Venice
May 1623, 17-29

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Institute of Historical Research

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Allen B. Hinds (editor)

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1912

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12-27

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'Venice: May 1623, 17-29', Calendar of State Papers Relating to English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 18: 1623-1625 (1912), pp. 12-27. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=88887 Date accessed: 01 November 2014.


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Contents

May 1623

May 17.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Costantinopoli.
Venetian
Archives.
23. ZORZI GIUSTINIAN, Venetian Ambassador at Constantinople, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The Vizier has got into his hands Memehet, formerly Pasha of Cairo. He now remains without a rival, and has become so overbearing that even his own dependants dare not speak to him. He does not listen to the dragomans, but sends them back with menaces. All the ambassadors have met in order to devise some remedy, but without success.
The Vigne of Pera, the 17th May, 1623.
[Italian.]
May 18.
Collegio,
Secreta.
Esposizioni
Principi.
Venetian
Archives.
24. The English ambassador came into the Cabinet and said:
It is some time since I presented myself here. I willingly leave to others the glory of important negotiations here. The Countess of Arundel, after her stay at Turin, went on to Genoa to await the return of her gentlemen from Court, before proceeding further. She greatly desires the release of Antonio Moretti, the looking-glass maker, who was a favourite with her and with our nation in general. He has paid the 200 ducats to those injured. The countess will be greatly obliged, and she honours me by associating me in this case. I may say that throughout the course of my embassy I have never sheltered an exile in my house; I even kept out this very Moretto; I therefore am the more emboldened to ask this favour.
I have another favour to ask for Sig. Bernardo Fornero, an Englishman, who has spent 19 years studying at Padua. It is eleven years since he took his doctorate in medicine. He would like to be employed in some inferior chair, such as that vacated by Doctor Pellegrini. He is a Catholic, and well liked by every one at Padua. I have proved his skill in my recent indispositions. A memorial on both these points will be presented, in my name, by Matthio Gibaldo, a native of this city, chosen by me to serve his Majesty. After the death of Gregorio I employed a Frenchman provisionally, but I prefer Venetians.
The vice doge, Antonio Corner, replied that they would do their utmost to gratify the countess and the ambassador. The ambassador added that the Duke of Rohan had honoured him by communicating his desire to serve the republic. He surpasses all the other ultramontanes who have ever served the republic in wealth and credit. I need add no more, as he is supported by M. de Villiers, the French ambassador, by the command of his Most Christian Majesty. My king would rejoice to see him employed. I may say in this connection that the new marriage with Spain makes no difference in my king's affection and esteem for his other true friends and confederates. The princes marry, not states. We note in the case of France and Spain that though they have a double alliance, yet the Most Christian joins with your Serenity to thwart th e Catholic king. I will now take leave, wishing you a happy Ascensiontide.
[Italian.]
May 19.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
25. To the Ambassador in England.
Mr. Wotton had audience yesterday morning, and although the occasion was for private requests, as you will see, he interpolated something which coincides sufficiently with what his Majesty said about his good intentions for the common weal. You did prudently in encouraging this disposition, as you have described in your last letters. As they have so decisively committed themselves upon the marriage of the prince, you could not have spoken to the king on the subject otherwise than you did, and indeed the true friends of that crown have no course but to hope that it may come well out of this affair, which is rather to be desired than expected. The republic has never departed from these limits of sincere affection for his Majesty, in this matter as in others. We say this because some have declared in the Catholic Court, possibly in order to cover their own actions, that we have tried to upset this marriage, and in order that you may, in case of provocation, show how unfounded is this accusation, so remote from the truth and from our ancient practice in matters which do not concern us.
Ayes, 110.Noes, 1.Neutral, 27.
[Italian.]
May 19.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
26. ALVISE VALARESSO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The departure of the ships for Spain is delayed. An order has come from the prince to have them victualled for six months instead of the three or four at the most, considered necessary for the voyage. This increases the expense, delays the start and creates astonishment. It is not known whether this fresh order arises from doubt of a delay in his return, because it is meant to employ the ships in guarding those seas, or a desire to succour with this superabundance, the penury of the country, where, if report does not exaggerate as usual, there is a famine in provisions.
Here they have quite decided upon building at the two palaces of St. James and Denmark House, although they have not yet begun anything. Both will be used by the prince and Infanta in turns, with the addition of two chapels for Catholic services. The old Savoy church, which is somewhat out of the way, will serve for the Infanta's household.
News of the dispensation has reached his Majesty from Rome, the bearer Ghezi being expected daily. What they know so far does not satisfy them, because it is embarrassed as usual with cautions and restrictions. A person who read in the Spanish ambassador's hand a letter written to him from Rome by Father Maestro, tells me that he expressed an opinion, held by many others, upon the dispensation obtained, that having overcome the greater they will overcome the less. This clearly shows its imperfect nature, which means further opportunities for delay.
