Venice
December 1622, 2-14

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Institute of Historical Research

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Allen B. Hinds (editor)

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1911

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514-523

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'Venice: December 1622, 2-14', Calendar of State Papers Relating to English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 17: 1621-1623 (1911), pp. 514-523. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=88848 Date accessed: 01 October 2014.


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December 1622

Dec. 2.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
684. To the Ambassador in England.
The present misfortunes of the friends and allies of France have excited feelings in his Most Christian Majesty befitting his greatness, and he has declared for the restitution of the liberty of Rhetia and the Valtelline, being prepared to use force. At Avignon where he met the Duke of Savoy, they have discussed the way to effect this, and have asked our republic to take part. We have always been of the same mind and expressed our readiness to help, offering 10,000 foot and 2,000 horse as our share, and we expect good progress, avoiding the delay so dangerous for this province.
We send you this for information.
The like to the secretary at the Hague, adding among other things:
We note your diligence in looking out captains for our service. You will not relax your efforts.
Ayes, 88.Noes, 1.Neutral, 0.
[Italian.]
Dec. 2.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
685. ALVISE VALARESSO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
His Majesty withdrew some days ago to Newmarket, (fn. 1) where he will stay until Christmas. He has with him the prince and the favourite. The lords of the Council remain here in the city with the greater part of the Court. The king enjoys solitude and possibly the inconvenience of his accommodation, especially when far from London, which means away from business and trouble, although the ills remain which incline him to take to flight.
After the Ambassador Chichester came back from the king I went to call upon him. He told me that he had executed his Majesty's orders in causing the Palatine's forces to leave the Palatinate although they could hardly have supported themselves in that desolate country; the emperor, on the other hand, instead of removing his forces was occupying the fortresses in full hostilities, without any excuse for his unjustifiable operations, although with various promises he had ultimately induced him to accept a diet; the Spaniards, who habitually failed to keep their promises to England, although apparently not approving of what the emperor did, had also recently ordered the restitution of Heidelberg, though this had not been carried out, as they falsely pretended that the place belonged to Bavaria, although it was undoubtedly taken in the emperor's name; in short the Spaniards acted deceitfully, the emperor did not mean to make restitution, the honour of this kingdom was rudely injured and therefore on many accounts they were bound to draw the sword. Of this, however, he seemed to entertain but little hope. He remarked to me that the reasons were the excessive goodness of the king and the want of money. This gentleman seems a better soldier than ambassador, though full of good ideas, giving one more occasion to praise than to incite him. He did not seem to me to be very friendly towards either General Vere or Mansfelt.
I also went to visit Calvert, now the only acting secretary and so I try hard to conciliate him. I congratulated him on the peace in France, as a most useful result of the influence and prudence of this Crown; this gave great pleasure. I went on to lament the loss of Mannheim. When he remarked that it had been foreseen I replied that this might diminish the pain but not the harm done. I found that Vere had not written the most true and immediate cause for his surrender, which is attributed to his doubts about the loyalty and obedience of the German soldiers who outnumbered the English in that garrison. He said he had no certain news about Frankendal, and possibly they would not now make an open assault there, out of obedience to the last letters brought from Spain by Digby's gentleman, ordering the stay of all operations in the Palatinate.
In addition this influential minister spoke to me at great length and with much freedom upon matters which I will briefly report. They feel sure here that all the acts of the diet at Ratisbon, even if it meets, will be considered null for many reasons; they firmly believe that the King of Spain desires the restitution of the Palatinate, although the effectuation of the conditions will require time and negotiation, because he cannot do less than afford such satisfaction to England, and does not want to aggrandise Bavaria too much, while he does not want to offend this Crown, especially now when the Spaniards have differences with all the other powers. They have recently built much upon this here, the idea, perhaps, being cleverly instilled and cherished by the Spaniards themselves, and they promise themselves that they will always have time in the end to put matters right by force.
