Venice
January 1625, 3-10

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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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528-541

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'Venice: January 1625, 3-10', Calendar of State Papers Relating to English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 18: 1623-1625 (1912), pp. 528-541. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=88926 Date accessed: 23 September 2014.


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January 1625

Jan. 3.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
730. ZUANE PESARO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
When the Duke of Buckingham came to this city I thought fit to carry out your Serenity's instructions of the 22nd November last, and to communicate the state of affairs to him as an expression of confidence and esteem. This pleased him exceedingly, paving a way for me into the affections of this nobleman, who rules everything, while enabling me to obtain some light on their thoughts here. The duke warmly praised this demonstration, rejoicing at the successes of the allies. He said if the league operates in the Valtelline, if the Constable of France and the Duke of Savoy attempt some other design, if Mansfeld carriers out his plans with the continuation of the war of Flanders and some movement in Germany, and with some attacks in the Indies, the Spaniards will not recover from the blow. I said that the league was acting on good plans and with much vigour. It remained for them to play their part here, a very easy thing owing to the immense forces of this kingdom, so that events might take place for the greater security and the glory of England and especially of his Excellency, whose prudence and worth had strongly impressed all Europe. He said he would not fail and I should see the results. The king will prepare to act and if France and the league really mean business they will have nothing to complain of here. He would so contrive as to leave France the greatest glory as peace and war depended upon her, inferring that everything depends upon assurance of understanding. He said the aims and interests were common to set limits to the ambitions of the Spanish monarchy. I commended his ideas and remarked that the preparations and progress of the forces of the league afforded this kingdom an opportunity of advancing its own interests and those of its sons. They could have no better guarantee of our purpose than our attacking the enemy sword in hand instead of resting idle. He seemed most eager to act but half hinted that to achieve his designs he required either a bloody war of the allies, with little hope of peace, or to have a guarantee for some union or a mutual promise.
He went on from this to refer to the undertaking of Genoa. As I had information about the designs from the inside, I could easily penetrate everything. He told me that they asked for twenty ships supplied with men, apparatus and munitions of all kinds, to support the design and bridle the Spaniards in that sea, without obligation to land, and they asked this provision for the space of six months, undertaking that his Most Christian Majesty would bear the cost. He begged me for secrecy so that the affair might succeed and lamented that the constable's gentleman had left prematurely because with the hope of finding him in this city he had disposed the king to grant the request as he had come to London on purpose to give the orders and to send a memorandum of the cost, which might come to 200,000 crowns. But the French ambassadors do not negotiate, and neither disapprove nor promise anything for the design, and that will not suit this kingdom without fresh negotiations, although granted by his Majesty. I did not think I could pass over the remarks of a nobleman who stands so high at this Court.
London, the 3rd January, 1625.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Jan. 3.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
731. ZUANE PESARO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The French ambassadors alternate constantly between entertainments and negotiations. Villeocler, more and more favoured, has received a second great diamond from the prince, and people compete to entertain him, and they lose no opportunity of loading him with honours and obligations. He would have left already had not his congé been subjected to exceptional delay, but everything is arranged for an absolute settlement.
They are issuing the orders in the interests of religion and the Catholics. They are busy building the chapel, and for releasing the Catholic prisoners only the patents remain to be signed. The ambassador will take with him the ratification of the treaties and an original of the oaths taken, I fancy in order to show at Rome. In this the king was only prevailed upon with difficulty. The household which Madame is to keep remains undecided, the question being remitted for settlement between the English ambassadors and the ministers in France. The greatest difficulty consists in the claims of the French that Madame shall maintain her household entirely separated from the princes, according to the French practice; and the English offer the posts and the number of persons customary for the queens of their country, considered poor and unsuitable for Madame. But for the better establishment of this marriage news of the dispensation has arrived by express courier, of which the ambassadors immediately informed me, a great honour. The dispensation is consigned to Bethune freely and entirely but the ambassadors say that his Holiness desires some pledge in the intersts of religion, which will be most easy on the part of his Most Christian Majesty, who may require some more explicit promise from this king, which it would probably be best to avoid in order to escape fresh cavils and delays. So much for the marriage.
