Venice
October 1623

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Institute of Historical Research

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Allen B. Hinds (editor)

Year published

1912

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124-142

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'Venice: October 1623', Calendar of State Papers Relating to English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 18: 1623-1625 (1912), pp. 124-142. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=88896 Date accessed: 21 August 2014.


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October 1623

Oct. 2.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
155. ZUANE PESARO, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The Count of Tillières, his Majesty's ambassador, has gone to continue his residence with the King of Great Britain, and they hope he will prove welcome there at this moment of the return of the Prince of Wales. Although they have various opinions as to whether the marriage with the Infanta of Spain will be broken off or completed, yet it seems that their hopes of marrying Madame to that prince are reawakened, and I know for certain that the Queen-Mother is desirous and ambitious of it.
One might think that the ambassador would have orders to refer to the present topic (avertire alla congiontura), but as the Earl of Carlisle wrote to the Duke of Chevreuse about the departure of the Prince of Wales from Spain and the duke upon that news sent one of his esquires to England under other pretexts and afterwards a gentleman, this gives rise to the opinion that those two noblemen will reopen the negotiations. A person of good sense remarked to me that as many points of etiquette might occur at the beginning of such negotiations between the two kings, they might require the interposition of a third party and that the most serene republic would certainly prove sufficient and authoritative. I said nothing, but your Excellencies will command what may prove of service.
Poissy, the 2nd October, 1623.
[Italian.]
Oct. 3.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Candia
Proveditore.
Venetian
Archives.
156. HIERONIMO TREVISAN, Venetian Proveditore of Candia, to the DOGE and SENATE.
In letters of the 1st July your Excellencies direct me to satisfy the Turk and the Greek sent by the Bailo at Constantinople to receive again certain of their goods, detained by the duke here. The matter happened thus. It seems that on the 6th July, 1622, the duke sent the Turks Becchir and Giusuf 6,000 lire in ryals to bring wheat to this city. They found as their surety certain merchants who had bought cordovans of them. After some months the duke summoned those Turks to appear to satisfy him within a fortnight. In the meantime he laid hold on some cordovans. The parties had recourse to me, and ultimately I got all the papers of the case into my own hands. It would be better if all such cases were submitted to me immediately.
The other matter committed to me by your Excellencies from the Bailo in letters of the 8th July, is a very old affair, although some Turks came here last year on the subject. I have found no indications here that they received any ill treatment. I can give no particulars beyond what are contained in the letter of the Proveditore Gussoni from Canea, which I enclose with copies of the other necessary papers and the judgment upon that affair in the Senate rendered in 1602. I see they decided that the goods should be restored to one Paul Pindar, who intervened for the interested parties. This never took place; they do not know why here, but perhaps the reason can be discovered more easily at Venice. I see that the money was deposited in the Chamber of Canea and expended upon the payment of troops and other things, so I do not understand why the sentence was not carried out.
Candia, the 23rd September, 1623, old style.
[Italian.]
Enclosure.157. COPY from the Acts of the Chancery of the Fiscal Chamber of Canea.
By decision of the Senate in the matter of the ship Don d'Dio, laden with soap and other things, unladed at Canea at the time when Piero Francesco Malipiero was rector there, the goods shall be restored to Paul Pindar, acting for the interested parties upon the conditions contained in the sentence.
Venice, the 19th June, 1602.
[Italian.]
Enclosure.158. Letter of VICENZO GUSSONI, Proveditore of Canea, to HIERONIMO TREVISAN, Proveditore of Candia.
I have very carefully examined the case you submit to me about the claims of certain Turks. On the 7th September, 1591, an English ship called il Don di Dio arrived at Canea from Alexandria on the way to Venice, bringing with it a Turkish gerba or caramuscale (fn. 1) laden with cotton and soap. This caramuscale had been taken about fifty days before by a Messinese galeot, which put twenty men on board and sent it towards Syracuse. They met with contrary winds, and, falling short of provisions, made signals of distress to the aforesaid English ship, which brought them to Canea. Malipiero held an enquiry on the subject, and the caramuscale was unladed, the goods being put in a safe place. Meanwhile they let the English ship go, though it left a representative to look after its claims upon the goods. The case was submitted to the Senate, who ordered Malipiero to sell the goods and deposit the money in the chamber of Canea. The sale realised 7,548 Venetian ducats, 2 lire, 10 soldi, and was afterwards used for paying troops and other purposes. Finally the Senate decided that the goods should be restored to Pindar. This is all that I can tell your Excellency.
Canea, the 25th August, 1623.
[Italian.]
Oct. 6.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
159. ALVISE VALARESSO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Congratulations to the doge upon his election.
London, the 6th October, 1623.
[Italian.]
Oct. 6.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
160. ALVISE VALARESSO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
As I announced, a report issued from the Spanish embassy that the prince has changed his mind and decided to remain in Spain. This report reached his Majesty's ears. He wished to discover its origin and found it there, but unfounded in any other respect (fn. 2) The ambassadors are now doing their utmost to dissipate the belief of others in this return, telling an informant of mine that if the courier I wrote of reaches Spain in time they will not allow the prince to leave without receiving satifaction about his bride, hinting that they had represented the danger they would incur here in any other event.
