Venice
January 1623, 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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536-546

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'Venice: January 1623, 2-14', Calendar of State Papers Relating to English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 17: 1621-1623 (1911), pp. 536-546. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=88850 Date accessed: 20 September 2014.


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January 1623

Jan. 2.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Signori Stati.
Venetian
Archives.
715. CHRISTOFFORO SURIAN, Venetian Secretary in the Netherlands, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The Duke of Brunswick left on Saturday to join his troops. He asked the English ambassador to write and tell his sovereign that he was his devoted servant and would lay down his life for the queen, his daughter.
The Hague, the 2nd January, 1623.
[Italian.]
Jan. 3.
Consiglio di X.
Parti Comuni.
Venetian
Archives.
716. In the Council of Ten.
Whereas Alvise Valaresso has started for the embassy of England without a secretary, and has asked for Pietro Dolce, notary extraordinary of the Ducal chancery, that the said Piero be allowed to go to England as secretary to the said ambassador, notwithstanding the decision of this Council upon secretaries to crowned heads.
Ayes, 14.Noes, 0.Neutral, 1.
[Italian.]
Jan. 4.
Misc. Cod.
No. 61.
Venetian
Archives.
717. MARC ANTONIO PADAVIN, Venetian Secretary in Germany, to the DOGE and SENATE.
I saw the emperor on Monday morning, when I executed the orders of your Serenity and assured him of your perfect sincerity. He answered, Assure the republic that they will always find me responsive. I am glad to hear what you say about the Count dalla Torre (fn. 1) because Echembergh told me he received letters stating that he was frequently together with the ambassador of Gabor and also of England, publicly, and all met secretly with the ambassadors of Venice and the States. I certainly do not desire this of the republic.
Ratisbon, the 4th January, 1622 [M.V.]. Copy.
[Italian.]
Jan. 6.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
718. ALVISE VALARESSO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The king reached town as I reported he would. I sent to inform him of my desire to pay the customary good wishes but that I had been ruled by his convenience. He answered graciously giving me audience before the other ambassadors. I expressed my regret at his recent, though slight, illness, and satisfaction at his present good health. I congratulated him on the peace in France as the result of his prudence and a great public benefit, the effect whereof might extend to the recovery of Rhetia, and would lay your Serenity under obligation. As the ambassadors of the States had informed me that their negotiations were practically terminated, I congratulated his Majesty upon the prosperous issue of so thorny an affair. Finally knowing that to introduce the subject of the Palatinate would only alienate the king without gaining any advantage, and wishing to confine myself to pleasant topics, I ended by deceitful flattery, as the king hates the naked truth.
He was in a merry humour and seemed pleased at what I said. Of the French peace he said he had brought it about and hoped it would be maintained. I remarked that it was a tender thing and must be carefully guarded and encouraged and for this reason as well as others, the presence of his ambassador would be very opportune at that Court. The king replied that he was sending back Herbert to his post because although the French by reason of Luynes pretended dissatisfaction with him, they certainly had no cause. At this point he railed against Luynes as the author of the past misfortunes of France. He asked me with especial curiosity if it were true that the Duke of Savoy concurred in the desire to recover the Valtelline. He said he understood that in the conference with the Most Christian the duke's designs simply turned against Geneva, presenting the king with a bad book (so he called it) written on the subject by Jesuits.
I thought fit to say that this rumour might be due to design; it was untrue, as the duke showed himself a friend of the common welfare, and very ready for such an important task. His Majesty remarked, It would certainly be very contradictory to free Rhetia and subjugate Geneva, especially as the duke lost all his claims by the peace of Vervins. He said the Spaniards greatly feared the moving of the French about the Valtelline and to avoid it they would give satisfaction. I answered that the satisfaction would only be verbal, as usual with them, and by such arts they ruin others and benefit themselves alone. I said that once they had diverted their forces by various promises they would turn to the Swiss, where they would find things in a very favourable position for them owing to the differences in religion, the hope of rewards and the extensive corruption existing among that people. I did not think fit to enter upon the particulars of the negotiations held at Avignon (fn. 2) as I have no instructions to do so, while it might not be either useful or safe in the present intimacy with the Spaniards.