In my previous letters I have made two statements, one that Villeocler seemed inclined to put things in black and white, the other that the French declare that Mansfeld must not take his forces through their country. I now add with better information that Villiocler has seemed better disposed towards the proposals from this side which always aim at closer union more to make himself agreeable than because France has changed her mind, upon which Buckingham expressed his complete satisfaction.
As regards Mansfelt the French took alarm that the king here might change about attacking the Spaniards, especially after his declarations. They feared that Mansfelt might relinquish his design, or pass right through France. I hear they have made two protests, first, that if the king here fails to pay on the same day, their own obligations will lapse; second, if Mansfelt means to traverse France the king will resist with his army. However, these jealousies have been overcome, as the king has promised to make a written declaration that by his commissions he means Mansfelt to pass through the dominions of the Infanta and the Catholic, but must ask for a passage before committing hostilities. He promises to bear the cost of the force for six months. Mansfelt presses the French ambassadors for assurances as he has no promises or guarantees. Thus the affair remains uncertain and will continue so until the king makes up his mind or the interested parties enter upon a fuller treaty.
For Mansfelt's other affairs the troops will not reach the rendezvous on the appointed day. He constantly expects his men from the Netherlands. He has provided arms for 5,000 men in this kingdom to supply those which are wanting, and more have reached him by Alberstat's arrival in the port of Dover. He expects to have everything ready, but I fear he will experience difficulty over the carriage and many of the preparations.
The country people here are so alarmed at the preparations in the Flemish provinces that they are already retreating with their goods to stronger and better defended places. They say that Tilly will not easily be employed against their forces because the Catholic league have informed Bavaria that they do not mean to bear the cost of that army for his own private interests.
Captain Rota tells me of some negotiations between the Prince of Orange and Mansfelt. The former wants to know the count's plans, offers help for the common interests and asks some in return for the relief of Breda. The count offers his services to the States, says he has no money, promises if the States will advance 160,000 ducats to obtain an equal sum from the league, and in this way they can strike a blow for the common cause without any expenses except a gratuity to the troops. Apparently the king approves of a manifesto such as Mansfelt desires, and the Palatine may add some declaration to encourage the Princes of Germany.
The Earl of Nottingham is dead, dean of the Order of the Garter, full of years and with a glorious record at sea. (fn. 1) There are now four Garters to be disposed of. (fn. 2) His Majesty arrived in London yesterday after suffering very severely with the gout. I shall have the honour of seeing him and shall be able to make use of the generous resolutions of your Excellencies and the glory of the league with your instructions of the 13th ult.
London, the 3rd January, 1624. [M.V.]
Postscript.—Brunswick has entered this city and is lodged at St. James' in the prince's apartments with every demonstration of honour.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Jan. 4.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Savoia.
Venetian
Archives.
732. GIERONIMO PRIULI, Venetian Ambassador in Savoy, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The secretary of England left unexpectedly yesterday morning for the constable. They say he has been sent by the duke with the consent of the Ambassador Vuton, in the name of his king, to hasten the coming of the French troops.
There is a report here that Spinola is about to abandon the seige of Breda from fear of Mansfelt's arriving with a strong force. From Paris they report the start of the two queens to accompany the bride of England to the coast, but that his Majesty decided not to go because the Prince of Wales claims precedence, not allowing himself to be persuaded by the example of the Catholic, who gave way to the prince when he was in Spain.
Turin, the 4th January, 1624. [M.V.]
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Jan. 5.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Costantinopoli.
Venetian
Archives.
