Venice
March 1623, 17-31

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Institute of Historical Research

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Allen B. Hinds (editor)

Year published

1911

Pages

591-610

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'Venice: March 1623, 17-31', Calendar of State Papers Relating to English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 17: 1621-1623 (1911), pp. 591-610. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=88854 Date accessed: 19 September 2014.


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March 1623

March 17.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
804. ALVISE VALARESSO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The people here have passed through a variety of emotions up to the present, the dependants of Spain fearing and the Protestants hoping that France will place some hindrance in the way of the prince's journey, but as no further news has come from Paris they take it he has passed through. The French ambassador here says that as his king was indifferent about the outcome of the marriage with the Infanta he would not create any obstacles as it would do him no good. His Majesty has rejoiced at this distraction of attention to hopes of arrest, in order to slacken the first impulse of universal displeasure at the journey, and with the same idea has expressed a doubt that the prince may stop in France of his own accord, owing to difficulties on the way. Thus the office with the French ambassador, which I reported was performed by him with this art, as a show of confidence, and perhaps even to slacken the diligence of movements in France to detain the prince. The king has peculiar skill in such arts for small matters, good only for evil. I do not know why the French ambassador did not tell me of this office of the king, except that as it happened on the day of his despatch he might want to write about it to France before informing me. But the true reasons for this journey remain impenetrably locked up in the king's breast. He is more than certain that the cause and the decision were not communicated to anyone soever. Even now, if any one speaks to his Majesty about it, which always causes him great displeasure, he does not know or will only reply that he was driven to consent to satisfy the most ardent desire of his son. The Council presented him with a manifesto to publish saying that the decision had been taken for good reasons recognised by his Majesty's prudence. He rejected the entire composition with disgust at this particular, and I think he seized the pretext because he hated any declaration. It becomes more credible every day that the journey was pitched upon in desperation as the last means whereby they could bring about the desired conclusion of the marriage, in the assurance that the Spaniards cannot send back the prince without a wife, detain him without offence or injure him without hurting their own interests, as if Spanish acuteness could not find plenty of ways and means, detaining him without a wife but in hope of her, if it suited them, or after giving her, if she became pregnant, drawing a thousand advantages therefrom.
There are some who believe, considering Spanish methods and the prince's own disposition, that he may become a Catholic but they would not do this unless they aspired to the evil of a civil war in the kingdom. Indeed the king himself does not seem to expect him to return very soon (ne manca in alcuno la credenza che considerate le maniere de'Spagnoli et la dispositione medesima del Prencipe, si sia egli forse per render Cattolico: il quale bene non farebbono essi senza aspirar al male d'una intestina guerra del Regno. Certo è che mostra il Re medesimo di non aspettarlo di ritorno cosi in breve).
The servants of this court have exchanged their food allowance for money. The royal ships are only being made ready very slowly. In two merchant ships forty gentlemen of this court leave for Spain next week. Among these will be two ministers chosen expressly as the least obstinate in their own religion and most inclined to the Catholic. (fn. 1) Five days ago the king sent a page post with a letter three sheets long, written and sealed with his own hand. Only yesterday a Scottish gentleman left, a great favourite of the prince, with another despatch for him. Among other things the principal commission the king gave him was to tell the marquis to return at the earliest opportunity, as he could not live without him. To the wife of the marquis the king has written with his own hand to say that their mutual favourite will return in May. His relations all seem glad, but I do not know if he will venture to return without the prince, as everyone believes that would involve his certain ruin.
A prognostication or almanac is circulating here, printed in France some months ago, fortelling, at the actual time, the journey of a prince, with grave risk of imprisonment and evil consequences. This prediction, as usual, has given rise to much comment and excited much feeling.
The ambassador of Brussels has not yet begun his business with the Council. I do not believe he will do his chief business with them, which so far remains absolutely secret, but I gather it is to stop the flow of Englishmen to help the Dutch, and to ask for free trade between England and Flanders.
About the Palatinate, besides the deposit of Franchendal and the truce for two years they seem anxious to raise hopes of a marriage between the Palatine's eldest son and the emperor's daughter, with the object of having the son in their hands, a thing the Spaniards desire above all others.
I have been on purpose to congratulate the ambassador of the States on the discovery of the plot to assassinate Prince Maurice. That ambassador suspects that the other brother of that Barnevelt is here in the protection of the ambassador of Brussels. I encouraged him to make every enquiry. (fn. 2)
The arrest at Montpellier has been announced of the Duke of Rohan. We do not know how it happened but fear the worst consequences and indeed every wise man despairs of the well being of France.
London, the 17th March, 1623.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
March 12.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
805. To the Ambassador in England.
Your letters of the first have reached us this morning relating the departure of the prince for the Catholic court. The news is as momentous as it is unexpected, and it was necessary to send it by express. The comments upon it are prudent and proper. Possibly some feeling may rise in the body of the court, and the representatives of the powers will have various opinions. Time will throw light upon the matter and reveal the consequences to those who have not cared to speculate upon the subject hitherto. We direct you to keep on the alert, although we know it is hardly necessary to stimulate your zeal. We will make good the cost of the journey of the gentleman you sent or make you an allowance in your account, whichever you prefer. We have received your ordinaries of the last despatch.
Ayes, 108.Noes, 1.Neutral, 0.
[Italian.]
March 18.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
806. To the Ambassador at Rome.
You will see what we have from England about the unexpected departure of the prince there for Spain. We expect to hear from you the comments which such an important step must necessarily excite.
