Venice
July 1623, 19-29

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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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70-80

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'Venice: July 1623, 19-29', Calendar of State Papers Relating to English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 18: 1623-1625 (1912), pp. 70-80. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=88891 Date accessed: 26 July 2014.


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July 1623

July 19.
Collegio.
Secreta.
Esposizioni,
Principi.
Venetian
Archives.
87. The English Ambassador came into the Cabinet and said:
His Majesty has granted me a favour, such as is usually accorded to his ministers, to return home at the end of three years. (fn. 1) I propose to avail myself of this, but it is not fitting for me to take final leave of your Serenity this morning; I will come one day next week for that purpose, and to receive your commands. Meanwhile, his Majesty has charged me with a duty which gives me greater pleasure to execute than anything which has happened before. The actions of princes are interpreted in various ways, as prejudice, interest, speculation or ignorance may suggest. Various prognostications and conjectures are now floating about upon the negotiations for the marriage of the prince his son. His Majesty has accordingly decided to declare his intentions, feeling sure that you will not form an unmerited judgment upon him. He has never hesitated to do what he could to serve this republic, fulfilling all the offices of friendship, whether with Spain or with others, and he will continue the same conduct. He has given the same assurance to the Ambassador Valaresso. His Majesty has further expressed his sentiments on paper.
The ambassador thereupon presented the letter to the doge and after it had been read the doge said: The republic has always recognised his Majesty's prudence and never believed that he would depart from those maxims with which he has augmented his greatness. Marriages are private affairs; if princes marry subjects of equal birth, that is not so unreasonable, but they cannot derogate from the dignity of their position. We thank his Majesty for his expression of affection. Your Excellency is always welcome and we are sorry for your departure.
The ambassador replied: I am much gratified by the gracious reply of your Serenity. I will report to his Majesty what has been said. I cannot leave without repeating my petition in favour of poor Moretti, the looking-glass maker. I beg your Serenity to grant this favour. The doge replied that the Savii would take the affair in hand and they were anxious to gratify him. The ambassador then departed. Shortly after the ambassador sent his secretary to the doors of the Cabinet, to ask for the suspension of the decision to send Moretti to the galleys; they told him that Moretti was detained in prison until further public deliberation.
[Italian.]
Enclosure.88. Letter of KING JAMES to ANTONIO PRIULI, Doge of Venice.
We desire Henry Wotton, our ambassador, to return. We have always cherished friendly feelings towards the republic. The marriage which we propose for our son will in no wise affect these sentiments.
Dated at Greenwich on 20th May, 1623. (fn. 2)
[Latin.]
July 19.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Spagna.
Venetian
Archives.
89. ALVISE CORNER, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the DOGE and SENATE.
These last days the Prince of Wales has besought and importuned for a definite reply to his paper, as the express sent to London only contains general ideas, assuring his Majesty of their sincere desire to do everything possible, and so they are sending to Rome to ask for the pope's consent upon the points in dispute. They tried to put off his Highness with hopes, and saying that they must wait to hear the pope's will, but the prince declared it was superfluous to ask anything of his Holiness before they had arranged the principal question here, that his Majesty shall allow the consummation of the marriage immediately after the ceremony, explaining that without a promise to bring back the Infanta the king did not give him power to continue the negotiations, and directed him to leave if they did not finish soon.
Notwithstanding this declaration they continued to drag things along as usual, but the ordinary ambassador renewed the instances with more warmth. Accordingly after several meetings of the Junta of divines and the Council of State, Olivares went on the 16th to his Highness to assert once more that for the sake of his Majesty's conscience they must abide by the unanimous opinion of the divines that before the Infanta goes to London, the conditions arranged must have been in operation for at least eight months, and therefore they would keep back the Infanta until March, while the nuptial ceremony should take place in September per verba de presenti. The count mollified this by saying that the king was driven to this by the oath demanded by the pope, and tried by the arguments of the prince's paper to bear down the opinion of the divines.
