Venice
September 1621

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Institute of Historical Research

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Allen B. Hinds (editor)

Year published

1911

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120-139

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'Venice: September 1621', Calendar of State Papers Relating to English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 17: 1621-1623 (1911), pp. 120-139. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=88819 Date accessed: 22 October 2014.


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September 1621

Sept. 1.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
151. That the following instructions be given to Benetto Ferro, chosen to go and discover the intentions of the western pirates about the proposals made in their name by the Viscount de Lormes.
To leave this city at the earliest possible moment to go and find the pirates in conjunction with Lormes, whom he must not tell of his commissions, but merely state generally that he is sent to hear what the pirates have to say. He shall verify by sight and by conversation with the pirate captains the document presented in their name by Lormes, and shall especially make sure that although of different religions they have offered to live under the governance of the republic without scandal or offence. This is not in Lormes's paper, but must be insisted upon; if any refuse they cannot be admitted to our state.
You must speak to the commander and captains, as if of yourself and not by order, of the route which they propose to take to reach these seas, if the agreement is concluded. You will travel as quietly as possible, saying that you are going on your own private affairs. We give you three safe conducts so that three of the captains can come to Venice, as agreed, to arrange and establish the matter. If they are not inclined to come you must induce them to authorize Lormes to conclude the bargain for them, and you will return to Venice either alone or with Lormes, according to circumstances. In any case you will inform us, writing to your brother and not to the Doge.
We have given you a patent to authenticate your person, though it is not directed to any special general or captain. If any one remarks upon this you will say it was done in this form by us for considerations of prudence.
To provide some ostensible pretext for your expedition, when you reach any suitable place in Barbary, especially Susa, you will try and induce the merchants there to send a ship hither laden with wheat, but without delaying your chief business.
We have given you 200 ducats for your preparations and shall pay you 120 ducats a month, paying six months in advance.
Ayes, 105.Noes, 13.Neutral, 11.
[Italian.]
Sept. 1.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
152. Letters patent of Antonio Priuli, Doge of Venice, to all etc. in favour of Benetto Ferro, who is engaged on certain commissions for the state.
Ayes, 105.Noes, 13.Neutral, 11.
[Italian.]
Sept. 1.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
153. Letters patent of the doge to all officials of the state to allow _ to proceed freely to Venice, and to return thence whither he pleases and at his pleasure, affording him every assistance and favour and not allowing him to be molested by any one. These letters to stand for one year only.
Ayes, 105.Noes, 13.Neutral, 11.
[Italian.]
Sept. 3.
Collegio,
Lettere.
Venetian
Archives.
154. Letters patent issued by Antonio Priuli, Doge of Venice, in favour of the Viscount de Lormes, who is leaving Venice on his private affairs, asking friends and directing subjects to allow him to pass without let or hindrance, affording him assistance and favour, the letters to be available for his return also.
Ayes, 20.Noes, 0.Neutral, 0.
[Italian.]
Sept. 3.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
155. GIROLAMO LANDO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
They concluded the parliament in Scotland on the 14th ult., when forty members of the nobility, called peers of the realm, took part, besides others who sent proctors with excuses of illness and age, and a number of lesser barons, knights and deputies of the towns, with two archbishops and eleven bishops, the only prelates at present in that country, who were all there. (fn. 1) Besides what I wrote the assembly decided some articles about ecclesiastical matters at the king's request, against the wishes of a good part of the leading ministers. It would only tire your Serenity were I to enlarge upon this. It also established many municipal laws for the advantage of the country and its customs by removing many occasions for dispute. But the most remarkable thing was the imposition of a universal subsidy for the great needs of his Majesty of 30s. on every pound of land, which means land paying a pound or 20s. equal to 5 ducats of our money. Never before has any imposition exceeded 20s. in the pound of land. According to the same proposal ecclesiastical goods and those of cities and boroughs will also pay. They also resolved to levy 5 per cent. on the income of all money put out at interest. This is quite new and unusual and clearly shows their affection for their sovereign. It is not known what sum will be realised, but as it is to last for the next four years it should be quite considerable. The Lord Treasurer has gone to inform his Majesty about this, begging him to employ these contributions for the restoration of his son-in-law to the Palatinate and to help the French Protestants. If he would only do this those subjects would generously devote not only their goods but their lives.
Orders have been sent from the Court to arm twelve merchant ships for war, but only with sailors, who in these parts perform the duties of soldiers also, as well as eight royal ones which have been chosen and are being made ready with all diligence. It is rumoured that they will remain in the Channel here for the safety of the sea and freedom of trade. Accordingly the Spaniards are much gratified, hoping that in this way a quarrel will arise with the Dutch. These have prudently issued orders to the admirals of the ships which are watching the ports of Flanders to proceed with all circumspection until compelled to act, because there is not the smallest doubt that they may be placed in a most dangerous situation, even against the wishes of his Majesty, owing to the rivalry between the two nations about their skill in seamanship and other matters but chiefly through the suggestions of the Spanish ministers here, who penetrate to the bottom by the strength of their gold and captivate the minds of many, especially seamen and the ministers of the Admiralty. It seems likely from the announcement made about it by the leading ministers that the king really intends by this armament to keep this sea clear in some sort and by every means to reduce the interests of the East Indies which he has so much at heart to the condition that he desires. But if he receives satisfaction in this, it is not likely that he will proceed further, especially as the negotiations about the Palatinate and the marriage are not proceeding favourably. It is also likely that his Majesty aims at alarming other parties and at benefiting other affairs. And he could not be better placed, whether he means to do the right thing or no, for bargaining with the French about la Rochelle and with the Spaniards about the said Palatinate. To send an army to the latter in particular would involve an enormous expense and would be all but impossible at the present moment owing to countless difficulties, while to unite with the States for a diversion in Flanders would also be very difficult with the fear of entering upon an endless war, which will always be advanced by some of the ministers most in favour who hate the Dutch by nature and for other reasons. Moreover it is contrary to his Majesty's genius, who has always had it in abhorrence, whereas on the other hand a fleet can always be made ready in a moment with ease and the merchants can always be made to bear a large proportion of the expense; for which they will never want pretexts such as the one mentioned above.
