Venice
September 1624

Sponsor

Institute of Historical Research

Publication

Author

Allen B. Hinds (editor)

Year published

1912

Pages

428-448

Annotate

Comment on this article
Double click anywhere on the text to add an annotation in-line

Citation Show another format:

'Venice: September 1624', Calendar of State Papers Relating to English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 18: 1623-1625 (1912), pp. 428-448. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=88919 Date accessed: 23 October 2014.


Highlight

(Min 3 characters)

September 1624

Sept. 2.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Signori
Stati.
Venetian
Archives.
564. ALVISE CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador in the Netherlands, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Lieutenants-Colonels Tinen and Vere are beginning to anticipate your Serenity's just wrath against them. The prince has written to the Prince of Orange to speak for him. Vere approached the English ambassador, who recommended him strongly to me the other day, remarking that by serving the Dutch in these troublous times was also a service to your Serenity, and to bear at this moment would render him notorious. He begged me to represent all this to your Excellencies, and induce you to accept his excuses. The ambassador certainly deserves your consideration, as he always favours the interests of the most serene republic at every opportunity. But for this, I should not have made this representation as I consider Vere most reprehensible because the republic never grants leave without the proviso to return whenever asked. I begged the ambassador to urge Vere to obey and set out, especially because of my instructions about Captain Scoth, whom I informed of your Serenity's commands. He seemed willing and purposes to start next week, and instead of going to Scotland upon important private affairs, he will only go to London and then post to Venice.
I will make enquiries about commanders. Among the colonels there is no one who has commanded armies except Vere, who, by misfortune lost all the Palatinate, although the Prince of Orange values him highly and frequently takes his advice. He excuses his ill fortune by his instructions from the King of Great Britain.
The Hague, the 2nd September, 1624.
[Italian; deciphered.]
Sept. 2.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Signori
Stati.
Venetian
Archives.
565. ALVISE CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador in the Netherlands, to the DOGE and SENATE.
They have heard with astonishment here of the fall of Vieville (fn. 1) in France. The Ambassador Langarach writes to inform the Prince of Orange that the Ambassador Fiat has been recalled from England on the charge of having received separate instructions from Vieville about the marriage, and adding that the ambassador who recently came here is in danger of recall.
Last Tuesday the English ambassador introduced in the Assembly of the States General the four English colonels and other officers of the new levy, who solemnly took the oath of fealty as provided by the treaty.
The placart against the book published by the India Company about the Amboyna affair has been issued this week, (fn. 2) with the pretext that they did not have the name of the author.
The Hague, the 2nd September, 1624.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Sept. 3.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
566. MARC' ANTONIO MORESINI, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The English marriage is negotiated with a little more warmth, and they have sent a special courier to receive from the king and the Prince of Wales the satisfaction which they desire about religion, hoping to find them more amenable than the ambassadors here. They spoke very strongly to his Majesty when he disowned everything that Vieville had promised them, and spoke very sharply to the Council also. The latter have taken up the business with the intention of bringing it to a conclusion, mollifying the ambassadors and rendering them favourable. However, they will not definitely settle anything before the replies come from Rome or the advices from Father Berulle about the intentions of his Holiness. The letters of the Duke of Savoy represent the pope as very averse and that he will make every effort to prevent the marriage, but the ambassador here says the exact contrary, and told me in great confidence that all this was the statement of Count Guido San Giorgio, ambassador of his Highness at Rome, who likes to instil such ideas into the duke to make him think that the pope is a Spaniard and that he must not risk anything upon the word of the French.
The day before yesterday I had a long conversation with the nuncio about this marriage. He seemed incensed about these reports and assured me that they were utterly false. He said that his Holiness was most anxious for this marriage, with due regard to his honour, and considered it most necessary for the benefit of religion and of all Christendom. The pope was an enlightened statesman and this consideration alone would convince men of judgment that the marriage would please him, but it was necessary in his position to act with decision in order to afford no opening for complaint to the Spaniards and the ill affected, or allow them to say that the dispensation with Spain had been discussed for several months, while this was granted without reflection. He remarked that those interested were creating difficulties and practically forcing the pope into opposition. He complained chiefly of Vieville, who, after sending to ask the pope's opinion, had precipitately concluded the affair by the despatch of Lord Rich, without even waiting for an answer. The English also were persecuting the Catholics rigorously during the very progress of the negotiations, a thing that had never happened during their long negotiations with Spain.
The nuncio told me all this with much warmth, showing that he is not opposed to the marriage, but rather desires it, provided the world is satisfied and the Spaniards have no cause to sneer.
I meet the English ambassadors frequently and they always treat me with the greatest deference out of respect to your Serenity. The Earl of Carlisle in particular, always supplies me with the details of his negotiations and asks me to assist them with the ministers here, as I have not omitted to do, knowing such to be the will of your Excellencies as expressed to the Ambassador Pesaro, my predecessor.
Poissy, the 3rd September, 1624.
[Italian; deciphered.]
Sept. 6.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
567. To the Ambassador Valaresso in England.
You have very ably terminated the business of the glass, and the opening of this trade cannot fail to be profitable to the subjects of both. We are entirely satisfied. We also observe that you have also put the very important business of the raisins in good train and you will try to bring that also to completion upon both points, to get the edicts through the Council and so forth, and if some small expense be necessary, you must not hesitate to incur it, and it will be made good to you.
Your letters show us your diligent application, and your offices give a further proof of your ability, now your embassy is drawing to a close.
Ayes, 116.Noes, 1.Neutral, 5.
[Italian.]
Sept. 6.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
568. ALVISE VALARESSO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The Ambassador Fiat came to town to send off a dispatch and only remained a few hours. However, I had time to see him and obtain some light upon the marriage negotiations amid the obscurity in which the absence of the Court has left me and the silence of France. The affair was on the point of breaking down altogether with the fall of Vieville. There were eleven articles, already containing some contradictions, nine concerning Madame herself and two upon the interests of the Catholics, namely, to cease molesting them now and security for the future. While they were debating, Buckingham one day remarked to Fiat, that they were agreed, and he wrote to France to that effect, and Kensington or the Earl of Holland was despatched. The ambassador accepted that general expression, knowing that for the honour of the negotiations, everything must be perfected in France.
