Venice
April 1624, 1-15

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Institute of Historical Research

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Allen B. Hinds (editor)

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1912

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260-271

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'Venice: April 1624, 1-15', Calendar of State Papers Relating to English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 18: 1623-1625 (1912), pp. 260-271. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=88906 Date accessed: 02 October 2014.


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April 1624

April 1.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Signori
Stati.
Venetian
Archives.
325. MARC' ANTONIO MORESINI, Venetian Ambassador in the Netherlands, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The friar who negotiated in London for a settlement between the Prince Palatine and Bavaria passed this way on his road to Brussels. He conferred with the Palatine and his wife, advancing the same views that he had ventilated in London, and everybody is strengthened in the opinion that this is one of the usual tricks and deceptions.
The Hague, the 1st April, 1624.
[Italian.]
April 1.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Savoia.
Venetian
Archives.
326. LORENZO PARUTA, Venetian Ambassador in Savoy, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The duke has shown me some quite recent letters from France. Among other things they state that the ambassadors of Spain and Flanders go about disseminating slanders (zizzanie) at Court against the English, and try to render Lord Ritz, the English ambassador, suspect to the French. This arises from their fear that the marriage previously negotiated with the Catholic will take place with France. In spite of this his Majesty sent M. de Curtanuò to the said lord, to follow him to Compiègne, telling him that he would see him there to arrange something satisfactory for the marriage of his sister Henrietta, and the lord obeyed his Majesty's orders with alacrity. Even before he left Paris he gave the Ambassadors Pesaro and Calus to understand that in two days he expected powers from his king sufficient to conclude any negotiations with France and that he hoped for a happy issue.
Turin, the 1st April, 1624.
[Italian.]
April 3.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
327. ALVISE VALARESSO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Two days ago Buckingham called upon me and expressed his deep esteem for your Serenity, assuring me that present events would turn out well. Sir [Isaac] Wake has come by his express command to inform me of the excellent resolution given by the king to the deputies of the parliament. They have to-day offered his Majesty, if he will declare for breaking off the negotiations, 360,000l. sterling to be collected in a year and applied under the superintendence of their deputies, while they will supply more as need arises. The king replied in substance that he accepts the subsidies and will break off the negotiations; that he desires to recover the Palatinate and would do it in person if his age did not stand in the way, but he would give his son. In short, he recommended his own interests and promised not to depart from their good service. From what others tell me, he made reservations upon three points, namely, the decision against whom to make war, sending an ambassador to declare it, and choosing the councillors about the war. If there is room for any change or reservation I have not yet heard of it. One cannot say with how much consolation, feeling and almost tears such a reply has been received; I need only say that it is valued the more because it was so strongly desired and so very doubtful. They have lighted bonfires in the city; the readiness of the people is admirable. The subsidy promised in a year will be given if necessary in two months, but I cannot go into further particulars because I have decided to send these few lines by the merchants, as I did the report about Conovel's embassy, to conceal what is said from the Spaniards. The first news will go to the Queen of Bohemia at the Hague, whence this news of mine may possibly have arrived, though without my fault.
London, the 3rd April, 1624.
[Italian; deciphered.]
April 4.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
328. ZUANE PESARO, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The agent of Bavaria has called upon me, after a long interval. He wished to remove the impression that Bavaria was acting with duplicity. The duke desired a satisfactory accommodation. No confidence could be placed in Mansfeld. He did not know what accommodation could be made with the Palatine, but he would have to humble himself before the emperor. I confined my reply to generalities.
Paris, the 4th April, 1624.
[Italian.]