733. ZORZI GIUSTINIAN, Venetian Ambassador at Constantinople, to the DOGE and SENATE.
It is almost exactly a year since I advised your Serenity that a Portugese Jew named Isaac Corman had approached the Vizier showing that the moment had come to make a truce with Spain, and offering to go to Naples to open negotiations. (fn. 3) He, however, sent word from Naples of his negotiations with the Viceroy, who had decided to send a gentleman, expected here shortly; with him should come an ambassador of the Catholic for arranging this treaty. The English ambassador told me he had heard of the departure of this Jew for Naples for this purpose and had informed his king. He had now received letters of the 11th October in reply, commending his diligence and telling him to impart the matter to the Bailo of Venice, so that we may jointly oppose these negotiations. His Majesty had informed the Venetian ambassador, so that instructions might be given, and it might be expedient to intercept the Jew's letter.
I thanked the ambassador and said that I should always be glad to consult with him on the matter. The ambassador had approached the Caimecam and the Mufti on the subject, but they seemed to know nothing about it and they would never agree to a truce. He told me that when the Imperial ambassador was here he had broached the subject to the late Chislar Agar, who said it did not concern him but the Caimecam, and nothing more was done. I will do my best to obstruct this affair, as the ambassador strongly urged me to do, and I will sound the Caimecam about it.
The Vigne of Pera, the 5th January, 1624. [M.V.]
[Italian; deciphered.]
Jan. 6.
Collegio,
Lettere.
Venetian
Archives.
734. To the Ambassador at Rome.
Notification of the election of a new Doge. His Holiness to be informed by presenting accompanying letters.
The like, mutatis mutandis to:
Germany, France, Spain, England, Savoy, the States, Florence.
[Italian.]
Jan. 6.
Collegio,
Lettere.
Venetian
Archives.
735. To the Pope.
Notification of the death of Francesco Contarini, the late Doge and the election of his successor. (fn. 4)
The like to the following, mutatis mutandis:
The emperor, the King of France, the King of Spain, the King of Great Britain, the King of Poland, the King of Bohemia, the Duke of Savoy, the Grand Duke of Tuscany, the States, Count Maurice, the Dukes of Mantua, Modena, Parma and Urbino; Leopold, the Dukes of Lorraine and Wirtemberg, the Electors of the Empire, the Republic of Genoa.
[Latin.]
Jan. 6.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Signori
Stati.
Venetian
Archives.
736. ALVISE CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador in the Netherlands, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Out of numerous candidates for the English embassy the choice seems now confined to two, Fonsbergh of the province of Zeeland and Pauu, of Holland, pensionary of Amsterdam. The latter tried to obtain the appointment with your Excellency, but the opposition of those too strongly interested which stood in his way then still persists against him. He also has a large share in the East India Company, and this might prejudice him with the present Amboyna business. Most of all the Prince of Orange opposes him strongly, supporting his rival from Zeeland, whom everyone expects to obtain the post, especially as the ambassadors in France and at Venice are for the Province of Holland.
On Wednesday, New Year's day, they christened the Palatine's son with the name of Edward. The Princess of Portugal represented the Queen Mother, the Duke of Bouillon your Serenity and the Earl of Oxford the Duke of Savoy. In the evening, besides the god-parents all the ambassadors were invited to a banquet.
The Hague, the 6th January, 1625.
[Italian.]
Jan. 6.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Signori
Stati.
Venetian
Archives.
737. ALVISE CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador in the Netherlands, to the DOGE and SENATE.
All the remaining troops of Colonel Bebliz's levies have come from the Hanse towns. They numbered 3,800 distributed in 48 ships; they will leave for England in a day or two. They complain of the loss of time in sending the men to England, as they might go straight from here to France. The Prince of Orange thinks that the English troops, which are quite raw, will be little use at their first arrival, as is usual with that nation. I know that all his opinions are due to the position at Breda, and because he fears the succour may not prove adequate to its requirements.
The Hague, 6th January, 1625.
[Italian; deciphered.]
Jan. 7.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
738. MARC' ANTONIO MOROSINI, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the DOGE and SENATE.
On Friday evening Prince Thomas of Savoy arrived here, accompanied by the Count of Verua as ambassador extraordinary, who is to go to England to congratulate the king and prince upon the conclusion of the marriage. Yesterday morning I called upon the Prince. The English ambassadors saw him later in the same day, and together we arranged the business in which the Ambassador of Savoy here had a large share, pointing out to the prince the difficulties and dangers arising from unreasonable pretensions.