The Earl of Holland, was very ill advised to delay his departure, as his delay hastened Vieville's fall. He may be said to have reached that Court at the very moment that Vieville fell. The English ambassadors presented the articles accepted by the king and previously arranged between Carlisle and Vieville. The French do not accept them, as being repugnant to their interests and only arranged out of Vieville's head. The ambassador insists claiming the approval of the work of that minister, as being the practically authorised chief of the business. The French answered that he had committed many crimes and had transgressed his commissions, and asked them to produce some document signed by him. The English refused, saying it was not their business to provide material for his trial; in fact, in great disgust, they interpreted the fall of the minister and disowning his proceedings as a pretext for a rupture, the one who mostly rules the royal council being a cardinal, an enemy of Vieville and not adapted for this business. They wrote to the king to this effect, their advices harmonising with his own sentiments, so it is thought that they will be recalled. It seems that matters were subsequently patched up, but what patching can be safe henceforward. God grant that the first miscarriage of an affair begun well may not prove of bad augury for future barrenness.
The ambassador himself gave me these particulars and he continues to deal very openly with me. I have thanked him for his friendly information, and sighed at his unhappy story. He admitted to me that in acting thus we are playing the Spaniards' game, and thus our mistakes are making up for theirs. He had told the king in so many words that one would imagine that his Majesty and his own master were pensioners of Spain, whom these disagreements serve so well. He recognises that these cardinals are not suitable instruments to govern states or to negotiate secular affairs, and that the pope and parliament are two irreconciliable opposites in this marriage.
In response to his confidences, I gave him three items of information upon common affairs: the attempt to snatch Vercelli by an understanding with the Spaniards, the death of Prince Filiberto, (fn. 3) which unties a knot binding the Duke of Savoy to the Spaniards, and, thirdly, the capture by your Serenity's galleys of seven Barbary foists, which had greatly reduced the pride and diminished the power of those formidable and common enemies. The ambassador appreciated this news the more because it was quite fresh to him. He told me he had received letters from the Ambassador Bethune from Rome advising him that he gained nothing by his offices and made no progress towards the restitution of the Valtelline, as the pope, instead of doing what he ought, kept withdrawing promises already given.
I hear that some dispute or rivalry has arisen between the English ambassadors in France. The long stay of the Ambassador Wake at Turin is to await the issue of the French negotiations, and in any event perhaps to turn their thoughts there to marriage. Letters have reached the king from Denmark announcing the recent arrival of the Ambassador Anstruther. The young Duke of Brunswick has also written to him thence advising him that a close understanding exists between the emperor and that king, and the letters in the former's name offered him bountiful terms for his pardon. He was disposed to accept unless his Majesty really decided to recover the Palatinate; if he would do so, the duke would close his ears and would even sacrifice his other army.
An English ship from Portugal brings the confirmation of the capture of Baia in the West Indies by the Dutch, and the results appear already, as sugar has greatly increased. We hear that the pirates of whom I wrote have taken some ships, and that thirty-six of their vessels are preparing to enter these waters to avenge themselves for the losses they suffered from the last English fleet, sent at the instance of the Spaniards. They already show signs of some apprehension here, and have issued orders to arm ten ships, which will soon be ready under the command of R. Botton.
The comedians who presented what I reported, have been condemned not to perform until further order. The Council pronounced this sentence, the king having referred the case to them. He willingly refers such cases to them, in order to give them some employment and rid himself of the odium of such decisions.
I have received the ducal missives of the 8th August about the Spanish affair, of which the ambassador there also wrote to me. In any case, I should have noticed what was said about it here and how the English ambassador reported the matter, but nothing has been said, and either the ambassador does not know or he has thought better of it, as they pay little heed here to such matters as a rule, especially at present.
London, the 6th September, 1624.
[Italian.]
Sept. 6.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
569. MARC' ANTONIO MOROSINI, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the DOGE and SENATE.
After ceaseless labours the negotiations upon this important business of the diversions are terminated. Your Serenity is committed to nothing additional of any moment. As regards Germany and Mansfelt, the conditions are the same as those already arranged in the league, only stronger and more vigorous, as the King of England will contribute 35,000l. a month, equivalent to about 150,000 Venetian ducats, while Mansfelt merely undertakes to act in the name of the King of Bohemia and to fight in Germany, where he will receive his orders from the Most Christian and the confederate powers. However, I opposed this for eight days and finally carried my point. It is true that this occasioned delay, and Mansfelt and the English ambassadors complained bitterly, but this matters little, because it did not delay the movement in the Grisons, since I inserted a proviso that that should be made without delay. The ambassador of Savoy did not notice this until it was too late, and it has greatly mortified him. They have made another secret arrangement with Savoy for a diversion in Italy.
Poissy, the 6th September, 1624.
[Italian; deciphered.]
Sept. 6.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Spagna.
Venetian
Archives.
570. LUNARDO MORO, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the DOGE and SENATE.
I find that they are devoting steady attention to the question of the Palatinate, and the ministers have of late frequently seen the ambassadors of England, Germany and Denmark. Two days ago Germany banqueted with the two others and some members of the Junta who have the Denmark business in hand. The negotiations with the German ambassador must concern the Palatinate, as he has nothing to do with the other business of Denmark. I hear many indications that Denmark also will take up this Palatinate affair, but I cannot say so for certain. This much is certain, that they second the English ambassador in the idea, entertained by the king also about the marriage, that the negotiations are not absolutely at an end, but may be taken up again, and as here they are most disinclined at bottom to foster such hopes, they only cherish them in order to gain some advantage about the Palatinate; they hope to put this affair in good shape very soon and settle Germany in a manner satisfactory to the emperor.
Madrid, the 6th September, 1624.
[Italian.]
Sept. 7.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Roma.
Venetian
Archives.
571. PIERO CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador at Rome, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Besides M. de Verul, who is expected from France for the dispensation for the English match, we hear that a Scottish earl (fn. 4) has arrived in Florence, where he is detained by sickness, having been sent hither by his king for the same purpose, accompanied by a Dominican friar.
Rome, the 7th September, 1624.
