Venice
January 1624, 5-15

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Institute of Historical Research

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Allen B. Hinds (editor)

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1912

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181-193

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'Venice: January 1624, 5-15', Calendar of State Papers Relating to English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 18: 1623-1625 (1912), pp. 181-193. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=88900 Date accessed: 31 August 2014.


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January 1624

1624.
Jan. 5.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
230. To the Ambassador in England.
The particulars you have received from this individual from Poland deserve mature reflection and close examination, and if spoken with sincere intention and if they found any response they might yet produce good results. Experience shows that every negotiation for a settlement of the Palatine's affairs, such as the Spaniards keep introducing, will result like so many others. The prince now perceives the truth of this, and he will reject their proposals so far as his present condition allows. You behaved prudently with the said individual, without committing yourself, merely encouraging him so that Bavaria's suspicions of the proceedings of the house of Austria may lead him towards some negotiation with the Palatine. Upon the question of a marriage between the two houses we do not feel sure whether he means to push it forward or whether his object is merely to offer a counterpoise to the marriage proposals of the emperor, of which you have already advised us. In any case, as we have said before, the motive and the circumstances are of moment. During the stay of some days which the king has imposed upon that individual you will have opportunities of discovering all particulars of the progress of his offices, the understanding which he may have with the Palatine's agent, the replies he receives from his Majesty and the consideration and opposition which the Spanish ministers may afford. In order to obtain further information upon the substance of this business we shall inform our ambassadors in Rome, France and the Hague about it, and our resident at Vienna, and with the help of the light which we expect from you, we shall take such further steps as we consider will benefit the public service, owing to the very close connection of those matters with the current affairs of this province.
We see that you incurred extraordinary expenses for the public demonstration upon the return of the Prince of Wales, for which we will afford you relief as your services merit.
We hear of the arrival in England of the Persian ambassador, and you must watch his negotiations. Upon previous occasions they turned upon opening fresh trade routes, which is a matter to cause us grave reflection on account of our interests and for many respects.
Ayes, 172.Noes, 1.Neutral, 0.
[Italian.]
Jan. 5.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
231. ZUANE PESARO, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The Spanish ambassador, who has returned from England to Brussels, seems very dissatisfied. The ambassador of the States has spoken to me about English affairs with hopes of a happy change. The English ambassador remarked to me that they would like to see the restitution of the Palatinate and the Valtelline and things are not in the hopeless state they were before, only the ambiguity of France causes prejudice. I am assured on good authority that England has made overtures, and if France accepts them the Spanish marriage may easily be broken off and one with Madame concluded. I cannot penetrate how the matter will be arranged, but they count upon Buckingham. The Queen Mother certainly works hard to set this affair on foot.
The king is sending twelve falcons, twelve huntsmen in livery with twelve horses with trappings to match as a present to the King of Great Britain, a complimentary overture for the purpose of improving their relations. I understand that they would like the Prince of Wales to show some courtesies to Madame such as he lavished upon the Infanta.
The king has given a company of men-at-arms to the Duke of Lennox, a much valued honour. That nobleman, the son of a French mother, has always been considered as belonging to the French party. They have sent to his Majesty's ambassador in London the form of oath which he is to take. It is thought that this employment will prove most useful.
Paris, the 5th January, 1623 [M.V.].
[Italian.]
Jan. 5.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
232. ALVISE VALARESSO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The third of the couriers sent to Spain has returned. He brings no definite reply, as the Spaniards are saving that to send to their own ambassadors. They seem to be expecting it at any moment, but I believe that they will put it off as long as they can. The kernel by which they stand at present is that they ought not to depart one tittle from the terms of the old treaty, in which no conditions about the Palatinate were inserted; but they pretend here that it was always understood, and if the prince said nothing about it in Spain it was simply because more important considerations restrained him.
The king shows signs that he is beginning to come round to the dissolution of the business, and is now devoting himself to procure that all the blame for the rupture shall be cast upon the Spaniards. It is to be feared that this is merely one of the king's subtleties, to encourage delays to some extent, although others think that he has really changed fundamentally. I now hear that he is taking up this pretext with the same end in view as his son, either to save his reputation over the past negotiations or he desires an appearance of divided opinion to assure his person against all danger.
