Venice
June 1624, 21-29

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Institute of Historical Research

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Allen B. Hinds (editor)

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1912

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353-369

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'Venice: June 1624, 21-29', Calendar of State Papers Relating to English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 18: 1623-1625 (1912), pp. 353-369. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=88913 Date accessed: 21 September 2014.


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Contents

June 1624

June 21.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Svizzeri.
Venetian
Archives.
449. GIROLAMO CAVAZZA, Venetian Secretary with the Swiss, to the DOGE and SENATE.
I have a letter from the Ambassador Mirone dated the17th. Among other things he reports that on the day following the Earl of Carlisle should arrive at Compiègne from England. They do not know for certain the object of his embassy, only they fear that it may postpone for some days the despatch of M. de Menil, though he should arrive without fail at the end of this week or the beginning of next.
Zurich, the 21st June, 1624.
[Italian; deciphered.]
June 21.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
450. ALVISE VALARESSO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The league with the Dutch has been signed by all the commissioners and sealed with the royal seal. They pretend that this will suffice without the king putting his hand to it; but this is their usual artifice, because everything is done with two hearts. They have made some changes in the articles, but nothing substantial. The league is still defensive but they added that it has for its object the recovery of the Palatinate. The 6,000 soldiers are given, but with something like a permission to enlist them from the Dutch, and their payment will be sent to Holland every quarter in advance and distributed by an English commissioner. The king will have the appointment of the colonels, although this is not expressly stated, as after the first are nominated new ones can be added as the Dutch please; for the rest, everything remains as I reported.
Five colonels have been nominated, Oxford, Southampton, Essex, Willoughby and Murton. They increased the number to five to make room for Murton and Willoughby, the former the king's, the latter the prince's nominee. However, the English have taken the choice of the Scot, Murton, very ill, as they think he does not deserve a place, and some have told me that Murton will voluntarily resign the post, having received the honour. Oxford also seems to hesitate about taking it, and they all consider their powers very limited, as the king desires to nominate the captains himself, which seems something new. They number thirty-six, selected out of over ninety, all well qualified, such is the number of persons and their love of soldiering. The very day the league was concluded the ambassadors came to inform me with expressions of great honour.
Anstruther, chosen as ambassador so long ago, will be sent at last upon his embassy to Denmark and Germany. I will enquire into his commissions and let your Excellencies know in my next.He has a wide knowledge of Germany, and is one of the best disposed men in England.
The Spanish ambassadors have frequently repeated their request for an audience, saying that they have matters of importance to treat of with his Majesty, and as I reported, they snatched from the king permission to be introduced to him at Highgate (Eighet) a place of the Earl of Arundel, but the prince opposed strongly and finally overcame, shutting them out, though they do not give up trying. I hear that the king openly made his excuses to them on the ground of his son's wishes, and as regards fresh negotiations he referred them to the secretaries, but they refused.
Inoiosa should leave next Saturday, but I hear he is inviting delay. So far it is arranged that he shall leave without seeing the king, without the usual present and without being accompanied by the coaches, merely with Lewkenor the Master of the Ceremonies, who will take him to the coast, and he will have a royal ship to carry him to Flanders. Father Maestro will leave with Inoiosa. Colonna was told that he might leave if he liked; but as he had no orders from his king, he said he would not. So public an affront to this minister is all due to the prince's influence, an action which brings him great reputation and gives a pledge of even more good. God grant that the king does not secretly afford Inoiosa some satisfaction, in a present or otherwise.
The Dunkirk ships, though still blockaded by the Dutch, receive some succour from England. When the Dutch ambassadors remonstrate with the prince, who seems to like it, he shrugs his shoulders.
Lord Vas, a Catholic, has obtained a renewal of his old patent to fill up the company with which he is now serving the Infanta of Brussels. The prince is making great efforts to get it revoked, and some hope he may succeed, but in any case the grant will probably prove useless from the lack of any one to go, or at least, in the king's words, because only Catholics will go, and so he claims it will serve to purge the kingdom of such.
The ships will not now sail this year, either royal or merchantmen. The real reason is the king's will, which shuns every good action, but there are some other pretexts. No doubt Buckingham's illness has greatly damaged this business, and the money of the subsidy will hardly meet all the necessary expenses. I am told that the provisions which they had already begun to make for these ships are now being sold. This will involve a loss of some thousands of pounds sterling and perhaps the king agreed to this show of provisioning in the hope of deceiving parliament more readily. Thus the wine of good resolutions is always strongly diluted by bad ones, and thus matters constantly waver here between aversion and uncertainty. It remains uncertain whether the king desires the evil or whether mixing difficulties is not his peculiar art.
They have begun to draw up Bristol's accusation, the king consenting to its being done in this manner. He has more confidence in himself than ever man had. He has the king's protection and the open hostility of the prince and Buckingham. The king reserves the sentence. The issue is doubtful. Personally I believe it will end with his banishment from the Court for the time being.
