Venice
January 1623, 16-30

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Institute of Historical Research

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Allen B. Hinds (editor)

Year published

1911

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546-557

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'Venice: January 1623, 16-30', Calendar of State Papers Relating to English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 17: 1621-1623 (1911), pp. 546-557. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=88851 Date accessed: 22 September 2014.


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January 1623

Jan. 16.
Consiglio di X.
Parti Comuni.
Venetian
Archives.
733. In the COUNCIL OF TEN.
The providence of God has ordained that the authors of the falsehoods and calumnies against Antonio Foscarini, owing to which sentence was passed against him, have subsequently voluntarily confessed the fraud committed by them, in such wise that they suffered death as the due punishment of so great iniquity, it becomes the justice and pity of this Council to protect the honour of families and relieve those who are suffering undeservedly from marks of infamy, therefore it will be put to the ballot that for the just relief of Nicolo and Geronimo Foscarini, sons of the late Alvise and nephews of the said Antonio, since Divine Providence has willed that this Council should miraculously obtain clear light upon the matter, so by a public decree be the truth of the fact attested and made manifest, and this family, truly worthy of commiseration restored to its pristine grade of honour and reputation, and that this present act be read at the next grand council as a notification to every one.
Ayes, 8.Noes, 6.Neutral, 1.
Carried.
[Italian.]
Enclosure734. Case of the Cavalier Foscarini, by the Advocate Andrea Querini.
The case of Antonio Foscarini was preceded by about twelve processes of small consequence. The first began with letters from England in 1605 written to the Supreme Tribunal by his secretary Giulio or Girolamo Muscorno. It seemed that the queen preferred one before the other and Foscarini was said to have incurred the hatred of the king and Court by imprudent discourse to the detriment of public affairs. He wrote to defend himself and the secretary replied that he went in danger of his life from the ambassador. I do not remember if any decision was taken then. Subsequently he was accused of corresponding with foreigners, and the greater part of the process turned upon this, and he was merely cautioned about this for lack of real proof.
Finally in 1622 informers appeared before the tribunal, who declared that they had repeatedly seen him under a certain sottoportico I believe in Canareggio, speaking with the Spanish ambassador. When questioned he did not deny the place or the hour but the person and the fact. A presumption of his guilt being established, he was condemned as Nani has described in the fifth book of his history. (fn. 1)
[Italian.]
Jan. 16.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Signori Stati.
Venetian
Archives.
735. CHRISTOFFORO SURIAN, Venetian Resident in the Netherlands, to the DOGE and SENATE.
There is a report here that the Princes of Lower Saxony have so far only decided to make certain levies and then wait until the end of this month or the beginning of March. It seems that they want to wait to see what the King of Great Britain will do, although every one feels absolutely certain that he will never move and that these poor princes may expect help from any one before him, and they will merely proclaim themselves to the world as the pensioners of the King of Great Britain, with a pension perhaps inadequate for their greatness or necessity, amounting as I am told to no more than 10,000 florins a month and they cannot spend a penny or make any assignment without the previous knowledge of the Ambassador Carleton here, indeed they excite the compassion of every one.
The gentleman sent by the Palatine to the Most Christian returned last week. The king told him he must first see to the recovery of the Valtelline. His Majesty remarked in conclusion that if the King of England moved, he would do so much more, so your Serenity may judge what hopes these sovereigns may cherish.
Baron Grusbech has arrived here on behalf of the city of Liège and to explain to their High Mightinesses the reasons why the people there should not pay the contribution demanded. He will have the assistance chiefly of the English ambassador.
The Hague, the 16th January, 1622 [M.V.].
[Italian.]
Jan. 18.
Misc. Cod.
No. 61.
Venetian
Archives.
