Venice
December 1622, 16-31

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Institute of Historical Research

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Allen B. Hinds (editor)

Year published

1911

Pages

523-535

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'Venice: December 1622, 16-31', Calendar of State Papers Relating to English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 17: 1621-1623 (1911), pp. 523-535. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=88849 Date accessed: 21 October 2014.


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December 1622

Dec. 16.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
697. To the Ambassador in France and the like to the Ambassadors in Spain and England.
The latest news from the Grisons states that the Spainards no longer think of admitting the requests of those subjects to them, but are trying hard to get the seven Catholic Cantons not to declare for the treaty of Madrid. The Spaniards expect to win much by carrying this point as they could then declare that the Most Christian had no cause to take up arms for the execution of that treaty and could easily induce him to agree to a deposit. Gueffier has sent to Coire to renew his proposals upon the same point, threatening the Grisons with the French arms if they make any innovations. Gueffier told our secretary at Zurich about the Spaniards wishing the capitulation to comprise a pass for them that no power must ever think of having one, as France wished to dispose thereof at will. Although the four towns incline to send an ambassador to France, the Zurichers have sent to consult Miron, as if the Catholic cantons send ambassadors they will join them. At Milan they are anxious about the Grisons, the Swiss and especially the French, and although the Valtelline is utterly ruined they think of filling up the greatly diminished companies of troops. Serbelloni is expecting guns for Chiavenna. Colonel Baldirone has orders for the pitach at Coire to propose on behalf of the archduke the removal of all the rest of his troops if it is arranged to plant a fort at the Steich. At Felchirch the archducalists are preparing to take and fortify the position, which they demand, and meanwhile the house of Austria remains in absolute possession there.
We send these advices for your information.
Ayes, 145.Noes, 2.Neutral, 4.
[Italian.]
Dec. 16.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
698. To the Ambassador in England.
Our secretary writes from Milan that your letter No. 20 of the 31st October (fn. 1) has been intercepted by way of Augsburg and come into the hands of the governor. We believe this to be a duplicate gone astray, as the first arrived safely to time. We should like to know how this happened and direct you to use every effort to find out, and to take care that nothing similar happens to other letters or papers in the future. You will proceed with caution in a matter of such moment, putting in cipher the more important parts of what you write.
That a courier be sent with these letters, with such money as the Collegio shall see fit, to catch the ordinary, who left last night.
Ayes, 145.Noes, 2.Neutral, 4.
[Italian.]
Dec. 16.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
699. ALVISE VALARESSO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
A letter or note has come into my hands written by the Ambassador Digby to Don Baldassare de Zuniga shortly before his death. The knowledge of the contents may atone for the delay with which it reaches your Serenity, and in any case the delay may be excused owing to our separation from the world and an uncertain sea passage, especially at this season.
With regard to the marriage articles I hear that those about the church and the bishop are settled, and the difference about the education of the children is reduced to a year or little more.
The gentleman who recently came from Spain has been sent back. To tell the truth I have not yet discovered the nature of his despatch. A high personage assured me about this that as Digby wrote to the king that as the time of his embassy was about to expire according to the limits imposed by the council, he would have to return leaving the negotiations incomplete although on the high road to attainment. The king himself wrote back under his own seal not only ordering him to remain, but directing him not to break off the negotiations on any account whatever happened. If this be true it absolutely confirms the opinion of the wisest, which I have already reported, that the king's object in negotiating is nothing more than negotiation itself; the hopes thus raised dispose of any reasons for his moving, and provides him with a pretext, feeble indeed but enough for him, to live in the ease so much desired but better described as abominable and ruinous.
The people of la Rochelle, on stopping a courier who was going to Spain by sea, found among his other letters a very long one written by a Spaniard, previously pensioned, who lived in Gondomar's house with a provision from the king, containing an apology or rather an account and practically a journal of all the actions in which Gondomar proved wanting to the service or reputation of his king. As regards such service as he really rendered, he indeed put a hand to what already moved sufficiently of itself, and this is very evident, because although the present Ambassador Coloma behaves in a very different manner and keeps well out of all affairs, yet matters go on just as before, so that good ministers can only wonder and lament without being able to provide a remedy for one who obstinately chooses the evil.