Ayes, 155.Noes, 0.Neutral, 1.
[Italian.]
March 20.
Collegio
Secreta.
Esposizioni
Principi.
Venetian
Archives.
807. The Marquis of Lanz, Ambassador Extraordinary of Savoy, came into the Collegio and said, among other things:
The duke commands me to speak to your Serenity about the departure of the Prince of Wales for Spain. The Spaniards, it seems, are trying every means to attain their ends. The allies ought to consult together to effect something, although the business of Rome goes steadily forward and is almost complete. His Serenity said they would take the duke's representations into consideration.
[Italian.]
March 19.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Costantinopoli.
Venetian
Archives.
808. ZORZI GIUSTINIAN, Venetian Ambassador at Constantinople, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The English ambassador has made some arrangements with the deputies of Algiers for the exemption of their ships from the depredations of pirates. He knows quite well that the compact will not be observed, and so his king will have good reason for attacking that nest with his fleet, as the ambassador foresees.
The same proposal was made to the French ambassador. He considered it too unworthy and would not listen.
The Vigne of Pera, the 19th March, 1623.
[Italian.]
March 20.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Signori Stati.
Venetian
Archives.
809. CHRISTOFFORO SURIAN, Venetian Secretary in the Netherlands, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Here they suspect France and fear that the affair of the Valtelline will not proceed as they desire, and they are also extremely anxious about the Huguenots of that kingdom. But if they expect evil from France, matters are much worse as regards England, not only because of the Prince's journey to Spain about the marriage but because of a proposal made by the Ambassador Carleton in the name of the King of Great Britain which has aroused much bitterness and dissatisfaction. The ambassador announced in the public assembly and afterwards to his Excellency the intention of his sovereign that the ships of his subjects should have free access to the ports of Dunkirk and Ostend, and must not be prevented from sailing thither or elsewhere; and further that he wishes his own ports to be free to Spanish men-of-war, and consequently that the Dutch ships shall withdraw and shall not keep the aforesaid Spanish ships immured and therefore the Dutch must keep at a distance from the coast and ports of his realm for the space of two tides.
This proposal has touched the States to the quick. Prince Maurice complained bitterly about it when I saw him, saying, That monarch does not go the right way to display his neutrality even if he does not wish to side against our enemies; evidently they will be better treated outside his house than in their own; and he laid great emphasis upon the matter. (Quel Re non usa il vero termine di volersi mostrar neutrale, quando pur non vogli esser contrario a nostri nemici et si comprende che meglio saranno tratta i fuori di casa sua che nella propria. Et essagerò grandemente il fatto.) They do not know what reply to make and are debating to advance strong and solid reasons to assure the king of their esteem and to dissuade him from encouraging the enemy to their ruin.
These States find themselves unhappily situated between the two crowns and if any negotiations for a truce are on foot we may one day learn unexpectedly that it has been arranged. The French ambassador told me he had orders to divert a truce but not to supply money, but he spoke so coldly that evidently France does not care. As for the King of Great Britain there is no appearance at present of his doing anything except what suits the Spaniards.
The Hague, the 20th March, 1623.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
March 20.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Spagna.
Venetian
Archives.
810. Advices from Spain about the Prince of England, left by the Ambassador of Savoy.
About the third hour of the evening of the 17th Italian style the Prince of England arrived incognito by the post, accompanied by the Duke of Buckingham. These two with the postillion dismounted at the house of the Earl of Bristol, ambassador extraordinary of his father. On the following morning two others arrived, one being Sir Francis Gutteriton, resident at this court for some space, and they say that many others are following by various ways. He came by way of France and they got here from Calais in thirteen days. They say that when passing through Paris he went in the evening to see the King of France go to table, without being recognised. On Saturday evening, the 18th, the Duke of Buckingham was taken by the Count of Gondomar to audience of the king, and the Count of Olivares went to visit them on behalf of his Majesty. Sunday being fine the king and queen, the Infantas Maria and Carl and the Cardinal all went out after dinner in a coach as usual except that the curtains were left open at the back at the place where the Infanta usually sits. They took the main avenue from the palace and alighted at the Prado for a walk once round as they usually do in summer. In that meadow was the prince, incognito, in a closed coach, with Buckingham on his right and Gondomar at the door. When the king passed, Gondomar raised one of the curtains so that all might see, but no salutes or ceremonies were exchanged, strict incognito being observed. At the fifth hour of the same night, Italian style, the Prince of England went out in a coach with the Ambassadors Buckingham and Gondomar. In the Prado of the Alcala gate they met the king, who came incognito in another coach with Olivares, and they conversed with much satisfaction. Among other things the king is said to have declared that while the prince is in Spain he will not consider himself king, but the prince. The English also say that the prince greatly praised the beauty of the Infanta especially because she was not made up as is customary with the ladies of this climate, to show a good complexion. This morning the king went on horseback to the church of la Merce to celebrate the feast of St. Joseph, and the Prince of England also went out incognito to see him. He was dressed in black serge, Spanish fashion, in order not to be known, he and Buckingham alone wearing the order of the garter round their necks. They have been holding constant council as to the manner of entertaining and receiving him in the future; meanwhile his Highness remains at the ambassador's house.
From Madrid, the 20th March, 1623.
[Italian.]
March 21.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
811. To the Ambassador in Spain.
The Prince of London left England unexpectedly with the Marquis of Buckingham and a single attendant, on the last day of last month, on his way to Spain. They say it is by the king's advice as you will see by the enclosed copy of the Ambassador Valaresso's letter. This is unforeseen news of great moment. We know that it is superfluous to arouse your zeal to observe the origins, arrangement and objects of this move and to unearth the artifices, consequences and designs which have induced the prince to take this decision, so we need only say that we shall be glad for you to keep your eye on all that happens and send us speedy advices.
