Venice
July 1623, 1-15

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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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52-70

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'Venice: July 1623, 1-15', Calendar of State Papers Relating to English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 18: 1623-1625 (1912), pp. 52-70. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=88890 Date accessed: 25 July 2014.


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Contents

July 1623

July 1.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Costantinopoli.
Venetian
Archives.
69. To the bailo at Constantinople.
We propose to satisfy the demands of those Greeks of Belguardo about the arrest of their ship at Corfu, so that they may not go to the Divan. We shall do the same about the request of the English Voivoda about the money taken away by his man, giving instructions to the rectors of Corfu, and we shall do our utmost to help him to recover the money.
Ayes, 124.Noes, 0.Neutral, 1.
[Italian.]
July 1.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Costantinopoli.
Venetian
Archives.
70. To the Rectors of Corfu and the Proveditore General Ponte.
Our bailo at Constantinople writes that the man of an English Vaivoda, has fled with certain moneys, and taken refuge at la Parga. We direct you to see that the English Vaivoda has all satisfaction, and that the man who took the money be dismissed from la Parga, as we do not wish such bad characters to reside in our dominions, especially near the place of their crimes, in order to obviate all occasions for trouble with the Turks near at hand.
Ayes, 124.Noes, 0.Neutral, 1.
[Italian.]
July 1.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Spagna.
Venetian
Archives.
71. ALVISE CORNER, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Cottington, secretary of the Prince of Wales, has left for England and should be well on his way. He does not carry a despatch signed by the king, as they promised to send it by courier, and so he only takes information and letters of what is taking place, reported by me on the 13th June, and is to clearly explain that before the marriage is completed by giving the Infanta they are determined to see at least a year of progress in carrying out the capitulations and promises, since without this, his Catholic Majesty cannot take the oath desired by the pope. They add, however, that if the King of Great Britain will suggest any other way of giving security which they recognise as sufficient, they will accept it and even ask for it so greatly do they desire the final conclusion and the complete satisfaction of his Highness, always saving the king's conscience. In this way they try to soothe the prince's feelings. He declares, however, that he will not agree to any contract unless he can take his wife with him to London, whither he protests he must proceed immediately Cottington returns. It is said that he is going to present a very resolute paper upon this, in which he will take leave, breaking off all negotiations if they mean to lengthen them out at the very moment of settlement.
Since his quarrel with the Count of Olivares, Buckingham has given way somewhat on the subject of the concessions, chiefly because the prince, either from complacency or else in sincerity, has signified that such is his pleasure and he has even blamed the duke for harshness in his methods. Accordingly, by his command, the negotiations are especially under the guidance of Digby. It is therefore said that the King of England will receive different accounts, because Buckingham in his deep resentment, and in order to multiply difficulties, condemns root and branch the proceedings followed by the Spaniards, declaring them guilty of duplicity, and setting forth many details, aggravated by various considerations, and chiefly that they are merely temporising all the time, and do not intend to come to terms sincerely. Then the prince and Digby make representations of an opposite character, softening down everything, and his Highness in particular begs his father to send back the secretary without delay, so that he may accelerate the disposition of the beginning of the agreement, and then when the information arrives here, he may be sent back again with all speed, fully satisfied. It is uncertain what will be the end of an affair where their wishes are so contradictory. But in the end the prince seems absolutely determined not to wait any longer, and when he really threatens to depart every one believes that the Spaniards will give way (Bochingam doppo il disgusto che passò con il conte di Olivares si è asportato un poco dalli Cessioni massime che il Prencipe sia per compiacere, o sia per verityà gli ne signifficò gusto incolpandolo anco di asprezza alli negotiati et pero di suo comandamento sono particolarmente guidati dal Digbi, onde parlosi che differentemente resterà avvisato il Re d'Inghilterra perche disgustatissimo Bochingam per inasprire biasma infinitamente il procedere osservato de' Spagnoli assicurando che vanno con doppiezza e representando molte particolarità aggravate di varie consideratione e principalmente che tutto drizzano al temporeggiare per non concludere sinceramente. Il Prencipe poi è il Digbi contrario officio fanno, adolcendo ogni cosa pregando massime Sua Altezza il Padre che riespedisca senza dillattione il Secrettario e che accelleri di disporre il principio al convenuto acciò capitandone de qui l'informatione sia con prestezza rimandato apertamente sodisfatto ove poi habbia parare il fine del negotio con volere cosi contradittorii non si conosce, ma in fine mostrandosi da dovero rissoluto il Prencipe di non aspettare, et minacciando effettuamente la partenza a tutti si crede condiscenderanno Spagnoli).
Madrid, the 1st July, 1623.
[Italian.]
July 3.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
72. ZUANE PESARO, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The Constable remarked to me that the Rochellese ought to express their most humble obedience to his Majesty, with the preservation of their own privileges. He suggested that, with the completion of this marriage between England and Spain, they might decide to give la Rochelle to the King of Great Britain.
Paris, the 3rd July, 1623.
[Italian.]
July 3.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Savoia.
Venetian
Archives.
