Venice
September 1622, 12-20

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Institute of Historical Research

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Allen B. Hinds (editor)

Year published

1911

Pages

414-422

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'Venice: September 1622, 12-20', Calendar of State Papers Relating to English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 17: 1621-1623 (1911), pp. 414-422. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=88841 Date accessed: 16 September 2014.


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September 1622

Sept. 12.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Signori Stati.
Venetian
Archives.
588. CHRISTOFFORO SURIAN, Venetian Secretary in the Netherlands, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Mansfelt has inflicted a defeat upon Cordova. (fn. 1) Among the booty they found a letter from the infanta, telling him to come and help at the siege of Bergh as it was not considered expedient to besiege any of the fortresses of the Palatinate. Sedan would be better. He must follow Mansfelt but avoid giving him battle.
The English ambassador immediately sent a copy of this letter to the King of Great Britain. It is not known what effect it will produce upon that monarch, but they think he will probably believe it an invention. The intention of the Austrians to have the whole of the Palatinate is now apparent. The infanta expresses dissatisfaction at the action of Tilly, and gave the English Ambassador in particular to understand that it is against her will. It is known, however, that Tilly has received orders from the emperor to take Heidelberg, and shut his ears to every one. The English agent Trumbull writes that he hoped to send a favourable answer in three or four days. So far we do not know what has happened, as they are simply negotiating for a truce, the main question being referred to the diet of Ratisbon, which means taking the Palatinate in the meantime and then laying down the law. I marvel that the English ambassador is so eager for a truce at Brussels, as no one with any experience of affairs would advise so disadvantageous a truce.
The Hague, the 12th September, 1622.
[Italian.]
Sept. 16.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
589. To the Ambassador in France.
Leopold's suggestion of an armistice to the Grisons paved the way for their ruin. The negotiations of Lindo have a like object in view. The whole country was set in flames during the treating for an armistice. We have always recognised the necessity of strong remedies in these affairs, and have declared that while we cannot sustain the whole burden single handed we are ready to do our share.
The like to England and the Hague, adding:
We direct you to impart the whole series of events in a confidential manner, so that by recognising the similarity of proceeding in all these affairs, they may recognise the necessity of standing on their guard.
That a copy of what our Ambassador Zen writes about the marriage of the Spanish princess to the Prince of Wales be sent to our ambassador in England for his entire information.
Ayes, 129.Noes, 3.Neutral, 4.
[Italian.]
Sept. 16.
Consiglio di X.
Parti Comuni.
Venetian
Archives.
590. In the COUNCIL OF TEN.
That the jewels of the sanctuary and the halls of the arms of this Council be shown to some English gentlemen, kinsmen of the Countess of Arundel.
Ayes, 14.Noes, 0.Neutral, 0.
[Italian.]
Sept. 16.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
591. ALVISE VALARESSO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
As your Serenity gave me latitude about presenting the letter in reply on the subject of the Countess of Arundel, I thought it best not to conceal the motive for the audience but to ask one for divers reasons, subject to his Majesty's pleasure. He granted one readily as I reported and on Sunday morning I went to Windsor. I was at once introduced to the king, who received me graciously. I presented the letter and thanked him for his reception of your Serenity's action. This pleased the king, who dwelt on the subject with evident pleasure in speaking of the countess and her sons.
I wished him to be the first to raise questions of greater importance, but seeing that this might devolve upon me I prepared the way by congratulating him upon solving the gordian knot of the Dutch difficulties by his keen judgment without the sword of Alexander the Great. His Majesty seemed pleased and remarked that the Dutch were too commercial and greedy (avantaggiosi) and had inflicted great loss upon the trade and traders of his realm to the amount of hundreds of thousands of pounds sterling, in their ambition to have all the trade of the Indies to themselves. I replied that with all their imperfections they were the children of his Majesty, the offspring and creatures of England, and their country a part and possibly a barbican of this realm.