Ayes, 163.Noes, 0.Neutral, 1.
[Italian.]
March 21.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
812. To the Ambassador in France.
Since the conferment of the electorate upon Bavaria we hear they have opened negotiations for a truce upon the Palatinate leaving one part to the Duke of Bavaria and the other, adjoining France, to the Spaniards, who keep augmenting their own possessions and restricting those of others. You will make use of the Prince of Wales's journey to the Catholic Court, which has the same objects and will strike a severe blow at France, to impress upon the king and his good councillors the necessity for immediate resolution, to which he is called by the dignity of his crown, the obligations of his promise and the league and the preparations of the Spaniards against him.
Ayes, 106.Noes, 3.Neutral, 5.
[Italian.]
March 21.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
813. ZUANE PESARO, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The king heard of the ratification of the league by your Excellencies with great joy. I told him that the negotiations at Rome were nothing but a deception. I spoke to him of the necessity of supporting the States, and how the Spaniards were trying every means to crush them. I represented the importance of the English marriage, that peace in Germany deeply affects the plans of the Austrians, and I touched in passing upon the necessity of consolidating peace in this kingdom, saying that they could always deal with the heretics after they had humbled the Spaniards and assured their own progress.
The king thoroughly appreciated this discourse, and contrary to his usual practice spoke to me at length saying that they must first beat the Spaniards and afterwards the heretics.
Paris, the 21st March, 1623.
[Italian; deciphered.]
March 21.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
814. ZUANE PESARO, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The English marriage has led some to persuade the king that it is more necessary than ever to keep the Huguenots down, so that they may not harm the kingdom, aggrandise themselves or have understandings with foreigners.
The Prince of Wales feigned various routes, but he went straight to Bordeos in the realms of the Catholic king, where he has arrived by now. The English ambassador professes to have the news by express courier. Every one wonders what the consequences of this action may be. Wise men in France fear greatly, although it is thought that it will suffice for the Spaniards to avail themselves of England for naval affairs against the Dutch. A gentleman of the king has been sent with the ambassador extraordinary, to wait upon the Prince of Wales if he encounters him. But the French are greatly offended and say that they will not display any feeling of satisfaction or the contrary. On the very day of the prince's passage Puysieulx sent a courier to the king with the certitude of the rupture of the marriage with Spain, by advices from the Spanish ambassador and assurances from Rome.
The queen has signified that her intentions for Madame are anywhere rather than Florence.
Paris, the 21st March, 1623.
[Italian.]
March 21.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
815. ZUANE PESARO, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The Capuchin, who came to this court for Bavaria, continues his negotiations. He had orders from the duke to return immediately after the duke obtained the electoral vote. The ambassador of Savoy told me that the ministers here detained him after the passing through of the Prince of Wales, but the ambassador induced him to remain before that event. The friar has called upon me. From what he said it is clear that Bavaria cannot abandon his friendship without being certain of France and others. At present he has the heretics, the Austrians, the Catholics, the Princes of Germany, England and everybody against him. The friar told me that Bavaria owed his present condition to his being without support. They abstained here from assisting him in order not to offend the friends of the crown and not to render England hostile. He had told Pisiurs through friends that they ought to consider that for the Palatinate to be in the hands of the Spaniards or of the Palatine under obligation to Spain would be prejudicial to all, and the consideration of England now disappeared entirely as through the marriage England and Spain now made common cause. This friar professes to have free and general instructions; he is a dependant of Father Hyacinth. He admitted to me that the electorate was of no use to the duke at present; and his advisers considered he had incurred great danger in getting it. The Spaniards pretended they did not wish it, but consented upon conditions favourable to themselves. They want Hen and Heidelburg in their hands, as a bridle upon Bavaria and the Palatine and to encourage England's hopes.
The ambassador of Savoy has gone deeply into these negotiations. What special interests Savoy may have therein I cannot say, but the duke has a special grudge against the heretics of Germany because they played with him over the elections of the King of Bohemia and the King of the Romans.
The Catholics of Germany aim at crushing everything and the King of Denmark may join them owing to his ambitious designs upon the Hanse towns. A gentleman of his has gone to Spain to propose a marriage between one of his daughters and the Infant Charles of Spain. The ambassador of Savoy told me that he had urged Pusieurs to favour this, because by such means they can obtain some light upon the English marriage and see its effects, as if the Palatine becomes the bondservant of the Spaniards it will be better to substitute another Catholic prince in the same interests, but Pusieurs told him that they must not on any account take sides against England unless they were certain her friendship was hopeless, an idea to remove Puisieux's doubt and fear upon the point, but he assured me that he knew the Prince of Wales in particular has the worst intentions against France (ma che gli ha detto per modo alcuno non bisogna interessarsi contro l'Inghilterra, se non con cortez za di haver quell'amicitia disperata, concetto per disimprimer il dubbio et il timore di Pisiurs sopra questo punto, ma mi ha assicurato di saper che il Principe di Gales in particolare ha pessima intentione contra la Franzà).
I told the ambassador that it would be advisable for the forces of Bavaria and the Catholic league to withdraw from serving the Austrians. I did not feel sure of this Capuchin's sincerity. It was not likely that Bavaria would enter our league for the Valtelline without our binding ourselves about the Palatinate. He replied that time would show. Circumstances had brought about a union of the interests opposed to the Spaniards, and England has left some hope of using its strength to some effect in the interests of the Palatinate. Some one has told me that there is a proposal to join the republic to the league of France for the interests of the Catholic league of Germany, which means against his friends who are standing firm.
