Venice
December 1621, 16-31

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Institute of Historical Research

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Author

Allen B. Hinds (editor)

Year published

1911

Pages

178-194

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'Venice: December 1621, 16-31', Calendar of State Papers Relating to English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 17: 1621-1623 (1911), pp. 178-194. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=88823 Date accessed: 24 July 2014.


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December 1621

Dec. 16.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
246. ZUANE PESARO, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The English ambassador has returned from M. de Rohan. He asks for permission and a safe conduct to send a gentleman to la Rochelle to obtain orders to treat, saying that if he negotiates as chief he will offend his Majesty and if he negotiates without orders from the Rochellese he will offend the assembly and do no good. From what he very courteously told me in confidence the affair stands thus:
His Majesty shall give a general pardon with propter security; the assembly shall dissolve, sending fresh deputies to ask pardon of his Majesty for past events, for errors, he said, which they had not committed, and expressing their complete obedience. He added that this did not give satisfaction and the constable would not agree to the mission to la Rochelle proposed by Rohan. He said he was sorry for this as he knew they did not desire peace if they refused the means, and nothing remained for him but to leave and ask for his congé. He had come to this city, but the king had written asking him to await the event of Monurt, (fn. 1) which was not then taken, and his coming here.
The ambassador knows how jealous the French are of his interposition, fearing that it will glorify England and abase the reputation of the government here, which cannot make its own subjects submit without foreign help, without the fear of allowing the Huguenots to be captivated too far and that a treaty may only confirm the pretensions of the rebels. The ambassador declared that he desired no glory but only prayed for peace. He would even leave the kingdom to be absent at its conclusion.
There is a rumour that the Duke of Bouillon has helped Mansfelt. The English ambassador said this was a pretext for France to join the Spaniards by saying that Mansfelt was in the Palatinate and had received money from his king who would certainly take up arms for the Palatinate. He had sent this news post to England that his Majesty might divert this movement.
This ambassador seems well disposed towards your Serenity. He said he had spoken for the Valtelline and found the French very cold as they thought it concerned Italy alone. I confirmed his sound opinions. He assured me that the pope had arranged with the Spaniards to insist upon the Catholic religion and had begged the Catholic not to make restitution.
Bordeaux, the 16th December, 1621.
[Italian.]
Dec. 16.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
247. GIROLAMO LANDO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The Lord High Admiral has recommended to me Sir [William] Broncardo, (fn. 2) a member of a noble house, to be colonel of the levies raised in these realms for your Serenity by the king's licence. He would like him to take up the charge upon the same conditions as Sir [Edward] Sackville, who is appointed to the embassy of France. To my friendly but general reply he answered by asking me to write about it to your Serenity, saying it would satisfy him if you promised not to concede this except in time of need. I told him that such was not the practice of the republic, but I hope your Excellencies will do your utmost to satisfy one whose influence is so great while keeping in mind the respect due to the merits of Lord Nort, who was among the first to offer his services, and who is the only one left of those with whom I treated. I believe some way can be found of satisfying both and to render the marquis content.
London, the 16th December, 1621.
[Italian.]
Dec. 17.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
248. GIROLAMO LANDO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Some particulars of a conversation which I had recently with Lord Digby about current affairs, upon the occasion of a visit, seem to me worthy of the knowledge of your Serenity. He hoped that the Catholic would not approve the action of the emperor about the negotiations for the restitution of the Palatinate or the favour shown to the Duke of Bavaria, because that monarch is beginning to have some jealousy of the duke, not thinking it good for the house of Austria to aggrandise him for many respects. That just as the Catholic keeps an ambassador with the emperor his king had decided to keep a minister with his son-in-law or with the Council in the Palatinate, for all emergencies and to provide that things shall be better managed than they have been so far. He has decided to send 12,000 or 14,000 foot and 3,000 or 4,000 horse to act for the recovery of the country under his own flag if restitution does not take place, for which he will no longer employ words, but deeds, and he is awaiting the replies to his representations made in the Imperial Court and in Spain. Of these troops Vere will be general, a most worthy man, and they will send him hence a lieutenant with captains and officers, who are already selected in great part. For the rest he will help his son-in-law with ready money as much as possible to support Mansfelt upon whose preservation the whole fabric depends, and therefore Tilly proposed to offer him battle, having passed the Neckar with Cordova. If Mansfelt came off victorious he proposed to ravage the country of Mainz as he had that of Spires, where he obtained great booty, as his soldiers could not refrain from plundering wherever they went, because they received no pay. The new subsidy granted by parliament would serve in some measure added to the money recently sent. His Majesty hopes that his good friends will follow his example, especially the States and your Serenity.
