Venice
November 1623

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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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142-156

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'Venice: November 1623', Calendar of State Papers Relating to English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 18: 1623-1625 (1912), pp. 142-156. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=88897 Date accessed: 17 April 2014. Add to my bookshelf


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November 1623

Nov. 2.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
183. To the AMBASSADOR in ENGLAND.
We learn from your letters the expectation of the speedy return of the prince from Spain. We wish to share in the demonstrations of joy which you tell us will be made by everyone upon that occasion. We direct you to compliment his Highness in our name in such manner as your prudence may suggest. You may tell him of the general relief at his happy return, and that our republic is especially pleased owing to our old-standing and cordial relations with that Crown, so that we seize the opportunity to emphasise our esteem for his Highness, and for his many qualities and his worth. You will express our satisfaction in phrases of this description and perform a similar office with his Majesty, in such form of words as you consider opportune.
We receive your letters regularly and we may take this opportunity to express our complete satisfaction with your offices and with the full advices you send.
Ayes, 138.Noes, 7.Neutral, 15.
[Italian.]
Nov. 3.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
184. ALVISE VALARESSO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE AND SENATE.
From every part of the kingdom nearly every gentleman has been to pay his respects to the prince at Royston, led by a feeling of relief. It is thought that when he returns the City of London will accord him a state reception, in short the affection displayed towards the prince is something beyond the ordinary. God grant that it may not excite the jealousy that always exists in the breasts of rulers, and which perhaps affects this king more than any one else. He and his son have gone another thirty miles away beyond Royston (fn. 1) ; and are staying there employed for the most part upon the pleasures of the chase.
The Duke of Buckingham seems to be gaining greater popularity among the gentlemen of the realm, as he shows himself utterly alienated from the Spaniards, and it is unlikely to be mere pretence since it is undoubtedly against his interest. The prince is deep as usual and maintains a profound silence. He certainly does not love the Spaniards, and if he loves the Infanta his love is temperate. Some one told me that he is disposed to await the issue even until March. There is a strong alliance between the prince and Buckingham, and if it does not become too great and alarm the king, who perpetuates Buckingham's favour, it may go far to lead his Majesty towards taking good resolutions.
I am assured that the last despatch made here for Spain renews in better style the demands about the Palatinate. The re-awakening of this affair, which seemed rather dead than dormant, may be a good sign, and by putting forward this they may desire to escape the blame for the vain negotiations about the marriage and conciliate popular opinion, owing to the universal desire for its recovery. It is true that if, as before, they content themselves with negotiations merely about the marriage, the best way to make them last for ever is to introduce this question of the Palatinate, which involves numerous excuses for delay.
Fresh remittances have reached the Spanish ambassadors here. Since the prince's return the effrontery and hilarity of their court has considerably abated. There has been some difference between them. Inoiosa is a hot and capricious character. The other ambassador Mendoza, who came with the prince, has provoked him sorely; but he will leave as soon as he has seen the king, although that cannot be before twelve days or so when he is expected in London. They are also expecting the ambassador from Brussels, who is coming accompanied by great lords and a train of a hundred persons and more. Such a pompous embassy seems excessive for a simple return.
I know for certain that the ambassadors are anxious about their affairs, an argument either that they have little information or know that evil is near. They seemed ill content over their last reception at Royston.
The carrying out of the pardon to the Catholics remains in abeyance. They say that the king desires first to see the betrothal, for which the powers given by the King of Spain are limited until Christmas. The ambassadors are anxiously awaiting the return of the king and prince to town; to tell the truth every one is on the tip toe of expectation. It seems impossible that the king should not at least once break the silence, which casts such a slur upon his councillors, and communicate to them the state of affairs to decide what steps it may be necessary to take. I do not know what their opinions may be but I fear they will turn at the slightest nod the king may give. I have heard some talk of a parliament, and though the king detests it so greatly it would prove the best remedy for every evil.
The ships have come to the Downs after orders had been sent for them to stop at Portsmouth. It seems the prince's intention that they shall stay here always, but the reason for the written orders was that they should not go far away, so that they might return to Spain to fetch the Infanta. It would also be necessary to revictual them for that purpose. I hear that these ships have proved as excellent as they are fine in appearance.