April 5.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
329. ALVISE VALARESSO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
I sent off my letters of two days ago without any fuss to avoid delaying important news and not to annoy the Spaniards, who would have been greatly irritated. Your Excellencies will know that the Duke of Buckingham, without a moment's delay, had sent me word of his Majesty's last declaration upon the rupture of the negotiations and the recovery of the Palatinate in conformity with the good advice given him by his parliament. Since then nothing has happened except the putting in writing of the royal reply. They took it to the king for verification, and yesterday it was read in the full parliament, and sealed by this action it remains in suspense for ten days owing to the Easter celebrations. The declaration happened on the anniversary of the king's accession to the English throne, and hence some one remarked very aptly that he began to reign on that very day. Rejoicing at the declaration extended to every sort of person and was publicly manifested throughout the city; this gave occasion to some insulting words against the Spanish embassy, and some stones were thrown. I could not yet venture to affirm what results will follow, as judgment fails in the presence of a subject who has failed so often. Considering the two previous replies of the king this one may well be called new, and one may fear instability owing to the sudden change; if the resolution arose from a resolute decision to do what is necessary, I might say what would happen, but the king's arises from a forced willingness and insistent advice, and so among all contingencies nothing is more contingent than this. It may be, as I like to hope, that the very necessity which has carried him thus far will take him yet further. It is certainly much to have brought him to such a point and that the birth so long expected has not miscarried. Meanwhile I take consolation for having assisted, while keeping my hand sufficiently hidden to avoid irritating the Spaniards yet not remaining idle in the service of your Excellencies to whom the rupture of these negotiations is of such importance, which have rained public affairs for eight years and proved the sole fomentation of Spanish greatness (il solo fomento della grandezza Spagnola).
The Lord Treasurer, a most sorry minister, has not ceased the worst offices with the king, and I know that among other things he told him that he should avoid making a declaration, because thereby he would subject himself to the parliament and cease to be a king; the Spaniards have inculcated the same ideas by different channels. In the meantime they do not give up hope or abandon their customary devices. They asked for an audience, which was arranged for yesterday after being postponed from day to day, but as it was Maundy Thursday they practically refused it.
The long expected Father Maestro has arrived. He reports that in France, a short distance from Amiens, some men with false beards stopped him and while leaving him his money took away all his papers. The ambassadors and their partisans say that this stroke was done by the English, and that the reading of the papers here made the king hasten to issue the present declaration. On the other hand some, not without reason, suspect that this reported accident is merely a Spanish trick in order to keep the king's hopes a little more in suspense, to make larger promises or for some other similar secret purpose.
Yesterday the Dutch ambassadors, after being treated with an almost unbroken silence, went to their second audience of his Majesty. As he was not feeling very well at the moment he kept them waiting some time, and received them practically in bed and with many excuses postponed the audience until next Monday.
The prince sent the king's declaration to the Queen of Bohemia at once by a special gentleman. Anstruther for Denmark and Wake for your Serenity will start very soon. It is thought that they will open marriage negotiations with France immediately. Buckingham, as Lord High Admiral, is hastening on the provisions and preparations of the royal ships. In time of war that office brings in many thousands of pounds. He has recently vindicated his claim as admiral to a share of the booty taken by the English at Ormuz, profiting to the extent of 6,000l. sterling, an advantage which hitherto he might have lost, as he could not claim it without justifying the complaints of the Spaniards that English subjects were responsible for that action.
The Secretary Conway went to the Spanish Ambassadors to complain in the king's name that the ships of Dunkirk had taken in the very mouth of the Thames a small Dutch vessel, containing among other things 5,000l. sterling in money. I understand they replied by calling to mind what happened last year when ships of Dunkirk were blockaded and burned by the Dutch in Scotch ports, and for the rest they promised to write about it to the Marquis Spinola.
The English merchants are very hopeful of obtaining letters of marque to make reprisals on the Spaniards. 6,000l. sterling were remitted to the Ambassador Bristol for his return, although it is probable that the way is dark for him (che per lui sia smarita la strada). Some days ago Inoiosa told my informant that he would not leave before that ambassador arrived, such is the disregard for honour where personal interests are concerned.