I answered this as if on my own responsibility in the form prescribed by rule. He replied that he offered this remark himself, but it seemed well grounded owing to the request made by the Palatine that the king should back the new request which he intended to make at Venice on the subject. So far as I can ascertain there is some idea of doing this and when the king is here he may easily speak to me on the subject, although, considering the expenses which the republic has to incur it will not be very reasonable, yet he would not like a refusal or to go so far as to offend the Spaniards.
He told me that the people here would certainly maintain all these troops without giving his Majesty any anxiety or trouble and although parliament is now crying out about many matters, it is probable that these discords will ultimately be appeased, as it will receive all reasonable satisfaction about the grievances which it pretends the country suffers from. But deliberation and decision in matters of state should belong to the king alone. It was not the assembly in general which made the trouble, but only certain individuals of evil intent.
As regards the war, if the Spaniards do not withdraw their help from the emperor, it will be waged with them also, though it does not rest with subjects to decide this but with his Majesty, and the same applies to the negotiations and decision about the marriage. Many cannot bear to hear of one with Spain, but they ought not to oppose it without proposing some one else. The prince is already a man in years, and must of necessity marry, being the king's only son. He hinted that they were quite clear from any marriage with the Germans, and were but little satisfied over the negotiations which had taken place with the French, besides other considerations, accordingly after weighing every consideration they had to adopt the least objectionable course. He showed that the dispensation was proceeding favourably at Rome, and without it they could not conduct formal negotiations here because the Spaniards could always turn round and say that the pope did not desire it. He added that the marriage would never be made without an open declaration to the Spaniards themselves that it will not in any way soever prejudice the ancient friendships, protections and interests of his Majesty and this throne, to the least of his friends, or without notifying his subjects also. The vulgar said that it might bring a coldness into the good relations between his Majesty and the Dutch, but that was mere vanity as in reality the king would always favour, advance and protect these relations, provided the Dutch showed a proper respect for him, otherwise, even if the Prince married a Dutch woman, there would be ill will. He added that this was the moment to unite with them even more than in the time of Queen Elizabeth; there was certainly cause for dissatisfaction with them, notably about their behaviour in the Indies, but he felt sure that the ambassadors extraordinary, who had recently arrived, and who would have audience of his Majesty on his return from Newmarket, would adjust everything.
The parliament, these last days has inveighed strongly against the Spaniards, against the French also, as well as against the poor English Catholics and the Jesuits, charging these last with violence and contempt against some preachers and with a thousand other things. They have complained bitterly because his Majesty has shown them so much indulgence. In weighing countless other matters which they consider grievances to the kingdom and prejudicial to its liberty, they decided to petition his Majesty to put in execution some rigorous points for the service of the country and his own person, for the safety of religion and various other matters in request, but especially to urge him to make war on the Catholic, and to declare it, if he does not make restitution, or if that is beyond his power, to withdraw his assistance, thus clearly expressing the prejudice and discontent which they would receive from the said marriage.
The king has forestalled these last petitions by a letter warning them not to meddle with affairs of state, saying he marvels at their venturing upon a province that pertains to him, and is offended thereat. (fn. 3) This equally offended the assembly yesterday, when it was read, and they also complained that he should remain so far away at such a crisis, and remarked that they did not pretend to meddle in affairs of state but only to remind him humbly of what they considered prejudicial to him, and to petition him, if a war could be made at the root, at slight cost, more easily and with better prospects of success, not to think of making it in distant branches, at a heavier charge and with more difficulty, which the kingdom could not support. It has not made them change their resolution either, as after long debates they have decided to-day, by virtue of the liberties which they claim, that the said representation shall certainly be made, even with more urgency, that when his Majesty hears the strong and well-grounded arguments advanced by his subjects with humbleness and respect, he will take it in good part, and will find the information he received and which induced him to write that letter was malignant and malicious for various interests.
London, the 17th December, 1621.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Dec. 19.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Spagna.
Venetian
Archives.
249. ALVISE CORNER, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The French ambassador told me that by the king's order they had informed him that whereas it was reported that the action of the Huguenots did not take place without his knowledge, and the Ambassador Gondomar had performed good offices in their favour, he absolutely declared that he had never thought of such machinations and detested the very idea of them, and if any minister of his acted differently, he would punish him severely.
Two days ago a Capuchin named Father Giacinto arrived here. They say he is to negotiate about the Palatinate and the Valtelline by order of the pope and the emperor. The nuncio has spoken with him but so far I have no authentic particulars.