From this the conversation drifted to Berghen op Zoom. He said that if Mansfeld had now joined Maurice they could make themselves masters of the country and interrupt Spinola's supplies, and forcing him to change his quarters. The king then asked me about the Grisons. I told him that matters were proceeding more smoothly and favourably, although some wished to lull them by negotiation; but they had declined this without the restitution of what was occupied. Their state being situated at a great mountain pass, just as the Dutch were on a most important coast, practically at the extremity of a line leading from England to Italy, they could not hold out alone against so powerful a hostile force, and their preservation was a matter of the utmost importance to all princes who loved the common liberty and were jealous of their own safety. Accordingly your Serenity continued to work hard in the interests of both, and this would doubtless prove beneficial to the affairs of the Palatinate also, but these affairs, in such ruin for the Palatinate and in full security for the Spaniards rendered the latter more vigorous and able to vex the Grisons and Dutch, and clearly every thing would fall to pieces if the powerful hand of his Majesty closed its ears to these transactions and did not hasten to supply help in this most urgent need.
The king replied that he really did not know what to say or think about this matter of the Palatinate. He had letters written to him recently from the emperor of a different tenor from earlier ones, although, he remarked, he had never promised him anything, as if he should say tacitly that the promises were made by the Spaniards. I replied that it was unquestionable that princes did not relinquish what they had acquired unless under compulsion and the present negotiations were simply a blind. But seeing clearly that his Majesty's delight in the conversation expired when the subject of the Palatinate was brought up, I took leave and departed after some complimentary phrases, without pressing the matter further.
There is indeed no lack of arguments to show that the king is utterly averse to trouble and inclined solely to counsels of peace. If we are to hope for a change in him we must first believe in the liklihood of change in one who has lived long, practically into old age in one sentiment. God grant that changes may not ensue in the realm rather than in the king, but upon this point he who recently sustained this charge so worthily will be in a better position to represent the case, fortified with his long experience and with the advantage of speaking face to face (certo non mancano gl' argomenti per conoscer l'animo del Re alieno affatto da travagli, inclinato sol a consigli della pace. E per sperare mutatione in lui, bisogna darsi a creder prima che non difficilmente si muti, chi lungamente visse e quasi invecchio in uno affetto. Dio voglia che non seguano mutationi nel Regno anzi che nel Re ma attorno acio chi poco fa sostenne si degnamente questa carica suplira meglio con la fede d'una lunga esperienza e con la forza della viva voce.
London, the 16th September, 1622.
[Italian.]
Sept. 16.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
592. ALVISE VALARESSO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
On leaving the audience of his Majesty I was introduced to that of the prince. I touched upon some of the things upon which I had spoken to the king. He heard me with attention and graciously, but as I had learned beforehand that he was expected at a function which the knights of the Garter are accustomed to perform every time that the king visits Windsor, I took leave.
I know that it is one of the chief duties of this charge to do one's utmost to ingratiate oneself with this young prince and win his favour for your Serenity and the public weal. God grant that this result may follow. For the present I can report no more than that he is entirely engrossed in the pleasures of the chace, in this following his father's bent, with whom he shows an entire conformity of desire. No one knows for certain whether this is the result of prudence or is natural instinct, but the coldness of his nature even in actions becoming his youth, is not, perhaps, a good sign. However it is not difficult for the young to change, and kings whose characters have been repressed possibly by an unfortunate education, sometimes burst forth into great and generous natures, when the time comes. (Di lui per hora posso rifferrirli che sol intento a piaceri della caccia seguendo pure in cio il genio del padre, si dimostra anco in tutto il resto d'una piena conformita di volere col volere di esso. Che questa sia opera di prudenza o instinto di natura non è chi di certo il sappia. Ma la fredezza con che vive anco nelle attioni proprie dell'eta giovanile, non e forse buon argomento. Tuttavia non e difficile la mutatione ne' giovani, e gli animi de' Re oppressi forse da una sinistra educatione, a lor tempo, prorompono tallora in spiriti grandi e generosi.)