There is some talk of sending the Infanta to the archduchess in Flanders, perhaps in order to encourage the prince's hopes by this move and the approach to England, but in order when the time is ripe to send her to the emperor's son in Germany, a match desirable for the Spaniards above all others for countless reasons. In fact, except for some very occult reason or perhaps the private interests of the favourite or some other minister, the wisest men cannot perceive any advantage sufficient to command to them the English marriage. The prince's presence does not impose the slightest necessity upon them to complete it for various reasons, but chiefly because he went there unasked. I have always written and am now assured that among other things said by the count of Olivares he remarked that it required more than the coming of the prince to move them to complete the marriage. As a matter of fact the Catholics of the realm, that is to say, the partisans of Spain, receive but slight advantages, and even if they were greater, they might easily come to nothing in a moment, as it is firmly believed they would do on the completion of the marriage. In that case it would follow of necessity that the Spanish faction, fallen from its high hopes and defrauded in the numerous promises given especially by Gondomar, and in well founded disgust, could do no other than abandon that party, to the notable advantage of the kingdom and consequently of all those interested against the Spaniards. I therefore thought I might safely remark as I did to the French ambassador, who strongly approved, that we need no longer fear this marriage or hinder it by our offices, as when it takes place upon the conditions so far arranged it will certainly ruin Spanish credit and authority here, so that all our efforts should be directed solely, after removing this poisonous dependence, to the speedy conclusion or abandonment thereof if it be possible.
His Majesty asked the Dutch ambassador, with much curiosity, about the money contributed by the Most Christian to the States. When assured of it he said he was glad, as he considered it a sure sign that he would really intervene in the affairs of Rhaetia. The lords and ministers here however are not pleased at this help, either because they consider it reproves their own inaction or from their natural jealousy of the French.
His Majesty has repeated his request to the Dutch ambassador that the Dutch ships shall relinquish their blockade of the Spanish ships in the ports of Scotland. The ambassador argued the matter, but the king threatened to let them out, protected by his royal ships. This coincides with my last advices. The ambassador told me that he knew the matter weighed upon the king, so he had written to advise his masters to satisfy him.
Captain Boros, who was at Franchendal, has returned, the town having agreed to the treaty, with the Palatine's consent. He brings about a hundred English soldiers, the rest who remain being disbanded. The king has knighted him, and he certainly deserves some credit. (fn. 1)
A rumour is abroad that the Queen of Bohemia has come over incognita. The arrival of the wife of Carleton, ambassador at the Hague, gives some colour to this.
Some notable action is expected from the Dutch ships now at sea in such numbers and so many squadrons. I suspectt hat the last twelve ships, united with the Algerian pirates and the expelled Moriscoes, may have designs upon Granada, and an easy task.
The Ambassador Wotton will be back and would like to arrange that his leave taking from your Serenity should be accompanied by the presents. The Lord Treasurer, who is a very close fisted (strettissimo) minister, is always thinking of cutting down the expenses, and I know that he has contemplated cutting off the embassies of Venice and Savoy.
I enclose a copy of the letter which the king sent to Spain with the prince. It was promised me long ago, but I have only just obtained it. The expressions are rather characteristic of this king than befitting a monarch.
London, the 19th May, 1623.
Postscript: I have just heard of the arrival of a gentleman of the prince from Spain, with unsatisfactory news.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Enclosed in
the preceding
despatch.
27. Copy of a letter from the KING of GREAT BRITAIN, in his own hand, to the CATHOLIC KING. (fn. 2)
Your Majesty will think it strange for me to write to you. It is merely to let you know that I am sending herewith the prince, my son, King of Scotland. Dispose of him as you please, and also of myself and of my dominions, which are all at the disposition of your Majesty, whom I pray that God may guard for many years.
London, the 16th February, 1623, old style.
JAMES R.
[Italian.]
May 19.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
28. ANDREA ROSSO, Venetian Secretary in France, to the DOGE and Senate.
The Earl of Carlisle is in this city on his way back to England from Spain. He reports the courtesies which the Prince of Wales is receiving at the Catholic court. As regards the marriage he says that as the dispensation from the pope has already gone to Spain, he hopes that the bride and bridegroom will be with the King of Great Britain within six weeks.
Paris, the 19th May, 1623.
[Italian.]
May 20.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Spagna.
Venetian
Archives.