London, the 3rd November, 1623.
[Italian.]
Nov. 4.
Misc.
Cod. No. 62.
Venetian
Archives.
185. MARC ANTONIO PADAVIN, Venetian Secretary in Germany, to the DOGE AND SENATE.
The emperor has spoken to the nuncio of his difficult situation, asking for help from the pope. France and Venice objected to the transfer of the electoral vote to Bavaria, which he had done at the pope's instance. Spain wished to compel him to settle matters in the empire, coming to terms with the Palatine and shutting out Bavaria. The nuncio said that it was not the transfer of the vote that moved France and Venice, but the English marriage, as the union of that king with Spain did not suit the interests of France, with which those of Venice coincided. Both these opinions are very remote from the real truth.
The Spanish ambassador has taken the opportunity to recommend strongly a settlement with the Palatine advising also the marriage between the Palatine's son and the emperor's second daughter. He suggests that they should send some one to Bavaria to tell him that all these troubles have arisen about the transfer of the vote, and they cannot resist the Turks without pacifying the empire, which can only be done by again transferring the vote and a settlement with the Palatine, especially as they have signed the treaty of Brussels to give satisfaction to England.
Vienna, the 4th November, 1623.
[Italian; copy.]
Nov. 6.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Signori
Stati.
Venetian
Archives.
186. MARC ANTONIO MOROSINI, Venetian Ambassador in the Netherlands, to the DOGE AND SENATE.
Every one is now withdrawing to quarters. Hither have come all the Italians and subjects of your Serenity who have come to learn the arts of warfare. There are also many English and French, favoured by the ambassadors of France and England and received with much splendour.
The Hague, the 6th November, 1623.
[Italian.]
Nov. 6.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Spagna.
Venetian
Archives
187. ALVISE CORNER, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Those who accompanied the Prince of Wales on his journey have all returned. All agree in confirming what they wrote, namely that he publicly professed his extreme love for the Infanta and though he frequently complained of not being allowed to take her with him, yet he declared that for his part he would remain constant for a conclusion. To the Count of Gondomar, subsequently, his chief confidant, he further remarked that he foresaw that various means would be employed to prevent the completion of the marriage and therefore for real safety they ought to hurry on the conclusion here, in order to frustrate all hostile offices and attempts which might be made with the king his father in particular. Gondomar assured his Majesty that the prince spoke to him in this fashion and he knew that he meant to indicate the Duke of Buckingham, of whom every one who attended his Highness to the ships reports the most evil disposition towards this Crown. I hear also that the Marquis of Inoiosa writes from London that the duke has written to the king advising him to break off all negotiations, and the marquis adds that although that king does not openly show his offence at the manner in which the prince is returning, yet he perceived what he felt.
The ordinary ambassador, who was also with the prince, as soon as he arrived went to the king together with the extraordinary, and presented him with most affectionate letters. His Majesty assured them that he meant to fulfil the agreement and would hasten to do so. Accordingly they now announce with the greatest ostentation that they are not only preparing various gifts of raiment to send to the king and prince in the name of the Infanta but that she is having herself taught the English tongue with great assiduity, and they promise that she will receive frequent visits from the ambassadors who will present her with letters from the prince, but as usual she makes no reply except verbal ones.
When the king was at Balsaino the Count of Olivares sent for the nuncio and urged him to get his Holiness to send immediately with his blessing the consent granted by the late pope. He complained of the delays that had occurred, as the Count has once more become zealous for effecting the marriage, using all his energies to obtain the Infanta's joyful consent, to which she seems more inclined than before, saying frequently, with admirable courage, that she hopes either greatly to assist the Catholic religion, or to quit her life gloriously for it.
Madrid, the 6th November, 1623.
[Italian.]
Nov. 7.
Senato.
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
188. ZUANE PESARO, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The Princess Palatine recently invited the king to stand as sponsor for her last son. This met with opposition particularly from the Jesuits, but apparently the king intends to accede to and give this indication of friendship and esteem.
Paris, the 7th November, 1623.
[Italian.]