Madrid, the 19th December, 1621.
[Italian.]
Dec. 20
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Signori Stati.
Venetian
Archives.
250. CHRISTOFFORO SURIAN, Venetian Secretary in the Netherlands, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The English ambassador has received instructions to remit money to the amount of 300,000 florins to the Palatinate and after receiving letters this evening from England he sent to inform me of the decision of the parliament to give a subsidy to the king to maintain the forces in the Palatinate until they meet again, and that they had also decided to maintain the war.
The French ambassador does not believe in the genuineness of the intercepted letters of the emperor. The general opinion is that they were forged in order to excite opinion in England.
The Hague, the 20th December, 1621.
[Italian.]
Dec. 21.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Costantinopoli.
Venetian
Archives.
251. ZORZI GIUSTINIAN, Venetian Ambassador at Constantinople, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The English ambassador, having completed the period of his embassy has obtained leave from his king to return home. As they have not yet appointed his successor his Majesty has sent another person here, who will act as secretary, and as chargé d'affaires during the vacancy. (fn. 4) As the ambassador wished to leave he asked the Caimecam for an order to go to Adrianople to kiss hands and take leave, and although the Caimecam said he could not do this, the ambassador prepared horses and coaches to proceed to that town. The Caimecam interfered and stopped him. He explained this by saying that peace with Poland was not yet absolutely certain, and the Turks might suspect assistance would be given by Christian princes if the war was renewed, and think that his removal before the arrival of his successor might be done by this king with that object.
The Vigne of Pera, the 21st December, 1621.
[Italian; deciphered.]
Dec. 22.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Dalmazia.
Venetian
Archives.
252. PIERO LOREDAN, Count and LUNARDO PISANI, Captain of Zara, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The Viscount de Lormes arrived here on the 16th inst. He left for Cattaro on Monday morning.
Zara, the 22nd December, 1621.
[Italian.]
Dec. 23.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
253. GIROLAMO LANDO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
I enclose a copy of the remarkable letter written by his Majesty to bridle the parliament. I hear that the Ambassador Gondomar had it the day before it was read in the assembly, perhaps with his Majesty's knowledge or even by his orders, and that he sent it to Spain with other offices about the marriage and the Palatinate. He is now eagerly awaiting the ordinary courier with the replies to these points. It is thought that they will aim at inducing somnolence here once more, and perhaps they spread reports in order to mitigate the rage of the people here against him, which the leave to return home will bring him. Few expect, though many desire this, thinking him well situated here and how much fortune smiles upon him, beyond what is credible or imaginable.
They have had numerous and lengthy altercations in the Lower House about the king's letter, although they immediately confirmed their decision to send the articles precisely as they were before it arrived after recalling by a special messenger the six commissioners who had already started to present them to the king, the House having assembled every day of late with much clamour from early in the morning until two or three o'clock in the afternoon debating whether they should send the commissioners or no, his Majesty having hinted that he would not receive them. But after much discussion, some remarking that God himself never shut his ears to humble petitions, after proposing to send the Speaker alone, who has charge of all the affairs of the House, after many suggestions to withdraw the recent grant of a subsidy, when those considered most Spanish in sympathy seem to have made more clamour than the others, for the purpose of offending his Majesty and lighting a conflagration, they decided to send the six commissioners with six others, whose return is awaited with great expectation. (fn. 5) They make a humble and tactful reply to the letter, begging his Majesty to read the articles, in which they have made some alterations, though mostly in the preamble and conclusion and rather verbal than esssential, because they heard he had solemnly sworn he would not look at the first. I enclose a translation for your perusal.