29. ALVISE CORNER, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The two couriers sent by the nuncio to Rome have returned within a few days of each other. The first brings a renewed promise of the dispensation, with a report that they are drawing up the brief as well as the instructions to be presented by the nuncio. The latter told the Count of Olivares this, but asked him to keep it to himself until the favour took effect, so that the English might not speak with their past audacity, without any regard for the reputation of the matter or the respect due to his Holiness. However, after the nuncio had assured the count that the dispensation would arrive shortly, it was announced publicly, and the prince and his followers received congratulations. The nuncio, finding himself treated in this fashion, sent another note to the count, who was with the king in the Pardo, remonstrating about this untimely announcement.
When every one thought that the papal consent was already in the king's hands, the second courier arrived with the brief to the nuncio in a gracious form, granting an absolute dispensation to the Infanta to marry the Prince of Wales upon the fulfilment of the conditions decided upon by the congregation of cardinals, which do not differ from those which I have already sent except in the age for the education of the children, where the education by the mother is raised to twelve or fourteen years, and the nurses must be absolutely Catholics. Only the King of England and the prince are to swear to the observance of these articles, and the King of Spain binds himself by a public document and an oath that he will keep his promises. The King of Great Britain and the prince are to satisfy the pope to benefit the religion in England, and if this does not occur, this crown is bound to declare against that sovereign. The Count of Olivares has, however, raised difficulties about the oath required of the Catholic, declaring the request a novelty and derogatory, as the pledging of the royal word should suffice. The nuncio disputed this, but either he or the count will give way as to the amazement of every one the pope seems to have granted the dispensation very readily. This alacrity is ascribed to the representations made here to the nuncio as well as to the considerations of the clergy of England. He says there is a letter of Cardinal Lodovisio subsequent to the brief and the instructions in which he instructs him, that seeing his Majesty is cautiously contemplating the fulfilment of his purpose to obtain advantages for the faith, if the prince does not become a Catholic or give liberty to that faith in his realms, he will consider the grant [of the dispensation] as null (che sodamente pensando S. M. alla perfettione dell' intento di apportar beneficio alla religione quando non si faccia il Principi Catholico o si dia liberta di essa nelli Regni; tenga il concesso per nullo).
I have this from one whom I have always found most trustworthy, yet it may only be a subterfuge to obtain this point of free exercise of religion for the Catholics, but if the English refuse, that will not prevent the marriage. The ambassador of the emperor seems to be of this opinion, and has observed that the cardinal nephew added the above instance on the very day that the brief was despatched; moreover if the pope wished the congregation to make the decision if they really wanted liberty of conscience, it is almost certain that his Holiness would have got the congregation to demand it, and place hindrances in the way of the grant, as the nuncio asserted. Rumours continue that the prince strongly inclines to abjure his heresies, when he is enlightened, as he has expressed himself to the Capuchin, and Buckingham has orders to meet that father secretly and obtain writings from him upon points of faith raised by the prince. The pope also has sent a special brief to the king in which he informs him that he has decided to give him satisfaction, despite much opposition (che si e mosso a compiacerlo non ostante molte contrarieta) and exhorts him before the marriage is concluded to obtain every possible advantage for religion, and especially charges him to see that the promises are carried out. Nevertheless the pope has shown absolute willingness in this affair, the nuncio also having orders to visit the prince and Buckingham covertly.
It is publicly reported that the prince and Buckingham have taken offence for numerous causes, chiefly because of the delay in settling; thus before the dispensation arrived people spoke of their departure. It is thought it will take place, if only to prevent his Highness from excusing himself for not keeping his promises, as invalid because exacted by force when he was in the hands of the Spaniards. They also complain of the frequent meeting of the Junta of forty persons, without any of their proceedings being communicated. Upon many occasions also they have experienced Spanish pride and disdain. Buckingham spoke strongly on the subject to the French ambassador. An Englishman also told me that on Holy Cross day when the prince was celebrating the order of the Garter, by eating in public together with Buckingham, as a knight of the order, those of the king's mess (bocca) refused to serve at table in the ordinary way, arousing the wrath of Buckingham, between whom and Don Fernando Giron some quarrel took place, though they say it was through the interpreters misunderstanding.
Moreover various persons, some even persons of rank, have been imprisoned owing to their ill considered behaviour (per praticar troppo strettamente) and the prince has been asked to dismiss some. But the truth is that rigour and prevision are necessary as the trace of heresy has already appeared and some are infected by evil disseminations; and these people are so audacious that they go so far as to assault the women (sino imprimono le done) and appear in the king's very chapel without showing or affecting the least reverence. In consequence, the nuncio has protested, and the prince has forbidden those who are not Catholics to enter the churches. As a strong testimony of the great empire which the Spaniards exercise over this prince, I must not forget to say that they prescribed to him the very words that he should say to the Infanta when he presented his respects to her this Easter. I did not believe it, but I have now had it absolutely confirmed, and the English themselves admit it.