Nov. 10.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
189. ALVISE VALARESSO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The king while still away at Royston has had an attack of the gout, with no small pain, and his usual impatience. The prince and Buckingham arrived here unexpectedly yesterday evening, being sent by the king to take his place at the customary celebrations at All Saints. It has been noticed that since the prince's return no ambassador, one may even say no leading nobleman, has had access to him except in his father's presence. For the rest all the negotiations are confined to this trinity. The king is hidden not only from others but from his son and from the favourite. The prince takes no liberties with his father; to others he says little though he praises the Infanta. Buckingham is certainly disgusted. He speaks against the Spaniards and almost seems to advertise his new opinions, but I cannot feel sure what attitude he adopts with the king. Something has been said about a quarrel between the king and him, but I have this general information from a great nobleman that so far as one can surmise at present things never wore a better aspect. In a few days Buckingham is to give a banquet in his own palace to all the Spanish ambassadors, though the king ordered it and will bear the expense.
The audience of the latest ambassador, Mendoza, has been postponed owing to the king's illness. This delay irritates the ambassador who seems in a hurry to leave and apparently he has decided to make one audience suffice to present himself and take leave. Inoiosa has had many occasions of offence with this Mendoza, and recently a public dispute arose between them about precedence. The king does not like Inoiosa, and I know he remarked that he was suspicious, precipitate and false. The prince also is supposed not to care for him owing to something which he is supposed to have written to Spain, and from this ill fame of the minister all conclude that he will certainly act deceitfully in his negotiations.
The Secretary Cottington arrived recently. He brought letters for the ambassadors but he sent them on to them and went straight to the king. Such, however, is the presumption of Inoiosa that he complained that Cottington did not bring them in person, which means that he should have gone to him before the king. This Cottington has certainly become a Catholic (fn. 2) ; he leans to Bristol's party and therefore may be considered interested in the marriage. To keep up the hearts of the Catholics here Inoiosa has shown them a letter from the Infanta, of which I enclose a copy. The prince left some jewels in Spain and in particular three very fine diamonds, to be presented to the Infanta after the betrothal, though even if this took place it would be nothing. Messia, the ambassador of Flanders, has been kept from crossing the sea by the bad weather; he will bring many gentlemen with him, especially captains; it is not unlikely they will recall a book published by the Mendoza who was ambassador here in '88, suggesting among other things that England might be conquered by the number of ambassadors and the quality of the persons wearing swords. (fn. 3)
I hear for certain that the king has written to the Palatine about the marriage proposed by the Spaniards between that prince's eldest son and the emperor's second daughter, upon condition that the son is brought up by the archduchess at Brussels. If that is so, it is a very bad sign for the rest. Gabor's diversion has proved most opportune, since Bavaria had finally granted Tilly's forces against the Dutch and they were arranging to extend the Catholic league for another four years and against them.
The Earl of Oxford, sent to prison two years ago chiefly for offence given to Buckingham, is now expected to be released shortly at the duke's intercession.
Last Sunday when an English Jesuit was preaching in a certain upper chamber the floor gave way and another underneath; about 80 persons perished, more than sixty being badly hurt. The badness of the building and the rottenness of the wood caused this rather than the number of persons. The rooms used for this service belonged to the French ambassador who was in my house at the time of the accident. The sight of so many dead and injured was a fearful thing. A great crowd gathered of persons concerned, some lamenting a father, some a son, but the wisest restrained their tears, as it is a dangerous crime to weep for these innocents who are considered guilty even in death by the rabid opinion of the heretical multitude. A girl taken half dead from the ruins nearly fell a victim to some fanatic Protestants when she was being carried through the city, and almost lost the little amount of life left in her, and in a city lacking the best regulations and in spite of the diligent guard which they keep here this accident provided the unhappy occasion for a general and bloody riot (una figliola semiviva dissepolta da quelle rovine nell'essere portata per citta fini quasi il piccol residuo di sua vita rimanendo poco manco misera preda d'alcuni infuriati Protestanti, e certamente in città sproveduta delle ottime regole che con le diligenti guardie qui si tiene queste accidente dava una infausta materia ad una universale e sanguinolenta sollevatione).
The bodies for the most part were buried in the ambassador's garden, as the magistrate would not have them carried away, either to avoid the occasion for some disturbance or because he did not consider them worthy of other burial. (fn. 4) The ordinary of this week has not arrived.
