Venice
August 1621, 16-30

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Institute of Historical Research

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Allen B. Hinds (editor)

Year published

1911

Pages

110-120

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'Venice: August 1621, 16-30', Calendar of State Papers Relating to English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 17: 1621-1623 (1911), pp. 110-120. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=88818 Date accessed: 30 October 2014.


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August 1621

Aug. 16.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Signori Stati.
Venetian
Archives.
134. CHRISTOFFORO SURIAN, Venetian Secretary in the Netherlands, to the DOGE and SENATE.
His Excellency spoke to me about the little good they could expect from France or England. There was a report that the King of England desired the ships of the States to move from before the ports of Flanders. That would amount to a declaration of war against the Provinces. The Ambassador Carleton had said nothing about it to the States or any others. If his Majesty meant to put this design into action he would take away all the trade of these provinces and put it in the hands of the Spaniards and English, and ships would always call themselves English to obtain entrance where they wished. He spoke with considerable feeling about both crowns and their operations. He attributed it to the truce, during which the Spaniards had won over the two kings.
The King Palatine has not yet received letters from Digby but has heard from Councillor Pauli that the emperor says he has no designs against the Palatinate or the electorate, and has submitted the matter to the Diet of Ratisbon.
The Hague, the 16th August, 1621.
[Italian.]
Aug. 18.
Inquisitori
di Stato.
Busta 442.
Venetian
Archives.
135. GIROLAMO LANDO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the INQUISITORS of STATE.
When I wrote my last of the 6th inst. I was in the country, a short distance from here, following the custom of the nobles, diplomatists and all persons of quality, who leave the city deserted for two or three months. My secretary Zon took them to the post, and happened to notice a packet directed to Salvieti at Antwerp, to the house of Sig. Antonio Savello. He had no chance of taking it away. On Friday I sent off my packet at the usual hour by the same post, your minister being a man of evil report who sometimes delays the letters one or two days for the sake of small gains. The secretary, by a ruse, was allowed to go to write in the room where the letters were, and soon found his opportunity. He found a packet exactly like the one of the other week. In this I found firstly a sheet directed to Savello notifying the two letters, one to Curtio Picheno, secretary and councillor of State to the Grand Duke of Tuscany, on current affairs, but nothing about ours, and another to Giulio Medici, who has been here, and then two letters in cipher, one to Lucretia Vanni, probably a blind, the other to Sig. Oratio Fucarello, without signature or date. I am wondering how to send them to your Excellencies and have decided to await instructions. The master of the posts missed the packet three hours after, and suspected the secretary, but he could not say much as he could prove nothing. (fn. 1) The affair may possibly puzzle Amerigo. I hope it may be a means of discovering what your Excellencies desire.
London, the 18th August, 1621.
[Italian; deciphered.]
Aug. 20.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
136. GIROLAMO LANDO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
From Antwerp they write, as opposed to what I reported in my last, that the pope has exhorted the emperor to give satisfaction to the king here about the Palatinate, and urged the Catholic to close the marriage negotiations in order to open the gates wider to our most holy religion in these parts. From France, however, his Majesty is advised that the Spanish ambassador there remarked in the presence of many that neither Philip III nor the present king ever really desired to conclude this marriage. A leading minister who desires it strongly remarked to me that if the negotiations were not proceeding favourably, then it was the greatest jest ever known or heard of, and it would mean that not only his master, but his ministers abroad and even those of the Catholic were deceived.
The king has received a letter from Spain from some secret correspondent of his clearly indicating that there are two or three of his Council here who give information to the Ambassador Gondomar of everything that takes place, even touching his own person.
Digby writes that he has begun his negotiations for the restitution of the Palatinate, and has had various discussions with the ministers, but he reserves himself to report everything at the same time. Other letters have arrived which were immediately sent to the Court. I have not had enough time to discover their purport. Some go about saying that the replies to the Diet of Ratisbon are postponed, but this may simply be derived from their own conversation and from guess work. Some fear an absolute negative, owing to the reports coming from Bohemia, especially as the Austrian ministers here say so clearly, and because they have seen a letter from the emperor to the Duke of Wirtemberg in which he says that he can pay no more attention to any negotiations owing to the ill behaviour of Frederick. Others hope that the powerful movement of the Turks may render the emperor more pliant; but how wretched to hope for a medicine which may prove worse than the disease!