They are maturing the idea of summoning parliament. The king finally consented, although he added a condition that to some extent nullified his assent. He wished previously, on the pretext of honourable employment to send away to a distance three persons, the best heads and the freest tongues of the Chamber, whom he detested too much in the last and feared too greatly in the future parliament (fn. 1) This idea of sending them away was proposed to the councillors. The Chamberlain and the Marquis of Hamilton, with praiseworthy liberty, protested and dissuaded the king, acting in his own interests, as it would have provided an unlucky beginning for the new parliament to awaken dissatisfaction, at which he is unfortunately terrified. I do not hear, however, that the king changed his mind, and perhaps they will elect to satisfy him in this in order to gain his good-will for the rest. The parliament is strongly opposed by some of the leading ministers here because its just sword usually flashes against their ill-acquired greatness.
I have had a long colloquy with Wake, sometime his Majesty's agent at Turin, who has become the son-in-law of the Secretary Conovel, (fn. 2) the one who has the largest share in current affairs, and who is well esteemed by the whole Court. In talking with me upon the present happy aspect of affairs, he remarked that it was the moment for princes friendly to this Crown to disclose themselves by their good advice, which the king would now be most disposed to receive. This idea corresponds with what the ambassador of the States told me he had from another minister, as if they wished to animate his masters to make overtures. I thought fit to reply that this enchanting business of the marriage had rendered all representations vain and removed all hopes of making any approaches with advantage, but if we saw this broken off, and those who acted as enemies under the guise of friendship eloigned, the true friends would recover their place and publicly exercise their good offices. He remarked that the business might be considered broken off. I rejoined that there was little appearance of that so long as ambassadors remained on, who might wish to keep alive a public business for their private interests also. He understood my hint and answered so as to give me to understand that Grisli, who is shortly to be sent back to Spain, will take with him Bristol's recall. I remarked that that would be the first step on the good road, and as I perceived that he suspected that I wished a war with Spain to arise immediately from this beginning, I added that the second step should be internal reorganisation, to feel their own strength and reunite opinions, convoking a parliament. The third step, closely allied to the other, was to help the Dutch openly, support Mansfelt and have an understanding with Gabor, who might receive no small harm from their present perplexity. All these things could be done while preserving the appearance of peace with Spain, for which they themselves provided a precedent, as they pretended that they wished to give a daughter to the Prince of Wales at the very time that they were taking away the dominions of his sister, although I knew that they would remove the mask when the opportunity came and they felt so disposed. In short, the generous English spirit should show its resentment for the numerous injuries inflicted by the Spaniards. This knight, who is full of good intentions towards the interests of your Serenity, approved highly of my discourse and I gathered that he would not keep it to himself.
Lord Chisinton, captain of the Guards, is to leave in a few days for the French Court. He declares he is going for his own pleasure and to attend upon that king in his hunting, but he certainly takes some commissions, which in my opinion will entail listening rather than speaking, as their object is to induce the French to declare themselves, and to send him as an ear to hear if any overtures have been made. Personally I do not know whether this decision is good or to what results it may lead. At the first glance it would appear that after the rupture of the marriage with Spain nothing remains but one with France, but the universal opinion of this kingdom, which agrees to the exclusion of the Spanish princess, is not yet unanimous about accepting a French one. The English consider that marriage a monopoly between the Scots and the French. Some have mentioned Mademoiselle de Montpensier, as being very rich and one who would not impose serious conditions about religion; but the French would not consent to this marriage, putting Madame first, in order not to allow that rich dowry to be taken out of the country and to prevent the states of that dowry giving rise to further disturbances by arousing the ancient claims of the king here. I think I may say for certain that the prince inclines strongly to France.
The king and prince arrived two days ago, on the eve of their Christmas. I hope next week to wish them a happy new year.
London, the 5th January, 1624.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Jan. 6.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Roma.
Venetian
Archives.
233. PIERO CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador at Rome, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The pope has heard with disgust of the nuncio in Spain receiving from the king there the bishopric of Catanea and various presents, but he is much more displeased at the instances of Pastrana that this nuncio be not removed from his charge, as his Catholic Majesty desires his presence at the marriage with England and that he shall first despatch some cause between the royal magistrates and certain ecclesiastics.
Rome, the 6th January, 1623 [M.V.].
[Italian.]