From Spain we hear of the prohibition of the export of non-manufactured wool and the use of every kind of woollen cloth manufactured abroad. England must suffer more than any other country, as they are accustomed to send a million and a half of gold of such merchandise from here to Spain every year, and the craft of wool already greatly diminished, will now receive practically its last stroke. They think it is a reprisal for the prohibition of Spanish tobacco here.
This kingdom has never been so short of gold. All complain about it with one voice. They attribute it to exportation of gold to the East Indies and Flanders where its value increases. His Majesty is desperately in need of it. Payments are made only to a few and with great difficulty. The treasurer is a most tenacious minister.
The French ambassador threatens to recoup himself by force for the damage done in the ship (fn. 2) taken by Soubise and hints that it has happened with the permission and perhaps with the participation of the king himself. I represented to him the necessity of standing united for the sake of appearances, if for nothing else.
His Majesty has recently suffered some pain from gout in his back.
London, the 16th December, 1622.
[Italian.]
Enclosed in
the preceding
despatch.
700. Copy of letter written by Lord Digby to Don Baldasar di Zuniga at Madrid, the 17th September, 1622.
I have received your Excellency's note with a copy of the pope's demands and the alterations and additions about religion. In the first place I may express my satisfaction at his Catholic Majesty's good intentions and his desire to effect the marriage, though the pope's demands, I confess, shake my confidence in a favourable result, since they profess here that nothing can be done unless the pope agrees, and the pope seems so opposed to a closer alliance between the two crowns, as I have always suspected, that he demands many things that are impossible. I need only point out the alteration in the article providing that all the Infanta's attendants should be Catholics, where he inserts a clause excluding Protestants and that my master should undertake that all their descendants and familiars should become Catholics. Where the article provides that the Infanta shall have whom she wishes for the administration of the sacraments and the service of her chapel provided they do not exceed a limited number, the pope removes the limit. Where it is granted that a superior may punish the attendants with ecclesiastical penalties, and the Infanta may dismiss them from her service, the pope extends the authority of the superior to everything that concerns ecclesiastical laws in the matter of punishment.
Where my king allows the children to remain under the Infanta's control for a certain time, the pope wants his Majesty to undertake that they shall be brought up in the Roman Catholic faith and remain in her Majesty's control until fourteen, and the pope ends by saying that even all this will not suffice to obtain the dispensation, showing clearly that if these objections do not suffice he will find other difficulties to throw in the way of the business.
The despatch carrier George Gage sent to England with these demands, was very ill received, and if your Excellency does not wish the whole business to fall through you must provide remedies without losing time. It is especially desirable that his Catholic Majesty should send an express to Rome to try and render his Holiness better disposed and that Sir Francis Cottington should immediately go post to assure my master that his Catholic Majesty will do everything in his power to overcome the difficulties at Rome and persuade the pope to agree to what my king can concede.
I am sick in bed and therefore cannot come to kiss your Excellency's hands, so I have asked Sir Francis Cottington to do so and tell you many things about the business committed to me. May God protect your Excellency.
From this house, the 17th September, 1622.
[Spanish.]
LORD DIGBY.
Dec. 19.
Inquisitori
di Stato.
Busta 156.
Venetian
Archives.
701. The INQUISITORS OF STATE to ALVISE VALARESSO, Venetian Ambassador in England.
Although the Senate has written to you what we heard from Milan, we cannot pass over this serious matter. We therefore direct you to make diligent inquiry to discover whether this crime of giving or receiving copies of your letters took place in your house or out of it, or how it can have taken place, as the facts show either that it took place in those parts or here in Venice, as the original letters arrived safely and your Excellency is not accustomed to send duplicates. We shall anxiously await your reply.
Daniel Diedo,Inquisitors.
Nicolo Contarini,
Alvise da Ponte,
[Italian.]
Dec. 19.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Signori Stati.
Venetian
Archives.
702. CHRISTOFFORO SURIAN, Venetian Secretary in the Netherlands, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Mansfelt has written to Brunswick expressing his intention of disbanding his troops and going to serve Venice. They do not attach much importance to his threats, yet the States are troubled because they do not want to supply the count with money and so encourage England in the invariable habit of standing still for reflection, and they do not know where to find money in these winter months and yet these troops constitute a bridle upon the enemy. Many think that Mansfelt is trying to force the hand of the States.
The Hague, the 19th December, 1622.
