Venice
February 1625, 17-28

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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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580-596

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'Venice: February 1625, 17-28', Calendar of State Papers Relating to English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 18: 1623-1625 (1912), pp. 580-596. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=88930 Date accessed: 01 August 2014.


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February 1625

Feb. 17.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Costantinopoli.
Venetian
Archives.
805. ZORZI GIUSTINIAN, Venetian Ambassador at Constantinople, to the DOGE and SENATE.
With regard to the action of the English ambassador for breaking the peace between Gabor and the emperor and for suspending the negotiations between the emperor and the Sultan, the French ambassador has seen Diacmemet and the Caimecam upon the same subject and with the same objects. The Caimecam seemed most willing and promised to send to the Pasha of Buda and Gabor. But afterwards he raised difficulties, and his commands drawn up for the Pasha of Buda only say that he must not consent to the Imperialists excluding Gabor from the negotiations, while he rather urges the Pasha to make peace. This coldness of the Caimecam has left the Ambassadors of England and the States very perplexed, as it looks as if during the war with Persia the Caimecam would not endanger the peace with the emperor. I grew suspicious also about the negotiations with Naples, but the Caimecam assured the English ambassador that he knew nothing about it; possibly it was some caprice of Ali, the Grand Vizier, who had told no one about it. Only yesterday did they communicate to the ambassador the contents of the order and the letter to Gabor, the coldness of which arises from the usual irresolution of the Caimecam. An ambassador from Gabor is expected in a few days to resolve this affair. The English ambassador after seeing the orders and letters strongly suspects the sincerity of Diacmemet, who has been seen treating intimately with the emperor's resident.
The Vigne of Pera, the 17th February, 1624. [M.V.]
[Italian; deciphered.]
Feb. 17.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Signori
Stati.
Venetian
Archives.
806. ALVISE CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador in the Netherlands, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The coming of Mansfelt has revived their hopes of relieving Breda. On the other hand Spinola is strengthening his quarters. The English fleet continues arming. To explain it they speak of numerous reprisals made upon English ships by the French, Dutch and Dunkirkers, upon which the merchants have complained bitterly to his Majesty. The English ambassador in discussing the matter admits that the king's pacific humour has encouraged this disrespect, and now he resents it. Some believe that secret designs lie hidden under these pretexts.
The Hague, the 17th February, 1625.
[Italian.]
Feb. 17.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Signori
Stati.
Venetian
Archives.
807. ALVISE CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador in the Netherlands, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The Count of Mansfelt left Dover on the 9th, put the Duke of Brunswick ashore at Calais on the 10th with instructions to see to the French cavalry, and reached Flushing on Wednesday evening with some 240 ships, six large English men-of-war and seven of the States. The count at once sent word of his arrival to the Prince of Orange and the Palatine. They are doubtful about the count's intentions, but feel sure that he must wait some time, as all the English are raw levies without arms, not having a sword among them. Including the levies of the Hanse towns they do not number more than 14,000. The count has no food or carts and perhaps no money to provide them. He could not force his way through a hostile country with this army, and probably he will be obliged to help them here. They will probably give him quarters in the Langestrat near Prince Henry.
The Hague, the 17th February, 1625.
[Italian; deciphered.]
Feb. 18.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni,
Roma.
Venetian
Archives.
808. That the Ambassadors of England and the States be summoned to the Collegio and the following read to them, mutatis mutandis:
The capture of Chiavenna took place on the 11th; the Spanish commander resisted bravely and finally withdrew to the citadel. It is feared that this cannot be stormed without artillery. Near Vico our forces engage in constant skirmishes with the Spaniards at Campo. Our auxiliaries arrived opportunely and Coure at once sent Milander, their colonel, to raid the enemy's quarters. Our engineer, Tensini, made the road practicable for cannon by the 14th. The Spaniards are collecting reinforcements from Naples, Germany and elsewhere with all their might, and accordingly we are affording every assistance to the league, with provisions and munitions as well as men, and we recently sent ten pieces of ordnance.
Letters of the 30th have reached us to-day from France. Blevat is held for the king and Soubise is detained in port as if besieged; so those movements look as if they would end as soon as they have begun, which would be most helpful for the common interests.
Ayes, 154.Noes, 1.Neutral, 4.
[Italian.]
Feb. 19.
Collegio,
Secreta.
Esposizioni,
Roma.
Venetian
Archives.