The king then began to speak about Constantinople. He asked me if this last news was true, that the janissaries being tired of the present Sultan want to place a brother of the dead Osman on the throne. Some time passed in discussing this matter, until I perceived that the time of my audience had expired, as arranged for the king's pleasure, so I took leave and departed. God knows that I used every means I knew to advance the public service with this prince, but I perceive that the things which take place to-day will appear fabulous when narrated to posterity and one cannot strive against fate No blindness is so incurable as that of one who will not see.
To-day I asked for an audience for a similar complimentary office with the prince; it has been granted for Monday.
London, the 6th January, 1623.
[Italian.]
Jan. 6.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
719. ALVISE VALARESSO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Since the audience reported above, letters have reached his Majesty from Spain by an extraordinary. The actual contents are veiled under impenetrable silence, but it is known that the king having sent the favourite to the Spanish ambassador to complain that a porter of his sold a book entitled The Prince Prelate, treating of the sovereignty of the pope over the states of princes, (fn. 3) he took the opportunity to inform the ambassador of the news received in the last letters from Spain about the conclusion of the marriage. The marquis added a promise that they would soon see some advantages accorded to the Catholic religion. These particulars are undoubtedly true as they were told me by one who had them from the ambassador himself, though he is sure that he has no advices for the marriage, for he has no letters from Spain.
It is difficult to decide where the truth lies in this matter, for it would be strange for the king to have the news and not the ambassador. Possibly the office performed with him was a device to discover, or the usual object of the king to make the world believe that he stands better with Spain than he does. It is true that the promise of the marquis about the Catholic religion seems significant, especially when taken in conjunction with the order given to the nobles to retire to the country to celebrate the feasts together with another, equally rigorous, to stop there without liberty to return to the town except at the four usual sessions. (fn. 4) Possibly, in the absence and dispersal of the nobility, the king wishes to remove obstacles and render himself more master of his deliberations. If the news of the conclusion be true, although it seems a great step forward, it is really nothing, as the fruit is a difficult one to ripen and meanwhile great difficulties may constantly arise even involving the breaking off of this business. Moreover the loss of a part of the fleet in the present scarcity of gold will make it hard for the Spaniards to find a large dowry, although some think that the king even in this would take promises instead of ready money.
The Secretary Calvert has been to suggest to the Spanish ambassador that Franchendal should be placed in the hands of the Infanta of Brussels if she would receive it as a neutral. The ambassador said he would write but did not seem to think much of the proposal, which he received quite gravely. I do not know if Calvert claimed that the state of Alezen should be given in exchange by the Palatine.
I have received the ducal missives of the 26 November and the 2nd December. Apparently I made the right replies about the Prince of Condé. The French ambassador, as if reproving your Serenity's action, read me a letter from the French ambassador in Rome saying he was disposed to show every honour and give the title of Highness to Condé. I said that his Holiness might have different motives from your Serenity, and the memory of another French prince formerly in Rome was unpropitious for France.
London, the 6th January, 1623.
Postscript: the ambassadors of the States have just returned from Court whither they went expecting to put the finishing touches to the few things which remained to be settled, but I hear that they have even now left the negotiations incomplete; I do not know whether these letters from Spain may have occasioned this set back.
[Italian.]
Jan. 7.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni,
Venetian
Archives.
720. Conclusion of a League between the King of France, the Republic of Venice and the Duke of Savoy for the entire recovery and liberty of Rhetia and the Valtelline and the complete security of the allied powers upon this question.
France to supply 18 to 20,000 foot and 2,000 horse, Venice 10 to 12,000 foot and 2,000 horse, Savoy 10,000 foot and 2,000 horse. Venice and Savoy to supply guns and munitions and their share of the cost. To attempt a diversion by the Count of Mansfelt, the allies will assist each other in case of attack. The allies will support the United Provinces and disturbances in Germany. Conquests shall be shared by agreement. The pope to be informed of the alliance and invited to join it after its conclusion. That the Swiss leagues, the King of England, the Princes of Germany and the Princes of Italy be also invited to enter in similar fashion, upon conditions arranged by the allies; none of the parties to listen to fresh proposals without the participation of the others, and nothing shall be altered without the joint consent of all.