The King of Bohemia has sent his Majesty a letter from Mansfelt calling upon him to go to Bohemia, and assuring him that he will soon recover that kingdom entirely and offering his head if he does not do this. His Majesty seems very irresolute about this, and some do not hesitate to say that as he is naturally accustomed to follow the fortunate, if the Spaniards really came off the worse, he would oppose them as strongly as he now supports them. It is now disclosed on good authority that Spinola sent a French gentleman secretly to Mansfelt with a quantity of money and liberal promises inviting him to abandon the King Palatine. They announce that at present he has plenty of money. Everyone is astonished and thinks that he must have succour from some one besides the States, and the idea is current here that your Serenity is supporting him, and sometimes they hint as much to me with a gentle smile, while I endeavour tactfully to eradicate the notion.
On the 11th inst., we hear from Brussels, the royal camp began to march, after large remissions of money, with Velasco as leader of the cavalry. Spinola was to start two days later with his army of 35,000 foot and 5,000 horse, divided into two camps. They say the first will remain in the country of Guelders with a certain number of men, and the second, comprising the bulk of them, will proceed to Friesland. Don Innico di Borgia, the castellan of Antwerp, is to remain in Flanders with some 8,000 men to serve for defence more than anything. But many here firmly believe that they will decline to extend the truce in the Palatinate, although there is talk of some connivance, and the blow will fall in that quarter, especially as the Duke of Bavaria is urging on the Spaniards, offering all his forces. In this way that country will be entirely subdued and undone, since Vere has not enough men to offer any resistance, and those few are without money, naked and feeble. Thus almost all the gentlemen and others of the best English have returned, only the dregs remaining although under a valiant commander. Almost every day he knocks at this gate asking for help, but so far they have sent him no answer.
The captain of his Majesty's guards was selected to go with condolences upon the death of the Archduke Albert, but some difficulty has arisen to postpone this being done. (fn. 2)
The prince has sent a present of twenty pedigree horses to his brother, with trappings and arms, and four others to the King of Denmark with rich furnishings and with a royal coach.
Various leading gentlemen have gone to the Hague to see the queen, and some to avoid the infection. The Countess of Bedford, a lady of the highest quality, has also gone thither.
Four of the royal ships have returned to these shores, which were in the Mediterranean. (fn. 3) The others with the commander will soon appear.
The parliament of Scotland has decided to contribute to his Majesty 40,000l. sterling or 160,000 crowns, not a large sum or adequate to the requirements, but a sign of the excellent disposition of the people there to do what they can.
The king on his progress slept one night at Burle, in a fine palace recently purchased by the favourite, who received his Majesty, the Prince and the Court amid remarkable rejoicings, especially as his Excellency had recovered from an indisposition which has troubled him for some while, and with the utmost pomp and splendour. (fn. 4)
The advices sent by your Excellencies on the 24th ult. have reached me.
London, the 20th August, 1621.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Aug. 21.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
137. To the Ambassador in Germany and the like to the other Courts.
From Flanders we learn that the troops on the frontiers have begun to commit depredations on both sides, showing that the armies are ready for war. The King of Spain has asked the infanta to continue to act as regent. The Spanish ministers also declare that they will not delay the restitution of the Valtelline because of the death of the Archduke Albert. This seems the more necessary as the Grisons have decided not to consent to altering the treaty of Madrid about religion. The nuncio Scappi has also negotiated upon the question of the passage. From Constantinople we learn that the Cossacks have made immense booty in the Black Sea, and the Sultan has reached the Danube inflicting great damage.
Ayes, 115.Noes, 1.Neutral, 2.
[Italian.]
Aug. 21.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
138. In reply to the instances of de Lormes, that 500 ducats be given him for his expenses in coming here and returning, and 200 ducats to Pietro Falgher for the same, and that 200 ducats be assigned to the person chosen to go to the pirates, to make himself ready for the journey, and that 120 ducats a month be given him for his journey there and back.
Ayes, 100.Noes, 13.Neutral, 14.
[Italian.]
Aug. 21.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Roma.
Venetian
Archives.