809. The English Ambassador was summoned to the Collegio and the Senate's deliberation of yesterday read to him, he said:
I thank your Serenity for the good advices and I wish even better progress in the affairs of yourselves and your allies. M. de Coure is working miracles in the Valtelline, especially in this season. God will not leave his work incomplete. I am sure He will crown it with the conquest of Chiavenna and Riva, and I hope that the forces of the league will complete their work. A wise physician does not abandon his patient even when the fever has gone, unless he sees his health assured. Parum distat ab aegroto qui nondum sanus est. The Grisons by the recovery of Rhetia and the Valley may be free from fever, or rather the plague, but not completely whole, and if abandoned might fall sick again, and relapses are worse than the original ill.
A distinction has already been drawn between the occasion and the cause of wars. The occasion of these is the Palatinate for those beyond the Alps and the Grisons this side; but the general cause is opposition to the vast ambition of those who aimed at universal subjection, and to that end it is necessary to strike at the roots and obtain the peace so much desired by Christendom upon sure foundations. The Senate tells me of Spanish preparations; it is only too true. I hear from Germany that Spinelli has been commissioned to levy 9,000 foot and 500 horse and take them to Milan. That would be a great reinforcement. I have sent a gentleman to the Count of Mansfelt with this news, the arrival of the constable in Piedmont and the state of affairs in the Valtelline, to quicken his movements, and especially to see if he can reach Germany in time to forestall Spinelli. If he cannot do so, we must find some other way, and your Serenity may devise some plan with the constable and the duke to prevent the enemy rendering himself more powerful than the forces of the league. Personally I think we might induce the Swiss to stop them; they have the advantage of narrow passes, and it would be to the advantage of the Evangelical cantons. In any case I thought it could do no harm to hasten Mansfeld and try and discover what we might expect from him.
The Doge replied: we are sure of your pleasure at the success of the league, and the republic shows you every confidence. We will consider what you say about the Spanish preparations. The republic certainly will not fail to do its share. The ambassador said: I have another office to perform, for Colonel Obentraut. He sees that he cannot do what he would like. It is forestalled in all the places suitable for levies. He does not wish to promise what he cannot fulfil. He therefore asks leave to go and labour beyond the Alps. The Count of Mansfeld would rather have his help than a force of 4,000 men. I therefore beg your Serenity to grant this favour.
The Doge replied: The republic loves and esteems Colonel Obentraut, and though we desire his service here we will take a fitting decision with the desire of pleasing you as much as we may.
With this the ambassador took leave and departed. In the hall of the Pregadi he remarked to me, the Secretary: We must at all costs prevent these Germans from entering the Milanese; it would strengthen the Spaniards too much. We must concert a way with the duke and constable, and with Coure also, whom I forgot to mention to his Serenity, though he is the most concerned as those troops would fall upon his back. I have letters and authority to proceed to the Swiss, where a minister of the republic usually resides and where Savoy and France have relations, so I might hope that together we could induce the Evangelical cantons to take arms. I applauded the skill and zeal of his Excellency and promised to repeat what he said.
ANTONIO ANTELMI, Secretary.
[Italian.]
Feb. 19.
Cons. di X.
Parti
Secrete.
Venetian
Archives.
810. That the letters of our ambassador in England of the 15th and 17th ult., which reached us on the 16th inst., though the first have not yet come, together with the five papers mentioned therein concerning Carlo Caymo, said to be a Milanese, imprisoned and tried in London because of his intrigues to make it believed that there was a conspiracy against the King of Great Britain, and that our said ambassador had intelligence of this with the Duke of Pastrana, Ambassador of the Catholic, at Rome, wherefore our ambassador obtained that the accused should be sent prisoner to Venice, be read by a secretary of this Council and remitted to the Sages of our Collegio and to the Senate, after enjoining due secrecy, so that what is considered expedient for the public service may be done.
Ayes, 16.Noes, 0.Neutral, 0.
[Italian.]
Feb. 20.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
811. The Ambassador in England.
Our Council of Ten have communicated to us your letters of the 15th and 17th January last, which reached us on the 16th inst. about Carlo Caimo, who is imprisoned at London for trying to make his Majesty believe there was a plot against him, of which you had an understanding with the Duke of Pastrana, wherefore you obtained that he should be sent captive here. You have the consolation of having fully vindicated your sincerity, and there is absolutely nothing to add. We greatly rejoice that his Majesty and everyone else have so clearly seen through the inventions of this caluminator. Although we recognise the decision to send the man to Venice as a friendly testimony of his Majesty's good-will and a recognition of our friendship and your sincerity, yet we are persuaded that we must prevent it happening, for various important considerations.
We wish we had been informed of this business from the first, so that we could have sent our orders more opportunely, to the effect that this Caymo must not be brought to Venice on any account. We therefore direct you, if he has not left the realm on the arrival of these presents, to prevent his departure for this city by every means, and we are writing to our ambassador at the Hague to send him back to England if he has arrived in the Netherlands, sending word to us.