It is understood that his Majesty does not seem satisfied with Digby's negotiations, though he causes the gentleman who came thence to go about announcing that they will succeed. The ministers here simply state that it was merely intended to introduce negotiations smoothly, and to urge the question of having a truce more than restitution, and he has obtained a reply showing goodwill and a disposition towards peace and to satisfy the king, and though a truce is not granted they have said something of connivance in the Palatinate. Digby seems assured that it will not be invaded and seems to believe that once their recent difficulties over Mansfelt and Jegheldorf are settled he will be able to return with the whole matter satisfactorily arranged, ready to be laid before the Diet of Ratisbon, upon which it must in a great measure depend. Some say that this diet will meet at once, others that they do not know when, as the princes dare not move for fear of the armed forces which cover the whole country, and so they will make no preparations to go there. Advices come from many quarters that the words of the emperor are all crafty and only intended to gain time. The Duke of Deuxponts in particular notifies that the Landgrave of Hesse told him clearly that the emperor would never agree to restitution without retaining the fortresses on the Rhine and other conditions previously mentioned, although as regards the electorate he would abide by the decision of the electors.
The Ambassador Wotton sent a gentleman here some days ago, so far as I can gather for no other purpose than to bring details about all the negotiations at the imperial Court, to be compared with those of Digby.
Owing to the news which arrives from every direction about the marriage of the Spanish princess to the emperor's son his Majesty shows himself more incensed with his closest intimates, declaring that if it is true then he has been deceived over both his children and he accuses some of his ministers of keeping him fed up with hopes; they, for their part, seem very cast down and give evidence of beginning to think seriously of their case (per le nove che da ogni banda capitano intorno al matrimonio della Spagnola con il figlio dell'Imperatore divantaggio si mostra alterata sua Maestà con li suoi più domestici dicendo che se sono vere in ciò sara stata ingannata per tutti due suoi figliuoli, et si duole di alquanti suoi ministri che l'habbiano tenuta nutrita di speranze, quali però appariscono molto melanconici, et danno segni di cominciare a pensare da dovero a casi loro).
The Earl of Arundel has expressed to me his desire and intention to visit Venice shortly to see his wife and children. Your Excellencies well know his merits. I have received your advices of the 7th ult.
London, the 3rd September, 1621.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Sept. 4.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
156. To the ambassador in Germany and the like to the other Courts and to the Generals.
The Infanta seemed well disposed to the renewal of the truce in Flanders, but the Spaniards seemed anxious to gain time and profit by the discords in the Netherlands to seize some place. Finally Spinola has moved towards Maastricht, while Prince Maurice is making his preparations. 6,000 Tartars who were raiding Poland have been cut to pieces. The Turkish army has moved towards the River Dniester, but is short of provisions. Gabor and Mansfelt are active, but the negotiations for the restitution of the Palatinate are at a standstill while the English ambassador is awaiting fresh instructions from his king. The French king hopes to subdue the Huguenots, and is pressing Montauban, but the Rochellese are stronger and more pertinacious. The Valtelline remains under the Spaniards, who raise various difficulties about carrying out the treaty. All the ministers who took part in that treaty think that the Spaniards mean to secure possession. The state of the unfortunate people grows steadily worse. We have debated our reply about the road for some days, and Feria has stormed about the delay. He is massing his troops above our Crema road. You will use this information as the public service requires.
Ayes, 112.Noes, 0.Neutral, 6.
[Italian.]
Sept. 5.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Germania.
Venetian
Archives.
157. PIERO GRITTI, Venetian Ambassador in Germany, to the DOGE and SENATE.
There is the usual uncertainty and curiosity about the issue of the Palatinate negotiations, about which the English ambassador seems less hopeful than ever.
Vienna, the 5th September, 1621. Copy.
[Italian.]
Sept. 6.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Savoia.
Venetian
Archives.
158. ZUANE PESARO, Venetian Ambassador in Savoy, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The Genevese and Bernese have written to the English resident here that they rely upon his advices and upon making use of his offices. He resolved to write warmly to Berne and to his king's ambassador in France saying that it is necessary to make provision against the harm which the duke may inflict, and that the only remedy is the return of Lesdiguières to Dauphiné.
Turin, the 6th September, 1621.
[Italian.]
Sept. 6.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Signori Stati.
Venetian
Archives.
159. CHRISTOFFORO SURIAN, Venetian Secretary in the Netherlands, to the DOGE and SENATE.
His Excellency has sent two English regiments to Rees; they have made some entrenchments about it and are daily expecting the Marquis Spinola to attack.
The King of Bohemia is at Emmerich. We do not yet know what he will do, although fortune seems to favour him. I hear that he will be obliged to await the result of Digby's negotiations, although there is no one who does not consider them interested, or at least that the emperor and his ministers want to drag things out. Every one sees the advantage that Caesar has gained by reserving his reply to the English ambassador until after the imperial diet. Camarino, councillor of the King Palatine, said as much to me, declaring that Digby had only engaged in these negotiations to display his talents and to bring about his scheme for the marriage of the English prince to the Catholic's sister. He assured me that his master would never consent to anything that might prejudice his honour and reputation, his state or those who have followed him, and he will tell the King of England so much.
The news is confirmed that the emperor is in great difficulties everywhere, and the States are advised that General Vere might recover all the fortresses of the Lower Palatinate with great ease, but they fear he is restrained by fear of offending the King of England.