London, the 10th November, 1623.
[Italian.]
Enclosed in
the preceding
despatch.
190. Copy of Letter from the Infanta to the Spanish Ambassador in England.
Marquis: the chief difficulties of this important affair being now removed, make known to my Catholics there for their consolation that my coming has been postponed for reasons affecting their particular and special welfare, which I shall always be ready to advance even at the risk of my own life. Tell them this steadfast resolution of mine so that they may not lose heart through the delay in my coming.
[Italian.]
Nov. 10.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Zante.
Venetian
Archives.
191. AUGUSTIN SAGREDO, Venetian Proveditore of Zante, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Enclosures relating to operations of pirates. The Proveditore of the Fleet has taken a large squadron to the haunts of these pests, and it now seems that the pirate bertons have withdrawn from these waters.
Zante. the 31st October, 1623, old style.
[Italian.]
Enclosed in
the preceding
despatch.
192. Examination of Zuanne de Zorzi, Venetian gunner of the ship Grandelfino.
Left Venice twenty-six days ago. On the 11th inst. at la Vecchia. On Sunday 40 miles from Sapientia. On Monday morning sighted six ships, four of them very large. Judged them to be pirates, so turned westward. The six ships pursued until four o'clock, when lost sight of. Did not know whose the ships were, but think they must belong to the pirate Sanson.
[Italian.]
Enclosure.193. Examination of Felippo de Lazzaro of Venice, master of the tartana Balbi, which was taken by pirates.
Five bertons of Tunis boarded them 20 miles from Sapientia. Does not know whence they came. Taken prisoner to Modon, but ransomed for 500 ryals. Agisilao Seguro gave security to some Turks in Modon to give the pirates the equivalent of the 500 ryals in cloth. The pirates carried off the cargoes to Barbary together with 140 persons, of whom he alone escaped.
[Italian.]
Nov. 13.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Savoia.
Venetian
Archives.
194. LORENZO PARUTA, Venetian Ambassador in Savoy, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Two couriers have passed this way this week, one of Spain and the other of France. I learn that the Spanish one is going to Rome taking the king's last wishes to his ambassadors there about the Valtelline and upon the marriage contract with England to find out what his Holiness proposes to do about the dispensation and the points upon religion. The other courier went to Milan.
Turin, the 13th November, 1623.
[Italian.]
Nov. 14.
Senato.
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
195. ZUANE PESARO, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Puysieulx spoke to me about the two marriages of England and Florence. He said the latter was proceeding satisfactorily to the satisfaction of his Holiness, but of the former he knew that secretly there were disputes and disagreements; which would urge on the conclusion of the preliminaries only to break it off with other negotiations. But all the others spoke to me to the opposite effect on these subjects, that the English marriage will take place, while the Florentine one is poisoned because the Spaniards are conducting it.
Paris, the 14th November, 1623.
[Italian.]
Nov. 15.
Cinque Savii
alla Mercanzia.
Capitolare.
Venetian
Archives.
196. Decree that all those in possession of ryals in the Venetian State must get rid of them or exchange for their true value at the Mint by the month of February next, and in the meantime the ryal shall not be expended at a higher price than 7 lire the piece, upon pain of forfeiture of all the ryals and of criminal punishment in addition. Those who spend or receive ryals after the said date shall incur the same penalties.
[Italian.]
Nov. 17.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
197. ALVISE VALLARESSO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Two days ago the prince convoked the select council of twelve persons, who hitherto both nominally and actually have presided over the affairs of the marriage and the Palatinate. The matters dealt with are cloaked under impenetrable silence, since they imposed an oath of secrecy upon the Bible upon each one, a most unusual proceeding. All I can learn for certain is that Buckingham gave a full relation of the past negotiations. One may conjecture from the opinions he has expressed elsewhere that he exposed the frauds practised by the Spaniards and the hopeless state of the negotiations. For the rest, on the conclusion of the relation they took no resolution. Until they open the doors of a parliament the way is closed against every good. Certainly the prince and Buckingham are in the most friendly union and possibly hatred of Spain may cement their friendship; but I cannot help repeating that the supreme authority rests with the king, and that is the doubtful point. Any one who had the good fortune to move him would get his way with the rest, and therefore I have always considered it best to address myself direct to him and make a good impression whenever possible.
