply some speedy and adequate remedy.
The king here says that he has no money, which is more than true. The first of the two subsidies assigned to him is now coming in, but has already been consumed in advance. The parliament shows no inclination to supply him for the reasons given and because it is afraid of being immediately dissolved.
The same gentleman who came from the Hague also brings word that the Margrave of Jegherdorf is strengthening himself in Silesia with a large army, and has taken some towns in that province, making good progress, and has sent an envoy to the King of Bohemia in the name of the Silesians and Moravians, who declare that they will never abandon his Majesty unless he abandons them, because they cannot support the emperor's violence, who does not observe any of his promises, particularly about liberty of religion, though he grants it to his German dominions, as he has destroyed many Protestant churches. They promise the most ample assistance from Bethlehem Gabor and seem resolved to remain constant to the last. It seems also that some towns and districts of Bohemia are anxious to revolt. This also to an even greater extent suffers from lack of money, in addition to the fear of displeasing the king here, who has so often expressed his detestation of this affair, his son-in-law having put everything into his hands, while he hardly has the patience to hear such news. Moreover the majority of the ministers abominate the name of Bethlehem Gabor owing to suspicions of the Turk, so that any close union between Gabor and the Palatine would seriously damage and discredit the latter here.
London, the 21st May, 1621.
[Italian.]
May 21.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
56. GIROLAMO LANDO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Some of those about the king say that his Majesty is beginning to perceive that the Spaniards are playing with him over the marriage, as he has received information from many quarters of what the late king said about the marriage of the infanta to the emperor. The Ambassador Gondomar says it is not true, but the work of enemies of both crowns. Yet his Majesty calls all those traitors who declare it to be a jest, but Digby and the other ministers seeing their high hopes go astray, seem not a little sorrowful and perturbed, although they talk in other fashion, and although the new King Philip in his letter to his Majesty promises sincerely to continue his father's negotiations and to maintain the same confidence and friendship.
The articles arranged with Bassompierre in Spain about the Valtelline have reached this ambassador. (fn. 8) He has told his intimates that rather than see it restored he would risk the whole state of Milan. Some consider that they have been drawn up merely to give a verbal satisfaction to the princes who are interested, because carrying them out means delay and they will profit by the time, the parent of so many accidents; for that reason and because of the troubles in France one no longer hears any expression of belief here in the said restitution.
News has come that the French King has disarmed the Huguenots in many places, such as Dieppe, Havre de Grace (Auredigratia) and others, and has decided, though this is not confirmed yet to dismiss the ancient guard of Scots which he kept nearest to his person. This news has greatly disturbed the people here and the king himself, who exclaims and demonstrates, and openly states to everyone that he will assist those of his religion, of whom he will be no unworthy protector, and that he has ordered his ambassador to hasten immediately after the Court and speak very straight. He has also sent the Secretary of State to speak to the Count of Triliers and complain that the only reply which he has received recently to what he said to Marshal Cadenet was much beside the point, that about the Huguenots merely stating that the king had made a public declaration which would also serve to satisfy the King of Great Britain. Accordingly he has declared openly that if the Most Christian does not desist he will employ the twenty ships which he has at sea in favour of those of la Rochelle, wherefore he has issued orders to supply them with bread for three months more, the order being signed by the Council the day before yesterday. But the object and the declaration still remain most secret. But no one can persuade himself that his Majesty will do more than for his own children, for whom the question of religion also fought. Some think it a device to obtain money from the parliament, others that he really thinks of doing so to redeem his reputation, and because of the powerful interests which coincide with so many others now prevalent in the world. Some say that his Majesty has been induced to speak so boldly not only by the Scots about him, who are incensed by the news about the guard, but also by the ministers dependent upon Spain themselves, to increase his differences with the Most Christian King and encourage the Huguenots and thereby keep a war going in France. If they received support and money from this kingdom it would go a long way towards establishing the house of Austria in possession of both the Valtelline and the Palatinate and securing its prosperity. But unless they obtain large supplies of money which in any case cannot fail to be difficult and slow to carry out, no resolutions, however important, can be easily carried into effect.
