Venice
March 1625, 2-15

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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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596-613

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'Venice: March 1625, 2-15', Calendar of State Papers Relating to English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 18: 1623-1625 (1912), pp. 596-613. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=88931 Date accessed: 23 July 2014.


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March 1625

March 2.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Savoia.
Venetian
Archives.
830. GIROLAMO PRIULI, Venetian Ambassador in Savoy, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The secretary of England, who stays here by his ambassador's orders, has been to tell me that he has by instructions of his master offered the duke and constable to go post to the Swiss and induce them to stop the German troops. They both approved highly and had at once written to the Swiss and Paris. He asked me to inform your Serenity to join your prudent offices to this work. I thanked him for the information and promised to write.
Turin, the 2nd March, 1625.
[Italian; deciphered.]
March 3.
Consiglio di X.
Parti Secrete.
Venetian
Archives.
831. To the Ambassador at Turin.
Our decision to change the cipher would prove utterly useless if foreigners could obtain the key. We therefore direct you to order your secretary not to write a single name or only a few words in cipher, from which the key may easily be discovered. You must also abstain from putting documents in cipher, except in the old cipher.
The like to France, England, the Hague, the Valtelline, Milan, Zurich, mutatis mutandis.
Ayes, 14.Noes, 0.Neutral, 1.
[Italian.]
March 3.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Costantinopoli.
Venetian
Archives.
832. ZORZI GIUSTINIAN, Venetian Ambassador in Constantinople, to the DOGE and SENATE.
It appears that Gabor's agent here is not acting sincerely. He has said nothing to the Caimicam about annulling the peace with the emperor or to the Pasha of Buda about breaking off negotiations with the Imperial commissioners. The ambassadors of England, the States and France have sent separately to Gabor informing him of the infidelity of his agent, and urging him to prosecute his plans in annulling the peace, giving him to understand that their princes will not fail to help him, and they will see that the Porte does the same. The messenger is to return speedily with the reply which should arrive soon. The Turks would like peace while the Persian war lasts, but it is thought that if Gabor repeats his requests they will give him help, and drag on the peace negotiations with the emperor. The English ambassador, who is very eager in this business, asked me to write to the prince on the subject, but I told him it was not the custom for our ambassadors to write to princes without special leave. He was satisfied because in another way I had assisted this mission.
The Vigne of Pera, the 3rd March, 1625.
[Italian; deciphered.]
March 3.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
833. MARC' ANTONIO MOROSINI, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The feeling against the English ambassadors has reached its height. The members of the government here speak ill of them and injuriously of the whole nation, with some show of reason. It began with Villeocler's return, bringing an account of the favourable disposition of Buckingham, the prince and the king himself, so that they hoped here to obtain all they wanted. As the ambassadors are very punctilious and exact they did not treat of the most important matters with them, but always sent commissions to their ambassador in England. The ambassadors remonstrated strongly about this, and when they seemed inclined to satisfy them the dispensation from Rome arrived, with clauses making essential changes in the treaty, which the ambassadors absolutely refused to accept, making a great outcry. Here they said they must obey the pope in such matters and sent a courier to England, giving rise to fresh complaints.
Both the English and the French keep these alterations very secret, but I have learned that instead of the children being brought up by their mother until the age of thirteen, the pope wishes them brought up in the Roman Catholic faith. The English will not concede this as being subversive. They have sent a courier to England and are waiting for the answer. It may be necessary to send again to Rome, in any event it means delay, and Buckingham will not come so soon, as he only intends to come when everything is absolutely settled.
Paris, the 3rd March, 1625.
[Italian.]
March 3.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Signori
Stati.
Venetian
Archives.
834. ALVISE CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador in the Netherlands, to the DOGE and SENATE.
From Gertruydemberg Mansfelt has sent a complimentary letter to the English ambassador. I questioned Veitz, (fn. 1) who has acted as the count's agent in England for more than a year, about the plans of the count and the English upon fighting the Spaniards. He gave me no clear answer but merely said that they could not go straight to Germany without first trying a pass with the enemy, success being more likely if they fought with the Dutch than if they fought alone. If they did not win they would have to try other plans, suggesting going to the Hanse towns. The English ambassador also spoke in the same doubtful way, and no decision has yet arrived from the King of England about the patents already sent by the Palatine, that monarch's old ideas about peace and for Spain being confirmed by the recent release of the Hamburg ships. The French ambassador labours to obtain credit with the Dutch for deciding Mansfelt, but this does not suffice, because the chief difficulty consists in the English.