Jan. 6.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Firenze.
Venetian
Archives.
234. VALERIO ANTELMI, Venetian Secretary at Florence, to the DOGE and SENATE.
By order from Rome the nuncio has informed his Highness that the marriage between England and Spain will take place in March, the King of Spain having already sworn to the articles agreed upon. The offers made by the Most Christian to the Prince of England since his return home, of his sister with two millions of gold, must have hastened on this oath-taking.
In Rome they considered it noteworthy that the prince's unexpected departure from London for Spain took place on the very day that the congregation of Cardinals decreed their consent to this marriage.
The marriage itself gives great satisfaction here, because they propose to give a sister of the Grand Duke to the emperor's son.
Florence, the 6th January, 1623 M.V.
[Italian.]
Jan. 8.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Signori
Stati.
Venetian
Archives.
235. MARC ANTONIO MOROSINI, Venetian Ambassador in the Netherlands, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Most favourable letters have reached the Queen of Bohemia from England, and as the princess honoured me by showing them and telling me many particulars, I hasten to send word to your Serenity. The letters are dated the 24th ult. and report the king's absolute decision not to agree to the marriage unless at the same time they make full restitution of the Palatinate. They say that the courier has returned who was sent to Spain for the purpose, that all things were prepared at that Court for the celebration of the nuptials upon the arrival of the dispensation from the new pope, and that the Catholic considered himself much slighted and insulted when the English ambassador went in the name of his king to tell them not to proceed any further with the marriage unless they thought of restoring the Palatinate. The prince and Buckingham were the authors and promoters of this resolution and have allowed it to be absolutely and publicly understood that they are offended and disgusted with the Spaniards. The queen here feels so sure of her brother's disposition and of his antipathy against the Spaniards that she has sworn to me more than once that she feels absolutely certain that the marriage will not take place, and that her affairs will change their aspect. She told me frankly that she did not trust her father, but now he is compelled to trust his son and Buckingham, since they have been on the spot and are thoroughly acquainted with Spanish perfidy and deceit. She went on to say that the ambassadors of the Catholic are no longer able to put anything before the king as the young prince forthwith opposes them and makes their deceit and treachery apparent to his father. She also takes the greatest comfort at learning from these letters that parliament will very soon meet, and that the orders are out for it, since she knows full well the lively affection of the people and the leading men of the realm for her interests (del Padre liberamente m'ha detto che non si fida, ma che hora è costretto di credere al figluolo et a Bochingen; poiche sono stati sopra il fatto et sono molto bene informati dell'inganno et perfidio Spagnola, soggiendomi che non possono più gl'Ambasciatori del Catolico, dargli ad intendere cosa alcuna poiche incontinente a questi s'oppone il Giovane Prencipe et fa al Padre apparire la fraude et l'assassinio. Grandemente si consola anco nell'intendere per dette lettere, che il parlamento sii ben presto per ridursi, et che siino fuori gl'ordini per intimarlo poiche ben sa come vivono affectionati li popoli et li più principali del Regno a gl'interessi di lei).
The Hague, the 8th January, 1623 [M.V.].
[Italian.]
Jan. 9.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Roma.
Venetian
Archives.
236. To the Ambassador in France.
You will speak to the king about the importance of the Grisons, to which the Spaniards cannot be admitted without affecting his Majesty's rights. France has in previous times recognised the necessity of separating the Spanish forces. While the Spaniards were making these attempts, so prejudicial to his Majesty, they attacked him in another way by the English marriage, which alienated the sentiments of that king from his ancient royal maxims, and the other proposals to marry Leopold to the Princess of Tuscany, and Caesar's daughter to the Palatine's eldest son.
Ayes, 109.Noes, 0.Neutral, 0.
[Italian.]
Jan. 9.
Cinque Savii
alla
Mercanzia,
Risposte.
Venetian
Archives.