The late treasurer remains in his house. The king wants to restore him, but he will encounter difficulties and so far nothing has been done. Buckingham's health continues to improve. They expect him at Court to-morrow and the prince takes his part strongly against the king, who thus meets with opposition even here, although there is some talk of fresh favourites.
The French ambassador has given the prince Madame's portrait. I do not think he looked very favourably upon it, although he desires that marriage as much as the king possibly detests it (non mi pare ch'egli l'habbi veduto di molto buon'occhio, desidera nondimeno quel matrimonio quanto forse il Re l'abborrisce). The Marquis of Hamilton remarked that if it does not happen within two months it never will, as they desire despatch here. The French ambassador performs offices for the Catholics every day and is now trying to stop the execution of the proclamation against the religious, against whom the ministers were about to issue certain patents signed by the king; he seems as dissatisfied with the prince as he is satisfied with the king, calling the former too Puritan. I refer to the Ambassador Pesaro about Wake's stay in France.
With the rising of parliament his Majesty granted the usual general pardon, remitting certain penalties which almost all the people here are constantly incurring by their habitual negligence, and which if exacted would be equivalent to the contributions granted by parliament.
London, the 21st June, 1624.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
June 21.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
451. ALVISE VALARESSO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
I asked for an audience in order to open negotiations about the raisins. They appointed last Tuesday at Greenwich. I found the king in excellent health and began by excuses for having so long deprived myself of the honour of his presence in order not to trouble him amid his numerous preoccupations, placing his convenience before my desires. He accepted the excuse and admitted he had been very busy owing to the parliament. At this I congratulated him on its happy conclusion and thanked him for filling up the embassy with such a worthy man as Sir [Isaac] Wake, assuring him that no ministers were so acceptable as his. He expressed his friendship for your Serenity and praised Wake. I remarked that while good ambassadors constituted bonds between their masters, bad ones were dangerous instruments. This was an arrow shot into the air touching present events with the Spanish ambassadors. I offered congratulations upon the league with the Dutch for the honour and advantage it would bring his Majesty, protecting those States which owed their being to England, while relieving them from imminent peril, and because it agreed with the advice given to your Serenity when you made an alliance with the same power. The king answered in a proper but general way, that the States were his friends, he wished to save them and he only wished everyone to keep his own, and that the powerful should not swallow the weak; the Spaniards could not reasonably complain of him; he would not allow the oppression of the Catholics, as although of a different creed he was an honourable man and always recognised as such; he thought of nothing more than the recovery of the Palatinate. I commended his idea of everyone keeping his own, as agreeing exactly with what your Serenity meant. The recovery of the Palatinate was a most just object and the league with the Dutch, the alliance with Mansfelt and the understanding with France provided excellent means for that end. Here the king smiled somewhat and said that Mansfelt was not doing very well in France. I replied that his Majesty's example would produce a good effect upon France.
Upon the matter of the raisins I based my case upon the arguments of the enclosed memorial, of which I gave his Majesty a copy, like the one the Ambassador Lando drew up, and to obviate all difficulties I added the clearest and most apposite replies I could make to the allegations previously advanced by the Lords of the Council. The king replied, showing every disposition to satisfy your Serenity, recognising the justice of the request and admitting the very clear arguments of the benefits he himself would derive therefrom. He told me that he must take the opinion of his councillors, and that the merchants would certainly offer opposition owing to their interests. I replied that this was a question for the exercise of the royal authority, administering justice in accordance with his Majesty's own feeling of equity, without giving place to private interests, thus contriving dexterously to persuade him to make the business all his own and to decide it by himself. I told him that if any fresh objection arose and a secretary, to whom he could refer the matter, said a word to me on the subject, I would give him every satisfaction. With this the audience terminated.
To tell the truth, I do not know what to hope for in this affair. There are always the difficulties which have prevented any settlement in the past, but I remarked that they ought to make an effort owing to the importance of the affair, and if it cannot be obtained from the royal authority one might feel tempted one day to obtain some satisfaction from parliament. The king is the same as ever in his attitude to other public affairs, and he will never change except by force. I hope I have not done wrong in my recent offices with him, because if they do not help they can do no harm, and to omit them might have looked like contempt or a calculated silence.
London, the 21st June, 1624.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Enclosed
in the
preceding
despatch.