The government here have started another design, to exhort the Palatine to go to England and take advantage of circumstances to obtain redress for the wrongs he has suffered and reclaim the dominions he has lost.
The agent of Anhalt told me that he would not support this because the Palatine could not follow this advice seeing that the King of Great Britain had not only refused to permit his son-in-law to enter his kingdom, but anyone in his name, and it merely disclosed a French design to arouse dissention in England.
Paris, the 21st March, 1623.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
March 22.
Misc.
Cod. No. 62.
Venetian
Archives.
816. MARC ANTONIO PADAVIN, Venetian Secretary in Germany, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The courier of Bavaria brings word of the passage through France to Spain of the Prince of England, by five posts.
Ratisbon, the 22nd March, 1623. Copy
[Italian.]
March 23.
Collegio,
Lettere.
Venetian
Archives.
817. Letters patent in favour of Piero Dolce, sent to the ambassador in England, asking that he may have a free passage and all assistance and favour, with orders to all representatives of the republic to allow no hindrance to be placed in his way.
[Italian.]
March 24.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
818. To the Secretary at the Hague.
We expect to hear from you about what is said of the departure of the Prince of Wales for Spain, there must be a great deal upon which he took for information from you, especially the opinions of the Palatine, his wife and the English ambassador upon this decision.
Ayes, 144.Noes, 2.Neutral, 2.
[Italian.]
March 24.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
819. ALVISE VALARESSO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
After an interval of eighteen days since the last news from Paris a letter reached his Majesty yesterday announcing the prince's arrival in Spain. The delay arose from the time taken in crossing the sea and for a while his Majesty seemed very anxious and sad. The first news of this journey reached the French Court by the gentleman sent by the ambassador, who left at the same time as mine for your Serenity.
Doncaster, now made Earl of Carlisle, who arrived after that announcement did not have audience till five days later showing that the Most Christian did not relish the news; moreover they claim that the delay in the ambassador's office absolves them from all obligations towards the prince. They have published here the courteous words employed by that king, adding that the whole court approved of the prince's generous and chivalrous decision. In short the easy way in which the government takes it, although it may result from a lack of prudence in the French, affords a strong indication to those who understand that they are contemplating war against the Huguenots, taking advantage of their weakness of the distraction of England about the marriage, the wars of Holland and the confusion of Germany.
Every day gentlemen proceed to Spain to serve the prince. The body of his court, by the king's command, stands ready to leave in three ships, without any provision, all going at their own expense, the passage alone being paid. The majority move with disgust and some with fears. They do not like the occasion or the country and detest the Inquisition.
They are negotiating to send the prince 12,000l. sterling. They are sending him jewels and other trappings for state occasions. They are making ready ships of war, but the scarcity of sailors in this realm is incredible and a royal proclamation has appeared calling upon every sailor subject. (fn. 3) The king says publicly that the prince will return in May, and many hope so, as no sentiment rises so easily as hope. They believe that the Spaniards cannot detain the prince without express and most injurious violence. They say that any promises made by him while in their hands will be null once he has got away, and in any case the king will have the Palatine's son to build up a great party and beat down all pretensions. Meanwhile his Majesty seems to desire the return of the marquis above everything else; in whose absence, as an infallible sign of the highest favour, everything remains in suspense so that nothing may happen to displease him and that he may be absolute master at his return.
The ambassadors of Brussels and Spain, after trying to induce the king to withdraw all help from the Dutch, so far without any success, have made these proposals about the deposit of Franchendal and the truce for two years to the delegates. All of them are lords of the Council and in high dudgeon at the slight account the king takes of them, and they have represented that they cannot support such manifest fraud and deceit especially now they know for certain of the transfer of the electoral vote of Bavaria recently made by the emperor. However they continue the negotiations by the king's reiterated order, the ambassadors assuring them that the transfer took place against the wishes of Spain, as shown by the protests of the Ambassador Ognate. They propose among other things the announcement of a new diet in one of the four towns which they name, I know not which, especially after the prince's journey which may change everything considerably and involve great consequences. It is certain that the Spaniards, being short of money already desire a truce, even in Flanders. Their preparations this year are understood to be very slight as yet. Thus we hear also that they have rearranged the terzi of the English and Irish, so we see clearly that the chief strength of the Spaniards consists in the blindness and wretchedness of other princes.
The Dutch ambassador informed the king of his suspicions that the Spanish ambassador was protecting Barneveld's brother, asked him not to allow it and to give him up to the States. His Majesty agreed, expressing his usual friendship for the States; but I feel sure that Barneveld would never come to this kingdom.
The French ambassador told me that the ambassador of Brussels had called on him and complained bitterly about the league made by the Most Christian about the Grisons. He could not conceal from me that he gave a cold and languid reply. I certainly could not refrain from commenting with some warmth upon the impertinence of the office, and his duty to take a high tone, showing how reasonably he could turn their complaints against themselves especially as I had news from France that the Spaniards were encroaching on the frontiers of Picardy and in the channel of Gravelines, showing that their audacity always increases with the patience of others. God grant that this ambassador be not soiled with the pitch which is now common in almost all the other ministers of France.