We wish you to perform an office with his Majesty similar to the one which we shall have read here to his ambassador, of which we enclose a copy, when presenting to him the enclosed letter, thanking him for the good-will he has shown and expressing the warm affection and esteem of the republic, and our satisfaction in observing how sure he is of it and of the sincerity of our ministers, who are unanimous with us in desiring the prosperity and satisfaction of his Majesty.
Ayes, 125.Noes, 1.Neutral, 8.
[Italian.]
Feb. 20.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
812. To the King of Great Britain.
In your Majesty's decision about Carlo Caymo we observe with peculiar satisfaction your good-will and recognition of our affection and esteem, as well as of our Ambassador Pesaro. We have directed him to leave it to your Majesty to decide what shall be done with Carlo Caimo, as the ambassador will explain to you. We wish your Majesty long and happy years.
Ayes, 125.Noes, 1.Neutral, 8.
[Italian.]
Feb. 20.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
813. That the English ambassador be summoned to the Cabinet and the following read to him:
An individual named Carlo Caimo has been imprisoned in London these last months, as our Ambassador Pesaro writes to us, and being proved a liar and an inventor of calumnies affecting his Majesty and our ambassador, he was forthwith ordered to leave the realm. Our ambassador, however, desired that he might be detained, as he was, in order that more light might be thrown upon the matter and that he might be duly punished. Accordingly the Council decided to send the man here, owing to the excellent relations existing between his Majesty and our republic, wherein we recognise his good-will and an evidence of his appreciation of our affection and esteem, as well as of the sincerity of our ambassador, whereat we rejoice greatly. We beg your Excellency to thank his Majesty in our name, and we ask that he will judge the caluminator or depute some one to do it, as our ambassador will explain. We are writing to him not to let this Caimo start if he has not already left the realm and we are directing our ambassador at the Hague to send him back to England if he has arrived there, as we are sure that his Majesty will do what is right and we shall be satisfied with the decision of the affair in that kingdom.
We take this opportunity of thanking your Excellency for your offers and your prudent advices about the passage of troops, of which we are greatly indebted.
Ayes, 125.Noes, 1.Neutral, 8.
[Italian.]
Feb. 20.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
814. To the Ambassador at the Hague.
Our Ambassador Pesaro writes that the Council in London has decided at his instance to send to Venice one Carlo Caimo, imprisoned in that realm, charging the merchant Burlamacchi with this, and have written to Holland for a ship, where of Pesaro says he has already advised you. But as we do not wish this Caimo to come to Venice on any account we direct you to discover through Burlamacchi or others where Caimo will arrive in the Netherlands, informing those who are bringing him that they are not to continue their journey hither with him, as he must remain in England, as you will try to effect, keeping up a good understanding on the subject with Pesaro, to whom we are writing in conformity.
Ayes, 125.Noes, 1.Neutral, 8.
[Italian.]
Feb. 20.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni,
Roma.
Venetian
Archives.
815. To the Ambassador at the Hague and the like, mutatis mutandis, to the Courts and Generals.
A sharp action has taken place on the 16th, since the capture of Chiavenna, at the place of Campo. On the 17th the Spaniards set fire to the place of Campo and retired to the high ground. We direct you to inform their High Mightinesses of this event, in conformity with the confidence which we also show to their ambassador here.
The like to the Ambassador in England, adding:
We send you a copy of the exposition made by the Ambassador Wake in reply to our office; it is full of vigorous ideas which it is desirable should be impressed upon the hearts of that Court and suitable to be represented by you as the voice of their own minister. He has represented that he has authority and letters to proceed to the Swiss and try to incite them to forcibly oppose the passage of the Germans into the Milanese; we do not know what grounds he goes upon; you will try to discover them and advise us. We have consigned a renewed patent for the Count of Mansfeld to Niz, his correspondent.
This will serve for information.
Ayes, 147.Noes, 0.Neutral, 3.
[Italian.]
Feb. 20.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Roma.
Venetian
Archives.
816. To the Ambassador Valaresso.
The Ambassador Wake here, in reply to the communication to him of events in the valley thought the attempt to induce the Swiss reformed cantons to impede the passage of the German troops into the Milanese unlikely to succeed, and said he would proceed to those parts to try and procure this in the name and with letters of his king, if it was thought opportune and if France and the allies would also contribute their offices. You will impart this to M. de Coure to learn his opinion of the importance of such reinforcements to Feria and the feasibility of the way to prevent it suggested by the ambassador.
Ayes, 110.Noes, 0.Neutral, 0.