452. Paper presented to the King about Raisins.
I have orders to take up the negotiations about raisins begun by the Ambassador Lando. Your Majesty's subjects have a monopoly of the raisins and tyrannise over the republic's subjects, who can only sell their raisins to the Levant Company. Thus the people not only suffer from want but, by the closing of the door against foreigners, your Majesty loses the double duty which foreigners pay, and more again upon what they would pay by spending the capital of the raisins upon cloth and other things they require. I beg your Majesty to give orders for the settlement of this question to the advantage of both parties and in accordance with reason, so that Venetian subjects may not have to bring their goods here upon such unequal terms, while English subjects can take theirs freely to our states. As the Lords of the Council answered Lando by advancing some arguments of the merchants, I present herewith a reply with which I feel sure your Majesty will remove every obstacle.
ALVISE VALARESSO, Ambassador.
[Italian.]
Enclosed
in the preceding
despatch.
453. Most Serene King.
As the Privy Council at Whitehall on the 25th March, 1621, replied upon the question of raisins and made a nugatory concession that Venetian subjects might bring raisins in Venetian ships manned by Venetians, I make answer to their objections as follows: firstly, that it was done to protect their own shipping. Clearly if our subjects could lade upon English ships on their own account, it would employ a larger number, and consequently increase the shipping. Secondly, that the republic prohibits trade in the Levant, in the first place, precisely the same prohibition obtained in England by the rules of the Levant Company, but in the second place that prohibition concerns a third place, a very different matter, as we only ask for mutual freedom of trade. The third allegation falls of itself as ships daily arrive in Venice after unlading a part of their cargoes on the way and nevertheless lade again in that city. Fourthly, about the 10 ducats per migliaro it is clear that there was freedom to lade at Zante and Cephalonia. Fifthly, the republic has every right to levy gabelles, but in Venice an Englishman pays no more than a native, which is not the case in England. Sixthly, it is the custom for merchants to pay wherever they go, in England as elsewhere, and the practice of taking goods to Venice to pay the duties should not constitute a grievance, as it is a very ancient institution of the republic, which requires something for the expenses of keeping the sea clear, from which the merchants benefit. But to meet their arguments in one word I may say, that it is no reason to justify one grievance by alleging others received. Examine into the justice of our complaints and judge if it be not reasonable for subjects of the republic to bring their raisins freely to England and their other goods upon Venetian ships even if they are not completely manned by Venetian subjects or upon English ships either.
[Italian.]
June 22.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Costantinopoli.
Venetian
Archives.
454. ZORZI GIUSTINIAN, Venetian Ambassador at Constantinople, to the DOGE and SENATE.
I informed your Serenity of the intention of the four ambassadors to go together to the leading ministers to complain of the excesses of the pirates and emirs and to present an arz to the Sultan himself. Subsequently the emirs went to the Caimecam, who inclined to make some friendly arrangement between the emirs and the merchants. He communicated his idea to the dragoman Brutin, who told me, and I told the other ambassadors. We all met as well as the merchants of all the nations, and as it appeared that the emirs would listen to reason, we agreed to accept the proposal. By this arrangement the merchants will pay less duty than they should, considering the price of the goods, while if money falls to its former value, as it certainly will, they will pay less than they do now. The whole difficulty arose from the rise in the price of goods due to the appreciation of money, especially at Aleppo. The Caimecam enjoined the emirs to treat the merchants henceforward in such fashion that the ambassadors should have no reason to complain. Nevertheless we have not abandoned our plan to make every effort to secure the removal of Amurat Chiaus, emir of the great duty, as the merchants can never feel safe while he remains in office.
As regards the pirates we all four recognise the supreme importance of attempting a final remedy by jointly presenting an arz to the king, and by going together to the Caimecam and other ministers to remonstrate. But the chief difficulty lies in accomodating the rival claims of France and England, which has hitherto prevented joint action. I will do everything to overcome this difficulty, and if I do not succeed, some other means must be found.
The Vigne of Pera, the 22nd June, 1624.
[Italian; deciphered.]
June 22
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Costantinopoli.
Venetian
Archives.
455. ZORZI GIUSTINIAN, Venetian Ambassador at Constantinople, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The French ambassador informed me that he had orders from his king to express his esteem and admiration for the King of Great Britain to the English ambassador, and to commend the generosity of the Prince of Wales. From this the ambassador judges that the hopes of an alliance between the two Crowns are rising.
The Vigne of Pera, the 22nd June, 1624.
[Italian; deciphered.]
June 22.
Misc.
Cod. No. 63.
Venetian
Archives.
456. MARC' ANTONIO PADAVIN, Venetian Secretary in Germany, to the DOGE and SENATE.
It is said that the assembly of Lower Saxony will meet in secret. The Elector of Saxony desires the opinion of the princes upon the negotiations to be held with Mayence about the settlement of the empire They say that the Count of Fristembergh will stop at Nürenberg until he hears what place has been arranged for the meeting between these two electors, at which he will assist, going on to Munich to treat with Bavaria. They hope to induce him to agree that he shall hold the vote for life, and that at his death it shall pass to the Palatine's son, without regard to the one who urges that it must always remain with Catholics. In this way they think they will satisfy England and induce Saxony to attend the Diet.