[Italian.]
Dec. 19.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Signori Stati.
Venetian
Archives.
703. CHRISTOFFORO SURIAN, Venetian Secretary in the Netherlands, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Hope from England steadily dwindles, the sovereign there being constantly deluded by specious promises and cunning words, notwithstanding that the Ambassador Carleton, certainly with some reservation, says that his king has fixed a day for the King of Spain to decide about the restitution of the Palatinate and the electorate. The King of Bohemia does not know what to expect, and anxiously awaits the result of his approaches to France.
Several letters confirm the news that the Spaniards are about Frankendal and that the besieged would rather have a Spanish than a Bavarian garrison. News from England states that they are trying to persuade the king there of the ease with which that fortress could be taken out of Spanish hands.
General Vere reached Brem and embarked and as the wind was favourable he should have reached England by now. Every one is most curious to learn how the king receives him and if the anger excited against him by the Spaniards has intensified, as the action of the Spaniards themselves has often aroused his Majesty's wrath which has afterwards cooled down.
The Hague, the 19th December, 1622.
Postscript.—News has just arrived from Zeeland that the English and Dutch ships in the East Indies have taken nine Spanish ships. The news came by a vessel which made the passage from Lisbon in thirteen days.
[Italian.]
Dec. 21.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
704. ZUANE PESARO, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the DOGE and SENATE.
I have assisted at an assembly of the ministers, at which the situation was discussed. Among other things they debated the employment of some other captain, if Mansfelt could not undertake the diversion. They mentioned Alberstat, the Margrave of Dorlach, the Prince of Anhalt and Colonel Vere. The ministers have listened to the last. They say the right way is to act secretly, so that the matter might seem to come from the Palatine. It was suggested that the Palatine and States should be interested in the expense but they concluded that they could expect nothing from the former and the latter would be better employed in France.
Lyons, the 21st December, 1622.
[Italian; duplicated.]
Dec. 21.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
705. ZUANE PESARO, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the DOGE and SENATE.
I must add that they would have invited the English king to join the league, but refrained from punctilio, for fear of showing weakness, but the slightest incentive would suffice to bring it about.
Lyons, the 21st December, 1622.
[Italian; deciphered.]
Dec. 21.
Misc. Cod.
No. 61.
Venetian
Archives.
706. MARC ANTONIO PADAVIN, Venetian Secretary in Germany, to the DOGE and SENATE.
I have tried to discover what the emperor proposes for the settlement of the disputes in the empire and for the satisfaction of all the parties, especially England and the Spaniards. Although this is kept secret I hear on good authority that they propose to declare Bavaria elector for life, during which time he shall hold the Lower Palatinate except Heidelberg, Mannheim and Franchendal, which will be at once given to the Palatine at the instance of England, to render that monarch contented. In exchange for his part of the Palatinate Bavaria shall restore Upper Austria to Cæsar. After the duke's death the electorate shall go to the Palatine's eldest son and remain afterwards in that house. Many think that none of the parties will accept this. Bavaria has high claims and the Spaniards do not see theirs recognised. England remains doubtful, but would probably come to an agreement even with loss of reputation, owing to his desire to live at peace and to himself. However no one knows what to expect. The Duke of Saxony has neither appeared nor sent commissioners.
There is rumour here that the King of England is dead and they write so from Augsburg. It would grieve them deeply as in such case they fear a great change in everything and in the royal sentiments, to say nothing of the security they feel that they may rely upon the harmlessness of the present king (che spiacerebbe grandemente perche in caso tale dubitano di gran mutatione nelle cose tutte e ne' suoi pensieri, per non dire sicurezza di non prometter si alcun male dal presente Re).
Ratisbon, the 21st December, 1622. Copy.
[Italian.]
Dec. 22.
Cinque Savii
alla
Mercanzia.
Reposte.
Venetian
Archives.