The congregation of Holland begins its meetings to-day. They will send off the commissioners for England.
The Hague, the 6th September, 1621.
[Italian.]
Sept. 7.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
160. GIERONIMO PRIULI, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Viscount Doncaster has assured the king and the constable most solemnly that if matters go further his king will no longer be able to restrain his subjects from coming to help those of the religion here, especially at la Rochelle. This and other circumstances have produced such an effect that for the last six days the Duke of Sully, the constable, M. de la Force and Desplan have been negotiating for general accommodation, and they say a treaty will follow in a few days.
I have learned on good authority that Gabaleoni, ambassador of the Duke of Savoy, who has recently arrived from England, intended to go and persuade the king to make peace in his dominions, assuring him at the same time that if the present disturbances continue here, the King of England is quite determined to foment and assist the Huguenots, but when he was starting the ordinary ambassador sent to stop him, with orders to say no more to the king on the subject, as his Majesty had promised the duke that if he went to besiege Geneva he would pretend not to see.
Paris, the 7th September, 1621.
[Italian.]
Sept. 8.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Milano.
Venetian
Archives.
161. GIACOMO VENDRAMIN, Venetian Resident at Milan, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Medici has passed this way, returning from his embassies to Cologne and England. He reports with amazement the great influence and familiarity of the Count of Gondomar, the Spanish ambassador, with the king there. He had audience of his Excellency who admitted him at night. The reason is not known, but he received more honour than last time.
Milan, the 8th September, 1621.
[Italian.]
Sept. 9.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
162. That our Collegio have authority, through the merchants, to supply Benetto Ferro with one or more letters of credit directed to Tunis or some other place, as they may decide, for the sum of 1,000 ducats, so that he may use them as he may require, and he shall render account for any of that money which he has spent on his return to this city.
Ayes, 117.Noes, 2.Neutral, 8.
[Italian.]
Sept. 10.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
163. GIROLAMO LANDO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
I have received your Serenity's letters of the 14th ult. with information about current affairs.
No one believes any longer that the Valtelline will be restored or pretends to believe it. The matter is considered desperate because even if they carried out the treaty of Madrid it is considered certain that Leopold would occupy it. Those of the Spanish party throw all the blame upon the Swiss, and when any one remarks that they do not move except at the nod of the Governor of Milan, the most influential ministers reply that this cannot be proved, and in this way they think they can cure everything.
As regards the difficulty of your Serenity the opinion of this court is that the Duke of Feria will not attack the state, it being sufficient for him to make the republic arm and weaken herself by profuse expenditure, so that she cannot help others.
Digby sends word of the inundation or conflagration wrought by Gabor in the neighbourhood of Vienna at the sight of which he was dumbfounded, experiencing some difficulty to put a good face upon things, so that he was always working harder. The emperor firmly believes that all this and Mansfelt's actions are done by the order and devising of the King Palatine, especially as he is assured that it is entirely without the consent of the king here. His Imperial Majesty is in great distress and compelled to gather under a single leader the small army which he had scattered about in numerous places, and when he thought he had 18,000 men, only 8,000 were present at the muster. He adds that since these events he has been treated in a more friendly manner at that Court, when they have increased the assignment made to him for his expenses, so that he stays on there more willingly and at less cost. Nevertheless he lets them see the difficulties and practical impossibilities of the case, and that they do not desire either a truce or connivance in the Palatinate. Thus we hear of the taking of some place near Franchendal (fn. 2) by the Austrian forces, and even that Spinola himself may go thither in person and has already sent 10,000 men to help Bavaria against Mansfelt, leaving 14,000 in the neighbourhood of Juliers. If this be true they will perhaps require all the forces of Italy for Germany, to unite against Gabor.
Nevertheless it is thought that they will do nothing more from this quarter at present than direct the ambassador to continue his negotiations, and so far they have sent no answer to his letters, the king showing no disposition to act differently from what he has done hitherto, though urged to do so, but he seems profoundly moved, saddened and distressed. He is now being urged on by Sombergh, son of a leading councillor of the King of Bohemia, come for the purpose in the name of that king and his queen with letters to his Majesty, his Highness and the marquis, for whom he brought a fine sword as a gift. He is trying to obtain help in money for the Palatinate, and Lady Bedford, who has returned from the Hague, since her leave only served for a stay of a few days, is believed to have commissions from the queen for renewed petitions. The same person mentions that they should take advantage of the present weakness of the emperor, with the numerous forces of Mansfelt, Jegheldorf and Gabor.
By the news which I had recently from the Court it really seemed that his Majesty was beginning to incline to this, by means of the marquis's persuasion, possibly given craftily, though at first he listened impatiently, but after the ministers of the Spanish party had flown, who were here with the king in order to prevent anything being done, I hear on very good authority that this small ray has gone out already and that his Majesty has prepared a letter to send to his son-in-law with three important heads: firstly to complain of his having sent Baron Dohna to Denmark to ask help for the Palatinate and for seeking money in every quarter to maintain Mansfelt, while his Majesty is in the very midst of his negotiations; secondly to complain of his refusal to humble himself before the emperor and put himself in his hands, as other and greater princes have done, advising him at the same time to yield in order to obtain peace and regain his own; thirdly, in reply to the requests for money, reminding him how much he has spent for him in various ways, and refusing to send any more because he will not follow his advice.
This letter has not yet left because another has arrived from Digby lamenting that he has seen an intercepted letter from the King Palatine to Gabor swearing that he will never recognise the emperor except in his state as King of Bohemia. His Majesty, in great wrath, has stopped his letter, and Scomberg has returned to London, as if he had abandoned his task. There he will await this letter or another to take back with him. The King Palatine has himself written to his Majesty that it is just as reasonable for him to ask for help as for the Spaniards to take his place aforesaid. In order that he may not remain shamefully idle at the Hague, he remains at the side of the Prince of Orange; in the attempts of his followers in Bohemia, which may be the more desperate owing to the diminishing hope of any real assistance from this quarter, he needs the good advice of that commander who is as prudent as he is valiant.