From Brussels we learn through London that Buckingham is very seriously ill. If this be true and if it come from the king or the Spaniards, your Serenity will have heard all about it.
Vienna, the 22nd June, 1624.
[Italian; copy.]
June 24.
Senato.
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Signori
Stati.
Venetian
Archives.
457. MARC ANTONIO MORESINI and ALVISE CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassadors in the Netherlands, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The Kings of England and France seem to have gathered courage to help the States to prevent them from succumbing entirely, as shown by the recent declaration of both monarchs that they will help with troops and money. The Prince of Orange and some other members of the government imparted this news to us most confidentially.
Vere, colonel of the English forces in these parts, arrived the other day. He brings word of a disposition to help these States; the king's signature is wanting to the treaty arranged with their ambassadors.
Some dispute has taken place between the English and Dutch in the East Indies, as some conspiracy was discovered between some of the English and the natives to take the castle of Amboyna from the Dutch and cut the garrison in pieces, but upon the discovery of the plot the Dutch hanged all the persons implicated with the utmost severity, afterwards sending the whole process to the English in those parts. This severity towards the subjects of a king who has acted as their benefactor, has excited much feeling in London and will have delayed the king's signature to the treaty, despite the representations of the prince and Buckingham.
The Hague, the 24th June, 1624.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
June 24.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Savoia.
Venetian
Archives.
458. LORENZO PARUTA, Venetian Ambassador in Savoy, to the DOGE and SENATE.
At my audience on Friday the duke told me that the French had rejected all the proposals of Mansfelt under various pretexts. Nevertheless Mansfelt had confided to the Marquis of Calus that if the allies approved, he would make a feint of landing his force for Alsace from English and Dutch ships, between Gravelines and Dunkirk, and then bring them through the Strait to Villafranca, whence they could proceed by the Lake of Geneva into Swiss territory and so to Alsace, or he offered to land at Oneglia and invade the state of Milan. The duke said he did not want a number of Ultramontane troops passing through his dominions, but as the French ministers kept raising difficulties, he thought it would be advisable to fall in with their views and leave Mansfelt entirely to the King of England, as it was not advantageous for your Serenity or himself to undertake any outlay in that direction.
I said that if the count could not give his undivided services to the League, we ought to leave him to England, without involving the allies in that affair. The duke agreed and remarked that if Mansfelt came here it would cause him too much prejudice with the emperor, though if it came to an open rupture with the Spaniards he would be very glad to have him.
Turin, the 24th June, 1624.
[Italian; deciphered.]
June 27.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
459. ZUANE PESARO, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the DOGE and SENATE.
There are various and numerous negotiations equally confused and difficult to understand. The Duke of Angoulême informed the Count of Mansfeld that his Majesty approved of the diversion by landing at Nice provided the marriage took place first, urging the count to persuade the ambassadors not to trouble about fine distinctions as from the nuptials they will proceed to arms and in the meantime they can create a diversion. The count offered to approach the ambassadors, who are excessively punctilious in their negotiations or declare they cannot yield anything, and trust France but little. They must have reported matters as hopeless in England, because the king has ordered them to recover the promise given to Mansfelt. He told me of this, asking to know his Majesty's will about this, asking leave to depart and some assurance on his personal account. I informed the ministers of this and they sent word to the count to do nothing hastily until matters were more clear about the marriage and by the advices which they expected. They represented to the ambassadors, accordingly, that if they want a union but render the means hopeless, they will come to a rupture and lose every advantage.
Thereupon they arranged to postpone receiving the promise for eight days, to give time for the negotiations and replies which are expected from England upon the expedition of their secretary. Mansfelt was very anxious not to lose this paper and told the ambassadors that he would only surrender it to his Majesty. For his own interests and to obtain a share in the marriage negotiations he has sent his Chancellor Veis to that monarch. He told me that the ambassadors are jealous of his mixing in this affair and the Earl of Carlisle raises unnecessary difficulties. There is some fear that if this nobleman gets a bad impression of France it may prejudice the matter, and being more interested perhaps in the king's intentions than dependent upon the inclinations of the Prince of Wales, he may seize upon occasions for offence, as although Lord Rich does not yield he bends apparently more easily to necessity.
Amid these debates many try to sow discord, telling the French that the English are thicker with the Spaniards than ever, and the English that France wants to lead them on gradually and then leave them in the lurch, with derision. Among these malicious persons I am told that the wife of the French ambassador in London is especially active. She is very intimate with the Earl of Carlisle, who took this post more because of her influence in England than from any inclination for those parts.
It is said, I know not with how much truth that the Prince of Wales is not averse from marrying Mademoiselle de Montpensier, though perhaps this is only to create jealousy and hasten on the marriage with Madame. If true the consequences would be important as it is a very different matter to ally with the royal house from an alliance with the blood royal, without reckoning that England would acquire rich revenues and sovereign states in France, and other relationships prejudicial to the interests of the Crown, such as the House of Guise and similar connections. The return of the persons sent will clear this up.