Two books published in Paris are selling freely. One states that the king here by proclamation has granted free exercise to the Catholics of these realms. The other that the parliament has deposed him, beheading the favourites and putting Prince Charles in his stead. This has incensed the king and everybody, although the vendors have been punished, despite their outcry. They are considered to be the work of the Jesuits, the second in particular, with the object of bringing about the dissolution of parliament. Villiers brother of the Marquis of Buckingham has been expelled from parliament as suspect of various crimes, (fn. 9) and for them and other matters they propose to attack the marquis also. The parliament resembles those birds of prey, who, when their first stroke fails take a higher flight to make sure of the second. The storm has been severe these last days, and besides what I recently reported, very angry words passed between the Earl of Arundel siding with the favourite and Lord Sheffield against, while the Earl of Southampton is also acting against him followed by a large party. This has induced the king to desire to take upon himself the jurisdiction over a certain Catholic lawyer, protected by the Spanish ambassador, sentenced by the Lower House to various punishments for having spoken scurrilously of the King and Queen of Bohemia. (fn. 10) This has given rise to further bitter disputes, not only about the authority of the king and the said house, but between the Upper and Lower Houses, which are declared at an end, but men's feelings have suffered a rude shock (ma gli interni e gli andamenti sono in efetto ben guasti). Thus many fear a total dissolution very soon, the king frequently threatening as much, declaring angrily that now there are many kings in the realm and he no longer counts for anything, and similar expressions. However, there are powerful arguments on the other side also, especially that the parliament not giving the king any money in the midst of these important events will force him not to dissolve it for the present and to fulfil all its desires.
I have received your Serenity's letters of the 30th ult.
London, the 21st May, 1621.
[Italian; the parts in italics deciphered.]
May 21.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Svizzeri.
Venetian
Archives.
57. GIOVANNI BATTISTA LIONELLO, Venetian Secretary with the Swiss, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The union with the Protestant princes of Germany has completely broken up the diet of Heilbronn. The troops which were in the Palatinate have all been dismissed. The people are crying out against their rulers, saying that the war against Spinola was not conducted sincerely, and they sought the ruin of the King Palatine and the imperial towns out of envy. On the other hand men base great hopes upon the assistance which the Palatine may obtain from England and Lower Saxony, and they say that the forces of the Count of Mansfelt and the Marquis Jegerndorf may turn the tide against the emperor.
Zurich, the 21st May, 1621.
[Italian; deciphered.]
May 24.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Signori
Stati.
Venetian.
Archives.
58. CHRISTOFFORO SURIAN, Venetian Secretary in the Netherlands, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The people here, seeing the King of England so reluctant to help his own blood, and how little satisfaction their ambassadors have obtained there, who returned recently, and not knowing what to think, have put about a rumour that that king, wishing to show himself complaisant to the Spaniards in all things, had exhorted the Ambassador Lando to persuade your Serenity not to keep up the league with the States. When this reached the ears of the Ambassador Carleton he laughed and assured me that his Majesty would rather draw it tighter.
The Hague, the 24th May, 1621.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
May 28.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
59. GIROLAMO LANDO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Parliament has passed a law through both Houses that the king shall take possession for ever of all the goods of the Catholics and pay himself therefrom for what was due in the past, leaving them only a third of their incomes for their maintenance, and if anyone wishes to save his goods he must conform to the Anglican religion, go publicly to the Protestant church, abjure the Roman Catholic faith and receive the communion after the manner of the country four times a year. Moreover, his Majesty is to place the children of rich Catholics in colleges to be brought up as Protestants, the parents to pay the cost. Nothing is lacking for the execution of this most rigorous law except the king's signature, and the Spanish ambassador is working hard to prevent it, and he had a long conference with the favourite in particular, protesting that they need no longer think of the marriage or the restitution of the Palatinate; that any mission of Lord Digby to the emperor or the Catholic would prove superfluous and he himself would feel obliged to leave the Court immediately, this matter being too remote from his Majesty's promises. It is thought that the king in order not to offend him will raise great difficulties about signing and procrastinate, although the people, if they do not receive satisfaction in this and similar matters will not readily consent to supply his needs and desire for money, as they hope by such blows to cut the throat of these affairs and the rings of the chain they detest so much, of this close friendship with Spain, while the king's lack of money would be greatly relieved by this measure.