[Italian.]
Sept. 7.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Firenze.
Venetian
Archives.
572. VALERIO ANTELMI, Venetian Secretary at Florence, to the DOGE and SENATE.
They write to Madame from Lorraine that the Marquis of Nieville made many imputations, but the chief were that they had tried to create suspicion and misunderstanding between the king and the Queen-Mother, disclosing the secret of the consultations about the English marriage to the English, and warning the Spaniards that the forces of France this year will only be upon paper.
Florence, the 7th September, 1624.
[Italian.]
Sept. 9.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Signori
Stati.
Venetian
Archives.
573. ALVISE CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador in the Netherlands, to the DOGE and SENATE.
France may join with the Dutch against the pirates in the western seas. Some pirates are infesting the Spanish coasts, composed of French, English and Dutch, who change their name according to circumstances and prey on each other. I understand that they propose to punish these, but it will take time, especially as their attention is directed chiefly towards Algiers and Tunis.
The Count della Torre has been hunting in North Holland with the King Palatine.
The Hague, the 9th September, 1624.
[Italian; deciphered.]
Sept. 13.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
574. ALVISE VALARESSO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The Ambassador Fiat is in perpetual movement and his business is in the usual state of agitation. He sometimes negotiates with the king, but more frequently with Buckingham. The negotiations, which wavered with Vieville's fall, now seem to have steadied and resumed their former course. The only thorny subject is religion. The French will not admit the slightest inferiority to the Spaniards in the matter of advantages for the Catholics. Upon this point I know that the king remarked to Fiat that he marvelled at them wanting to introduce this article into their treaty, as they departed from what the late King Henry had done, who in his prudence and that of the great ministers who assisted him, never said a word about it. The ambassador retorted that his Majesty must lay the blame of this change on himself firstly, for having broken off those negotiations, and then, by allowing the Spaniards to obtain such advantages for the Catholics, obliging other princes of the same religion either not to treat with him or to follow the example for their own credit. The king answered that the necessity of recovering the Palatinate and getting back his own son had made him do so. The ambassador replied that as regards the Palatinate the Spaniards might easily have given it up, but as they took it by the sword, the sword must recover it. As regards the prince, he could not recall the necessity of getting him back without accusing himself for deciding to send him.
Thus they repeatedly answered each other; but finally after the ambassador had insisted strongly upon giving up all present molestation of the Catholics, as an earnest to the pope and an invitation to agree to the dispensation, he obtained from the king letters to various ministers ordering them to suspend all proceedings against the Catholics. These letters, with the ministers' answers were sent to the ambassador, and he showed them to the Catholics, thereby quieting their anxieties, gaining their affection and obtaining letters of thanks for the Most Christian king. But as religious opinions here are mostly factious, so nothing will satisfy those whom nothing will content. They take threats for wounds and pin pricks for mortal strokes, in fine, the Catholics will always be Spaniards. The ambassador knows this quite well, and because he does not second all their appetites, many of them have little good to say of him, and some have even denounced him as a Huguenot, writing to France and Rome.
As regards the letters of thanks he has extorted but few, and those very languid; among others one from a Jesuit, which he opened before sending and found of quite the opposite tenor. Besides the unsatisfiableness of these, there is the zeal of the ministers who rose after Vieville's fall. They have raised the original demands and insist upon equality with the Spaniards, a condition the support of which means no desire for the marriage, and a rock upon which the French alliance will either split, or the king will break with the parliament, a rupture that would deprive him of the necessary subsidy, without reckoning other damage. Owing to all these difficulties, which the ambassador clearly recognises, he has more than once asked for his dismissal, but the Most Christian has refused and has even forbidden him to write about it any more.
The dispute between the English ambassadors in France hurts the business not a little. They have become the chiefs of two parties, the one desiring the marriage and the other opposed, each having adherents both in France and England. A cavalier, named Goring, left for France two days ago to effect a reconciliation, besides other commands. He is a very discreet man and a friend of both. Carlisle might also come here, led by his own personal interests, and to put forward his claims for the Order of the Garter. Some one told me that the Duke of Buckingham might easily cross to France one day, but I do not think that likely.
Mansfeld writes to the Palatine's gentleman that he can certainly get as much as England promises, but to give a good start and because delay makes things more difficult, they must decide to pay him 30,000l. more here, upon which he prays him for some good office. He adds that Bavaria asked his agent for some good understanding with him, and with the same impulse Bavaria had offered his force to the Most Christian for the recovery of the Valtelline.
The Ambassador Anstruther has written to the king from Denmark, that in response to his offices the king there required a better argument to move him than the payment of a force for the Count of Mansfeld, an odious and suspect person, and that in one word he will do nothing until he sees some vigorous and effective resolution for war in this quarter. This is the just penalty of broken faith. However, the ambassador expects a better answer. Meanwhile he has proceeded to Saxony to make his proposals there. But it will require more than negotiations to win that elector, who is so bound and has openly said that no one can trust his Majesty since in conjunction with the Spaniards he has placed Germany under their yoke.
The town of Franchendal has sent a minister here to urge some resolution on the king, though he may have no better fortune and the affair no better issue than the rest. The king would scarcely hear him. God grant they decide something. Conway declared, I know not how, that the king meant to have it back and support it with an army. I learn that they have offered the town good conditions, but if this also falls to the empire, after being under the king's protection and the surety of the Queen of Bohemia's dowry it will be the last blow to the reputation of this crown.
To-morrow is fixed for paying 200l. to Tosi with a promise to pay him the other 200l. soon.
I have the king's repeated promise for the free transport of raisins; nothing is lacking except its expedition, which is delayed by the absence of the ministers, although they may all return to Court any day.
The Spanish ambassador here will certainly leave soon, and a Spaniard chosen in Spain will come from Brussels with the title of Agent.
By a letter from Pesaro he should now have reached the sea. God knows how eagerly I await him.
London, the 13th September, 1624.
Postscript.—As the Secretary Conway was in the city to-day, I have just received his reply about the raisins, which I enclose. I also send the points of the King of Denmark's reply.
[Italian.]
Enclosed in
the preceding
despatch.
575. To the Ambassador of Venice.