707. Your Excellencies have directed us to give our opinion upon some points in the letters of the Ambassador Lando in England of the 16th December, 1620, (fn. 3) and other papers, and also upon the relation made in the Cabinet by Paulo Basadona returned from the Proveditoreship of Zante, about the trade in raisins. After taking due information, we state our opinion as follows:—
The King and Council of England have granted that your Serenity's subjects may take raisins and other natural products of your dominions in Venetian ships captained and manned by natives of your state. This is more a show of giving satisfaction than a reality and it will be of no use, as it is well known that our ships have long since given up sailing to the west, so that we have neither ships nor mariners adapted for that voyage, and there is danger from the large number of men-of-war and pirates, so the concession amounts to nothing. If we could obtain that subjects of this state could take raisins and other natural products to England upon English ships we might hope to gain notable advantages; but probably this will be very difficult to obtain owing to the prejudice the English would declare they suffered, because at present they are masters of that trade, if they had any competitors, especially in raisins, as may be seen by the objections raised in the reply given by the Council.
With regard to what the Illustrious Basadonna has said, we have considered that at Zante there are two English houses and three or four at Cephalonia, and their Flemish competitors in buying raisins having withdrawn owing to the commotions of the people of their country, the English at present tyrannise over the people compelling them to sell raisins at very low prices, and if they object the English cease to buy, by arrangement among themselves, as happened last year for a good sum, and so the poor Zantiots with other troubles also, and being unable to sell their raisins, upon which practically all their income depends, remain in the greatest misery and affliction, while the state suffers from serious losses to the customs.
The remedy for these difficulties will doubtless be accompanied by many disadvantages. But we must not on that account neglect to do what seems fitting. We are of opinion that foreign merchants, among whom the English would be included, should be forbidden under most severe penalties, as well as their agents, from buying raisins in small quantities either at Zante or at Cephalonia or from giving earnest money beforehand for such purchases, in order to deprive the English of the benefit of providing themselves and warehousing the raisins, as they have done. This would serve our purpose admirably, as when these vessels arrive at Zante and Cephalonia, if they had no goods ready to lade immediately, as they have at present through purchasing in small quantities beforehand, they will be forced to buy their raisins from the owners at reasonable prices, in order not to delay the departure of their ships from those ports too much, and so the islanders will be able to sell to advantage.
And whereas the planting of vines has increased considerably of late, whereby the quantity of the raisins has been largely increased, and it will be difficult to make it larger as the harvest already exceeds the possible consumption, we are informed that not many years ago, in Zante and Cephalonia together not more than 4 to 5 millions were gathered, while now they get 8 to 9 millions, to the detriment of wheat and other grain, and it is therefore necessary to see that orders about the planting of vines in those islands are duly executed, and that those planted contrary to such orders must be uprooted and destroyed and the people compelled to inform the rulers every year of the true quantity of the raisins gathered, to prevent any irregularities which might prejudice the customs. It would be advisable to recommend this matter to the attention of the Most Illustrious Ponte. We also think that it would be as well that this note about the quantity of the raisins should be sent to our magistrates from time to time, so that we might decide upon what would be advantageous for the public service.
Francesco Correr,Savii.
Carlo Ruzini,
Marco da Molin,
Orsato Ziustinian,
[Italian.]
Dec. 23.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
708. ALVISE VALARESSO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The quarrel I reported between the king and the favourite was true. The latter took offence at some show of favour by the king to a young gentleman of the chamber, cousin of the marquis. (fn. 4) However matters have quieted down and the marquis seems more in favour than ever, and now has under seal a fresh gift from the king worth some 20,000 crowns a year. Yet some who observed the fate of the earlier favourite Somerset think that his Majesty's favour is like the summer sky, from which, when quite serene, a thunderbolt sometimes falls unexpectedly.
Since the gout his Majesty had a giddiness followed by pains in his head which he described as very severe, as he is very impatient of the slightest pain; yet his method of living is so very irregular that it would be remarkable if he remained long in good health. Satire also makes itself heard. Compositions against the king and the marquis have appeared with silent tread. Such things are usually of ill augury in a state, but actually no prince has better subjects than the King of England.
In conformity with the usual style, but with extraordinary rigour, his Majesty has commanded every one of the nobles here to retire to their country houses to celebrate Christmas. (fn. 5) The ostensible reason and the one given is to afford some relief to the poverty of the country, which certainly seems greater now than ever before for various reasons but chiefly the dearness of bread, which now costs twice what it did, and indeed for the universal reason, the spleen of this great city causes the remaining body of the kingdom to grow lean. This step greatly displeases the nobles and causes them much inconvenience, and according to them the real and secret reasons for so rigorous an order are that by preventing the nobility from meeting together they remove all occasion for discussion and murmuring which the king fears just now.