736. MARC ANTONIO PADAVIN, Venetian Secretary in Germany, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The Duke of Bavaria entered this city last Thursday. He announces that he does not mind about the electoral vote and merely desires the peace of the empire. The Spanish ambassador continues to press for an armistice though his protestations have slackened since Bavaria's arrival. Many think that the dissatisfaction that Cæsar shows with this minister is merely art, and that secretly they are agreed, and this is merely a show to excuse the action of the Spaniards in the eyes of England and lay all the blame upon Bavaria and Cæsar, though the Spaniards may not be without objections to the aggrandisement of Bavaria.
Ratisbon, the 18th January, 1622 [M.V.]. Copy.
[Italian.]
Jan. 18.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Milano.
Venetian
Archives.
737. GIOVANNI FRANCISCO TRIVISANO, Venetian Secretary in Milan, to the DOGE and SENATE.
After the news which the governor had from the Catholic court of the approaching conclusion of the marriage between the Infanta of Spain and the Prince of England, brought by the courier of the nuncio at that court, who was sent especially to Rome with this news, the change of the present government has been announced by his Excellency's creatures, and the Duke of Feria has not denied it. It is said he is destined for the governorship of Flanders and the command of all the forces there, the Spaniards casting all the blame of the failure at Bergh upon the Marquis Spinola. His Excellency also hopes to take this opportunity of proceeding first to England with the articles and conclusion of the marriage and he seems quite rejoiced at this news, thinking that he has so arranged the affairs of the Valtelline that the French will not interpose except by negotiation.
Milan, the 18th January, 1622 [M.V.].
[Italian.]
Jan. 20.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
738. ALVISE VALARESSO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Porter has arrived from Spain as I announced. It is universally reported and believed that he brings the decision to send Gondomar to Germany about the Palatinate and the conclusion of the marriage. If this be true, then he who went for the restitution of the former has returned with the settlement of the latter, an unhappy exchange. The Spanish ambassador says that to accelerate the conclusion of the marriage they sent a courier post from Spain to Rome, and here the belief in the marriage is confirmed by an order to the treasurer to make ready ten ships, a commission to the merchants from the Court for gold brocade of Italy, and a rumour that the favourite with some lords and ladies designated by name are to go and meet the bride. We hear also that the English Catholic Ghesi, who was sent to Spain, has left and is now in Rome, also for the pope's final consent. But whether part of this news is false and part fabricated I can assure your Serenity that the latest letters from Spain to his Majesty, while expressing a readiness for the marriage, state that they should first settle the differences about the Palatinate, for which purpose they offer the embassy of Gondomar, and for the completion of the marriage they ask for some public act of the realm as security for the dowry and for the benefit of the Catholic religion. The one who furtively read the letter told my confidential informant this. The same person who is very intimate with the king added that after Porter's arrival the king wrote and laboured a long while in the night and seemed sad; finally he feigned the gout to cover his dissatisfaction, though in public he displayed as much joy as he could. I know that when the prince was asked about the truth of the news published, by two of the persons most in his confidence, one of whom told me, he told them with an oath that he had precisely as much information on the subject as they had (io so pur anco che della verità delle nuove divulgatesi dimandato il Sig. Principe da due suoi più confidenti, uno stesso de quali a me communica egli habbi lor risposto con giuramento, d'haver quella certa notitia intorno cio, che n'havevano essi).
The new expedition to Spain four days ago of that Digby who returned from Germany, as I reported, may provide an argument that the matter is not completed, especially as this Digby on his return seemed to despair of the negotiations about the Palatinate, speaking very freely.
With regard to the proposed embassy of Gondomar every one sees that is full of their usual guile and even the king is displeased about it so I hear. As while they offer apparently a person who seems to enjoy the king's confidence, this is unnecessary because the Ambassador Oñate is omnipotent with the emperor and they will employ the wiser and more experienced minister, who owing to the natural conditions of age and health must move at a snail's pace, and by such a long and various route he will have a ready pretext to drag out the negotiations for ever. As regards the public act, which means the approval of parliament, the wisest are of opinion, owing to various obstacles and the religious question, that just as the Spaniards would not rest satisfied with the royal word alone (which could as easily be withdrawn as given) so it is equally impossible for a parliament to assemble upon such matters to the king's satisfaction. But perhaps it would satisfy the Spaniards to start this malignant humour and kindle the fever of a pernicious revolution.