Meanwhile the hopes of the marriage are greater than ever as they imagine that once they have the daughter and her dowry nothing will be impossible for them with Spain. I wrote a prudent reply to all this, adhering to the most prudent ideas so often received from your Serenity and suggested to me by the matter itself. I remarked in particular that negotiation was the peculiar art of the Spaniards whereby they advance their own affairs and destroy those of others, and those who never omit a single opportunity of making acquisitions would still less resolve to give up anything by negotiation; force was the only remedy or at least a lively apprehension thereof and a present fear, that was very remote from the present style.
I have also seen the French ambassador and discussed many things with him. He maintains that what the English gentleman told the Ambassador Pesaro about the marriage proposed by the chancellor was a mistake as the chancellor was one of the most circumspect men in the world. I firmly believe that this marriage would please France, but the ambassador feels sure that the slightest suggestion of it at present would merely hasten on the one with Spain. He told me that he had sometimes praised it to the king, even offering the co-operation of the Most Christian, thereby incensing the king, so he reported, but when I remarked that they ought to aim at not exasperating his Majesty, and not depriving him of every hope, so that he might not fall by assault and possibly lie at the discretion of Spain, he agreed, and that without risking reputation or supplying the king with the chance of bargaining, it would be well to stand prepared for all eventualities by means of some person of trust, who would recognise an opportunity for opening negotiations (egli approvò meco che senza arrischiar la riputatione o dar materia di mercantare al Re fosse bene per ogni caso star preparato col mezzo di persona confidente, che conosciuta l'opportunità, faccia l'apertura di negotio). I think he meant Doncaster, now known as the Earl of Carlisle.
I have received your Serenity's letters of the 28th October. London, the 2nd December, 1622.
[Italian.]
Dec. 2.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
686. ZUANE PESARO, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the DOGE and SENATE.
La Rochelle has sent deputies to the Count of Soissons to obey and express satisfaction with the peace. The fleet has done the like with the Duke of Guise.
Soubise had arrived at La Rochelle, accompanied by ships and by many English gentlemen. The Duke of Rohan told me that all were transported with joy and Guise had honoured and entertained the English.
Lyons, the 2nd December, 1622.
[Italian.]
Dec. 3.
Senato,
Mar.
Venetian
Archives.
687. The secretary of the English ambassador having asked leave in the Collegio to take to London some goods on which the duty would amount to 8 ducats, free of duty, that the English ambassador have permission to take out the goods described in a note which has now been read, free of duty.
Ayes, 124.Noes, 0.Neutral, 1.
In the Collegio: Ayes, 20. Noes, 1. Neutral, 0.
[Italian.]
Dec. 3.
Senato,
Mar.
Venetian
Archives.
688. It being proposed to this Council to remit duty on certain goods to the English ambassador, and a quorum of 150 not being present, while the matter permits no delay, that for this time only the number of votes recorded shall suffice.
Ayes, 121.Noes, 3.Neutral, 2.
[Italian.]
Dec. 5.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Signori Stati.
Venetian
Archives.
689. CHRISTOFFORO SURIAN, Venetian Secretary in the Netherlands, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Last Saturday a letter from the Councillor Pauli reached the king here, dated the 21st ult. He writes in general terms of the desire of that sovereign for the restitution of the Palatinate and the electorate, and that if the emperor does not make restitution he will wage war against him. He says that Lord Chichester is writing more fully to the Ambassador Carleton, writing as if that letter had started before his own, though it has not arrived. This is not a good sign and the Palatine's ministers here augur badly about it as if there had been anything good they would not have omitted to tell Pauli; however the letter will be anxiously awaited.
It is hoped that its tenor will be of a nature to rouse other powers, especially now with the coming meeting of the princes of Lower Saxony, arranged for the 15th inst. in the duchy of Holstein, the King of Denmark attending. The king here, his supporters and the States in particular, perceive very clearly that neither Denmark nor any one else will move unless England gives the signal by a decisive resolution.