The Ambassador Herbert is leaving to resume his charge in France, and he came to call upon me. I learned that he had the orders I reported about the Valtelline as a diversion for the Palatinate. I remarked to him that apart from other interests it was important in itself to all princes concerned in the common welfare, and though it might do much for the Palatinate, that would never feel the benefit of a diversion unless they decided here to recover by arms what had been lost through negotiations, and a concerted undertaking could alone render the benefit common.
The other day I entertained the French ambassador at this embassy. He remarked with some feeling that he had learned from the Spanish ambassador that your Serenity would not give the title of Highness to the Prince of Condé. I said that the news showed its source; I knew nothing for certain, but assuredly he had his usual style, although I fancied I had heard that the Duke of Savoy refused him that title, though so closely related to the French crown. The ambassador's brother, who was also present said he feared that his Majesty might take this ill, and unfortunately little things sometimes spoiled great benefits. I remarked that I should have thought that excessive honours to the Prince of Condé might displease the King of France, and in any case his Majesty was sure of the esteem and reverence of your Serenity and would shut his ears to those who tried to insinuate the contrary. I must be excused if I did not answer rightly as I had to speak in the dark.
I have received your Serenity's letters of the 18th November and read of the arrival at Rome of Dominis sometime Archbishop of Spalato. The great discussion on this subject will now cease, in which so many false statements were made here, but it is not so easy to cease from wonder that they have received at Rome in triumph one who touched sacred matters to the quick, as after such conduct not even emperors or kings have previously been received except in the guise of penitents. But the triumph belongs to the Spaniards and this is the work of their omnipotence in that Court.
London, the 23rd December, 1622.
[Italian.]
Dec. 24.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Roma.
Venetian
Archives.
709. RANIER ZEN, Venetian Ambassador at Rome, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The Spaniards seem to have declared openly that the electoral vote shall not be given to Bavaria, and even threaten to restore the Palatinate. This has caused great dissatisfaction here because the pope is deeply pledged to Bavaria. The point is important to the Spaniards because it is the veil that covers everything, and once it is removed everything will be exposed, as if they give Bavaria the electoral vote the Palatinate will not be restored, and they will no longer be able to hold back England by promises and hopes of the marriage, and so they would bring down upon their backs the united forces of England, Denmark, the States, and the Protestant Princes of Germany.
As regards England I asked Lodivisio in confidence how the marriage was getting on in the congregation. He answered that as usual the Spaniards were profiting, but they will not grant it. Notwithstanding the affairs of the Palatine that king is more infatuated about it than ever, and they are expecting here one of these days that Georgio (fn. 6) who took with him the ambiguous and general declaration of the congregation I wrote of. He also told me that they had even persuaded the king to write letters to him, which this man is bringing, and in short that he hopes for success more than ever. I also understand that the nuncio at Venice writes here that the English ambassador there has let it be understood that he had letters from Spain from his ambassador, saying that the Spaniards readily agreed to restitution of the Palatinate, the king having assured him that this should be settled or else he would certainly make war on the emperor, and the Infanta had even offered the English a free passage through Flanders if they wished to go and recover the Palatinate. By such fair words and promises the Spaniards delude that king, and therefore they do not wish to have anything decided in this diet at Ratisbon, but to have negotiations introduced that will take time, as beyond question the turn of these affairs will affect Italy.
Rome, the 24th December, 1622.
[Italian.]
Dec. 26.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
710. ZUANE PESARO, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The Duke of Rohan has left to carry out the stipulations about Languedoc. He has written to England that the dispositions for peace are favourable on the part of the French and this is the time for that king to recover the Palatinate, and join forces for that of the Valtelline for his own interests.
Lyons, the 26th December, 1622.
[Italian.]
Dec. 26.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Signori Stati.
Venetian
Archives.
711. CHRISTOFFORO SURIAN, Venetian Secretary in the Netherlands, to the DOGE and SENATE.
General Vere took his scanty force to Friesland and they sailed for England from the port of Harlinghem. He came here to confer with the King and Queen of Bohemia, to show them the necessity for surrendering Mannheim. He came on Saturday night, but his excuses are not yet known, although some say they were short of powder, a feeble reason to defend his action, unless sustained by orders from a superior, and they say he had letters from the Secretary Calvert. He will leave early for England, accompanied by the agent of the King of Great Britain recently with the emperor, who arrived this evening. (fn. 7) Their Majesties have in appearance received Vere well, but actually they are disgusted and value him slightly.