139. RANIER ZEN, Venetian Ambassador at Rome, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Yesterday the emperor's ambassador had a long audience of the pope, it is supposed in order to represent the state of affairs and to speak about the surrender of the Palatinate. So far as I can discover the pope insists that it shall not be surrendered, and promises to help as much as he can. In my conversation with the pope about Germany, when I spoke of surrender, he said he did not think that it would take place. They propose, I fancy, to urge on Bavaria against the Palatinate, and stop Gabor, the union of Germany and the most powerful enemies by a show of satisfying the instances of England.
Rome, the 21st August, 1621.
[Italian.]
Aug. 21.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Germania.
Venetian
Archives.
140. PIERO GRITTI, Venetian Ambassador in Germany, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The question of the restitution of the Palatinate remains in suspense and the English ambassador is awaiting fresh orders from his king before proceeding to further negotiations.
Vienna, the 21st August, 1621. Copy.
[Italian.]
Aug. 21.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Firenze.
Venetian
Archives.
141. GIOVANNI FRANCESCO TRIVISANO, Venetian Secretary in Florence, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The emperor continues to press his Highness for men and money. I find that they are so anxious to see the termination of the troubles in Germany that they would not object, after due submission, to the pardon of the Palatine and the restitution of his country. In fact, at the instance of the King of England in conversations of the ambassador extraordinary Medici with many of the ministers there and with the king himself, their Highnesses have interposed with the emperor to bring about a reconciliation and restitution. Apparently Caesar is well disposed and would readily agree, though here they think it will be difficult to effect owing to the promise given to the Duke of Bavaria of that state and the electoral vote.
Florence, the 21st August, 1621.
[Italian.]
Aug. 23.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Savoia.
Venetian
Archives.
142. ZUANE PESARO, Venetian Ambassador in Savoy, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Piscius writes that they are expecting an ambassador extraordinary from the King of Great Britain (fn. 5) at the French Court, who has protested that he will give no advice or assistance to the Huguenots, but notwithstanding all proposals they continue their operations. A person of credit and authority who ought to know addressed me as follows: the King of Great Britain purposely plays the blockhead (fa studiosamente il goffo), he likes to be thought Spanish but he works prudently for his own ends. He has done everything to avoid a war of religion and that is why he did not take up the Bohemian affair. For the same reason he gives the King of Poland money against the Turks, to prove his zeal and set France an example of true service to religion. If the French mean to extirpate the religions his Majesty will be compelled to draw the sword. The affairs of France engage that king's attention much more than the Palatine and his own daughter. He recalled his ships from the Mediterranean on the pretext of a dispute with the Dutch about Flushing and other ports, but the settlement of that affair lay in his own hands, and therefore he meant to use the ships to succour la Rochelle, as he was determined to keep that place for his own religion. He had arranged some articles very secretly with the commissioners of la Rochelle by which they may make an accommodation with their sovereign, and if he will not accept them it will be a strong reason for not obeying him. England will seize upon the pretext of religion to make himself felt, and will take possession of the two castles at the mouth of the Seine or of the port of Rochelle itself. The ambassador has no instructions to show his hand, but to let the Huguenots themselves treat. The resident here further told me that if France aspires to Geneva they will quickly make her jump towards the ocean; that they can undoubtedly give succour to la Rochelle within twenty-four hours, and that the Spaniards might not oppose the English against France.
If these discourses are not expressly intended to cover the reputation of the King of Great Britain, your Excellencies will be able to guage their real value and consequence.
Turin, the 23rd August, 1621.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Aug. 23.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Signori Stati.
Venetian
Archives.
143. CHRISTOFFORO SURIAN, Venetian Secretary in the Netherlands, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The King Palatine has been pressed to place himself at the head of his forces, but the Councillors of Heidelberg and those about him keep him irresolute. When I was discussing the matter with the English ambassador, he said, He must accept one proposal which ruins the other. He has placed himself in the hands and confided in the offices of the king my master, and there he stopped. This minister is well disposed towards the King Palatine, but his reserve comes from obedience to his master.