I also went to see the favourite and seized the opportunity to speak about the guns recovered, the taking away of which has been hindered. I urged the point so strongly that before I left he gave the necessary orders for the removal of all difficulties and the completion of the business. It is superfluous for me to repeat about the disposition of this man what has so frequently been represented to your Serenity. He preserves the same sentiments towards Spain, even more strongly, and seems quite established in the royal favour.
As I wrote Gazi arrived unexpectedly from Rome. His delay in appearing gives rise to the belief in conformity with the report that on leaving there he went first to Spain. I am assured that he never had any orders from the king about a dispensation for the marriage as here they declare that it is the business of Spain to obtain it. They consider it practically necessary in order to deprive Catholic subjects of any future objection to the legitimacy of the succession. As chief of the Catholics Gazi is devoting himself to this business with the support of some of the leading nobles, in the hope of deserving something for his efforts, an object with many here. He took to his Majesty the pope's consent to the dispensation. So far as I can gather the articles and conditions are those which I sent on the 2nd inst. written in Latin. Beyond a doubt they contain a clause at the end which decides nothing. Some assure me that his Majesty has perceived this clever precaution, and has taken exception thereto, but for my part I do not know what to believe.
News has arrived at Court that Heidelberg has been attacked. This is the way they observe the truce after the paying off of Mansfelt. All the ministers here are naturally amazed, and the king cannot possibly pass it over. I hear that the Spanish ambassador steadily denies it, but once the blow has been struck they will salve the wound with their usual medicines. That ambassador celebrated Cordova's defeat of Mansfelt by bonfires in his own quadrangle, after the manner of the Spaniards at any noteworthy event. I enclose a sheet with the particulars of that event upon which I need not enlarge. The king's agent writes from Brussels that the infanta went to Malines to review Cordova's forces, amounting to some 8,000 foot and 1,500 horse.
A courier has arrived from Sedan with letters from the Palatine to his Majesty, the prince and the favourite. He expresses his desire to leave that place and go back to his wife. He does not feel it safe to pass through France and fears that Sedan may be attacked by Nevers owing to the differences between the Most Christian and Bouillon. I understand that Herbert (Arbort) may soon return to his embassy in France. He greatly desires it for his own interests, and is trying to procure it.
A pamphlet has been sent to me from Venice entitled Speech of the King of Great Britain to Parliament in the month of February last, translated into Italian. In reading it I found to my astonishment expressions which led me to compare it with the English edition. Accordingly I had a diligent search made for this. Not only did I fail to find this, but I was assured that it had never been printed, even the names given of the English printer proving false. I have some ideas on the subject, but think it better to inform your Serenity of the matter and send a copy.
London, the 16th September, 1622.
[Italian.]
Enclosure.593. Speech made by the King of Great Britain to the Parliament in the city of London on the 15th February, 1622. Printed at London by Hercole Francese, in St. Paul's Churchyard, translated from English into Spanish by Dr. Giovanni Dimas, and printed at Barcelona in the house of Stephano Liberos, translated from Spanish into Italian and reprinted at Mantua in the same year. (fn. 2)
Will rather be magnanimous than eloquent. Shows intentions not to advise them but that they may regulate their conduct thereby, and one who ventures to contradict will be declared a rebel and traitor. Accordingly declares and commands what follows:
(1) In 1604 wished to make no change in religion, so simply renewed the worship of the crosses, as the symbol of redemption. Also declared that the Catholic, Apostolic and Roman religion was the true one, but in order not to alter the state of affairs, added the words, that the said religion contained certain ceremonies and formalities easily changed. At the same time Catholic subjects wished for liberty of conscience, but did not obtain it, owing to the wish not to disturb the existing state of affairs. Desires now to show compassion to them, and decrees that henceforward they shall be under his protection, with the free exercise of their religion, and orders the restitution of their lands and goods, imposing severe penalties on those who molest them.