237. With regard to prohibiting foreign cloth used in our kingdom of Candia, after consulting Venetian merchants trading there and the Rectors recently returned, we consider that it may be advantageous to prohibit foreign cloth there, which may be replaced by cheap cloth from Mestre, Terlici, Feltre and Bassano. This would prevent the damage caused by foreigners coming and selling their cloth there. On the other hand, if the English, Flemings and Dutch are prevented from bringing London, kersey and other similar cloth to barter it will cause a great diminution in the export of muscatels, upon which we are assured there is no need of so great a quantity that they cannot do with less, as they devote themselves to this trade in particular in so far as they profit by exporting them, with such advantage as they count upon from the mutual exchange and in the price of the cloth, which they change according to the rate of what is given for the muscatels, as when they should buy them with cash they abstain owing to the scarcity of money, the trade consisting rather of an exchange of goods than purchase or sale of goods. Accordingly your Excellencies would lose heavily in the customs, for whereas the merchants pay 6 ducats per cask to export to foreign countries, while to send them to Venice they pay no more than a sequin, the duty would suffer a triple loss, and it constitutes the mainstay of the public revenue. The inhabitants would also suffer from the difficulty of marketing their produce, which consists mainly of the abundance of these muscatels. At the present time no Venetian subjects attend to the trade as in days gone by, when whole ships were laded and sent to various parts of the West, with the greatest profit. We therefore do not consider it advisable to prohibit the said cloth in that kingdom.
Agostino Michiel,Savii
Francesco Moresini,
[Italian.]Marco Zustinian,
Jan. 9.
Cinque Savii
alla
Mercanzia,
Risposte.
Venetian
Archives.
238. With regard to the request for a declaration that any person of any nation may trade freely at Spalato, we have to say that the question of allowing foreigners to trade in the Levant has already been decided in the contrary. It has been represented that a decree of the Senate provides that the merchant galleys may carry the goods of persons of any nation. When the port of Spalato was enlarged thirty years ago there was no intention that foreign nations, particularly Flemings, English and Dutch, should trade there, as owing to their great monetary resources they can easily transfer trade from one place to another, as best suits their interests, and they can thus get the whole trade into their hands to the absolute exclusion of our own subjects. The great harm they have already done in this way is only too evident. Such a permission would also destroy the mart of Spalato, as if the Flemings and other foreigners take silk and woollen cloth by that way to Constantinople, whence they can easily send it to Syria, Alexandria etc. when the Turks find they can supply themselves so easily and give in exchange their silk, sables, wool, wax, cordovans, and other goods without moving from home, they will certainly abandon that voyage, and the Flemings will secure the whole trade, sending away the goods they acquire by sea. We are therefore of opinion that such permission should not be granted.
Agostino Michiel,Savii
Francesco Moresini,
Marc Antonio di Priuli,
Agostin Bembo,
Upon the same subject, the trade of the said port is in such a plight that some expedient is necessary in order that it may not utterly perish, and so everyone should be allowed to trade there as he pleases. While it is possible to repair the losses of the place by permitting foreigners to take their goods thither and trade, I do not see how we can possibly withhold our consent to this request. With regard to the argument about the English and Flemings dealing direct with the Turk and taking all the trade away, it seems to me that even if they can do so and find it advantageous, they could do so at present by way of the sea, but as this has not happened we may conclude that it is not likely to. I may add that if the Turks ceased to trade at that place it would be absolutely ruined. Experience shows that the best course for the state is to permit foreigners to trade with complete freedom, not only at Spalato but everywhere else, so that commerce may be revived and maintained by their means. I think, however, that the best course would be to allow free trade for two or three years, so that we may see whether the results are good or bad, after which the privilege can be withdrawn or confirmed. I have made a separate report from my colleagues because I feel very strongly upon the subject.
Marco Zustinian, Savio.
[Italian.]
Jan. 10.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Spagna.
Venetian
Archives.