The prince heard it all very quietly and requested the count for a full written statement. He asked him if this was the final decision of the king. Olivares assured him that it was, repeating that his Majesty was practically forced (si trovava astrettissima). Upon this the prince said that they should confer, after receiving the final resolution in writing, to extend it more fully, and that the divines should meet again, and consign it to the ordinary ambassador seventeen days hence. Olivares frankly told that ambassador that on no account would the king depart from what the Junta advised, and if the prince means to take his leave, they will leave the decision to his pleasure and his Majesty will not fail to accompany him for several days on the road, to keep up the numerous signs of esteem and affection which they have shown all along.
The count tried to impress upon the ambassador that his Majesty could not help lamenting that the prince should refuse so brief a stay to have the Infanta, since it would create an impression that he only cared about getting his own way, and that once secured they would not do what was promised on behalf of the Catholics, a thing which moved his Majesty to favour the marriage more than anything else, just as the pope had granted the dispensation of the marriage for the same reason. For the rest, although there are other points to be decided by his Holiness, the nuncio undertook that the decision should be in conformity with the prince's wishes, and that no difficulty should prevent the fulfilment of the promise to send the Infanta in the spring.
The ambassador exclaimed against the course proposed as most prejudicial to his Highness in every way and especially to his honour, but yet he would decide and treat about it with the king. This negotiation is therefore expected and it arouses various comments, as many think that the prince will go humbly and suppliant as usual, in order to be immediately gratified with the Infanta, and if he cannot get this, and has full powers from his father, he will ultimately agree to the delay of eight months. On the other hand, some maintain that he will speak high to the king, and will take leave with protests. However, this is considered unlikely. In short, this interview excites the utmost curiosity at the Court, which agrees in asserting that in one way or the other it will settle the matter.
I have just heard that the marriage is arranged in the manner that the Spaniards desire; the prince sent Buckingham and the ordinary ambassador to the count. After some attempts to do away with this interval before enjoying the bride, they returned to the prince with a negative and he sent them back to the count with the following reply: that having laid aside every important and necessary consideration in betaking himself to this Court, to evince the ardour of his soul for this alliance which is so greatly desired, and his fervour being increased by the honours he has received and by the sight of the most serene Infanta, he desires to strip himself of all claims due to his position as a prince and to behave simply like a private gentleman in love, yielding to all claims whatsoever, and satisfying without the slightest reservation the passion of his being; spurred by that he consents not only to accept the proposals of the divines but also what is added to them by the command of his Majesty, whom he begs to gratify him by sealing this conclusion by granting him an opportunity to kiss his hands (che havendo proposto ogni importante et necessaria consideratione nel transferirsi la persona sua di quà per testimoniare l'ardore dell'animo verso il fine di tanto desiderata parentella, cosi essendoli accresciuto il fervore per gli honori ricevuti et per la veduta della Serma. Infanta, volea spogliarsi di pretendere ogni termine dovuto alla sua riputatione come Prencipe, et operare puramente da Cavalier particolare inamorato cedendo a qualsivoglia pretensione et sodisfacendo senza minima risserva alla passione del suo interno che però a stimolo di essa condescendea non solo ad approvare le consulte dei Teologi ma anco quello che gli aggiungerà di commandamento Sua Maestà, la quale pregava che lo consolasse di sigillare tal ultimatione con prestarli il commodo di bacirle le mani).
Buckingham and the ordinary ambassador faithfully repeated these words, which have been taken from a note from the count to the nuncio. The count took the news to the king and went straightway to the prince, congratulations and embraces being exchanged. It is announced that the English ambassadors have sent word of the event, and a gentleman has been to me in the name of the ordinary. The whole city is illuminated and there is universal rejoicing and congratulation.
Madrid, the 19th July, 1623.
[Italian.]
July 21.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
90. To the KING OF ENGLAND.
We are confident of your Majesty's constant friendship for our republic, of which we have had evidence upon so many occasions, though we rejoice in any fresh confirmation of this disposition owing to our esteem for your Majesty. Your prudence and virtue prevent you from departing from the ancient maxims of your royal government or from the old and loyal friendships of your Crown. God grant your Majesty long and prosperous years.