There are rumours that parliament will entrust the prince with the money promised to the king, but I cannot say what will happen or what results may follow. The king continues in his customary attitude towards the Catholic religion, with the idea of removing every pretext for calling the coming war a war of religion. Parliament has, however, renewed the law depriving Catholics of two-thirds of their incomes in favour of the king, and has made a new one forbidding Protestants to cover the goods of certain Catholics with their own names, a course frequently adopted.
The ducal missives of the 7th March reached me too late as the Capuchin had already been gone some days, but in time to confirm the doubts I have always held upon the genuineness of that business, to which I have merely lent an ear. The conference here between the gentleman of the Palatine and the friar was nothing but an accidental meeting of those who had previously come separately.
London, the 5th April, 1624.
Postscript.—I enclose a copy of the king's last declaration, leaving all comment to your Excellencies.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Enclosed
in the
preceding
despatch.
330. Declaration of the King made to the deputies of the parliament on the 2nd April, 1624, at Whitehall. (fn. 1)
The sum they will grant enough to begin with. Thanks for support. Will annul treaties. Always determined to recover Palatinate. Will spend every penny granted on the war, but hopes they will remember him. Money will be spent by order of Commissioners, but a secret council of war necessary.
[Italian; 4 pages.]
April 6.
Misc.
Cod. No. 63.
Venetian
Archives.
331. MARC ANTONIO PADAVIN, Venetian Secretary in Germany, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The fear of France increases and for this reason the Spanish ambassador is trying hard to get the negotiations about the Palatine transferred to Spain, and to open the way to afford some satisfaction to England, to keep the negotiations for the marriage going more actively than ever and gain time.
Vienna, the 6th April, 1624.
[Italian; copy.]
April 9.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
332. ZUANE PESARO, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The Count of Mansfeld has arrived quite unexpectedly at Boulogne. The ministers here are not at all pleased and remonstrated strongly to me and the Count of Verua that this was contrary to the agreement to keep him at the Hague. I laid the fault on the Ambassador Maurier for not fulfilling his orders.
The Marquis of la Vieuville has ordered the governor of Boulogne to treat Mansfeld well, as if on his own responsibility, but not to let him pass without orders from his Majesty.
The count's action has been precipitate. I beg for instructions, as if the count may not stay in England he will ask leave to pass through this kingdom to Turin or Venice.
Lord Rich told me with great joy of the good resolutions of England, and that his king embraces the offers of the two houses, on which account all three kingdoms will light bonfires, and London already glowed with rejoicing. The Marquis of la Vieuville sent the news to his Majesty. We shall see what results ensue. The ordinary ambassador assured me that they would stand firm about the Grisons, because his king will take up the common cause. If England begins the ball he will ask for partners.
In the neighbourhood of Amiens a Dominican friar (fn. 2) has been robbed, who, after a long stay in England in the service of Spain, proceeded to the Catholic Court and thence to Rome, whence he was returning to England. All his papers were taken, probably by those who want light upon his negotiations, and we hear already that they found something against the Most Christian.
Paris, the 9th April, 1624.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
April 12.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
333. ALVISE VALARESSO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The day after my last despatch a captain of the royal navy brought word to the prince and Buckingham that he had heard that some Spanish ships proposed to pass through these seas, full of soldiers to land in Flanders, and asking what course to follow, whether as a neutral or a partisan. With this they went to the king to discuss the answer. The prince and Buckingham, carried away by their zeal, desired that the captain should join with the Dutch, but the king would only consent to closing the ports of England against the Spaniards, and, in the event of action, not to permit the destruction of the Dutch if they should be worsted. This course is both praiseworthy and desirable and arises from nothing but a prudent knowledge that war would be premature in their present state of preparedness. It is doubtful whether the news is true, since the season is not adapted for the voyage and the Spaniards have no need to send fresh soldiers to Flanders, and perhaps the whole thing was devised on purpose as a test for the king.
