Venice
February 1623

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Institute of Historical Research

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Allen B. Hinds (editor)

Year published

1911

Pages

557-574

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'Venice: February 1623', Calendar of State Papers Relating to English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 17: 1621-1623 (1911), pp. 557-574. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=88852 Date accessed: 20 September 2014.


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February 1623

Feb. 2.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
751. ZUANE PESARO, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the DOGE and SENATE.
I have seen the English ambassador, a soldier and a theologian of his faith. He is a sincere friend of liberty and of the most serene republic. I will cherish the most confidential relations with him.
Paris, the 2nd February, 1622 [M.V.].
[Italian.]
Feb. 3.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
752. ALVISE VALARESSO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
I enclose the marriage articles and the replies about the Palatinate recently made in Spain. They reached me two hours after my preceding despatch, and are translated from the original. The difficulty I had in obtaining them may count for something. One clearly perceives amid an affectation of a free concession of everything that restitution is involved in a cloud of ambiguous words. For the rest I adhere to my opinion and in any case I shall have had good reason if I prove in the wrong.
They have finally swallowed the morsel so long chewed of removing Naunton from the secretaryship. In his place they have appointed Conway, as I anticipated on the 14th October last. He has the reputation of an honest man, who knows more about the sword than the pen. He had a command in the Dutch wars, and is considered very friendly to them. He was ambassador of his Majesty at Prague at the time of the great defeat. The favourite obtained the office for him, money having been the inducement, which the Dutch are supposed to have provided. Naunton remains a councillor, with some recompense in esteem and much in promises. (fn. 1) The loss belongs to the public weal, to your Serenity and your ministers. As I only arrived at the time when his influence was eclipsed I experienced no benefit from his good disposition. I rejoice, however, that my offices, cautiously continued with him, have led him to confess publicly a great obligation to the ministers of your Serenity, who maintained their affection for him even in the decline of his fortunes.
The dismissed musicians have been reinstated. The prince seemed very determined upon their exclusion, but the king interposed his authority. The Spanish ambassador, although the musicians have been threatened if they offend again, means that they shall serve him again if required. (fn. 2) Thus he claims his way in everything and they yield to him in everything, even to the extent of injuring themselves to please him. Thus at every moment things happen here which are self contradictory and without any reason except of being done without reason. The Spaniards considered themselves offended by the first step, of the dismissal; the Protestants here are exasperated by the reinstatement and every one recognises the extreme feebleness of the government and a practically acknowledged utter dependence upon Spain (cosi egli tutto pretende come tutto se gli concede a segno di pregiudicar a se stessi per gratificare a lui Cosi qui seguono ogn'hora cose tra lor repugnanti e senza altra ragione che d'esser fatte senza ragione Spagnoli si sono stimati offesi con la prima attione del cassarli. Questi prostestanti restano esacerbati per la seconda di rimetterli et og'uno conosce gran debolezza nel governo et una quasi totale professata dipendenza dalla Spagna).
The declaration in particular of the affair in this kingdom has afforded the prince an apportunity, with his Majesty's consent, to make himself head of a general conference about causes and remedies. The decision is yet new born and may die in its cradle. If they proceed, difficulties will not fail, and in any case events are bound to occur which will give grave dissatisfaction to the Dutch.
Three companies of Vere arrived here. Before they landed they were sent back by the king's orders to disband in Holland. They will serve to fill up companies there. The object here was not to increase through their arrival the almost countless multitude of unemployed and mendicants now about.
Many of the English merchants here complain greatly that 2,000,000 of copper money having been coined in Spain, they have to receive this bad money in exchange for their goods, and can only exchange it for good at a loss of 12 per cent., and the remainder of the charge for transporting silver amounts to 20 per cent.
I have seen private letters from la Rochelle stating that because of the forces maintained by the royalists contrary to the treaty and for some other circumstances which took place in the neighbourhood of Orleans, the Huguenots waver between hope and fear about the continuation of a satisfactory peace.
The King of Denmark has advised the Hanse towns that they must stand prepared, owing to well founded suspicions, and profiting by this they are putting themselves in good trim.
We hear reports of fresh demolitions at Heidelberg, where they are rasing not only the fortifications but the royal palace.
Some shots fired by students of a college at midnight alarmed the palace and the king, to whom some of the leading nobles hastened in fear of some mischance. (fn. 3) As the regulation of the royal guards at night had become very lax, they have introduced better order and increased their numbers.
Last Sunday the masque took place, danced by the prince and ten other cavaliers. (fn. 4) After various preliminaries and appearances of no great account, they descended in disguise from the sky in a cloud. It was a spectacle of some pomp and beauty but not attaining the royal standard of excellence. It lasted almost until day. His Majesty enjoyed it greatly. His Highness displayed grace and agility. The French ambassador and I were present, and I was entertained at a most sumptuous banquet by the Duke and Duchess of Lennox. Such gifts are not received without a return.
London, the 3rd of February, 1623.
[Italian.]
Enclosed in
the preceding
despatch.