Many are sorry that the Lower House did not take the Upper into its confidence over this, as though it is more courtierly and very respectful, it would have joined in and thereby have given greater weight to the representation. Moreover, his Majesty knows full well that although he has supporters in both Houses, the bulk of them are passionately and strongly opposed (l'universale però è ben appassionato et concitato in contrario). Prudence itself cannot foretell what answer and reception his Majesty will give to these commissioners. The considerations, or the ministers through which he wrote the letter, after so many indications to the contrary, may easily lead him to reply to the same effect, especially as the Secretary Calvert again told the assembly in the king's name to proceed with their business with all speed, and not to meddle with anything but the making of laws and statutes. This renewed the confusion and passion to the utmost extent. They answered they respected every wish of the king, but they desired the secretary to put in writing the commissions he had from the king, as they might suffer some alteration when given verbally; and that the Chamber will await the return of their deputies to learn thoroughly what his Majesty thinks. Some are persuaded that when the king hears the true facts of the case he will think differently. Others believe that fearing disturbances and outbreaks in this country he will persuade himself more readily to satisfy his subjects, and with these differences and passions so heated as they are at present, it seems to me that they are approaching a very dangerous crisis. I hear on good authority that one of those most frequently about him told him that if he does not now stand upon his dignity and authority and does not do what he said he would in this letter, he will have to submit to their rule ever after and will no longer be king except in show and appearance only, like the chief of a republic, without authority. The king answered: And if they will not give me the money, what shall I do? (alcuni si persuadono che quando sentirà questa il proprio dell'affare sara di altro pensiero. Altri credono che se temerà movimenti et rivolte in questo paese, quali nella discrepanza degli affetti riscaldati, come si trovano, mi pare, che si vada riducendo a segno e cimento molto pericoloso, concorrerà più facilmente nelle sodisfattione dei sudditi. Intendo da sicura parte che uno di quelli, che le stanno più a canto dicendole che se hora non sustenta il suo decoro et la sua auttorità et non fa quello che ha professato nella detta sua lettera, bisogna che si contenti di haver sempre le leggi da loro e di non esser più Re che in mostra et in sola apparenza, a guisa di capo senza auttorità di una Republica; havesse per risposta. E se non mi daranno danari, che fara Io).
The indications of good intentions are favourable, but we have had too much experience not to have learned that such sentiments last no longer than the resolutions of many men to abstain from habitual sins, so I will not venture to predict whether this spark or the contrary flame will go out.
Many are also disaffected by hearing that the prince daily utters opinions contrary to the authority of the parliament, and at seeing him, praiseworthy as it is, follow all the movements of his father like his shadow, and take his cue and his advice from those ministers who are most hated (molti sono contaminati anco nel sentire che il Signore Prencipe giornalmente proferisca sensi contra l'auttorità di esso Parlamento nel vederlo come ombra, benche lodevolmente, seguitare tutti li moti del Padre et ricever li tema e li consigli da quei ministri che sono più odiati).
Various signs of contempt and various ways of mortification have been shown in the assembly against the said secretary of state on various occasions when he has uttered many important particulars in the name of his Majesty, because they touch the heart of the factions, aim against favouritism, to pull down the highest in every direction and at achieving important results (perche toccano il cuore delle fattioni, mirano contra il favore a batter li più grandi d'ogni parte et ad effetti di consequenza). Such things happen daily, but they cannot be understood by anyone not here.
I must not omit, however, that a cavalier of good family is accused of having remarked that the Catholic had promised his Majesty 10,000 men to bridle his subjects. He had to justify himself in the Chamber, where he clearly proved the accusation to be a false invention.
The ambassadors extraordinary of the States, who came full of exultation, are now somewhat troubled, auguring ill from the postponement of their audience until the king's return to this city, a week hence. But actually, apart from other disturbing circumstances this ought not to alarm them, as during the past two years I have always noticed that his Majesty will not be disturbed by any ambassador on any business whatsoever, when he has gone away to enjoy the solitude and liberty of some of his distant places.
It seems that he does not believe the intercepted letter of the emperor to be genuine. Many think it was written on purpose to be taken, because it shows some difference of opinion between Cæsar and the Catholic on the question of satisfying his Majesty.
The news of the surrender of Tabor in Bohemia, of the imminent total ruin of the Palatinate, and everywhere else, and that the 40,000l. remitted hence has all been absorbed by old debts and that new and speedy succour from this crown is more necessary than ever, may attract little attention amid so many disputes, but if they do not ultimately unite together with mutual satisfaction, it will deprive the king here of the means not only of doing what the people desire against the Spaniards, but of what he himself contemplated against the emperor in Germany, as advised in my last.
The fleet of ships is postponing its departure. The disturbances in Ireland seem to have calmed down, and were not of such moment as was feared.
We learn that the Spaniards, having recovered some English ships from pirates, have released the men, but detained the rest, considering it as lawful booty. They have approached the Ambassador Gondomar for the release of everything, and have ordered similar offices in Spain.
The couriers to and fro are constantly faring worse and I beg you to excuse delay.
London, the 23rd December, 1621.
[Italian.]
Enclosed in
the preceding
despatch.
254. JAMES to the SPEAKER. (fn. 6)
Has heard that his absence from the High Court of Parliament for the preservation of his health, has led some fiery spirits of the Commons to meddle with matters far beyond their capacity, and touching the king's prerogative. Forbids the House to meddle with anything touching his government or ministers, especially the Spanish marriage, the King of Spain or any other friendly prince or those bearing office in the Courts of Justice. The arrest of Sir Edwin Sandys, not for any misdemeanours in parliament, but to remove all doubt, considers himself perfectly free to punish all insolence in parliament, whether it is sitting or no. If the chamber touches on any of the forbidden points, he will not deign to listen to their petitions. Desires parliament to end before Christmas and will readily give the royal assent to anything really for the general good; if the time is wasted the fault will rest with those turbulent spirits who prefer their own private interests to the general.