Digby writes to the king here that he found some difficulties in the emperor's mind but hoped to overcome them. He had induced his Majesty to state that he had not disposed of the electorate, and he would accept the mediation of the King of England, but he required the advice of the electors and of those who had helped him. He had complained of the operations of Jegherdorf and Mansfelt, as the King of Bohemia ought to abstain from all acts of hostility in the interval. Prince Maurice, who told me this, said that Digby seemed to be advising his Majesty to disarm. He added, I expected as much from preceding letters and the nature of the man and therefore I advised the King of Bohemia to write to England and say that he could not disarm for fear of losing everything, and he could make no treaty without first consulting those powers who had followed his fortunes. This would have benefited him, and he might have gained time. His Majesty decided to write and he thought he had done so. The emperor wants three things, to disarm, yield his claims and ask pardon. He would be very foolish to make an accommodation without securing himself. Prince Maurice says little and mixes as little as possible in this affair. The king is divided between fear of offending his father-in-law, and gratitude to those who have stood by him in his misfortunes.
The Hague, the 23rd August, 1621.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Aug. 24.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
144. GIROLAMO PRIULI, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the DOGE and SENATE.
At the Court they are expecting the English ambassador. They mean to give him a very clear answer, saying that his king must not take it ill if here in France they deal with the Huguenots as his Majesty has dealt with the Catholics there. However, they regret to hear that the said king has recalled his twenty ships from the Mediterranean, as they fear, after the ambassador has received his reply, that this force may encourage those of la Rochelle.
Paris, the 24th August, 1621.
[Italian.]
Aug. 25.
Collegio,
Secreta.
Esposizioni,
Principi.
Venetian
Archives.
145. This morning I, Alessandro Burenello, the secretary, went to inform the Viscount de Lormes of the decision of the Cabinet upon the paper last presented by him. He seemed satisfied and said that while he was waiting a gentleman had come from the papal nuncio asking him to go and speak to his Eminence. He wished to know what he should do. I told him, in accordance with my instructions, to do as he pleased, an answer which seemed to his taste.
[Italian.]
Aug. 27.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
146. GIROLAMO LANDO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The king showed the favourite as much honour at Burli as he received from his Excellency, as at a state banquet which took place on the morning of his departure, his Majesty rose from the table where he was sitting apart with the prince, and went to the head of another at which were the leading lords and ladies, and drank standing and uncovered to the health of the Lord High Admiral, spoke in the highest terms of his merits and qualities, debated whether he was more loved by himself, his Highness, his wife, his mother or his father-in-law, and finally read some verses which he had composed in honour of this splendid host and ordered that they should be written on the walls and carved in the marble of the doors, for a perpetual memorial. (fn. 6) As proclamation has been issued forbidding anyone to speak about affairs of state even in the court, upon pain of death, (fn. 7) the progress has continued in profound silence amid most sumptuous hunting, games and banquets. We only hear that the marquis, learning that the whole country considered him as the author of the marriage negotiations with Spain, said to the king before a number of people, that his Majesty would recollect that it was not he but another whom he expressly named. From this and from other indications one perceives that he is beginning to have internal misgivings on the subject, and he may possibly even despair of the restitution of the Palatinate. He sees that parliament will certainly be summoned again, and that the aspect of affairs will change.
Other letters have arrived from Digby by a special gentleman. The Secretary Calvert immediately started to take them to the king himself. We understand that 'he speaks of numerous difficulties. That at first he only received general replies merely expressing goodwill towards his Majesty. Afterwards upon pressure from him they said that Caesar was ready to restore the Palatinate upon reasonable terms to gratify his Majesty, but the movements of Mansfelt constantly made him waver in this purpose, and they had deferred their final reply to the Diet of Ratisbon, which is to meet on the 30th inst. They suspect here that the ambassador somewhat tempers the bitterness of the affair, and tries to buoy up hope, and it is denied that the diet will meet so soon. I have not yet had time to learn what the king says about it, and perhaps all the details are not fully known. They add that Digby to move the emperor wrote to Mansfelt to obtain six weeks truce, but received a refusal, and some declare haughtily that he has no business with him, and he was not a servant of the King of Great Britain.