It is true that I do not know Italian as I could wish. Undoubtedly the king will keep his promise. The reason for this long delay is because the Lords of the Council are away and scattered. I have assured your Excellency's gentleman that I am staying in this town to give orders for a final decision to be taken about Corinth raisins. If you find the matter is dragging on too long, you have complete liberty of access to the king. For my part I shall not fail in my promise, a part whereof is to enlighten you with a resolution upon this subject, and the rest is in contemplation.
London, the 3rd September, 1624.
EDWARD CONWEY.
[French.]
Enclosed in
the preceding
despatch.
576. To his Excellency, the Ambassador of Venice. The King of Denmark alleges in his reply that his dominions are surrounded by enemies with powerful armies and experienced leaders, and at the slightest movement they would throw themselves upon him, so that he would draw upon himself the whole burden of the war. He had no such opportunities of offence as England which her enemies could not so easily reach. The issue of war is uncertain and every one could not, like England, withdraw re integra et equis conditionibus, while he and his country might remain at the mercy of the enemy. It was imprudent to hazard his state and fortune for the recovery of the possession of another. His Majesty had obtained as an appanage and a provision for his children a bishopric or two in Germany, but if he now declared himself the emperor's enemy, those bishoprics would be straightway confiscated. The example of Holland and the help sent them by England did not apply, as the States in any case were committed to an inevitable war, while their preservation was important to England.
The emperor had asked his Majesty to use his authority and give his advice for the re-establishment of peace in Germany. He had consented and sent his advice. If he now took up arms, he would condemn his own action and abandon the rôle of mediator.
As regards a confederation with the princes of Germany, his Majesty could neither advise or dissuade. The princes were differently placed and he did not see how the ambassador could set to work. However, his Majesty would consider both points and upon the ambassador's return he would declare himself more precisely.
His Majesty would write to the Elector of Saxony, recommending his affairs and would give the ambassador his letter to read, to see if he approves and can use it with advantage.
[French.]
Sept. 13.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
577. MARC' ANTONIO MOROSINI, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the DOGE and SENATE.
A marriage is contemplated between Monsieur, the king's brother, and Mademoiselle de Montpensier. The Duke of Guise suggested it to the queen-mother. Only the queen regnant is opposed to it.
The marriage with England was arranged on Saturday evening after the dispatch of my courier. On that day, both the English ambassadors came to fetch me, begging for my intervention with the ministers for the immediate conclusion of the affair, as they had definite orders from their king to leave and not tarry a day, unless the affair was concluded. I readily went to Court for this purpose, knowing how much your Excellencies desire to see the successful termination of the matter and the advantage of the marriage to Christendom. At St. Germains, I found the ambassador of Savoy, whom the English at once asked to perform a similar office. We saw the ministers at once and after much discussion the affair was settled with God's help. The ambassadors sent forthwith to England, and the courier has returned with confirmation from the king and Prince of Wales. They need nothing now, except the dispensation from Rome, for which they have sent.
Poissy, the 13th September, 1624.
[Italian.]
Sept. 13.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
578. MARC' ANTONIO MOROSINI, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The Count of Mansfelt has received his 60,000 crowns and is going to England to raise the levies and receive the money promised by the king there.
The religious question in the English match has been settled in this way. The king and Prince of Wales promise in a separate written document, which the Secretary of State will also sign, that the Catholics of the kingdom shall enjoy the same privileges and exemptions at the instance of the Most Christian as were conceded to the Catholic in the negotiations with him. They shall be allowed to live in the profession of their faith, without molestation, and shall not be persecuted or compelled in any matter of conscience. A point which created great difficulty, was the desire here that they should promise the Catholics the free exercise of their religion. The English would not listen to the word exercise, and so the word profession was found instead. This pleased the English and was accepted by the ministers here.
Poissy, the 13th September, 1624.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Sept. 14.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Costantinopoli.
Venetian
Archives.
579. ZORZI GIUSTINIAN, Venetian Ambassador at Constantinople, to the DOGE and SENATE.
I have previously mentioned the pretensions of the French ambassador to shut out your Serenity's bailo from the protection not only of the sanctuaries of Jerusalem and the religious there, but of the churches and convents of this city, to take it all upon himself, an idea encouraged by the Jesuits. In spite of representations made in France he persists more than ever, and recently advanced pretensions which would prejudice not only your Serenity but the other powers who keep ambassadors here as well. He recently forced upon the church of S. Antonio, a friar appointed by the vicar patriarchal, against the wishes of the community, threatening to cut in pieces any who should interfere, and thereby terrifying our dragomans and those of the English ambassador, who were the most concerned. The English ambassador remarked their state and was greatly incensed. We both exhorted our dragomans to take heart, and the English ambassador declared he would take action, not because of churches or friars, with which he had nothing to do, but to put a stop to this intimidation of his dragomans. Accordingly, our dragomans appealed to the pasha, who, on learning the circumstances, sent his Baluch pasha to order the friar to leave the church, under pain of his wrath. The ambassador then changed his tactics, and wrote a friendly letter to the community, asking them to confirm the friar by electing him, asserting that he never meant to infringe their liberties in this respect.
I know that the French ambassador has misrepresented my action at Rome, saying that I have moved the English ambassador to interfere in these questions of churches, which is most false, as he only acted for the sake of his dragomans, and the ambassador of the States has also had occasion to remonstrate about France's high-handed behaviour.
The Vigne of Pera, the 14th September, 1624.
[Italian; deciphered.]
Sept. 14.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Firenze.
Venetian
Archives.
580. VALERIO ANTELMI, Venetian Secretary at Florence, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Count Masuel, a Scottish nobleman of high rank, has been sent by the King of England to Rome to help the negotiations for the dispensation for the marriage with France, in the same way as Gage went there previously, when they were treating for the Spanish match. This gentleman has reached Florence incognito, and has been detained some days by indisposition. From what I hear, the conditions of the marriage are even more advantageous than those arranged with Spain, the Prince of Wales believing that no marriage can better restore his reputation and hurt Spain than that with the sister of the Most Christian. The difficulty seems to be that if the prince went to take his bride in France, the king would not offer him his hand, as they did in Spain. French gentlemen say that the King of Spain might have done this, being taken by surprise, but in a case where everything had been foreseen and arranged, the King of France could not give his hand to any but a sovereign. They could compromise by the prince taking his ships to Calais and there receive his bride on board, and be embraced by the king.