Frankendal was still holding out by the last advices but it is considered certain that it will fall into Tilly's hands notwithstanding what Digby wrote recently from Spain, that if the emperor does not make restitution, the Catholic will join forces with England, and the reported instructions to Tilly.
The uncertainty and irresolution of England have provided matter for reflection to everyone, and have led Mansfelt to consider what he can do, as he knows he cannot subsist with a number of troops ill paid by himself. He decided to approach the Most Christian, sending Captain Tournon with letters. The king here detained the captain until last Saturday, hoping to receive news from England, of some worthy decision which would move the Most Christian still more to do something for him.
The Hague, the 5th December, 1622.
[Italian.]
Dec. 7.
Misc. Cod.
No. 61.
Venetian
Archives.
690. MARC ANTONIO PADAVIN, Venetian Secretary in Germany, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The most important point and the one which has stunned all the councillors is the declaration of the Spanish ambassador that his king cannot consent to the electorate passing to Bavaria, because it would involve the empire in constant wars, though the Catholic would rather that duke had it than any other if it could be arranged peacefully, and they must find some peaceful solution. He proposed to restore Heidelberg to the Palatine as his ordinary residence and thereby satisfy the King of England. That monarch has not only recalled Cicerstorf, the ambassador who was to attend the congress, and who is highly dissatisfied, but Mr. Digby, his ordinary resident at this Court, by triple orders sent by special couriers, causing him to take leave of Cæsar with these words that his king proposed to give him other employment, and so he took leave of his Majesty. This took place at Straubin while the emperor was on his way here, and the manner of the leave taking proved very distasteful to the Court. Moreover the Spaniards desire an armistice in the Palatinate, and the Infanta has written angrily to Tilly on the subject because he will not obey her. The Spanish ambassador desires the fortresses of Mannheim and Franchendal to be placed in his king's hands. He says that England will agree to this, and he braves things out in this way so that it may all reach the ears of that king to encourage his habitual lethargy and give him to understand that the Spaniards have always done what they could and all the mischief is due to Cæsar. Zuniga being dead, the ambassador boldly contradicts what Father Hyacinth says about bringing an absolute promise from Spain to help Bavaria.
Ratisbon, the 7th December, 1622. Copy.
[Italian.]
Dec. 9.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
691. ALVISE VALARESSO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
After some difficulty I have succeeded in getting a copy of the letter recently sent to the Infanta from Spain and brought by the gentleman of the Ambassador Digby. I enclose this. The manner of writing agrees with their crafty operations, and their orders are as artful as the executing thereof is advantageous. However the king at Newmarket seems as satisfied and joyful as if the losses in the Palatinate were restored by these promises, so many tell me, among others Chichester, who came to return my visit. In a conversation about many subjects he remarked that the king had only heard a brief verbal account of his negotiations and would not even glance at a longer and more careful one which he had prepared in writing.
The gentleman who recently came from Spain is about to return. I understand that they are detaining him simply in order to receive the news of the arrival of Porter at that Court, and so they go on weaving this spider's web by constant travelling. I have seen a letter of Digby's wife, to a leading lady, her relation, saying that the marriage will certainly take place if one may trust men and princes, although the ambassador only represents things as he finds them and leaves his Majesty to form his own opinion.
The ambassadors of France and Spain have recently made loud complaint to the king about the ship which Soubise took, as I reported. Both are interested, the one for 100,000 crowns of grain of French merchants, the other for much ready money of shareholders for Flanders. They declare that the capture was made in these waters and the vessel taken to Plymouth under the eyes of two of the king's ships, who not only refrained from preventing it, as demanded by their duty and obedience to the commands of the Council, but the commanders of the ships, corrupted by their interests, actually shared the booty. (fn. 2) Accordingly they claim the punishment of these officers as well as reparation for the damage. The matter is certainly a very thorny one in many respects. So far the king has made no reply except that he will take due information. The Spaniards also complain of the capture of Ormuz made by means of English ships, as if the non-fulfilment of their own promises did not provide sufficient grounds for such proceedings. They know, however, quite well, that the English ships were forced to take part in that affair, and the merchants themselves complain about it because of their trade.