[Italian.]
Feb. 21.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
817. ANDREA ROSSO, Venetian Secretary in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
I went to the Court at Newmarket by the ambassador's command, to whom the physicians here do no good, to execute your Serenity's commissions of the 17th ult. I punctually performed the offices prescribed therein with the king, prince and ministers. I addressed myself to the Secretary Murton, to whom I first of all expressed the republic's gratification at his selection to such charge and the ambassador's satisfaction. I proceeded to inform him of the commissions I had for his Majesty, to whom I begged him to introduce me. He thanked his Excellency, and said that the Ambassador Wake wrote home about the honours he received at Venice, and how the republic sent to impart the news to him, which the king greatly appreciated. He was sure that wake would not fail to respond to such favours. For his own part he thanked the ambassador for his congratulations on his new appointment, in which he would seize every opportunity to serve your Excellencies and everyone connected with the republic. He professed himself greatly indebted on account of the favours he had received when in Venice with his uncle, Sir [Henry] Wotton. If as an Englishman he was not obliged to stay in this blessed country, he would desire nothing better than to live in Venice and to die there.
He expressed his willingness to introduce me to the king, but asked me to address myself for this to the Duke of Buckingham. He intended to leave for London the next day, and arrived there he would certainly go and thank the ambassador.
I went to the Duke of Buckingham and told him my commissions. He answered, I am extremely sorry at the continuation of the ambassador's illness. I thank him for his confidence and I am glad that the Ambassador Wake is giving satisfaction to the republic. He has himself told the king of the favours he has received in Venice, as you will hear from his Majesty. Wake is no longer the king's servant, but has become the servant of the republic. He said that he would wait to obtain admittance for me to the king. Shortly afterwards a gentleman came to summon me, and the duke himself conducted me to his Majesty's apartment. After offering excuses for the ambassador's indisposition, I presented your Serenity's letter and passed the offices committed to me. The king received me very graciously, and said: you may tell the ambassador that I am very sorry for his sickness. The most serene republic is one of my oldest and best friends. My ambassador has reported the favours shown to him, and I am still further obliged by the communication you have made to me, which was also made to my ambassador, as he reports, the Signory having disclosed their secret heart to him. I shall remember this and reciprocate it when the opportunity comes. That is all I can say in one word.
I also informed his Majesty of the election of your Serenity. He seemed pleased, and said, I know, my ambassador told me.
After the proper compliments I presented your Serenity's letters to the prince and told him all I was commanded. His Highness replied in a few words, saying, Tell the ambassador that I thank the republic for the confidence, and I will seek opportunities to show my esteem for the Signory. This is all I can report of my negotiations.
London, the 21st February, 1625.
[Italian.]
Feb. 26.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
818. ANDREA ROSSO, Venetian Secretary in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
By command of his Excellency the following are the events of this week:
The Count of Mansfeld went straight to Zeeland with his troops, and landed at Middelburgh. He armed and drilled his troops in a small island. In accordance with the original arrangement Brunswick went to Calais, whence news of the embarking of the cavalry has not yet arrived. This loss of time is important and may be called the loss of the force itself. From France the English ambassadors have sent a secretary about this, who has returned because the matter is arranged, but the result only makes them more suspicious here and more eager for guarantees.
The Count of Mansfeld is asking for money on two counts, first for the months of January and February, already paid for the three preceding months, and second to obtain 5,000l. left for arms not received. For the first, payment will be difficult, as they lack money, and the engagement is to spend no more until after the meeting of parliament. The other point is reasonable, but as they want to deduct the cost of transport, as being higher for a longer voyage than was originally arranged, Mansfeld will not get much. The Agent of the Palatine has just confided to his Excellency that the States will not easily oblige Mansfeld with a passage through their country, as being contrary to the declaration of France.
The press ordained to supply this force has been countermanded, because the count does not wish to be further burdened with useless men. The manifesto remains as before and as the Palatine has sent a form of patent for Mansfeld to his agent here, it is not known whether it is under his name or that of the king here. They expect that the king will agree to the publication, though it appears that the States either desire to divert a greater number of enemies, or to carry these arms insensibly under the name of the Palatine and of their Government.
The French ambassador was summoned expressly to the Court, perhaps about this change of plan and the coming of the secretary aforesaid from France, but he brought away entire satisfaction, as the Most Christian had written two letters to his Majesty asking for ships against Soubise and the Huguenots, and thanking him for granting this, with lively expressions of affection and esteem. The king here seemed greatly pleased and wrote long letters with his own hand to the Most Christian, offering him all the forces of these realms and to go in person upon any occasion to help his Majesty, a declaration which he announced with great ostentation.