Madrid, the 20th May, 1623.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Enclosed in the preceding despatch.30. Copy of letter from the Nuncio to the COUNT of OLIVARES.
With my usual confidence I showed your Excellency the paper of Cardinal Lodovisio about the dispensation for the English marriage, and with a great augmentation of my former mortification I now hear it announced by the English, with injurious reflections on every hand about the facility shown by his Holiness. I must beg you to observe that though the letter speaks of the dispensation being sent, it also speaks of conditions without which it will not be granted. I do not know any particulars about these conditions, but as we hoped to obtain good conditions for the Catholics before, we should now get much better with the prince's coming, which can only be interpreted at Rome as for the marriage. The conditions will therefore be that his Highness becomes a Catholic or grants well grounded liberty of conscience in England, and what cannot be done now with the coming of his Highness, will never be obtained afterwards. The publication of the dispensation compels me to add that it will only be granted upon conditions of which I do not possess the particulars.
[Italian; deciphered.]
May 20.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Firenze.
Venetian
Archives.
31. VALERIO ANTELMI, Venetian Secretary at Florence, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The English gentleman has left, having received from the Grand Duke two pieces of tapestry for hangings worth 1,500 crowns.
Florence, the 20th May, 1623.
[Italian.]
May 22.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Signori
Stati.
Venetian
Archives.
32. CHRISTOFFORO SURIAN, Venetian Secretary in the Netherlands, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Your Serenity's letters of the 5th inst. reached me opportunely this morning, as before these letters came from the Ambassador Berch for the States and from Sir [Henry] Wotton to the English ambassador here relating the office performed in the Collegio by the ambassador of the Most Christian about depositing the fortresses of the Valtelline in the hands of the pope. (fn. 3)
The Hague, the 22nd May, 1623.
[Italian.]
May 22.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Signori
Stati.
Venetian
Archives.
33. CHRISTOFFORO SURIAN, Venetian Secretary in the Netherlands, to the DOGE and SENATE.
In the absence of the Prince of Orange and the King of Bohemia the rumours about a truce have begun again. It has circulated also in Brabant and in the dominions of the Infanta, but especially in Flanders. The Ambassador Boscot, back from England, spread abroad among the people on his journey, that the King of Great Britain had been asked to interpose and arrange a truce. He did this artfully to conciliate the people there, who apparently resent greatly the weight of their taxes.
They speak here of the marriage with England as an accomplished fact, the more so because the papal dispensation has gone. A gentleman has reached here in twelve days from Spain, sent expressly by the Prince of Wales with a letter to his sister, assuring her that he will on no account consent to the marriage before he has obtained the restitution of what belongs to her, and brought her the rest and peace which he desires for her. Their Majesties are perplexed as to what may be the outcome of such an affectionate intention, as in his actual situation the prince is bound to the wishes of his father and compelled by the stimulus and offices of those who stand about him.
Sig. Pauli, the gentleman and councillor of the king here, who has been to England and returned recently, confirms the report that that sovereign asserted with asseveration, that if the Spaniards broke their promises he would summon his daughter and grandchildren to England, but it was not known what effective resolution that sovereign might take, if circumstances should happen to force his hand.
The States here are much disturbed in mind owing to the advices they have received that the King of England has decided to provide an escort for the two ships of Dunkirk which the Dutch kept blockaded in the ports of Scotland. They are even more upset because that monarch has not accepted the reply which they made to Carleton's proposal that they should remove their ships from the ports of his king and keep them away for the space of two tides. Moreover, they were advised by Caron, their ambassador, that his Majesty was angry with Carleton as well as some of the royal Council, because they had not only declined to accept the reply in writing, but had even protested against it. The ambassador is in some trouble, and the States are perplexed as they do not know what course to take, as if they do what the king desires, they will leave these ships at liberty to cruise wherever they please within the narrow seas, and the trading ships of that country will be unable to escape their clutches.
I have heard, and his Excellency told me the same, that the two ships now off the coasts of England have orders to let the Spanish ships come out accompanied by the English, but to join with other Dutch ships, and once the vessels are at a proper distance from England, to attack the Spaniards, taking care not to touch the English. Although this is a well considered decision, it may easily give rise to fresh disputes, but as his Excellency said, every one must take care of himself.
The Hague, the 22nd May, 1623.
[Italian.]
May 24.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Spagna.
Venetian
Archives.