Amid these fluctuations and uncertainties it is a fact that the king two days ago wrote letters to some of the princes of the Union of a very doubtful and ambiguous tenour representing himself as independent and as yoked with Spain, as united and not united, things calculated to excite laughter rather than hope. For my part I make a shrewd guess that the king proposes to render the Spaniards uneasy in this way and so obtain some advantage.
A gentleman who was a close friend of Somerset, the former favourite, and afterwards his bitter enemy, has told some one that Somerset had once informed him that the king and Somerset gave poison to the late Prince Henry, offering to prove this in any way. They have tried to suppress the matter by imprisoning the gentleman so that very few speak about it, and they under their breath, as befits such a delicate subject. (fn. 2)
The king's gout has provided fresh hindrance to the final despatch of the Dutch business. The Spaniards pretend to have discovered that intelligence existed at Antwerp of Prince Maurice's recent abortive plan.
Mansfelt causes considerable discussion and every one recognises that he is a friend to keep at a distance. The Spanish ambassador declares that your Serenity has sent for him to serve in the Valtelline affair.
Sunday next has now been appointed for the prince's masque. The French ambassador and I are invited. They say that the Spanish ambassador excused himself but he had previously attended a rehearsal privately. Every one thought that he would be invited because among other reasons as a new comer he had never before attended such functions. I gather that he wished to be there alone. For my own part I observe a peculiar affection for the interests of your Serenity in the Lord Chamberlain here.
London, the 20th January 1623.
[Italian.]
Jan 21.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni,
Roma.
Venetian
Archives.
739. To the Ambassador at Rome.
Notification of the death of Father Maestro Paulo of Venice, (fn. 3) Servite, greatly esteemed for his fidelity, ability and devotion. At the end he restored to the prior of his monastery everything conceded for his use. He then received the most holy sacraments from the prior in the presence of the whole chapter and rendered his soul to God. The four mendicant orders attended his funeral in great numbers, Dominicans, Franciscans, Augustinians and Carmelites, and a great concourse of people from the whole city gathered spontaneously. The Senate sends this for information owing to the great esteem which the republic has always felt for his person and because of the important services he has rendered.
The like to the following:—
The resident with the emperor,The secretary at Milan,
The secretary at Naples,
The ambassador in France,The secretary at Florence,
The ambassador in Spain,The secretary at Zurich,
The ambassador in England,The secretary at the Hague.
The ambassador in Savoy,
Ayes, 115.Noes, 2.Neutral, 1.
[Italian.]
Jan. 21.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Roma.
Venetian
Archives.
740. RANIER ZEN, Venetian Ambassador at Rome, to the DOGE and SENATE.
When I had audience of the pope this week he said at once: Congratulate me on getting Bavaria nominated as elector in place of the Palatine. I immediately congratulated him, attributing the result to his good offices. I said I hoped that God would also permit him to procure peace for Italy, as well as the conversion of England by this marriage which is said to be so near. The pope replied that the English marriage was a thing that required deep consideration, but that king really showed a favourable inclination and said that he was undecided in his conscience and would have liked them to send him some distinguished man of learning, such as the Cardinal du Perron or someone similar who might reason with him. The pope added: Though bad it is not so bad; whether it is so I doubt; may God set his hand to it (disse ch'erano cose alle quali bisogna haver molto buona consideratione, ma che veramente quel Re dimostrava buona inclinatione et che diceva ch'è dubbioso nella sua conscienza, et che haveria voluto che gli mandasse un qualche gran dotto huomo, come un Cardinale di Peron o simile, che lo persuadesse, soggiongendo, nel male è pur manco male, che sii cosi dubbio, Dio ci metti la mano).