Last Monday the Spanish ambassadors, accompanied by Father Maestro, had audience of the king, the prince and Buckingham being present as usual. Father Maestro would not venture upon any proposal, excusing himself on the ground of his lost papers; although Buckingham in particular urged him to say at least so much as he remembered. The ambassadors gave and received but little satisfaction; both sides used big words, claiming to have received offence and reproving omissions. Rumour states that they will leave soon. On the following day they sent a courier to Spain to go and return, from which it appears that they expect orders to leave. If this happens, and I do not think it will take place so soon, Father Maestro will remain behind as I understand.
The case about the papers has not yet been fully cleared up, although the wisest hold that he invented this loss as an expedient, recognising the hopeless state of affairs. The English say jestingly among themselves that he has come to give extreme unction to the moribund negotiations. I find it difficult to say whether it is with their customary art or really sincere feeling that all these Spaniards display little or no apprehension about a rupture. They despise this kingdom as unwarlike, poor, disunited, under a timid king with an inexperienced prince and I know that they have called this movement the revolt of the mice against the cats. They place great reliance upon the trouble they can cause in Ireland and confide in many of their partisans. As regards the future they need not take a gloomy outlook, especially as without counting the others they may reckon the king as on their side, but it is certain that some of the good steps taken recently, especially the convocation of parliament and the king's declaration, such as it was, were not only against their wishes but had seemed impossible to them; accordingly there is good hope if they continue to deceive themselves in this fashion (ma certo io non saprei, se con le solite arti o pur con sentimento di verità si mostrino tutti questi Spagnoli con una piccola (per non dir) con niuna apprehensione di quella rottura. Sprezzano questo regno come imbelle, povero, disunito, sotto un Re timido, con un Principe inesperto, et so ch' hanno chiamato questa mossa la rivolta de' toppi contra i gatti, Sperano assai ne' travagli che possono dar nell' Irlanda, et confidano in molti di Corte lor Partiali. Quello che sia dell' avenire ne posso giudicar malamente, massime che oltre tutto il rimanente si puo dir che habbino il Re dalla loro, Ma egli è ben certo che qualche cosa buona esseguitasi sin' hora, in particolare la convocatione del Parlamento et la dichiaratione del Re, quale ella si sia, sono seguite non solo contra la voglia ma fuori della loro credenza; onde se continuassero ad ingannarsi di questo modo sarebbe a sperar bene).
The chief wants of the kingdom for the moment are powder, and they have issued orders to obtain some from the Dutch, and of sailors, who are somewhat scarce, as I have written before. The ships are the best that the kingdom ever had (le navi sono le migliore che mai tenesse questo Regno). Weapons, which the Spaniards did not believe to exist, for more than 10,000 persons have been found through the inventories made, though scattered over more than a hundred miles.
The ambassadors here have spoken to a person deeply in their confidence in such fashion as to show that their king for many reasons deeply mistrusts the present pope. I can state this with absolute certainty.
The Dutch ambassadors had audience immediately after the Spaniards. The king seemed better disposed towards them than ever before and commended more fully than usual their remarks about the necessity for the preservation of the States and the recovery of the Palatinate, though he did not descend to any particulars. They merely arranged to appoint commissioners to begin the negotiations, though they have not been nominated yet. The ambassadors fear that before deciding anything with them the king will want at least to see negotiations begun with France and hear the answer given to Aonoder who is about to leave for Germany. In my opinion this would be a serious error, not only because of the harmful delay, but because while asking who shall be the first to declare himself everyone will wait for the others, and that will encourage mistrust and stop all good. From what I hear these ambassadors will insist in their demands for an alliance for the recovery of the Palatinate, as in this way they can involve the king in war and while satisfying the Palatine secure their own best advantage at the same time. Certainly this appears the soundest plan, but it might be more useful to ask help for themselves because even while helping them the king might adduce the example of France and others to show that he had not made war. He would not detest this so much, as although he has declared the negotiations broken off he has in no sense broken the peace with the Spaniards.