Dated at Newmarket, the 3/13 December, 1621.
[Italian.]
Enclosed in
the preceding
despatch.
255. Petition of the Commons to his Majesty. (fn. 7)
Deplore the reception of their first petition about religion. Princes of a different religion have made but a sorry reply to his Majesty's advances which have only served to increase the insolence of the Catholic recusants, whose numbers are increasing. Represent what they consider the causes of the situation and the remedies proposed.
Causes.
(1) Pope's vigilance and King of Spain's ambition.
(2) Maxims and doctrines of the papacy.
(3) Wretched condition of professors of the true religion abroad.
(4) Misfortunes of his Majesty's children.
(5) The great league of the Romanist princes against the true religion.
(6) The great armies levied and maintained by the King of Spain for this purpose.
(7) The expectations of the Popish recusants from the Spanish marriage.
(8) The mediation of foreign princes for the Popish recusants.
(9) Their open frequenting of the houses and chapels of the ambassadors.
(10) Their meetings in the towns and frequent conventicles.
(11) The education of their children in various seminaries of their religion and houses abroad appropriated exclusively for English refugees.
(12) The pardoning their forfeitures.
(13) Licentious publications.
(14) The swarming in of countless friars and Jesuits and the general conflagration of Christendom.
The Result.
(1) Roman religion incompatible with ours.
(2) Involves dependence upon foreign princes.
(3) Opens too large a way to them of its party.
(4) Is never satisfied with what it receives.
Remedies.
(1) To take up the sword with all speed.
(2) Help their co-religionists abroad.
(3) To make a war of diversion, and not in parts which will consume his resources.
(4) The war against the prince whose power and treasure have made and maintained the war in the Palatinate.
(5) That his Majesty carry out the articles of the last petition.
(6) That the prince marry one of his own religion.
(7) That the sons of nobles and gentlemen and of other suspect and ill affected persons be recalled home.
(8) That the children of Papists be brought up by Protestant schoolmasters.
(9) That the king revoke all leave for such children to leave the realm, and never grant any more.
(10) That the Attorney General reverse all grants of lands of recusants and forbid them.
This is the substance of the petition without any intention of meddling with his Majesty's undoubted prerogative.
[Italian.]
Enclosed in
the preceding
despatch.
256. The Commons to the King. (fn. 8)
Much distressed at the terms of his Majesty's letter to the Speaker and beg that their loyalty may not be impugned by sinister information, and trust he will listen to them without trusting to partial information. The petition was merely designed for his Majesty's service. Beg him not to listen to private reports against them. On reassembling they heard from the ministers that the time had come to draw the sword, their enemies were powerful and their friends disunited; those of their religion abroad were in a wretched condition; they had been summoned to supply the necessities of war. Cannot think that his Majesty's honour and safety and that of his posterity, with the safety of their religion and country are things which do not require their profound consideration; said nothing about these most important points; yet thought it their duty for the sake of internal security to draw attention to the violence of the recusants, and that led them to point out what they considered the causes and to suggest remedies. This also led them to refer to the King of Spain, the Popish recusants, and the war in the Palatinate but without reflection upon the honour of that king or any other prince allied to his Majesty, or assuming any right to deal with such matters.
[Italian.]
Dec. 24.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
257. ZUANE PESARO, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the DOGE and SENATE.
All cry for peace, chiefly in order to satisfy a French appetite, as they can no longer keep themselves away from Paris and because necessity drives them there, as the king has neither men nor money. The English ambassador has been stayed by generalities, and all affairs are referred to Paris. Meanwhile the evils only grow worse.
The ambassadors of England and the States have complained that the Rochellese attack and plunder their ships, but this is thought to be a pretext whereby the Dutch ambassador may meet the complaints of the ministers there that those rebels are favoured by his masters, and England hopes thereby to send these, to his sovereign's satisfaction ostensibly to negotiate for the recovery of English ships but really, they think, for some more important business with the Rochellese themselves.
Bordeaux, the 24th December, 1621.
[Italian.]
Dec. 25
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Germania.
Venetian
Archives.
