Venice
January 1625, 13-20

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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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541-558

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'Venice: January 1625, 13-20', Calendar of State Papers Relating to English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 18: 1623-1625 (1912), pp. 541-558. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=88927 Date accessed: 20 April 2014. Add to my bookshelf


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January 1625

Jan. 13.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Signori
Stati.
Venetian
Archives.
747. ALVISE CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador in the Netherlands, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The English troops who recently crossed to serve here have greatly diminished owing to the bad air and by the desertion of many induced by the hope of serving the Count of Mansfelt. Their pay, however, remains the same, to the great profit of the captains, and the States have declared that payment must be made according to the muster or the proper numbers must be completed. The last payment was made yesterday, amounting to some 82,000 florins.
The strong opposition to the Pensionary Pauu of Amsterdam has practically destroyed his hopes of the English embassy. The States of Holland think of putting some one else forward to keep the ambassadors for their province. The name of Aerssens has been mentioned, but I understand he will excuse himself as he fears his enemies if he went away. The generality and the Prince of Orange incline to Fonsbergh, the nominee of Zeeland, who is determined not to lose the appointment which should fall to him by every reason of distributive justice. Disputes might hasten a decision upon this affair.
The Hague, the 13th January, 1625.
[Italian.]
Jan. 13.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Signori
Stati.
Venetian
Archives.
748. ALVISE CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador in the Netherlands, to the DOGE and SENATE.
On the 15th ult. the Count of Mansfelt wrote to the Prince of Orange saying that owing to the great preparations of the Spaniards in Artois, Flanders and elsewhere, he proposed to change his plans and come to this country to relieve Breda, or if they preferred, to go straight to the Palatinate. He wrote to the Palatine to the same effect telling him also of the command given him by the King of England not to attack the states legitimately possessed by the King of Spain or the Infanta, although he says he will refer everything to the King of France to make war as he decides.
The States will do everything to keep this force in their interest without entering the country, as they fear they could not get rid of it when they wanted and they might have to supply it with food. The German route is undoubtedly the shortest way to the Palatinate, and Teichnau may have orders from the Palatine to induce the Most Christian to agree with England about Mansfelt coming this way.
Disturbances in France have hindered the levies and provisions there. Mansfelt asked the Palatine for money, but he pleaded his present fortunes. Thus many things stand in the way of speed. The English ambassador announced that his king had appointed quarters in Kent for the German troops, so that 200 could land at a time, a sign that their preparations are not very advanced in that country. The Prince of Orange has lost hope of obtaining anything from all this.
The Hague, the 13th January, 1625.
[Italian; deciphered.]
Jan. 13.
Collegio,
Secreta.
Esposizioni,
Principi.
Venetian
Archives.
749. The English Ambassador came into the Cabinet and after exchanging various compliments with the Doge in a low voice for the refreshments sent to him and congratulating him on his good health, he said:
The other day I made a general statement about the good understanding between my king and your Serenity. There are other matters which I did not think fit to bring forward then. It is a long while since I started and I spent many months in Savoy besides being in France, so I will pass over many things as out of date. My king has always done his utmost for the sake of peace, so that every one might enjoy his own without molestation; but the ambitions of others brought about these deplorable disturbances. My king carried on lengthy negotiations with the King of Spain for a marriage and even sent the Prince of Wales to Spain, who proceeded thither like the ancient paladins of our realm. He hoped by this means to establish peace by the restoration of the Palatinate to his son-in-law. It did not succeed but it dissipated the web of intrigue which had lasted seven years and which might easily have continued seven years longer. The prince returned and told his father everything. They summoned a parliament and decided to see if they could obtain by force what they could not get by negotiation, so that the impetuous torrent might not work further damage.
During the marriage negotiations the Spaniards took the Palatinate and then began negotiating. The same thing happened with the Valtelline. They wanted to join together their possessions and entirely subdue the Low Countries and all the princes of Germany. For this reason my king has resolved to put a stop to their pride. Besides sending 6,000 paid infantry into Holland and guarding his flanks in Scotland and Ireland, he has decided to arm by land and sea and to send the Count of Mansfelt across the sea with 13,000 foot, 800 horse and 200,000 crowns. The troops are already on the coast where ships are waiting to take them. This was to take place on the 24th ult. I have given you these particulars as a mark of confidence, and to ask for your prudent counsel, which his Majesty values highly.
When I passed through France it came out that the Duke of Angoulême and la Vieville were not moving seriously in the negotiations with Mansfelt. I had part in the negotiations at that Court together with our two ambassadors extraordinary, and the question was finally settled in a satisfactory manner. This business caused the delay about the marriage which has now been arranged, thank God, indeed the bride should by now be consigned to the Prince of Wales.
On leaving France I had to proceed to Turin, as a slander had been spread abroad that all my king's actions were directed against the Roman Catholic faith and I was to get the duke to write to the cardinal his son at Rome a letter for Bethune to be read to the Pope. This was done and I hand this letter to your Serenity, asking you to read it. It runs thus:
The rumours of new laws recently promulgated in England against the Roman Catholics are pure invention of men who go about begging pensions and alms with lies and calumnies of this sort. As a fact nothing of the kind was ever mentioned in the last parliament held at London, and those acquainted with the government there must know that no new laws are necessary, the ancient and fundamental laws of the realm sufficing to repress all disorder that might arise in such cases.