The news of the arrival of Father Berul at Court also served the interests of France; but it is reported that he only brought letters from his Holiness for the Queen Mother, to have a stronger declaration upon the matter of religion. The Ambassador Fiat has informed his Excellency that a person has reached the Nuncio Spada with the complete dispensation, upon three conditions, first, that the marriage shall be indissoluble; second, that both Madame and her household shall live freely and not be troubled in their religion; thirdly, that the children shall be brought up in the Catholic faith until the age of thirteen. The last two are in the agreement, the first is too favourable to the marriage itself. At this point the ambassador sent the news to the Court and to the Duke of Buckingham, who will be able to consider his departure. This will only be settled with the return of the Cavalier Gori, as reported, for the same reasons and because he should bring word of the settlement about Madame's household, as the duke wants to have nothing to do but the execution.
The dismissal of the Hamburg ships is confirmed, at the request of the interested parties and the Agents of Spain and Flanders, upon the pretext of not upsetting the trade with the Hanse towns, and that Mansfeld's requirements had ceased. The king had not the courage, although it is said that the duke did all in his power to obtain the original arrest, ordained by the Council. This event, the alteration in Mansfeld's passage and the king's grant of absence to the duke, make people talk of the decline of his influence, but other circumstances favour the contrary opinion.
The Agents of Spain and Flanders, when they went to Court, experienced some difficulty in obtaining an introduction to his Majesty, but he welcomed them with his usual graciousness. It seems that their business turned upon the release of the ships in question, a request to the king to continue the peace negotiations sworn to with their masters; questions about the forces and Mansfeld's designs, especially about the pass, and complaints about a constable, who had gone to the embassy of Flanders, committing some insolences, to whom the agent administered a blow. They say his Majesty answered that he wished to remain at peace with their masters. As regards Mansfeld, he had granted those troops to his son-in-law, and Mansfeld had orders to engage in no hostilities unless provoked. He did not know where he would land; he proposed to go to France, but would go where God and the wind took him. About the constable, he said that his subjects in London are very discreet and would not do anything unless they were first provoked. As regards the Hamburg ships he pretended that was not his affair, but he was expecting the decision of the Admiralty.
The agents urged that Mansfeld should not stay at Breda, and said that he might prejudice the siege there, contrary to his instructions. The king said he had ordered that Mansfeld should not stop, and if they disobeyed they would all be rebels. During this amiable conversation the agents gained the principal point about the ships, and it was also announced that the king did not wish Mansfeld to stop for this reason.
Preparations are all made to send back the gentleman to Denmark. In reply to the two proposals already reported they say that the articles for the French marriage are all adjusted, and of Mansfeld they simply report his dispatch and passage. The ambassador also has instructions to inform the king there of the proposals of the princes in Germany, but only so far as he finds a disposition to accept them. As a last resort they will suggest that that king shall remain as he is without any declaration about supplying money by himself or granting it in the interests of this crown; but this last part also depends upon the placet of his Majesty.
In these negotiations it appears that the princes desire nothing more than a supply of money to enable them to start their movement with a large force, and they say that they will afterwards have the means to continue the outlay. This king makes general offers, but sufficient for the emergency, and he seems very zealous over this business and almost contradicts his own nature. They base their hopes of success upon the first offers of France, and his Excellency his discovered that some propose to facilitate the affair by informing the most serene republic of the plan as a sign of confidence and esteem and also to induce her to make some contribution, either monthly, or for one occasion only, especially if France should relinquish the original idea of facilitating the decision by asking that the league should contribute jointly. His Excellency being forewarned is ready to divert these propositions.
Everyone cries out about the delay of the parliament, as being the source for obtaining the money to act, but the Duke of Buckingham professes that he has taken upon himself to advance a million, chiefly for the naval force, which he intends to go on with.
Your Serenity's commands of the 22nd and 24th ult. have arrived safely.
London, the 21st February, 1625.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Feb. 21.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Spagna.
Venetian
Archives.
819. LUNARDO MORO, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The sky here is full of clouds. Thirty-three pirate ships recently left Algiers, thirty of which passed the Strait and scour the coasts of Andalusia, Portugal and Galicia. The other three commit similar depredations inside and captured a rich Danish ship. News has also come from Portugal that 70 to 80 sail have been sighted off the coast of Algarves, between Lisbon and Cape St. Vincent. This taken in conjunction with rumours previously current of preparations and union between the English and Dutch ships, to invade these realms and push through the Strait to Italy, fills everyone with stupor and confusion. Possibly these 70 ships may be more than the thirty pirates exaggerated by fear. Some again think they must be the succours sent by the Dutch to Brazil.