I have since heard that the prince enjoys the chief authority in England, and in conjunction with the parliament and by Buckingham's advice, he is determined to wage bitter war against Spain, collecting money in every way and joining with the fleets of France and Holland, although the king, who, nevertheless, fears his son greatly, does not consent, and secretly keeps some one in Spain, so that the marriage negotiations may not die out altogether, a circumstance found out by the English gentlemen here. They have already written to inform the prince.
Florence, the 14th September, 1624.
[Italian.]
Sept. 16.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Signori
Stati.
Venetian
Archives.
581. ALVISE CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador in the Netherlands, to the DOGE and SENATE.
I went to see the Count della Torre on his return. He showed me a friendly letter from the Prince of England and a letter he had written to the prince, telling him that the best way to recover the Palatinate was by invading Bavaria, where he already had some intelligence. (fn. 5) He said that in the first sketch he had advocated taking a force into Bohemia, owing to the extreme friendliness of the people there, but the English ambassador made him strike this out, because the king would not listen to it. I say the king, because he wants to see all the letters written and received by his son. At the end he asks for an assignment of 100,000 florins a month for the King Palatine, pointing out that the prince's own interests should lead him to more vigorous and courageous decisions, which would be helped by Gabor moving, without which nothing good can be expected.
The Hague, the 16th September, 1624.
[Italian; deciphered.]
Sept. 16.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Signori
Stati.
Venetian
Archives.
582. ALVISE CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador in the Netherlands, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The Dutch have urged their case about the money advanced to the English that they have carried their point. The merchants have agreed to provide 160,000 florins instead of the 100,000 florins they had undertaken to find. This change will not have taken place without parliament knowing about it beforehand.
The Hague, the 16th September, 1624.
[Italian; deciphered.]
Sept. 19.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
583. MARC ANTONIO MOROSINI, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the DOGE and SENATE.
They never intended here to unite the interests of the Valtelline and the Palatinate. This created difficulties in dealing with Mansfelt, which could only be resolved by Mansfelt and the English ambassadors declaring that French forces should only be engaged in Germany for the affair of the Valtelline.
Those who have most influence in the Council and with the king are opposed to a breach with the Spaniards. Accordingly they will not trouble themselves any more about the Palatinate. There is no evidence that the Duke of Savoy desires it either.
Mansfelt has left for England. He sent me a letter from St. Denis.
Poissy, the 19th September, 1624.
[Italian; deciphered.]
Sept. 20.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni,
Roma.
Venetian
Archives.
584. To the Ambassador in France.
We cannot agree to the 8th and 9th articles about diversions, Mansfelt in Germany for the Palatinate and Savoy in Italy, for the reasons which you will give. If the Crowns of France and England, with their great interests propose to relieve the Palatine, that belongs to their greatness, but it was no obligation of the League to include the republic, and if we were distracted by so many other expenses for armaments, garrisons and extraordinary troops, we might succumb.
Ayes, 116.Noes, 2.Neutral, 18.
[Italian.]
Sept. 26.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Roma.
Venetian
Archives.
585. PIERO CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador at Rome, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Father Berulle (Verul), General of the Oratorians and considered a man of high birth and character, has arrived here. He has already seen the pope, being introduced by the French ambassador. He will afterwards meet the cardinals deputed to deal with the dispensation for the English match, for which purposes alone he has come to Rome.
Rome, the 21st September, 1624.
[Italian.]
Sept. 23.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni,
Roma.
Venetian
Archives.
586. To the Ambassador Valaresso.
Notification of his selection as ambassador to the Swiss, with instructions to set out with all speed for Zurich by way of Paris, to take up this charge. The Secretary Cavizza will give him all information and obey his orders.
Ayes. 74.Noes, 15.Neutral, 4.
Second vote—Ayes, 71. Noes, 15. Neutral,—.
Third vote—Ayes, 66. Noes, 7. Neutral, 110.
Fourth vote—Ayes, 61. Noes, 4. Neutral, 117.
On the 28th—Ayes, 149. Noes, 2. Neutral, 28. Carried.
[Italian.]
Sept. 23.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Signori
Stati.
Venetian
Archives.
587. ALVISE CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador in the Netherlands, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The English ambassador presented a very mordant paper about the Amboyna affair, so that they have decided to send with all speed and secrecy to France, to learn whether such was really the king's command. Meanwhile they complain of the ambassador's tone, accusing him of interests in the company because of a brother of the chancellor, who is its chief, (fn. 6) and another relation of his who also belongs, if one may believe that private interests have any part in this affair.
I saw the queen yesterday, when the French ambassador told her of the conclusion of the marriage between the Prince of Wales, her brother and the Most Christian's sister, and the mission of M. de Pers to England for this purpose. She said this was not by the king's command, but owing to the advice given to him by a leading minister. The English ambassador said the same. They say that the treaty to employ Mansfelt under the protection of France and England is also nearly concluded.
The Hague, the 23rd September, 1624.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Sept. 23.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Signori
Stati.
Venetian
Archives.
588. ALVISE CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador in the Netherlands, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The English ambassador has just been to see me. He tells me that the French ambassador called on him very late yesterday evening to tell him of the conclusion of the marriage. He remarked: The ambassador told me he had the news in more than fourteen letters, while I should be satisfied with but four lines from my king's ambassadors. But they write nothing, although public letters of the 16th from London which came recently, tell me of the arrival of Persie from France, who is going to the king, and they have not let out a word about this affair, although everyone believes that he brings good news. He has read me a paragraph from the letters stating that as regards the marriage we must not expect the fruits of fulfilment to correspond to the flowers of promise, the king has shown his goodwill towards France, but he wishes speedy decision, so as to obtain the results of a good understanding, our ambassadors in France in letters of the 31st ult. writing that the Count of Sciombergh with the ambassadors of Venice and Savoy has arranged to pay 200,000 florins a month to Mansfelt in the name of the League, and we are to supply a like sum, making 400,000 florins a month, beginning with the current month to last for six months. The Count of Sciombergh told Mansfelt that, if he proved his worth, they would help him next summer with a large force, otherwise they would do no more. The ambassador remarked upon Mansfelt's great courage in undertaking to serve four princes, possibly with different interests.
I thanked the ambassador for his confidences and remarked that my letters from France, although of the 5th inst., said nothing about this affair, and I added other general and complimentary remarks.