It is true that some turbulent spirits were carried away by vain hopes owing to the negotiations in Spain, and parliament petitioned the king to keep an eye upon them and provide in time against the disorders to which they might give rise. In answer to this request the king, seeing that his clemency had not produced the good results expected, banished priests, friars and Jesuits from the country, though they were treated very kindly, for though they were amenable to the laws for having entered this kingdom without licence, they were allowed forty days to settle their affairs. The king desires nothing fresh in religious matters but to leave consciences free. He only wants to recover what was wrongfully taken from his daughter and grandchildren. Bound in honour not to abandon those who depend upon his protection, he is resolved to employ the forces which God has given to him to remedy these disorders, and I hope that he will not find any Christian prince to oppose his just and pious designs. Nothing is further from his thoughts than to plan a religious war, and if he finds himself in arms against some interested Catholic he hopes that disinterested powers will recognise his political reasons and distinguish them from the false pretexts of religion under which some are accustomed to cloak their usurpations and ambitions of universal monarchy. Religion served as a pretext in the Valtelline, but as soon as it fell into the hands of the ministers of Spain they wrote that now they had all the princes of Italy shut up in one stable. It is therefore time for all free powers to think of their common situation, as once the Spaniards and Austrians obtain possession of Germany under the pretext of religion, Italy will stand in great danger, and possibly they will not respect his Holiness more than they did Clement VII.
He then said I have letters from his Majesty's ambassador recently sent to Denmark and to the princes of Low Germany. He then read the letters, which among other things stated that on his arrival he had found a fleet of many ships ready to start with munitions to the value of a million of gold for the service of Spain for the Brazil fleet. He had contrived to delay its departure, and succeeded in staying them from sending powder and other munitions to the value of 100,000 reichs thalers, without which they could not proceed. Three thousand soldiers were ready to embark for the Low Countries, to serve under Mansfeld. The King of Denmark though very circumspect would ultimately decide to help those provinces secretly with money rather than with men.
He continued: The secretary whom I left at Turin writes that the duke had 14,000 foot nearly ready. Most were sent to the frontiers and 20 guns were ready to go with them. M. de Crichi had arrived from France and joined Lesdiguieres. The Cavalier Nari, sent by the pope to France, had asked his Highness to meditate in the matter of the Valtelline. The duke felt disposed to attack Milan single-handed if the republic would enter a week later. He did not want to keep his men idle. Troops were already arriving from Lesdiguieres.
He said that if the republic were invaded his king would send a great fleet to create a diversion. He asked them to tell him sometimes what news they had from the Valtelline. He asked that Colonel Obentraut might be allowed to go and serve Mansfeld, for which he left a memorial.
The Doge replied that they rejoiced in the confidence of his Majesty and were glad to learn these various particulars. They thanked him especially for the offer of a force to defend them. His Majesty is doing his utmost for the liberty of this province, the security of his dominions and general peace. The matters brought forward require mature consideration which they will receive. We have been much delighted to hear of the marriage arranged between the Prince of Wales and the Princess of France; we beg you to tell his Majesty that we wish him speedy issue and all prosperity. Your Excellency will always be welcome here.
The ambassador returned thanks and asked leave to introduce his secretary, a subject of the republic. This was done and the former secretary of the Ambassador Wotton (fn. 1) was also introduced, who was leaving.
[Italian.]
Collegio,
Secreta.
Esposizioni
Principi
filza.
Venetian
Archives.
750. Most Serene Prince.
Your Serenity will remember that I came here with my troop at your request, hoping to enter your service. After waiting for two months I have received no reply. I beg you to decide what you will do with me as soon as possible. I must have 100 crowns a head and cannot abate anything in my demands, as the soldiers would not come for less pay. If another will do it for less, I agree, but I am sure that it is impossible. I will not deceive you by bringing boys and rustics as troopers. I would not risk my life with such. If you do not want me I beg you not to keep me waiting any longer but allow me to join the Count of Mansfeld.
Second insertion.
The report of new laws in England against the Catholics is a pure invention; nothing was said about it in the last parliament, But the king finding his clemency unavailing has banished priests, friars, and Jesuits. He does not want to disturb religious matters, but only to recover what was taken from his daughter. He hopes that his true intentions will be recognised. Religion served as a pretext for the usurpation of the Valtelline. Now is the time for all free states to review the general situation; once the Spaniards have mastered Germany the liberty of Italy will be imperilled.
[Italian.]
Jan. 18.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Roma.
Venetian
Archives.
751. That the English ambassador be summoned to the Collegio and the following read to him:
The republic is greatly pleased at your coming to this embassy. The communication which you made to us about the decisions and intentions of his Majesty afforded us much satisfaction. After having so long tried negotiations in vain he could not delay any more to display the vigour of his most noble realms. His forces will arrive most opportunely; and the marriage between the prince and Madame of France, cutting at the roots of all preceding negotiations, is a most prudent step. We especially rejoice at the union in interests and action of these two great crowns, which could not have happened at a better moment. As the Spaniards have to deal with the States in Flanders and with the league in this province, his Majesty will have a good field to show his strength, and he can operate by sea as well as by land. We also have armed in extraordinary fashion and the Most Christian and Savoy, our allies, are doing the same. Although the Valtelline and the Palatinate are far apart, they suffer from the same oppression, and it may be hoped that they will obtain relief together. We need say no more to a king endowed with such prudence and virtue and with such ample means of exercising them.