The Ambassador Caron is about to go to Windsor to remind his Majesty of the bountiful promises made to him, which I have reported, if the negotiations of Digby did not prove successful. Some even cherish considerable hopes after all.
The Ambassador Aston writes from Spain that the Catholic king has sent other letters post to the emperor, urging him to lay aside all his claims and agree promptly to restitution, merely in order to give satisfaction here. But the most intelligent persons believe that this also is a jest, that they quite understand each other and that the promise to his Majesty will be worth no more than the one made to the Most Christian about the Valtelline.
No news whatever has yet arrived from France about the negotiations of the Ambassador Doncaster. He was purposely detained fifteen days in Paris by the persuasion of the ministers, who pointed out that it would not be seemly for him to arrive at Court without previously notifying his Majesty and learning his pleasure. Although he is personally very popular at that Court and has experience and ability they do not expect much from his mission. The Secretary Calvert here remarked to the Commissioners of la Rochelle, as if on his own responsibility, that he was afraid his Majesty could not do much for them while he was engaged for his son-in-law.
The same secretary, by his Majesty's order, has sent to hasten on M. Caron for the coming of the deputies to settle the business of the Indies, which he is most anxious to have done with. He has again sent to the States on the subject, urging them very strongly. The dissatisfaction at the delay steadily increases, and the whole people here are very excited and angry about it, so that few grieve about the disturbances at Rotterdam, reported by the last advices, about that pernicious sect of the Arminians.
London, the 10th September, 1621.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Sept. 10.
Inquisitori
di Stato.
Busta 442.
Venetian
Archives.
164. GIROLAMO LANDO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the INQUISITORS of STATE.
Vicenzo Buselo of Murano, who left Antwerp a few days ago, came to tell me that one Camillo of Lucca, who frequented his house, told him of a plot arranged by the Marquis of Belmar to send three ships from a port in Flanders to the shores of some place of the republic in the Gulf, and under the pretence of unlading merchandise to land soldiers, concealed in the boats, who would take the fortress by surprise, as he knew it was not well guarded. At the same moment that their ships were there the fleet would arrange to arrive, which should be all ready at Messina. He arranged all this three or four months ago in the time of Philip III, whose death either caused the plan to fall through or suspended its execution. But in any case, since these ships of Flanders were going to start, this Camillo thought of going to Venice by land in haste to discover the plot, and only the difficulty of bearing the expense detained him. Buselo thereupon wrote to his uncle Messer Camillo del Bragora asking him to address himself to some senator about the business and saying it would be as well to remain on the alert supposing the Spaniards continue to cherish this design under the present king. He said that the plot was against one of the most important places in the Gulf, but would not give its name, possibly for fear of being anticipated in the news. The man was so poor that it seemed unlikely he could be a spy, but probably he was employed by spies from whom he gathered these particulars. While I am trying to discover the name and what is being plotted I hope your Excellencies will send me your opinion.
In this connection one may note certain indications given by one Robert Lids, an English gentleman, a younger son and a Catholic, entirely devoted to the Spaniards, living with his father at Brussels, who under the influence of wine and in the presence of some of my household, while professing himself about to start for Brussels, one week about four or five months ago, said I shall go with some gentlemen, and with one in particular who was with him then, to Venice, not simply to see it because, he added laughing, the Spaniards want to have it very quickly. He did not start subsequently and has not gone yet. So far as I can discover he really was to have gone with this gentleman and some others; no one knows why they did not go. He has since repeated similar expressions more than once, but they are considered merely the outpourings of a drunken man without any foundation and spoken in jest.
A certain ensign, Paulo of Milan, who came here with the Polish ambassador, when conversing with one Cavalier Dagde, a Frenchman, who told me, said that he had been on one of the ships of the Duke of Osuna when he plotted against Venice. He proposed to allow himself to be taken by Jacques Pierre with two or three ships. With these prizes that rascal was to enter the port of Venice in triumphal fashion; a great concourse of people would gather to see them, and at that moment the villains of the conspiracy who were in the city were to attack the arsenal, the mint and the palace, while the ships would slay many people and throw everything into confusion, rendering themselves masters of the port. I thought it best not to pass this matter over in silence.
The Spanish ambassador here, through Angelo Nodari of Padua, is trying to arrange for the departure hence of Antonio de Dominis, who still styles himself Archbishop of Spalato. This man is discontented as he has not found what he expected here, but no more than 4,000 crowns revenue. He is disposed to leave if he could be sure of pardon from his Holiness and facilities for living in good style. Good promises have been given him for something in Naples or Sicily. This would be an important consideration for your Excellencies, owing to the relations which he had in Dalmatia, not to speak of Venice. So far as I have been able to discover he no longer receives letters, and his reputation has declined here, where he is considered light, voluble and insincere.
I must not forget to mention that I have heard that a short time ago there were at Venice, and I believe are there still, one Douglas a Scot, one Dodson, an Englishman of Wales, and one Gio, an Irishman, the last used to live near the prisons across the Ponte della Paglia, who are sent to forward such advices as they are called, being sent as spies by the Secretary Lake six or seven years ago, for which they received at least 100l. a year each, that is 400 crowns.
I enclose a packet of the Cavalier Lazari, which gives the true flavour. I have not discovered anything about him except that he seems to be engaged in arranging the departure of the archbishop aforesaid, though I think he has a very small share in it. For my part I think what he writes are mostly fabrications which he uses to take to Court and perhaps to treat with the Austrian ministers and others of their party, with whom he seems to be very intimate. It will either be impenetrable or simply casual intelligence.