73. LORENZO PARUTA, Venetian Ambassador in Savoy, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Colonel Obentraut and Ferez, Mansfeld's agents, arrived in this city the day before yesterday. The English agent introduced them to the duke, who gave them a cordial welcome. The duke told me yesterday that the Agent seemed anxious that the Count should remain in the service of the States, as he would serve the allies also there. Ferez, however, told me that his master would force a way through if his enemies opposed him. The duke told me he thought the interests of the allies called for the Count's presence in Burgundy as soon as possible. He remarked: The Colonel and Mansfeld's agent have availed themselves of the English agent to approach me, little to my satisfaction, as at present I consider him suspect seeing how different are his king's aims from ours. Indeed, it is said that this minister, conscious of his Highness's feelings, keeps away from Turin, and there is also a rumour that he may leave for good. Prince Thomas remains at Tonon, causing the usual anxiety to the Genevese. Through the English agent they have made strong representations to his Highness about their uneasiness owing to the prince being so close, and for other reasons. It is said they told him that nothing would be done to the prejudice of that people.
Turin, the 3rd July, 1623.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
July 3.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Signori
Stati.
Venetian
Archives.
74. CHRISTOFFORO SURIAN, Venetian Secretary in the Netherlands, to the DOGE and SENATE.
They do not believe here that the marriage with England will take place, and hold to their good opinion. But some cannot conceal how they blame this long stay of the Prince of Wales at the Spanish Court. The English Ambassador here, does not speak of this affair, and the king and queen do not know what to say about it. The queen, in particular, remarked to me last week, The Spaniards will deceive my father and my brother and then they will play with,—and then stopped. She said something about the truce, expressing the feelings that might be expected in a generous princess. She remarked in particular, The king my husband ought not to sign it, and indeed why should he, as in fifteen months many things may have changed, and in the meantime one ought not voluntarily to bind one's own hands.
They have sent the reply to Brussels to be forwarded to England by the English agent. They are waiting to hear what effect it produces.
The Hague, the 3rd July, 1623.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
July 7.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
75. ALVISE VALARESSO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Rosfort arrived as I reported. The good news announced conforms with the king's desire, but what he actually brought confirmed Cottington's news: the negotiations begun over again, fresh deputies, harder conditions, the refusal of the royal promise, a request for a parliament, the disgust of the prince, but his firmness in refusing, the desire to leave but promise to remain until his father's reply. The only fresh news is that at present the sole object of negotiation is the question of religion. They are entering upon very difficult and intricate explanations of the new articles, whereof the bearer will be a certain Chiligri. They extend the time to three years for summoning a parliament to annul the penal laws against the Catholics, but in the meantime the king and prince must swear to observance and the Council too, except the clergy, and possibly a large part of the nobles also must sign the promise. The Spaniards seem to attach no importance to the other articles concerning the dowry and the Palatinate, but their object is easy to see, as the old treaty being set aside as merely for show, they will want to put this iron also under the new hammer.
Besides this stiffness in negotiating, I hear that their treatment of the English becomes constantly worse, including the prince himself. He has few visits, because they are either forbidden or slighted. He has few pastimes, rarely sees the Infanta and then only furtively. One morning she was taking exercise by walking in a certain garden, when the prince and Buckingham jumped over a wall and drew near to see her, the action of a lover rather than a prince, and taken in ill part by those protecting the Infanta. Buckingham has become the enemy of the Ambassador Bristol, and has apparently written bitterly to his Majesty against him, charging him with sending false news, and wanting to spin out the affair for ever.
So far as I can discover his Majesty directs the prince by the gentleman sent as I reported, to accept the new negotiations, and he may have sent his wishes about the reply to be given at the reception of the pope's brief and every other subject. The king, as usual, affects gladness, goes hunting almost every day; says nothing spontaneously about current affairs, when asked answers little, and then only in the sense of assuring a speedy conclusion. I know for certain, however, that he asked an intimate, with tears, if he thought he should ever see the prince again. But I may be allowed to call theses drops distilled from a stone, as if he had not merely feeling, but any vitality he would not support such injuries or would at least blush at such contempt (Il Re, al solito, affetta l'allegrezza. Va quasi ogni giorno a caccia. Degli affarri correnti da se nulla parla. Interrogato, puoco responde, e questo sol versa nell' assicurar di presto fine. Io però so di certezza che con lagrime dimandò a suo confidente, se credeva ch'egli dovesse più veder il Prencipe. Ma mi sia lecito di chiamare quelle goccie stillate da una pietra che s'egli havesse non sentimento diro ma senso di vivente non potrebbe sostenere tante offese; o almen non arrossire d'un tanto sprezzo).
Certainly all excuses and pretexts fail. The affront has reached its zenith. He sent his son as if the marriage was arranged. He disclosed the object by his own words. He showed it by his preparations, and now he must begin the negotiations again, otherwise he cannot recover his son. In any case, these insupportable insults are dissimulated, born and perhaps not felt, a thing that would be incredible if it were not true. I clearly perceive the abundant material for an eloquent office and sometimes feel tempted by generous wrath to break all restraint and speak plain and openly. But to what end would they listen to remonstrances when they do not feel affronts. I certainly would not miss an opportunity if I saw one, but everything shows it would simply be frustra nihil et odium quaerere.
The earl of Oldernest, a free and deserving gentleman of sound views and with the privileges of a master rather than a servant, recently reproved the king for his weakness or rather folly, for so he called it, over the Spaniards' perfidy and the imprisonment of his son, but the king merely told him to let him go to sleep. The prince's chamberlain, another free speaker and candid soul, spoke disparagingly of Spain, the Spaniards, Gondomar and the treatment accorded to the prince. When the king heard it he expressed his displeasure. Thus every moment provides a fresh argument for despairing of obtaining anything of use from the king (Il Conte d'Oldernest, libero et benemerito signore, con sensi veri, ma con libertà anzi da Padrone che da servitore ha ultimamente rimproverato al Re la sua debolezza o più tosto pazzia che cosi appunto la chiamò, gl'inganni di Spagnoli, la prigionia del figlio, ma le risposte che gli ne fece il Re, furono che lo lasciasse andar a dormire. Il Sciamberlano del Prencipe anc' esso di lingua libertina e d'animo candido, non parlava bene della Spagna, de' Spagnoli di Gondomar et de' trattamenti usati al Prencipe. Il che intesosi dal Re se ne mostro seso disgustato. Cosi ogn' hor più hussi argomento di disperar affatto e per sempre qualsisia bene dal Re).