The Agent Trumbull at Brussels has sent an express here to indicate his suspicion that Spinola is sending the bulk of his forces to the Palatinate to occupy the remainder, and asks his Majesty to write a letter which may divert him. The messenger has gone to the Court. (fn. 8) Certainly they will not neglect their offices for such a diversion just as they are doing their utmost to hold back the Palatine. But it is not believed that this will suffice to divert the first effects as the Spanish ambassador and the Agent of Flanders make a great to do about Mansfelt's action, and say so clearly. Thus we hear that the King of Bohemia is making every effort to maintain the army of that valiant captain, having also sent Baron Dohna with all speed to Denmark for fresh loans of money and to see that the forces of that king should not disband. Yet advices state that although they gave Spinola some commands he has not so far cared to execute them, answering that without orders from his Catholic Majesty he had no power to move to those parts, and so he had sent a courier to Spain. On the other hand his Imperial Majesty said that he would introduce no changes in that country until the Diet of Ratisbon. However, Cordova, Spinola's lieutenant, and Vere on the other side, have begun to collect their troops. In the variety and uncertainty of the news one fears the ill rather than expects the good.
Some hint has escaped that your Serenity has decided to receive and protect in your dominions the pirate Sanson and many others. (fn. 9) I imagine this has something to do with that affair of the Viscount de Lormes. Your Excellencies will afford me some guidance so that I may know what course to pursue if I am asked about it.
I have received a letter of advices of the 30th ult., although the courier was robbed on the way.
London, the 27th August, 1621.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Aug. 28.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
147. To the Ambassador in Germany and the like to the other Courts.
The Governor of Milan, to delay further the restitution of the Valtelline, has raised the question of the satisfaction of Archduke Leopold and suggests that the Catholic Grisons shall hold the forts. The deputies of Leopold have gone to confer with the three leagues. The Most Christian continues his progress against the Huguenots, and good Frenchmen think he will take the opportunity to make some arrangement for the quiet of his kingdom and so act more effectively outside. The Hungarians continue their progress and are masters of both sides of the Danube. These events may modify the position in Flanders, where hostilities continue.
Ayes, 108.Noes, 3.Neutral, 6.
[Italian.]
Aug. 28.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Germania.
Venetian
Archives.
148. PIERO GRITTI, Venetian Ambassador in Germany, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The question of the Palatinate is still in suspense and the English ambassador is still waiting for instructions. The Spanish ambassador professes to do everything to help him, asserting that the Catholic king positively desires the restitution to the Palatine of his dominions and titles, and that the offices of the nuncio and Father Giacinto hinder a favourable issue to the business. Nevertheless there is some doubt that the Spaniards, while professing to please the King of England in appearance, are not really drawing some advantage from the affair, and are by no means sorry at this deadlock, so as not to deprive themselves of the advantage which time may give them of setting their feet firmly in Germany by the occupation of such an important state, and in order to divert the King of Great Britain from interesting himself further in the cause of his son-in-law.
Pauli, councillor of the Palatine, has come here. On his arrival the Ambassador Digby went to inform his Majesty, who seemed content that he should stay if he did not meddle with affairs contrary to the imperial service.
The Duke of Bavaria continues to advance his cause by every means in his power. He has recently sent his steward here to encourage the nuncio and the Capucin and to oppose the English ambassador. He has proposed an accommodation with Mansfelt, with the intention of entering the Upper Palatinate.
Hostilities have ceased in the Lower Palatinate although Spinola refused when the English ambassador asked him to prolong the truce for a certain time.
Vienna, the 28th August, 1621. Copy.
[Italian.]
Aug. 30.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Savoia.
Venetian
Archives.
149. ZUANE PESARO, Venetian Ambassador in Savoy, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The Count of Mansfelt has written to Marini offering to serve the Most Christian. The English agent seems to have taken alarm, but the French refuse Mansfelt absolutely.
An English secretary who is going as resident at Constantinople has passed this way. As they would not have an ambassador he chose to go there for the operations of his sovereign against the interests and enemies of the Turks. (fn. 10)
Turin, the 30th August, 1621.
[Italian.]
Aug. 30.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Signori Stati.
Venetian
Archives.
150. CHRISTOFFORO SURIAN, Venetian Secretary in the Netherlands, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The English countess of Bedford, after her stay here, set out for England, having done nothing except visit the queen and tell her to have patience, but as the winds were contrary she returned here yesterday evening to await favourable weather.
The Hague, the 30th August, 1621.
[Italian.]