Two days ago Simon Digby arrived from Spain, sent by the Ambassador Bristol. It is supposed to be about the old business of the marriage, continued by his hand, although I hear that this Digby is also to proceed to Brussels. He came in thirteen days, and the day of his arrival made the twenty-fifth since he parted from the prince at Madrid, and accordingly he expected to find the prince here. The Spaniards mapped out the prince's journey to his embarcation to take twenty days, when ten would suffice, which might argue some design on their part, but it is thought that the prince will have cut it short by his own direction. It is true that the wind may have hindered his sea passage, as it has mostly been contrary. There was a report here of his Highness having been driven over to Ireland, and in some country places they celebrated rejoicings. The fleet of his own ships has certainly profited by the contrary wind, as it made a prosperous voyage to Santander in five days. If these had failed it is said that the Spaniards had ordered their own ships to escort him hither. However that may be, although the prince has not left Spain, yet while he is so far away from the Court and well forward in his journey all chance of a change seems precluded. But until he arrives here the wise will not feel satisfied, especially as we hear that letters and messages are frequently exchanged between the King of Spain and this prince.
Yesterday the Secretary Calvert came in his Majesty's name to compliment me on the election of your Serenity. (fn. 3) saying that he considered it of happy augury and he well remembered seeing you as ambassador extraordinary. I thanked him and said I had not informed his Majesty in person in order not to trouble him by too frequent audiences. I asked him if he had any news of the prince's return with Digby's arrival, and he confirmed what I reported above. I remarked that returning without the Infanta clearly showed that the matter was broken off. He replied that there were two impediments, the will of the favourite and the pope's blessing, and for the rest they promised the bride in the spring. In the course of the conversation I alluded to the dispensation conceded by the pope against the wishes of the Spaniards, adding that to return without the Infanta was an infallible indication that the business was dissolved.
I repeated a part of what I said to his Majesty, adding that our ambassador at Rome wrote on the 15th July about the dispensation granted by the late pope contrary to the wishes of the Spaniards. I said that henceforward it was clear that the Spaniards did not desire the marriage; many successive events said so more clearly than language itself, though certainly not more insultingly. Henceforward to perform it would appear so unseasonable that the Spaniards themselves recognised that it would do them more harm than good. I wound up with the strong point that if the prince's own influential personality did not suffice to arrange the marriage, the negotiations of other ministers would not effect much, whoever they might be. The secretary could not help agreeing, adding that when the prince returned they would come to some decision. I repeated the necessity of vindicating English honour and for the restitution of the Palatine, remarking that Brunswick's defeat constituted another blow at the marriage. He sighed deeply and admitted this. I referred to the loss of German freedom and spoke of the fresh plans to set the empire against the Dutch. He said he had heard of this himself, and that the Spaniards were taking as a pretext some insult to the emperor by offices ill performed at Constantinople by the Dutch ambassador in favour of Gabor. He admitted that they could not on any account suffer the subjection of the Dutch. I expressed myself freely, taking advantage of his congratulatory office, because I know that, although Calvert makes a show of being a confidant of the Spaniards, he is a good Englishman at bottom and the enemy of so many delays.
A prophecy has appeared setting forth very clearly the things which have happened up to the present, and promising better resolutions on the king's part in the future. It was taken to his Majesty, who wished to ascertain its age. They found that it was written a hundred years ago and more. I have remarked to the French secretary that the assistance of his ambassador might prove opportune in the present state of affairs.
The prince's gentlemen who have returned from Spain have spoken very unfavourably of the treatment received at that Court. When this came to the knowledge of the ambassadors they remonstrated strongly on the subject, yet the truth remains undoubted that they were very badly treated for the most part.
A gentleman named Sackville, brother of the Earl of Dorset, has left here for Italy, and there are rumours that he is going to Venice to offer his services. The ordinary of the week has not yet arrived.
London, the 6th October, 1623.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Oct. 7.
Misc.
Cod. No. 62.
Venetian
Archives.
161. MARC ANTONIO PADAVIN, Venetian Secretary in Germany, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Enclosing letters written by the Palatine to Gabor and intercepted.
They write from Brussels that the Palatine has signed the armistice in the Palatinate and will abide by what his father-in-law has arranged and will agree to the fortresses of Mannheim and Heidelberg being deposited in the hands of the Infanta. Bavaria will not agree to this so readily; the period of three months given him to sign has expired.
Vienna, the 7th October, 1623.
[Italian; copy.]
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Germania.
Venetian
Archives.
162. Letter of FREDERICK, KING of BOHEMIA, etc., to PRINCE GABRIEL, elected King of Hungary.
Has written often, but received no reply. Fears letters intercepted. Remains determined to listen to no suspension if not abandoned. Brunswick is confronting Tilly and Mansfeld presses on. The States harass the enemy by land and sea.
The Hague, the 31st July, 1623.
[Italian; copy.]
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Germania.
Venetian
Archives.
163. Letter of the KING of BOHEMIA to the KING of HUNGARY.
Brunswick and Mansfeld have collected considerable forces, with money from the league arranged between France, Savoy, and Venice against the common enemy. The States assist this alliance. Thus the moment is opportune to declare war. Cannot personally take the field, but will urge on the powers concerned. The King of England is urging him to accept an armistice and agree to certain negotiations, but he has openly refused, and if Gabor keeps his promises he will never listen to any proposals for peace.
The Hague, the 27th June, 1623.
[Italian; copy.]
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Germania.
Venetian
Archives.