The Ambassador Inoiosa has been to his first secret audience, also held outside London. He did not dine with the king as was thought; they conversed for half an hour. I have heard that he is still without his instructions. The king has ceased to defray him and they say he will soon go to the house of the ordinary ambassador. It is thought that some delegates of the Council may go to treat with him, but if the words of the councillors answer to deeds, they will refuse the task of doctoring a corpse. Inoiosa boldly says that the completion of the marriage rests with the king alone and the other Spaniards assert that it has not taken place through his fault. The ambassador's house is frequented by English, Scottish and Irish Catholics in particular. It seems that they would all prefer for their own security and advantage that the matter should remain in suspense rather than be settled upon the conditions first arranged. God grant that the old humours be not reawakened among the Irish or the old designs of the Spaniards. The ambassador himself told my informant that if the Palatine did not sign the truce made by the king, they will not give up Franchendal, and he did not abstain from adding that if the Palatine refused to sign it would be by a secret understanding with his father-in-law. Thus this ill-advised king is the laughing stock of the very ones whose affection he tries to buy at so high a price for his own reputation and interest. I do not send the articles of that truce because I consider it superfluous.
The fleet of ships continues in readiness. They may consider it less harmful to keep up the expense than to break off and begin the provision afresh, and they will not abandon hope of a speedy conclusion to the affair and bringing back the prince.
Ghezi has returned from his semi legations at Rome, Florence and Parma.
London, the 7th July, 1623.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
July 8.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Costantinopoli.
Venetian
Archives.
76. ZORZI GIUSTINIAN, Venetian Ambassador at Constantinople, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The English ambassador says that Bedich, who was formerly Emir at Aleppo and the author of fresh imposts there, is going back to the same post, but having seen the great diminution of trade caused by the departure of many merchants of every nation, he seems inclined to treat them with more moderation than in the past.
The Vigne of Pera, the 8th July, 1623.
[Italian.]
July 8.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Firenze.
Venetian
Archives.
77. VALERIO ANTELMI, Venetian Secretary at Florence, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Since the arrival of the fleet the Spaniards speak in different ways about the alliance with England. They ask for further particulars and concessions in the matter of religion than the pope required. The English Earl of Warwick here maintains that English parliaments will never approve of the marriage of the prince in the form that they claim without taking into consideration ceremonies and matters of ritual and the English religion. This is the insuperable difficulty which must render the Spaniards reluctant to conclude as much for this as for other reasons and interests, especially with the example of another princess sent back home from England. He further states that with the disaffection which prevails throughout the whole kingdom owing to this marriage, if the Princess Palatine should go there from Holland, the king would fly to Scotland and she would be left mistress in England (dice di più che nella male sodisfattione di tutto il Regno per questo mariaggio se d'Olanda vi andasse la Principessa Palatina, se ne fuggirebbe il Re in Scotia, et essa rimarebbe padrona in Inghilterra).
Florence, the 8th July, 1623.
[Italian.]
July 10.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Spagna.
Venetian
Archives.
78. ALVISE CORNARO, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The paper which I said that the Prince of Wales would present contains a full declaration that he will not leave without his bride, supposing that they conclude the marriage, argueing that he must consider his reputation, since he came on purpose to take her with him, as a clear demonstration of the value set by his father and himself upon this alliance. He remarks on the advantage to the Catholics of the speedy appearance of the Infanta, while the year's delay asked for will bring them no benefit. Their fears that the conditions may not be fulfilled are vain, because a prince's word suffices to continue what has been begun, and if they thought of withdrawing it after the Infanta had gone, they would still have the same power and the same facilities; he discusses this fully and concludes with a humble petition (sommesse preghiere) that they will grant what he asks, otherwise he absolutely refuses all negotiations, and will take leave for his return, being greatly indebted for the honours received and apologising that he cannot remain away any longer after Cottington's return owing to many most important considerations.