With respect to visiting the ambassador of Brussels at the Spanish embassy, I have considered that one does not visit a guest when one has never called upon the master and I could not treat the ambassador of Flanders as an equal when I do not do so with the Dutch one. It might also afford the Spaniards a pretext to strengthen their pretensions against your Serenity and place me at the discretion of the Spanish ambassador, who could appear and treat me as he pleased in his own house.
Mansfeld has sent back a person here with fresh letters to make his customary demands. The occasion is the worst possible and he will get nothing but the usual reply.
London, the 24th March, 1623.
[Italian.]
March 25.
Collegio,
Secreta.
Esposizioni
Principi.
Venetian
Archives.
820. In conformity with the orders laid upon me I, Tadio Vico went to the ambassador of the States to communicate the office of yesterday evening. After I had read it more than once, and done so in French, at his request, he told me among other things of a common report that the Prince of Wales had been assassinated in going to Spain and that the people had risen in London and made the king prisoner, but he believed this to be untrue and incredible. He asked me when I thought the Ambassador Moresini would be leaving for his master, and after I had replied I took leave.
[Italian.]
March 25.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Roma.
Venetian
Archives.
821. RANIER ZEN, Venetian Ambassador in Rome, to the DOGE and SENATE.
This evening, as I was writing, the Archbishop of Spalato came to see me. I thought he wanted to say something about the news from England, and the departure of the prince, which has excited much comment here. He said he had come to bring the enclosed letter for your Serenity and a book of his against heresy, and upon his return to the Church.
He fears some mischief may happen in connection with this departure of the prince, as the Puritans are bitter enemies of our Catholic religion and also enemies of the king, and they will take this step very ill. However, if the king has previously taken sound measures to secure tranquillity, as one may expect, matters may turn out well, as the king, if he likes, has absolute authority even over the parliament.
They knew nothing of this business here before the arrival of the courier from Venice. Only the day before they held the usual congregation about the dispensation. They have not so far settled anything but have merely drawn up a paper, so this step has appeared very extraordinary to them. They despatched a courier to Spain yesterday, and it is said that they proposed to send the dispensation after him, a course which would bring them little honour and hardly become the dignity of the Church, as it would seem as if the Spaniards had decided before informing them or asking leave. Thus some say that this was done with artifice, so that the pope may more easily confirm what is already done than give a dispensation for something to be done. Never- theless the great difference between the Spaniards and other princes must necessarily stand out prominently, throwing their influence into even greater relief. Other crowns labour many years to obtain dispensations while they give everything to the Spaniards and even ratify their actions, a thing that causes as much scandal as astonishment.
There are some again who say that the Congregation has not yet decided, and that they have not been able to complete the business owing to the pope's indisposition, and that the courier was sent to return thanks to Spain for a certain secret mission, and to ratify the papers about the consignment of the fortifications.
Rome, the 25th March, 1623.
[Italian.]
March 26.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
822. ZUANE PESARO, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the DOGE and SENATE.
I have so far flattered the Capuchin as to obtain from him a great deal of his designs. He says that his chief object is to unite the king here with the Catholic league of Germany, and to support the Duke of Bavaria. In this way they can resist the Spaniards in everything, but without this support the league and the duke will have to yield everything. The Spaniards feared such an alliance, which would render that crown most formidable. It would show the Spaniards not as the protectors of the Catholic religion, but as moved by reasons of state, as appeared by their support of the Palatine and their union with England, and would thus deprive them of their specious pretext. The only difficulty was that the heretics could not be made to understand that this would serve to humble the house of Austria, and help the liberty of Germany, but they must be made to see this. He said that Bavaria was anxious that his dominions should not be attacked by Mansfeld or the States. He and the Catholic princes only wished to defend themselves and did not contemplate any attack whatsoever against the heretical powers.
His remarks confirmed my impression that his chief object is to unite the wars of France and Germany for the same end against the heretics, and as he came when war was raging in that kingdom he would like to leave behind him the sparks for rekindling a great conflagration.
Paris, the 26th March, 1623.
[Italian; deciphered.]
March 26.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
823. ZUANE PESARO, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the DOGE and SENATE.
A Capuchin has come from Poitiers who agrees with the one from Bavaria in pointing out the ease of operations against la Rochelle. They consider them tools of Spain here. However, under the pretext that the marriage of the Prince of Wales will render it necessary to secure themselves against the Rochellese, the paying off of the fleet has not taken place.
Paris, the 26th March, 1623.
[Italian.]
March 27.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Signori Stati.
Venetian
Archives.
824. CHRISTOFFORO SURIAN, Venetian Secretary in the Netherlands, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Encloses translation of advices from Ratisbon, which show how the Spaniards deal secretly with the Duke of Bavaria.
Colonel Gray, who obtained permission from the King of Great Britain to raise 4 or 5,000 foot in Scotland for Mansfeld, told the prince here, who informed me, that his Majesty had told him with his own lips, that he meant to try and bring about peace in Europe, especially in these provinces, and he not only desired peace and quiet for these provinces but their union with the others which the Spaniards hold. This has caused his Excellency some consideration and he remarked that he did not know whether his Majesty wished to infer that the Spaniards would dower the Spanish princess with all these countries, or give them to the Prince of England. I have reported this to the Ambassador Valaresso.
They have not yet succeeded here in making up their minds about the departure of the Prince of Wales. They feel sure that the King of Spain will deceive both the King of England and the pope himself. I know for certain that the prince, three days before his departure for Spain, wrote a letter to the queen, his sister, assuring her that nothing was yet certain about the marriage.