753. All the articles from Rome, to which the King of Great Britain finds no objection, have been passed by his order of the 9th September, by the Earl of Bristol, and those which aroused some difficulties have been arranged as follows:
2nd. The form of celebrations was resolved in the manner already agreed upon in England as well as the oath to be taken by the Infanta's servants.
5th. The article about the church must be interpreted thus, namely, that wherever the Infanta's household stays there shall be a church for christening, marriage, burial, etc., it not being convenient that the Infanta's servants should be christened, etc. in her chapel in the palace. It is not intended to employ any of the existing churches in London for this purpose, but another shall be built adjoining the palace.
6th. It is not becoming to stipulate that the servants must all be Catholics, as that would exclude Protestants from the Infanta's service. It should be left indifferent whether the servants are Catholics or not.
On the pope's demand Quod ecclesiastici nullis legibus subjaceant nisi suorum superiorum, the divines are unanimously of opinion that this king cannot by any treaty render the clergy subject to civil magistrates, as he himself has not this authority in Spain; they therefore conclude that the Infanta's household will have the same immunity that they enjoy in Spain; but they have softened the article as much as possible, saying that arrangements can be made for rendering his Majesty content, to wit, by banishing delinquents, or sending them to Spain, or some other way to be arranged, but it shall rest with his Majesty, in certain odious cases, to execute in fact what cannot be arranged, since it is not worth while to break off a matter of such importance upon a single question which may easily never arise.
19th. The question of nurses has been left as indifferent, without any exclusion of Protestants.
On the five Articles brought from Spain.
As regards security against divorce, this is left to the word and honour of the king and prince.
On the children, quod educentur Religione Cattolica, this is absolutely abandoned, and upon the pope's demand that they shall be under their mother, the boys until fourteen and the girls until twelve, the article only says until seven, with a special promise up to nine, and if the king presses the point, up to ten.
As regards the public weal and all the particulars proposed, such as the suspension of the rigorous laws, etc., this is abandoned for the present, except that the Catholics shall not suffer persecution. but shall cause no scandal. But this must be granted by his Majesty's favour and clemency, without any public capitulation, only the king and prince shall promise it in special letters to the King of Spain.
[Italian.]
Enclosed in
the preceding
despatch.
754. Reply made by his Majesty and given to the Earl of Bristol, his extraordinary ambassador.
Upon the Marriage.
His Majesty has ordered his decision to be given in writing, and upon this, as the Earl of Bristol has himself seen, he has agreed to everything possible in order to conform to the reply made by the King of Great Britain to the pope's proposals, so anxious has he always been to overcome all difficulties against this union, leaving nothing undone either here or at Rome to facilitate it, and so he will continue to the end. Accordingly, in conformity with what was arranged with the earl, he will send a courier express to Rome, in order to obtain the dispensation, which his Majesty will procure before the end of March or April at the latest, and in the meantime all the temporal articles shall be settled so as to lose no time, and that the Infanta may be sent next spring, immediately after the grant of the dispensation, such being his Majesty's intention.
Upon the Palatinate.
The ambassador knows well what his Majesty has already done in this matter, so that all the world may know how much he values the friendship of his brother the King of Great Britain, and the propriety of satisfying him in all things and especially in matters concerning the alliance of the two crowns. His Majesty hopes that with his last despatch to Flanders matters may be in train for the desired accommodation of everything, to the satisfaction of his Majesty of Great Britain. These despatches will be repeated more strongly and shown to the earl to satisfy him of his Majesty's frankness and sincerity. But until the effect of these despatches appears and what the emperor replies, it is not possible to give a reply in writing to the particulars contained in the earl's memorial for the reasons given to him orally, which will be laid before his Majesty of Great Britain by Don Carlo Colonna, ambassador extraordinary of his Catholic Majesty.
[Italian.]
Feb. 4.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Roma.
Venetian
Archives.
755. RANIER ZEN, Venetian Ambassador at Rome, to the DOGE and SENATE.
In my audience this week the pope took exception to the preaching of heretical doctrines at the house of the Dutch Ambassador, recently arrived, attended by as many as 200 persons at a time. I replied that I was differently advised. The ambassador was new and had been visited by numbers of his countrymen. I then thought of a thing that appeased him greatly. I said that the English ambassador had lived at Venice for many years. He gave no scandal and no noisy preaching occurred at his house. I believed that he desired no greater liberty than he enjoyed, and the republic would grant no larger freedom to the other one. Our ambassador in their courts had a certain liberty to practice the Catholic religion, and very often the Catholics had no other place of repair but these embassies. The pope seemed quite satisfied and said no more.
Rome, the 4th February, 1622 [M.V.].
[Italian.]
Feb. 4.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
756. ZUANE PESARO, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the DOGE and SENATE.
I have arranged the terms of the league between the king, the most serene republic and the Duke of Savoy. The participation to the pope, the Swiss, the King of England, the princes of Germany, and Italy is as your Serenity desires and the addition is approved. They will make the copies to-morrow and the day after, if his Majesty's hunting does not prevent, the ambassador of Savoy and myself shall take it to him for signature and we shall also sign.
Paris, the 4th February, 1622 [M.V.].