Ayes, 102.Noes, 1.Neutral, 3.
[Italian.]
July 21.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
91. To the Ambassador in England.
We have received by the same post this week your letters which failed to arrive last week, as well as those of the 16th and 30th of last month. We are entirely satisfied with your diligence and ability, especially your office with the Secretary Calvert upon the remonstrances he made to you in the king's name because his packets from Constantinople had been badly used at the Board of Health. If you see fit you will explain the necessity for this and say that that Board deals in the same way with all packets, even those directed to us.
The king's letter recalling the Ambassador Wotton has reached him, of which you write to us, and he presented it the day before yesterday, with an office in conformity, as you will see from the enclosed copy, with our reply.
The Secretary Suriano writes that he has sent you a copy of the points upon which the Palatine said he desired a declaration from the King of England about the truce which he desires him to sign. We can only commend your zeal in collecting information upon everything touching that Court.
You will obtain information in England more easily about our league so far as it concerns Mansfeld, who has already been paid two months in advance.
The question of the deposit of the forts of the Valtelline, except Chiavenna, remains in suspense owing to the pope's illness and subsequent death, while the Spaniards dragged out matters as usual. This is for information. You will receive a copy also, for your instruction, of what our ambassador has discovered in Rome about the prince's marriage.
Ayes, 102.Noes, 1.Neutral, 3.
[Italian.]
July 21.
Senato,
Mar.
Venetian
Archives.
92. That a gold collar worth 1,000 crowns of lire 7 each be presented in the name of the State to Mr. Wotton, ambassador of the King of England, who is returning home, as is customary upon such occasions.
Ayes, 122.Noes, 0.Neutral, 3.
July 21.
Senato.
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
93. ALVISE VALARESSO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Killigrew arrived on Wednesday; he came in nine days. He brings the new articles signed by the Council of Spain. I cannot quite discover their nature, but certainly no one can assert that even if these were accepted they would not make fresh demands, or that a thousand difficulties would not arise in carrying them out. This matter of carrying out will always afford abundant material for excusing delay. The prince writes to the Duke of Lennox, now called Richmond, begging him to hasten on a reply to the last despatch, because he expresses his determination to leave on its arrival there. The Marquis of Hamilton has communicated to me a letter received from the Duke of Buckingham expressing no slight doubts about the affair but an absolute determination to return. Among other things I observed what I wrote in my last despatch that the king had given them liberty to return. God grant this may be a firm resolution and that it may not be circumscribed by Spanish trickery. Among the letters of these great personages one of the king's jester deserves notice, who went to Spain with the prince's household. He says that as wise men may not write a fool may be allowed to say that the marriage will never be settled unless they show their teeth to the Spaniards. A wise saying from a fool.
The same Killigrew has also brought letters for the Ambassador Inoiosa, who now announces that he has received his necessary instructions and seems prepared to negotiate. Hitherto he has posed as aggrieved because they were so long in coining, and he seemed almost to complain of his own master; however, he contradicted himself at the same time, professing that the matter was settled if the king fulfilled his promise.
I have an inkling of fresh complaints against Buckingham. His enemies speak against him with much more freedom. They charge him with ill behaviour to the prince, especially in always covering himself in his presence, with little respect. The king, however, does not show any sign of diminished favour, but there are even indications of increase, though these may be fallacious.
Here they consider the peace of France uncertain. The Genoese fear Savoy, and once sent loud cries as far as here, making urgent requests from fear of this marriage, though now they are quiet, perhaps from mistrust of this marriage. An important advantage to the Spaniards from the prince's presence in Spain is that they can send a fleet against the Dutch, when they have one strong enough, being sure to obtain harbour and victuals in England. This would be a great stroke and it is hardly credible that they do not want to make it, but one may perhaps hope that they cannot make the attempt.