We ask your Excellency to report this office affectionately with our thanks for his Majesty's offers, from which the republic promises itself the more because it remembers his declarations in previous times, and we shall always respond fully.
We also have to tell you that the forces of the league have gone towards Bormio. The ecclesiastical troops have withdrawn to the principal fortress which is closely besieged. The Spaniards are fortifying themselves at Riva and Chiavenna and the Duke of Feria is strengthening himself in the Milanese. The Spaniards are levying troops in Germany and Naples, and this should excite your Excellency to make prudent representations to his Majesty. We shall always be glad to see you or your secretary.
We do not see how we can do without Colonel Obentraut at present, and we highly esteem his worth. We will give letters for his Majesty to the secretary of Mr. Wotton, who acted as resident here, and we will only reply to the letters of his Majesty and the prince.
That 200 crowns be given to the said secretary as a present, in accordance with the custom, who is about to leave with the letters for his Majesty.
Ayes, 156.Noes, 0.Neutral, 2.
[Italian.]
Jan. 15.
Senato,
Secreta.
Inquisitori
di Stato.
Venetian
Archives.
752. ZUANE PESARO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the INQUISITORS OF STATE. (fn. 2)
A diabolical attempt has been made against me by an Italian, which I will relate in detail. When I first arrived here I learned that there was an Italian kept prisoner by his Majesty after the fashion of this country, namely, in the custody of a constable with freedom to go everywhere, who had intimated that I had in hand some secret intrigues against his Majesty and this kingdom. At first I feared this might prejudice his Majesty against me, but conscious of my own integrity, I despised such machinations Nevertheless I determined to get to the bottom of the matter. I obtained the copy of a letter apparently written by me to the Duke of Pastrana, of which I enclose a copy. I proposed to let the matter go until I could personally vindicate my honour, the court being absent at the time, but while I was waiting for my public entry the Council by the king's own order banished this man from the realm. Some advised me to ignore the matter, but I considered this too dangerous a course, especially as his Majesty is naturally more disposed to suspect a Venetian than a Spanish ambassador. Accordingly I applied to the court that the banishment might be recalled and the man kept a prisoner until I could state my case at his Majesty's pleasure. The man was therefore recalled and kept prisoner though with the usual insecure guard.
At my first audience at Theobald's I referred to this matter. The king seemed to attach no importance to it. I pressed for the furthering of the business and firstly had the man closely confined, though he could easily communicate with the outside, such is the negligent justice of this country. The lords of the Council held various consultations upon the man, shedding more and more light upon his villainy, but they did not know what course to pursue since by the laws of the land such a crime cannot be punished and they do not allow any sort of torture (patimento) to procure his confession. I remonstrated strongly claiming that extraordinary remedies were required for extraordinary cases. The Council said they could do no more than inform the republic of the matter and announce my innocence to the world. I thanked them but would not agree to a light punishment for so grave a fault. Proceedings were delayed because the Secretary Conway with his usual crass negligence, omitted to show the Council the forged letter.
When his Majesty came to town I made fresh remonstrances to him. He was very complimentary to me, but said that all kings were bound by their own laws, and everyday people uttered slanders against him which he could neither prevent nor punish. He suggested submitting the case to the high court of parliament, but as I did not feel sure about a parliament or desire so long a delay the king assured me that he would see I had complete satisfaction, though only suggesting slight penalties. The Council, however, sent me the enclosed decree which will, I think, afford me proper satisfaction.
This man introduced himself to me when I was ambassador in France, saying that he knew my brothers. He said he knew many secrets, being a great enemy of the Spaniards; that he had discovered many intrigues in the house of Rossi, the emperor's secretary, and knew of plots against the Most Christian life and his realms. He asked me to obtain audience of his Majesty for him. I said he should apply to the ministers; I could never obtain any particulars from him. Coming afterwards he asked for a letter of recommendation to the Ambassador Valaresso saying that he had many relations in that kingdom and matters to disclose against that king. I gave him a few lines but cautioned the ambassador, telling him that I did not know this man. He behaved in the same way with Valaresso, but did not present my letter, though he got money from him. He showed his Excellency much knowledge of Venetian affairs and noble families, especially of the Cavalier Priuli.
He afterwards went to the Cavalier Biondi, pretending that he intended to become a Protestant as the result of his studies at Milan, and asked for an introduction to the Archbishop of Canterbury or the Duke of Buckingham. But Biondi drove him away. Accordingly he went to the Archbishop of Canterbury, who then was racked by the gout, and presented a letter ostensibly from the Constable Colonna of which I enclose a copy. This villainy brought him no money so he went to the Spanish embassy, but I do not know what the ambassador did with him. He afterwards went to the Duke of Buckingham to tell him that Inoiosa and others were plotting to kill him; this matter on examination proved unfounded and he was put in charge of the Secretary Conway. He then presented a long document about a conspiracy against his Majesty, naming many noblemen, particularly the Earl of Arundel or Lord Arundel, who is a suspected Catholic and may be termed in some sense seditious. and then he showed the forged letter in my name; on which account he was banished as I said.