It is understood that Don Pedro of Toledo will go to command in Galicia. He wanted to plead off, but apparently they insist. As he is their foremost man, not only as a ruler but as a soldier also, this is a sign that they consider Galicia the position of greatest need, and therefore that they fear the English more than the Dutch or the pirates. The king has since granted the governorship of Galicia to the Count of Gondomar, when he returns from England, an embassy to which he turns reluctantly, although he gladly decided to go. His Majesty has shown him great favour, but I fancy the count has arranged to proceed very cautiously, sending some over before him to prepare the way and facilitate the opening of his business.
Three days ago a courier from England reached the English ambassador here; immediately afterwards the ambassador announced that his leave had arrived. He had frequently begged his king to let him return home once to look after his affairs and see his house, after an absence of five years. He forthwith set about paying his farewell visits and to-morrow will take leave of the king. (fn. 1) He leaves his wife and children behind, and says he will return in four or five months. This sudden departure would arouse suspicion under any circumstances, and in the present it causes much comment. No one believes that it is for his private affairs. He is most friendly to this nation, most intimate with Gondomar, favoured the marriage negotiations all he could and believed that the Palatinate affair might be settled by negotiation, if not here, by the Secretary of Flanders, sent to England some months ago to get an answer, such as they could depend upon from the king there. I think they expected to draw the ambassador on by this pretext, and obtain something more. Some think he is going to defend himself, because Buckingham is dissatisfied because no demonstration was made here against the Ambassadors Inoiosa and Columa, as promised, but I incline to my own view, because Gondomar is making haste and has fixed the day of his departure.
An express from Flanders is said to have brought important advices about England. I also hear that Mansfelt has written to the Infanta at Brussels asking for a passage, and threatening to force one if she refuses. The plague is reported to have broken out among his men, embarked in England, and that they have already thrown more than a thousand bodies into the sea.
Madrid, the 21st February, 1624. [M. V.]
[Italian.]
Feb. 21.
Collegio,
Secreta.
Esposizioni,
Principi.
Venetian
Archives.
820. After the Senate's deliberation of yesterday was read in the Collegio to the English Ambassador, he said: I will write to his Majesty about this Caimo, of whom I have not heard before, what your Serenity desires, and I assure you that his Majesty will readily afford this republic every satisfaction. I will write expressing your wish that he may not leave England, or if he has reached Holland that he may return.
The Doge said: His Majesty has always shown great benevolence and friendship to the republic, whereof we preserve a grateful memory, as you may assure him as we beg to do.
The Ambassador then said: I believe that the letters from Holland which reached you yesterday bring even better news than mine; but I will tell you what I have received. The siege of Breda continues as usual. My letters of the 8th state that Spinola has erected some batteries which do no great harm, having only demolished some windmills, but they have water and labour in the town to supply the need. Spinola seems determined to take the place. He recently reviewed his troops, mustering only 12,000 foot and 4,000 horse, part of whom were very feeble. They have consumed nearly all their provisions in the country round and are very short. They expect help from Germany, especially Carlo Spinelli's men, but this does not agree with their coming to Italy. The letters from England tell me that they have written to the Infanta in Flanders about Mansfeld's troops asking for conveniences and provisions as they may pass a portion of her dominions. The letter was considered very strange, and the oracle of the country, the Cardinal della Cueva, is to send a reply. Mansfeld's troops embarked from three English ports, and his Majesty proposed to levy 15,000 additional foot in the realm to fill up gaps in Mansfeld's ranks. He also proposed to send 2,500 foot to Ireland. They also speak of issuing letters of reprisals to English ships because of a certain action by Dunkirk ships said to be prejudicial to England. This would almost amount to a declaration of war. I have already received letters from the king for the Swiss, the Protestant cantons in general and each severally, to go there in person if necessary. I have not done so yet, but if your Serenity, the Duke of Savoy, the Marshal and the Marquis of Coure approve, I will not neglect to satisfy them. I have no letters from Germany, but the Duke of Savoy and the Marquis of Coure are advised about the passage of troops from that quarter. I beg your Serenity to excuse me if I have taken too much time in communicating these advices.
The Doge thanked him with assurances that they much appreciated the advices. The decisions of his king would all help the common service. Their Excellencies would consider what he said. The ambassador then took leave and departed, taking a note in another room of the substance of what had been read to him.
ANDREA SURIAN, Secretary.
[Italian.]
Feb. 21.
Inquisitori di
Stato.
Busta 156.
Venetian
Archives.