258. PIERO GRITTI, Venetian Ambassador in Germany, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The English resident had audience of the emperor last Monday and presented a strong letter from his king in favour of the Palatine complaining that the promises made to the Ambassador Digby are not matched by their actions or the goodwill which Cæsar has so often expressed about the Palatinate. In the same letter the king asks the emperor to restore to the Palatine his dominions, titles and rank, promising that he will renounce all his alliances and all his claims to Bohemia or any other state of his Majesty, offering to induce the prince to agree to any form of submission customary among princes, and protesting that if the Palatine is not reinstated, reason, nature and duty will compel him to help his son-in-law with all his power.
I find that they knew of the contents of this letter before it arrived through the Spanish ambassador at London, and this gave the emperor the opportunity some days ago to nominate as his ambassador extraordinary to England the Count of Svarsemburgh. Since the English resident spoke this count says he will leave soon. They think that the object in sending this ambassador is to gain time and buoy up the king with vain hopes, to prevent him from applying the remedies required by these ills.
Vienna, the 25th December, 1621. Copy.
[Italian.]
Dec. 25.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Roma.
Venetian
Archives.
259. RANIER ZEN, Venetian Ambassador at Rome, to the DOGE and SENATE.
As regards the dispensation for the marriage with the prince of England, they raise hopes here of granting it. The commission daily raises fresh difficulties to be overcome, which are referred to Spain, and so they procrastinate. The Spanish Cardinal Trenio (fn. 9) who came to see me the other day said he believed they would never grant it, but they kept raising these difficulties so that they might never decide. He added with much frankness that he did not believe they would ever make this marriage because even if the King of England desired it his parliament would never consent. I am thus confirmed in the opinion which I held from the very first when the news arrived here that the Spaniards, taking advantage of the English king's infatuation for that marriage, to keep him from helping the Palatine and his other friends and adherents, have introduced these negotiations at this Court, to which Englishmen have also come to take part in the negotiations. But the delays made by the commission are due to an arrangement, so that they may be able to keep their promises and show that the breakdown of the negotiations was caused here. In conversing with this cardinal, who, though a Spaniard, deals very openly (it is true he has some grievance against the Court) I learned that in Flanders they are negotiating more for a peace than a truce.
Rome, the 25th December, 1621.
[Italian.]
Dec. 27
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Signori Stati.
Venetian
Archives.
260. CHRISTOFFORO SURIAN, Venetian Secretary in the Netherlands, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The queen's secretary (fn. 10) left for England two days ago. It is supposed that he has gone to urge the king there to help his children. My informant told me that the secretary certainly had instructions to get everything possible out of that king so that the Palatine might afterwards journey to Denmark with better prospects of success.
Recently when I visited the English ambassador he told me of the Palatine's idea of sending someone to your Serenity; namely, Baron Dohna, who was in England last year, not as ambassador but to be received in the Collegio as the Senator Piscina was for the Duke of Savoy. (fn. 11) He did not say when this would take place.
I went yesterday to compliment Prince Maurice. He seemed to fear that the King of Great Britain was growing cold and told me the news he had received of that king's wrath with his parliament about the remonstrance addressed to him, one of the points being the Spanish marriage. He feared this occurrence would not help the friendly powers.
The Hague, the 27th December, 1621.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Dec. 30.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
261. GIROLAMO LANDO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The reception and reply given by his Majesty to the twelve deputies of the parliament have caused it great dissatisfaction, although the king deigned to hear them and to read the letter and the articles which they brought. He took the last, one by one, and assured them as by the enclosed copy, which expresses most fully the current ideas and his opinions. This reply is very sharp, rough and bitter for the taste of the bulk of his people, his Majesty declaring openly that the marriage negotiations are so far advanced on his side that he can no longer draw back, and if it does not take place it will not be his fault but the Catholic's. He denies that he is treating the recusants any differently. One might thank God if it really were to the advantage of our holy religion and to bring these realms back to the true light, but the harm is that it is only to please the Spaniards, to stand well with them and help the marriage, and does not have religion as its principal object. By his sharp comment on the liberty claimed by the parliament, the king increased the uproar, the pain and I may say the exasperation in which every one was plunged, both without the chamber and within to the last degree. The party leaders used the incident for inculcating poisonous opinions and ideas, spreading the suspicion that the greatest changes will be made very soon and with the rumour that the Cavalier Gage, a former servant of Lord Digby, who had ostensibly