34. ALVISE CORNER, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Not only has the pope displayed a readiness to grant the dispensation, but moved by the persuasion of the English Catholics, he has also expressed to the nuncio his special wish that the marriage may be concluded soon, and charges him to hasten it on. After the nuncio had presented the two writs simultaneously to the king, one granting his request if the conditions are fulfilled, the other requesting his Majesty to insist upon the fulfilment of the promises, the nuncio entered upon negotiations with the Count of Olivares about the instances from Cardinal Lodovisio upon liberty of conscience. He showed him the letter, assuring him that if the English did not agree to what his Holiness asked, all the rest would be invalid. The count was amazed at this addition, because he thought the affair finished, and that it would appear incredible to the prince and Buckingham. The nuncio was quite prepared, and informed the count that the pope's proposal need occasion no surprise as it was involved in the articles agreed upon, the last article providing that his Holiness should obtain security for religion. This apparently convinced the count. The English, however, hearing that they had altered not only the agreement brought by Father Diego della Fuente, sent to Rome for the purpose, but that they were adding a clause about liberty of conscience to the granting of the dispensation, accused the Spaniards of deceiving them in an underhand way, so that Buckingham angrily declared that his Highness would leave, and accused the count of breaking his word, as they were expecting the dispensation, and not additions to the articles.
The whole business remained practically suspended for four days, and it was said that the prince meant to return home without the looked for settlement, indeed, that all was broken off. However, the nuncio interposed, and opened negotiations with Buckingham, firstly about the refusal to agree to the alterations in the articles arranged in the Junta at this Court and in England. Buckingham suggested some compromise, but absolutely opposed the point of freedom of worship for the Catholics. However, they had frequent meetings, in the quarters of the Count of Olivares by day, and in the nuncio's house by night. The nuncio contended that, as the articles promised that the Catholics should not be persecuted, they also promised to abolish and annul the laws against them. Buckingham denied this strongly, but seemed finally to give way to the arguments and prayers of the nuncio, and there remained nothing but the manner of carrying it into effect. Buckingham promised for the king and the parliament, in virtue of the powers granted to him, but afterwards said that the king would take time. Thus the dispute continues, as the nuncio fixed the limit of a year, but Buckingham would not accept any limitation, and the nuncio will not submit himself to the royal discretion.
This is the principal difficulty, as Buckingham does not seem to offer much opposition upon the other points, not even objecting to the pope's demand that the king shall take the oath in the form prescribed by his Holiness. Olivares also agrees that the Catholic shall undertake to see that the English promises are observed. Yet the other question is a very difficult one to adjust. Buckingham insists that the nuptials shall take place immediately they have arranged the difficulties. They reply by promising that the church ceremony shall take place, but they do not want the prince to go to the Infanta before he has returned home and the treaty is ratified.
The prince and Buckingham are furious (infuriati) at hearing this decision, and will not give their final consent to anything, but the nuncio is trying hard to appease them, and suggests that the king should send his sister to the Infanta in Flanders, so that when the terms are settled in England her Highness may cross to her husband. Buckingham refuses all delay, and persists that the Infanta shall either accompany the prince or else that he shall enter upon an indissoluble union with the possession of the Infanta. One cannot foresee what will happen, although they are treating actively, and everything rests in the hands of the nuncio.
The foregoing state of the negotiations I have gathered from Buckingham himself, who came to this embassy with a number of cavaliers, because when I congratulated him upon the completion of everything, he replied that the negotiations were troubled by some fresh demands which they made. He did not know what would happen, as the prince would certainly refuse. I fancy that Buckingham is disgusted with the Spaniards, although he tries to conceal it before me, attributing certain things reported to have been said by him against them to a buffoon who is here with his Highness. (fn. 4) He assured me, as usual, that his king would never lose his old friends, among whom he reckons the most serene republic. I made a suitable reply.