239. ALVISE CORNER, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the DOGE and SENATE.
I find that the English ambassadors have confirmed what I wrote about the reasons for postponing the nuptials, as I got them to enter into full particulars. They told me that they spoke to his Catholic Majesty by express orders to this effect, that if the Infanta was not to go to London before March their king desired that the nuptials should take place only a few days before, and in the meantime that they should complete what they propose to do here about the restitution of the Palatinate, since his Majesty is most determined upon this point, owing to his paternal interests and the promises which he has received, and wonders at their delaying so long to fulfil their promises, and that even while the negotiations were in progress for the completion of the marriage they alienated such an essential part of the Palatinate to the Elector of Mayence. Digby further added that by express command he had remarked to Olivares that they should take heed lest after the completion of the marriage they should come to an open rupture, protesting that even after the Infanta had joined her husband, if they failed to keep their word to the Palatine, the King of Great Britain was resolved to take the matter up and join the enemies of the house of Austria. I expressed my astonishment at this in order to induce them to say more, especially as to how the matter could be settled so quickly, since it was complicated by various princes sharing in the Palatinate. Digby said that the Spaniards, while professing a readiness to give up what was in their hands, precisely excused themselves because of their inability to recover what others held; but this would not suffice, as they pretended in Flanders that the Catholic should cause the restitution of everything taken from the Palatine before March, because the powers for the nuptials did not extend beyond that date, and if more time was required for adjusting the claims of everyone, that the king here should give a written undertaking that the complete restitution should take place within a short time to the satisfaction of the King of England, who wishes to treat with him alone and not to have recourse to the emperor or any of those princes who have possessed themselves of the Palatine's goods. The ordinary ambassador remarked, what he has always asserted, that if the promise so often repeated is not fulfilled the world would see very decisive steps taken, and he also remarked that they would only treat with the Spaniards, as their king could more easily obtain satisfaction from them.
I asked what demands his king would make about the Palatine's electoral vote. He said he had no express instructions upon that subject, but the Catholic would have to take everything upon himself, and give a written undertaking. Digby remarked that he hoped to obtain it before he received instructions to ask for it, as he had already negotiated with Olivares, but there might be difficulties about the form, upon which he expected fresh instructions. In the course of the conversation with me, however, he displayed some doubts about the conclusion of the marriage. When I remarked that his prudence and skill would overcome these, he said frankly that he feared, as he had also told the count, that if a different feeling had arisen in Buckingham it had taken birth and grown in Spain, as he and the prince both came well disposed, and he enlarged upon the offences which his Highness had received from the junta of divines and lawyers. He remarked, however, that the prince was deeply in love with the Infanta and that no better marriage can be obtained.
What the result may be one cannot say for certain, as the ministers themselves think differently, but Olivares meets the English ambassadors almost every day, especially Digby. The latter's departure is not confirmed, although it is asserted by his household and that of the ordinary ambassador, wherefore it is thought that some understanding will be arranged between the count and Digby about the negotiations for marrying the emperor's daughter to the Palatine's eldest son, giving them part of the hereditary dominions of the father and the electoral vote, and keep him in hope. Some ardent friends of the English marriage persuade themselves that the English king only makes a show of protecting his son-in-law and will accept the most superficial accommodation, merely in order to save his face before the world, and who knows whether the ambassadors may not have said what I have reported designedly for a purpose. Some think that they have feared in London that the pope will not grant the dispensation and wished to anticipate his refusal by making these demands, to show that in any case they are not so eager for the marriage as is supposed. It is thought therefore that when the news comes of the granting of the dispensation in Rome and of the sincere willingness displayed here the King of Great Britain will alter his declared purpose in favour of the Palatine, or will lighten it considerably, and will accept what the Spaniards offer him. There is also some revival of the old original idea they were said to have, namely to induce the emperor to represent the insuperable difficulties which he has to overcome and in that way to constrain the prince to agree to marry the daughter of his Imperial Majesty with the object of effecting a direct composition of all that concerns his brother-in-law the Palatine and recover what has been lost in his own person. But whether the English are likely to assent to any such thing your Excellencies will be able to judge by the advices of the most excellent Vallaresso.
Madrid, the 10th January, 1623 [M.V.].
[Italian.]
Jan. 10.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Candia,
Proveditore.
Venetian
Archives.
240. NICOLO VALIER, Captain and Duke, HIERONIMO TRIVISAN, Proveditore General, and ZUANE DUODO, Councillor of Candia, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Notification of the condemnation of John, Viscount de Lormes and Pompeo Florisello, his secretary, to imprisonment for six years.
Candia, the 31st December, 1623 old style.
[Italian.]
Jan. 12.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
241. ALVISE VALARESSO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
These last days I have been engaged in not unfruitful offices with some of the ministers. I abstained from visiting the prince and Buckingham in order not to arouse the king's jealousy. I did not see the king because he is in the country for the most part, because affairs are not yet mature and in order to reserve myself for the compliments at the new year. But I asked for audience on Saturday and had Monday assigned to me. When I was introduced I began by wishing him long years. I continued by renewing as by your Serenity's express order my congratulations upon the happy return of his Highness, accompanying this with such expressions as I thought proper. I remarked that you desired to express your great consolation, and if Wotton had been at Venice or anyone in his place you would have expressed the same to him. This hint would also serve for other purposes.