The Marquis of Hamilton in speaking to me about the restitution of the Valtelline, remarked that the conjunction of France and your Serenity and the work of the league were in great measure the fruit of their jealousy of this Spanish marriage. I replied that even so it was a good result from a bad cause, and even the diversion provided by the league could not lead to a good end of the marriage, while the Spaniards displayed less esteem and greater contempt for this powerful realm and great king.
As his Majesty is about to begin his progress I thought it would be proper to go and wish him happiness and perhaps take the opportunity to pass a more serious office. I asked for audience yesterday, and it was appointed for to-morrow.
The King of Spain has sent his Majesty the present of an elephant. I do not know whether it comes as an earnest of the Infanta or instead of her.
London, the 21st July, 1623.
Postscript.—Buckingham's master of the horse has just arrived from Spain. I do not know what he brings, but the king seems very joyful.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
July 22.
Misc.
Cod. No. 62.
Venetian
Archives.
94. MARC ANTONIO PADAVIN, Venetian Secretary in Germany, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The news from Brussels that the Palatine has refused to sign the armistice in the Palatinate arranged with the Infanta by his father-in-law, has disturbed them not a little here, the more so because they feel sure that the Most Christian is at the bottom of it all.
Vienna, the 22nd July, 1623.
[Italian; copy.]
July 24.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Spagna.
Venetian
Archives.
95. ALVISE CORNER, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the DOGE and SENATE.
I went to congratulate the English ambassador on the news he gave me about the conclusion of the marriage. The ordinary ambassador told me that the prince had changed all of a sudden, against the belief of all of them, but as his Highness has always professed himself as deeply in love with the Infanta, he simply wished to act as an ordinary cavalier to his lady. He confessed that he and every one else considered the negotiations as broken off recently, but the prince admitted that he had long resolved to accept the king's proposal as he only desired to do the wishes of the Infanta. I observed, however, that these English ministers were not at all happy though they tried to feign and get what consolation they could. Digby, in particular, told me immediately that it was the work of his Highness, who had completed the business alone; he also explained that since the prince's arrival he had merely attended upon him.
Discussion has not ceased although the marriage has reached this stage. Many think that there will be something to say about the Infanta's going to London and that there will be plenty of troublesome points calculated to break off the marriage. There is also some notion that there may be a change and dissimulation on the part of England also, once the prince has got back, and he may have adopted, as the best expedient of the moment, this pretext of being in love to satisfy the Spaniards, and afterwards utterly reject the whole thing and disdainfully put aside the matter concluded. It is true that for the moment the prince does not say he will leave alone or that he will wait to take his bride with him, but the French ambassador confided to me that the queen had told him that if the prince stays on in Spain the marriage will not take place so soon. In short it remains a fixed opinion that the Infanta will not become the wife of this Prince of Wales unless he becomes a Catholic or unless they place in the hands of the Spaniards fortresses in his realms, as a security for the promises made in the agreement. The Count of Olivares assured the ambassador of Germany that no agreement is yet concluded with them upon temporal affairs, as what had been arranged merely concerned religion. Nevertheless they celebrate the agreement with festivities and ceremonies as if it had reached its final completion, and the prince even went with the king, accompanied by all the grandees to pay his respects to the Infanta. It was very brief and general consisting merely, they say, in an exchange of congratulations, though others have not so far been allowed to pay them to the Infanta; but the ambassadors have expressed theirs to the king and prince, and I also have done the same.
Madrid, the 24th July, 1623.
[Italian.]
July 27.
Senato.
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
96. ZUANE PESARO, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Upon the return of Puysieulx from Berne I went at once to see him. He told me that the pope's death had left things where they were; Chiavenna would be deposited and the Spaniards seemed more anxious to settle this business than in the past, from which he concluded that the English marriage was not going on well, as the Spaniards would rather satisfy France than England.
The agent of Anhalt pressed for an answer for the Palatine. They replied with generalities, but said that his Majesty, as a Catholic prince, could not refuse the title of Elector to Bavaria, Puysieulx explained that this meant nothing as when it came to deeds his Majesty would always be on the Palatine's side. The agent of Anhalt told me that France would not oppose them. but without protection the Palatine would be compelled to accommodate himself to the wishes of the King of Great Britain, but he had received an exhortation to take courage as the princes of Germany are uniting.