London, the 10th September, 1621.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Sept. 11.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Germania.
Venetian
Archives.
165. PIERO GRITTI, Venetian Ambassador in Germany, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The Palatinate negotiations have fluctuated greatly, but at length they have arrived at a solution which satisfies not only the English ambassador but his Majesty, who hopes thereby to escape many troubles and vexations. On Tuesday von Echembergh saw the Ambassador Digby and told him that the emperor agreed to an armistice for six months, in order that they might complete the present negotiations in the interval, in accordance with the proposal made by the ambassador at the outset. He assured him of the emperor's desire to satisfy the King of Great Britain upon his other proposals.
News arrived afterwards that General Vere, who commands the Palatine's troops in the Palatinate, had billeted some troops in the jurisdiction of the Bishop of Spires, which induced Don Gonzalo di Cordova, general of the Catholic king's army in that state, to make reprisals. The emperor seemed very angry at this and complained strongly to the English ambassador, inclining to withdraw from what he had already agreed to to gratify his king. The ambassador said he had no news of this event and declared he knew it had taken place contrary to the wishes of the king and the Prince Palatine. He further said that because he saw so many difficulties raised in these negotiations, he would depart. Yesterday the emperor sent him word that he still desired to satisfy his king. He would write to the infanta in Flanders expressing his desire for the truce unless events in the Palatinate changed the aspect of affairs. The ambassador was satisfied with this, knowing that the infanta in her own interests desired that this question of the Palatinate should be settled, and also because he knew that they must have the last word in Flanders about the truce because of the interests of the Catholic king there, who has left the decision with the infanta.
They will hand the ambassador the letter to the infanta open, and he will send it by express courier at the emperor's desire. It will not specify any time for the truce, but they mean here to have it for at least six months.
As regards the Upper Palatinate, where Spanish interests are not involved, his Majesty has decided to write to the Duke of Bavaria telling him of the King of England's request for the suspension of the imperial ban and of the reasons which move the emperor to give him satisfaction. This letter will also be consigned open to the ambassador, who has some idea of presenting it to his Highness himself.
Nostis, an Aulic councillor, has returned from sounding the Duke of Saxony about restoring the Palatine to his state and title and to ask him to go at the earliest opportunity to Ratisbon to decide this question. The duke excused himself from going, saying that the emperor's prudence would solve these difficulties for himself. Almost every one thinks that the duke now sides with the Palatine and desires his reinstatement, but that he will do everything to prevent the question being referred to a diet.
Vienna, the 11th September, 1621. Copy.
[Italian.]
Sept. 11.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Firenze.
Venetian
Archives.
166. GIOVANNI FRANCESCO TRIVISANO, Venetian Resident in Florence, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The Viscount de Lormes has just arrived in this city and leaves for Leghorn to-morrow morning, where he tells me he will await Sig. Benetto Ferro, and thus they will proceed together to deal with the affair of the pirates. As he showed me your Serenity's patents I gave him full credence and every assistance and favour.
Florence, the 11th September, 1621.
[Italian.]
Sept. 13.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Signori Stati.
Venetian
Archives.
167. CHRISTOFFORO SURIAN, Venetian Secretary in the Netherlands, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Good news came that the castle of Stein in the Lower Palatinate, which was surprised by the Spanish troops, had been retaken by General Vere with heavy loss to the enemy. But letters arrived this morning state that the English marched through the moat of the castle up to the middle in water, firing and skirmishing, until they reached the first courtyard, but were driven back. This has caused as much sorrow as the first news caused satisfaction, though they feel sure that Vere will not allow himself to go unrevenged.
On Wednesday I had occasion to see the Queen of Bohemia. In speaking of Digby's negotiations she remarked: My father must be aware that the Spaniards are seeking their own advantage, and are gaining time. I said I hoped that the King of Great Britain would decide for her husband, and there are rumours here that he seems inclined to change his mind.
The Hague, the 13th September, 1621.
[Italian.]
Sept. 14.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
168. GIERONIMO PRIULI, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The Duke of Sully continues his negotiations amidst the din of arms. He desires a general peace, but his Majesty will not listen. Sickness is prevalent in the king's army, more than 4,000 being down and many die. The contagion has spread to the towns such as Toulouse and Misach, and the king's brother has caught it. Doncaster, the ambassador extraordinary of England, has also taken it and came very near death, but he is now better and hopes to recover.
Paris, the 14th September, 1621.
[Italian.]
Sept. 17.
Senato,
Secreta,
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
169. GIROLAMO LANDO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The king seems to have taken very ill the news of the Palatine accompanying the Prince of Orange to his army; the Spaniards complain that he is always acting against them, but perhaps they rather wish to take him away from the prince's good advice and render him effeminate and dishonourable by ease. His Majesty will advise him to withdraw to the Hague; it seems uncertain whether he will obey.
Meanwhile as Jegheldorf and Mansfelt justify their action by virtue of their old commissions, his Majesty desires that these may be withdrawn. For this he will probably obtain satisfaction, at least in appearance. For this purpose and others of a similar character the king has decided to send Villiers, the favourite's brother, secretly to his son-in-law; and he will leave in a few days.
The ministers here go on saying that the action of these two, and of Gabor, although he tries and makes it appear that he has nothing to do with the Palatine's interests, will prolong Digby's negotiation, but will not prevent a successful issue, the emperor showing so much good will, although since the return of his messenger to Bavaria and of Father Giacinto, the Capucin from Rome, the affair has manifestly altered for the worse. His Majesty has ordered his ambassador to pursue his negotiations if the diet meets at Ratisbon, which now seems doubtful, in order to obtain a final answer there, but to obtain one in any event. Although it appears that the ambassador is negotiating very properly with great zeal, and in concert with the agent of France, yet he is at present much discredited here, either because things are not going to their satisfaction, according to their wont to lay the blame on the ministers for not knowing how to guide them, or because the king's hopes were previously raised too high. He asks for money, and is trying very hard to get some, but those who formerly opened wide the gates to all his requests now shut them tight against him.