To-day, when I am ill in bed, Father Zaccaria di Saluzzo, the Capuchin, has been to see me, and confirms what I wrote, namely, that the only difference now is whether the Infanta shall accompany the prince, as they remain determined that she shall not at present. However, new proposals are expected, namely the bethrothal, which they call Il velare here, shall take place, and the prince leave to carry out the promises, and after a year the Infanta shall go to him; or else that they shall be married immediately, the prince remaining here while Buckingham goes to begin to carry out the promises, and when this appears, his Highness shall personally conduct his bride to his dominions. The prince would incline to this second course but Buckingham opposes it vigorously, because he perceives that his Highness has a leaning towards our faith. For this reason he prevents this Capuchin friar from speaking with him, being aware of the fruit prepared by that worthy and pious man. The friar assures me, however, that he has some hopes of success, especially if Buckingham and the other devils should happen to go. I gather that in order to facilitate the prince's intent to become a Catholic, they propose, after all the terms have been completely agreed upon, and everything arranged, they will announce that the Infanta resists the King's wishes about her union so long as his Highness remains estranged from the Roman Church, declaring that she will rather take the veil. In this way they hope to prevail upon the prince to do what they want. However I have no absolute authority for this news, because it is said that the Infanta offered to do what his Majesty wishes, and the Capuchin has not confirmed it. It is true that he told me that at this moment he could not impart to me absolutely everything that was going on, admitting that he was writing upon doubts raised by the prince, and was drawing up a pedagogy de ratione et modo verae fidei, making strenuous efforts to complete the work speedily. The nuncio also has presented to the prince a most gracious brief from the pope, earnestly exhorting him to repentance. Accordingly, there is a widely diffused report that the Divine Majesty is favouring him with much illumination, (ma Buchingam lo contraria gagliardamente perche si accorgi che si dispone S. A. alla nostra fede, et per cio impedisce che questo Padre capucino non le parli, avedutosi del frutto che Dio ha principiato per tal valoroso et pio huomo, qual mi affirma nondimeno di sperar qualche bene, massime occorrendo che parta Buchingam et altri Diavoli. Penetro che si pensa per facilitar lo intento che il Prencipe si rendi Cattolico che doppo un intiero accordo di tutte le conditioni, et che ogni cosa resti concertata si ha da manifestare che la Infanta resiste alla volontà del Re di casarsi mentre continui S.A. lontano dalla Chiesa Romana, con l'affirmare che più tosto vuole monacarsi con che si spera indur il Prencipe nel desiderato, non ho però l'aviso con sicuro fondamento, perche l'Infanta parlasi si è rimessa alle sodisfattioni di Sua Maestà, et il Capucino manco me lo confirma; e vero che mi disse non poter conferire per hora intieramente quanto passa, confessandomi che scrive sopra dubbii proposti dal Prencipe et che firma una pedagogia de ratione et modo verae fidei, afaticandosi di ultimar presto l'opera. Al Prencipe da Mons. Nontio anco si è presentate breve del Papa ufficiossimo, et con piena essortatione di riconoscimento, perche corre pur universal voce, che S. D. Maestà lo gratii di molto Lume).
Madrid, the 24th May, 1623.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
May 26.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
35. ALVISE VALARESSO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Couriers constantly come and go. Since the gentleman mentioned in my last, another has appeared. What they bring remains impenetrable. The king writes the letters with his own hand, and alone receives and reads them, communicating the contents to no one soever. In fine there is the greatest secrecy. The English in Spain either do not write or send no news. The king recently opened all the letters and burned many addressed to private individuals. I find myself without any information about the prince from that quarter, and as I cannot question the proved diligence of our ambassador, I am bound to conclude that the failure is due to other causes. But this deep silence tells of bad news to understanding ears. His Majesty moreover seems melancholy and is upset by anything, and one may call him incapable of either consolation or counsel. The Lord Chamberlain is seeking to console him when he called himself desperate and damned, was insulted. I hear that the most intimate, and the Duke of Lennox in particular, either in order to mitigate his vexation or because they cannot get back the stone once cast, while praising his decision to send the prince to Spain as the sole means of finishing the affair or discovering the intentions of the Spaniards, assure him of their good will, but also advise him to change his resolutions if he discovers any evil disposition in them; good ideas, but not accepted. It is most probable that the king would not survive any calamitous event, either from his own internal agitation or from some external accident.
Meanwhile the king alone decides here; as in Spain, the marquis alone negotiates. Bristol, with his experience of affairs and of the Court, is entirely excluded. The marquis is an inexperienced youth, and ill born for great affairs. His instructions are the king's letters, who is so far away, not to speak of other defects, and this one head, with all its disadvantages, has to encounter a Spanish council most select in numbers and quality.
I am assured that the marquis is very dissatisfied with the negotiations so far, and I have remarked in so many words that if the Spaniards thought they could negotiate with the prince as with an ambassador, they were much deceived. Here from various words which have escaped the Spaniards, they seem to be raising difficulties about the non-fulfilment of the promises they claim were given here about the liberty of the Catholics, particularly outside London. On such a point they can go on as long as they please. As a second retreat they have the demand for cautions, since a promise is transitory. Finally they will come to a request for parliament which means carrying out their intent or breaking it under pretexts or setting the kingdom on fire.
It cannot indeed be denied that the king, as is natural in one who is working against the grain, discloses his ill-will from time to time towards the Catholic religion. Recently in deciding to make the chapel he could not resist saying that they were making a temple for the devil. He will not allow them to begin to build for quite slight reasons, for instance he objected to removing some birds from the place appointed for it. These things are only too well noted by the Spaniards who know the king's nature thoroughly and perceive that once the marriage is accomplished their advantage will disappear. They seize these pretexts as a cloak for the natural and useful slowness while their demands increase. On the other hand the king being engaged ever deeper in the business and most eager to conclude, increases his promises with their increased demands. I have been assured that he told some Spaniards who asked him that he proposed to renounce every friendship with those hostile or ill affected towards them.