Lodovisio told me that some letters from Spain stated that the marriage business was making great progress, and was strongly urged by the ministers though the relations and kindred did not wish it, but preferred the emperor's son, who had now made a most efficacious request for the Infanta, and the decision to give the electoral vote to Bavaria might make a difference in many places.
I enclose the copy of a letter written from Spain to a leading minister here, which throws some light on the affairs of that count. It comes from a leading Catholic who belonged to Don Baldassare's party.
Rome, the 21st January, 1622 [M.V.].
[Italian.]
Enclosure741. Extract from the letter from Spain.
Here they are playing a merry game (si gioca a gaba compagno) between his Majesty and the King of England. The ambassador extraordinary of the latter is pressing remarkably hard for the hand of the Infanta. He offers certain terms, but it is all wind and metaphysics, as even if they could put them in practice they need the consent of the kingdom, which is known to be strongly adverse to the alliance. His Majesty desires to give some satisfaction to England and therefore encourages their hopes. He has ordered a Junta to meet in the confessor's house, the bishop of Segovia, the Count of Gondomar, Don Ferando Giron and Don Agustario di Mexia taking part. Those who know anything of the business believe that the marriage will not take place because there is no hope of any improvement of the Catholic faith in that kingdom and the Infanta herself might be infected by continued association with those heretics.
[Italian.]
Jan. 21.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
742. ZUANE PESARO, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the DOGE and SENATE.
There is a Capuchin friar here, a Milanese, sent by the Duke of Bavaria, who professes an obligation to secure the restitution of the Valtelline. He tries to divert their decisions here, but his chief object is apparently to secure the interests of Bavaria in the Palatinate. He points out the advantages to this crown of having a party in Germany and founding a powerful Catholic house as a counterpoise to that of Austria. The ministers here are inclined to listen to him but do not care to involve themselves from fear of offending England. The nuncio also would like to stir up the French, but is afraid of offending the Spaniards.
Paris, the 21st January, 1622 [M.V.].
[Italian.]
Jan. 21.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
743. ZUANE PESARO, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The marriage between Spain and England is disliked here, but they take heart from the belief that it will not eventually take place. Rome shows signs of raising difficulties and the king has ordered his ambassador to hinder it as much as he can.
Paris, the 21st January, 1622 [M.V.].
[Italian.]
Jan. 23.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Signori Stati.
Venetian
Archives.
744. CHRISTOFFORO SURIAN, Venetian Resident in the Netherlands, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The States are contriving fresh means of raising money in case the enemy attacks them, while diverting the friendship of other powers, notably England. In this connection they are very anxious about the result of the affair between the two East India Companies, as their ambassadors in England let them understand that everything was settled with mutual satisfaction and they were returning, but now things have changed, the States attributing this to the good news received by the king about the marriage, as they realise fully that their ambassadors serve at that Court to excite the fears of the Spaniards in these lengthy negotiations, and if they were concluded the ambassadors might be dismissed and the negotiations broken off to please the Spaniards. The Prince of Orange said to me yesterday with some temper that they could form no opinion about the King of England unless he declared himself of the Spanish party, if he has not already done so.
The news of the conclusion of the marriage comes also from Brussels, and that the restitution of the Palatinate will follow. The English agent with the Infanta wrote as follows to the English ambassador, who told me. We have good news here from the court of Spain, that they have decided to restore the Valtelline which involves the Palatinate. He apparently said this mockingly and when I pressed the ambassador he shrugged his shoulders saying, They say and publish this at the Spanish court, but it will take time, and fell silent. Their High Mightinesses have little hope from that king unless matters take a more favourable turn for the affairs of this country at the English court.