Ayes, 143.Noes, 3.Neutral, 13.
[Italian.]
Jan. 7.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
721. To the Ambassador in France.
Instructions upon the terms of the league. In the original terms the King of England is the only one of the great princes excluded. It is advisable, out of regard for our interests, and in order not to throw him into the arms of the Spaniards that he should have the opportunity of entering the league. You will put this forward, pointing out the advantages of union with that crown and the danger of not inviting him.
Ayes, 143.Noes, 3.Neutral, 13.
[Italian.]
Jan. 7.
Senato,
Terra.
Venetian
Archives.
722. Vote of 300 ducats to Alvise Valaresso, ambassador in England, to spend upon couriers and posting letters, for which he shall render account.
Ayes, 90.Noes, 0.Neutral, 0.
[Italian.]
Jan. 7.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Roma.
Venetian
Archives.
723. RANIER ZEN, Venetian Ambassador at Rome, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Lodovisio told me they had given up hope of Bavaria having the electoral vote as the Spaniards absolutely refused, but he thought the matter would remain undecided; they might propose to put one of the Palatine's sons in the Palatinate with the electoral vote, but upon certain conditions, and they hoped to delude England with this bait. He told me that the beginning of one of the letters from Spain seemed to convey that the marriage was concluded; at this the pope flew into a great rage at such a thing being done without his licence, but they found afterwards that the affair was in its usual state. They are expecting soon the person from England with the king's letters. (fn. 5) I asked him if the congregation would ever agree and upon what conditions; he said it might on condition that Catholics enjoyed liberty there, that they should have at least one church in each town for the free exercise of the Catholic rite, that the entire household of the queen should be Catholic, and that the children should be brought up Catholics. He remarked that the king would come round to many of these points but the kingdom would not consent.
The French ambassador told me that the King of England knows quite well that the Spaniards are playing with him and that they do not wish to do any other, but for the sake of his reputation with his own subjects and the world he affects to believe them in order not to confess the jest, and have it said that he has abandoned his son-in-law, let him lose his state under vain hopes, and that now he is left with his hands empty. Condé calls him a man of no consideration, and as far as possible from all thought of taking trouble or generous ideas. (Conde dice ch'èun huomo da niente et lontanissimo da tutti li travagli e spiriti generosi.
Rome, the 7th January, 1622 [M.V.].
[Italian.]
Jan. 9.
Consiglio di X.
Parti Secrete.
Venetian
Archives.
724. That a secretary of this Council communicate to the Senate the advices come from Milan on the 6th inst. about the intercepted letters of our ambassador in England, after they have taken the oath of secrecy upon the missals, and that a copy be left there to use as the public service requires.
Ayes, 15.Noes, 0.Neutral, 0.
The letters from England are of the 31st October, 1622. The communication was made to the Senate on the 11th January.
[Italian.]
Jan. 9.
Senato,
Secreta.
Comunicazioni
dal Consiglio
di X.
Venetian
Archives.
725. I have discovered from a leading personage who is thoroughly trustworthy how the letters of our Ambassador Valaresso written on the 31st October came into the hands of the Governor of Milan. The letters were intercepted at Augsburg, the packet opened, a copy taken and then it was sealed up again and sent on its way. One copy was sent to the Duke of Feria and another to Spain. The former was taken secretly from the room, where Feria kept it, and copied and it afterwards came into the hands of one who has the means to conduct the most important affairs which pass through that governor's hands. But I cannot find who sent them from Augsburg, it may be the servants of Tassis or one of themselves, as they are masters of the posts.
[Italian.]
Jan. 9.
Consiglio di X.
Parti Secrete.
Venetian
Archives.
726. To the Secretary Trivisano at Milan.
Praise for what he has discovered about the intercepted letters, with orders to discover as many particulars as possible.
Ayes, 13.Noes, 1.Neutral, 1.