The office pleased the king, and he thanked your Serenity for it without ceasing, and swore to me that he was certain of your sincere disposition. I went on to commend that costly journey, as one from which great results had accrued and even greater might be expected. The king responded to the same effect, as I had already heard from the person I sent to probe to the bottom of the affair, that he certainly desired the Palatinate for his son, and that he was the friend of peace, a point upon which he digressed considerably. I humbly submitted that henceforward to desire peace and the Palatinate were two incompatibles; his Majesty's righteous intentions were not only not reciprocated, but he was deceived by the perverse malice of others; to arrive at the necessary end it was necessary to change the means and operate in the manner adopted occasionally with sick bodies, when after long and fruitlessly trying one medicine they turn to another absolutely different, with success. Peace in the empire will never be obtained without the liberty of Germany, and that was hopeless without help from England, and in fact there was a certainty either of a servile peace or a feeble war.
The king answered, laying stress on these points, that he would do everything to recover the Palatinate, would employ every means and move Hell itself. He said this in a very vehement way. The emperor might now increase the electoral vote to any number he pleased and even give the title of king to Bavaria, it mattered little to him, showing his displeasure with that duke. He praised the pope to me, and remarked spontaneously that he detested all violence in religion; and concluded the whole by expressing a wish for his Palatinate. In fine, the king's words never had a better sound, although, to be perfectly frank, one never heard a note either of resolute war or of open wrath against the Spaniards. Accordingly one may doubt whether he has changed either in word or intention, and whether his natural inclination is not subjected but merely subdued and hidden. Only one suggestion did he give me when he said he hoped he would find your Serenity ready in emergencies; to this I replied that you had set a laudable example, though at a serious expense, in your care for the common cause in the past wars of Savoy, in your constant contributions to the Dutch and in the recent league in favour of the Grisons.
Such was the substance of my audience of his Majesty. On the following Tuesday I saw the prince. After wishing him a happy new year I congratulated him on his return by the express commission of your Serenity. I enlarged upon this, expressing great esteem and even greater expectation of his worth, while not forgetting to allude with him also to the vacant embassy. I think I fulfilled punctually the instructions of the 2nd November, and if I had presented a letter from your Excellencies nothing would have been wanting.
The congratulations pleased his Highness extremely; he spoke of your Serenity with much honour and the greatest signs of affection, commanding me to thank you for the good offices you had always performed. I replied suitably, and added that your Serenity's satisfaction would be great indeed when you heard the results of the journey which are now beginning to show results so advantageous to the kingdom and to the service of the whole world. I remarked that the ancient veni, vidi, vici applied, as he had brought back victory from the midst of their deceptions, which a victory in arms would certainly follow up. He answered that he hoped no one would be deceived by him; the king his father would not neglect to take the necessary steps, and they desired to put a stop to the negotiations once for all. He alluded to the summoning of parliament, and while dealing in generalities he expressed very sound opinions in a few words. But as he had to spend all the rest of the day upon a despatch for Spain, I thought it best not to detain him too long. Certainly the hopes founded upon this prince are constantly upon the increase; God grant that these flowers may become fruits.
The same day I went to see the Duke of Buckingham, and congratulated him also in your Serenity's name upon his return, and though this was not by your Serenity's order I hope it may not prove unserviceable. My motive was the change of affairs for the better and Buckingham's own improved disposition. I had a long and very frank conversation with him. I said nothing against the tricks of the Spaniards and the necessity for changing resolutions which he did not merely confirm but amplified from his experience. The most striking things that he said to me were, that without going to Spain one would never believe her weakness; that without another change of the Palatinate nothing will be done; they would like to keep the negotiations going (I do not know whether he referred to the Spaniards alone or included the king also), and in three years he hoped to show what England could do; he seemed to consider the pope no Spaniard, and not to be personally ill-disposed towards Bavaria. He thanked me warmly for my constant good offices with the king and for the last in particular, saying that his Majesty was very pleased. Finding him so well disposed I thought fit to put in something about the necessity of persevering constantly, remarking that the public weal and private interests rarely accorded well together. I urged him to beware of negotiations as of a rock and to fear the Spaniards more as friends than as enemies. He also mentioned parliament to me, and I said they ought to take care lest the Spaniards sowed dissensions there; in short I omitted nothing which I considered to the point.