Immediately after holding the Council Buckingham left for the king, the prince remaining behind, although in a little while he will do the same. No ambassador has visited either of them since they came here. I abstained from asking to see them for many reasons, though I took occasion to pass offices of respect with both of them, endeavouring to cultivate their friendship without creating suspicion or offence.
The Spanish ambassadors are cast down and apprehensive about their affairs. They recognise the change from the first manner of negotiating, the number of audiences being diminished and their access to the royal hearing curtailed. The last ambassador Mendoza has received no small slight, no audiences being given or assigned them, upon the excuse of the king's indisposition which has now ceased. Certainly they are all ill satisfied and he in particular. But the most prudent recognise that though these improper methods serve to exasperate, something more beyond offending ambassadors in such small affairs is required to put matters on a proper footing, and this is perhaps only a sign of weakness, biting the stone but not touching the arm.
The Ambassador Messia has arrived from Brussels with his numerous and distinguished train. He lodges in the same house as Inoiosa and at his expense. He will not have audience before the extraordinary Mendoza. The ostensible pretext for his mission is congratulation, but from what I learn he will try to get negotiations about the Palatinate referred to a diet in Germany, and will make the proposals about marrying the Palatine's son. I sent to welcome him in the manner I observed previously with the Ambassador Boischot.
The ordinary agent of Brussels, Vamala, has returned with the same title, but honoured with other rewards, and takes a more distinguished position. He had taken a good house, but will have to give it up, because as it is in a very frequented place the people coming from his mass incurred some danger. The most lamentable accident in the apartments of the French ambassador, of which I wrote, has been seized upon by the Spaniards to lay stress upon the hard conditions to which the Catholics are subjected, because being denied safer places for their exercises they are constrained to adventure themselves in such dangerous ones. The French ambassador for many respects has felt obliged to abandon that ill-omened abode which is now a cemetery, but at the time of the accident and since he has encountered many difficulties and various adventures in looking for a house. At present he is lodged in the house of a friend, and for the rest he is ill-content for various reasons. (fn. 5)
London, the 17th November, 1623.
A courier from Spain has just come for the king, performing the journey out and home in twenty-four days.
[Italian.]
Nov. 18.
Senato,
Mar.
Venetian
Archives.
198. It being fitting that Odvardo Vatson, who serves as interpreter to our ambassadors with the King of Great Britain, should have the means to maintain himself suitably in the position he holds, in the manner considered necessary by Girolamo Lando, who employed him in that embassy:
That he and his successors, who are approved by this Council, shall have an addition to their appointments of 100 ducats a year, beyond the 100 granted to the ambassadors for an interpreter. (fn. 6)
Ayes, 119.Noes, 7.Neutral, 14.
On the 28th March, 1623, in the Collegio.
Ayes, 18.Noes, 0.Neutral, 1.
[Italian.]
Nov. 20.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
199. ZUANE PESARO, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The ambassador of the States, in order to show the king how the Dutch are abandoned by their good friends and their increasing for his Majesty's protection has informed him of what took place between their vessels, those of the Spaniards and the English fleet bringing back the Prince of Wales. The Dutch were closely pursuing the Spanish ships which took refuge among the English. There they induced the prince to stop the Dutch ships and send on board, and under the pretence of entertainment to send for the Dutch captains and give them presents and plenty to drink, thus giving the Spaniards time to spread their sails and get out of danger. The ambassador referred to this as a most offensive jest.
The ministers here are urged to open negotiations for marriage with the Prince of England. They seem willing but to fear that this may offend the Count of Soissons, for whom Madame is the destined bride, or that it might hasten on a conclusion with Spain out of jealousy. The count would be contented with Madame de Monpensier, who is very rich and well suited to him. It is said that the French ambassador in Spain has written that he feels sure that the Spaniards will not carry out the marriage if they are sure that France will not marry with England. I have also learned on good authority that Monsig. Massimi, the nuncio in Spain, has written to Monsig. Corsini, the nuncio here, that as the Prince of Wales may have left Spain in a very discontented frame of mind, he did not believe that France would take up marriage negotiations to the diminution of the service of the Catholic religion. The nuncio requested Puysieulx that if they thought of taking up such negotiations they would not conclude upon lower terms than Spain had obtained for the Catholic religion. He has informed the pope of his office and that Puysieulx replied with generalities about the devotion of his king to the Holy See and that they will always see that his Holiness is satisfied in a matter in which he professes so much interest.