(2) Has arranged the best marriage for the Prince of Wales to be obtained in Christendom. Some subjects have dared to oppose this raising the difficulty of religion. A good subject will consider all the proceedings of his superior to be right. The prince has been most carefully educated to recognise his obligations to God and his people. Good government is the most difficult of all arts, and only kings can teach it. There have been previous alliances with Spain, so this is nothing new. Resolved to carry through his intention in this and will punish those who try to divert his son from the right course. Digby appointed to go to Spain to arrange the conditions and to bring back the infanta if the Catholic consents, and all those who oppose it will be punished as they deserve.
(3) The Dutch, despite the fact that they have always appealed to England in their distress have shown more hostility than sworn enemies. The leading merchants of England formed the East India Company, but the Dutch have taken their ships, a thing that cannot be suffered, as a good king is the father of his subjects. Has written to the Dutch to remonstrate, but in vain, and so has ordered the arming of ships to obtain satisfaction.
Has ordered the restitution to Millart Gracette of his wife and children, who were taken for twelve years, and of his goods, making him a member of the Council of State.
This declaration from the king's own mouth seemed hard for the members of that parliament to digest, however they dissimulated their feelings, fearing to incur the king's displeasure.
[Italian; printed pamphlet of six pages.]
594. News of Count Mansfelt.
Yesterday Captain Wagheman saw the Count of Mansfeld by order of M. de Nassau and told me all the particulars. He said the Count was indignant with the Duke of Bouillon for detaining him uselessly for three days, and more still with the Duke of Nevers, who tried to deceive him, in revenge for which he set fire to some villages in Champagne. He had four actions, the most bloody at Tresigni, (fn. 3) where the Duke of Brunswick lost his left arm. He is now here and full of hope. Quite 4,000 men were left on the field on both sides. Mansfeld remained in possession of the field of battle, and his men pillaged the enemy's baggage. They took some guns, but left them behind as they involved too much labour. Mansfield had 4,000 good horse and as many foot, and stragglers kept coming in. He expects soon to have between five and six thousand horse, but I hardly believe this, as his men desert a great deal, and he is short of money, which he needs immediately, 2,000 of his horse would not fight, and that is the reason why the enemy was not completely discomfited.
Breda, the 4th September, 1622.
[French.]
Sept. 17.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Roma.
Venetian
Archives.
595. RANIER ZEN, Venetian Ambassador at Rome, to the DOGE and SENATE.
We hear from Luxemburg that the Spaniards have sent to Brussels to mark time in the negotiations about the Palatinate, so as to keep the English ministers until they have done what they wish, and to gain time by various devices (1) to see that the emperor's dignity is safeguarded in giving of titles, (2) to see who are to be included in the treaty, (3) if they are to treat of places in the Palatinate not yet taken by the Catholic, (4) what time is the armistice to last, and what steps taken to guarantee it, and if the emperor and Spain will agree to accept the mere word of the King of England, or find some other prince, points which may drag on the negotiations for ever. We hear also that the King of England is beginning to perceive that they are only playing them and accordingly he is very undecided as to what he shall do.
Rome, the 17th September, 1622.
[Italian.]
Sept. 17.
Misc. Cod.
No. 61.
Venetian
Archives.
596. MARC ANTONIO PADAVIN, Venetian Secretary in Germany, to the DOGE and SENATE.
They send word from Brussels that the English ambassador on learning the progress of their arms in the Palatinate has remonstrated strongly at the manner in which they treat his king, stating freely that they are playing with him and all they wanted was the removal of the troops from that state in order to take possession themselves while he got nothing but fair words to gain time and benefit the Spaniards. I hear on good authority that the Spaniards are secretly trying to induce the King of England to suggest a new truce to the Dutch, as if it was his own idea with the usual purpose of being able to devote more attention to Italy, as they now claim to hold the Valtelline no longer because of the religious question but as a member of the state of Milan.