The capture of Steen in the Palatinate by Spinola's forces has troubled them greatly here; and they do not believe the subsequent news that Vere has recovered it. It would be an important point, as the place is of consequence owing to the passage to Heidelberg. In any case, warlike operations, whether successful or otherwise, displease his Majesty, who fears the total loss of the country. Nevertheless he thinks of no way of preventing it or giving help. He has spoken strongly against the Spaniards because of this; as usual he cries out against them and afterwards caresses them. He exclaims almost constantly against the Palatine although in this also his manner of speaking and writing changes every hour (molto ha ella per ciò esagerato contra Spagnoli al solito se li grida contra, et poi si accarezzano. Ben continuamente si esclama contra il Palatino sebene anco con questo da un'hora all'altra si cangiano le forme di parlare et di scrivere).
He has also been much moved by the news which he has received from Spain, although it is not confirmed by his ambassador, that the marriage of the infanta there to the emperor's son is already arranged, and nothing is wanting save the solemnization and consummation. This coming on the top of other news which reached him before caused him, I understand, to betray great agitation and passion in his bedchamber recently, swearing and declaring that every one was betraying him and adding that he would never believe any one again. He seemed equally incensed these last days, on hearing that some secret of his had been divulged outside his own apartments. Accordingly he spoke high, threatening the gentlemen of the Chamber. This together with the proclamations already issued, has brought about a remarkable silence and has led to business being confined more than ever to his Majesty, the prince and the favourite alone, and of some the Secretary of State scarcely knows anything. This, however, does not prevent the Ambassador Gondomar from knowing all about them, as before, so this turns to his advantage and to the disadvantage of the others (onde aggionto questo agl'altri, che per inanzi sono pervenuti, intendo che nella sua camera di letto ha ultimamante dato altri segni di grande perturbatione et passione, giurando et dicendo che tutto il mondo la tradisce bene aggiunse di non volerlo credere ancora. Si è mostrata altrettanto sdegnata insieme questi giorni intendendo che qualche suo secreto sia state rifferito fuori delle proprie stanze, onde ha altamente parlato, minicciandone li gentilhuomini di camera; da che nasce appresso li proclami già fatti un silentio estraordinario che si ristring-hono maggiormente li negotii fra sua Maesta, il Sig. Principe et il favorito soli, et che di alcuni a pena tenga notitia il Segretario di Stato, non è però che l'Ambr. Gondmar in particolare non li risappia come prima; onde cio ad avantaggio suo et a suantaggio di altri resultà).
This ambassador, according to my information on very good authority, on hearing this same news about the marriage of the infanta, lamented the fact to his intimates and seemed almost in a condition of desperation, saying he did not know how he could ever go into the king's presence again, or what he should say to him on the subject. But this is considered a pose in order to make out that he has been deceived himself. (Il qual ambasciatore, per quanto mi viene da parte assai sicura, tenendo l'istesso aviso del mariaggio della Infanta, con suoi domestici si n'è doluto, essagerando in forma di mezza disperatione, e dicendo non sapere come andare più inanzi il Re ne che dirgli in tale proposito; ma è creduta fintione per mostrare di esser ingannato egli ancora.)
He has sent to his Majesty to inform him of the queen's misadventure and the peril she has been in, (fn. 3) but this is considered an artifice to induce the people to give the satisfaction required, as the Marquis of Hamilton, in his speech to the Parliament of Scotland in his Majesty's name, said that he might have had a large sum of money from the Spaniards if he had agreed to the said marriage, but he would not. These people are extremely dissatisfied on learning since the conclusion of the assembly that much of the money which they decided to contribute has been assigned to the marquis and others.
Some of the English counties have made a collection of some 53,000l. sterling to give to the King of Bohemia, without the knowledge of his Majesty, who is much offended, and accordingly he is now trying to have every one's share returned to him.
I learn that the Prince of Orange is now disposed to cultivate the friendship of the favourite here more than he has done hitherto. Thus in addition to the sword which he recently presented to him, he is thinking of giving him some jewels of great value to the cost of which the States will contribute, hoping to profit in their interests.
The Secretary Calvert told me that he believed Spinola contemplated going to Holland to give battle to the Prince of Orange, though it was not thought he would accept it willingly, and the Spaniards hoped for some considerable revolt on the part of the Arminians if they concentrated their forces upon that country. Important news reaches me every day from that quarter, but your Excellencies will be fully advised by another pen than mine, and I will confine myself within the limits of the materials, unsatisfactory as they are (ben che insulte) which I can collect in this, I will not say sterile, but too voluptuous (morbido) country; which precisely conforms to the nature of the soil, being over rich and uncultivated.
The arming of the ships, which they began with such zeal, has slackened notably. They speak of some ordinance of withdrawal. They profess, however, that the king will use those which have come, and that they shall return from the Mediterranean. Actually the French and Spaniards have worked in secret to prevent the arming, because if the disputes with the Dutch about the Indies were settled they fear that it might not serve their interests, although report and profession are as I notified and will continue so until the settlement is effected. They also encounter many difficulties with the merchants, who have stayed their decision to contribute unless his Majesty will give them satisfaction for the aforesaid ships, to be employed against the pirates; and his Majesty has learned with great satisfaction that the States have written resolutely to the members of the India company at Amsterdam that if they will not give them satisfaction they will do so themselves.
The ordinary Ambassador Herbert, from France, has returned and gone to the Court. He was warmly welcomed by the king, as if he had never been dissatisfied with him, and indeed he did not exceed his instructions.