The same parliament has fined Sir [Henry] Yelverton, formerly Attorney General, 10,000 English marks to be paid to the king, and condemned him to imprisonment during his Majesty's pleasure. The king, owing to the serious quarrel between this man and the favourite, said, when he heard the sentence, that the gallows would have been a more suitable punishment and even that would not be enough. Because of some bitter words spoken by him in his quarrel with the marquis he has been condemned in addition to pay 1,000 marks to the favourite, but as soon as the sentence was pronounced the latter forgave him, it being enough to have utterly overthrown him, and he thought it might harm him greatly. As a matter of fact it has excited general sympathy as men think many things he said were only too true although he could not prove them because they passed between the king, the marquis and himself alone, wherefore the assembly proposes to intercede with his Majesty for him, as they were led to sentence him rather from observance of the ordinary formulas of the judges of the realm than because they were satisfied of his guilt.
The parliament has also sentenced to imprisonment in the Tower the Earl of Arundel, the first earl of the realm, for words spoken against Lord Sciefilt, already reported, and against Lord Spenser, as he refused to ask pardon either of them or of the chamber, as they desired. But it is thought that the punishment will only last a few days and that he will be released upon a reconciliation, although opposed to him are a large number of persons of every sort who are ill disposed towards him.
In the Lower House, after long negotiation, which I did not fail to assist, they have decided that glass ware from Murano may come freely to this kingdom. I hope that the Upper House will agree to this for the reasons which I have already reported. If that happens it will benefit your Serenity's subjects not a little while it will strike a mortal blow at the furnaces here.
The king has sent to Spinola the promise required for himself and his son-in-law, that they will make no change in the portion of the Palatinate occupied by him, and by this they have established the truce until the 12th or 14th June at his Majesty's request.
To these differences with France here, which the action against the Catholics has only increased, is added the king's displeasure, because the Marquis of Hamilton, a Scot, cannot recover a pension which he received with a duchy for the achievements of his ancestors in that kingdom, and something similar. This very leading nobleman is offended as well as the king, and many others, who at the declaration I reported in favour of La Rochelle, hastened to kneel and kiss the king's hand, thank him and beg him to carry it into effect. The Earl of Haddington, who saved the king's life in the famous conspiracy, (fn. 11) said laughingly, with that liberty which he rightly enjoys, that if his Majesty did not do what he professed for his religion he would throw out of the pulpit the first preacher whom he heard call him Defender of the Faith. The king seemed so zealous that he wished to propose the protection of the Huguenots to the parliament to get them to make the necessary provision immediately; but he has cooled down greatly, as is usual nowadays in everything and nothing has been done except the orders given for the twenty ships, and he says that he wishes first to hear the reply of the Most Christian. The French ambassador told the secretary of state who went to inform him of the declaration I have mentioned that he would not dare to inform his master of such things unless they were put in writing as he could not trust his memory, adding that if they want to pick a quarrel here in this fashion the French will be quite ready to oblige them.
London, the 28th May, 1621.
[Italian.]
May 29.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Germania.
Venetian
Archives.
60. PIERO GRITTI, Venetian Ambassador in Germany, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The matter of the Palatinate remains in suspense, and they have postponed their reply to the ambassadors of Denmark. This is supposed to be because they are expecting Lord Digby here, sent by his king to negotiate for the restitution of the Palatinate to the Palatine. Meanwhile they have extended for a month the truce arranged at Mayence between the Princes of the Union and Spinola.