[Italian.]
Jan. 9.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Signori Stati.
Venetian
Archives.
727. CHRISTOFFORO SURIAN, Venetian Secretary in the Netherlands, to the DOGE and SENATE.
From England we hear that the king proposes to use the forces of Mansfelt and Brunswick to relieve Frankendal but the States are advised that the English king will not willingly employ Mansfelt because his troops are so ill disciplined and think of nothing but plunder and cruelty; so they reminded him of the Duke of Brunswick, whose men are not much better, and are awaiting a final reply, but it is not expected to lead to anything, as usual. Apparently he says he has no money, and they have replied offering to supply funds upon his credit, in short they are trying hard to obtain something substantial from that monarch, but so far in vain.
The people of Frankendal are anxiously awaiting help, and have sent word that they can hold out for some months. General Vere is still here awaiting a favourable wind to cross to England, to undergo the judgment or disgrace which evil offices have prepared for him at that court. His troops, who also were awaiting a favourable wind at Medemblich, will have been taken thence to Zeeland by a commissioner. They number about five hundred, and are a great expense and inconvenience. They have suffered greatly and many are sick and dying. It seems strange that the king should wish them to return to England when they could easily be absorbed in the companies of this nation.
The Hague, the 9th January, 1623.
[Italian.]
Jan. 9.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci.
Signori Stati.
Venetian
Archives.
728. CHRISTOFFORO SURIAN, Venetian Secretary in the Netherlands, to the DOGE and SENATE.
M. Magnus came to see me in the name of their Excellencies. He spoke of the heavy expenses of the Provinces, and as they do not wish just now to lay heavier burdens upon the people, they have decided to approach their friends and write to France and England for help, and they propose to ask for a subsidy from your Serenity. He had approached the French and English ambassadors on the subject. To tell the truth he did not know what they might expect from England, but they hoped for assistance from France, and they hoped for more from your Serenity than from the others. The want of money prevented them from supporting Mansfelt. He begged me to lay the matter before your Serenity. I reminded him of the support recently promised to France about the Valtelline, but he still pressed his point. He spoke of their satisfaction at the reception of M. Berch at Venice and referred to the jealousy of the French and English ambassadors at his receiving the title of Excellency. I said that I knew nothing about it; indeed I could not, as I had not received my letters.
The Hague, the 9th January 1623.
[Italian.]
Jan. 10.
Collegio,
Secreta.
Lettere Re e
Regina
d'Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
729. Jacobus, Dei Gratia Magnae Britanniae etc. Rex Serenissimo Principi Antonio Priulo, Venetiarum Duci Amico nostro charissimo, Salutem et felicitatem.
Serenme Princeps, Amice charissime.
Quae benevolentiae nostrae erga Caesarem constantia, quae synceritas fuerint, ex perpetuo actionum nostrarum tenore, praesertim, postquam Gener noster rebus Bohemicis immisceri se passus sit, universo orbi Christiano tam liquido constare arbitramur, ut nullis calumniis obscurari queat. Nemini igitur mirum videri debet, nos merito expectasse, ut ejusdem Generi nostri patrimonium, quo it charissimae filiae nostrae illis in partibus fortunae, et suavissimorum Nepotum dignitates hereditariae continentur, Saltem nostra causa ab omni armorum periento tutum esset. Sed expectationem eventus fefellit. Spes quidem alia nobis facta est, et induciae aliquandiu, intercedentibus nobis, concessae nunc vero et Palatinatus omnis superior et inferioris pars major hostilibus armis occupatur. Quantis autem malis, et quam late patentibus periculis haec rerum mutatio intra Germaniae fines in choata aditum patefaciat, nisi mature occurratur, Sertas V. pro singulari prudentia sua facile animadvertiti quapropter etiam eo fidentius rogamus, ne gravetur Genero nostro in ejusmodi causa ita favere, ut benevolentiae vestrae fructus optatos percipiat. Quo merito Sertas V. et ipsum in perpetuum devinxerit, et nobis rem adeo gratam fecerit, ut nihil libentius accepturi simus, quam occasionem aliquam, qua testari possimus, quanti amorem vestrum aestimemus.