Your Excellencies will have heard that at the instances of the prince and Buckingham the English king has allowed Mansfelt to use his troops as required, taking away the rigorous command not to attack the hereditary dominions of the Catholics. The English ambassadors said this in the Council yesterday.
Paris, the 7th January, 1624. [M.V.]
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Jan. 7.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
739. MARC' ANTONIO MOROSINI, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Sciomberg last Saturday expressed to my secretary a request of your Serenity for money for Mansfelt. On the following day I was invited to a conference at the constable's house attended by the royal ministers and the ambassadors of England and Savoy. They spoke of nothing but finding money for Mansfelt and making him march. Without this the English declared that the affair would be spoiled and the count could not leave England. Their king had lavishly supplied his needs and given him money and France must keep her promises and do the same. The cardinal declared they were ready, but Venice and Savoy must do their share. I evaded this, saying that the republic would willingly pay its share when Mansfelt arrived in Alsace or Burgundy for the Valtelline. This led to a long discussion and they tried hard to move me, pointing out the dangers of delay. However, I would not budge and the conference ended without result. The English ambassadors, with some temper, declared that they would have nothing to do with us and they would look to the King of France for the fulfilment of the obligation. The ministers here promised to pay our share if we would reimburse them. The ambassador of Savoy said that his master had a separate agreement with Mansfelt.
Paris, the 7th January, 1624. [M.V.]
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Jan. 9.
Collegio,
Secreta.
Esposizioni
Principi.
Venetian
Archives.
740. COUNCILLOR WAKE, Ambassador of the King of England, came to public audience in the Cabinet. After the Doge had made some complimentary remarks he said:
I have to present a letter from my king, which was directed to your late predecessor. The letter was then presented and read.
James, King of Great Britain, etc., to Francesco Contarini, Doge of Venice.
Letter of credence for Isaac Wake, knight, sent to act as ambassador with the republic.
Dated at Westminster, the 31st March, 1624.
Prince Charles to Francesco Contarini, Doge of Venice.
Letter of recommendation for Isaac Wake.
Dated at the palace of St. James, the 12th May, 1624.
After the reading, the ambassador resumed: The deplorable events of the present time, the constant disturbance and the need for universal repose impel all just powers to join together in a more perfect understanding to oppose these imminent evils. My king has always been devoted to peace and averse from the shedding of Christian blood. He is trying to re-confirm the ancient friendships of his crowns in order to preserve upon this firm basis for the general benefit the theatre of peace in order to confound the forces and contrivances of those who seek to perturb it. Thus when his Majesty ascended the throne of England he cultivated the friendship of this republic. My instructions are to testify to your Serenity the sincere friendship of his Majesty, his desire for your prosperity and his esteem for this bulwark of Christendom.
The ancients relate that an ambassador of King Epirus on returning from an embassy to Rome reported that in the senate he had seen quot Senatores tot Deos. I have seen a modern writer who applies the same sentiments to this Cabinet. I should be dazzled by the splendour of your Serenity but that I remember your former kindness. I served my apprenticeship here. My king calls me Philo Venetus. I profess as much devotion to St. Mark as to St. George and I am confident that when the King of the Ocean and the Queen of the Adriatic are joined together immoderatas aliorum cogitationes compescent, inanesque reddent.
I pass on to congratulate your Serenity upon the assumption of your dignity which you have received amid the applause of the whole city. I rejoice at entering this city under your auspices. I trust that you will conduct the ship of state to its desired haven in the midst of so many threatening storms.
The Doge replies that they were highly gratified by the confirmation of his Majesty's friendship; and they rejoiced to hear of his intentions in the interests of peace. The republic has no other aims beyond the preservation of his liberty and the safety of her states. He returned thanks for the congratulations upon his accession to the Dogeship, and said the ambassador would always be welcome. They had not welcomed him as they wished on his arrival because they did not know of his arrival, and his first audience had been delayed owing to the death of the late Doge.