They are constantly hearing of the good will of his Most Christian Majesty towards these provinces and are trying to give satisfaction to his subjects in order to remove bad impressions. They have sent to Denmark, Sweden and the Hanse towns for money and the ambassadors in France and England have orders to represent the necessities of these provinces.
The English ambassador recently sent to his king to represent the futility and expense to General Vere of keeping the troops here detained by contrary winds and orders have come to him to disband them here. This has given satisfaction to the troops themselves the States and the English captains who seized the opportunity to strengthen their companies. Vere still remains here.
Baron Grusbach who came for the Liègois has the help of the ambassadors of the two crowns. He has established the point that the Liègois did not contribute to the Catholic league of Germany. He does not press matters, since time is in his favour.
The Hague the 23rd January, 1623.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Jan. 25.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Milano.
Venetian
Archives.
745. GIOVANNI FRANCESCO TRIVISANO, Venetian Secretary at Milan, to the DOGE and SENATE.
A courier from Spain has brought letters for his Excellency. They state that his Majesty has decided to send him to Flanders. They further state that the Catholic and the royal council, not desiring the further aggrandisement of the Duke of Bavaria had decided to conclude the marriage with England, and take the opportunity to explain to the duke how necessary it is for the Spaniards to satisfy that king by re-establishing the Palatine in his dominions though they mean to reserve at least one of the principal fortresses for themselves as a bridle.
Milan, the 25th January, 1622 [M.V.].
[Italian; deciphered.]
Jan. 27.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
746. ZUANE PESARO, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The ordinary ambassador has arrived from England. I sent to pay my respects and shall call upon him at an early opportunity.
Paris, the 27th January, 1622 [M.V.].
[Italian.]
Jan. 27.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
747. ALVISE VALARESSO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The ducal missives of the 3 December only reached me on the 21st inst. by the ordinary with the news of the interception of my letter number 20 and its coming into the hands of the governor of Milan, one day after my last despatch, so that I have had a week to make enquiries. This seems superfluous if the packet was opened and the letters copied. This may have been because of the jealousy of the Spaniards at my zealous though most unfortunate service and my offices with the princes here. It is true that I cannot thoroughly trust any of my thirty persons though most carefully selected there being at present a great scarcity of men especially for hire, and they are always scheming against the property, not uncommonly against the honour and even against the life of their master. But I have chosen two stewards and body servants least likely to do such things, one not knowing how to read and the other can only just write. All the rest are excluded perpetually from my study, which is open to me alone; and the keys never leave me. My register, thank God, is intact. In proof of this I send a copy of the intercepted letter, which would be impossible if it had been tampered with. Moreover the register is so badly written, with so many abbreviations and alterations that to copy it would demand some skill, great patience and every convenience, so I believe it practically impossible for the copy to have come from the register. Moreover if it had come from my people it is probable that the governor would have to keep the letter better, as its publication would have upset the correspondence and open my eyes to the treason. All this makes me certain that, without my fault, the letter was opened, a copy taken and the original sent on to your Serenity. This may have happened in London after the letter left my hands, as the news from Milan states; and in Venice itself at various times and occasions as I know when I served on the Board of Health, where they open letters for considerations of health and tear them to conceal the fraud. The opening and re-sealing letters has become a fine art, in universal use, not only practised by princes but by many private individuals. My punctual obedience may have provided some commodity, as desiring the public letters to reach your Serenity at once I have handed the packet direct to my brother.
If I have not used the cipher I have interpreted the public silence as an approval of this, while what I wrote about the action, arms and triumphs of the Spaniards at this court seemed superfluous to conceal; while my zealous offices with the princes here elicit such dry responses that they do not merit the dress of cipher. Furthermore, I find it difficult to use owing to my lack of a secretary. I have done the work of two persons, sending a despatch every week, acting both as ambassador and secretary, as Vico, whom I first chose, failed me owing to the unfortunate delay of the extraordinary Spanish embassy, and two others excused themselves. I started, expecting to pick up Vico at Turin, but had to leave him owing to the difficulties which arose. My wish to keep Zon had to yield to the interests of Sig. Lando. Dolce the one last nominated has to make his preparations and await a better season, though he should start as soon as possible. Meanwhile I have suffered much from being without a secretary, and if I am not praised for almost a year's service without such necessary assistance I ought at least to escape blame. At all events, my conscience is tranquil as I know that I have done my best.