Doncaster, the ambassador extraordinary, has fallen sick on the way, to the delay of his business, upon which his Majesty has recently begun to speak strongly again, blaming the Most Christian in the usual way and even more strongly, as some persons constantly try to sow in his mind fresh suspicions of that sovereign.
The French ambassador at Brussels has complained strongly of the President Dola, and I learn that the infanta has written other letters to him in good form, accompanied by some from the Catholic with instructions to obey the orders of her Highness in every eventuality.
Sir Thomas Roe has taken leave of the Court for his embassy at Constantinople, and proposes to pass through Venice on his way there with his wife.
Your Excellencies' advices of the 21st August bring me no instructions about the recovered artillery, which I asked for on the 30th July last. They continue to recover fresh pieces from the wreck of the Santa Giustina. I was waiting anxiously to hear because of the danger from pirates on the Irish coast.
London, the 17th September, 1621.
[Italian; the parts in italics-deciphered.]
Sept. 19.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Germania.
Venetian
Archives.
170. PIERO GRITTI, Venetian Ambassador in Germany, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The English ambassador left on Wednesday for the court of Spain. He seemed satisfied with the results of his negotiations, thinking the truce in the Lower Palatinate firmly established, as before leaving he sent a courier to Flanders with the emperor's letter to the infanta, giving her power to arrange the truce. Last Sunday he sent a courier to the Duke of Bavaria with the emperor's letter to his Highness, urging him to agree to a truce in the Upper Palatinate. The assent of Bavaria is considered necessary because his Majesty is bound not to make any truce without him, because of the complaints he made about the month's truce arranged by the Marquis Spinola. They have little hope of good results from the latter, however, owing to the duke's intention to acquire the Upper Palatinate, and after the English ambassador had gone news came that the duke started off for the Upper Palatinate last Thursday.
In the negotiations for the truce here they have said nothing about including the Marquis of Giagrandorf or the Prince of Transsylvania, and if the truce is completed it will only include his Majesty and the Prince Palatine, and the Spaniards for the Lower Palatinate; but as regards the Upper Palatinate it would include Bavaria and Mansfelt, who was named by the English ambassador; but if peace were arranged many others would claim to be included.
Vienna, the 19th September, 1621.
[Italian. Copy.]
Sept. 20.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
171. GIERONIMO PRIULI, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the DOGE and SENATE.
I have heard that the Spanish ambassador here some days ago got ready to go to Court, but on hearing that his Majesty and the constable were much incensed over the delay in restoring the Valtelline, and from learning that the Ambassador Gondomar in England had done everything in his power to induce the king there to help the Huguenots, and that they intended to make a strong remonstrance, he changed his mind and decided to stop in Paris, seizing upon the pretext of the sickness in the camp and his fear of catching it, as indeed befalls most of those who go there.
Paris, the 20th September, 1621.
[Italian.]
Sept. 21.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
172. GIERONIMO PRIULI, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The ambassador of the States here has received orders from their High Mightinesses to go to the king and join his offices with those of the ambassador extraordinary of England, for the accommodation of the troubles of the kingdom.
Paris, the 21st September, 1621.
[Italian.]
Sept. 24.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
173. GIROLAMO LANDO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
While paying my respects to the king, the prince and the favourite about their safe return from the progress I again referred to some of the more essential points about the road in dispute and the Valtelline upon which I have from time to time spoken to the Secretary of State when I had an opportunity. I received great signs of honour and esteem for your Serenity and expressions of approval of the justice of your cause, but nothing very remarkable, and amid many shrugs of the shoulders I remarked unusual melancholy, indecision and confusion of mind. I find the reason for this to be that the Spanish ambassador, on receiving an extraordinary courier, went to audience and after making loud complaints against General Vere in the Palatinate not only for cutting up some of Spinola's captains and soldiers, but for committing or permitting monstrous sacrilege against sacred images in the dominions of the ecclesiastical electors, by his soldiery, informed his Majesty that the Pope will not grant a dispensation for the marriage unless absolute liberty of conscience is permitted in these realms, and this not only by permission of his Majesty and the Council but of Parliament also in proper form, that they shall further stop and withdraw all the laws made against the Catholics. The king alone cannot do this, owing to the privileges and customs of this country, and Parliament will certainly never do it.
Another reason is that his Majesty recently received news from Rome that his Holiness has written to the Most Christian praising him for his worthy undertaking against the Protestants with so much zeal, and urging him thoroughly to adjust the affairs of his own kingdom and then think of some pretext for attacking them here and so uproot the origin of all the mischief. This has also been recently confirmed by the Agent Wake from Turin, who has sent a copy of the Pope's very letter, which his Majesty received yesterday with the other advices. Thus I observed that when in speaking of the passage I remarked that the Nuncio Scappi had gone to Milan on purpose to adjust the matters of the road, and when I mentioned his Holiness, the king did not like it at all reddened (bissava) and bit his lips without uttering a word, though he showed every sign of internal perturbation.
Wake adds that the pope has also urged on the Duke of Savoy to take possession of Geneva; and although Wake declares that his Highness has other objects in view, yet their fear of the King of France doing the same thing, the great increase in his power by bridling the Huguenots, the designs in concert with the Bernese and to amass troops with the idea of sending back Lesdiguières to the Government of Dauphiné together with the opinion that is held of the duke's instability, make them uneasy at seeing such application in the greater Catholic powers to trample under all the Protestants.
The last reason for his Majesty's melancholy is that his son-in-law is tired of the slowness and delay of Digby's negotiations (of whom some say that he has been sent to Spain, though this is not certain), that he has resolved not to leave the side of the Prince of Orange, without taking up any other undertaking, and that he will not give up his alliance with Gabor or arrest the action of Jegheldorf or Mansfelt. Accordingly his Majesty laments that he will not let himself be ruled, and wonders with compassion what will become of his poor children. The Palatine also gives out that if he had chanced to be in Brussels at this time when Spinola started campaigning, he would have accompanied him also, in order not to remain shamefully idle; that he will never yield to intolerable terms, that he cannot honourably or safely dissociate himself from those to whom he is bound by oath, and he would die rather than do so, even if he had the halter round his throat. He admits that he promised to follow his Majesty's advice, whom he considers as a father, but always saving his honour and conscience.