821. The INQUISITORS of STATE to the AMBASSADOR in ENGLAND, PESARO.
Have received his letters of the 15th and 17th January with enclosures. Consider the matter most serious and it has been submitted to the Senate by the Council of Ten. Regret the trouble and annoyance to which he has been put, but he will find support in the consciousness of his integrity.
Daniel DiedoInquisitors.
Zuan Francisco Correr
Zuan Battista Foscarini
[Italian.]
Feb. 22.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
822. To the Secretary Padavin at the Imperial Court.
With regard to what Ecchembergh said to you about his knowing that the republic was indulging in negotiations prejudicial to the emperor, which you tell us may mean he has discovered negotiations for a league with England, Sweden and others, we have to tell you for your information that no such negotiations exist nor have they been imagined. If anyone speaks to you on the subject you will assure them in general terms that the republic has no idea of stirring up still waters but only wishes to preserve her own, without entering upon other particulars.
Ayes, 75.Noes, 16.Neutral, 57.
Not announced as carried because only two votes more than necessary.
Arranged on the 15th March, 1625, and placed as under the said day.
[Italian.]
Feb. 22.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni,
Roma.
Venetian
Archives.
823. To the Ambassador Priuli at Turin.
The English ambassador here has suggested that it may be possible to induce the Protestant Swiss to prevent the passage of the German reinforcements to Feria, offering to go to those parts to interpose his offices, if the others will co-operate. He might also move the Margrave of Baden, who is near those parts and they could employ the troops which his Majesty has near Metz. Wake said he had made similar representations to his Highness. You will again ponder the gravity of the affair and urge upon their lordships some opportune expedient.
Ayes, 147.Noes, 0.Neutral, 2.
[Italian.]
Feb. 24.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Signori
Stati.
Venetian
Archives.
824. ALVISE CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador in the Netherlands, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Mansfelt has taken his men to the Langestrat. Provisions have arrived from France for about a fortnight. Everyone thinks that the Palatine wants to contribute something to the count, provided he is assured of his proceeding to Germany. The French ambassador has received 40,000 crowns. Everything will be welcome, as from England, the count only brought credit for 20,000 florins payable at Middelburg.
The Hague, the 24th February, 1625.
[Italian.]
Feb. 25.
Collegio,
Lettere.
Venetian
Archives.
825. To the Lieutenant of Udine.
Order to send the company of John Thomas, a Scot, to the Podesta and Captain of Rovigo, with all particulars, informing the Savio alla Scrittura of this and of the number of soldiers of which the company consists.
[Italian.]
Feb. 26.
Collegio,
Secreta.
Esposizioni,
Roma.
Venetian
Archives.
826. The Ambassador of France came into the Collegio and spoke as follows:
I offer your Serenity his Majesty's congratulations on your election. I have also to thank you for your congratulations upon the marriage between Madame and the Prince of Wales. The marriage has not yet received the final touch, as we are daily expecting the Duke of Buckingham to make the request; but it is practically concluded, and the messenger for the dispensations seems to have advanced matters. While others kept wavering with a great show of piety, the king has obtained advantageous terms for religion and the Catholics in those realms, as the prisons are opened, the prisoners of our religion have their goods restored and their condition is as advantageous as it could claim to be, so that every one must commend his Majesty, but he esteems your Serenity's approbation most of all, considering it the most cordial and sincere.
[Italian.]
Feb. 28.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
827. ANDREA ROSSI, Venetian Secretary in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The doctors, recognising that their treatment so far has produced no effect, have advised his Excellency to take a house in the country until he can leave this realm. But his Excellency realises that for the purpose of obtaining advices this could come to the same thing as going fifty miles away, and he has decided to run the risks and stay. He directs me to send the following particulars.
At the news of the certain coming of the marriage dispensation, the French ambassador sent word to the Court; thereupon the prince and the duke decided to come to this city and will arrive to-day or to-morrow. His Majesty will also draw nearer, reaching Theobalds in a few days, because the duke must hasten his preparations in London and the king wishes to be at hand. Moreover they are summoned by the necessity of making financial provision both for the naval force and for Mansfeld. However, Buckingham will not leave for some weeks, as apparently the season of Lent will postpone the nuptials.