sent him from Germany to Rome under the pretext of spying upon the operations of Father Maestro, has united with him and they are doing much together with this intent, and he is either making false professions without the king's knowledge, entirely under the father's influence, or is acting under an understanding with some of the ministers here, possibly not without his Majesty's knowledge. Accordingly many, one might even say all, have not hesitated to complain and seem resolved not to spend a penny more, stating clearly that enough has been thrown away upon embassies and superfluities. To pass over countless points, the Lower House met chiefly in order to assert their undoubted ancient liberties, maintained for them by past kings and proved by a thousand laws, and to issue a manifesto which in touching upon other points as well would certainly have offended his Majesty and increased the disagreement and altercation (onde toccando anco con pungentissimi stili il punto della libertà, che esso parlamento professa, ha accresciuto la confusione, il dolore et diro la rabbia a tutto colmo, che circondava l'universale et di fuori della Camera et di dentro, tirrandosi da capi di partito l'affarre a sensi et concetti di veneno con la semina de sospetti che si sia per far alteratione grandissima ben tosto, et con voce che quel Cavallier Ghez, servitor vecchio del Sig. Barone Digbi, quala fu da questo in specie gia inviato di Alemagna a Roma, sotto pretesto di spiare il negotiato del Padre Maestro, si sia giunto con lui vada operando molto sopra tal mira o falsamente professi alcuna cosa senza saputa del Re, guidato a piacere di esso Padre o con il concerto di alcuno di questi Ministri, non senza notitia della Maestà sua forse anco. Onde molti non sono restati fino di piangere, ogn'uno si può dire, mostrandosi rissoluto di non voler esborsar più un denaro, dicendo chiaro, che n'e stato gettato d'avantaggio in Ambasciate et in cose soverchie, et per lasciare li infiniti punti si era ridotta detta Camera bassa, specialmente ad applicatione di far conoscere la indubitata antica sua libertà, mantenutale da passati Re, comprobata con mille leggi, et di mandar fuori un manifesto, che toccando anço altri punti sarebbe ben riuscito dispiacevole alla Maesta sua in accrescimento della discordanza et dell' altrecationi).
But his Majesty being advised, forestalled this by one letter written yesterday and another written to-day showing less and less severity and more mildness, which I will send to your Serenity with another despatch, with the most important particulars, as I have no time at present.
These letters served to moderate their passions somewhat, though they passed a resolution and registered some important protests, which will not, I understand, please his Majesty very much. They then sent four deputies to thank his Majesty and express the renewal of concord, and adjourned over Christmas until the 8th of February, at which date the king pledged his royal word under his seal, to convoke them again. In the interval they will, as usual, put aside all thought here of everything except masques and sumptuous banquets, expending enough money to infuse the languishing with fresh life, and losing time, which is even more valuable, to the advantage and jubilation of their enemies.
Many of the magnates, however, cannot believe even now that the marriage will take place without the restitution of the Palatinate and think that the declaration of parliament against it will merely serve the Spaniards as a pretext for not carrying it out, if they do not really wish to, or to give it up in consideration of the danger which the Infanta might incur in coming among a people who detest her so greatly. But if their object is to introduce fire and sword here and to keep his Majesty and the Dutch apart, she would open the true way, and Gondomar actually said that he intends to marry her not only to the prince but to the affections of the parliament as well. As regards this ambassador it is most remarkable how he supplies breath to the people and many of the nobles here, while on the other hand he makes a great multitude sigh and he may leave his Majesty with a good deal of feeling (con non poco Martello). For the courier expected from Madrid having reached him, among other things which are kept most secret and which are considered the less satisfactory because his Majesty subsequently wrote the said letters sprinkled with little sugar, they actually contained leave for the ambassador's return to Spain, with the nomination as his successor of Don Carlo Columma, governor of Cambrai. This gives rise to much comment, to hopes and fears, according to interests and sympathies. It is reported that Gondomar pressed very strongly to obtain his leave and that he will return again before long. But many believe that as he was a stone of Lerma's edifice he will fall with the rest of that faction and that they mean to deprive him of the glory and let others enjoy the fame of his fruitful, fortunate but justly commended labours. Others contend that this is a commencement of broadening the negotiations both for restitution and the marriage, but one cannot easily believe that the Spaniards would cut the thread of a texture so well woven with the certitude of extending the weaving much longer still with such important consequences as one may easily imagine, although it might appear ultimately while this king, deluded all round, would not divine how easily the dove would change to an eagle and the lamb to a lion (ancorche si vedesse in fine, questo Re defraudato in tutto non devinesse però tuttavia facilmente di una Colomba un Aquila, ne di un Agnello un Leone).
London, the 30th December, 1621.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Enclosed in
the preceding
despatch.