The Resident Wake of Turin is here on his way to England. He hopes to be ambassador with your Serenity.
Paris, the 20th November, 1623.
[Italian.]
Nov. 20.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Savoia,
Venetian
Archives.
200. LORENZO PARUTA, Venetian Ambassador in Savoy, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Two days ago there arrived here from Rome one Father Zaccharia, a Jerusalemite from Saluzzo, a subject of his Highness and a man of great learning who gladly deals in affairs of state. It is said that he is going to Spain to give an account of the negotiations he was charged to conduct with the pope about the English marriage. I hear that he saw the duke yesterday, who had a long conversation with him in the prince's presence, but I have not yet succeeded in discovering what it was about.
Turin, the 20th November, 1623.
[Italian.]
Nov. 22.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Spagna.
Venetian
Archives.
201. ALVISE CORNER, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the DOGE and SENATE.
A gentleman has arrived from the Prince of Wales, sent expressly with most affectionate letters to the king, about his Highness's happy arrival and all that took place at London. The cavalier was immediately admitted by Olivares who took him to his Majesty without delay. The king seemed much relieved at reading the letters and sent the news to the Infanta with congratulations which he afterwards conveyed to her in person. Two days later the English messenger was allowed to visit the Infanta and present letters to the same effect. They say that the prince informed her principally that he will sincerely and fully fulfil her command to protect the Catholics. They say here, however, that Buckingham's account is directed to persuade the King of Great Britain to break off all negotiations, and that by intelligence with that sovereign and Denmark, Gabor has taken the field. On the other hand, they still make the greatest show of desiring the completion of the marriage, as they are setting up a column near the Escurial at the place where the king and prince parted, with an inscription summarising the things agreed to and the promises sworn. They have sent a courier to Rome to urge his Holiness strongly to do what is necessary, nor is the Duke of Pastrana exempted from blame in his character of ambassador, for the delay in a matter so much desired or which they pretend to desire. However, the count does not pretend and as I have always written he devotes all his energies to overcoming every difficulty and to carry through this marriage at all costs, such being the requirement of his own particular interests.
They have made a general arrest of all the ships of foreign merchants in the ports of the realm to see if there are any Dutch ones, as it is reported that there are some very rich ones which nominally under French captains have brought valuable merchandise and a quantity of copper money, which would all be confiscated, and already they say that the king would gain something like two millions.
Madrid, the 22nd November, 1623.
[Italian.]
Nov. 24.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
202. ALVISE VALARESSO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The day after my last despatch the prince sent me a gentleman of his chamber in response to my office, who duly expressed his Highness's thanks. That same evening the prince left for his Majesty, the reason for his sudden departure being possibly the arrival of the courier from Spain I wrote of. But before he left, and when he had his foot in the stirrup, as one may say, the Ambassadors Inoiosa and Colluma went to see him, staying a short space. They presented letters from their king brought them. by a Spanish courier who arrived a few hours after the English one.
At Theobalds, whither his Majesty has gone in his convalescence, they have held the secret council twice, the king and prince being present. What they discussed has been kept remarkably secret, but whatever it may have been, so long as they take no effective steps it is easy to see they will continue their previous course without making any advance. I fancy their intention is to stay all action on their own part and wait to see the result of the Spanish promises. There is little difference, if any, in being deluded by the subtlety of others and remaining the idle spectator of one's own hurt. For the rest I hold strongly, what I have observed upon occasion to some of the gentlemen here, that the wisest course would be not to wrench the king violently from the one extreme of his beloved peace to the other, of an abhorred rupture, but to lead him towards the latter insensibly, step by step, so that his Majesty's prejudices and the magic arts of the Spaniards may not prevail over everything. I hear that they protest more strongly than ever that they will fulfil the promises to effect the marriage and the restitution of the Palatinate, while they lay much stress upon the marriage of the Palatine's eldest son to the emperor's second daughter, with the poisonous addition about his education, with some one of the house of Austria, and with this chain of negotiations they confuse the English brain and by a circular and perpetual motion they initiate fresh negotiations under an appearance of wishing to finish the old ones, to drag the affair out for ever, and to cast the blame of a rupture upon the English, which in my opinion is their ultimate object.