This city is full of a rumour originated by a man come from Plymouth, and believed by many that the island of Retz at the entrance to la Rochelle has been taken by Guise's fleet. This would be a very important matter but the French ambassador maintains that it is false. On the other hand, he announces at court and has informed me of a great defeat inflicted by Guise upon the people of la Rochelle. The publication of this news, which moreover happens to be false, seems both inopportune and imprudent at the moment of the recent peace. About the undertaking of the Valtelline he always speaks to me with reserve, I do not know why. Recently, as if on his own responsibility, he told me he was glad the Valtelline had been placed in the hands of the Duke of Lorraine, though I did not agree with him, advancing various reasons.
The rumour of a league between France, your Serenity and the Duke of Savoy is spread through this Court. Some days ago, some of the cavaliers here, friends of mine, asked me about it. To tell the truth I am not sure whether the report will prove helpful or otherwise, especially when so premature. It would certainly prove helpful with his Majesty if he were better disposed towards the common welfare, but now that he merely aspires for the friendship of the Spaniards, it may be feared that this will only throw him more into their hands. Nevertheless he will certainly rejoice secretly at this step since he befriends the Spaniards simply from excessive fear of their enmity and he will consider himself safer the more they are occupied. Thus I have heard from a secret source that the Ambassador Herbert, who is returning to France in a few days, will have special instructions to persuade the king there to recover the Valtelline.
I have received your Serenity's letters of the 4th ult. We are without the ordinary of this week.
London, the 9th December, 1622.
[Italian.]
Enclosed in
the preceding
despatch.
692. Most Serene Lady.
With regard to what you wrote on the 23rd about the Palatinate, I think, in consideration of the sincerity of the King of Great Britain, you should instruct Tilly or any other general of the Catholic league in the Lower Palatinate to commit no act of hostility there or besiege Frankendal or Mannheim, since such an attack is not advisable during the negotiations for an armistice, as it appears that these are negotiations for a general accommodation of all differences. If the generals raise any difficulties your Highness will see that they obey and if necessary will send to my agent who has orders to remain in the Palatinate and not only maintain good relations with the subjects of the King of Great Britain, but to see that they come to no harm, as it is only right that we should do all that we can. (fn. 3)
Madrid, the 29th October, 1622.
[Spanish.]
Dec. 12.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Signori Stati.
Venetian
Archives.
693. CHRISTOFFORO SURIAN, Venetian Secretary in the Netherlands, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Prince Maurice impeded by the ice, his ship being in some danger. Prince Henry arrived safely at Breda to join the cavalry. Count Ernest led the vanguard with the English, the French followed and then Prince Maurice with the rear guard and the other nations. The wind scattered the ships which numbered more than 600; fourteen or fifteen foundered, though they saved the men. The damage done not great though the expedition ruined for the present.
I went to congratulate Prince Maurice on his return and his preservation after such dangers. He asked me, smiling, if there was any news from England about the resolution of the king there. I said I had heard something, but my letters were rather old and only reported the great reserve of that sovereign's proceedings without any great resolution. The prince took me up, saying that the most recent letters said the same thing and future ones would not bring anything better, the nature of the King of England being such as it was, with his affection for the marriage the suggestion of those who know how to manage him and serve as instruments for the Spaniards, and the devices of the latter to keep him in subjection and desist from working for his own and the general interests. He continued: I have another thing to add. I am advised that when the king remonstrated with the Spanish ambassador about the capture of Mannheim, the latter contrived to turn the tables and make his Majesty believe that it was all the fault of General Vere, who had done wrong to surrender the place so easily when he had the means of resistance, and even succeeded in exciting the king's ire against Vere, in spite of the fact, said his Excellency, that Vere had express orders to withdraw. But where the Spaniards find the materials favourable, they know how to arrange matters, and they would gladly see Vere not only in disgrace with the king, but ruined and even hanged.