Datum e Palatio nostro Westmonasterii, ultimo die Decembris 1621.
JACOBUS R. [autograph].
Jan. 13.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
730. To the Ambassador in England.
We think it good for our service that you should be advised of the important events taking place and of our decisions for securing the liberty of the Valtelline and Rhetia. We tell you for information only that the Most Christian king at Avignon proposed an alliance between France, the Duke of Savoy and our republic for the recovery of the valley. The articles were drawn up at a new congress at Lyons in the presence of the Prince of Piedmont, and we have sent powers to our Ambassador Pesaro to ratify the alliance.
We have to add that led by our ancient esteem for the English crown and by his demonstrations of affection for our republic, which we shall always remember with gratitude, we should like him to be included in this alliance, and we wish him to be asked to enter at a suitable opportunity, though this point must be arranged with the other allies. Thus only in case his Majesty displays any feeling about arranging this union with the French without him will you in a general, tactful and carefully weighed fashion express the pleasure and satisfaction we should feel in joining with him, owing to our regard for him. You will observe the conversation and opinions expressed by his Majesty, his ministers and the representatives of other powers upon the advices of these negotiations which reach them, and report to us in detail.
We send you a copy of our news from Rome and Milan about the Spanish marriage of the prince, and you will also see the pope's idea of using Condé to promote a league against the Huguenots, introducing France and Savoy.
We find that the intercepted letter we wrote about on the 17th ult. a copy of which reached Milan, was taken at Augsburg and sent thence to the Duke of Feria, your packets being opened, sealed again and sent on here. It is therefore advisable to provide as far as possible against the recurrence of similar accidents. You will put into cipher whatever you consider of importance, and so we have sent off to England Pietro Dolce to act as your Secretary, who has hitherto been in the service of the Proveditore General Erizzo.
The like to the Secretary Surian at the Hague.
Ayes, 118.Noes, 2.Neutral, 7.
On the 14th January it was decided to send to Spain this same letter of advice and the like to Zurich.
[Italian.]
Jan. 13.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
731. ALVISE VALARESSO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Last Monday I had audience of the prince, who received me with the utmost kindness. I paid the usual compliments of the season and proceeded to congratulate him on the peace in France, referring to the help given by this crown, the general advantage and the special obligations of your Serenity. Quite an hour passed in discussing various matters about Constantinople. His Highness's answer consisted chiefly in a repetition of what his Majesty had said to me; he also expressed doubts about the designs of the Duke of Savoy against Geneva. I think this has originated with the Genevans themselves, who readily fly to arms at the least movement of the duke and by communicating their alarms to their friends hope to benefit themselves in all eventualities. The prince further told me that in procuring peace in France his father had two objects, the good of his religion in protecting the Huguenots, and the desire to render that kingdom more ready for the enterprise of the Grisons, and with the same objects his Ambassador Herbert took special instructions to France to use every effort in favour of that expedition. He then asked me what I knew about the Count of Mansfeld, perhaps moved by the report recently circulated that the count announced he would withdraw to your Serenity. I thought fit to answer that it could not be well for him if he lost the support of this most powerful crown, although so far he seemed to have been maintained by the favour of heaven alone for the general welfare, and in his case it seemed that the courage of the weaker could sometimes resist the power of the stronger. I said your Serenity would have greatly regretted the defeat of that brave man, and if you took him into your pay to assist his fruitful operations, you never intended to remove him from his service to the general welfare; a course in which you followed what the Ambassador Wotton suggested on behalf of the king his father. His Highness simply made a general reply, duly praising your Serenity's prudence but I saw that my representations made a deep impression upon him. Truth to tell I rejoiced greatly at having the opportunity afforded me by this office, especially in the present state of affairs and after the representations that Mansfeld has made here on his own account. Although he had some words of hope some time back, the favourable disposition belonged more to the Council than to the king.
I am very undecided what to think about the inclinations and character of this young prince. This should be an argument of remarkable sagacity, as generally nature is a light which discloses itself unless the veil of artifice hides it; but perhaps, contrary to all probability, he understands great art despite his youth.