The count is always labouring upon fresh proposals, such as obtaining 30,000 crowns down from the League, leaving them in charge of the business, but this fell through at its inception without discussion. The plan for Nice and the plan for Germany continue, Angoulême inclining to the latter. The Ambassador of Savoy complains that the count does not consider his Highness.
Although the English ambassadors have not given me occasion to negotiate, they have called at the embassy, expressing the utmost affection and esteem for your Serenity.
Bacq a Choysi, the 27th June, 1624.
[Italian; deciphered.]
June 27.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
460. ZUANE PESARO, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The English ambassadors maintain the pretensions of the Palatine with this Crown; with the progress of the other negotiations they may attain their ends.
Bacq a Choysi, the 27th June, 1624.
[Italian.]
June 27.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
461. ZUANE PESARO, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The differences over the English marriage negotiations concern religion. The French complain that the ambassadors have not more ample powers. The English seem displeased at their asking for the same terms as granted to the Spaniards. As the English would not consent to a separate paper they suggested as a compromise that the King of Great Britain shall write to the most Christian what he will promise verbally for the religion. But the ambassadors absolutely refused saying that they could not contravene the promise made to parliament. The form desired by France is substantially this, the king and the Prince of Wales, recognising the importance of the love of their subjects and out of zeal for their preservation, promise that the Catholics shall not be persecuted in their persons or goods for the exercise of the Catholic faith in secret, provided they make no attempt against the king or the realm. But if the English decide to put it upon paper, the form of words will not constitute a difficulty, because the French desire the satisfaction more for show than in reality, and besides the question of conscience they want to be able to obtain the dispensation from Rome. But in order not to break off the negotiations when the advices return from England, they propose to send to Rome and ask his Holiness for a dispensation without the condition of a written security for the Catholics, in order to keep up the hopes of success, and further, if the pope will not consent to this, that he shall cause the restitution of the Valtelline, and so they would obtain two advantages.
There are further difficulties about the chaplains or rather about giving Madame a bishop or grand almoner, and also about the education of the children, which are not absolutely settled, but once the principal point is arranged the others will present no difficulties.
The nuncio has spoken as if he considered a dispensation hopeless, but they told him that in France marriages between the two religions are free to all, and the Sorbonne has power to bind and to loose.
Bacq a Choysi, the 27th June, 1624.
[Italian.]
June 28.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
462. ALVISE VALARESSO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The Dutch ambassadors have communicated to me the full terms of the league. They said nothing about a copy so I did not ask for one. There are sixteen articles and they cover the ground reported. I noticed in addition that the States undertake after a peace or at a long truce to repay the king the money expended on the 6,000 soldiers, though the article is somewhat ambiguous and possibly only inserted for show. All the royal commissioners signed and sealed. The ambassadors say they do not mind about the absence of the king's signature as the commissioners had full powers, and it would have involved further delay owing to his natural slowness in every action, and because that of the States would also be required, which meant loss of time, which prejudiced their affairs. This manner of passing over a sovereign's signature may certainly look like a novelty; but it is true, as they say, that the fact of the levy is the soul of the league. They have not yet begun this levy. The delay arises chiefly from the lack of money although it will soon be provided out of the coming subsidy. The Earl of Murton, one of the colonels designate, has withdrawn voluntarily, the other four remaining; they have leading gentlemen as their subordinate officers, the king appointing both sorts for the first time. The patents of the colonels were signed, however, by the Dutch ambassadors, who are ill pleased at not having had the choice of the captains. They have to decide the claims of precedence between Oxford and Southampton, and one hears laments about the dignity of an earl being so abased. The levy for the first year will cost 100,000l. sterling, payment being made after the Dutch not the English fashion, a circumstance which damps many, not to speak of the present season, which employs the people in the country and renders them less ready for warfare. They expect at all events to make the levy in four weeks, assisted by the king's letters sent into the counties, with power to punish those who desert after receiving their pay.
The Dutch ambassadors propose to leave to-morrow. When they took leave of the king they heard the usual fine phrases. He said they might be content with what they had done but he could not work miracles single handed. He sent to France to your Serenity and to Savoy to effect still more with his co-operation. The prince never addressed them in more outspoken and friendly fashion. Among other things he said they would not stop short at what they had done, but would quickly proceed to greater things. In short the ambassadors were highly pleased. They leave rejoiced at what they have obtained and hopeful of better. They preferred requests about the Dunkirk ships, either that the king would sequestrate them, or connive at their destruction. They have not yet received a reply, but they expect this also to end well. Those ships are still invested, being unfortunately situated rather than short of commodities. They have food stuffs allowed them but the king recently forbad them to have any munitions of war. The King and Queen of Bohemia have written to the king and prince asking to sequestrate them by judicial process before the Admiralty here, a matter discussed here and talked of by ordinary councillors. But the prince prevented the agent of Bohemia from presenting the letter to the king, telling him it was contrary to decorum and not becoming to princes. The agent suspects that this course was instilled into the prince by the Secretary Convuel or by some interested private person, or because he is beginning to yield to the king's wishes. The same agent made some suggestion to the prince about writing to Gabor through a Hungarian here secretly in his service, but the prince refused this also, calling Gabor an unstable person whom they could not trust.