This paper, whose purport I understand to be very firm and erudite, was drawn up by Digby, a man of real ability and worth. It was read in the Council of State and the ministers delivered their opinions upon it, differing considerably, from what one hears. Many blame the subtlety of the divines and do not wish to follow their lead any more. Others agree with them and think that his Majesty should not depart from their advice. But if the prince persists in his determination not to wait a year and if he is really determined to go home, in order not to offend him and break off the negotiations, it is thought that they will not insist upon anything, as hitherto they have pushed their pretensions because his Highness seemed passionately in love with the Infanta, upon which the nuncio counted, trying to increase and improve the demands of Rome, concocting forged letters from Cardinal Lodovisio, a thing I am now certain of, which alter various points in the demands made by the Congregation of Cardinals. He did this with the consent of the Count of Olivares, impressing upon him that since the king had always professed publicly that he favoured the marriage of his sister to this heretical prince solely for the advantage and the increase of the faith, it was necessary to secure this result, a thing they could not do once the dispensation had been obtained, because they had simply been looking after the conscience of the Infanta and of her household, and not the present advantage of the general body of Catholics in London. The exhortations of the nuncio made an impression upon the count, especially as he knew that even when the English hung back most, the negotiations would not fall through since the nuncio had ample authority to conduct them and to bring about their completion in his own fashion (del che valutosi il Nuntio ha procurato avantaggiare et migliorare le dimande di Roma, formando come significai già, di chi hora tengo certezza, lettere finte del Cardinal Lodovisio, che alterano varii punti delli ricercati dalla deputata Congregatione de Cardinali, et questo negotio il Nuntio con l'assenso del Conte d'Olivares imprimendogli che essendosi professato publicamente del continuo, che il Re inclina solo casare la sorella con questo Prencipe Heretico per beneficio et augmento della Religione, bisognava ne apparisse l'effetto, il che non seguiva con la ottenuta dispensa: perche semplicemente alla conscienza della Infanta, et della sua famiglia, si era mirato et non a profitare di presente l'universale de Cattolici in Londra. Della essortationi del Nuntio rimase impresso il Conte conscio massime che in ogni occasione di salda renitenza degli Inglese il trattato non suanirebbe mai, possedendo il Nuncio ampia auttorità di maneggiarlo et concluderlo a modo suo).
The count, moreover, perceiving that the final conclusion would be attributed principally to himself proposed the appointment of that numerous Junta of divines and lawyers, while persuading his Majesty to reflect upon the sermon of Father Pedrosa, which I reported, and through the confessor induced him to take the opinion of those divines, although the dispensation had come, so that in case anything went wrong he could answer all recrimination by calling to mind that he had advised circumspection before they decided even after the pope was satisfied and when the conclusion was pratically arranged. They pretended that they wanted the prince to agree to a year because the pope asked for an oath from the Catholic to guarantee England's promises, whereas his Holiness was satisfied with the royal word alone, without further obligation, in order not to put any difficulties in the way of the concession asked for. Various schemes were devised between the nuncio and the count, profiting by the prince's ardour, to induce him to become a Catholic or at least to obtain greater advantages for religion, but if their plans do not succeed it is thought that they will give way altogether and accept whatever his Highness offers, so that he may not go away in wrath.
The nuncio, however, would like the bishop to go to London first so as to see the things agreed upon inaugurated and report what disposition he observes for their complete observance.
Meanwhile, they have sent despatches to their ambassador in London, and they continue to detain the prince without making any reply to his paper, Olivares merely assuring him that when Cottington has come he shall have no cause whatever for dissatisfaction. They pass the time in entertaining him with bull fights, cane tourneys (giuochi di canne) after the manner of the country, and other amusements, at which his Majesty and Don Carlos have also assisted, in the park of the palace. But the prince only cares about the Infanta, and with all freedom he leant out of the window, in his conspicuous position, to cast a glance at where the Infanta sat, kindling the flames more brightly, after the manner of lovers. At the last festivities at which I was present, with the other ambassadors, I spoke with a physician of his Highness. He told me that the prince is most irritated at the way in which they treat him and is determined to leave after Cottington is sent back. This physician spoke very strongly against the Spaniards, but I was very guarded.
Madrid, the 15th July, 1623.
Postscript.—A cavalier has arrived to-day from London, sent by the king to the prince and Buckingham. What he brought is kept quiet, but there are indications that it is not agreeable, and they say that Cottington has arrived. A courier is being sent to Rome to say, so I hear, that the King of England raises difficulties upon various points in the additions made by the Congregation of Cardinals to the articles originally arranged and presented by Father Diego. Your Excellencies will see the prince's reply to the pope and what the nuncio wrote to the Count of Olivares, because certain words are changed and they are not satisfied with the terms of the letter, because they are considered captious, betraying deceit and great cunning (con artificio et molto scaltrita).
[Italian.]
Enclosed in
the preceding
despatch.
79. Letter of PRINCE CHARLES to the POPE.
Sanctissime Pater.
Beatitudinis vestrae literas non minori gratitudine et observantia accepimus quam exigebat qua novimus exaratas, insignis benevolentiae ac pietatis affectus. Atque illud imprimis gratum fuit nunquam satis laudata majorum exempla inspicienda Nobis a Vestra Sanctita adimitanda fuisse proposita; qui licet multoties omnium fortunarum; et vitae ipsius discrimen adjuverint, quo fidem Christianam latius propagarent; haud tamen alacriori animo in infestissimos Christi hostes, crucis Christi vexilla intulerunt; quam nos omnem opem et operam adhibebimus, ut quae tam diu exultavit pax, et unitas in Dei Ecclesiam Christianam Rempub: postliminio reducatur. Cum enim discordiarum patris inter illos ipsos, qui Christianam, profitentur Religionem, tam infelicia seminaverit dissidia, hoc vel maxime necessarium duximus ad Sacrosanctam Dei, et Salvatoris Christi gloriam felicius promovendam. Nec Ministri Nobis honori futurum existimabimus, tritis majorum nostrorum vestigiis insistentes, viam, in piis ac religiosis susceptis illorum aemulos atque imitatores extitisse, quam genus nostrum ab illis, atque originem duxisse atque ad idem Nos istud plurimum inflamant, perspecta Nobis Domini Regis, ac Patris Nostri voluntas, et quo flagrat desiderium ad tam sanctum opus porrigendum manum auxiliatricem, tum quia Regium pectus excedit dolor, cum perpendit quam saeva exonantur strages quam deplorandae calamitates ex Principum Christianorum dissensionibus. Judicium porro quod Sanctitas Vestra tulit de nostro cum domo et Principe Catholica affinitatem et nuptias contrahendi desiderio et Charitati vestrae est consentaneum, nec a sapientia invenietur alienum, nunquam tantum quo ferimur studio, nunquam tam areto atque indissolubili vinculo ulli mortalium conjungi cuperemus, cujus odio religionem prosequeremur. Quare Sanctitas Vestra illud in animum ducat, ea modo Nos esse semperque futuros moderatione, ut quam longissimi abfuturi simus ab omni opere, quod odium testari possit ullum adversus Religionem Catholicam Romanam potius captabimus occasiones quo levi benignoque rerum cursu sinistra omnes suspiciones e medio penitus tollantur, ut sicut omnes unam individuam Trinitatem et unum Christum crucifixum confitemur, in unam fidem et unam Ecclesiam, unanimiter coalescamus. Quod ut assequamur labores omnes, atque vigilias Regnorum etiam et vitae pericula parvi pendebimus. Reliquum est ut quas possumus maximas, pro literis, quas insignis muneris loco ducimus, gratias agentes Sanct. Vestrae omnia prospera et felicitatem æternam comprecemur. (fn. 1)
Enclosed in
the preceding
despatch.