As regards the disinclination of the Spaniards for the marriage, there are stronger indications every day. One cannot help wondering that no embassy of thanks has come to answer such an act of honour and confidence as sending the prince to Spain, and although they expect the Ambassador San Germano, he will not come at all, or late, and not as a compliment but to negotiate. That can only be to ask for the fulfilment of the promises made here. It is also known that so far the prince has not visited the infanta more than once, and then the office was more with the queen than with her. I am told and can well believe it, that the Infanta made no reply to the prince's compliment. At all events they keep silence about the reply here and one may easily believe that there was none. I hear that attacks from the Jesuits are not wanting and that the presence of Prince Charles gives them a hold. His gentlemen have not free access to him and indeed are not well treated.
I have seen Ghezi's letter from Rome telling of the dispensation obtained, but I noticed that the dispensation appears to come more from the congregation than from the pope, the excuse being that his indisposition prevented him from attending the last congregation as he desired. Among all these things I have heard nothing about the infanta's reluctance for the marriage; I do not know if it is concealed or if it is not so. Ghezi may proceed to Spain. The marquis will be made Duke of Buckingham by the king. The prince continues to urge the departure of the ships. He seems determined to leave even with the affair unfinished and thinks he can do so without hindrance.
One of the Dunkirk ships, blockaded in Scotland, having gone a little outside the port ran aground and was burned by the Dutch. The soldiers and sailors left her and to save the ship raised the English flag. The royal ministers took it under their protection, but the people almost revolted and openly, disobeying, refused to harm the Dutch while spoiling the Spanish sailors and soldiers. (fn. 5) The Spanish ambassador has been to make a serious complaint about this. The king seemed exceedingly angry and promised him every satisfaction. He claims, and I think rightly, that the deed took place within the limits of his jurisdiction. At that time a courteous but inconclusive reply came from the States to the office performed on behalf of the Infanta recommending the friar arrested for trying to subvert the Governor of Husdem.
Ships are ready at Boulogne to take to East Friesland to Mansfeld the soldiers of the levies granted by the Most Christian.
London, the 26th May, 1623.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
May 26.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
36. ANDREA ROSSO, Venetian Secretary in France, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The Earl of Carlisle saw the king at Fontainebleau and afterwards left for the king, his master. They say that the Marquis of Inoiosa, ambassador extraordinary from the Catholic to the King of Great Britain, will come this way.
Paris, the 26th May, 1623.
[Italian.]
May 27.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni
Roma.
Venetian
Archives.
37. To the Ambassador at Rome.
Enclose copy of what reached us yesterday from Spain about the English marriage. This will serve for information and you will try to verify it, as the nature of the business requires.
Ayes, 150.Noes, 0.Neutral, 2.
[Italian.]
May 27.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Spagna. Venetian Archives.
38. ALVISE CORNER, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the DOGE and SENATE.
In my last I described how each of the parties insisted upon their own claims in the marriage. The prince began to declare that he was determined to go, and Buckingham showed signs of it, with indications of being highly offended. The Count of Olivares, however, informed him that the king desired they should stop until they had written again to Rome and England to reconcile the opposing opinions, as his Majesty, for his own part, would do anything to satisfy his Highness. Buckingham only insists the more that the prince ought not to stay away from his father any longer, and that their departure will not prevent them from advising what they please. When the count reported this obstinacy, the Council of State voted that his Majesty should not permit the prince to return in such an angry state of mind, but should beg him to remain until they should find some way out of the difficulty. The count carried this message to the prince, giving him every hope. This appeased Buckingham and negotiations were resumed. Whereas the nuncio advised a refusal to give the infanta to the prince immediately, as a better security for the fulfilment of the promises, he roundly declared that he could not enter into such subtleties, as if they meant to break their promises in England, delay in sending the infanta would not prevent them, and admitting that the king seeks alliance with this crown to help and strengthen his own, it is incredible that he should lose it by failing to keep his word.