The ambassador returned thanks and presented a letter from the Prince of Wales, entered above, which was read; after further complimentary phrases he took leave and departed.
[Italian.]
Jan. 10.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni,
Roma.
Venetian
Archives.
741. To the Ambassador in England.
The forces of the league are doing as much as the season permits. The general has sent to attack Bormio, where we have sent help. The Duke of Feria is trying to collect a powerful army, having received money from the Catholics. He has promises of help from Florence, Parma and Modena. The pope is also arming; our republic is doing the like, vigorously supporting the forces of the league, and her prompt action prevented resistance on the part of the Spaniards.
Ayes, 122.Noes, 0.Neutral, 0.
The like to Rome, France, Spain, Turin, Germany, Florence, Naples, the Proveditore General in Dalmatia.
[Italian.]
Jan. 10.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni,
Roma.
Venetian
Archives.
742. To the Ambassador at the Hague and the like to England.
With regard to our obligation to Mansfeld's forces we have to state that at the beginning of the troubles, when the allies proposed to bring Mansfeld to Alsace and Burgundy we were the first to send money. After the disbanding of his force when it was proposed to give him another we were ready to give our share if he went to those provinces to divert the forces of the Spaniards as proposed by the league, but we were not bound to anything more, as the French ministers themselves admitted. Matters are now changed, a levy for the count being arranged in England with conditions contrary to the league, so there is nothing for which to blame us, indeed we might have reason to complain of the diversion of this force if we did not know that it is for the Palatinate for whose welfare we are so anxious.
To England add:
You will renew the patents for the count as he requests. Sir [Isaac] Wake, his Majesty's ambassador, who had not had his first audience owing to the vacancy of the Dogeship, came yesterday on the day following his public entry, accompanied by a numerous concourse of senators and passed the office which you will see. We again sent him refreshments as a mark of our esteem for his king. We will send you by the next ordinary our letters in reply to his Majesty and the prince. The goods of our Ambassador Valaresso have been intercepted by the archducal ministers on the way to Eisem, and they kept the papers as a sign of their evil disposition.
Ayes, 122.Noes, 0.Neutral, 0.
[Italian.]
Jan. 10.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
743. ZUANE PESARO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The king graciously agreed to see me, having recovered his health, although indisposed as usual to make himself a convalescent, and weak. I thought best at first to excuse the delay of my offices by my having waited his convenience, and to confirm my good intentions in this ministry. I proceeded to offer congratulations upon the prince's marriage, which your Excellencies, who always followed his Majesty's proceedings with affection and respect, heard of with especial joy, as we must always rejoice at what pleases him and at whatever prospers his throne. The king signified that he highly valued my intentions, thanked me for my consideration in postponing the audience and thanked your Excellencies for your congratulations about the marriage and your appreciation of this union between France and England, admitting that his affection for the republic was the stronger as he claimed to be your Serenity's first friend.
I re-affirmed our confidence in his Majesty's favour and thought fit to inform him of what had taken place in the Grisons and the progress of the arms of the league. He said I had afforded him great pleasure, as he meant himself to ask me for the news to compare it with that of the French ambassador. He seemed greatly rejoiced at the capture of Tirano, almost as if he had not believed that the forces would penetrate into the Valtelline. He asked me about the facilities for uniting the particular troops of your Serenity with those of the Marquis of Coure, whom he highly praised. His Majesty wished to know the exact situation of Tirano and asked me if the Spaniards would relieve the forts of the Valtelline. I tried to give him satisfactory answers while keeping to the exact terms of my instructions. After a while the king remarked that everything seemed harmonious except that the five small cantons disagreed and opposed. I said that they had already allowed the troops to pass; they might have some private interests, but they had the public service in common with the others, and it was their interest not to offend the Most Christian king or depart from his alliance, and what they might not agree to from friendship they would yield from necessity. At this he remarked that the mischief consisted in the bigotry that is the superstition which ruins everything.