80. Letter of the Nuncio to the Count of Olivares of the 27th June, 1623.
I see the reply of his Highness the Prince of England, which he proposes to give to his Holiness. I think a change advisable only where he says quam nos omnem opem et operam adhibebimus, ut quae tam diu exultavit pax et unitas in Dei Ecclesiam, he should say pax et unitas in Christinam Rempublicam, and this because it can never be allowed or said that the Church of God is not always at peace. This difficulty is removed by employing the words in remp. Christianam, as also towards the end where he says in unam fidem, unam Ecclesiam should be left out, as being always one it needs no other union. I have thought it proper to draw attention to this, thus in haste; but if your Excellency will give me time to consult Father Zaccaria, the Capuchin, who knows more than I do upon this point, I will discuss it with you to-morrow at any time you may choose. I merely add here that the points are very material, as you shall hear verbally.
[Italian.]
July 10.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
81. ZUANE PESARO, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the DOGE and SENATE.
A son of the Landgrave of Hesse, who has stayed a long time in this kingdom, has been to see me to tell me about the affairs of Germany. He proposes to go to St. Germain's to negotiate. The good will of France would be of great assistance to the Princes. Puisieux agreed with me about the necessity of supporting Bavaria. He would like to see the Palatine active again and would approve of his wife and children going to England. With regard to assisting him he said they would like to see it done, but by some one else. The ministers of the Palatine and Anhalt have suggested some plan to defer the armistice, and they told me they would do so as long as they could, but without help they would have to yield.
Paris, the 10th July, 1628.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
July 13.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Spagna.
Venetian
Archives.
82. ALVISE CORNER, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the DOGE and SENATE.
As I have some confidential relations with the Marquis of Aitona, Councillor of State, I went to congratulate him on the appointment of his son to the embassy of Germany. He thanked me and we went on to speak of the English marriage. He said if the alliance was concluded they must only think of present interests, as for the future it was clear that every one would act as he liked, instancing the case of the Most Christian, who had declared himself against his brother-in-law, the Catholic.
Madrid, the 13th July, 1623.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
July 14.
Senato.
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
83. ALVISE VALARESSO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Journeys usually keep hopes alive and lose time. Everything remains in suspense until Killigrew arrives with the new articles. Just now one remembers what is read of Penelope, who never finished her work in seven years. One may say that everything disappeared the night preceding the prince's arrival in Spain. The Ambassador Inoiosa certainly has no special instructions, for which he has sent a courier and upon which his last audience turned. In a few days he will be banqueted by the king. He is preparing new liveries, they say for the marriage. The other day when visiting the Duke of Buckingham's mother, he dissuaded her from her intention of going into the country by the promise that her son would return in a few days. With such audacity do they spread all sorts of lies here.
The king has decided upon his usual progress this year, which seems out of place under the present conditions, and may impede the negotiations or provide excuses for delay. Abandoning the demand for a parliament, which would certainly be unfavourable to their plans and dangerous for the king, the Spaniards are turning their thoughts to other securities, if they can find satisfactory ones which may not be taken away as easily as they are given. They apparently contemplate an oath to be taken by the Council, the nobles and the judges, half as good as a parliament, but being composed of courtiers and separate individuals will prove more flexible to the king's wishes and their designs.
Two priests imprisoned in the country have been released immediately, as a fresh example, without pain of banishment or any other. The commissions to the royal lieutenants in the counties have been renewed, but their authority to appoint gentlemen officials as their subordinates has been assumed freshly by the king himself and a new choice made. It is observed that his choice has fallen on some Catholics, contrary to former custom, and I have already had some suspicion that a proclamation may be issued making Catholics capable of charges from which they have hitherto been excluded.