[Italian; deciphered.]
Feb. 6.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Signori
Stati.
Venetian
Archives.
757. CHRISTOFFORO SURIAN, Venetian Resident in the Netherlands, to the DOGE and SENATE.
One day last week I happened to meet the English ambassador. He remarked to me upon the subtlety of the Spaniards, and the rumours of a truce with these Provinces. He felt sure they had two objects in this, to see what the forces in Germany could do, and whether they induce his king not to allow troops to proceed hither from his realms, so that they may deprive the States of this assistance. He said this in such a way as if the matter was already in negotiation at the English court, and so I thought fit to inform the Ambassador Valaresso about it.
The same English ambassador showed me the French translation of a letter from Turin, which explains how the league between your Serenity, France and Savoy was formed, and gives the share of each in men and guns.
The Hague, the 6th February, 1623.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Feb. 6.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Signori
Stati.
Venetian
Archives.
758. CHRISTOFFORO SURIAN, Venetian Resident in the Netherlands, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The Queen of Bohemia feels persuaded that the marriage of her brother to the Spanish princess will not take place. She says she is informed that the Catholic king, besides the papal dispensation also requires that the English parliament shall declare its acceptation of the marriage, and that the King of Spain has written on the subject to her father. She felt sure that he would not assemble parliament for such an object of all others, and if he did she was persuaded that parliament would never consent to such a marriage. Her Majesty spoke with great conviction on this subject to the Princess of Portugal, (fn. 5) who told me.
Their Majesties rely for the recovery of their dominions upon the forces of Mansfelt and Prince Gabor, and upon some movement in the body of the empire. The king would apparently rest content with the recovery of the Palatinate and the electorate, but the queen cherishes more generous ideas and told one of her ladies in confidence that she would be sorry to return to the Palatinate, and was very eager to see Prague again. The high spirit of this princess appears in her slightest actions, and she only lacks authority or rather the means of exercising it.
The Hague, the 6th of February, 1623.
[Italian.]
Feb. 8.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Milano.
Venetian
Archives.
759. GIOVANNI FRANCESCO TRIVISANO, Venetian Secretary at Milan, to the DOGE and SENATE.
A courier from England has passed through for Rome, sent by the Catholic ambassador to the Duke of Albuquerque with all speed. He left despatches in France and at Turin. They say he is going about the marriage and to procure the necessary dispensation and licence.
Milan, the 8th February, 1622 [M.V.].
[Italian.]
Feb. 9.
Senato,
Mar.
Venetian
Archives.
760. That 220 ducats 3 grossi be paid to Girolamo Lando, late ambassador in England, for his expenses for the recovery of guns from the ship Santa Giustina, wrecked on the Irish coast.
Ayes, 130.Noes, 0.Neutral, 4.
[Italian.]
Feb. 10.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
761. ALVISE VALARESSO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Once and for all the Dutch ambassadors have brought their negotiations about the Indies to a final completion. It is certainly no small matter that the ship, so long tossed among the rocks of public interests and by the winds of private passions, should arrive safe in the port of settlement without shipwreck. The claims of the English were not entirely satisfied. Necessity compelled the Dutch to yield much. His Majesty acted between them, but chiefly I fancy by his inveterate and almost inseparable desire for peace with every one. The Dutch have to pay 80,000l. sterling, equivalent to 400,000 ducats, within three months. The English will contribute to the expense and risks their passages at Amsterdam for 100,000 ducats in spices. The trade continues as at present, in friendly fashion. They have said little about the forts, and some more has been left unsettled, because the affair was naturally so delicate that anything that pleased one side, displeased the other, with no other reason. When the ambassadors took leave of his Majesty he said a great deal to them in a set speech in full Council about the affection he will always bear the States, with many thanks for their hospitality to his children, and many promises to reinstate them in their dominions by means of negotiation, or failing that by arms, adding that if he did not he would be considered an unnatural monster. But these ideas are empty bodies possessing nothing but sound. To the warm instances of the ambassadors for some help against so powerful an enemy he answered that he was not omnipotent and it was a great advantage for them to take as many soldiers as they desired from his dominions.
As soon as the accommodation was effected the ambassadors came to inform me, with great courtesy, thanking me warmly for the part I had played. They did not omit to insist upon their urgent necessities, to show the interest in their preservation and recommend those interests to your Serenity. I made a suitable reply which they could not accept. I endeavoured in particular to persuade them to direct their strongest representations to those princes who were doing less, as it was unreasonable to take the readiness of a friend who was doing his utmost as a reason for asking more.
General Vere has at length returned. (fn. 6) He was graciously received by the king and prince. The orders received from here and the defects proved there constitute his justification.
I hear that they may reopen negotiations at Brussels, whither they proposed to send back Weston, but he excused himself. They propose to place Franchendal in the hands of the Infanta, who is disposed to accept it, and the negotiations for peace will all be taken up again. The Spaniards say that nothing will be done in the diet and that the Ambassador Oñnate opposes the emperor and the Duke of Bavaria. Meanwhile they think of nothing else but having the Palatine's eldest son, promising the utmost satisfaction in exchange.