The ambassador expressed to me the wish that the republic should become godfather to the queen's next child if it is a boy. I made a general reply, speaking of the goodwill of the republic towards their Majesties.
The Hague, the 23rd September, 1624.
[Italian; deciphered.]
Sept. 24.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
589. MARC ANTONIO MOROSINI, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the DOGE and SENATE.
They have selected the Duke of Chevreuse as ambassador extraordinary to take the bride to England. He is making great preparations, dressing 24 pages and 24 lackeys in velvet, embroidered with gold, and is having 24 coaches made of the same livery. He will be accompanied by fifty cavaliers, royally dressed, and will take 500,000 crowns' worth of diamonds and other jewels, worn on his cloths, in chains and such things. He received his wealth from his wife, who was heiress of the two last favourites, Ancre and Luynes, who despoiled this realm for many years. (fn. 7) They say that his wife will accompany the bride as her first lady of honour, but this is not yet decided.
M. dell Haiie (fn. 8) is selected to go to Denmark and Sweden to arrange the differences between those crowns. He will also suggest a marriage between the Prince of Denmark and a daughter of the Duke of Savoy, the first suggestion for which came from the English Ambassador Wake. The duke approved, and the king here took it up strongly.
Poissy, the 24th September, 1624.
[Italian.]
Sept. 27.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
590. To the Ambassador at the Hague.
We are satisfied with the readiness of Captain Scot to set out at the first intimation. We could have wished for the same disposition in Lieutenant Colonels Thine and Vere. We direct you to require them to come immediately if they desire to keep our favour, because as they are bound to our service, it is not fitting they should remain absent in the present needs. You will make this remark to Prince Maurice, suggesting that he should urge them to do their duty, and you will speak to the same effect to others also, who mention the matter.
Ayes, 168.Noes, 4.Neutral, 18.
[Italian.]
Sept. 27.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
591. ALVISE VALARESSO and ZUANE PESARO, Venetian Ambassadors in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The marriage negotiations proceed favourably, and all suspicions that Vieville's fall had anything to do with this affair have disappeared. They certainly took it very ill here, but the Ambassador Fiat always declared that other reasons led to his fall and such suspicions cast a slur on the prudence of the Most Christian, as if so grave a matter rested solely in the power of a single minister. With the removal of this jealousy two difficulties remained to be overcome: one about security to be given to the king for keeping the promises, a point which has been settled though they keep silence about the manner; the other about the oath of fealty to be given to his Majesty by his Catholic subjects, since many have been formulated at various times, some more liberal and others severe, and the official could always impose the more severe one, the refusal of which afforded a pretext for troubling them and thus depriving them of their promised security. Although the king only requires from them temporal subjection, though independent of the pope, a matter also granted by France, yet the new doctrines of the Jesuits have so embroiled this subject, that what satisfies the pope does not assure the princes, and the oaths are subjected to various equivocations. However, the ambassador has told me that this also is agreed upon, and he recently informed me in confidence that nothing remained except for the king to arrange the way of informing his own Council and getting them to agree.
The advantages for the Catholics are equal to those granted to the Spaniards, a circumstance considered sufficient to compel the pope not to refuse to France the dispensation which the French count upon; but all do not think so. They fear the influence of the Spaniards at this Court. The Spaniards make no secret of the opposition they will offer, so all depends upon whether the French will not threaten to take their own way.
Here the Spanish faction never ceases to offer opposition and make as much mischief as possible. Some make the most of the present persecution to arouse external hindrances and to discourage the French. Others, with various arts, would like to see high terms demanded, which could not be granted and would lead to a rupture. Their trickery has gone so far that the most subtle Catholics have made themselves leaders of the Puritans and in conjunction with them allege the detriment to the kingdom from giving advantages to the Catholic religion contrary to the fundamental laws, so arranging matters as to arouse a thousand oppositions and disturbances in the future parliament. However, the Ambassador Fiat has very cleverly exposed this artifice, while he continues to unite a zeal for religion with a necessary regard for other matters and shows his ability to recognise how others try to cover their ambition and factiousness under the mask of religion. Apropos of the Catholics he told me that the king recently said to him jokingly, that his prayers and favours for them were ill spent, as he knew full well that if 200 came out of his church on Sunday, quite 3,000 came from that of the Spanish embassy. In speaking to him about the persecution, which they exaggerate so much beyond the truth, I told him that the best plan to get at the real truth was to ask for particulars, making them name some one who had suffered persecution, the time and the place, in which he would perform the office of a good physician, who does not cure in the abstract but in the individual. He agreed entirely with my idea.
I hear that some seeds of dissension still remain in the minds of the English ambassadors and certainly their quarrel has come near to breaking off the negotiations more than once. They give all the praise to Kensington and of Carlisle they speak little, or else unfavourably.
The Ambassador Fiat himself told me that he had letters from Rome from Bethune repeating that nothing can be done with the negotiations and that the Spaniards have approached the pope for a dispensation from their promises. He also showed me a letter from the Most Christian telling him that Mansfeld would be employed. He has written the same to the agent of Bohemia and seems to consider the matter settled and that they will certainly promise the English ambassadors to engage him. He already proposes to levy troops in the Netherlands and to enlist 6,000 English here. He asks the king here for 30,000l. to prepare cannon. If he is not promptly satisfied, he seems disposed to come here for which purpose he has asked for a royal ship. They at first refused, but afterwards granted it and expressed their intention of satisfying him. I enclose copies of his requests and the answers. I also hear that they think of paying a force to be commanded in the Palatine's name. I hope this news is true.
A Greek returned from Paris told me that eight good ships of the Duke of Nevers, supplied with some 300 men, are ready to join others of the pope to assist a rising of the Catholics in the Turks' dominions. I think they will go first against la Maina. Be that as it may, I would not pass the matter over.
I have at last secured a final settlement about the raisins. I enclose a copy of the decree of the Council made by the king's order, permitting Venetian subjects to bring raisins here, English ships being mentioned merely to exclude the Dutch, a necessary precaution, otherwise they would ruin England. I shall not overstep the truth when I say I have secured a great deal, after so much fruitless labour owing to the strong opposition of numerous interested parties. It needed much labour and all my powers. I thank God for it and hope your Excellencies will discover the benefit.