I had an opportunity of telling his Majesty that these good results in the Valtelline invited us to hope for the like for the Palatinate, and I desired as much for the benefit and interest of his Majesty and for the glory of his name. The king said, You speak the truth. I hope that we shall do something. We are all marching towards the same purpose, to confine them within their own frontiers. I remarked that his Majesty's forces could easily prescribe limits to them. He certainly received me with the utmost graciousness, but one could not obtain much substantial, especially as in order to please him one has to adopt an abridged and disconnected manner.
When I left the king's apartments I found the prince in the ante-chamber awaiting me with a large number of gentlemen of quality. He came to the middle of the room to meet me and led me to a table where his Highness said he wished to receive me in that place because he had bad apartments. I made a suitable reply and proceeded to congratulate him upon his marriage in the name of your Excellencies. His Highness seemed greatly pleased and spoke very warmly of the friendship he professed for your Serenity and said that everything that concerned him belonged to the most serene republic. I related to his Highness in great detail the events of the Grisons and the progress of the war. He openly showed his satisfaction both by deed and word, telling me that really no one rejoiced more than he at such good success. He asked me about Tirano and seemed to be of the same opinion as his Majesty about the forces being in the Valtelline. He asked me if matters would go further, meaning would they begin greater undertakings, thereby giving me to understand his desire for a greater rupture, and that the French promise that they will go further and further. I told him that certainly we should never stop before obtaining complete satisfaction in this affair; an idea which might serve to set him an example. I also told him that this was the moment to restore the Palatinate to his nephews. He said to me, now that the most serene republic has no more differences with France and has identified herself with the alliance, which you have stipulated, I hope that with my marriage with France a more general union may be seen. I told him that your Excellencies have uninterruptedly maintained the friendship with France, and the present union and the actions of your Serenity fully prove your zeal and earnestness for the general safety, the common interests and the liberty of princes. I said I should like to see his Highness's good intentions realised, and I would serve him. And so we parted, the prince being most gracious, our confidence increased by dispensing with an interpreter and both conversing in French.
London, the 10th January, 1625.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Jan. 10.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
744. ZUANE PESARO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
I have seen the Duke of Buckingham who with increased confidence disclosed to me many of their plans in this quarter and his own most intimate thoughts, which I tried to penetrate with tact and dexterity. The duke confessed to me his extreme passion to push matters to an extreme against the Spaniards, and that he desired some support to fortify his designs. He proceeded to tell me that he is trying for a defensive and offensive league with France, as that would be the means to bring the king into all the deliberations, without which it would be difficult to conduct matters well. He hinted that he wished me to assure the French ambassadors of his good disposition, and exhort them to make representation in France with the same object, representing that we are involved in war and expense without being sure of this king, but once sure of him we shall enjoy a mutual advantage without increasing the expense while diminishing the danger.
I could not refrain from commending this confidence. I told him that I did not want the forms of things to be considered, but the common good must be measured by results; that France is with the league, and her forces opposing the Spaniards. This is a clear pledge of enmity between the two crowns. That king could have no better opportunity of securing his own advantage than the present, as one cannot fear the abandonment of the common cause; the employment of the Count of Mansfelt at the common expense assured the war and a mutual understanding, the marriage and Madame's presence in this kingdom would constitute the safest pledge of keeping their interests always in conformity. Moreover, the forces of England can be employed at sea without risk of hurt and with the certainty of great advantage. I said a great deal to remove the suspicions of this nobleman and to urge action in this quarter as much as possible.
He said he knew that the Most Christian king has greater interests than England in recovering the Palatinate, because theirs is an interest of blood but his of state and very near confines, which touches princes more than kinship. He said he knew that to make war the king here needs no help or foreign assistance, but to bring about decisions and win over the king they needed some friendship otherwise they were not likely to do any good. He told me he feared that the Spaniards might flinch about the Grisons and the Valtelline, and the French might be content with receiving satisfaction. I said that two great kings once blooded would not easily come to a settlement; that the Most Christian naturally hates the Spaniards and the success in the Grisons might induce him to greater undertakings, but for this they needed support from this quarter, the encouragement of Mansfeld and a naval force, because one thing would lead to another and a closer union might result from the present understanding.