A Jesuit with a safe conduct came off the ships of Dunkirk pretending to have things of importance to tell his Majesty. But when the prince heard him he brought nothing but trifles. Lord Vas will not fill up his company for Flanders as the recent grant to him has been revoked, to his great chagrin and the disgust of the Spaniards.
The Lords of the Council of War have met, except Colonels Vere and Cecil, who have gone to their posts in Holland. They are looking for the money for the Dutch levy and have issued some wise regulations for the safety of these realms.
I hear nothing good about the French marriage. That Cardinal Richelieu is considered an ill adapted instrument. I do not think the prince has much hope. The Spaniards feel confident that it will not come off. The French ambassador does nothing about it. I know for certain that Carlisle has express orders not to begin the negotiations before it is understood that they must claim no advantages for the Catholics, and by the next courier he should report the certain hope or else the exclusion of the matter. There are various reports about Mansfelt here, all bad, even that he is a prisoner in the Bastille.
The Earl of Bristol has appeared in the city in a coach. He has written to the king, who has replied. The charges against him have been dropped almost as soon as begun, the reason they say is because they want to do nothing without Buckingham, indeed, by the king's order, everything remains in the same state until his complete recovery. This would argue his usual favour, but in such cases all conclusions are uncertain. Buckingham appeared in Court to-day. He is somewhat better in health and stronger than ever in his good intentions. The prince rejoices exceedingly to have him back as companion and assistant, just as he was melancholy of late from his absence and sickness. Alone he succumbed to the burdens and never left the king's side.
A great many of the religious here have crossed the sea, from fear of the proclamation, the term having expired. They have recently doubled the guards throughout the city owing to a panic fear and to a rumour, perhaps circulated of set purpose, of certain machinations and incendiarism devised by them.
The Secretary Dolce has left to join the Most Excellent Contarini at the Hague. Although this will inconvenience me I am glad he will serve there and only a short time remains for my embassy, thank God. He received the usual chain from his Majesty. He took advantage of Colonel Cecil's crossing. I can only confirm his diligent service and beg your Serenity to let him have the royal gift.
London, the 28th June, 1624.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
June 28.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
463. ALVISE VALARESSO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The Ambassador Anstruther has left at last. His first flight will be to the Hague, and after communicating his commissions and receiving the necessary instructions he will ask the king and queen there to allow their secretary to accompany him and assist his negotiations, while moving the States to send a similar embassy. He will subsequently proceed to the King of Denmark and then visit all the princes of Lower Saxony in turn. His instructions are to relate the course of the recent negotiations, the frauds of the Spaniards, the resolution of the king to give peace to Germany and to restore the Palatine in integrum. He will ask for their advice and help, whether by league or succour, he will assure them that the king will accept no composition without their consent, and will protest that if they now fail the common cause, they will never consider them as friends. In short specious generalities but few details. He will inform them of Mansfelt's engagement and of the new alliance with the Dutch. For the rest he has no orders to say what the results will be or what his Majesty has decided for the future. It is not difficult to forecast the results of this mission. The embassy is too public and bombastic, calculated rather to arouse greater opposition and countermining among the Austrians, the commissions of this discredited king carrying little weigh. The King of Denmark in his last reply to the king here seemed inclined to think over the usual negotiations. The other princes will follow the line he takes, and all together will be restrained by the imminent fear of Tilly's forces if by nothing else. The utmost they are likely to do is to promise a protest to the emperor, asking him to pacify Germany, otherwise they will take the necessary steps, the customary protest of princes of the empire before they have recourse to arms. Another possible result is to confirm the Electors of Brandenburg and Saxony in their disinclination to recognise Bavaria as elector. The prince here will be satisfied with these results for the moment, as he expects no more and I heard him say that he despaired of doing anything good for the present year: but this mission would serve to arouse the princes and prepare for a prompt move next year.