To the king's letter about the marriage, which I reported, the Palatine has replied expressing his readiness to obey his Majesty, but after he is assured of recovering his state. The ambassadors here extol the merits of the Spaniards in allowing the prince to return freely. They say that everything will be adjusted; that the Palatine will be reinstated, although he will not get the electoral vote so soon. They complain that Bavaria is fomented by France and your Serenity. Inoiosa made a solemn oath to a friend of mine that the marriage would take place. He added this striking phrase, that provided his king had peace with England, he would not mind war with the rest of the world (che perche il suo Re habbi la Pace con l' Inghilterra, non cura della guerra con tutto il Mondo). With such expressions these ministers speak and profit; they use every art to mollify Buckingham, and some say, to buy him again, but he still seems alienated from them and opposed to the marriage, and it really seems that he is devoting his attention to preventing it for reasons of state, but that nevertheless he may accept it and he must never dissociate himself from the king (et nel vero pare che per ragione di stato salutare egli attendi all' esclusione di quello, ma che però, debbia consentirlo ne mai scostarsi dal Re medesimo). Nevertheless a good opinion of him is constantly on the increase among the populace and his friends and followers augment continually.
The Earl of Northumberland, sometime prisoner in the Tower, and subsequently banished from the Court for a long while, now enjoys complete liberty. (fn. 7) In Ireland we hear of some disturbances among the Catholics, but they affect to announce here that all is pacified. The ordinary contribution of these Catholics, due about this time, has been postponed for the moment by the king's order, and not levied; the reason may be in order to avoid any reason for driving the Catholics here to desperation, especially at a time when there are so many Spanish ambassadors about, surrounded by their captains and servants, or possibly because as they cannot escape having a Catholic princess, they think it best to concede in good time what they cannot ultimately refuse. The king arrived two days ago carried in a litter, as although he has no pain yet he cannot move. The physicians are to hold a consultation about his maladies although he does not usually follow their advice.
Yesterday the last ambassador Mendoza went to his first audience, with rich liveries. Owing to the dispute about precedence with Inoiosa, only Colonna accompanied him. He merely passed a brief compliment with the king, but I hear that he has separate commissions concealed from the other ambassadors. Late that very evening Inoiosa also desired audience unexpectedly being possibly moved by jealousy. I hear on good authority in great secrecy that a friar, if I mistake not, has made some suggestion of a composition to which the Duke of Bavaria and the Palatine would agree; if this be true it would be desirable the duke should be exculpated in the eyes of the king here.
The city is full of a rumour of an approaching war in France against the Huguenots. I have conversed on the subject with the French ambassador, pointing out to him at length the detriment of such an undertaking. He assured me that it would not take place, the king did not desire it nor any of the government on any account, and the warlike preparations were merely to intimidate the Huguenots, as being the best way, according to him, to keep them in obedience.
London, the 24th November, 1623.
Postscript.—I have just heard that the Ambassador Bristol having sent a letter six sheets long by the last courier, full of assurances upon the sincere desire of the King of Spain for the marriage, the Councillors here have resolved unanimously that they will have no marriage without the Palatinate. I am also informed that since yesterday they have dispatched for Spain the so frequently mentioned Grisli, Chiligri and a servant of Carlil. I cannot fully satisfy myself of the reason for such frequent expeditions but an informant tells me that Bristol has been ordered to return, not because the marriage will not take place, but because the glory shall not in any case be his if it does. In my next letter I hope to be able to send something better authenticated.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Nov. 25.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Roma.
Venetian
Archives.