Their High Mightinesses still find it hard to digest the proposal made to them by the Ambassador Carleton about forbidding the war ships of this country to incommode the Spaniards or the trade with their ports. This has been further aggravated by the sequestration in Ireland by the king's order of a ship of the Spaniards which Captain Quast had taken at sea, and on the 22nd they sent a special messenger to England to obtain the withdrawal of this sequestration, made at the instance of the Spanish ambassador. They say here that the pretext alleged by the king is that the cargo was for a Catholic page of his. They will have trouble to overcome so many difficulties at that Court.
The king and queen here are more than ever dissatisfied at the attempts to place Frankendal in the hands of the Spaniards at their request. They fear that the English king will also consent to this additional prejudice.
The Hague, the 27th March, 1623.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Enclosed in
the preceding
despatch.
825. Copy of a paragraph of a letter from Ratisbon, of the 25th February, 1623.
His Highness of Bavaria does not take the rank of Elector Palatine but of Elector of Bavaria. This was arranged with the Count of Oñate in order to keep alive the hopes of the King of England for the restoration one day of the Palatine Frederick, as they fear he may help him to recover the Palatinate.
[Italian; deciphered.]
March 28.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Spagna.
Venetian
Archives.
826. ALVISE CORNER, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Four days after the arrival of the Prince of Wales, the king decided that he would not delay any longer to pay his respects. As it would not be fitting for his Majesty to go to Digby's house, where the prince was staying, it was arranged that the Count of Gondomar, who is always at hand to advise, owing to his knowledge of England, should bring the prince at the 8th hour of the night to the Prado, a place practically outside Madrid and the habitual summer resort of coaches and horses for recreation. The prince arrived shortly before the king, and when the latter came they both descended from their coaches, embraced and conversed through an interpreter. His Majesty said that he considered his Highness's visit a very great favour, but as he had desired to keep it so secret, the king proposed to receive it secretly, but, if he should decide to publish it and enter Madrid openly, this should be done in a fitting manner.
The prince replied that he had come to pay his respects to his Majesty and express his cordial feeling, as his father's letter set forth. They then got back into their coaches, the prince going first. After some familiar converse they took ceremonious leave of each other, the coaches driving off simultaneously.
Your Excellencies will appreciate the general astonishment at such an extraordinary manner of welcoming a prince of such quality.
The king being advised, they say, by Gondomar, of the anxiety and passion of the prince about seeing the Infanta, although the conference between the king and prince in the Prado had not then taken place, went out in state on Sunday, the 19th March, beyond his wont, with the queen, the Infanta, Don Carlos and the Cardinal followed by all the ladies of the palace and a countless number of cavaliers, for a walk in the Calle Maggiore and the Prado. By arrangement with the Count of Gondomar they frequently met the coach containing the prince. This is considered certain because Gondomar ordered the prince's coach to stop at a convenient position free from the numerous throng crowding around out of the extraordinary curiosity, so that the prince and the Infanta might see each other without impediment.
The Senate will justly marvel at receiving this news, but such are the facts and remarkable enough, so that every one is amazed at his Majesty consenting.
On the 26th following the prince left the house of the Ambassador Digby to go to the royal apartments in San Gieronimo, a Jesuit Convent, situate in a district to which the king usually withdraws upon the death of his predecessor, to make his state entry. The prince was received by all the Councillors in the manner adopted with sovereigns and royal personages. He was told that he had only to command and his orders would be punctually obeyed, his Majesty having issued the enclosed decree on the subject.
After the Councillors had paid their respects, the king went to the monastery of San Gieronimo in a closed coach attended only by the Count of Olivares, where stood the guards, the Grandees, the Chamberlains, and various titled noblemen, all dressed in rich gala costumes. The prince dismounted and the king gave him the right hand, under a canopy borne by twelve Regidori dell villa, preceded and followed by a numerous cavalcade, everyone in his appointed place, but the favourites, Olivares and Buckingham, followed the king and prince immediately. When the whole company reached the palace the prince went at once with the king to kiss the queen's hand. She came through two rooms to meet him and the prince sat and conversed for about half an hour, the Ambassador Digby kneeling in attendance. The prince afterwards descended at the apartment destined for him, where Don Balthasar lived. Don Carlos and the Cardinal Prince received him there, and compliments were exchanged. Afterwards his Majesty departed, and when the prince wished to accompany him he would not permit it.
The prince has not yet paid any visit to the Infanta; one cannot guess the reason, unless they have heard the strictures passed about the meeting of the coaches. They also say that the Infanta weeps and laments at seeing this marriage become so near and practically inevitable.
This matter of the prince's entry came off in rather an improper manner, although they boast about it in the usual way. The king announced that he desired that all these gentlemen, upon such an occasion, should use their full powers. It is announced that they intend to feast the prince with unrestrained demonstrations of joy and honour, and so it will be a point of honour with every one not to fall behind his equals.
All Madrid was illuminated for three nights. They let off fireworks, released prisoners for minor offences and gave rewards and places to various claimants at the prince's request, whose wishes they seemed to follow absolutely.
I thought it right not to hold back these presents. The nuncio sent a gentleman very secretly to Rome on the 20th. He denied this mission although he told the Count of Olivares about it. I have not been able to discover the reason for the numerous conferences between the nuncio and the count, unless the latter is urging upon his Holiness the announcement of the dispensation.
In common with the other ambassadors I sent my secretary to the English ambassador soon after the prince's arrival, to express a wish to pay my respects, though subject to his Highness's convenience. The ambassador sent a gentleman with the prince's acknowledgments, but to say that he would remain incognito until he had gone to the palace.
Madrid, the 28th March, 1623.