Poisis, the 27th July, 1623.
[Italian.]
July 28.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
97. ALVISE VALARESSO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
I went to Wanstead on Saturday for my audience, as arranged. I found his Majesty in good health and looking happy. I began by wishing him a pleasant progress. He thanked me warmly and said that he had heard of the consignment of the Valtelline in the hands of the Duke of Fiano, but asked me about the retention of Chiavenna and the other places claimed by Leopold. I replied that I hoped it would be restored, and as Leopold had accepted the greater he would hardly oppose the less. He seemed doubtful whether the pope would restore to the Valtelline its former liberty. I said that as the deposit was on this condition the pope would have to fulfil it or quarrel with the allies. I then told him of the honours accorded by your Serenity to the Duke of Mantua, on his visit to Venice, in the interests of peace, and to show that your Serenity had a good understanding with the princes of Italy, and the occasion seemed better owing to the hospitality shown by the Spaniards to the prince his son. I told him how your Serenity's ambassador with the States informed me of the Palatine's perplexity, divided between his desire to please his Majesty and the many difficulties in the way of signing the truce, and he seemed the more excusable because Brunswick and Mansfeld had such large forces and were so ready to strike a blow, so that signing would renounce their friendship and any share in the acquisitions they might make, and which they might claim as their own, leading to another war. I tried to put this in such a way as to convince him without contravening his aim maxims. His answer showed him determined upon the signing and he threatened entirely to abandon his son-in-law, protesting that the Palatine could not withdraw the powers he had given. He desired peace, but the Palatine would devote everything to fire and sword. Those I had mentioned would do nothing for him, as Mansfeld had agreed to enter French service. I said if they did nothing for him the article of the truce was useless which bound him to renounce such alliances and friendships. Then after some complimentary phrases, I took leave. I thought this course the best as it committed me to nothing; I had no instructions, yet I desired to serve the Palatine. In my replies about the Valtelline I had to have recourse to generalities owing to my ignorance of particulars, and considering the nature of the king and the business I thought it best to affirm its success.
The ambassador of the States went to audience the day after me, with a letter from his masters to the king, partly defending and partly apologising for burning the Dunkirk ship. The king read it but did not approve and angrily said he desired satisfaction. The ambassador asked what satisfaction he wanted. I fear the worthy old man, acting without orders, made a mistake in this, as the king replied that he desired to punish the guilty or that they should execute them. The ambassador said this was impossible, but the king did not seem satisfied. The ambassador hopes for the best, but it is certain that the Spaniards will try to kindle this fire.
The last arrival from Spain, of whom I wrote, brings somewhat better hope of the marriage in some good words spoken by Olivares, possibly to mitigate previous offence. Two days ago the king spoke very fully in the Council and almost with tears in his eyes admitted the wrongs received from the Spaniards and the necessity of extracting the prince from his danger and from Spain. For this he concluded it would be necessary to give satisfaction to the Spaniards upon these new articles. He invited everyone to advise him frankly upon such an important occasion, but artfully induced them to approve of his suggestion and show themselves ready for his commands in all respects, so that they might not seem indifferent about the prince's return and ill-affected towards their future king. Upon the two most important articles, namely summoning parliament and not harming the Catholics, he said he would concede them with reservations, the former if he could, the latter, saving the weal of the realm. The councillors promised blind obedience to his Majesty's slightest wish except two who offered a few objections (Il Re. hoggi terzo giorno, con officio molto pieno et quasi con le lagrime su'gl'occhi, nel Consiglio confessando i torti ricevuti da Spagnuoli ha mostrata la necessita di cavar il Prencipe dal pericolo et dalla Spagna; et di qua concluse come necessario mezzo il dar sodisfattione a Spagnuoli di nuovi Articoli mandati, Invito bene ogn'uno a consigliarlo liberamente in si importante occasione, ma artificiosamente li costrinse per non mostrarsi poco desiderosi del ritorno d'esso Prencipe et mali amatori del loro futuro Re, di approbar la propositione et di essibirsi pronti a suoi comandi in ogni punto disse delli due Articoli più importanti, cioe del convocare il Parlamento et del non offender Cattolici, che li ammetterebbe con le restrittioni a quello di procurarlo a suo potere et a questo di farlo salva la salute del Regno. I Consiglieri eccetuati ne due che fecero in contrario alaune poche considerationi, pro-metterono cieca ubbidienza ad ogni volere di Sua Maesta).