London, the 27th January, 1623.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Jan. 27.
Inquisitori
di
Stato.
Venetian
Archives.
748. ALVISE VALARESSO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the INQUISITORS of STATE.
I have received your Excellencies' letters of the 19th December, but as I can make no other reply than what I wrote to the Senate, I will not write again, especially as I should have to repeat the cipher, an intolerable labour.
London, the 27th January, 1623.
[Italian.]
Jan. 27.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
749. ALVISE VALARESSO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The belief continues to be universal that the negotations for the marriage with the Infanta are completed. The king himself confirmed it to some one, and told others that he wished to grant tolerance to the Catholic religion. That is all that one can say at present. Nevertheless, with very good reason I hold to my first opinion that his Majesty received little satisfaction from these last letters, and it is noticeable that they have not appeared to view since Porter presented them.
The order for the preparation of ships has been suspended, or at least the execution, since going for money has occasioned delay.
The Spanish ambassador speaks with a double tongue, and has answered his confidants in a way that shows that the negotiation is still far from completion.
Four musicians of the prince have been dismissed, because in the last Christmas celebrations they served in that ambassador's chapel. He is doing his utmost to reinstate them; every one clearly sees that if they are to be reinstated it would have been better not to dismiss them.
It is confirmed that Ormuz was taken not only with the co-operation of the English, but that they had the best of the booty.
We hear that the Spaniards are raising troops everywhere in what seems incredible numbers; it will certainly require a great deal of money.
The Dutch ambassadors were about to break off their negotiations once more. I do not know if one ought to credit those who blame their excessive hardness; it is certain that I have always urged them to yield something in the present state of affairs; in short either one side is very ill disposed or the other imprudent or both are very disingenuous.
The Ambassador Wotton reports the exposition made to your Serenity by the French ambassador with five requests in the matter of the Valtelline. He writes that you gave him a speedy reply but not much to his taste, and that your Excellencies do not feel sure of the French standing firm. Some one told me that Wotton and the new Dutch ambassador had quarreled. Certainly Wotton has sent an express messenger who says he is to try for his master to come home.
Mansfeld, through Colonel Gray, who has recently arrived, begs the king for assistance. His Majesty will not make the requisite public declaration for the usual reasons. They cannot afford secret help, as they might desire, owing to the shortness of money; at all events they will do nothing such as the king's service requires, little to help Mansfeld and much to make the Spaniards boast. Gondomar used to say that his Majesty studied by his half way measures not to make friends but moderate enemies, the very worst course in the opinion of wise statesmen.
The French ambassador here is still labouring over the question of the ship taken by Soubise. So far he has obtained nothing beyond a general reply that justice shall be done. He is discontented with this legation and doing his utmost to be relieved. I have frequent occasion to meet him. He speaks with better hopes and opinions than heretofore about the affairs of Rhetia. He told me that at his last audience he did not think fit to tell the king about them, for the reasons I gave your Serenity on the same subject. When being entertained at his house, in the course of a long conversation I remarked upon the formidable progress of the Spanish monarchy at this time, when the cowardice and disunion of Germany and the somnolence and ill disposition of England proved so propitious to them. I enlarged upon the necessity of a good understanding and friendly union among those who desired to escape imminent servitude, mentioning the Dutch in particular. I reminded him of what the great King Henry did for these, and the strong reasons which pointed to such a course. And because owing to the personal dislike of the crown of France for the Ambassador Aerssens, he has never exchanged visits with the Dutch ambassadors here, I tried to persuade him to forget these sentiments, more worthy of private individuals than of princes, and by a reconciliation to make the good understanding a matter of common knowledge, even in externals. God knows, I did this with much zeal The ambassador answered favourably admitting the force of my arguments and approving the necessity of this union. He maintained, however, that Aerssens ought to humble himself to the crown and that Prince Maurice ought to make it a duty to induce the States not to incite the Huguenots to disobedience. For the rest he showed that there is a good disposition in France to secure them every good and even to assist them. More than once he hinted a suspicion that they had helped the people of la Rochelle. I tried to remove this impression by argument. He excused himself for not visiting Aerssens, owing to the king's express command not to do so.