With the intimation of the breaking off of the negotiations they proposed to send Grisli to Spain any day, a decision which matures with the usual slowness, the king showing his customary repugnance, and he has many times read and re-read his letter to the King of Spain, constantly extenuating and mitigating its terms. A person who has seen it, from whom I hope to obtain a copy, tells me that its chief points are, that the king, wishing to consult his parliament about these lengthy and interminable negotiations, found them unanimously of opinion that they should not continue; he adopted this advice for the sake of that unanimity which is so necessary between a prince and his subjects, and informs his Majesty of this fresh resolution, hoping, however, that he will preserve his customary friendship for him, especially as he himself must recognise the great wrong done to him by the retention of the Palatinate, corresponding so ill to his deserts. Thus the king adopts his usual fencing and strikes as little as possible at the quick. The letters contained one definite expression, afterwards cancelled I believe, that he really meant to recover the Palatinate and did not believe they would find forces capable of resisting him. But whatever his wishes may be, the firm intention of the prince and Buckingham is to compel him insensibly to follow up the first step by a second and after breaking off the negotiations force him to take up arms for the recovery of the Palatinate.
Buckingham with the vice-admiral and other subordinate officials recently went to inspect the ships at Rochester to see what they needed and issue the necessary orders. Parliament reassembled yesterday, abbreviating the recess by two days in order to accelerate the resolutions. They will pass the Act or resolution for the subsidy and will appoint deputies to raise and control it. The king will nominate a council of war to decide what steps to take. For the rest parliament will devote itself to regulating the internal affairs of the kingdom. Some members are not satisfied with the king's last declaration, which certainly would admit of various interpretations, and would like something more definite and categorical, but perhaps it is better not to refine so much. The merchants show some readiness to furnish the 360,000l. of the subsidy, that is to say 1,800,000 ducats, in a short time, in case of need, with the necessary guarantees.
They debated whether they should recall the ordinary ambassador Haston from Spain, but decided not to. Herbert, the ordinary ambassador in France, will certainly be recalled and Lord Chinsinton appointed, and in a few days they will send with him the Earl of Carlisle, the most popular in France of all the English. They will both have joint commissions to treat for the marriage with Madame, and also, I find, to ask for a new alliance with that crown. In discussing this marriage with the French Ambassador I mentioned how easily it could be arranged, adducing among other reasons the fact that the terms had already been arranged for the deceased prince. He answered that matters had changed considerably owing to the last negotiations with the Spaniards, as France for her reputation's sake ought not to accept terms inferior to those offered to Spain. I retorted that they ought not to take as an example an affair of so many promises devoid of all sincerity. I do not know whether he expressed his own opinions or those of his masters.
This ambassador has brought this prince, in response to his request of the Most Christian, the suspension of certain letters of marque granted to some Frenchmen for reprisals for damages they claimed to have received from the English. Thus the good feeling with France constantly broadens.
The Lord Treasurer is almost openly trying to oust Buckingham, assisted secretly by the Earl of Arundel. The method is by bringing forward a young kinsman of the treasurer, (fn. 3) upon whom the king previously looked with some favour. He was sent to France to get him out of the way, and now he has returned the treasurer has sent for him to encourage if possible the development of his favour. The prince and Buckingham jointly oppose this with great determination. The prince is certainly developing more and more prudence and acquires great credit with all. The king undoubtedly knows this and resents it to such an extent that he can no longer keep silence. Last Sunday, as I know for certain, he reproved him to some extent for making himself too popular, to which the prince replied modestly that he would always behave as an honourable man (certo esso Prencipe ognor più da saggio di prudenza et acquista gran credito appresso tutti. Il Re ben lo conosce et se ne risenti in mancanza che non puote contenersi Domenica passata, che io lo so di sicuro, di rimproverargli in certo modo che si rendesse troppo popolare, a che egli con modestia rispose, che si sarebbe sempre mostrato huomo da bene).
Mansfelt's captain has received fresh orders, which arrived before Mansfelt went as they say to France, to offer his services to this king and even to ask for 5,000 English with a few horses, which he promises will prove useful to his Majesty. This request may have no results, although some are sorry at his having gone away, and many, including the Dutch ambassadors themselves, from what I hear, recognise the mistake of having disbanded his forces. But I perceive that as in the past Brunswick did Mansfelt a great deal of harm, because of rivalry and other reasons, so for reasons of kin they would prefer the former, despite Mansfelt's ability, if they sent a force to the Palatinate.