A knight named Spens, (fn. 1) without the character of ambassador, has been sent to the King of Sweden, whom he has long served. He takes the same instructions as Anstruther. He asked the king if he should say anything about the agreement with Mansfelt of which they said nothing. His Majesty replied that he might. The knight then asked if he would abandon the design supposing France refused to do her share. The king answered that he neither could nor would stand alone. Finally, Spens asked that seeing the issue of Mansfelt's negotiations in France was doubtful whether the king would receive him if he withdrew hither. The king said he would look upon him favourably, but he would have to support himself. If Mansfelt's affair in France is hopeless, it might be as well for him to know these particulars, and where he has a safe retreat, especially as being near the prince he might some day help to achieve something great.
The Ambassador Inoiosa is all ready to leave although he still procrastinates. He has preferred many requests for an audience to set forth fresh instructions from Spain, supposed to be the reply to the letter written to the king breaking off the negotiations. They told him in so many words that he had lost the character and privileges of an ambassador by his excesses, and could not be received again. It is absolutely decided that he shall go without a present or any other mark of honour. He will cross the sea in a merchant ship and his goods will pay the usual duties, although they will grant him the flag of an English captain for the safety of his person. The ambassador is pressing for a personal passport, but so far they have absolutely refused. They have informed Colonna that he may go if he likes, but if he remains they will only consider him a private individual, unable to negotiate and subject to the same conditions as other private persons, having lost his ambassadorial character for the same reasons as Inoiosa. He asked that the king would order him to leave, but they would not do that, though they insisted upon considering him as a private individual for the future. They pretend that this degradation of the ambassadors concerns only them personally. The prince possibly encourages this idea in the king to confirm his resolution by minimising the nature of the act. But I do not see how they can eradicate an indelible character or strike at the ambassador without wounding his sovereign. When this is disclosed to the king in due course, it may serve the prince to drag him further.
Although the Spaniards carry it off by dissimulation for the moment, there is no one who does not recognise the affront and how much it injures their reputation. One would reasonably expect it to shut the door against any other embassy, yet they still announce that the other Mendoza will arrive soon. Three days ago a letter reached the king from Spain from the Ambassador Aston. It brings the reply to his letter about the rupture of the negotiations. It is short and states that the king there had received this king's wishes not as a proposal, but as a decision; that he desired the breaking off of the negotiations as a public service; he would always guide his counsels and his arms for the general benefit and for the church. Some of this is in the exact words of the letter. The king has not yet seen it because he spends all his days hunting except Sundays, which he devotes to some business. Before presenting it the prince and Buckingham have consulted together about using it to further their desires, and both seem quite satisfied with its terms as affording material for an open rupture.
Sig. Gio. Martinengo has returned to Flanders to see this year's campaign, and proposes to go on to Holland, by my advice. He says that he can learn better by seeing things for himself, and certainly he has plenty of ability and natural devotion for your Serenity. He told me that he had received great honour from the Duke of Bavaria and his general, Tilly, whom he found well disposed to your Serenity, and not spoiled by the Spaniards. Since the practice of arms is so difficult the best remedy for present evils would be the separation of Bavaria from the House of Austria, reconciling him with the Palatine, and the work would be utterly French.
London, the 28th June, 1624.
Postscript.—This morning a courier arrived sent by Carlisle from France. He brings letters reporting that as the French asked him for advantages for the Catholics, Carlisle had asked for his dismissal, according to his instructions, but they asked him to consent to stay until he should receive a reply to this despatch. They will send the answer at once and will direct him, as I understand, to leave if they insist upon the point. Mansfelt's secretary has this moment arrived with the letters of which I enclose a copy. He has told me in haste of the condition of his master's negotiations. which they expect to remain in the balance until the question of the marriage is settled, and on this subject I hear that Mansfelt has an idea of his own to communicate to Buckingham. I will send particulars in my next.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Enclosed
in the
preceding
despatch.
464. Letter of the Count of Mansfelt to the Ambassador Valaresso, recommending Captain Veis, who will give full information upon the present state of affairs.
[Italian.]
June 28.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Ceffalonia
Venetian
Archives.
465. ANZOLO GIUSTINIAN, Venetian Proveditore of Cephalonia, to the DOGE and SENATE.
In reply to the ducal missives of the 2nd May, I may say that I published the order forbidding the further planting of raisins without permission and I even persuaded some to root up a part of their plantations as the best means of raising the price, but most heard me unwillingly, attributing the fall in price to any other cause.
As regards setting the price or as they say here il dar la voce to the raisins, while everyone hates the postricchio owing to the high usury, yet they fear here that not setting the price might hurt all. I find it hard to decide, but think that at present the abolition of the postriccio might suffice, to act afterwards according to the event.
I cannot answer more fully about sending Venetian cloth than I did in my letter of the 22nd April, but I think it would be welcomed here by those who like to spend little, as it is certainly cheaper and of better wear than the kerseys, which the people only use because they have no other. Your Serenity has been extensively defrauded of the duties on this foreign cloth, either by the subtlety of the merchants or the connivance of the customs officials, who perhaps by such means conciliate the merchants who contract with the English for their raisins.