164. Letter of the KING of BOHEMIA to the KING of HUNGARY.
His enemies trouble him as much by fraud as by force. While Gabor consented to peace and while negotiations were proceeding at Brussels between the enemy and the English king, they took away all his possessions. Hopes to re-establish himself, but the King of England has opened fresh negotiations and agreed to an armistice for fifteen months, hoping to induce the Hungarians also to lay down their arms. They have tried this trick before, but the common enemy must not be trusted. Everything arranged so far between the Kings of England and Spain has been without his knowledge, and he has refused to ratify it. Asks for help against the enemy's machinations, as the moment is opportune.
The Hague, the 13th July, 1623.
[Italian; copy.]
Oct. 8.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Signori
Stati.
Venetian
Archives.
165. MARC ANTONIO MOROSINI, Venetian Ambassador in the Netherlands, to the DOGE and SENATE.
It is announced here that the English prince has reached London, and the princess his sister considers the announcement certain to be true, and she is therefore glad, hoping that this return may greatly advantage her cause.
The Hague, the 8th October, 1623.
[Italian.]
Oct. 8.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Zante.
Venetian
Archives.
166. AGUSTIN SAGREDO, Venetian Proveditore of Zante, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Ships of evil omen are beginning to infest these parts. The pirate Sanson has appeared in neighbouring waters with five large and powerful bertons. Last Tuesday, the 24th inst., he chased a small ship which came here to lade wine. It took refuge under the fortress of Asso, where the country people reported having seen two Venetian ships taken by this pirate, which were coming hither from Crete, escorted by two others which took to flight and were only saved by the guns of Asso. They also report the damage done to shipping at this moment by other thieves. I have sent word of these pirates to the Proveditore General and the Captain of the Guard of Candia. I understand that the latter is coming this way.
Zante, the 28th September, old style.
[Italian.]
Oct. 9.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Savoia.
Venetian
Archives.
167. LORENZO PARUTA, Venetian Ambassador in Savoy, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The English agent Wake as soon as he heard from the duke's own mouth of the departure of the Prince of Wales from Spain, hastened to start off home. So far I cannot discover his object but some say that his true reason is that he may ask the favour to go to your Serenity as ambassador in place of Lord [sic] Wotton, a charge which he has asked for before now and which he greatly desires. His household remains here, however, and he leaves word that he will return next May.
Turin, the 9th October, 1623.
[Italian.]
Oct. 13.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
168. ALVISE VALARESSO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Shortly after I sent off my last the ducal missives of the 9th September arrived, with your Serenity's letter to present to his Majesty, announcing your election. Accordingly, I sent to Hampton Court to ask for audience, the king being there. He courteously sent word that he would be in London for a few hours on Tuesday, and would give me a part of the time. Accordingly I went and thanked him for the congratulations sent by Calvert. I said that I had two offices to perform and did not know how to begin, but I would take them in order of time. I therefore thanked him for his gracious congratulations and the affection he so frequently displayed towards the most serene republic. I then presented the letter, telling him of the death of the Doge Priuli and of your Serenity's election, and that you wished to express the unalterable affection of the republic towards him. The king expressed his gratification at the choice of so worthy a chief, whom he well remembered. He asked your Serenity's age and of your health. When I had replied he remarked that your embassy to himself (fn. 4) counted among your many great services and so he had contributed towards your election in some measure. As I knew that the king was short of time since he was to receive the Spanish ambassadors immediately after me and then go and dine at Theobalds that same morning, I thought it best not to detain him any longer, so I rose and remarked that though persistently contrary winds might lengthen our expectation, they could not increase our desire for the prince's return, to which his Majesty replied with some expressions of impatience about the time.
Digby, who has returned from Spain as I reported, in conversation with his familiars lets it be understood that his expedition was ostensibly about some fresh proposals, rather chimerical than otherwise, touching the satisfaction of the Palatine by making him eighth elector or to use the vote by turns with Bavaria for a certain time. But the real object of the Ambassador Bristol is to encourage his partisans by this individual and to observe through him the actions of Buckingham, the two factions being henceforward practically declared. Buckingham, in order to exonerate himself and to accuse Bristol maintains that if the latter had not represented that the negotiations were more advanced than was actually the case, the prince would never have gone. Bristol, on the other hand, declares that but for the precipitate decision to make the journey the marriage would already be accomplished. Even now Digby firmly maintains that the marriage is still feasible, and that the Spaniards are inclined to carry it through, though he seems doubtful about the wishes of the king and prince; but I believe this is merely an artifice in order to transfer the advantage of the refusal in an affair desperate in character, making it appear to come from the king's own desire rather than from any reluctance on the part of the Spaniards. However this may be, there is as yet no appearance of a breach or even of any interruption, as Digby himself said he was sure that the King of Spain held the powers of the prince to marry the Infanta in his name, the prince having voluntarily elected not to be present at the ceremony himself, to avoid offending the Spaniards by refusing the mass, which his own religion forbad. We certainly hear that the presents refused by the Infanta at the prince's departure, being sent back, were received by her after he had left. Although this seems unlikely, I think it may be explained thus, that the original refusal meant that she would not take them as pledges of the marriage, but by taking them afterwards she wished to encourage the usual hopes of a future conclusion.