News has come here that Vere will no longer go to Groningen but to Brem, by the king's order, to sail thence to England with his men, unless he receives other instructions on the road.
They have not heard here what Chichester has certainly written, but from what I learn there is nothing but the old promises and ill founded hopes. Referring to Chichester, at my provocation, the Prince of Orange said: He was alive here at the Hague, but in England he is dead like the rest, such being the effect of the Court atmosphere, and the fear of passing the limits is such that the prince himself does not venture to do so.
The Hague, the 12th December, 1622.
[Italian.]
Dec. 12.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Signori Stati.
Venetian
Archives.
694. CHRISTOFFORO SURIAN, Venetian Secretary in the Netherlands, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Mansfelt remains near Embdem. He is expected to go to Lower Saxony in the hope of influencing the diet to be held on the 15th, old style, although the best informed expect nothing from it but measures for their own defence, especially as it ever becomes more clear that the King of England is reluctant to take any steps against the house of Austria in order not to offend the Spaniards and so spoil the marriage which seems a fixed idea with him. In this connection I have seen a printed paper in the hands of the Prince of Portugal, (fn. 4) showing the Prince of England on the right and the Princess of Spain on the left, holding hands, with Christ in between, apparently representing the marriage, It was brought by a Portuguese Franciscan friar who recently arrived from London. Here they no longer know what to think or what to expect from that quarter.
We hear from Cologne that Tilly has left 1,000 horse and two regiments of foot before Frankendal to prevent help or provisions from entering, and has withdrawn to winter quarters in Hesse. Here they consider this a sign of grace in Austria towards that state.
The Hague, the 12th December, 1622.
[Italian.]
Dec. 14.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Spagna.
Venetian
Archives.
695. ALVISE CORNER, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Since the arrival of a gentleman from the King of England with instructions to his ambassador here to press vigorously, to show determination, and to ask especially for the restitution of Heidelberg, they have spoken very plainly to the king, protesting freely that they will make war if he does not soon give some sign of fulfilling his promises. They have had daily meetings and from what is announced about their long sessions the Catholic agrees to the marriage upon the conditions arranged, if the pope agrees, promising to beg him to oblige. The gentleman went to see the nuncio, because he professes to be a Catholic and communicated this decision to him, receiving letters to take to the pope, to whom he is also taking one from the King of England, so the nuncio said He hears that there will be various difficulties and it almost seems that the pope will not agree
It is further thought that this consent is intended to prevent action in favour of the Palatine and also to make the French suspicious of England at this crisis
It does not yet appear what articles they have made, but apparently they will be the first ones which I have already sent, or only slightly altered; and the ambassadors themselves suggest this.
Madrid, the 14th December, 1622.
[Italian; deciphered.]
Dec. 14.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Milano.
Venetian
Archives.
696. GIOVANNI FRANCESCO TRIVISANO, Venetian Secretary at Milan, to the DOGE and SENATE.
A letter of the Ambassador Valaresso to your Serenity from London, intercepted as I understand at Augsburg, has been sent to the Duke of Feria. I hear that the governor has made much ado about it, crying out against the most serene republic because of its representations in favour of the Palatine and the Grisons. He stated that your Serenity never ceased your efforts to rouse the whole world against the Spaniards, in France, England and everywhere else, giving promises of assistance and using every means possible, and showing every sign of great wrath, as I have been told in confidence. I enclose a copy of the letter. (fn. 5)
Milan, the 14th December, 1622.
[Italian.]

Footnotes

1 James was at Newmarket on the 16/26th November. Nichols: Progresses of James I, iv., page 781.
2 The ships concerned were the Adventure and Garland and the commanders implicated Sir William St. John and Sir Henry Mervin. The matter dragged on for several months. The ship captured was the Croissant of Calais. Cal. S.P. Dom., 1619–23, pages 518, 519. Birch: Court and Times of James I, ii., page 387.
3 Copies of this letter of the King of Spain to the Infanta at Brussels are preserved at the Public Record Office.—State Papers, Foreign: Flanders, Vol. 15.
4 Emanuel of Portugal, who married Emilia of Nassau, third daughter of William the Silent, Prince of Orange.
5 This letter is the one dated the 28th October, 1622, No. 642 at page 484 above.