[Italian.]
Enclosed in
the preceding
despatch.
827. Note from his Majesty to all his Councillors.
The public entry of the Prince of Wales into this city will take place on Sunday the 26th. The Councillors will go on that day to the Convent of S. Jeronimo on horseback, and the same ceremony will be observed with the prince as with myself and other royal personages, on the day of the public entry without fail in any particular; and because I wish him to realise the good disposition I feel to do for him at once everything which may afford him pleasure. Two of the Council shall go on the following day to inform the prince and the Marquis of Buckingham that orders have been issued that whatever favour they ask for they are to have, and they shall do everything to keep him in a good humour.
[Spanish.]
March 30.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Zante.
Venetian
Archives.
828. AGUSTIN SAGREDO, Proveditore of Zante, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Sends account of the revenues from the new duties. Would be better for the merchants to pay for the raisins in money instead of cloth, as at present, though on every piece of London cloth the merchants pay duty of 7 ducats of good money, and 2 ducats for every piece of kersey. But the worst mischief is done by a system introduced at Cephalonia by some of the leading men, who have an arrangement with the English and other foreign merchants to farm out to them such quantity of raisins as they need at a price arranged between them, upon express condition that these English shall not buy the smallest quantity from anyone else, so that only three or four obtain the benefit, because those who have made this bargain, having no competition, value the raisins at their pleasure, and buy for what they please, the other poor folk being forced to sell to them at any price, because they have no other market. Even here at Zante, where a smaller quantity is produced, the prices are lowered and regulated by those at Cephalonia, although here the English buy themselves, having enjoyed great advantages this year owing to the extraordinary scarcity of money in this poor island. The Senate aimed at meeting this difficulty by the decree of January 26th, 1580, forbidding agreements between its subjects and foreign merchants. It might be advisable to add, with heavier penalties, that they must not make any farm or buy any raisins for the account of English merchants or others. The evil is the greater because usually those who create this monopoly of raisins for the English are customs officials for the new duty, and by making the farm of very large sums, they profit by the opportunity to defraud not only their colleagues but your Serenity, lading a larger quantity of raisins than are entered and diverting to their own use that portion of the duty which they have fraudulently concealed. It would therefore be useful to add that no one may sell raisins to the English or others on board ship, but every one must take them to the houses or warehouses of these merchants in the town, to avoid the frauds committed, not so much by the foreigners as by the natives themselves, with great facility and daring. If such provisions are made they will probably produce salutary results.
Zante, the 20th March, 1623, old style.
[Italian.]
Enclosure.829. Letter of LORENZO CIMMERA, Fiscal Advocate, to the DOGE.
The subtlety of the English merchants, who have become almost denizens by their ordinary residence in this island, joined to the sagacity of some native merchants of the island, has reduced to the last extremity the trade in raisins here, which is the sole support of the people, who will soon be ruined, while your Serenity's revenues will suffer. The islanders have devoted their substance to the production of raisins, which they used to sell at a good price. Now the foreigners bring cloth which is accepted as payment by the natives, so that the island is drained of money, in which the numerous duties of your Serenity are paid. It would be advisable to prevent the introduction of so much cloth, and to increase the money in circulation.
Cephalonia, the 17th August, 1622, old style.
[Italian.]
Enclosure.830. Account of Money for the New Customs at Zante.
For the years 1613, 1614 and 1615, Zuan Battista Mettaxa farmer, in all 76,637 ducats as. 2 grossi 3, deducting 3,045 ducats as. 40 for expenses leaves 73,591 ducats as. 22 grossi 3; and after deducting further expenses amounting to 3,277 ducats as. 57 there remained in the Chamber at Zante 70,313 ducats as. 25 grossi 3.
For the three years 1616, 1617, 1618, Demetrio Rucani farmer, receipts were 65,703 ducats as. 22 grossi 4, and after deducting 2,907 ducats as. 5 for expenses, there remained in the Chamber62,796 ducats as. 17 grossi 4.
For the three years 1619, 1620, 1621, Galleazzo Cloni farmer, receipts were 70,331 ducats as. 5 grossi 3; and after deducting 960 ducats for expenses there remained69,371 ducats as. 5 grossi 3.
For the current year from 1st August 1621 to the present time37,746 ducats as. 13 grossi 3.
Grand Total240,227 ducats as. 1 grossi 2.
ZUANNE GAURILOPULO.
Dated the 25th March, 1623.
[Italian.]
March 31.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
831. ALVISE VALARESSO, Venetian Ambassador in England to the DOGE and SENATE.
I have received your Serenity's letters of the 24th February directing me to unite with the French ambassador to communicate the league to his Majesty. I recognise how much the prince's journey has worsened the situation here, however I went to the French ambassador, told him my instructions, and asked his pleasure. He said he had received liberty from his king to perform this office or not; but as it could do no good and might even do harm he thought best to leave it alone. He referred to the king as a severed member only to be treated with contempt. He had already sent this opinion to France. It seemed to me that he only had old instructions, possibly such as I previously had from your Serenity, to find out how the king felt and if necessary justify our silence. I know his low estimate of the king and his own languor in the matter. However, I told him it was always the custom of friendly princes to communicate to each other matters of any importance, such as new alliances, and silence would both offend and arouse suspicion; that where a communication before conclusion was dangerous, it was good policy afterwards and among other things it might possibly make the king blush at his sinister proceedings or at least would give him no cause to stand closer with the Spaniards. I confessed that we had to do with a body insensible both to wounds and medicine, but even expiring souls sometimes revived by strange means. We owed to the crown what the king did not deserve. Although the ambassador received the argument ill, he could not evade the obligation contained in the very articles of the league, not only to advise his Majesty but to invite him. This would be absolutely infringed by silence. Accordingly it was arranged that next week, if the king does not approach London, as expected, we shall go to Newmarket to make this communication. I think the last argument prevailed on the ambassador, who was not only very undecided but unwilling. I think I have served the state in bringing him to this decision. To avoid the embarrassment of doubt I pretended it was decided we should act together.