The President of the Council showed me this letter. The paper is small and I could not find its mark. The forgery is evident. It is dated seven months before I was chosen for this post. He said he obtained it at Rome at a high price, but he had been in France long before. He uses the word Anglaterra, whereas in Venice and Rome people always write Inghilterra; he does this also in the letters ascribed to the constable and the one written to the Count of Mansfeld. My signature could be easily copied from the letters I gave him for the Ambassador Valaresso, which he never presented.
I do not know what his motives may have been, but without torture he will never confess the entire truth, and the laws here forbid all manner of torture or suffering. His proceedings show his stupidity. I have never known Pastrana, Valdez or Bristol, and have never been in the same place with them. I have had relations with papal nuncios and Spanish ambassadors in the interests of the state but this villain has not reflected upon the improbability of his plot, because no life can be more useful to the Spaniards than his Majesty's, who seems incapable of hurting them, while the prince, owing to offences received in Spain and the Princess Palatine have serious grievances against them, and why should he ask for an introduction to a Venetian ambassador and why keep the matter secret so long? I know that I need not defend myself to your Excellencies and the king and court have expressed their friendship and their contempt of this villainy.
He is of middle height, fair, with curly hair, wears a short beard with moustache, with a large high forehead. The lords here think him an unfrocked friar; he knows Latin well. He calls himself a Milanese but might be a Bergamese. I find that in France he went to the English ambassador pretending to know of many machinations against this kingdom. He brought many letters which he said came from cardinals and ambassadors, but when the ambassador found that they were all in arabesque characters, as he described them, being now in the city, he burned the lot, an action commended by the king.
As regards the difficulty about the laws, although I argue that in matters of state there can be no limit to the king's authority, I am trying to persuade them to send the man to your Excellencies, as that will not contravene the laws, and the king would satisfy his honour and his good relations with the republic. Justice could then use its rigour to discover the truth. I gained some disposition but Sir [Henry] Wotton, who acts perversely against the interests of the republic, has diverted this hope by his malignant offices, and they say it would not become the king's honour to allow others to do what is not permitted to his Majesty. The king likes to leave this door open for his own safety and the people wish to maintain this mildness of the laws, taking a pride in maintaining a sort of republic in the monarchy. They promise to punish the man so far as the laws will allow, but I shall not rest content with a light punishment. The original letters remain here for use at the trial but they are promised to me to send to your Excellencies.
London, the 15th January, 1624. [M.V.]
[Italian; deciphered.]
Enclosure.753. The Forged Letter.
To the Duke of Pastrana at Rome.
I am very well informed of what is being planned between his Holiness and the Catholic of Spain against England by letters of your Excellency dated the 2nd November, and still more by an interview with Don Inigo de Valdez, who presented them to me. I will afford every possible assistance when I am in England and you may assure his Holiness and the Earl of Bristol of this, as well as the others whom you mention. I consider the matter as settled; loyalty, secrecy, gold in their time do more than the earthquake. I will do everything in my power to help his Holiness and his Catholic Majesty in this and in other matters. You will hear the rest from Don Inigo; I thank you for the present and kiss your hands.
Paris, the 18th November, 1623.
GIOVANNI PESARO.
[Italian.]
Enclosure.754. Endorsed.
I, underwritten do hereby testify that this is the same letter which was delivered by Carlo Caymo to the Secretary Conway.
Whitehall, this third of January, 1624, English style.
J. Dickenson, clerk of the Council now attendant.
[English.]
Jan. 16.
Collegio,
Secreta.
Esposizoni.
Roma.
Venetian
Archives.
755. The English Ambassador was summoned to the Collegio and the deliberation of the Senate of yesterday was read to him, he said:
I thank your Serenity for the Senate's appreciation of my offices and I will endeavour to deserve it. I will report fully to my king what your Serenity commits to me and I feel sure that your commendation of his resolutions will not only cause him great satisfaction but will confirm them as no prince values the prudence of this government more highly than his Majesty. He has been led to change his past ideas upon grounds of justice and necessity and the requirements of the public welfare and safety, feeling sure of the approbation of all dispassionate judges. The re-awakening of princes amid so much disturbance is most opportune and one must believe that God has vouchsafed his aid since human prudence alone could not have brought matters to such a state. The diversion in Flanders is already well established by the engagement of the Spaniards under Breda. In Germany appearances point to the princes showing some renewed vigour to maintain the little liberty that remains, if any there be, and recover the lost. Accordingly one may expect the forces of your Serenity and the league to operate more effectively in this quarter. I must also thank your Serenity for communicating the advices. To this I will respond in all sincerity, not only with news but with information about my own proceedings.