Councillor Pauli constantly presses for some succour, but finds it hard to get anything from such barren soil, beyond maintenance for the unhappy Palatine. He hoped to get 10,000l. sterling, but the hope of that sum has vanished.
So far they have answered Mansfeld's requests with fair words but say they can do nothing at present. A letter of the Queen of Bohemia to the favourite on this subject has availed nothing. He made friendly promises, but is considered to be really opposed.
Tilly has gone towards Brem to close that pass, which Mansfeld will keep open with all his might.
The favourite told one who repeated it to me, that he will go to Spain to fetch the Infanta. It is incredible in consideration of his interests that he should separate himself from the king for so long a space; but he might go to Spain in order that the Infanta should come to England. They have renewed the orders for arming ten ships, assigning some money for the purpose.
For the marriage nothing but the pope's consent seems wanting, and in the opinion of the wise this will easily suffice to temporise through next summer, when the Spaniards, without hindrance from this quarter, can work their will in High and Low Germany, and can decide to arrange it or no, according to the course of events.
I must not omit to mention that I have heard as truth, though it seems hardly likely, that the king has written a letter to the pope about the marriage, beginning: Most Holy Father, which Gheti will present, who went from here to Spain and proceeded thence to Rome. (fn. 7)
I have called on the new secretary, Conway, and conferred with him in the most friendly way, I found him of the most favourable disposition, God grant he be really so, remain so always and use him for the general good.
The king has gone to Theobalds. He will return to-morrow to remain here until Monday, after which he will go away for awhile. When I see an opportunity for a complimentary office I may go and kiss his hands before he leaves London.
I am using the cipher, but with unspeakable labour.
London, the 10th February, 1623.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Feb. 10.
Inquisitori di
Stato.
Busta 442.
Venetian
Archives.
762. ALVISE VALARESSO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the INQUISITORS of STATE.
Every day of late I have meditated upon the affair of the intercepted letters, and I become more and more certain that the opening of the packet took place at Antwerp where the letters were taken out and copies made. Whether this took place by some instructions from here, I do not know, and it is not very easy to find out, though I will use all diligence. I will use the cipher for public papers, though the labour is excessive. I am anxiously awaiting the Secretary Dolce and humbly thank your Excellencies for the favour of sending him.
London, the 10th February, 1623.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Feb. 11.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
763. To the Ambassador in Spain.
We hear from England that an extraordinary courier has arrived from Spain, and since his arrival the king's favourite has been to the Spanish embassy, exchanging felicitations with the ambassador upon the arrangement of a marriage between the Infanta and their prince, as of a matter kept very secret and apparently unknown to the Spanish ambassador himself. You will keep a sharp look out in this matter, sending us word of what you succeed in discovering, as well as other particulars and advices which you consider worthy of our notice.
Ayes, 143.Noes, 4.Neutral, 15.
[Italian.]
Feb. 11.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
764. To the Ambassador in France.
Enclose for information paragraph from a letter from England, in which he will see how the Spaniards by their arts have induced the king there to beg them almost to take Frankendal, showing the intense application of the Spaniards to make fresh acquisitions.
Ayes, 147.Noes, 4.Neutral, 15.
[Italian.]
Feb. 11.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
765. To the Ambassador at Rome.
The King of England informed the Catholic ambassador that he had news from Spain of the conclusion of the marriage, although the ambassador knew nothing about it. This casts doubts on the matter and there may be some artifice in the com- munication. This will serve to enlighten you and help you if there is any discussion on the subject.
Ayes, 147.Noes, 4.Neutral, 15.
[Italian.]
Feb. 11.
Senato,
Mar.
Venetian
Archives.
766. Pietro Dolce being destined as secretary to Alvise Valaresso, our ambassador in England, a service he has readily accepted, that 300 ducats of lire 6 grossi 4 be given to him for his travelling expenses, and letters patent and the expenses of a courier shall also be given him.
Ayes, 137.Noes, 1.Neutral, 7.
[Italian.]
Feb. 11.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Firenze.
Venetian
Archives.
767. VALERIO ANTELMI, Venetian Secretary at Florence, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The Prince of Condé has left. To-day he should have reached Lucca on his way to Genoa. Nothing passed about the marriage of the king's sister to the Grand Duke except in general terms with Madame about the king's favourable disposition to confirm their ties with this house. Madame is watching very attentively the progress of the marriage negotiations between Spain and England, which the Spaniards may desire in order not to have worse enemies, and which the English may detest from having been deceived in their hopes for the restitution of the Palatinate. She remarks that if it does not taken place the English themselves may desire and ask for the French princess.
Florence, the 11th February, 1622 [M.V.].
[Italian.]
Feb. 13.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Signori
Stati.
Venetian
Archives.