Mansfelt has preferred further requests, sending the Duke of Saxe Lauenburg here. He has sent Colonel Seiton to England and Colonel Carpson to Denmark to ask for help from the two monarchs. I have been told that Mansfelt has let it be understood that if England, Denmark and the States do not help him he will have to look for some other remedy, and the Count of Levenstein assured me that Mansfelt had received offers from the emperor and the King of Spain. The count advised him not to trust the Spaniards and I gather that Mansfelt will temporise until supplies arrive from England, Denmark and France.
The Count of Embden's son (fn. 8) came here to complain of Mansfelt's action, especially that one of his captains took 25,000 reichsthalers from his father's palace at Essens. This son feels sure of the support of the English ambassador who has general orders from his king to favour the affairs of the Count of Embden in every occurrence.
The same ambassador is also doing what he can in favour of the lands of Cologne, Munster, Paderborn and Liège, from which the States demand contributions, demands in which they persist, although they have not yet sent to enforce them.
The Hague, the 26th December, 1622.
[Italian; the words in italics deciphered.]
Dec. 28.
Misc. Cod.
No. 61.
Venetian
Archives.
712. MARC ANTONIO PADAVIN, Venetian Secretary in Germany, to the DOGE and SENATE.
After the refusal of the armistice in the Palatinate proposed by the Spanish ambassador he repeated his proposal in a very restricted form. To gain his ends he deceives the emperor and all the rest. They are very dissatisfied with his proceedings but answered that they might agree to an armistice for a year and a half if England and the other interested parties promised for Mansfelt, Erbstat and other interested parties. This did not please the Spaniard who said that all the interested parties would promise for themselves, but not for those two, and if England supplied them it would only be with money and that could easily be remedied if that king received the satisfaction of having his son-in-law reinstated in a part of the Palatinate, and in short he insisted strongly on the point, suggesting that it might already have been arranged at Brussels. The real object of the Spaniards is to keep everything in the balance here until they see what will happen in Italy.
Ratisbon, the 28th December, 1622. Copy.
[Italian.]
Dec. 30.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
713. ALVISE VALARESSO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The Palatine never ceases his instances and lamentations to his Majesty, though it is beating the air. It seems that the principal complaint is about the surrender of Mannheim, which the king ordered. The loss was certainly unexpected and the damage most severe in placing in the hands of the Austrians the citadel and bridle of Germany. The king now seems inclined to deny the command to Vere to make terms, and I understand that he blames the Secretary Calvert for having written it without his orders. In this way the king is accustomed at times to hide himself behind a finger, as the saying goes.
About Vere people speak differently, some blaming others excusing him. Certainly the Spaniards show the last orders from Spain not to press the Palatinate further, and say that he hastened to make terms of his own accord. It therefore seems that they are now trying to ruin one, who is universally acclaimed as the best commander England possesses. Perhaps they hope to force him to justify himself, although it is considered that he can do so very easily with strong arguments.
We hear that Tilly has removed from Franchendal, not out of respect for the king but compelled by the season. Some troops have remained, however, in the principal posts who will suffice to harass the fortress. The Spaniards credit Mansfeld with the continuation of hostilities. This serves to discourage any idea that may have existed here to take some share in his support. although he has increased his forces hourly and has occupied the entire state of Embden. The outcry about this occupation has reached as far as this Court, where they exaggerate and proclaim good news about Spain, though they are very reserved about the bad.
A great confidant has told me that his Majesty recently received a letter of four sheets from Gondomar, under the pretext of writing to him as his own servant and councillor, and saying that he is ill advised in his dealings with Spain, as he should either declare himself hostile and begin open hostilities or should deal sincerely as a friend, in a different manner from his late course. Gondomar goes on to recount all the offences, whether apparent or real, which the Spaniards might imagine to have received from the king, and concludes the letter by admonishing and almost ordering him what to do in the future. My informant was not certain whether any reply has been sent yet, but as he knows things well he assures me that it will thank Gondomar, justify the past action and promise everything for the future.