I observed that the duke does not value the employment of Mansfeld owing to his great caution about France's intentions, and his fear of a ready accommodation of the league and from not being sure of bringing the king to friendship with France or anyone else. I can promise that he personally will employ every means for a generous expedition.
I thought fit to tell the French ambassadors what the duke told me in confidence. They received it very well and approved of what I said. They told me that the duke had opened his heart to me because these are his ordinary affairs; they know the advantage of interesting the king here with his forces against the Spaniards, and Buckingham is always excusing himself for inability through lack of support of friendship. They expressed to me their strong disposition to co-operate in these designs, but France already has a defensive league which will become offensive. Difficulties may possibly arise in France but these movements will benefit France more than England. When Buckingham is in France the Cardinal of Richelieu, Sciomber and the Chancellor may not object to honour him with some good expedition.
I praised these generous ideas and tried to confirm them; and I will do everything to increase the duke's confidence. I hope to learn your Serenity's intentions, as I believe that these two crowns in hostility with Spain, and especially this one, may secure the greatness of Italy, the security of her liberty and the true glory and peace of your Excellencies.
London, the 10th January, 1625.
[Italian; deciphered.]
Jan. 10.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
745. ZUANE PESARO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
I have told your Serenity of the arrival of Prince Christian of Brunswick, who is still lodged in his Highness's apartments and waited on as himself. His presence here is merely complimentary and he will return to his post with the Count of Mansfeld. This prince came first to visit me, forestalling everything, although the French ambassadors first presented compliments. He expressed his devotion for the most serene republic and his desire to serve your Excellencies one day. I made a suitable response.
The French ambassadors are not satisfied with this Court as Villeocler cannot leave, not having received his congé. Everything has been arranged, as I wrote, but the things agreed are not carried out and the confirmation encounters delay, change and disinclination. Everything is settled for the nuptials, but there are difficulties about carrying out the religious matters. In verifying the part about security for the Catholics, which should be equal in all three kingdoms, they have put in the paper to be handed to the French the word favour instead of liberty of the Catholics. The ambassadors consider this not an equivocation but a fraud. In the patent for the release of the imprisoned Catholics they have added some clauses and in speaking of the laws they refer to the negotiations with the Spaniards, which has not pleased the French. Moreover, the English mean to release the prisoners but banish them while the French desire their unconditional release.
I have already written to your Serenity about the advantage for the Catholics besides their security, but more particularly I must add that they embrace three leading points. Firstly, removing the persecution and fining of the recusants, that is those who refuse to go to the reformed churches, by restoring their goods and money and the securities obtained since the last parliament. Secondly, to stop the payment by the poor of the shilling (soldo), equivalent to thirty soldi of our money, to be paid by every one each Sunday that they do not go to the preaching. Thirdly, the release of the prisoners aforesaid. These are carried out by ministers under the king's orders, and as some are Puritans and partly from fear of parliament, difficulties increase, though they could be overcome if the king wished, and so the ambassadors hope, blaming the Secretary Conovel for the delay. They also say freely that his Majesty is not acting sincerely in the matter. There are heavy wagers that the marriage will not take place, and even the ambassadors have recently begun to have some doubts. Through their insistance upon the carrying out of these points about religion they are beginning to win credit among the Catholics, though there is fear of Jesuit meddling and that by their constancy for the advantage of religion they may spoil the speedy completion of the marriage. The dispensation is exactly like the one granted to the Spaniards; thus the Most Christian king must solemnly and publicly undertake the maintenance of the conditions for the Catholics by the king here, the Roman Church intending that to be the reason and excuse for the grant.