Next week his Highness will give his masque. Sometimes they have invited the Spanish ambassador and left out your Serenity's. This might easily happen now, with the growing influence of the Spaniards at Court, and their pretensions against your Serenity's ministers, so that what before may have been chance and not worthy of note, may now appear a prejudice to one and an advantage to the other. Moved by these considerations I have so contrived matters so as to be sure of an invitation in any case especially as owing to the differences between France and Spain it is doubtful which of them will be present.
Digby who was agent with the emperor has returned with the remainder of the king's ministers at that court. The Ambassador Herbert has started and I gather from the French ambassador that he will not receive a very cordial welcome from the Most Christian owing to the memory of what passed between him and Luynes; the king himself hinted as much to me at my last audience.
The Dutch ambassadors continue to labour at their negotiations with the usual slow and vacillating progress.
Yesterday evening the long expected Porter arrived from Spain. Owing to the shortness of the time I have not been able to discover more except that he brings the marriage as an accomplished fact if the king will agree to certain conditions, and as regards the Palatinate they promise to make representations to the emperor and through the Ambassador Gondomar.
London, the 13th January, 1623.
[Italian.]
Jan. 14.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Spagna.
Venetian
Archives.
732. ALVISE CORNER, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The news of the loss of Ormuz is confirmed. It was reported two months ago but not believed. It is a great blow, the more because the booty realised exceeded four millions. They do not see how they can recover it. The surprise was devised by the King of Persia assisted by the English. They blew up a bastion by a mine and easily took the place, which was poorly defended because the inhabitants had long been troubled by the plague. They have remonstrated strongly with the English ambassadors at such a hostile act, when the crowns are so friendly and negotiating for an alliance. The ambassadors answered, Digby in particular, that although their king is a friend of the Catholic and they are treating for an alliance, yet the East India Company has always been attacked by this king's forces and consequently open hostility exists in those parts; so it was not remarkable for the English to help the Persians. Digby said he had told the Count of Gondomar that this would happen some day, and even asked him to try and bring about a reconciliation, but the Count had replied that every one should act for his own interests. However Digby declared that he thought his king would give satisfaction where he could, and would especially punish his subjects if they broke any peace or truce.
They rejoice that the diet has not met at Ratisbon and because it is announced that his Majesty certainly will not fail to keep his promises to the King of England. Accordingly they have appointed the Count of Gondomar as ambassador extraordinary to the emperor in the interests of the Palatine, and thus appease the English ministers here, protesting and declaring that what has been occupied should be restored.
The ambassadors think the marriage certain if the pope grants the licence and they feel sure that the Catholic will urge this upon him with sincerity. Four months are allowed; a few points remain to complete the final settlement, but the ambassadors consider these very easy, the chief being the length of time the children shall remain under their mother, and I am told that certainly will not prevent a settlement. They tell me the dowry will be two millions but I think they exaggerate it considerably, as one may guess from their conversation.
Madrid, the 14th January, 1622 [M.V.].
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]

Footnotes

1 Matthias, Count of Thurn.
2 On the 19th November the Duke of Savoy and the Venetian Ambassador Pesaro met the King of France at Avignon, and they decided to demand from Spain the execution pure and simple of the treaty of Madrid. Lavisse: Histoire de France, Vol. VI, part ii., page 220.
3 A scandalous book is said to have been printed in the house of the Spanish ambassador, who has imprisoned his porter, an Englishman, for distributing it." Chamberlain to Carleton on the 4th Jan. Cal. S.P. Dom., 1619–23, page 479. "There is also said to be discovered in the Spanish ambassador's house a book intended to be dispersed called 'The King and the Prelate,' as an opposite to God and the king, for it maintains, dialogue wise, the deposing of kings by the prelacy." Rev. Joseph Mead to Sir Martin Stuteville, the 18th January. Birch: Court and Times of James I., ii, page 355.
4 By proclamation dated the 22nd December, old style. Cal. S.P. Dom. 1619–23, page 470.
5 George Gage.