768. CHRISTOFFORO SURIAN. Venetian Resident in the Netherlands, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The king here has received the articles proposed by the emperor at the diet of Ratisbon and has sent a copy to England by the Ambassador Carleton, with letters from the king and queen to their father and the prince showing how their interests have been cast aside by the transfer of the electorate to Bavaria and disclosing Cæsar's intention to ruin their house utterly. They hope that this will arouse the King of Great Britain to see how he is mocked and to help their house, as his honour requires. They have no great hopes, however; they heard yesterday of the arrival in Zeeland of Nethersole, the queen's secretary, and they hope he will bring better news. They heard at the same time that the favourite is inclined to be rash and that the ambassadors of the States have at length concluded their negotiations satisfactorily with the English East India Company. Further that two companies of Vere, besides those recently dismissed here, having reached England, were sent back to this country to be disbanded, and for those who wish to take service here. The Ambassador Carleton sent me these two items of news yesterday, and they give rise to better hopes about their Majesties' affairs.
The king here counts not a little upon the offers of Bethlem Gabor. He treats with him the more readily because he has received liberty from the King of Great Britain to keep up negotiations with Gabor.
The Hague, the 13th February, 1623.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Feb. 16.
Consiglio di X.
Parti Comuni.
Venetian
Archives.
769. To the COUNCIL of TEN.
That the Chamberlains of this Council give 100 ducats of lire 6 grossi 4 to Pietro Dolce, who is going as secretary to Alvise Valaresso, our ambassador with the King of Great Britain, to put himself in order.
Ayes, 15.Noes, 0.Neutral, 1.
[Italian.]
Feb. 17.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
770. ALVISE VALARESSO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The ducal letters of the 13th January have only reached me to-day by the ordinary of last week, such is the uncertainty of the journey or negligence of the couriers, so that I have hardly had time to set forth the things already collected, still less to execute the fresh orders. A few days ago a strong rumour was current about a league between the Most Christian, your Serenity and Savoy. Comment here is various about the arts of the Spaniards, the instability of the French, the ill-secured peace with the Huguenots and the inherent difficulties of the undertaking. The report comes chiefly from Paris, from the English ambassador there and his household so I find. I hear that he advises his Majesty of the arranging of the alliance, of some hot words recently uttered about it by the Spanish ambassador there and an office performed by himself upon the subject on hearing that the Most Christian King wished to help the Dutch, when he protested that their protection pertained to no one except the King of England, his master, an idea more generous and befitting the nature of that minister than prudent or suited to the king's temper, who called the ambassador a madman and was very wroth about the office.
When I spoke to the French ambassador three days ago about this announcement of the league, he assured me that he had not spoken to the king. We both agreed fully that in a common cause like the present we ought not to act separately, and a communication to the king would help no one and would harm the affair. He told me, possibly fearing some such participation, that his king had asked his opinion on the subject, and he assured me he had advised silence, and only generalities in reply to any questions put.
I may mention that a rumour is current in this court that the Baron d'Alli, (fn. 8) brother of Vitry, is coming here from France as ambassador extraordinary.
Owing to the disturbance created by this revelation, I had abandoned my idea of going to ask audience of his Majesty before his departure, which has been delayed until now by the gout, which is troubling him more than usual; but on the arrival of your Serenity's letters I again resolved to ask for one subject to his convenience, because if he has any curiosity or suspicion he will admit me and I can execute my instructions, and if not, it will show that the office was not necessary, while I shall be provided with a sufficient excuse from having asked it. It is true that in the profound lethargy and stupid insensibility to which the king is reduced, when he does not feel the mortal blows of serious wounds it would be highly absurd of him to resent the slight prick of this silence and become jealous to share in foreign undertakings when he refuses to act for his own kin, and in the matter of a league or union against Spain when he only studies to make himself the dependant and ally of Spain. But God grant that the king's indisposition may not prove incurable, and that all hope of public benefit from him may not be extinguished for ever, as one might be tempted to believe after such abundant proof.
The Dutch ambassadors have gone, their business being satisfactorily arranged. They also received many honours from his Majesty. At the last audience he desired them to cover themselves. To their request for some artillery, he answered that though he would on no account infringe the injunction against taking it out, made by parliament, he would do so willingly at their request. He made them rich presents, entertained them at a state banquet given by the India Company and gave the son of the Ambassador Aerssens the honour of his chamber. (fn. 9)
In the present combination with Spain these demonstrations with the Dutch would disgust those who do not know the king's customary arts; but these apparently divergent lines all tend towards the same centre, namely, peace with all, his Majesty's sole object. If it were not so perhaps the Spaniards, who are always most jealous of these embassies, would have co-operated in assisting their departure by making them a bridge of gold. One may indeed say that there is no longer a Dutch ambassador here since Caron, the ordinary, who is a naturalised Englishman from his extended residence and has been practically on the wane for many years, exercises the charge more in name than in fact. I also shall feel the loss, as the greater part of my functions depend upon my mutual intercourse with the other ministers and I am confined to the French ambassador alone. I made a fresh attempt to persuade him to call upon the Dutch ambassadors on their departure, representing that his king's order not to visit Aerssens really concerns that individual alone, but does not extend to such an important embassy, of which Aerssens only forms a part, and he should not interpret his instructions so rigorously when a more gracious interpretation was required. The ambassador gave way somewhat and said he would think it over, but finally he decided to do nothing more.
Thank God the question of my intercepted letters has been cleared up, and I thank your Excellencies for approving of my most sincere service.