One can no longer have any doubt about his good resolutions; only prudence necessary for the circumstances is desirable, as he has a heavy burden on his shoulders. The prince is his chief prop, and if ever the king began to act for himself again and the prince again submitted to his father from filial respect or other weakness, he would inevitably be ruined; one may easily believe that the Spaniards are intent upon this, and their arts do not sleep. Meanwhile, thank God, I am for once the bearer of good news, and my labours are not entirely luckless; to move this machine I have employed all my poor talents. God guard us against a relapse, as these are worse than the original disease as I said to Buckingham.
The Earl of Oxford has been released from the Tower (fn. 3) after submitting to the king's clemency, but without any confession of wrong. He may be called a martyr of Spain, and the rupture with them has relieved him. Anstruther is about to leave for the King of Denmark. He takes good commissions, but I cannot discover their nature. Grisli is sent back to Spain with the recall of the Ambassador Bristol, whose brain is greatly feared by Buckingham. As for the Spaniards, I believe they would like silence to serve for a reply. The captain of the Guards is making ready for his journey to France. Parliament will be convoked for the 22nd February; though something remains to be decided. As regards the eloigning of Coke, one of the three of whom I wrote, and the oracle, one may say, of the parliament, the matter is still pending. If it is done it will be a bad sign, and in any event a successful issue of the parliament seems doubtful. The prince's usual masque will soon be performed, and I hope to be invited, with some of the other ambassadors.
Taking advantage of my audiences the Marquis Martinengo paid his respects to the king and the prince, who showed him much favour.
London, the 12th January, 1623 [M.V.].
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Jan. 14.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Ceffalonia.
Venetian
Archives.
242. ANDREA MOROSINI, Venetian Proveditore of Cephalonia, to the DOGE and SENATE.
I have to inform your Serenity of an increase of 12,000 ducats and more to be realised from the duty of the new impost in this island and Zante, payable on every miara of raisins taken to the West. The merchants pay the islanders who sell the raisins in ryals at lire 6 each, out of which the deposits are subsequently made in money of gazette and grossete, (fn. 4) the overplus being withheld, beyond the six or eight lire, at which the ryal usually circulates. In this way the duty is only augmented by 25 per cent. between one kind of money and another. In their explanation they state that the imposition of the duty has left room for all manner of vagueness in the method of payment.
Cephalonia, the 14th January, 1623 [M.V.].
[Italian.]
Jan. 15.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Signori
Stati.
Venetian
Archives.
243. MARC ANTONIO MOROSINI, Venetian Ambassador in the Netherlands, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The Prince Palatine came to see me the day before yesterday and informed me of the negotiations in London of an individual sent by the Nuncio of Brussels, but with letters of credence and commissions from the Duke of Bavaria. It appears that he proposes other marriages and settlements. Bavaria offers a niece as wife for the Palatine's eldest son, to whom he undertakes to restore all the occupied country, and the electoral vote also to the little prince, after his death, but upon condition that the boy is sent to Bavaria, taught the Catholic faith and brought up at the duke's court. His father will not consent to this on any account whatsoever, and he freely says that they must not talk of taking his son away from him or of making him change his religion, though he will agree to anything else in reason.
The Hague, the 15th January, 1623 [M.V.].
[Italian.]

Footnotes

1 The three were Sir Edward Coke, Sir Edwin Sandys and Sir William Jones, or perhaps Sir Robert Philips.—Cal. S.P. Dom., 1623–5, page 134.
2 Wake married, in December, Anna, daughter of Edmund Bray, of Barrington, and step-daughter of Sir Edward Conway.
3 On Tuesday, the 9th January, 1624, new style, after confinement for twenty months, Buckingham procured the release, but found it more difficult than he expected. Birch: Court and Times of James I, ii, page 445.—Cal. S. P. Dom., 1623–5. page 135.
4 Gazetta, "a kind of small coin in Venice, not worth a farthing of ours." Grosseto, a groat. Florio: Dictionary.