262. Reply of his Majesty to the humble petition of the Commons. (fn. 12)
Expected thanks for what done instead of complaints, implying bad governance. Not misinformed of their proceedings, Blames meddling with Spanish match and accuses them of usurping his powers. Will take due care of religion. So long as they respect his prerogative will always respect their privileges, but considers them a matter of sufferance rather than inheritance. Hopes chamber will not encroach upon prerogatives of crown, which would compel him to curtail their privileges, trusts there will be no cause for this. Asks them to proceed briskly with their business. If they do not, others will lay the blame on them. Above all abstain from obstinacy, giving rise to reports of dissensions between him and his people.
[Italian, 12 pages.]
Dec. 31.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
263. To the Ambassador in England.
Your letters of this week telling us of the king's good resolutions are in conformity with those which we have from the Hague and elsewhere, and correspond to the present urgent need. This news leads us to break the silence which we have kept for so long. We direct you to ask for an audience and tell his Majesty of the way in which the Spaniards have subdued the Grisons instead of giving them back the Valtelline; and hearing of some successes of Mansfelt in relief of the Palatinate and against Alsace they have sent a considerable force against him from Milan although in the very midst of the winter. The negotiations between Feria and President Dola for carrying out the treaty go on for ever, while they allow time for the execution of the designs against Rhaetia, just like the negotiations in Germany for the restitution of the Palatinate, his Majesty being deeply interested in both affairs. You will enlarge upon this, saying that here is a prince who on the one hand inveighs against heretics and on the other foments them; who protests he wants nothing from his neighbours and does nothing but occupy the possessions of others; who uses marriages to help his own claims to states or to introduce confusion into them. You will inform his Majesty in confidence that although the Spaniards and the emperor do not seem to agree about the Palatinate, yet they are at one in not meaning to restore it, the only difference being that while the emperor wishes to confer the whole upon Bavaria with the electorate, the Spaniards want to keep the lower part for themselves. To oppose the overweening and support the oppressed is the part of a great king and a universal maxim of state, quite apart from his Majesty's own personal interests, which are so considerable. In the midst of this turmoil the republic wishes to maintain its confidential relations with his Majesty. It has always done its best for the general good.
The ambassadors of the States will have already started for England to negotiate about the Indies and seize this opportunity caused by Digby's report and the particulars contained in the intercepted letters sent by Mansfelt. You will show them every confidence, assist their cause and try and show how much that kingdom is bound up in their interests and how useful it will be for diversions.
You will pay our respects to the prince and make similar representations to him, the more strongly if you perceive that you are making an impression upon him. The Archbishop of Canterbury has always seemed well disposed; in expressing our affection and esteem you will communicate to him the evil plight into which the Spaniards have brought matters everywhere, try to inflame him to relieve the situation and keep him well disposed. You should do the like with his Majesty's ambassador at the most Christian court, owing to the disposition he has shown to some of his intimates there.
Ayes, 139.Noes, 7.Neutral, 8.
[Italian.]
Dec. 31.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
264. To the Ambassador at the Imperial Court.
Ambassadors from the thirteen Swiss Cantons have gone to Milan and preferred their requests. They have received no reply and expect no success. The Grisons have been denied the restitution of the Valtelline. Leopold demands the establishment of the Catholic religion in the valley. Leopold has asked the governor of Milan for help against Mansfelt, who is attacking Alsace.
The like for information to the following:
France, England, Savoy, the Hague, Naples, Florence.
Ayes, 147.Noes, 1.Neutral, 2.
[Italian.]

Footnotes

1 Monheurt, in the department of Lot et Garonne, France. It was taken on the 11th December, Luynes died there on the 14th. Bazin: Hist. de France sous le regne de Louis XIII, ii, page 86.
2 Called Brouncker or Brunkard. Shaw: Knights of England, ii, page 157.
3 For the proposed petition and the king's letter, both dated the 3rd December, old style, see Cal. S.P. Dom., 1619–23, page 316.
4 John Chapman. See note to page 120 above.
5 The twelve were the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Sir George Goring, Sir M. Fleetwood, Sir George Chaworth, Lord Compton, Sir H. Mildmay, Lord St. John, Sir Geo. Manners, Mr. Murray, Sir Edward Villiers, the Chancellor of the Duchy and Sir John Brooke. Journals of the House of Commons, i., page 657.
6 State Papers Dom., Vol. CXXIV., 8.
7 Ibid. No. 3.
8 State Papers Dom., CXXIV., 18.
9 Gabriel Tressens or de Treio, cardinal priest of St. Bartholomew in Insula.
10 Sir Francis Nethersole.
11 See Vol. XIII. of this Calendar, Nos. 310, 311.
12 Gal. S. P. Dom., 1619–23, page 319.