Many English merchantmen have recently arrived here from Spain. The Duke of Bavaria has made fresh offers of an accommodation about the Palatinate through the Duke of Wirtemberg. The prince decided upon a tilting match and they had already begun to practice for it, but it has been postponed on the plea of serious accidents to two cavaliers; even in such matters the English instability appears. If some news from this quarter reaches your Serenity through the Hague sooner than by my letters that is due to the frequent expresses that the Dutch ambassadors here send over.
London, the 12th April, 1624.
Postscript.—To-day the Lord Treasurer has been accused of serious misdemeanours in parliament, and Buckingham, back from Rochester, has reported the preparation of a great fleet in Spain and pointed out the necessity for having the royal ships ready in.a month.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
April 13.
Misc.
Cod. No. 63.
Venetian
Archives.
334. MARC' ANTONIO PADAVIN, Venetian Secretary in Germany, to the DOGE and SENATE.
They continue very uneasy about the Most Christian, although none of the rumours about levies etc. have been confirmed, notably the alliance with England. They are also anxious through hearing that Bavaria has secretly sent some one to London to propose to treat the business of the Palatine with him apart, as they fear that prince may detach himself from them and join the others. In order to learn some particulars from the Most Christian they propose to write him a general letter expressing Caesar's goodwill for peace in the empire and everywhere else and they would rejoice for him to meet this.
Vienna, the 13th April, 1624.
[Italian; copy.]
April 13.
Misc.
Cod. No. 63.
Venetian
Archives.
335. MARC' ANTONIO PADAVIN, Venetian Secretary in Germany, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Some one here declares that the nuncio at Brussels secretly sent to England, quite recently, a Franciscan, not a Capuchin friar, to procure the absolute rupture of the match, such as actually took place. Exp. pap.
Vienna, the 13th April, 1624.
[Italian; copy.]
April 13.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Firenze.
Venetian
Archives.
336. VALERIO ANTELMI, Venetian Secretary at Florence, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The Earl of Warwick was summoned to Leghorn by the duke to report upon the harbour there, which is ill adapted for its purpose and for the mooring of vessels. He gave his advice, which will soon put matters right. He is indeed a gentleman of great kindliness (bontà) and judgment, and to me has always expressed especial devotion to the most serene republic, being inclined to devote his eldest son to her service. I do my utmost to cultivate his good graces.
The English gentlemen here have the representations made by their prince in the parliament, showing that he really went to Spain for the marriage, which was projected but not arranged. That the late King of Spain had left instructions for the negotiations with England to be dragged on as long as possible, but that his daughter should be given to the emperor's son. The present king, with England's only son in Spain, had decided to contract the marriage but to postpone the confirmation, and to send the princess to a monastery after the prince had returned to England under the impression that his wife would follow him, and in this way to tie the prince, the sole heir to many realms, and so prevent him from having issue.
These gentlemen have a notion that parliament will decide to make war on the Spaniards after the manner of the late queen, without declaring it, by reprisals, which enrich the English and inflict the maximum of damage on the Spaniards, and as Buckingham is Lord High Admiral such a decision will suit his interests. They will also decide upon subsidies for the maintenance of the States and the recovery of the Palatinate.
The king shows the utmost deference to the English ambassadors in France. The marriage is in negotiation and they say that at the end of the month the Duke of Guise, a close relation of the king, will be in England. The king told these same ambassadors that he would help the States more powerfully than ever his father had done, so that the Spaniards will meet with vigorous resistance there.
Florence, the 13th April, 1624.
[Italian.]