London, the 17th February, 1623.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Feb. 18.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Roma.
Venetian
Archives.
771. RANIER ZEN, Venetian Ambassador at Rome, to the DOGE and SENATE.
George Gage has arrived here about the Spanish marriage from the King of England. He brings letters from that monarch for Lodovisio, and they say here the articles about religion will also appear, granting that the decrees made by the parliament against the Catholics shall not be put in force, and that they shall not be compelled to take the oath acknowledging the king to be supreme head of the Anglican church; that the bride shall have a church in London with her Spanish ministers, where the sacred offices may be freely performed for herself and her household, and that she shall have the education of her children up to the age of ten, but after that the father shall decide. In response to my enquiries, however, Ludovisio told me that the congregation had not so much as heard the proposals, much less discussed them; they were not in any hurry. The Spaniards indeed announced it and caused it to be said in England for their own ends, but on condition that his Holiness approved. Accordingly the affair is not yet so advanced as is thought, because his Holiness considers it a matter of great importance and will therefore proceed with great deliberation. One church for the queen and her household will not suffice; they want liberty for Catholic worship with at least one church in each town; and they require security that the promises will be observed and that everything will not be altered subsequently by the Palatine. Thus the matter seems to have got back to the position I reported a year ago. The Spaniards will show their willingness to England and that there will be no failure on their part. Lodovisio remarked to me what he has said before more than once, that this is a game of the Spaniards to gain time, and things are going smoothly at present because that happens to suit their immediate interests, but the pope is resolved to consider the matter thoroughly (ma che Pontefice e rissoluto di molto ben pensarvi).
Rome, the 18th February, 1622 [M.V.].
[Italian.]
Feb. 20.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
772. ZUANE PESARO, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the DOGE and SENATE.
At the constable's house, where I met the Savoyard ambassador and Puisieux, we discussed the question of Mansfeld's engagement. Upon the subject of Bavaria I had already had some conversation with Puisieux, when I pointed out to him the danger of offending and arousing England, to the prejudice of France and the rest, and that if the tranquilisation of Germany was facilitated it would render our plans more difficult.
The English ambassador has a promise that France will not interest herself for Bavaria.
Paris, the 20th February, 1622 [M.V.].
[Italian; deciphered.]
Feb. 20.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
773. ZUANE PESARO, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The English ambassador has spoken to the king about the negotiations in favour of Bavaria, exhorting him to remain constant to his generous ideas and the principles and alliances of Henry the Great. The king answered that it was necessary for the king his master and himself to arrange all the affairs of Germany. (fn. 10)
In conversation this ambassador maintains that when his king is quite clear about the intentions of the Spaniards he will not fail to do his duty, and that for the Palatinate he will not demand satisfaction of the emperor but of the Spaniards. He pointed ont to me the possibility of the emperor himself opposing the Spaniards, thinking that the declaration of the imperial ban against the Netherlands might arouse the suspicions of the Spaniards. But the ambassador is a sensible man and impatient at the behaviour of his master, being of a contrary opinion to all appearance and desirous of good.
I learn that they propose to send the Duke of Chevreuse on a stately embassy extraordinary to England upon current affairs, and they also think of doing the like with Holland and Spain.
Paris, the 20th February, 1622 [M.V.].
[Italian; deciphered.]
Feb. 20.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Signori
Stati.
Venetian
Archives.
774. CHRISTOFFORO SURIAN, Venetian Resident in the Netherlands, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The king here has decided to send Baron Dohna to the princes of Lower Saxony, with letters for the King of Denmark in particular. From the baron's conversation I gathered that he had instructions to induce those princes and especially Denmark to think no more about England, but rather to act as if the King of Great Britain did not exist and as if his assistance was no longer to be taken into consideration, and induce them to take a good resolution in this way.
The ambassadors of the States have returned from the English Court, but they do not bring what their desires made them hope. They report that his Majesty remains irresolute as ever, awaiting the carrying out by Spain of the promises made about the Palatinate. Not content with this previous reliance on Spanish promises, they say he has ordered Frankendal to surrender to the Spaniards, defending this on the ground that it will still further oblige the King of Spain to restore both this and the other fortresses in Caesar's hands, otherwise he would have good reason to take the whole by force.
Your Serenity may imagine how much this report has upset the king here, especially as he was advised that Frankendal could hold out four months longer. Two men from that place made this report, and they left yesterday for London with instructions to represent the steadfastness of the inhabitants and their expectation of succour.
The ambassadors returned from England bring word of the conclusion of their negotiations with the East India Company, to the satisfaction of the king there as well as of the States at the final settlement of this affair, although the interested parties are not at all content. I have called on all these ambassadors separately, who united in praising the assistance they received from your Serenity's ambassador.
On the completion of the negotiations about the Indies they desired to speak to the king about an alliance and assistance for these States, but he said he had no money and declared he had let as many men go as wanted. They report that his Majesty has quite changed round and has no other object than the marriage, though they felt sure it would not take place just as they consider it hopeless to expect help from that quarter unless the imminent ruin of the neighbouring Province and of the Saxon circle move his Majesty and arouse him to more generous action.