By this syrup the Spaniards may wish to prepare the way for an absolute negative in the negotiations and thereby still further subjugate the king to their will. However they are all anxious here to hear about Porter, who was sent to Spain, and whose mission may prove less fruitless than so many previous ones. They cherish this belief carefully in order to appease men's minds and silence their tongues, and although the better councillors may know the vanity of these hopes, they hold on in order to maintain in some sort the declining reputation of their master. I hear that a Spaniard recently remarked that as Porter was really of low birth this would prejudice his negotiations, but as regards the Ambassador Digby I notice a proceeding unusual even among private individuals much more so between princes, as he is negotiating publicly for a marriage the conclusion whereof must needs be uncertain, while a refusal would prove a most notable affront.
These last days his Majesty has written a book on his motto Beati pacifici; it is the best offering that could be made to the grandeur of Spain, and the sentiments that rule his mind lead his tongue to unfortunate and harmful expressions. He is coming to town to-morrow to celebrate Christmas, old style, and I will take the opportunity to go and pass a complimentary office.
I have read in letters from Saxony, that the elector is not going to the diet, that he is raising troops and is very disgusted with the emperor. At this moment I hear that in the house of the Spanish ambassador they are speaking of a considerable engagement between Mansfeld and Cordova. We are still without the letters of the ordinary.
London, the last day but one of 1622.
[Italian.]
Dec. 31.
Collegio.
Secreta.
Esposizioni.
Principi.
Venetian
Archives.
714. The English Ambassador came into the Cabinet and said:—
I come to offer the best wishes for the new year. I have two duties to perform here. An individual of high standing has recently come here to act as ambassador of the States. (fn. 9) You have given him this title of Excellency. I do not deny his worth or the dignity of his masters. Nevertheless the French ambassador and I, the only ambassadors of crowned heads resident here consider that the ambassadors of a republic or other free state do not usually have this title, except the ambassadors of this republic, which enjoys it for two reasons, the antiquity of dominion and the possession of royal territories, so that I generally call it the crowned or royal republic. We do not believe that you intend to prejudice the royal ministers with this title, as it affects yourselves, and I have therefore come to hear what your Excellencies propose.
The doge said they would send a formal reply. The esteem of the republic for the two crowns was well known and they would never prejudice their ministers. He also returned thanks for the good wishes and desired all felicity for the King of Great Britain and his house.
The ambassador said he only needed an assurance of their good intentions. The question was a delicate one which required very careful handling.
After the Councillors Corner and Grimani had added their assurances, the ambassador expressed his satisfaction. The ambassador continued: I have another office to perform in the name of the Countess of Arundel. She is at Turin where she will remain until the severe weather has passed and where she has recently many honours. She has not known how to thank you for the honours shown to her here. She only desires one thing, the release of poor Antonio Moretto. I have come to ask this favour. I do so the more confidently as I have here the proof of the payment of the 200 ducats made by him, to which he was condemned. I have also obtained the peace from the person offended.
The doge replied that they would consider the matter, with every desire to please the countess and his Excellency also. The difficulty appeared to be about the peace.
The ambassador said that was so, and they asked this as a good beginning for the new year. With this he took leave and departed.
[Italian.]

Footnotes

1 It should be the 28th October.
2 The Croissant of Calais. Cal. S.P. Dom., 1619–23, page 518.
3 The date given is incorrect; the letters in question are of the 16th April, 1621, printed above, Nos. 26, 27 and 28, at pages 22–6.
4 "Arthur Brett, gentleman of the bedchamber. His mother was sister to the Countess of Buckingham, and married (1) John Brett of Hoby and (2) Lionel Cranfield. In a letter to Stuteville of the 14th January, Mead writes: "My lord treasurer (Cranfield) hath sent Mr. Brett into France, to put the marquis out jealousy." Birch: Court and Times of James I, ii., page 355.
5 There is a proclamation come forth that all Lords Spiritual and Temporal that are not of the Council, all Lieutenants, Justices of the Peace and gentlemen of quality should repair to their houses and places of abode and there keep hospitality this Christmas upon pain and peril that may fall thereon." Nichols: Progresses of James I, iv., page 782.
6 George Gage.
7 Simon Digby.
8 Rudolph Christian, eldest son of Count Enno III, of East Friesland.
9 The Cavalier Johann Berck, sent from the Netherlands in August. He had his first audience in the Collegio on the 14th December.