Vienna, the 29th May, 1621. Copy.
[Italian.]
May 31.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Signori Stati.
Venetian
Archives.
61. CHRISTOFFORO SURIAN, Venetian Secretary in the Netherlands, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Some statements are circulating to the prejudice of the present government. They say that these are doing what they accused Barnevelt of, namely, trying to secure power and finally hand the country over to the Spaniards. They knew he had done no more than hold fast to the friendship with France and England, and some now in power tried to destroy him by putting him in a bad odour with those princes, and that is why they do not renew the alliances, seeming to despair the assistance of the two crowns.
The Hague, the last day of May, 1621.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
May 31.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Signori Stati.
Venetian
Archives.
62. CHRISTOFFORO SURIAN, Venetian Ambassador in the Netherlands, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The letters of the Ambassador Caron to the States speak of the reluctance of the King of England to move with vigour to procure the restitution of the Palatinate. Accordingly the States are very dissatisfied and do not know what more to do. The diet of Heilbronn has broken up.
Colonel Vere with his English was to proceed from Franchendal to Heidelberg, and wrote that as the truce expired on the 24th inst., he thought they would make another for another month.
The King and Queen of Bohemia maintain their constancy and patience, as they have placed their affairs in the hands of their father, and must await the issue from him.
The Hague, the last day of May, 1621.
[Italian.]

Footnotes

1 The Journal of the House of Lords contains no record of any sitting on Friday, April 20/30, but it gives an abstract of the king's speech delivered on Tuesday, April 24/May 4. Vol. iii. page 81.
2 The last meeting of the princes of the Union was held at Heilbronn. On the 12th of April they entered into an agreement with Spinola. practically abandoning the Palatine's cause and undertaking to evacuate the Palatinate and remain neutral. Immediately after the Union was formally dissolved, and its several members hastened to make peace with the emperor. Winter: Geschichte des Dreissiggahrigen Krieges, page 230.
3 Calvert in a letter to Carleton of the 12/22 April speaks of the Dutch men-of-war seizing and carrying into Flushing a ship laden with tin belonging to the Prince of Wales. State Papers, Foreign: Holland. Salvietti writes on the same subject on the 23rd April, Brit. Mus. Add. MSS. 27962B, so Lando is unusually late with his news.
4 Cosimo II died on the 28th February, 1621, and was succeeded by his son Ferdinand II.
5 Bacon was sentenced on May 13th. Sir Henry Yelverton, the ex-Attorney-General, made his attack on Buckingham in the House of Lords on May 10th.
6 Carleton in his despatch of the 10th May reports that the Dutch have taken five ships bound for Dunkirk, "two of that town and three of these Provinces, but laden by merchants of the other side." He puts the value at 90,000l. State Papers, Foreign: Holland.
7 John Dickenson; he arrived in London on the 3/13th May, and saw the king two day later. Letter of Dickenson to Carleton, 7/17 May, 1621. State Papers, Foreign: Holland.
8 The treaty between France and Spain upon the Valtelline was made at Madrid on the 25th April, 1621. Dumont: Corps Diplomatique, Vol. v, part ii, page 395.
9 This seems an exaggeration. Locke, in a letter to Carleton says that Sir Edward Villiers was sent out of the House for wishing to speak about a patent in which he was concerned, but would be admitted at other times.—Cal. S.P. Dom., 1619–23, page 254.
10 Edward Floyd. See Gardiner: History of England, iv, pages 119–125.
11 Sir John Ramsay saved the king's life by killing the Ruthvens upon the occasion of the Gowrie conspiracy on 5/15 August, 1600. Lando has confused his titles; he was created Viscount Haddington in 1606 and Earl of Holderness in 1621. The first Earl of Haddington was Thomas Hamilton, created in 1626 on Ramsey's death.