They have sent two royal ships to Scotland (fn. 2) with orders to remove from the port the ship of Dunkirk so long blockaded there and escort it to Flanders. This is an addition to the Spaniards' original claim that they would be satisfied if she could leave the port safely. The commissions to the other ships of the fleet destined for Spain have been changed more than once, but ultimately I think they will remain at Portsmouth. Some disorder arose in them upon religious questions but soon ceased. I hear they were ill served in the quality of their victuals, to the no small danger of the health of those who used them, and as they are now wasting in idleness they must of necessity renew their provisions and multiply expenses. These, including all the preparations made for the marriage so far must certainly amount to two millions of gold, equalling the promised dowry. The expense is entirely unproductive and excites the derision of all. Thus the Spaniards even claim to have suffered prejudice, because by his premature demonstrations the king announced as complete what, according to them, was not even begun. They do not conceal their complaints against him, but complain more bitterly against Buckingham, whom they call a broken and violent minister. I can discover nothing about the pope's brief sent to the prince except that it will receive no written answer, and certainly they will not inform any of the Council here or take their opinion. The brief is praised universally, as it is the general belief that the pope is well disposed to the marriage.
Even the Jesuits now seem favourable, but this change of theirs will not be without mystery. No reply has ever reached his Majesty from the States about the burning of the Spanish ship in Scotland. The king has almost forgotten his offence at the affront, and now he only seems to resent the contempt of silence. Indeed he has some reason and I could not resist warning the Ambassador Caron of the mistake and advising the remedy. The son of Aerssens, formerly ambassador, who has been here some time as chamberlain, returned home recently. The king as usual loaded him with specious promises to take to the States in his name.
The king continues to press the Palatine to sign the truce. Chichester is already indicated as ambassador for Cologne. I perceive the ill effects which would arise from this signing and I have an office passed with me by the Palatine recommending his interests, through the Resident Suriano. I will try to do something when I have audience, as, though I have no instructions, it will serve the public interests and accords with what has been commended before.
By a great lord who called upon me I have been assured that the king has written to give the prince liberty to return if the new articles appear too hard to him, but though this hardly seems credible to me it has the undoubted authority of this personage. He told me that if the matter is not arranged at this present moment the prince will certainly have left or have been forcibly detained.
The Secretary Dolce has arrived after a long journey. He shows himself a worthy son of his father. I foresee that he will succeed and relieve me greatly in my labours.
London, the 14th July, 1623.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
July 15.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Roma.
Venetian
Archives.
84. GIROLAMO SORANZO, extraordinary, and RANIER ZEN, ordinary, Venetian Ambassadors at Rome, to the DOGE and SENATE.
As no news comes of the conclusion of the marriage of the Prince of England and as it is known that the dispensation was sent from here a long time ago, we have tried to gather authentic information upon the true state of this important affair, and we have obtained the following account from a very leading person who has taken a great share in these transactions.
The dispensation was sent to Spain practically (quasi) against the wishes of the Spaniards, who wanted to keep the negotiations on foot in their own interests, but for various important reasons did not wish to come to any final settlement for the time being, and they wanted to have the excuse with England that they could not obtain the pope's consent to the dispensation. This was one of the principal negotiations that the Duke of Pastrana brought. But as they consider it here most prejudicial to the Catholics that all this delay should be credited to the pope, since it would destroy any inclination that the King of Great Britain might have towards the Apostolic See, and might lead him to take some severe measures against the Catholics, of whom there are countless numbers scattered about England, his Holiness resolved, by advice of the Congregation deputed for this affair, to send the dispensation to Spain the moment he knew of the arrival of the prince at that Court, but upon the following conditions:
That the children of this marriage should be brought up in the Catholic religion until the age of twelve years, and all their attendants must be Catholics.
That there shall be at least two hundred Catholics at the Infanta's court, who shall live publicly after the Roman rite, but subjects of the King of England shall not be included among these.
That a large chapel shall be built adjacent to the Infanta's apartments, in which masses shall be celebrated every day, preaching take place and all the divine offices performed, and all the Catholics in London may attend.
That the Infanta shall have in the house a bishop who shall go about London always in the episcopal habit, and who shall have charge of all those religious.
That a public church shall be built at London, or one of the old ones repaired, where twenty masses shall be celebrated every morning at least, preaching take place and all the Catholic functions performed, and entry thereto shall be free to any one soever.
That any one who pleases shall be free to exercise the Catholic rite in his own house, with power to have masses celebrated, preaching done and every other Catholic ceremony performed.
That no inquisition may be made against any Catholic religious who is not guilty of unbecoming conduct.
When the King of Great Britain has approved of these conditions it is understood that the dispensation shall take effect, otherwise it shall be withheld.
Friendly and confidential offices passed between the pope and the king, the latter having written to his Holiness in terms of great respect, and the pope answering in a brief of much suavity (humanità). That sovereign also wrote several times to the Cardinals of the Congregation and they hope here that the king will accept all the conditions aforesaid, as almost all have been sketched out and agreed upon. They also hope with the completion of this marriage that the Catholic rite will make great progress in that realm, since it is notorious that there is a countless number (numero infinito) of Catholics there, who at present keep in the background and unknown, out of fear, but with this permission of freedom of conscience they would come out and, if this takes place, some serious alteration may easily occur in that most flourishing kingdom through such a great revolution; but here they hope that the Catholics will prevail in any event.
Rome, the 15th July, 1623.
[Italian.]
July 15.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Spagna.
Venetian
Archives.