Footnotes

1 On August 18th old style Chamberlain wrote to Carleton, "I know not whether you have heard that the Venetian ambassador's secretary, writing in a room at Quester's where the letters lie, a packet of the Florentine ambassador comes to be missing, for which he makes great complaint; and the Venetian as fast, that his man should be suspected" (Birch: Court and Times of James I, ii, page 274). Salvetti complained to Calvert, who swore that Zon had stolen the packet. The other ambassadors cried out against the act and the Spaniard offered his assistance. Salvetti had been warned of Lando's ill-feeling towards him. Ultimately Calvert sent to say that they knew where the fault lay, but it would be best to let the matter go no further. See Salvetti's letters of the 13th and 18th August, Brit. Mus. Add. MSS. 27962B.
2 Sir Henry Rich, afterwards Baron Kensington and Earl of Holland. Chamberlain writes of his expected mission on the 21st July, and Trumbull states that his appointment was reported at Brussels, in a despatch of 2/12 August.—Birch, Court and Times of James I, ii, page 170; State Papers, Foreign, Flanders.
3 The Lion, Rainbow, Constant Reformation and Antelope. Corbett: England in the Mediterranean, i, page 130.
4 Burley on the Hill, co. Rutland, which Buckingham bought of Lord Harrington. James was there on the 3/13 August, when Ben Jonson's masque of the Metamorphosed Gypsies was presented to him.—Birch. Court and Times of James I, ii, page 272; Nichols, Progresses of James I, iv, pages 672–710.
5 James Hay, Viscount Doncaster. He started on the 30th July. Birch: Court and Times of James I, ii, page 270.
6 See Chamberlain's letter to Carleton of the 28th Aug. S.P. Dom., exxii, 77.
7 Issued on July 26th old style in enforcement of the similar proclamation of December 24th old style.—Cal. S.P. Dom., 1619–3. page 278.
8 This is probably Trumbull's despatch of the 10/20 August, still preserved at the Public Record Office (State Papers, Foreign, Flanders) and sent by Sir Alexander Strachan.
9 Wotton reported the negotiations with the pirates in a despatch to Calvert dated 26 July, 1621, old style. Pearsall Smith: Life and Letters of Sir Henry Wotton, ii, page 215.
10 John Chapman, who was taking Eyre's letters of recall and had orders to remain at Constantinople as English Agent until the arrival of the ambassador, Sir Thomas Roe.—State Papers, Foreign. Turkey, 9th July, 1621.