The masque has been postponed from Sunday last to Sunday next owing to his Majesty's pretended gout. Following the example of the ambassadors of France and Spain I also seized the opportunity to see the prince dance. At the end he thanked me very graciously for honouring his exercises, speaking in French, a thing he had never done with me before.
London, the 29th January, 1623.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Jan. 30.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Signori Stati.
Venetian
Archives.
750. CHRISTOFFORO SURIAN, Venetian Resident in the Netherlands, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The King and Queen of Bohemia are advised from the English court that Simon Digby, who recently passed this way on his return from the Imperial court where he acted as English agent, has been sent to Spain to join the Count of Gondomar who, by the order of the Catholic is to go to Caesar, report saying that this Gondomar is to negotiate for the restitution of the Palatinate, as being the one who made the first promises on the subject to the King of Great Britain. Your Serenity may imagine how much hope their Majesties can found upon this intervention. The loss of time required for the movement of Gondomar from the Spanish court and upon the journey and negotiations show that this is a fresh mockery and a new way to keep the King of Great Britain irresolute. They keep that king fed up with hopes of the marriage, and I have heard that the Spaniards have it announced in these parts and elsewhere as already arranged. Digby's latest letter from Spain to the English ambassador here contains expectations only without anything certain. These circumstances make the king here anxious and he would desire a better hand to relieve him in his misfortunes.
General Vere returned yesterday evening from Haarlem where he dismissed and paid off the troops whom he brought back from the Palatinate. Your Serenity will have heard from England what they say about him, and how they try to prejudice the king against him. Efforts are being made here for the King and Queen of Bohemia and his Excellency to remove the evil impression against this gentleman, who lives in great perplexity lamenting his hard case, as he claims that he did everything that could be demanded of a good soldier for the defence of Mannheim, and the fault of others, imputing M. de Schomburg, and pure necessity for the honour of his sovereign, compelled him to abandon the fortress.
I think that he will leave for England to-morrow to render an account of himself and his actions.
The Hague, the 30th January, 1623.
[Italian.]

Footnotes

1 This note is of a much later period. Nani's Historia della Republica Veneta was not published until the latter half of the century. It is not perfectly accurate, as Foscarini did not arrive in England before the beginning of May, 1611. Muscorno's letters were sent in the year 1613. For particulars about Foscarini's first trial, see Rizzardo's letters to the Inquisitors of State in Vols. XIII and XIV of this Calendar, and the Appendix to the latter volume.
2 The gentleman's name was Coppinger and he is described as a former servant of Somerset. Chamberlain in a letter to Carleton says the matter was much talked about, but no great importance was attached to what he said, as Coppinger was thought to be cracked in his wit as well as in his estate. Birch: Court and Times of James I, ii, page 358. Chamberlain says nothing of any accusation against James, and neither does Mead, who wrote on the same subject a few days earlier (Ibid, page 354), but Calvert in a letter to Conway of the 12th February speaks of Coppinger being restrained for scandalous words against the king. Cal. S.P. Dom. 1619–23, page 490.
3 Fra Paolo Surpi died on the 15th January, 1623. Five days later Wotton sent an account of his last illness, death and funeral to James. Pearsall Smith: Life and Letters of Sir Henry Wotton, ii, pages 259, 260.