I take this opportunity to say that I propose to send a gentleman to the Marquis of Coure to inform him of my arrival to this embassy and to congratulate him on his progress in the Valtelline, informing him of the resolutions and preparations of my king, to serve as an incitement. I think this office the more appropriate in view of the recent union between the two crowns, likely to be fruitful and therefore not displeasing to your Serenity. The same gentleman has orders to kiss the hands of the Proveditore General in Terra Ferma in passing and to tell him what he has done. From Colonel Obentraut I have learned of your Serenity's intention to employ him. The resident who has been staying here so far will receive your letters for his Majesty and will not wait for anything else before returning home.
The Doge replied: Your Excellency may be sure that the Republic will use every confidence with you, and the decision and advices read to you give you our full mind and intent. We rejoice at the proposed mission of your gentleman with such excellent objects. Our Proveditore General will give him a cordial reception as he does to all Englishmen, for whom the republic has a special esteem. Afterwards the ambassador asked that the office might be read to him again as he wished to report it well, and that done he took leave and departed.
In the hall of the Pregadi he said to me, the secretary: We are somewhat curious about the seige of Breda. For my part I would rather that place was finally lost than that Spinola should withdraw and leave it alone, as the Spaniards would be kept busy there and in a short time their troops must insensibly break up at that siege.
ANTONIO ANTELMI, secretary.
[Italian.]
Jan. 17.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
756. To the Prince of Wales.
In addition to her satisfaction at the arrival and offices of his Majesty's ambassador Wake, the republic could not receive more delightful news than the testimony of your good-will, with your accompanying letters. We thank you warmly, as we know your worth and prudence and we wish you corresponding prosperity, praying that you may enjoy long and most happy years.
Ayes, 136.Noes, 0.Neutral, 2.
[Italian.]
Jan. 17.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
757. To the King of England.
Sir [Isaac] Wake, your Majesty's ambassador, has presented your letters and performed the first duties of his post in a manner we thoroughly appreciate. He has assured us of your Majesty's friendly disposition, and if we had not constant proofs of it and did not measure it by our own cordial affection and esteem for you, his statement would have established our confidence. Yet we value greatly any confirmation and therefore offer our profuse thanks assuring you that we reciprocate these sentiments and we wish your Majesty long and most prosperous years.
Ayes, 136.Noes, 0.Neutral, 2.
[Italian.]
Jan. 17.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Roma.
Venetian
Archives.
758. To the Ambassador in England.
We sent you a copy of the first exposition of the Ambassador Wake. He has since been again to the Collegio to inform us of his king's resolutions and excuse the previous tardiness. We send a copy of our reply and letters in answer to his Majesty's. You will speak to him and show how much he will gain even with the enemy if he follows up his resolutions with vigorous action. You will enlarge upon our own operations to show our great expenses which prevent us from obliging the requests made of us. With the prince and Buckingham you will remark upon the strong preparations of the Spaniards both by land and sea, and the need of meeting them resolutely with equal force at sea; that the diversions in various parts make themselves felt as you will see that Wake himself remarked. You will commend him, as he deserves, so that he may be confirmed in his present good disposition. As the marriage has not been communicated to us by order of his Majesty or his Highness, we merely express our satisfaction without offering formal congratulations or sending letters.
Ayes, 136.Noes, 0.Neutral, 2.
[Italian.]
Jan. 17.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
759. ZUANE PESARO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Villeocler left at the moment when I last wrote, after obtaining the satisfaction that he desired. He took away the treaty in its authentic form under the great seal of England. By orders also under the great seal he released all the Catholic prisoners, who have given recognisances, though many still remain in custody who will be released. They have sent letters to all the officials to cease from persecution. The Marquis Fiat is pressing for an assignment of all the points, which will remain, as he told me, under a connivance, to be authorised with greater security when Madame arrives. For her household they have a project to support it according to the practice of the country, and in addition to pay all the officials of her Court, and 50,000 crowns yearly for les epingles or pin money; the whole amounting to 500,000 francs yearly, greater than for the Queen of France, so it is thought that they will readily accept the conditions at that Court.
The visit of the Duke of Buckingham depends upon the orders which come after Villeocler's arrival at Paris. He is making the most remarkable preparations. But the point of a good understanding remains to be settled. All consists in a league either general or with France. His Highness and Buckingham urge it incessantly and even protest to the ambassador that otherwise the king will escape from their hands. I have been asked to make representations and this increases my confidential relations with all the parties; but I await your Serenity's orders.
The Count of Mansfelt already has all his troops from this kingdom together, but they have committed grave excesses, to the disgust of the people and exciting the king's bitterness. Want of discipline caused the trouble, which Mansfeld could not prevent, as he had no subordinate chief, had little money or munitions in a small unhandy place like Dover, and he could not help himself. However, everything has been settled, the troops no longer embarking but remaining in quarters in the neighbourhood with eightpence a day per head.
Mansfeld has managed to provide for himself here, as he has obtained a payment of 200,000 francs, although it was against his contract. But the prince, in order not to delay the expedition by lack of funds, very readily offered to pawn his jewels, and thereby found the money. Moreover Mansfeld succeeded in obtaining leave to take arms and munitions from the king's magazines sufficient for his needs, by paying the cost. He is urged to depart in order to relieve the kingdom of dangers and prevent the king from taking offence or giving him a chance of changing his mind. One may expect him to start very soon, but I am assured that he will go towards Holland because the troops do not come from that country, and the French have asked him to. I find they are discussing the way of getting the French troops across. The French ambassadors have obtained the king's declaration for the liberty of bringing his forces, but I do not find that they have stipulated greater security for their entertainment, French and English alike contenting themselves with few guarantees.