In the midst of the confusion men hold various opinions. Some consider it unlikely that the Spaniards would keep going for so long a comedy which might easily have a tragic ending and result in bloody enmity. This would certainly be a powerful consideration if they did not know full well with whom they are dealing, one incapable of wrath and born to suffer every indignity, though on the other hand only too ready to listen to reason where that may have a place. Nevertheless, the conclusion of this affair being so hopeless, the Spanards will be guilty before God, as I have remarked to some, of having brought absolute ruin upon the Catholic religion here by their feigned negotiations, or at least of exposing it to the peril of a most cruel persecution, as without a special miracle by God those who have been tricked are sure to turn the favour they had begun to show into implacable hatred against it. However, so far no sign of change in this particular has appeared in the king, who keeps the same course and may even grant fresh liberties. In the country all the penalties against the Catholics have lapsed. The king proposed to punish one of his preachers who spoke in his sermon about "the idol of the mass," (fn. 5) and he caused the pardon of the Catholics, signed and sealed to be taken to the Ambassador Inoiosa. Yet so far nothing has been done to carry it out, for which there may be various reasons. Meanwhile we hear some reports, though only among the people, of marriages with other princes.
Although the generality do not incline towards a French princess, it is said that a certain friar is reported to have come from France to make some overtures. Certainly one has come, has been entertained by the French secretary and has seen the king once or twice, but for the rest neither reason nor circumstances lead me to believe that it is any such thing. A letter is circulated, of doubtful authenticity indeed, in which the Spanish king writes to the French to show that it is not proper for him to treat for a marriage with England until his own negotiations have been declined. Popular rumour and inclination point perhaps rather to a Savoyard princess, and they say that the duke has made a proposal. But the least doubtful of all, and what I hear on very good authority, is that the Spaniards have said something about the emperor's daughter, to give her to the prince as it were in place of the Infanta. Although there is something extravagant about this, yet considering Spanish arts it is not so very unlikely, as it would either set on foot fresh negotiations and allow them to gain more time, or if concluded it would soften the refusal of the other while still connecting this crown with the house of Austria.
The latest news of the prince comes in Nedersol's letters from Paris. He writes that he left his Highness at Santander, on board ship but not started owing to contrary winds, and telling of a storm encountered by the prince in going to the ship or returning. For the rest no one has arrived here sent expressly by him since he took leave of the Court. The wind persists in a quarter unfavourable to his voyage, and for my part I believe that we shall not know of his arrival with the king before we hear of his reaching this kingdom. A false report of his coming has already been disseminated in a great part of the kingdom, as I have reported, at which they made rejoicing at no inconsiderable cost. To celebrate this arrival when it actually takes place the Spanish ambassadors are preparing liveries, bonfires and other things. The Dutch ambassador will do the same and the whole town likewise. Accordingly I shall not remain behind any of the others.
The Infanta of Brussels has nominated Messia, general of ordnance, as her ambassador to come and offer her congratulations upon this return. He also will lodge with Inoiosa, and they will form a council of Spanish ambassadors. The Infanta has answered the king's letter about granting an armistice in the Palatinate that in spite of delay she will do her utmost to obtain it.
The ship of Dunkirk has already passed with an English escort, and by permission of the Dutch. His Majesty seems highly satisfied with the States and the Ambassador Caron promises me great things from him. One ought to be able to rely on the age and experience of this minister unless the event disproves it.
London, the 13th October, 1623.
Postscript.—At this moment the French ambassador Tilliers has arrived by the posts on return to his charge.
[Italian; the parts in italics deciphered.]
Oct. 14.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Roma.
Venetian
Archives.
169. GIROLAMO SORANZO, extraordinary and RANIER ZEN, ordinary Venetian Ambassadors in Rome, to the DOGE AND SENATE.
A courier has arrived from Spain and it is announced that the Prince of England had touched the hand of that princess and without consummating the marriage had left for London and that the princess his bride will set out for those parts in the Spring.
Rome, the 14th October, 1623.
[Italian.]
Oct. 14.
Senato,
Secreta;
Dispacci,
Germania.
Venetian
Archives.
170. MARC ANTONIO PADAVIN, Venetian Secretary in Germany, to the DOGE AND SENATE.
A courier extraordinary has arrived from Spain. He brings word of the departure of the Prince of Wales amid many honours and signs of affection, but many say that this departure takes place without the marriage being arranged, and it will come to nought (andera a monte).
The Spanish ambassador is now strongly urging the meeting of the congress at Cologne, the more so because of their apparent slowness here, to which he takes exception.
Vienna, the 14th October, 1623.
[Italian; copy.]
Oct. 16.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Spagna.
Venetian
Archives.
171. ALVISE CORNER, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the DOGE AND SENATE.
Cardinal Zappata and the other members of the Council of State whom I mentioned, who went by his Majesty's special command to accompany the Prince of Wales to his embarcation, sent frequent advices about the journey, and his Highness also wrote various letters to the king thanking him warmly for the honours which he received everywhere on the way. It is said that they observed the same ceremonial as if the royal person himself had passed through, and they profess to have omitted no demonstration of esteem or greatness, as in every populous place the leading persons have gone out to meet him with every possible sign of rejoicing and respect.