The count is short of money and asked for some from the Calandrini upon the English subsidies, but they refused because they had no orders from that quarter. Yet the count lets it be understood that he has great credit with Burlamachi of London upon those contributions; he also asks a loan of the Palatine, but fares no better. The count is in great want of money and no one escapes his demands.
We hear that serious sickness has broken out among Mansfeld's English, some thirty dying every day. Everyone could have wished, supposing that natural fatality of this nation the moment they leave their own country could not be avoided, that it had waited until some advantage had been won, but I fancy many are not sorry to see Mansfelt enfeebled, because they can use him more easily for their own purposes.
The Hague, the 3rd March, 1625.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
March 4.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Costantinopoli.
Venetian
Archives.
835. To the Ambassador and Bailo at Constantinople.
By the communications made to you by the English ambassador we perceive that the negotiations for a truce between the Turks and Spain have gone very far, as well as the efforts of the Portuguese Jew, since the Viceroy has decided to send a gentleman to the Porte to assure himself of the good-will of the Ottoman ministers. You will call on the ambassador expressly to perform an office of courtesy, assuring him of our satisfaction, adding that by continuing the confidence he will realise the excellent intentions of his Majesty and still further confirm that perfect understanding which has always existed between his Majesty and the republic. In this way you can preface those advices which may prove useful. You will also try to move the ambassadors of France and the States to disturb these harmful negotiations, discovering their wishes, and if they coincide with those of the Englishmen you will be the better able to interrupt the business. Nevertheless you must act with great circumspection, pointing out to the Turks whenever you have an opportunity that these negotiations are not to their advantage, and you must not betray that you are acting on our account.
Ayes, 105.Noes, 0.Neutral, 4.
[Italian.]
March 4.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Costantinopoli.
Venetian
Archives.
836. To the Ambassador in England.
His Majesty's ambassador at the Porte has informed our Bailo of the operations of a Portuguese Jew named Isaac Coman to arrange a truce between the Catholic king and the Ottoman House, upon which the Viceroy of Naples had decided to send a gentleman to the Porte with whom would come an ambassador of the Catholic to reside there and arrange the truce, and his king advised him to inform our Bailo as the best means of interrupting this business so prejudicial to the common interests. We have written to our Bailo charging him to express our satisfaction to the ambassador and to keep up confidential relations with him for the purpose of defeating these noxious practices. As we have heard nothing from you of this communication from the king to his ambassador we have sent you this much because you may have to tell us what has taken place in the matter and in order, if necessary, that we may pass those offices with his Majesty that the occasion may require, to obviate an affair so prejudicial to the common interests in which he will always find us ready to co-operate, in conformity with the confidential relations existing between his Majesty and our republic.
Ayes, 105.Noes, 0.Neutral, 4.
[Italian.]
March 4.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Svizzeri.
Venetian
Archives.
837. GIROLAMO CAVAZZA, Venetian Ambassador with the Swiss, to the DOGE and SENATE.
With regard to the exposition of the English ambassador about preventing the Germans from passing through, by means of the Swiss Protestants, the Bernese deputies, aware of the prejudice caused to the rest of Helvetia and other princes by the concessions of the Catholic cantons, have decided to await the proposals of the Most Christian and his allies. Vigorous help might produce good results, but I do not find them so open here as the Bernese.
Zurich, the 4th March, 1625.
[Italian.]
March 6.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
838. MARC ANTONIO MOROSINI, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the DOGE and SENATE.
A furious storm has raged off these coasts, and old pilots say they never remember the like. The Dutch and English ambassadors remonstrate because the cavalry has not been sent to Mansfelt, but the wind has always been contrary and they say here that they cannot fight against the heavens.
They have found some compromise about the dispensation, and agree here that the children shall be brought up by their mother until the age of thirteen, all those about them being Catholics. The nuncio has accepted this but it is not known if they will approve in England. The ambassadors also complain about another matter and the phrase liberty of conscience instead of permission to worship which Villeocler always used in the dispatches made at Rome and sent to England, upon which they had agreed.
For some days a M. Belin has been here as ambassador of the Elector of Brandenburg. He keeps in the background and comes to propose a fresh alliance with this crown and protests against Bavaria having the electoral vote. He has previously been in Holland and England with the same proposals.
Paris, the 6th March, 1625.
[Italian.]
March 6.
Consiglio
di X.
Parti Secrete.
Venetian
Archives.