The nuncio, who has instructions to get all he can but not to imperil the marriage, abates many of his claims and again meets Buckingham. After various meetings they agreed that once the affair was finally settled his Highness should not suffer disappointment in his desire for the Infanta. Upon the additions to the articles they have agreed that the nurses shall be chosen by the infanta but need not absolutely be Catholic, that the children shall be educated by their mother up to twelve and not fourteen; that the oath shall be taken by vassals in a form that does not offend the Catholic religion, but not as the pope demands, and the prince will allow Catholics to enter the public church, which will be set up in addition to the chapel in the palace, in addition to the members of the infanta's household, but this promise must be kept secret. The point most disputed about allowing a year for the abolition of the laws against the Catholics has been arranged at three years, in which space the king undertakes to induce the parliament to approve and confirm, and meanwhile his Majesty and the magnates will promise the immediate suspension of those laws, by an irrevocable oath, and that once these are abrogated similar laws shall not be made in the future.
Such is the end of the negotiations, with which Cottington, the prince's secretary, will leave by the post to obtain the king's consent, as they desire Buckingham's full powers to be corroborated by the royal ratification itself. But this is in order to prolong the negotiations, as by gaining time, to which they will devote all their skill, they hope for the prince's conversion, for he seems very enlightened. I have only just received these particulars which I believe to be absolutely true, as I have them on good authority. I assure your Serenity that these recent negotiations have taken place very secretly.
Madrid, the 27th May, 1623.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
May 27.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Firenze.
Venetian
Archives.
39. VALERIO ANTELMI, Venetian Secretary at Florence, to the DOGE and SENATE.
A courier from the nuncio in Spain has passed through for Rome, with news of the announcement of the dispensation for the marriage between the infanta and the Prince of England. The nuncio delayed consigning the dispensation in order to obtain some advantage for the Catholic religion. Count Orso was the last one here to believe in this marriage. It was he who in the lifetime of the late Grand Duke advocated a marriage with the sister of the late king. More recently he imbued the archduchess and Madame with the idea that the Spaniards would give this infanta to the Grand Duke.
The gentleman who came here from England, as I reported, conferred in addition with the ministers about additional facilities for trade and commerce by sea; but such negotiations will bring little advantage, as trade at this mart steadily declines more and more, and we are constantly hearing rumours as well as of disasters from other places. The Florentines Magalotti are on the brink of bankruptcy at Rome. The Grand Duke has decided to help them, but it will only amount to buying their goods at a low price. In this state of affairs the merchants have done no business for two weeks, every one holding on to his money.
Florence, the 27th May, 1623.
[Italian.]
May 29.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Savoia.
Venetian
Archives.
40. LORENZO PARUTA, Venetian Ambassador in Savoy, to the DOGE and SENATE.
At the end of a long conversation his Highness said that the pope certainly is not well disposed towards your Serenity, and he had seen letters from Rome, written by a person of importance, containing these very words: As for the Venetians, it will soon be known that they are heretics.
Turin, the 29th May, 1623.
[Italian.]
May 29.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Signori
Stati.
Venetian
Archives.
41. CHRISTOFFORO SURIAN, Venetian Secretary in the Netherlands, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Bos has seen the King of Bohemia, with whom he had a long conversation. The king represented himself as abandoned by every one and said he intended to send one of his councillors to the court of the Most Christian to ask for help for the recovery of the Palatinate. He would willingly withdraw from the protection of the King of England if he could find any prince to give him a hand, the more particularly because he heard at the present moment that the King of Great Britain wished to compel him to sign a capitulation arranged with the Spaniards for a truce or armistice in the Palatinate and Germany for fifteen months. He said he did not intend to agree to this and would procrastinate as much as possible in order to avoid signing. Everyone advised him against doing so, notably the Prince of Orange.
A report is current here that Infanta of Spain does not want the English prince for a husband, offering as an excuse the question of religion and the safety of her person if she should go to England. In conformity with this, letters from Spain of the 11th announce that the princess has withdrawn to a convent and steadily refuses the marriage. Nevertheless Sig. Bos, who has seen Viscount Doncaster, says that that nobleman had no doubt about the marriage taking place and he was hurrying to London by the posts. The general opinion is that it will take place; the king and queen think so, although the Spaniards will procrastinate as much as possible for their own advantage.
The Hague, the 29th May, 1623.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]

Footnotes

1 He was knighted on Sunday, the 14th, at Greenwich. Birch: Court and Times of James I, ii, 395.
2 This differs from the copy in French preserved at the Public Record Office. (State Papers, Foreign, Spain), and dated the 23rd February.
3 This office was performed on the 28th April. See Wotton's despatch of that date. State Papers, Foreign, Venice.
4 Archibald Armstrong, the king's jester, called Archy the tool
5 Gardiner gives a full account of the burning of this ship at Leith, Hist. of Eng., vol. iv, pages 79–83. The name of the ship was the San Ambrosio of the Ostend squadron; it was burned on the 16th May. There is a copy of a relation made by Juan de Sagasticaval, captain of the ship, among the State Papers, Foreign: Flanders, dated the 17th May, 1624.