Out of respect for the Infanta, when passing through the land of Cuirione, he went to visit a certain nun named Luisa, (fn. 6) held in high repute in Spain for her sanctity and for various supernatural signs which have appeared or at least which are reported about her. In the prince's presence she rose from the ground and stood a while in esctasy. She then told him that she knew his Highness was ill disposed towards the Catholic faith but as God vouchsafed to him many fruitful lights to embrace it he ought not to spurn the Divine inspiration for fear of earthly considerations, because the dangers he thought of would disappear and would not cause him the prejudice that he feared and which were falsely represented to him.
The prince heard the nun graciously and answered that he only prayed for light, to which she replied that he would get it, as she foresaw that with support for his good sentiments his adhesion to our faith was certain.
They talk much about the interview here owing to their belief in that nun and in general they think that the prince will soon become a Catholic and that Buckingham is the cause of all delay owing to his constant dissuasion. In spite of all this the marriage is not considered assured as that Capuchin friar who had so much to do with the affairs has left for Rome at the pope's summons, owing, they say, to some difficulties about confirming the late pope's consent, by refusing his consent to the points conceded by the nuncio differing from the wishes of the Congregation, in which the present pope took part. Nevertheless it is suspected that this is due to the offices of the Spaniards themselves, as if it were not so it is unlikely that the pope would persist in raising difficulties, especially as the Capuchin has always held the opinion that the marriage should take place and that it will benefit religion. Besides as he is most dependent upon the Count of Olivares it is considered that his Holiness in any case will be disposed to perfect the treaty. However, opinions about this differ so much that I cannot assure your Excellencies of the result, especially as their desires are so different as although the majority of the ministers would like it broken off, yet the count grows more eager for its conclusion, and that is the most likely result owing to his predominance and authority in the government. But there is some idea that the negotiations may be broken off on the part of England, especially if Buckingham recovers his lost credit and favour with the king because he was most disgusted with those Councillors of State who went with the prince as he declared in the presence of the Crown.
Madrid, the 16th October, 1623.
[Italian.]
Oct. 16.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Signori Stati.
Venetian
Archives.
172. MARC ANTONIO MOROSINI, Venetian Ambassador in the Netherlands, to the DOGE AND SENATE.
The secretary of the queen here has returned from his journey to her brother in Spain. He reports that he found the English prince embarked at Santander and he has brought back his letters. This has filled the queen with hope and she told me in confidence that the marriage treaty will certainly be broken off and that her brother writes in such a manner as clearly to show his disgust and his desire for revenge.
The Hague, the 16th October, 1623.
[Italian.]
Oct. 19.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
173. Owing to the facilities with which foreigners, with the help of some inhabitants of this city, can invest in various kinds of goods, lade them on foreign ships and take them to the ports of other powers in our Gulf, whereby our duties suffer, that the Cinque Savii alla Mercantia and the Revisers and Regulators of the Customs be instructed to make provision to prevent this harmful innovation, and not permit goods taken from this city or other parts of our dominions to be laded and taken to the ports of other princes, that privilege being reserved for ships which come to our ports to trade their goods, and so render themselves worthy of such a benefit.
Ayes, 72.Noes, 0.Neutral, 52.
[Italian.]
Oct. 20.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
174. ALVISE VALARESSO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE AND SENATE.
On Monday the 16th the prince arrived in London with the Duke of Buckingham and a few gentlemen. He wished to sail in his own ships without waiting at all at Santander, whether in order to avoid the inconveniences of that place or from his desire to leave Spain. He experienced absolutely unfavourable winds in Spain for fourteen days, after which two days of favourable wind sufficed to bring him to England. He landed at Portsmouth on the 15th and ran no small risk in the boat that brought him ashore. He passed the night at Guildford, and at daybreak he dismounted at Buckingham's house here, where he took some slight refreshment. He then entered a coach with the duke and came straight to the king. In the midst of all this expectation his Majesty perhaps with some mystery and certainly not without exciting astonishment had betaken himself to Royston his favourite resort, but inconvenient for many respects.
The news of the prince's arrival, by the special diligence of the archbishop of Canterbury, reached the city about midnight and set the bells ringing and that aroused the citizens. All of them, irrespective of rank, being filled with boundless joy, immediately lighted large and numerous bonfires. During the day they kept the shops closed and dispensed wine about the streets and when night fell they again lighted their bonfires in immense numbers. These celebrations must have cost many thousands of pounds sterling. That same morning twenty condemned criminals received an unexpected pardon in the midst of the general rejoicing, while actually on their way to the scaffold. Such a concourse of people collected at Buckingham's house during the short time that the prince stayed there, that his coach could hardly pass through the street and seemed to be carried on men's shoulders, and as he passed acclamations and blessings resounded from every side with prayers that he would at least stop long enough to allow them to gaze their fill at him. Certainly the rejoicing on every hand has been boundless and possibly the greater because they imagine the negotiations are broken off from seeing him come without the Infanta (alla Casa di Bochingam nel puoco spaccio che vi fermò il Principe concorse in tanto numero al gente, che appena per la strada potendo passar la sua carrozza, pareva anzi portata sulle spalle degli huomini, et nel passaggio di lui risuonavano d'ogni parte acclamationi, benedittioni et preghiere in alcuni ad arrestarsi almeno tanto che si satiassero di mirarlo. Infinito certo e stato il Giubilo d' ogn'uno, accresciuto forse perche vedendolo tornato senza Infante si supponeva il negotio per dissoluto).