I have paid the 200l. to Tosi, and he will have letters of exchange for the remaining 200l.; indeed, he was fortunate enough, with things so tight as they are at present, to obtain very good terms. I rejoice because it will help to re-establish his fortunes.
I, Pesaro, entered London publicly yesterday. The Master of the Ceremonies met me with the royal barges and coaches, with great honour to your Serenity. The Ambassador Valaresso, at some inconvenience fetched me from the king's house at Greenwich, the numerous coaches in his train showing publicly his authority at this Court.
I must not forget to add that when about to cross the sea, I asked the Admiral of the States for one of the ships blockading the Dunkirk galleons in the Downs. This was readily granted, affording both reputation and safety, though it cost me a great deal.
The French Garde des Sceaux in a very friendly letter informed me that his Most Christian Majesty had nominated his son as ambassador to your Serenity. (fn. 9) I thanked him suitably, assuring him how much you will esteem this appointment.
Yesterday, when buck hunting, the prince had such a dangerous fall from his horse that he was nearly killed (fn. 10) ; but, though the danger was very great, he escaped, thank God, with a bruised rib.
London, the 27th September, 1624.
[Italian.]
Enclosed in
the preceding
despatch.
592. Whitehall, the 9th September, after midday.
Present:—
The Lord Keeper.Viscount Grandison.
The Lord President.Mr. Secretary Conway.
The Lord Steward.The Chancellor of the Exchequer.
The Earl Marshal.The Master of the Rolls.
The Lord Chamberlain.
At the request of the Venetian Ambassador Valaresso his Majesty has this day expressed his will at the Council table, that, notwithstanding any inhibition or proclamation to the contrary, any decree of the Council or privilege of any company, all native subjects of the Venetian state may bring raisins (as merchandise of that state) to this realm of England or any other of his Majesty's dominions in English ships upon payment of the duties and other charges at present existing, or other charges paid by foreigners. Resolved that such subjects may in future bring raisins and that a public decree thereupon be entered in the Council's register, a copy being given to the ambassador.
WILLIAM BEECHER.
[Italian.]
Enclosed in
the preceding
despatch.
593. To the Agent of Bohemia.
You were good enough to ask the Duke of Buckingham for a reply to the proposals and demands made by the Count of Mansfelt, and the duke has sent back your messenger to me. I hope that the count is satisfied, as his Majesty has agreed to the five demands made if the Most Christian and the League will interest themselves in the affair in the same way as his Majesty, whereupon his ambassadors have received orders to satisfy the contract on his Majesty's behalf. The letters of recommendation to the States and others will be sent, as his Majesty's ambassadors will, undoubtedly, have informed the count. If you will tell me of anything fresh, I also shall be glad to give you information.
Wanstead, the 11th September, 1624.
EDWARD CONWAY.
Enclosed in
the preceding
despatch.
594. Memorial of what the Agent of Bohemia is to represent to the King of Great Britain.
That his Majesty shall write to the Prince of Orange and the States to remind them that I have arrived here.
That he shall send a gentleman to the Princes, States and towns of Germany to assure them that I am solely acting to help them to recover the Palatinate and the general liberty, another being sent to the Most Christian for the same purpose.
That he urge the Kings of Denmark and Sweden, the Elector of Brandenburg and the Princes of Upper and Lower Saxony, to unite for this coming time.
To write to Bethlen Gabor so that he may keep the forces of the empire divided, as the Count of Mansfelt will take the field with some 20,000 foot and 6,000 horse, without speaking of the force that will fall upon the empire with this opportunity.
Sweden and Denmark should be notified that as they have made a demonstration they ought to quarter their troops in the enemy's country.
That his Majesty write to Embden demanding the restoration of everything which they have had surrendered, to wit, guns, munitions, rope, carts etc. under pain of reprisals in all the ports subject to his Majesty.
Paris, the 29th August, 1624.
THE COUNT OF MANSFELT.
[Italian.]
Sept. 28.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Roma.
Venetian
Archives.
595. PIERO CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador at Rome, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The other day I met the French ambassador when he was out taking the air. After speaking of the Grisons, he told me of an extraordinary audience he had received of the pope by orders which had reached him about the English match, all the conditions having been arranged, and that the king was preparing to go to the coast to meet the Prince of Wales.
Rome, the 20th September, 1624.
[Italian.]
Sept. 28.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Roma.
Venetian
Archives.
596. PIERO CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador at Rome, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The congregation for the dispensation for the English match has been appointed. It is the same as the one that dealt with the Spanish affair; it only remains for some absent cardinals to arrive. However, the Scottish noble (fn. 11) has not yet arrived who is coming in the name of the King of England for the same purpose, as he still remains at Florence.
Rome, the 20th September, 1624.
[Italian.]
Sept. 30.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Signori
Stati.
Venetian
Archives.
597. ALVISE CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador in the Netherlands, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Three days ago Colonel Peblitz arrived here (fn. 12) from the Count of Mansfelt, to procure the queen's influence with her brother, as they are very doubtful about the inclinations of the old king. The count proposes to come here for the prosecution of his plans.
The King of Bohemia hopes that Mansfelt's operations will relieve his wretchedness, and declares that the Protestant princes and the King of Denmark will supply great assistance. I learn that that king told the Ambassador Anstruther that when he was ready and armed for the defence of the Palatine the English king wished him to desist, promising himself satisfaction from negotiation, and was deceived; now he is disarmed they want to see a force on foot to keep Tilly busy, when they all knew that the slightest appearance of a movement would expose their dominions to great danger.
I must tell your Serenity that the English ambassador here attaches little credence to the reports from France that the marriage and Mansfelt's negotiations are concluded, as he is doubtful about the king's decisions. Perhaps he resembles those who in their excessive desire for a great good raise doubts even when they know they have it.
I enclose a list of all the commanders of reports who are serving the States.
The Hague, the 30th September, 1624.
[Italian; deciphered.]
Enclosed in
the preceding
despatch.
598. Extract from list of commanders serving in the Dutch forces.
English.
Sir Horace Vere, an old English soldier valued by the Prince of Orange, but not by all. Commanded in the Palatinate; excuses his failures by his king's commands.
Colonel Cecil; commanded all the English forces in the war of Juliers, has a large experience of war, and is a man of some years.
Colonel Morghen, an old soldier, very valuable as a subordinate; at present in the fortress of Breda; has never had a general command.
Colonel Harwood.
Colonel Southampton; was general of the cavalry in Ireland; has been in Flanders before and fought two years under the Prince of Orange.
The Earl of Essex; had a company of honour of 200 foot in the Palatinate.
The Earl of Oxford; commanded a similar company in the Palatinate.
Lord Willoughby; commanded 4,000 foot in Denmark.
Scots.
Colonel Broch, (fn. 13) an old man and useless.
Colonel Inderson, recently employed in the defence of l'Isel; a good soldier, but young, and has held no important command.
[Italian.]