Certainly one may well say of the king that he has a peculiar genius for damaging himself, and of the councillors that they have shown the utmost weakness in throwing away the last chance of speaking freely for the service of the realm and of showing thy king that it is not the real way to release the prince but merely to increase the Spanish demands to satisfy them so easily. Some public action in the business is expected daily. The earl of Arundel has gone to the Hague to find his wife. The ordinary of this week has not arrived.
London, the 28th July, 1623.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
July 29.
Misc.
Cod. No. 62.
Venetian
Archives.
98. MARC ANTONIO PADAVIN, Venetian Secretary in Germany, to the DOGE and SENATE.
We hear that at Brussels they no longer speak of the congress seeing that the Palatine has not decided to sign the armistice and this may be due to the King of England in order to force the Spaniards to remove the difficulties they keep placing in the way of the marriage. Many think this will not take place, but they will encourage the hopes of the King of Great Britain and contrive to let the prince depart satisfied, even without his bride, by saying that they will send the Infanta to Brussels until the difficulties are terminated, so that she may proceed more easily to England. Meanwhile they will pursue their own designs and finally give the Infanta to the archduke, the emperor's eldest son. They feel sure that the congress will never meet, although they ostensibly hasten on the preparations of the commissioners.
Vienna, the 29th July, 1623.
[Italian; copy.]
July 29.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
99. To the Ambassador at Rome and the like to the other Courts, mutatis mutandis.
Our Ambassador Pesaro at the Most Christian Court reports that the negotiations about the deposit of the Valtelline will proceed in conjunction with our ambassadors and all will go well for the future. If things can be arranged amicably, well and good, but if the Spaniards will not listen to reason recourse will certainly be had to arms. They have supplied money to Mansfeld to keep the Spaniards busy. Gueffier will go privately to Rome to get information and help the Commendateur Sillery. Chiavenna will certainly be deposited and the nuncio asserts that orders from Spain have already reached Milan. France will pay the troops of the Valtelline rather than let the Spaniards do so. The nuncio also said that the Catholic religion would stand fast in the Grisons, otherwise they would have no settlement. The Swiss ambassadors had taken leave of the Court, apparently ill-satisfied.
A courier from Bavaria has brought word to the imperial Court that Erbestal was taking his army towards Egra, perhaps to enter the Upper Palatinate and thence Bohemia. We have the same from the Hague. The news of Tilly's withdrawal is not certain. From Milan they have sent the High Chancellor to the Catholic Court to convey Feria's opinions; he simpy aims at upsetting everything. He presses for money and asks what the king wishes in present affairs. The soldiers of the Valtelline clamour for lack of payment. The governor has orders from Rome to satisfy them until the election of the new pope, and further to help the Valleys with the royal forces if the Grisons attempt anything to the prejudice of the deposit.
We learn at this moment from Zurich of news through Frankfort and Strasburg of the rout of three of Tilly's regiments by some troops of Halberstat, killing 600 and capturing a quantity of baggage waggons.
We send you all this for information, to use as our service requires.
Ayes, 70.Noes, 1.Neutral, 9.
[Italian.]

Footnotes

1 Wotton wrote to tell Carleton that he was going to make "a short return home" for the sake of his health. Pearsall Smith: Life and Letters of Sir Henry Wotton, ii., pages 273–274.
2 There is a copy of this letter in the State Papers, Foreign: Venice.