At the first news of his arrival, while not omitting any public sign of rejoicing, I sent my felicitations immediately to the Chamberlain to be conveyed to his Highness, an office which the secretary performed satisfactorily despite the difficulties of the circumstances. On the following day I sent him to Royston to ask audience of his Majesty and his Highness at their convenience, in order to offer my congratulations in person. He returned to-day reporting a favourable reception at the Court and the usual readiness to receive me, although they had not fixed a day because the Spanish ambassadors had made a similar request without obtaining an appointment, for what reason I know not, and they must have precedence according to the general rules.
The prince comes back in good health and seems to have grown somewhat stouter. This then is the conclusion of perhaps one of the most hazardous journeys that any prince ever undertook. The cost will certainly amount to 500,000l. sterling in preparing the ships, presents of jewels and other expenses of the prince, The results, which would never have justified the expense or the risk, do not even seem to have advanced the business, as it would in any case have reached its present position, since nothing has taken place to render it indissoluble, and one may say that it stands where it did before. Thus in general discussion people find it hard to see how he can have left satisfied with Spain, if the object of the journey was to accomplish the marriage, seeing himself baulked of his purpose, while on the other hand they cannot believe that the Spaniards would not have put off the departure upon some pretext if they suspected that the prince was leaving in a dissatisfied frame of mind, unless both parties had agreed together, the latter to avoid expense and the former to escape servitude, or that no government avoids making some mistakes. For the rest, whichever way one turns one encounters paradoxical results, and in the ocean of these affairs one altogether loses sight of the guiding star of reason.
It is not my office to dilate upon what took place at the parting between the King of Spain and the prince, but I may state briefly that the parting and the letters on the journey showed the great reciprocal affection and satisfaction. Repeated promises were made to preserve inviolable the things arranged between them, with an express and reiterated obligation to himself hound out of favour any one who should raise opposition, though I do not know if this was aimed alone at the favourites. The prince gave many other testimonies of his love towards the Infanta, getting the king to take her word that no one loved a lady more ardently than he did the Infanta, and that distance and other obstacles would never lessen it. I pass over the richness of the presents he gave, of which I enclose a note. I know that all these demonstrations may merely have been outward show, with no real feeling behind them, and they may only have been employed out of dissimulation, as the best key to open the door of retreat, but it is doubtful whether a young man would be equal to this who has always behaved in the same manner.
As regards the position of the affair the Lord Keeper assured me the other day that all the temporal questions were settled, that is to say the dowry; the espousals had been omitted in order to await a fresh blessing from Rome and that the prince might avoid either being present at the mass or refusing it; that the Infanta would be handed over next April, the commission of divines desiring a guarantee for the oath which the King of Spain gave to the pope for the king here. I hear that the Spanish ambassadors now speak to the same effect. They also pretended to celebrate the prince's return as the brother-in-law designate of their king, and such is the delusive power of their arts, that a large portion of the English, blinded by seeing so many things upside down, firmly believe in the marriage, the Spanish partisans being dominated by their usual passion, and the simpler souls being deceived by these appearances. But I cannot penetrate deep enough as yet into the real sentiments at the moment of the king, the prince and Buckingham, as there has not been time enough and also because of the confounded distance and mobility of the Court. In the meantime I think I may assert that Buckingham is disgusted with the Spaniards, and I suspect that the prince is undeceived and fears that the king may incline to continue the negotiations. However, the change in these two will prove a great advance, although this may possibly be felt more in time to come than at present, as they would never venture to make any stand against the king's express wishes. Certain it is that the prince and the duke agree exceedingly well together, and the king has looked upon the duke with more favour than ever.
At the coming audience I will be governed by what I discover about the state of affairs and opinions, and I do not at all object to this slight delay.
I enclose a copy of the royal letter to the Lord Keeper with the form of pardon for the Catholics recently granted to the Spanish ambassador, but as it has not yet been published in any of the Courts it has no value. The imprisoned priests have been released; they numbered fourteen, but their imprisonment was merely nominal, as upon finding a small security they could go wherever they liked in the kingdom.
The ordinary of this week has not arrived.
London, the 20th October, 1623.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Enclosed
in the
preceding
despatch.
175. Note of Presents made by the Prince of England in Spain. (fn. 7)
To the king, a sword worth 6,000l.
To the queen, a diamond in the form of an eye with a large pearl.
To Don Carlos, a large diamond set on a point.
To the Cardinal, a cross of diamonds.
To the Infanta, a chain of pearls, two pendants of diamonds and many other similar things.
To the Count of Olivares, to his daughter and some twenty other lords and ladies, a rich jewel each.
To the Infanta's ladies of honour, a cabinet furnished with various bracelets, with rubies, diamonds, crosses, earrings, trinkets, rings and similar articles, with diamonds and pearls.
In cash and gold chains his Highness made presents to the officials and gentlemen, to each according to his rank, to the amount of 32,800 ducats, without reckoning what he gave when he reached the coast.
[Italian.]
Enclosed
in the
preceding
despatch.