In connection with Mansfeld I will add what Rota told me about his dissatisfaction at the way the Count della Torre treated him, suggesting a fear, which he did not believe, that the most serene republic had prejudiced his reputation by disposing of part or the whole of his charge. I assured Rota that though I did not know about this command I knew of your Serenity's esteem for the general and that you certainly would not damage his reputation. He asked me again for his patent with a letter of friendship and esteem to quench his nascent jealously.
The Dunkirk ships consist of five large ones and some twenty small patache, (fn. 3) low lying and adapted for coasting. My representations have prevailed for protecting Mansfeld's passage, and securing the sea, as instead of four they have ordered out seven large ships. They will give letters of marque to those who have suffered to make reprisals against the Dunkirkers and recoup themselves.
Prince Christian of Brunswick left after obtaining the order of the Garter, which he is thought to have earned by his merits and his devotion to the Princess Palatine, a fact which has rendered him most popular with all the people and nobles here. The king gave him a George and a Garter of diamonds, the insignia of that order, and the prince helped him more practically with 3,000l. sterling in cash. Upon this occasion they gave two other garters, one to the Earl of Carlisle, for the offices of France, the other to the Earl of Salisbury for a sum of money. But the Garter has not yet been sent to Carlisle, as the king here wishes the Ambassador Fiat to receive simultaneously the Blue Ribbon (fn. 4) from the Most Christian.
A gentleman of the Count della Torre is here who has approached Mansfeld about opening a way for his master to Venice. His Highness asks for letters for Gabor to urge some movement. But that prince, while expressing his goodwill, declares that he cannot do this, out of respect for his Majesty. Possibly the agent of the Palatine will have orders to represent the resolution to Gabor, with the consent of his Highness, so that he may understand that this is the moment to move together with the others.
The King of Sweden has sent a gentleman here with instructions to induce this king to interpose with the King of Denmark, to settle their differences more satisfactorily, and I foresee that he will receive satisfaction.
Madame of France has written back to the prince to express her great pleasure, but I fancy that the French do not approve of the hasty gift of the jewels. Accordingly they are contemplating a fresh mission for that purpose. This is the extent of events, as I have had a severe cold for many days, which causes me much pain and threatens to grow worse in the excessive humidity of this climate. I have received your Serenity's instructions of the 20th ult.
London, the 17th January, 1624. [M.V.]
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Jan. 17.
Senato,
Secreta.
Inquisitori
di Stati.
Venetian
Archives.
760. ZUANE PESARO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the INQUISITORS OF STATE. (fn. 5)
Matters being in the state I described in my last, I thought fit to see the Duke of Buckingham, and suggested to him that even if the laws of England do not allow a sufficient punishment, they must consider the justice of the cause, the shame of letting such a thing pass, the danger of worse impostures and of prejudicing the good relations with the republic. The duke spoke of the republic with all possible respect, but said it was not possible to break the laws of the realm or convenient for the king, but they would submit the affair to parliament. I objected that this would take too long, parliament might never meet and I had to deal with the king. The duke said he saw I should not be satisfied unless they sent the prisoner to Venice. I replied that if they could exercise justice in England I should be most content, but if not I should wish the man to be with your Excellencies, who would thoroughly examine this villainy. The duke expressed his willingness but said the king was reluctant to send a man to death, but if I promised his life, he believed the matter would be settled to my satisfaction. I said I thought his Majesty would not mind the extirpation of such serpents, and the judgment of the republic ought not to be limited in a matter affecting its honour so nearly. The duke seemed inclined to concede the point. At a fresh council, accordingly, they decided to send the man to Venice, as a testimony to the good relations existing between the republic and the king, on the pretext that this affair might have some connection with persons interested in Venice or elsewhere in upsetting those good relations, Buckingham having removed all difficulties by representing to the Council that the king had so commanded. Buckingham and the President of the Council asked me to beg your Excellencies to spare the man's life. I promised to do so. They propose to charge the merchant Burlamacchi to send him to Venice, taking the sea route, as opportunities for crossing are scarce here, or they will write to Holland for a ship. The charge rests with the Council and this merchant but I will see that the prisoner is securely guarded. I have already written on the subject to Contarini at the Hague. I enclose the original papers.
London, the 17th January, 1624. [M.V.]
[Italian; deciphered.]
Enclosure.761. Deliberation of the Council in the Court of Whitehall, the 20th December, 1624. Present:
The Archbishop of Canterbury.
The Lord Privy Seal.
The Lord High Treasurer.
The President of the Council.
The Keeper of the Privy Seal.
The Duke of Buckingham, Lord High Admiral.
The Steward of his Majesty's Household.
The Marshal of England.
The Chamberlain of his Majesty's Household.
The Earl of Montgomery.
The Earl of Kellie.
The Viscount Wallingford.
The Viscount Grandison.
The Bishop of Winchester.
Lord Zouche.