April 14.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
337. ZUANE PESARO, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the DOGE and SENATE.
News comes from Germany that the Duke of Bavaria is removing guns and munitions from the two fortresses of the Palatinate, while the Spaniards are fortifying those in their possession. The consequences are manifest. There are more important particulars which I have not discovered owing to my distance from the Court. Here they recognise that the danger has increased and they expect England to play her part, although one is always uncertain what the king will do until the time comes.
Noyon, the 14th April, 1624.
[Italian.]
April 15.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Spagna.
Venetian
Archives.
338. ALVISE CORNER, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Relations with the French ambassadors. The Imperial ambassador very friendly. The French ambassador wishes to demonstrate the great obligations of your Serenity to the Most Christian. He assures moreover that they are very angry here, knowing that the most serene republic is doing its utmost to break off the match with England, asserting that with this object 500,000 crowns have been given to Buckingham. He confided to me that they also suspect the Most Christian, and are dissatisfied with him over many things, chiefly desiring him to cease from helping the Dutch and the Palatine.
The English ambassador has taken no part, so far as I know, in the discussions about the titles of the ambassadors.
Madrid, the 15th April, 1624.
[Italian.]
April 15.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Signori
Stati.
Venetian
Archives.
339. MARC' ANTONIO MORESINI, Venetian Ambassador in the Netherlands, to the DOGE and SENATE.
They have discussed a great deal here the recent news from England about the decisions of parliament. The queen in particular, who is more deeply concerned than any one else, has frequently spoken to me on the subject, anxiously asking whether your Serenity will take up arms against the Austrians in the common cause, joining her father, her uncle Denmark, the princes of Germany and others.
The English Ambassador has taken the same line. He spoke with certitude of his king's determination upon war. He said he well knew the temper of the most serene republic, where he had served for six years. When every one is at peace, he said, your Excellencies made representations everywhere for attacking the Spaniards and preventing the further aggrandisement of that monarchy, opposing force to fraud; but when every one is moving and when some power really means to attack them and wants help, the Senate makes oracular answers, full of propriety and prudence but inconclusive. He added: I do not know if they will do the same this time. Mr. Wake, the ambassador designate to Venice, will have very full instructions upon this point. God grant the Senate may recognise the opportunity and put aside their excessive circumspection, as I assure your Excellency that if we lose this excellent chance of humbling the House of Austria, we shall see that power spread everywhere and imposing its will upon everybody. I hope that with the change of ministers in France the king there has opened his eyes, and my master will not fail to inform him of his decision and show him the necessity of uniting for their own interests and opposing the unlimited ambitions of the Spaniards.
I confined myself to generalities in my reply, praising the generous resolutions of that king, while I assure every one of the excellent disposition of your Serenity. I tried to remove the idea that your Excellencies will only incite others to embark while you remain on land watching the shipwrecks. But the ambassador persisted, saying he felt absolutely certain that when the news of England's decision reached Spain, the Spaniards would behave most sweetly to your Serenity, affording you every satisfaction, and deceived by this you would become reconciled with them, forgetful of all past injuries and their implacable hatred.
Such are the opinions of the English Ambassador, the Prince of Orange, the Prince Palatine, and practically every one here. I endeavour to remove them by insisting upon the constancy and sincerity of the most serene republic and her changeless disposition for general liberty and the public weal.
The Hague, the 15th April, 1624.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
April 15.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Signori
Stati.
Venetian
Archives.
340. MARC ANTONIO MORESINI, Venetian Ambassador in the Netherlands, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The Capuchin friar came to see me before returning to Brussels, his principal aim being to convince me of the sincerity of his negotiations, of the Nuncio of Brussels, of the Duke of Bavaria, of Father Hyacinth and himself. However, when I touched upon certain points which I have already laid before your Serenity, he did not know what to answer and was covered with confusion. This merely made me certain of their fraud and deceit, which I have long suspected.
The Hague, the 15th April, 1624.
[Italian.]

Footnotes

1 Cal. S.P. Dom., 1623–5, page 196.
2 Lafuente, called Father Maestro.
3 Arthur Brett, Cal. S.P. Dom., 1623–5, pages 207, 212.