176. JAMES, King of England, to JOHN, Bishop of Lincoln, Lord Keeper of the Great Seal, or to the Lord Keeper for the time being. (fn. 8)
As we intend to arrange a marriage between our son Charles and the Princess Maria of Spain, who is a Roman Catholic, we think it fitting to show mercy and clemency to our subjects of the same religion if they show themselves loyal and obedient. As we desire to induce foreign princes to show equal favour to their subjects of the same religion which we profess, we have decided to mitigate the severity of the laws against those who profess that religion, in the hope that this will increase their loyalty towards us, and that will induce us to continue on the course we have begun. These presents are to inform you that you may the better execute our wishes. We desire to grant pardon and dispensation to those of our Roman Catholic subjects who desire to have it, for five years from this date, in the form given below, and within that period we require you to grant letters patent under the great seal granting pardon in the said form to all and sundry of our Roman Catholic subjects who may ask for the same, without any further special order or any note under our sign manual or other direction soever beyond the said letters patent, for which, however, they shall pay the same fees and no more as for the general pardons of the first year of our coming to the Crown of England; and these letters shall be a sufficient discharge for the Lord Keeper and the Lord Chancellor of England.
[Italian.]
177. Forma pro omnibus. (fn. 9)
Rex omnibus etc. salutem. Sciatis quod nos de gratia nostra speciali etc. perdonavimus, remisimus et relaxavimus ac per presentes pro nobis heredibus et successoribus nostris perdonamus, remittimus et relaxamus Thomae Prestono Southworkiae in com. clerico seu quocunque altra nomine etc. idem T.P. sciatum etc. et praedicta superius in aliquo.
Teste, 8o die Septembris, 1623.
Oct. 21.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Firenze.
Venetian
Archives.
178. VALERIO ANTELMI, Venetian Secretary at Florence, to the DOGE AND SENATE.
I hear from Genoa that before the Prince of England left Spain Olivares made great efforts to induce him to make some demonstration of esteem for the Catholic religion, but he would not make the slightest sign. His Highness pressed very hard for the complete restitution of the Palatinate to his sister, as they fear the peace of the kingdom may be disturbed as she is greatly beloved by the English and has taken refuge in a country so near to England.
The Spaniards say that they will restore the portion which Bavaria has not got to the palatine's son, upon condition that he marries a daughter of the emperor and dwells at that Court, but the English will not listen to this proposal on any account.
The same advices remark that many things may happen in the interval to render difficult the fulfilment of the promise to send the Infanta to England in six months, and may delay and even prevent the whole affair. The Spaniards perceive that France because of the alliance never ceases to support the States, Arbestat and Mansfeld, and even England, once the marriage is completed, will change her resolutions, so as not to derogate from her ancient style and for the sake of her own convenience and interest.
Cardinal Borromeo spoke to me about the difficulties of the emperor. He said the Spaniards would find it difficult to devote their attentions to so many difficuties. There was the damage inflicted upon them by pirates, the trade and acquisitions of the Persians, English and Dutch in the Indies and the infesting of the coasts of Naples and Genoa by the Turks who constantly carried off men and goods.
Florence, the 21st October, 1623.
[Italian.]
Oct. 23.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
179. ZUANE PESARO, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the DOGE AND SENATE.
They are now discussing here the question of the payment of money to the Dutch, and apparently they will oblige them because here they fear that necessity may compel a truce and it is thought that the English marriage will be completed. The ministers show themselves cold as usual, but the queen-mother and the Cardinal of Richelieu are ready to support this course vigorously.
The queen mother, who conversed with me upon many things with gracious confidence, openly signified her inclination towards England for the marriage of Madame, but that with the Infanta of Spain is considered certain.
Poissy, the 23rd October, 1623.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Oct. 27.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
180. ALVISE VALARESSO, Venetian Ambassador in England to the DOGE AND SENATE.
The king, the prince and Buckingham have remained at Royston all these last days. The place is distant, the roads wretched and the accommodation most limited, yet these facts and the prayers of some of the leading gentlemen have not sufficed to induce his Majesty to come to the city or go to better quarters to receive the congratulations upon the return of his son, with more dignity to himself and greater convenience to others. France hastened to pay his respects before all the other ambassadors. He went by the post, arrived unexpectedly and was well received. This was a prudent course, seeing that the Spaniards claim precedence. Thus he obtained a satisfactory audience while they had not got beyond asking for one. The king seemed almost decided to put off seeing all the ambassadors until All Saints according to the style here when he will be nearer London, but the French ambassador having broken the ice his Majesty felt obliged to get Buckingham to write a courteous letter to the Spaniards giving them a day for audience, namely last Monday. At the same time he sent a gentleman to me fixing Wednesday for mine. I made an effort to secure that at all costs, as I discovered they had interposed evil offices under various pretexts to prevent my having it, and I desired my place in the series the more because they are hourly expecting an ambassador extraordinary and perhaps an ordinary from the Archduchess of Brussels, and I did not wish to be placed at any disadvantage in a contest for precedence with them.
Accordingly I presented myself at Royston on Wednesday, after making the journey in bad weather at great expense. I celebrated the audience with new liveries. I was entertained at a banquet by the Duke of Richmond or Lennox and was introduced into the small room where the king, the prince and Buckingham were. I first congratulated his Majesty telling him that I had the honour at my last audience to foretell the happy return of his Highness. The king thanked me warmly, and asked me about the bad roads and the toils of my journey. After making a suitable reply I turned to the prince and again expressed my satisfaction. I praised travel, spoke of the advantages of seeing over hearing; lauded his strength of constitution which allowed him to keep in perfect health amid so many changes of diet and climate, and remarked that I wished he had touched at Venice in the course of his travels. He thanked me most graciously, asked after your Serenity and expressed his joy at your assumption of the dogeship, saying that he had a pleasant recollection of you as ambassador to his father, (fn. 10) although he was then very young.