Footnotes

1 La Vieuville was arrested on the 13th August and imprisoned at Amboise.
2 A copy is preserved among the State Papers, Foreign, Holland, for August, 1624. It is dated the 18th August [old style].
3 He died at Messina on the 3rd August of pestilential fever or lethargic apoplexy. Wake's despatch of the 1st September. State Papers, Foreign, Savoy.
4 Robert Maxwell, Earl of Nithsdale. See Antelmi's despatch of the 14th September, no. 580 at page 439, below.
5 The letter, dated the 13th September, 1624, is among the State Papers, Foreign, Holland.
6 Morris Abbot, brother of George Abbot, Archbishop of Canterbury, was governor of the East India Company, having been elected to that position on the 23rd March preceding.
7 The wife of Chevreuse was Marie de Rohan, widow of Luynes.
8 "A M. de la Haye, a good, understanding gentleman, governor of Montargis," according to the English ambassadors in their despatch of the 3rd October. State Papers, Foreign, France.
9 Etienne d'Aligre, Sieur de la Rivière, son of Etienne d'Aligre, Garde des Sceaux of France, left for Venice in October and had his first audience in the Collegio in December.
10 The accident occurred at Enfield Chace. Calendar S.P. Dom., 1623–5, pages 345, 346.
11 Robert Maxwell, Earl of Nithsdale.
12 Carleton, writing on the 16th September, old style, says that Colonel Peplitz arrived "yesternight." State Papers, Foreign, Holland.
13 Sir William Brog; he commanded his regiment until his death in 1636; Inderson is apparently Sir Francis Henderson, who succeeded his brother on the 17th Sept., 1622. Ferguson: The Scots Brigade in Holland, vol. i, notes to pages 54, 65.