The going of the Duke of Buckingham to France is confirmed, but they are hesitating as to whether it shall be complimentary or to effect the marriage. They have talked of the prince crossing the sea, and I fancy he seems ready to go and fetch Madame in person, to go to Paris and make every possible demonstration. The French do not refuse but they do not altogether consent to this for many reasons, although it is some inducement to receive equal honour with Spain, but I fancy this point remains unsettled.
The Count of Mansfeld keeps receiving his troops from this kingdom, and as they arrive at Dover he orders their embarkation for the safety of the men and to prevent disorder, although they have committed some robberies in the country to the dissatisfaction of the people. The captains of the companies were here in London awaiting the near approach of their departure; but they were ordered to follow their companies. Everyone expects to learn the day of departure from Mansfeld, but the non-appearance of the Dutch troops arouses suspicion, and the remarks of the French ambassadors that a landing at Calais may easily be broken up, the count's relations with Orange and his great need for vehicles, with which Holland can furnish him better than anyone else, create the impression that his landing will take place in that country rather than in France. The French ambassadors told me that he was free to take either course, but I understand their desire to divert this force from their own kingdom. The king has not yet put in writing his declarations about the commissions reported, but everything is expected with the papers and cautions about the marriage.
All the ships have come out of Dunkirk by order of the Infanta. It is thought that they intend to attack the troops and Mansfeld himself when crossing. Here they have ordered the closing of all the ports to review and order all the ships they may need and to provide an escort for Mansfeld. To secure the sea they have ordered out four of the royal ships. I have informed the French ambassadors of this decision and we shall act together to try and get the number of royal ships increased on the score of reputation, but really for the safer conduct of Mansfeld so as not to lose everything before starting. It would not be disadvantageous to encourage a hostile encounter which would indeed amount to a rupture. In fact they approach a resentful feeling because the people of Dunkirk have taken many English goods, and the king's agent writes from Brussels that he can obtain no redress. (fn. 5) Accordingly some leading lords of the Council have remarked to me, that after making every reasonable representation they propose to issue letters of marque for reprisals.
They are making provisions for the naval force, but encounter difficulties, especially in providing money. However, it seems that the prince and Buckingham intend to advance the cost, recouping themselves when the subsidies mature. I am looking out, but I lose no time.
London, the 10th January, 1625.
Postscript.—This morning the French ambassadors finally obtained their congé, and the Ambassador Villeocler started on his journey after dinner. I shall hear if he left satisfied and will send particulars in my next.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Jan. 16.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Roma.
Venetian
Archives.
746. That the Ambassador Valaresso be allowed to keep the present made to him by the King of Great Britain, as a sign of our satisfaction with his services, and similarly that Pietro Dolce, who was Valaresso's secretary in that embassy, be allowed to keep the gold chain given him by that sovereign upon his departure.
For the ambassador:
Ayes, 155.Noes, 5.Neutral, 1.
On the same day in the Collegio:
Ayes, 23.Noes, 0.Neutral, 0.
For the secretary:
Ayes, 156.Noes, 5.Neutral, 1.
On the same day in the Collegio:
Ayes, 22.Noes, 1.Neutral, 0.
[Italian.]

Footnotes

1 He died on the 14/24th December, aged 88.
2 The vacant Garters were Ulric, Duke of Holstein, who died on the 27th March, 1624; Esmé Stuart, Duke of Lennox, who died on the 30th July, 1624; Henry Wriothesley, Earl of Southampton, who died 20th November, 1624, and Nottingham.
3 The Jew mentioned, sent to Naples, is arrived; and hath some acceptance there; his name is Isaac Cormoran, a Portugal, bred the page of Don Antonio; a subtle knave, aged, all white and a little deaf. Negotiations of Sir Thomas Roe, page 325.
4 Contarini died on Saturday, the 7th December, 1624. State Papers, Foreign, Venice. Branthwaite's despatch of the 3/13 December. His successor was Giovanni Cornaro, procurator of S. Marco, elected on the 4th January.
5 Among the State Papers, Foreign, Flanders, there is a list of the spoliations committed on English subjects by the Dunkirkers, dated the 15th September, 1624.