On the conclusion of these offices, after the king and prince had withdrawn to a neighbouring room, I congratulated Buckingham on his return and the success of his negotiations. He replied with remarkable cordiality and said he would consider it a glory to serve your Serenity, in short he never spoke to me better. It was observed that he received this compliment from me which he refused to the Spanish ambassadors. However they had a similar form of audience, like France and myself, in the same room with the king, the prince and Buckingham, an arrangement which may have its mysteries.
So much for my audience from which I only returned a few hours ago. For the rest I may say that they keep dead silence at Court about the marriage. From those who have returned from Spain we hear much blame not to say vituperation of that nation and kingdom, and the indignation of the majority increases hourly at the keeping up of so many injuries. It is impossible to discover fully the king's intentions since the prince's return. Many things arouse fear, some few hope. Certainly no change will appear immediately. God grant that time may not cause this first fury to evaporate and lull men to sleep again through the arts of the Spaniards.
Of the prince I think I may assert positively that he is quite alienated from the Spaniards and would like to break off all negotiations, upon which I have no obscure indications, but the fear is that he may not venture to oppose his father's wishes or even to express freely to him his own desires and the true state of affairs. However, even he might ultimately do something with time, address and patience.
One may rest assured as regards Buckingham of the strongest aversion for the Spaniards. He certainly received many offences, his sharp quarrel with Olivares ; his fear for himself if the Infanta should come, and already he has not refrained from speaking strongly against the deceit of the Spaniards. It is true that some days ago he seemed to have gone back somewhat, and the aforesaid letters to the ambassadors render him suspect of some change, either by the king's command or with some other object; but I am assured that his letter was merely an ordinary formal one for the audience, which had previously been practically denied them and he is certainly deeply interested in the rupture of the negotiations and the friendship with Spain, but in the end he will have no other motive than the king's will.
The ambassador Bristol is trying hard to revive the hopes about the affair. He wrote that the Infanta seemed deeply grieved at the departure and wished to put on mourning but was not allowed with other frivolous testimony of an open love for the prince. The emperor has certainly written to the king expressing his approval of the marriage. This compliment is certain, but much depends upon its form. The emperor adds promises of good will towards the Palatine and expressions of some mistrust of Bavaria.
I have to thank your Excellencies for the raiment granted to me of a Savio of the Mainland. I will do my best to serve satisfactorily.
London, the 27th October, 1623.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Oct. 28.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Firenze.
Venetian
Archives.
181. VALERIO ANTELMI, Venetian Secretary at Florence, to the DOGE AND SENATE.
Letters from Brussels state that the Infanta has chosen the General of the Ordnance (fn. 11) to go to England and congratulate the prince on his safe return home. He will leave when they have word that the prince has reached London, since the galleons which are bringing him tarry on their voyage owing to the contrary winds.
The princess palatine has asked the Most Christian king to stand as godfather to her last born son. The minister at Bavaria at his Majesty's Court has asked them not to give the title of Elector to the Palatine.
Florence, the 28th October, 1623.
[Italian.]
Oct. 30.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
182. ZUANE PESARO, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the DOGE AND SENATE.
A gentlemen sent by the constable to the Prince of Orange has returned bringing word that the prince intended to attack Wesel or Bois le Duc, but the defeat of Halberstadt compelled him to act on the defensive. He wished to gather a force of German, English and French troops and begs his Majesty to permit the levies.
The constable went on to lament the general state of affairs. He said the Huguenots were discontented and so much increased that they could raise 100,000 men. The Rochellese let it be understood that if they were harder pressed they would give themselves to England and even to Spain. He added many remarks upon the prejudices that an alliance between these two Crowns would certainly cause.
Poissy, the 30th October, 1623.
[Italian; deciphered.]

Footnotes

1 caramusali, a kind of pinnace or bark in Ormuz and in Turkie.—Florio: Dictionary, ed. 1688.
2 We had here, four days together, a rumour which much troubled us, though it could not be known whence it rose, as if the prince, having been three days on his journey, were remanded back to Madrid, and that the new pope had confirmed the dispensation, which was doubtless some popish rumour. For on Monday, a pursuivant, sent by Mr. Secretary Calvert, to find out the ground or author of it, was with five or six that had spoken of it, and at last it was denied and mistaken." Letter to Mead of the 24th Sept., old style.—Birch: Court and Times of James I., ii., page 418.
3 Francisco Contarini, the new Doge of Venice.
4 Francesco Contarini was ambassador extraordinary in England from the end of January to the beginning of March, 1610. See Vol. xi of this Calendar.
5 Dr. John Whiting, Rector of St. Martin's Vintry, for a sermon preached at Hampton Court on Sunday the 8th October, from the text "Remember Lot's Wife." Birch: Court and Times of James I, ii, pages 419, 424,
6 This nun was afterwards condemned by the Inquisition as a witch and an impostor. Hume: Court of Philip IV, page 308.
7 A similar but not identical list of jewels is in the State Papers, Foreign: Spain, among the papers for August, 1623.
8 Cal. S.P. Dom., 1623–5, page 76.
9 Cal. S.P. Dom., 1623–5, page 77.
10 The doge Francesco Contarini had served as ambassador extraordinary in England at the beginning of 1610, when Charles was nine years old.
11 Don Diego de Mexia.