These ideas cause the more displeasure here because it is understood that the queen holds them equally strongly. It is reported in particular that when her husband showed her a humble petition which the wife of Anhalt presented to the emperor, and remarked to her, see what a good wife she was to her husband and how well she advised him, the queen answered, I am a better wife because I do not advise such baseness and never will.
Sir [Edward] Villiers is leaving to perform the offices I notified recently, under the pretext of simply going to the war out of curiosity. But it is thought that all his efforts will be thrown to the winds. Some think that he also has some secret commission for the States about the activity of the Dutch ships in these seas, especially as the Spaniards are constantly urging his Majesty to maintain control there.
The Commissioners of la Rochelle have obtained permission for a collection to be made in all the churches of the realm, and already orders have been issued to the bishops for the needs of the French who have taken refuge in that place in great numbers. Under this pretext they apparently hope to collect a considerable sum and to help those in France who need it more. The king has expressed to the same commissioners his intention to allow them to levy troops here if the negotiations of the Ambassador Doncaster do not turn out well. This is kept secret as yet, in order not to exasperate the Most Christian; but the said ambassador, owing to his sickness, had not, according to the latest advices, as much as begun much less completed his negotiations.
Some of the prelates here are of opinion that the Archbishop of Canterbury, owing to the accident I reported, is incapable of holding his office, and that on this account it is necessary to convoke a synod. (fn. 4) Some think that the king is the source of this idea notwithstanding the ample pardon he granted. The Spaniards and their party are trying covertly to undo him; I do not know what to expect amid the various interests and passions. Assuredly if he does not receive the blow, he will run great risks.
The Earl of Arundel, after he received the baton of earl marshal has encountered many difficulties in getting the seals for the patents passed by the lord keeper (Milord Chiper), which doubtless would not have been raised by this new minister without the concurrence of the king or of some one very near him. (fn. 5) It appears that they aim at depriving him of authority in such a way that embracing it may bring him no honour, and therefore he still seems very discontented and angry.
London, the 24th September, 1621.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Sept. 25
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
174. To the Ambassador in Germany and the like to the other Courts and the PROVEDITORI GENERAL.
Spinola contemplates bridging the Rhine near Wesel. Prince Maurice is endeavouring to thwart him. He expects the marquis to attack him, and though inferior in force he has no fear. The Hungarians have raided close up to Vienna. The Grisons, despite internal dissensions, are trying to raise a force; if they mean to fight the Governor of Milan intends to go to the Valtelline in person. The hope of the restitution of the valley becomes constantly slighter. Montauban holds out; sickness has appeared in the king's camp. Bouillon is said to contemplate an attack on the Catholics, and they fear Condé_ may join him. The Nuncio Scappi continues his negotiations about the road. The governor seems to keep this question open to give him an excuse for increasing his armaments and to harass our republic.
Ayes, 112.Noes, 0.Neutral, 3.
[Italian.]
Sept. 25.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Firenze.
Venetian
Archives.
175. BENEDETTO FERRO to the DOGE and SENATE.
The Duke of Mantua, before leaving here, warmly recommended the cause of the Viscount de Lormes to their Highnesses, but although his agent got him released in a few hours, I see they are encouraging him with vain hopes, and their Highnesses will do nothing but have probably written to the French ambassador in Venice about his detention. If that ambassador finds that he is detained by order of his Most Christian Majesty he will probably ask that he may be sent to France. The Viscount told me this might happen, though he hopes for release. He has written the enclosed letter.
Florence, the 25th September, 1621.
[Italian.]
Enclosure.176. Letter of the VISCOUNT DE LORMES.
This very morning I learned that the ships are in the place indicated. I beg that everything may be done for my release and the prosecution of our journey.
Leghorn, the 22nd September, 1621.
[Italian.]
Sept. 27.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Signori Stati.
Venetian
Archives.
177. CHRISTOFFORO SURIAN, Venetian Secretary in the Netherlands, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The English ambassador has frequently requested their High Mightinesses to send the ambassadors to arrange the matters between the East India Companies of the two nations, and finally Holland has nominated two, Aerssens and the deputy Burgomaster of Amsterdam. Aerssens tried to excuse himself, but in vain. They say he will appeal to the States General, but that is not likely to help him, because they think he acts rather for the sake of his reputation than because he really wishes to be released. They are now awaiting the decision of Zeeland and have written to Middelburg to hasten their resolution. The Ambassador Carleton excuses the delay and told me he had written in his last despatch to the king, that they show the best of good will here and the delay must be attributed to the defects of the Government.
The Hague, the 27th September, 1621.
[Italian.]

Footnotes

1 For an account of this parliament see Rej. of the Privy Council of Scotland, Vol. XII, preface, section 6. A list of the members of this body given in a note to page 549 of the same vol. shows only eleven bishops in all, including the archbishops, and fifty-two nobles, of whom seventeen appeared by proxy.
2 Stein. See below, Lando's despatch of the 17th September.
3 The Queen of Spain gave birth to a daughter on the 14th August. The child died in two days and the queen was for a while in extreme danger. Despatch of Aston of the 17th Aug. State Papers, Foreign: Spain.
4 Williams and Laud refused to be consecrated to their new sees by one whose hands were stained with blood.
5 There were two patents, one confirming the earl in his office, the other assigning him a pension of 2,000l. a year. For Williams's objections to sealing these see Gardiner: Hist. of Eng., iv. page, 137.