The ambassador called upon me yesterday and said that we would go to audience separately on successive days, as he said he knew the king well and he would be enraged if we presented ourselves together. I expressed my astonishment at this change, and said that the nature of the affair demanded a joint office, which otherwise would lead to injurious interpretations. I adduced many other arguments but could not prevail. I certainly desired it strongly as it would honour the league, commit the French and intimidate the Spaniards. God grant the same reasons may not be moving him in the contrary sense. True, he, like many others, announces that the question of the Valtelline has been referred to Rome and that the league is unnecessary and according to others will do little.
The delegates are negotiating with the ambassadors of Spain and the archduchess, but slowly, with little pleasure and only to obey the king. They themselves admit that they treat at too great a disadvantage when the others have such a pledge in their hands as the prince. They have agreed to the deposit of Franchendal for a year and a half, thinking this better than its loss. A universal truce is not so much desired as before, even the king refuses to listen since he learned of the transfer of the electoral vote. However, he still hopes that the transfer will only be during Bavaria's life. To encourage him further, they propose the marriage of the Palatine's eldest son (to be brought up a Catholic) to the emperor's daughter, who is also Bavaria's niece, so they expect the most favourable disposition in him, and if all else fails they undertake to compel him by force.
The ambassador of the Infanta brings five complaints about the Flanders trade, upon which they seek satisfaction. He says he must leave soon, but that is only keeping up the trick, which brought him here apparently by the posts. He wished to stay some days longer nearer his Majesty who, however, went further off. His chief efforts are devoted to the removal of the Palatine from the Hague, and I think he also proposed an offensive league against the Dutch, promising the king a great part of their states. He tries to instil his mind with jealousy and suspicion of them, whispering that with their aid the queen will come to this realm. Indeed if she had the, courage and wisdom to do so in a fitting manner it would probably be the best course she could pursue, though bold. We have no news of the prince, but they reckon that he reached Madrid two days ago. Advices before his arrival tell the king of the usual slow progress towards the marriage and some, I know not who, speak of a quarrel between Olivares and Digby.
Eighty sailors have been granted to go to Scotland to arm and bring away the Spanish ships so long blockaded by the Dutch. Apparently the king has renewed the orders whereby the Dutch may not attack the Spaniards within a certain distance from his ports. His Majesty demands the release of a Spanish ship captured with merchandise by a Dutch commander and taken to Ireland, because ancient custom demands that booty be released when taken to a neutral friend's country. The captain of the royal ship, who consented to the capture made by Soubise, has been imprisoned at the instance of the French and Spanish ambassadors. (fn. 4)
I hear of the convention of the Hague from the public letters, though I have no other advices from that quarter. I have already reported the desire and the effort to stop help from this kingdom for the Dutch. The result must remain in doubt though what has happened before argues the worst, but I will remain on the alert to do what I can. The reports sent me from Rome agree with my own advices.
London, the last day of March, 1623.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
March 31.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
832. ZUANE PESARO, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the DOGE and SENATE.
There is a rumour of negotiations at Rome for a universal league of Catholic princes against heretics, with the Most Christian as chief, to whom the Spaniards would give Cambrai as a deposit. It provides its own refutation; but the English ambassador who condemns and cannot away with the actions of his master, remarked to me that we must take care lest France changes in the present state of affairs, as by every reason of state they are compelled to draw close to our party or else to have a closer understanding or alliance with the Spaniards.
This may only be reasonable anxiety about the Prince of Wales, but this frank gentleman did not speak to me without reasonable suspicions and it is to be feared that they may put aside the Valtelline and change entirely against the heretics and against free government, turning their attention to Germany for this purpose.
Paris, the 31st March, 1623.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]

Footnotes

1 The chaplains were Dr. Leonard Man, afterwards Bishop of Bath and Wells, and Dr. Matthew Wren, afterwards Bishop of Norwich and Ely. Birch: Court and Times of James I, ii, page 372.
2 A supposed plot of the Arminians, in which some seafaring men were the instruments to assassinate the Prince on his way from Ryswick to the Hague. Carleton sends full particulars in his despatch of the 30th January, old style. State Papers, Foreign: Holland. The two sons of John of Olden Barneveld were at the bottom of the conspiracy. The elder, Renier de Barneveld, lord of Groeneveld, was taken and executed; the younger, William de Barneveld, lord of Stoutembourg, the one supposed to be in England, escaped and took refuge at Brussels. Le Clerc: Historie des Provinces Unies, ii, pages 83–85.
3 This appears to refer to the proclamation of the 27th February, old style, forbidding English seamen to serve foreign princes and forbidding them to refuse the King's service. Cal. S.P. Dom., 1619–23, page 502.
4 Sir Henry Mervin. He was accused of conniving at the capture of the ship Croissant of Calais by two Rochellese men-of-war, that it was done before his eyes, and he had money given him and piloted the prize into Plymouth. It was not Soubise himself but M. St. Ravie, who commanded the Rochellese. Cal. S.P. Dom., 1619–23, pp. 518, 519, 535.