85. ALVISE CORNER, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Upon the English marriage the Marquis of Aitonia remarked to me that the divines show too much rigour of timorous doctrine, raising imaginary doubts and contingencies that nothing could guard against. In dealing with affairs one must rest content with the certainty that opportunities offer, and the purpose for which one is acting. Applying these generalities to the case of the Infanta and the Prince of Wales, he said clearly that although they might have reason to suspect that the King of Great Britain would not observe the marriage articles, yet they had excellent grounds for believing the contrary and that he would observe everything punctually. He further said that he had sent his opinion to this effect in writing to the King of Spain at the last deliberation, and in his opinion the Junta of divines should not meet again, as they would only raise further difficulties, after their wont, and enrage the prince still more against our religion. He feared that his Highness would be disgusted in any event with all they were doing, as since the pope approved of the business by his dispensation, it was useless to delay conclusion by doubts and suspicions, as princes could not bind each other absolutely and in the end their mutual interests would prevail, and here he adduced the case of the Most Christian which I reported.
I commended his prudence and asked what would ultimately happen. He said that the divines had upset everything and raised various difficulties, but he thought these would ultimately disappear, unless they found some way to overcome them, but he could not form an absolute opinion.
This agrees with what I have heard from other quarters, as when the gentleman arrived with letters from London, they sent him back to England on the following day with a despatch apparently to appease the king's wrath at being asked for more than was originally agreed upon before the prince came, his Majesty claiming that they should stand by the original form. Your Excellencies will hear the truth from the proper place, as what came by the last express is kept very secret. It is conjectured, however, that Cottington found great difficulties, as the Council of State met immediately after receiving his advices, and Olivares had a long interview with the prince, who remains very sad and melancholy, and it is known that the Count consoled him by order of his Majesty, and a reply was sent back to London with all diligence, where it is said that his Highness is absolutely recalled, and yet it is thought that this takes place by a secret understanding between the king and his son, as they propose to behave to the Spaniards, one by showing wrath, and the other by prayers and patience, like a lover, and thus escape the censure of the world for the manner in which they have allowed the affair to be conducted. Your Excellencies will see from the enclosed copy that his Highness proceeds humbly and makes no protest about leaving as they said he did. Although it was universally reported in the court that all negotiations would be broken off if they did not allow him to take the Infanta with him, while they absolutely refuse this, yet those who speak with most weight think it impossible that one of the parties will not give way, and they expect the prince will agree to what they desire here. However, one cannot be certain of the issue, as the English themselves differ and the ordinary ambassador is no longer as confident about the conclusion as before, but merely says he hopes for it.
Madrid, the 15th July, 1623.
[Italian.]
Enclosed in the preceding despatch.86. Copy of a paper which the Prince of Wales sent in answer to one of his Catholic Majesty. (fn. 3)
The Prince of Wales having seen and considered the paper which the Junta of divines presented to your Majesty on the 2nd of June, and the other which the Count of Olivares gave to his Highness on the 3rd of the same month, with all possible good will and affection, he kisses your Majesty's hands for these signal marks of affection and favour which you show to him therein. He assures your Majesty that the king his father and his Highness, in their desire to recover a greater friendship and alliance with your Majesty, have consigned to oblivion everything else which might stand in the way and give place to a fresh heap of favours, forming a much stronger chain of obligations than before for the establishment of as firm and durable a union as could be desired conformable to the worthy desires of both parties, and to the fraternal union and concord which is in view.
And whereas your Majesty makes request that his Highness shall conclude the marriage quickly, postponing the handing over of the Infanta to another time, in conformity with the opinion of the Junta of eminent theologians and distinguished canons whom your Majesty has summoned for this affair, his Highness would ask your Majesty to make some arrangement about this, since there is no doubt that after you have considered the matter you will take steps to smoothe away the difficulties in the way so that an alliance so much desired by both parties and the welfare and happiness of the two crowns may not suffer further delays. He would submit the following points for your Majesty's consideration:
The king his father being advanced in years and having only one son, whom his sole desire is to see married, and having sent him hither in the hope that his presence would facilitate everything, avoiding a longer way by other means, will be cut to the heart to see fresh difficulties raised after the matter has been in negotiation for so many years and was considered to be practically concluded.
After he has come in person with so much toil and peril to afford a stronger proof of his love for the most serene Infanta. and of his desire to see the two monarchies united, to return without taking one whom he esteems so highly would mean an incredible loss of reputation and a very great dishonour if the world should understand it was because the divines would not trust the word and oath of the king his father, and he would have to stand as hostage for his own wife, in whom the hope of the succession lay. Men did not take greater precautions against enemies.
In the meantime it would encourage those who wish ill to the marriage in the realm of England, despite the peril of the royal indignation, to harass the Catholics in new ways, in the hope of upsetting it; whereas if it is concluded in everything no one will stir, because they will see all their intent quite cut off. The same thing applies to the evil intentions of all the other kingdoms and provinces of Christendom.
Sinister information about the affairs of England, the vexatious action of evil ministers against the Catholics, contrary to the wishes of their princes, or the suggestions of the physicians, whom scruple obliges us to believe in their art, from importunity or want of health, would lead to constant changes.
Finally, with fresh difficulties arising, the major welfare of Christendom would be imperilled by a hasty marriage which was not consummated being completely undone by Apostolic dispensation. This would not be so difficult as some imagine, since when Navarre was in Rome he obtained three or four similar dispensations, alleging the spiritual peril of the married parties. If it should be presumed or understood that supposing the marriage should be dissolved here, his Highness will not be able to treat for others within a shorter period than that provided for the handing over of the Infanta, it would be very lamentable and a most hard condition, as for the seven years he has been in hope he has refused all other offers of this kind, and it would be hard after he has so decidedly placed his affection with your Majesty and devoted his soul to the most serene Infanta that this should serve as an argument for postponing what he so strongly desires, especially when delay involves so many dangers, as has been shown.