The order for the demolition of houses on the sea shore would mean the destruction of the port of Argostoli, and would create much feeling.
Cephalonia, the 18th June, 1624, old style.
[Italian.]
June 28.
Cinque Savii
alla
Mercanzia.
Risposte.
Venetian
Archives.
466. It is but too true that the new impost on raisins of Zante, Cephalonia and Theachi suffers because we have never been able to learn the actual quantity of raisins produced in those islands, and how much is brought to Venice or taken to the West, while we have never been able to obtain particulars of the exact amount of money obtained from such exportation and from the importation of tin, kerseys and London cloth sent to those islands by English and Flemish merchants. Your Excellencies have now directed us to reply to the letter of the Proveditore of Cephalonia of the 22nd April last representing the serious disorders that occur, through smuggling by the natives and by the customs' officials themselves, since the choice of these officials belongs absolutely to the farmer of the new impost. We are of opinion that a Weigher should be appointed in each of the islands to check the farmer, with two assistants to check the customs payable by each ship. This would put a stop to the frauds, which arise from collusion between the merchants and officials, especially as we hear that the money does not all go to the chamber, as it should, but much of it goes into the hands of those who secretly divide it among themselves. The state has hitherto lost many thousands of ducats, the farmers being mostly leading men of the islands.
It would also be advantageous to keep a record of all the raisins produced in the islands, to be provided by the owners and buyers and postricanti, to see how much gets into the hands of the merchants and postricanti, to be sent yearly to your Excellencies, as well as of the quantity of cloth, tin and other things landed. We think another official might advantageously be appointed for this. We leave the question as to who shall appoint these officials and their salaries to your Excellencies, merely remarking that they will only be required for two or three months in the year.
We also consider that all free markets should be prohibited which do not oblige the buyer but the vendor of the raisins to pay the duty, because this is entirely disadvantageous to the natives and impels them to smuggle.
We see no reason for bringing the duty to mint values, but we will let it remain at the current price.
The question of prohibiting foreign cloth in the islands has been frequently discussed; there are many serious objections, especially this, that Venetian cloth would not sell there, being too dear, while foreign cloth costs less and is better adapted for their needs. Moreover, if the English and Flemings have raised the price, the islanders have correspondingly raised the price of raisins while trade is rendered much easier by bartering and exchange, and it is the more advantageous for our people, because it is always accompanied by a fair amount of ready money. It is also permitted, as a lesser evil, throughout the state and in this city itself. We therefore refer the matter to the prudence of your Excellencies, merely remarking that the matter requires speedy decision because the contract for the new impost expires on the last day of next month, when new terms may be arranged, and some islanders have already come to this city for the express purpose of taking up the new contract.
PASQUAL CICOGNA. Savii.
FRANCISCO MORESINI.
LORENZO CONTARINI.
ZUANNE CAPELLO.
POL ANTONIO VALARESSO.
[Italian.]
June 29.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni,
Roma.
Venetian
Archives.
467. To the Ambassador in France.
We learn that Mansfeld is thinking of going to England. We direct you to do everything to encourage this, especially if that king, alone or better still in conjunction with Denmark, the States and others, is disposed to move to help his kindred, as we hear, but without involving our league.
The French secretary here has been into the College to inform us of the King of England's request of the Most Christian for a marriage and of the favourable reception of this in France and the approaching conclusion of the affair, without mentioning the difficulties of which you advised us.
Ayes, 175.Noes, 2.Neutral, 3.
[Italian.]
June 29.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni,
Roma.
Venetian
Archives.
468. To the Ambassador in Savoy.
We agree with you especially upon the question of leaving Mansfeld to England, as France inclines to do.
We send you what the French secretary said in the Collegio about the marriage of Madame to the Prince of Wales, together with what we have written to the Ambassador Pesaro on the subject.
Ayes, 175.Noes, 2.Neutral, 3.
[Italian.]
June 29.
Collegio,
Secreta.
Esposizioni
Principi.
Venetian
Archives.
469. The Secretary of France came into the Cabinet and said: I am instructed by his Majesty in letters of the 14th inst. to come in the absence of the ambassador Villiers to inform your Serenity that the extraordinary ambassadors from the King of England have arrived in the Most Christian Court to ask for the hand of Madame for the Prince of Wales. His Majesty received the request gladly, and negotiations proceeded with the hope of a speedy completion, which should revive the ancient correspondence between the two kings. His Majesty knows the friendship of the republic and felt he could do no less than inform you of this event in the usual confidential manner.
The senior councillor, Sig. Augustin Michiel, said his Majesty could not communicate good news to any power that would rejoice more over it. They might augur the most happy results from this marriage and were therefore delighted with the news and grateful to his Majesty for imparting it.
ANTONIO ANTELMI, Secretary.
[Italian.]

Footnotes

1 Sir James Spence.