The Hague, the 20th February, 1623.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Feb. 24.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
775. To the Ambassador in England.
After the negotiations in France about the restitution of the Valtelline and Rhetia, a league has been concluded between the Most Christian king, our republic and the Duke of Savoy, the articles are signed and everything should be in order by the beginning of April. We send you this information so that you may communicate it to his Majesty and the prince in conjunction with the French ambassador, when he has received his orders, in the manner you consider best, being guided by the example of that ambassador, from which you will not diverge in any particular. We send you the article of the league concerning that crown so that you may act on solid foundations. We also send you a copy of what our ambassador writes about the marriage negotiations at Rome, and of what our Resident Surian writes from the Hague about the English soldiers with the States, which will serve you for information.
Ayes, 101.Noes, 0.Neutral, 5.
[Italian.]
Feb. 24.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
776. ALVISE VALARESSO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
As your Serenity's commissions of the 13th January about seeing his Majesty provided that it should only be in case he showed feeling at the league being arranged without him, I abstained from asking for a special audience but caused my very good friend the lord chamberlain to inform his Majesty that I should like to see him before he left, although I knew the pressure of his affairs, and the weak state of his health, so that I would wait upon his pleasure. The king replied that he appreciated my courtesy, and said he wished to have the purer air of the country for his complete recovery. So he went two days ago to Theobalds with the idea of proceeding to Newmarket later on. It may be that the remains of his last attack of gout have added to his usual aversion for audiences. I judged it best to abandon the office in order not to arouse the suspicions of the French ambassador, and not to harass the king, seeing that his nature and carelessness made me see that he had no misgivings or curiosity about this league and discharged me of my office. In his Majesty's lethal sickness it would certainly have been desirable, as a symptom and sign of life, if he had recognised his own ill in the good resolutions of others. But I must repeat, however sadly, that all good sentiments are clearly dead in the king. He is too blind in disordered self love and his wish for quiet and pleasure, too agitated by constant mistrust of everyone, tyrannised over by perpetual fear for his life, tenacious of his authority as against the parliament and jealous of the prince's obedience, all accidents and causes of his fatal and almost desperate infirmity of mind, so harmful to the general welfare (il dimostrarsi extinto nel Re ogni buon sentimento troppo egli e cieco nell' amor sregolato di se stesso della quiete e de piaceri, troppo agitato da una continua diffidenza d'ogni uno, tiraneggiato da perpetuo temor della sua vita, tenace dell' authoritè col parlamento, et geloso dell' obedienza nel Principe, accidenti et cause tutte della sua mortale et quasi disperata infirmita d'animo, tanto dannosa ancora al ben commune). Nevertheless if the king was ever capable of improvement, or if his actions hitherto were merely dissimulation, as thinking it unsafe to trust others and too disadvantagious to break with Spain alone, now with powerful allies, and the dreaded forces of Spain so weakened, owing to the protests of Saxony and Brandenburg against the transfer of the electoral vote to Bavaria, which we hear the emperor has lately done, the party of the Palatine being thus strengthened at the moment of a fresh offence, who knows if some unexpected but very necessary change might not come over the king. But though possible this is very unlikely, but as impossible things are sometimes taken into consideration by prudent men it is easy to recognise the consequences, if such a change ever took place, of contemptuously refraining from telling him of a thing, not indeed accomplished but published everywhere.
What his Majesty knew in particular about the league, so far as I can guess, came solely from his ambassador in France and his resident at Turin, whence he had the first news and even possibly an invitation.
Those who speak about it do so doubtfully and with the practical certainty that it will not take place, especially as they have recently heard that the affair depended upon Rome in great measure. The Spanish ambassador is silent, France says little, all the others talk about it. The good hope for it but do not feel sure. The dependants of Spain seem not to fear it and think it will end in words. One even said that Feria would await it with 30,000 men. So far I have avoided visits, because I did not think it wise to answer questions with lies, and to tell it to others and not to the king did not seem proper. I declined to discuss the topic with some gentlemen who called on me or answered with generalities.
The marriage proceeds like a thing arranged though little believed in. The preparation of the ships proceeds very slowly. The Catholics hope as a good beginning for the removal of the oath so much disputed at Rome, and the dismissal of persons called informers, who enquire against Catholics. But against this hope and to the disgust of the Spanish ambassador, the Jesuit Fiserio, (fn. 11) by the king's special command has been deprived in prison of all his books and sacred implements. Thus matters constantly fluctuate here in the sea of instability, while they negotiate separately upon the two affairs of the marriage and Palatinate, which at first they called inseparable, the Spaniards declaring that one depends upon them, the other upon the Emperor.
His Majesty's last letters from Spain confirm the departure of the Ambassador Gondomar for Germany, although the king would rather he came here.
An ambassador from the Infanta is expected from Brussels named Ariscot, who was here before as ordinary. (fn. 12) He brings a small train. The Spanish ambassador wants to lodge him, although the king has ordered a house to be prepared. He comes about the Palatinate so far as I can discover at present. The Agent Wake at Turin has obtained leave for three months and is coming for certain about his private affairs only. If Wotton has it, it will only be for a short time. Like every one else he is ill-paid and unless matters improve he would willingly throw up the legation at Venice.