They have sent to France his Majesty's offers against the Huguenots, and in this connection the duke sent to the French ambassador from Court a very strong representation upon the receipt of news or a report that the constable would be recalled from Italy and the Most Christian had decided to go to la Rochelle to extirpate the Huguenots, saying this was not the moment for such designs and did not correspond with his Majesty's offers of his offices and his forces; they might carry out the design with the forces of France and of this crown, being more than sufficient for the purpose, without diverting those destined for the public service. The ambassador assured him that the news was false, the constable must have crossed the mountains already, and they will not weaken their action abroad. His Excellency will seek an opportunity for approaching Rohan and Soubise, but he finds that France does not wish England to interfere in the business. He assured Fiat of your Serenity's interest in the peace of France, which the ambassador appreciated. It is said that Mansfeld has advanced upon Bergobzon, but nothing is known for certain about the departure of the French cavalry. Although the king declared that he did not wish his troops to stop he has arranged with the French ambassador that they may remain for the benefit of Breda for three or four weeks, as apparently the French are not sorry to delay that force from engaging in greater enterprises.
They are awaiting the prince's coming for a decision about Mansfeld and the patent to be announced, but in the Palatine's patent there is an important point in the declaration that the Most Christian and the King of Great Britain have granted a force for the recovery of the conquest; it seems that thereby they want the consent of France and England.
They can receive the same advantages from the Hamburg ships as by arrest, without offending the Hanse towns, because the Dutch have armed ships ready to take them. Apparently the owners of the ships would rather unload voluntarily than leave. Accordingly it is suggested that the merchants charged to furnish the naval armament shall avail themselves of these munitions, although the provisioning of the force is well forward, as they have a large part of the provisions, munitions of war and sufficient guns with ropes to the value of 10,000l. sterling. Nevertheless the Hamburgers are beginning to feel the loss by this sojourn, as the admiral was wrecked in a gale. In this connection the agent of the Palatine, fearing that the king's withdrawal of the arrest might create a bad impression in Germany, dissimulated the step by reporting that they thought it best not to offend the towns at a time when they were seeking an alliance with them.
The gentleman sent to Denmark has been stayed by the arrival of another, who is reported to have negotiations of a better complexion than in the past.
Besides what was written about the negotiations of the agents of Spain and Flanders with the king, it is added that they remonstrated about the letters of marque issued for reprisals against their countrymen, maintaining that they had the right under the terms of the peace to make the capture because the ships were loaded with merchandise for the Dutch. The king remarked that his subjects, both English and Scotch, had suffered loss, and finding there was no hope of the redress which he demanded he was bound in honour to obtain recompense for his subjects. The agents said that his Majesty's honour was not hurt by allowing their ships to be burned in Scottish posts and blockaded by Dutch vessels. So there was a mild altercation; the agents boasted that they came away satisfied, though they will not neglect to keep their eyes open, despite his Majesty's smooth words.
The report of Gondomar's coming is renewed and they add that he will arrange to be here at the time that Buckingham is at the French Court. This is the speech of fanatics, though the Spaniards steadily affirm that this mission is resolved upon.
From France they are expecting a present of pictures, selected by the Most Christian from his finest at Fontainebleau to give to the Duke of Buckingham, as nowadays all monarchs have to oblige the most powerful ministers by means of their pleasures and interests. (fn. 2)
The ducal missives recently arrived are of the last day of last month.
London, the 28th February, 1624. [M. V.]
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Feb. 28.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Savoia.
Venetian
Archives.
828. GIROLAMO PRIULI, Venetian Ambassador in Savoy, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The duke told me he attached great importance to the passage of the Germans. If your Excellencies approved he would write strongly on the subject to the Swiss and get the French to do the same, approving what had been done by the English ambassador, of whom he thinks very highly, although he fears that the representations may have come too late and that the Swiss will not allow themselves to be persuaded so easily.
Turin, the 28th February, 1624. [M. V.]
[Italian.]
Feb. 28.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Firenze.
Venetian
Archives.
829. VALERIO ANTELMI, Venetian Secretary at Florence, to the DOGE and SENATE.
There are various opinions about Mansfeld's force at Dover. As Henry IV delayed starting from Paris a month in order to wait for Sansone to go to Italy with his force, so they suspect Mansfeld of the same. After the French cavalry is embarked, they say that they will not go to Flanders but to Portugal, an enterprise formerly attempted by the late Queen of England, and which the Prince of Orange might desire as a close relation of Don Emanuel of Portugal.
Pisa, the 28th February, 1626. [M. V.]
[Italian.]

Footnotes

1 Aston left on the 6/16th March. Atye's despatch of the 3rd April. State Papers, Foreign, Spain.
2 In a despatch of the 10th March Effiat writes "Je vous envoye une lettre pour le peintre Douet, je vous supplie commander qu'elle luy soit rendue seurement, et l'envoyer querir, car il a les tableaux que le roy veult donner a M. de Duc de Bouquingnan." Public Record Office. Paris Transcripts. This Douet was Claude de Hoey, who had charge of the pictures at Fontainbleau. Bryan: Dict. of Painters and Engravers, ed. Williamson.