Lord Carew, Master of the Ordnance.
Lord Brooke.
Lord Chichester.
The Treasurer of the Household.
The Comptroller of the Household.
Mr. Secretary Calvert.
Mr. Secretary Conway.
The Chancellor of the Exchequer.
The Master of the Rolls.
This day Carolo Caymo was brought before the above and accused by the Attorney General of various dangerous practices against Sir John Pesaro, the Venetian ambassador to the king, the imputations being of a nature to engender jealousy between the two powers if true. Caymo having been heard at length it became clear that the whole was entirely false, fabricated by himself. The letter alleged by him to be subscribed by Pesaro was produced and clearly shown from the hand, the phrases and times mentioned therein to be a gross forgery, The better to counterfeit the ambassador's name he had procured from him in France a letter of recommendation to Sig. Valaresso then ambassador here. He never presented this letter, but used it to counterfeit the ambassador's hand. Other forgeries by him were also discovered. In France this Caimo pretended to discover grave plots against the king, and on these being found to be mere fabrications he was rejected there. He then betook himself to England, alleging that he had great things to reveal. He went first, not to a minister of state, but to Sir Francis Biondi, an Italian gentleman, from whom he asked a recommendation to the Archbishop of Canterbury, professing himself to be a Protestant who had come hither for conscience sake. But Biondi suspected him and left him to himself. He then went to the archbishop with a letter alleged to be from the Constable Colonna in Rome and claimed to be Barbarino, a bastard of the present pope. The archbishop, discovering him to be an imposter, sent him off. After that he tried to palm himself off upon the Marquis of Inoiosa, Spanish ambassador in England. Then he went to the Duke of Buckingham pretending to reveal a design of the said Inoiosa to poison him and how seven other persons had sworn to take his life. By this time his character was known and for this last invention he was sent to the Secretary Conway to be examined. At this time and not before Caymo showed the secretary the aforesaid letter alleged to be Pesaro's, intimating four others of the English nobility who were said to be in the same conspiracy.
All these things were proven against Caymo and other things were recalled against him and private conversations with the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Lord Keeper, which he most impudently denied, notwithstanding that their lordships affirmed the truth at the Council table. This being a case of that extra-ordinary nature the Council has considered the friendship between his Majesty and the Venetian republic and the offences against so noble a gentleman as Pesaro, whose carriage here has won him great esteem with the English nation. They have therefore decided to advise his Majesty so that Caymo may be punished in an exemplary manner.
J. DICKENSON.
[English.]
Enclosure.762. Their Lordships informed his Majesty of what had been done. His Majesty approved of all the proceedings but as the affair concerns Venice, with whom he has such intimate relations, and as Caymo's practices may have been instigated by some persons in that Signory or elsewhere ill affected to this crown and that state, who can best be discovered there; his Majesty, out of his friendship and esteem, desires that Caymo be sent a prisoner to Venice to be heard and tried there.
J. DICKENSON.
[English.]
Enclosure.763. LETTER of the CONSTABLE COLONNA to the ARCHBISHOP OF CANTERBURY.
I trust that the waves and savage beasts will allow the bearer to reach England on Thursday. We give him a testimonial to serve for kings, princes and other lords. He is named Antonio Barbarino and is a natural son of the present pope Urban by Bianca Lodovisia of Bologna, born in 1594. His mother died of poison this year and confessed the facts. On the creation of his father this Antonio did not know what to do and he has been advised to try England, and we have given him money for his journey. This is the utmost we could do and even so we run great risks. Monsignor of Spalatro wrote to the pope advising Antonio to take refuge in England. When you present this Sig. Antonio to the king, the prince and the nobility of England reasons of state will lead to his receiving the honours due to his birth. We must add that in taking this step we have not been moved by the ancient feud of our house with all the popes. We have acted simply from knowing the facts of the case. If we had wished we could have used him as an obstacle against the creation of the pope and were begged to do so by the Spanish ambassador, the Duke of Pastrana. But we did not consider this right and we shall continue to pray God and men to help so deserving a gentleman.
Rome, the 22nd December, 1623.
The CONSTABLE COLONNA.
To the Archbishop of Canterbury, London.
[Italian.]
Enclosure.764. An Italian named Carlo Caymo of Milan is for some reasons of state known to us to be banished from the dominions of his Majesty not to return upon pain of his high displeasure. These presents are to ask you to consign him to the constable of the borough of Southwark and we direct you to take him to the nearest constable on the way to Gravesend whom we are ordering to receive him from the constable of Southwark and so from constable to constable until he reaches Gravesend, and then the constable of Gravesend shall see him embarked for Holland.
Dated the 11th September, 1624.
J. DICKENSON.
[English.]
Enclosure.765. To the count of Mansfeld.
On 2nd June last I wrote from Paris to Lyons where I understood you were to arrive, urging you not to go to Savoy or else to go well accompanied as I heard that the Spaniards were laying an ambush for you and begging you to acknowledge the receipt of my letter by writing to London whither I was going to serve the King of England. While I was waiting to confer with him I was imprisoned in the Gatehouse by those who hated me for speaking the truth, from which I now write. I desire to know if you received my letter and to ask you to intercede with his Majesty for me or with the prince, for whom I suffer this persecution. I am a mortal enemy of the Spaniards and a good Lombard of noble family.