Seventy Dutch ships which went for salt to the Indies to the island of Maggio have returned empty, it is thought because they found the Spaniards fortified.
News from Rochelle reports fresh disagreement between the royalists and the Huguenots.
The relief of Sig. Dolce is both necessary and opportune to me and I thank your Excellencies.
London, the 24th February, 1623.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Feb. 25.
Collegio.
Secreta.
Esposizioni,
Roma.
Venetian
Archives.
777. The papal nuncio made renewed complaint about heretical preaching with open doors at the house of the Dutch ambassador. A large number of persons went there, as they preached with open doors and rang their bells. He did not know if they preached in the English ambassador's house, but if they did it was only for the ambassador and his household, and with closed doors. Procurator Nani said the ambassador behaved very discreetly. In England the ambassadors of Catholic princes went to mass in their own houses, which was attended by many Catholics, without any hindrance, and difficulties might easily be aroused there if they treated their ambassadors differently. The nuncio replied, saying among other things that if they said mass in England they did not have preaching, to which Geronimo Lando answered, saying that they preached at the French embassy in England, where a Capuchin had preached for a whole year. The nuncio said he was advised otherwise.
[Italian.]
Feb. 27.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Savoia.
Venetian
Archives.
778. MARC ANTONIO MOROSINI, Venetian Ambassador in Savoy, to the DOGE and SENATE.
I have not been able to negotiate with his Highness, who is entirely taken up with the pleasures of the carnival, and even I have taken part in the festivities, on the Thursday, when the Prince of Condé was present, and an enormous number of persons, including the duke, the princes, madame, the infanti and all the Court, with the Countess of Arundel and her sons.
Turin, the 27th February, 1622 [M.V.].
[Italian.]
Feb. 27.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Signori
Stati.
Venetian
Archives.
779. CHRISTOFFORO SURIAN, Venetian Resident in the Netherlands, to the DOGE and SENATE.
They write me from Brussels that Councillor Boischot has been sent to England. The reason is not known but they suppose that it is in order to induce that sovereign to put Frankendal in the hands of the Infanta. This is probably a pretext to cover some other design, since the orders to place that fortress in the hands of the Spaniards were issued long since.
The Hague, the 27th February, 1623.
[Italian.]

Footnotes

1 The seals were taken from Naunton on the 26th January and Conway was sworn secretary on Sunday the 29th (Birch: Court and Times of James I, ii, 358) or on January 24th according to a note in the Cal. S.P. Dom., 1619–23, page 481. After some delay Naunton received on the 17th July following a grant of a pension of 1,000l. a year for life with proviso of surrender on the grant of lands of the improved yearly value of 500l. Ibid, 1623–5, page 9. In September of 1624 he was made Master of the Wards. Ibid, page 345.
2 On the 27th March Lord Carey wrote to the Secretary Conway: "The Spanish ambassador wishes Angelo, the prince's musician, and three of his fellows, who sang in his chapel at Christmas, to do the same at Easter." Cal. S.P. Dom., 1619–23, page 527.
3 The gentlemen of Gray's Inn, to make an end of Christmas on Twelfth Night, in the dead time of the night, shot off all the chambers they had borrowed from the Tower, being as many as filled four carts. The King, awakened with this noise, started out of his bed and cried, "Treason! Treason!" and that the city was in an uproar; in such sort, as it is said, that the whole court was raised, and almost in arms; the Earl of Arundel running to the bedchamber with his sword drawn, as to rescue the king's person. Mead to Stuteville, the 25th January, 1623. Birch: Court and Times of James I, ii, page 360.
4 See Nichols: Progresses of James I, iv, page 784. The masque was Ben Jonson's Time Vindicated to himself and his Honours. Ibid, pages 786–800.
5 Emilia of Nassau, wife of Emanuel of Portugal and daughter of William of Orange.
6 Vere arrived in London on Saturday, the 4th February. Birch: Court and Times of James I, ii, page 360.
7 The letter was written on the 30th September, 1622, old style, and is printed in Cabala, page 376. See Gardiner: Hist. of Eng., iv, page 372.
8 Francois de l'Hôpital, Seigneur du Hallier; he had taken part in the assassination of Concini.
9 He was made a gentleman of the privy chamber.
10 Which proceedings [of the Capuchin] I have opposed with all the reasons I possibly could ... so for conclusion of all I have desired the ministers of State here to suspend all declaring themselves in this business till they had communicated it with the king my master, to which effect, having spoken likewise in my last audience, to this king, the answer I received was: My good brother the King of Great Britain and I must give order for this business, which, howsoever I pressed him, was all the satisfaction I could draw from him, he being, as it seems, unwilling to declare himself further. Despatch of Herbert of the 14/24th February, 1622/3. State Papers. Foreign: France. Vol. 71.
11 Father John Percy, known as Father Fisher. A short account of him is printed in the Records of the English Province of the Society of Jesus, pages 521–42.
12 Ferdinand Boischot.