203. PIERO CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador at Rome, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Besides the natural daughter of Don John of Austria they have offered the widow of Urbino for the pope's nephew. (fn. 8) But his Holiness has let it be clearly understood that he will not think of marrying his nephew before he sees the termination of the affair of the Valtelline and that of Urbino, and what will be the outcome of the Spanish marriage with England. They place no difficulties here in the way of this last, all the necessary points being arranged with the promise for their observance from the Catholic King; they have also studied to make it appear to the English, to render the things of Rome less odious, that the delays and obstacles do not come from this quarter but from elsewhere.
Rome, the 25th November, 1623.
[Italian.]
Nov. 25.
Cinque Savii
alla Mercanzia.
Risposte.
Venetian
Archives.
204. With regard to profiting by the value of ryals in Zante and Cephalonia, in the payment of the new custom and with the advantages of information from Paolo Basadonna recently returned from the Government of Zante we would remark that in time past when all the money of the customs was paid into that chamber, they received ryals also in considerable quantity, current at lire 8 grossi 4 each, but through Basadonna's zealous efforts the currency of ryals was stopped at that chamber, for when their value was fixed at lire 6 every one ceased to bring them, and paid in various small moneys; as no ryals reach the chamber we have no grounds upon which we can give a reply.
Domenico da Molin,Savii.
Marco Zustinian,
Agostin Bembo,
[Italian.]
Nov. 26.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Ceffalonia.
Venetian
Archives.
205. ANZOLO GIUSTINIAN, Venetian Proveditore of Cephalonia, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The debts due in this island to your Serenity amount to 100,000 ducats. But some go back as far as 1530 and only about 45,000 can be collected. Even this will be difficult, as the island is extremely poor, partly owing to the low price of raisins, its chief source of revenue. Whereas in past years they have reached as much as 40 ryals the migliaro, they can hardly get 12 for them this year. There may be many reasons for this, but as I have no exact information as yet, I will put off writing about it to another time.
Cephalonia, the 16th November, 1623, old style.
[Italian.]
Nov. 28.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Firenze.
Venetian
Archives.
206. VALERIO ANTELMI, Venetian Secretary at Florence, to the DOGE and SENATE.
My letters from Genoa state that the king informed Cardinal Spinola that the marriage with England is arranged. Meanwhile we know that the Dutch mean to prepare for all eventualities. It is only reasonable to expect that marriage, whatever may be its worth.
They write from Brussels on the 6th that the Ambassador Messia, appointed by the Infanta to congratulate the Prince of England on his safe return, has left with a large company.
Florence, the 28th November, 1623.
[Italian.]

Footnotes

1 To Hinchingbrook, near Huntingdon.
2 He fell sick when in Spain and was reconciled with the Catholic church by Fra Diego de la Fuente. The Spanish Marriage Treaty, Camden Society, page 249.
3 Bernardino de Mendoza was not ambassador in England in 1588, as he was dismissed from the country in January, 1584. Spanish Calendar, Vol. III, No. 366.
4 The accident occurred on Sunday, 5 Nov., in the top storey of the French ambassador's residence at Hunsdon House, Blackfriars; ninety-one are said to have lost their lives, including Robert Drury, the preacher. Gardiner, Hist. of Eng., page 142; Cal. S.P. Dom., 1623–5, pages 104, 106, 108; Birch, Court and Times of James I, ii, pages 426–431.
5 He removed first to Drury Lane (Cal. S.P. Dom., 1623–5, page 108), and subsequently took Lord Mandeville's house in Aldersgate Street. Birch: Court and Times of James I, ii, page 436.
6 This grant is remarkable, seeing that on the 6th August, 1621, Lando, being then Ambassador in England, had recommended the removal of this Edward Watson, as dishonest and incompetent, and probably a double spy. See the preceding volume of this Calendar, No. 121, pages 101, 102. It was originally proposed to grant 300 ducats, but that did not pass, if Branthwaite's despatch of the 14th Nov. may be credited. State Papers, Foreign: Venice.
7 Henry Percy. 9th earl, released from the Tower in 1621. At this time ho hired Sir Richard Morrison's house in the Minories, and kept a coach with eight horses.—Cal. S.P. Dom., 1623–5, page 110.
8 Taddeo Barberini was the only one of the pope's three nephews who did not take orders. Claudia de Medici was widow of the Prince of Urbino, who died in 1623, while his father, Francisco Maria della Rovere, Duke of Urbino, was still alive.