From prison, the 2nd October, 1624.
CARLO CAIMO, Lombard.
[Italian.]
Jan. 18.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Savoia.
Venetian
Archives.
766. GIERONIMO PRIULI, Venetian Ambassador in Savoy, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The French forces continue to arrive. The duke has sent the Marquis of Orfé towards Nice with his regiment directing him for the present to keep his galleys at Villafranca and to have four English ships ready for emergencies, to join the fleet of the Duke of Guise, who is said to intend to take a fleet of 25 sail into Spanish waters to capture the gold sent from Barcelona for the requirements of Italy and Flanders.
A person of credit has brought word from France that the French have ordered Mansfeld not to touch the states of the Infanta but simply to march to the recovery of the Palatinate.
The secretary of the English ambassador with your Serenity (fn. 6) has been to audience of the duke, telling him that the republic is very perplexed as they have no minister resident for his Highness and advising him to send an ambassador as soon as possible. I hear that the duke answered that he was about to do so.
Turin, the 18th January, 1624. [M.V.]
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Jan. 18.
Misc.
Cod. No. 63.
Venetian
Archives.
767. MARC' ANTONIO PADAVIN, Venetian Secretary in Germany, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Owing to his interests at sea they feel sure that Denmark will not break away, although approached by England, Sweden and others. But the entry of Mansfelt into the empire will disclose many things. Nevertheless they hope that the forces of Tilly and Spinelli will prove adequate.
Vienna, the 18th January, 1624. [M.V.]
[Italian.]
Jan. 18.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Firenze.
Venetian
Archives.
768. VALERIO ANTELMI, Venetian Secretary at Florence, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Father Verul has proceeded from Rome to Paris with the dispensation. He had audience of Madame, while Bethune's secretary saw her alone. Both warned her Highness against having more to do with the Spaniards than she was obliged.
The Scottish earl (fn. 7) , upon the happy completion of the dispensation, is taking the Loreto route, and returns to England highly favoured by the pope.
Father Verul told the nuncio that the Spaniards had obstructed the dispensation all they could; but all their bitterness and their efforts made no impression upon the pope, though it had much incensed the Most Christian, who is for making war at the earliest opportunity.
Florence, the 18th January, 1624. [M.V.]
[Italian.]
Jan. 20.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Signori
Stati.
Venetian
Archives.
769. ALVISE CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador in the Netherlands, to the DOGE and SENATE.
As the dispute between the provinces of Holland and Zeeland about the appointment of the ambassador to England kept growing hotter, they thought it best to settle the matter speedily and selected Albert Joachim (fn. 8) who was recently ambassador extraordinary in England and helped to arrange the treaty there. He belongs to the Province of Zeeland, but as he was not the nominee of that province the matter has been settled with mutual satisfaction. I do not know whether the Prince of Orange is pleased, as Fonsbergh whom he actively supported only received two votes and was last of all. The ambassador elect has left for Zeeland to receive the approval of his province. He is a man of about sixty and one of the best of the ruling class here, with excellent views for the common welfare.
The Hague, the 20th January, 1625.
[Italian.]
Jan. 20.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Signori
Stati.
Venetian
Archives.
770. ALVISE CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador in the Netherlands, to the DOGE and SENATE.
In spite of refusal the French insist upon Mansfelt's force coming here. The English ambassador has received no instruction on the subject but he told me that he might have orders to support France. The Dutch expect nothing whatever from the King of England and are bitterly disappointed to find the Most Christian of the same mind. They suspect the two crowns of wishing to shift the cost on to them. They want the two monarchs to declare openly for war. Mansfelt asks that the troops may be sent to England and promises to find a way if the States will not receive him. He asks the Palatine for a commission to make war in his name. I understand that the Palatine has submitted one to the King of England, which amounts to doing nothing, but he cannot help himself in his present circumstances. When I asked the French ambassador for the reasons for this change he said they did not want so many English in their country, who would only reinforce the Huguenots. If the English king did not mean to make war on Spain and the Infanta he did not know how they would get rid of these troops.
The Hague, the 20th January, 1625.
[Italian; deciphered.]

Footnotes

1 Michael Branthwaite, who had remained on as agent after Wotton's departure.
2 The decipher is in the series Senato Secreta Comunicazioni dal Consiglio di Dieci.
3 A kind of flat-bottomed boat. Florio: Italian Dict. A small ship used for communication between the vessels of a fleet. Oxford English Dict.
4 The order of the Holy Ghost.
5 The decipher is in the series Senato Secreta, Comunicazioni dal Consiglio de' X.
6 Thomas Rowlandson. See Wake's despatch to Conway of the 14/24 January, 1625. State Papers, Foreign, Venice. Rowlandson left England on the 3rd October, in the company of Lady Wake, Salvietti news letter of the 4th October, 1624. Brit. Mus. Add. MSS. 27962c.
7 Robert Maxwell, Earl of Nithsdale.
8 According to Carleton's despatch of the 13th January, old style, Joachim was chosen on Sunday, the 9/19th January. State Papers, Foreign, Holland.