Vienna, the 17th September, 1622. Copy.
[Italian.]
Sept. 19.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Signori Stati.
Venetian
Archives.
597. CHRISTOFFORO SURIAN, Venetian Secretary in the Netherlands, to the DOGE and SENATE.
In spite of his instances to the infanta, the English ambassador Weston has not been able to obtain an armistice, although it is known that her Highness had authority to make it. She finally agreed to write to Tilly and Anhalt to let things remain in their present state until Weston could receive a reply from his king. They say that the Spaniards are merely playing with him.
It does not appear that the King Palatine is safe at Sedan, and I hear that the queen would rather have him here. That would be contrary to the wishes of the King of Great Britain, who got him to go, hoping thereby to remove the objections of the Spaniards and the emperor that he was fomenting rebels.
The Hague, the 19th September, 1622.
[Italian.]
Sept. 19.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Zante.
Venetian
Archives.
598. AGUSTIN SAGREDO, Proveditore of Zante, to the DOGE and SENATE.
An English berton called the Hercules has arrived in this port, on its way from Cartagena to Venice. It confirms the ravages of the plague in Barbary, mostly at Algiers and Tunis, and besides the death of the pirate Captain Ward, these last months, the recent death of the pirate Sanson is also certified, with all his men, all the pirate ships in those ports being abandoned owing to the mortality, so that they cannot arm a single vessel. They also bring other interesting particulars, as your Excellencies will see from the enclosed statement.
Zante, the 19th September, 1622, old style.
[Italian.]
Enclosure.599. The 13th September, 1622.
Report of Captain Robert Axton of the English ship Hercules, who arrived in this port last night.
Left Cartagena four weeks ago. Stopped at Sardegna only three hours to get word of pirates. Obtained confirmation of what had already heard at Cartagena from a French ship called Polacher, of the ravages of the plague at Tunis and Algiers, where the pirate ships lie abandoned in port for lack of men, owing to the great mortality, reported to amount to 350,000. Among the dead were Captain Guarda leading pirate at Tunis, and Captain Sanson, who had recently died at Algiers with all his men. They could not bury the dead but threw them into the sea. Had heard that twelve pirate ships which left Algiers a while ago at the beginning of the plague, being thinned by the sickness, after passing the strait of Gibraltar, the survivors were slain by Moors, so that the ships remained tenantless. Also heard that six ships of Naples encountered and sank the Vice Admiral of Algiers, two or three others escaping. Two months ago saw thirty armed ships at Lisbon with his own eyes, and at Cape St. Vincent found six other large Spanish men-of-war. Spoke with them; they found he was English having at first taken him for a Fleming. In the mouth of the strait found three other ships to reconnoitre and there were nine others in port, and twenty others, all Spanish at Port Malson about twenty leagues away. These were all to unite to wait the Flemish ships. Heard afterwards that these Flemish ships, to the number of about 120, were to meet off Marseilles. Had not heard any more.
[Italian.]
Sept. 20.
Consiglio di X.
Criminale.
Venetian
Archives.
600. In the COUNCIL OF TEN.
Are you of opinion that for the things uttered and read sentence be passed on the prisoner Girolamo Vano.
Ayes, 13.Noes, 0.Neutral, 0.
We will that to-morrow evening he be drowned, with the greatest possible secrecy.
Ayes, 7.Noes, 6.
We will that on Thursday at the chimes of daybreak from the tower of St. Mark, he be hanged by the executioner by the neck on a pair of lofty gallows, and that he be left thus until sunset.
Ayes, 7.Noes, 2.
Second ballot: Ayes, 8.Noes, 2.
Carried.
Are you of opinion that sentence be passed on the prisoner Dominic son of Zuane, of Venice.
Ayes, 14.Noes, 0.Neutral, 2.
We will that on Thursday at the chimes of daybreak from the tower of St. Mark, he be hanged by the executioner by the neck on a pair of lofty gallows and that he be left thus until sunset.
Ayes, 14.Noes, 2.
[Italian.]

Footnotes

1 At Fleurus on the 29th August, Christian of Brunswick lost his left arm there
2 A copy of this fictitious speech is preserved among the Domestic State Papers of James I, Vol. cxxvii. No. 96, and an abstract is printed in the Cal. S.P. Dom., 1619–23, page 345
3 Generally known as the battle of Fleurus, fought on the 29th August