It is supposed that for the fulfilment of what is promised in England, or for the handing over of the Infanta, complete confidence may be reposed in the word and oath of either of the parties. His Highness protests that he esteems the promise of your Majesty above all the pledges in the world, and he supposed that a like confidence exists on this side. If it does not then very great difficulties arise and the completion of what is desired would seem to be impossible.
With regard to the opinion of the divines, his Highness, with every possible respect for their uprightness and learning and every qualification for the right performance as touching what has been done, would desire your Majesty to send and inform them of the great confidence which you have in his word alone, which he esteems a greater pledge of fulfilment than is afforded by all the fortresses of his realms. In this way they will see that any scruples of conscience based upon the lack of confidence which they display have no sufficient justification. He would then wish them equally to take information from the numerous ministers, who have treated with the King of Great Britain upon matters of the greatest importance, as to whether they have ever known him to fail in his royal word in any affair that has been stipulated and sworn to. How much less is he likely to do so in a case like the present, where everything has been done with the greatest decision and the most binding oaths ever known in a matter of this kind. He hopes that by such means the divines will abandon their opinion, and perceive that what they claim is not only superfluous, but will utterly destroy this alliance which is so much desired, allowing themselves to be persuaded by the arguments advanced here. In the mean time his Highness would like them to be warned that this desirable affair rests in their hands.
For the rest, the decision as to what security should be asked of the king his father and of his Highness is not only a point for the divines, but equally for his Majesty and his councillors, whose prudence and dexterity in matters of state are concerned in the fulfilment of what has been done. Of the same kind is the case of one bound by oath to look after the security of certain goods, who with respect to matters of fact takes the opinion of those who have most experience in such matters.
It is also worthy of consideration that at the expiry of some months he will be forced to confide in the word and oath of his Highness and his father, without any further security for the future. To dispense with this would lay them under a greater obligation, and would be a royal way of doing things, without in any way affecting the security which they claim. If the cautious policy is adopted, there would be no difficulty about making a show of great punctuality for six or nine months, and then prove afterwards that all the trouble taken by those who would not trust the royal word was of no avail. If they will trust him the king his father has given good example and proof of what they may expect in the great advantage and relief that the Catholics have experienced since the negotiations for sealing this marriage. If this is the case in four months, how much more is it shown in the extraordinary decision taken by his Highness, moved by his burning love for the most serene Infanta, of the great confidence which he places in your Majesty in coming to serve you in person, confiding solely on your royal goodness without any other security whatsoever.
The failure to put a favourable interpretation upon this would make his Highness sensible of the slight esteem in which his person is held, since if they put off to another time the enjoyment of what he asks and most desires in this life, while the English Catholics are at present in the free exercise of their religion, in the manner agreed upon, it would seem that his Highness is not placed on an equal footing with the vassals of his father in sharing the blessings of this alliance so soon as they do, although his Highness has laboured at it for so many years, with more peril than any one. With regard to the oath which his Holiness requires, according as his Highness is informed, your Majesty may very well receive it, since in the promisory oath about the matter, according to which there is no compelling, there is nothing about promising but of procuring the fulfilment by every effort, as is shown by many examples; and this fulfilment is more than just and shows the confidence which your Majesty may have in his Highness and his father for so many reasons and motives, which are notorious. He hopes that the great and learned persons who take part in the Junta, after seeing these arguments, which cannot have come to their notice before this, will change their minds, and no longer ask for that assurance, which is so injurious to the reputation of his Highness, who hopes that this sentiment will not be wanting in any one. In case all do not agree your Majesty should consider and weigh the gravity of the men of note and not their numbers since it is so probable and so secure in practice that your Majesty's conscience will remain so secure that no one can censure your actions.
As a conclusion to everything, since the proposals made by the divines contain so many difficulties which it is impossible for his Highness to entertain, since it appears for many reasons that they do not give their opinion as definitive or binding upon the conscience, but only ad melius esse, and since it is done to see what it would be an error to do in this way and which on the other hand his Highness, to acquit the conscience of your Majesty, takes upon his faith and honour not only all those articles, but the substance of what the divines require, it will be carried out before the time appointed by them and in a much more effective manner than what they have arranged, he presupposes that your Majesty will not see any reason to prevent them changing their minds, and thereby run no small risk of losing the benefits which will manifestly result from this union to all Christendom, and for the advantage of the Catholic faith, which your Majesty sets before everything else, and will establish a reciprocal friendship and affection such as is desired between the persons of your Majesty and his Highness and their successors and realms.
Finally, he begs your Majesty, to cap all the favours which he receives every day and which he esteems more than anything else in the world, to accept as a moral security the promise and oath of a Christian prince, by whom you are served so devotedly, and to remove by your royal greatness all the difficulties and scruples which can stand in the way of the speedy completion of this marriage. His Highness dedicates and consecrates his person and all his powers to the fulfilment of what is agreed upon, and he would rather lose everything and himself as well than fail in the least particular upon which your Majesty engages your royal word. May Heaven grant your royal person every success that can be desired and your kingdom also.
[Spanish.]

Footnotes

1 See Rushworth: Historical Collections, vol. i., page 82.
2 The two ships were the Garland, Capt. Thomas Best, and the Bonaventure, Capt. Christian. The Dunkirker was blockaded at Aberdeen. Cal. S.P. Dom., 1619–23, pages 618, 620.
3 The English translation of this paper is preserved at the Public Record Office, State Papers, Foreign, Spain. It is undated but is placed after a letter of the 2nd June. There are also two drafts in Spanish.