839. That the letters of our ambassador in England of the 24th January last about the cipher sent to him by Thomas Filippis and apparently of letters sent to the Hague from our Senate, and his profession to produce other ciphers and papers in the possession of our ambassador, be referred to the Sages of our Collegio, to do what the public service may require.
Ayes, 14.Noes, 0.Neutral, 0.
[Italian.]
Jan. 29.
Senato,
Secreta.
Communicazioni.
dal
Cons. di X.
Venetian
Archives.
840. ZUANE PESARO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Chiefs of the Council of Ten.
Some days ago a prisoner sent to tell my secretary that he had something important to communicate. Somewhat later a man of fine presence came to tell me that the prisoner had letters of your Serenity in cipher to decipher and he did not wish to do so. From examination I conceived a bad opinion of the man, but he came back and showed that the case was genuine. I sent the secretary who saw the two men in prison, one old one named Thomas Philips (Filippis) (fn. 2) who asked many questions about the cipher, to which the secretary made discreet replies. Philips showed a copy apparently of a letter of your Serenity to the Hague in the last cipher, of which he is trying to find the key. He said he found it very difficult. The secretary recognised the cipher quite well, but pretended not to. Philips said he had had the letters a month and a half. He made two proposals, first to sell me the papers, refusing to restore them to the man from whom he had them because he had an order from the Council not to let any of them go, and he would give an undertaking that the ciphers of the republic should never be deciphered.
He spoke of other matters, his acquaintance with a Dominican friar Guacen who has relations with one Rota at Rome. He is the same friar as treated with the Ambassador Valaresso about the Palatinate with Father Hyacinth. He had several letters in cipher. The Dominican is a rogue although employed by the Secretary Conovel. He told me he had discovered that the name which he supposed to be Venetian Ambassador was a cipher signifying an earl of this country. He had treated with the Ambassador Lando, but only received twenty pieces of gold.
This old man knows how to find the key to ciphers, but his eyesight is not good enough to write and he needs an assistant. I sent a courteous answer, offering complete satisfaction if the cipher belonged to the republic, but it was necessary to send it to Venice for verification and in the meantime he must keep quiet. I pointed out that it would do him no good to give the cipher to others, and we should try to get him punished instead of rewarding him. He seemed to appreciate this, but refused to hand over the copies. Accordingly I thought it wise to apply to the Duke of Buckingham, who has always shown himself friendly, asking that the man might be confined so that he could not communicate with any one. The duke immediately complied and Philips is strictly secluded. On the following day a gentleman come to offer me a copy of the letter which I enclose with all the papers on the subject. He told me that the old man found the cipher most difficult and wanted to get some light from me or my secretary. These papers were not consigned by the secretary of the Agent of Flanders, who says he has a very large quantity of letters of the republic and its ministers to decipher. If he finds the key all the papers will be sent here; with the cases of Valaresso they found the secrets of all the plans. He told me that the old man said he wanted to make something out of one side or the other, but he dealt sincerely.
I thanked him and told him he must keep everything secret. He promised, but we must trust to his discretion. He is a certain Agat, (fn. 3) who was consul for his king at Aleppo and professes to have always received favours from the representatives of the republic. His fortunes have now fallen, he is loaded with debts and is under arrest. It would not be easy for me to have him shut up. He does not know the art, but as he has a decipher he could decipher all the papers in the same cipher.
Thomas Philips is seventy years of age and has great skill in the business. He is the one who announced to Queen Elizabeth the intrigues of the Queen of Scotland, for which she died. He also discovered all the designs of the Spanish ambassador for the Spanish armada sent against these realms in 1589.
This is all that has happened in this important affair, upon which I shall await your Excellencies' commands, and it will not be reasonable to keep the man shut up for ever, and it would rather be praiseworthy to console him with some public munificence, as he has certainly rendered services.
London, the 24th January, 1624. [M.V.]
[Italian.]
March 7.
Senato,
Secreta,
Deliberazioni.
Roma.
Venetian
Archives.
841. To the Ambassador in England and the like to the Ambassador at the Hague.
We sent word last week of the progress of the Spaniards in the Valtelline. The Spaniards continue to fortify themselves at Riva and on a neighbouring hill. They appear occasionally at Nova. Our troops are fortifying their camp and restoring the old trench. Skirmishes occur frequently, though the weather is bad. The pope has appointed his nephew the Cardinal legate a latere, with the idea of facilitating a truce, but Bethune objected and so did we, declaring we could not accept peace except upon the establishment of the status quo ante. Bethune's secretary brought the same intentions from France. This is followed up by deeds as the constable has orders to have his forces with those of the Duke of Savoy on the frontiers of Milan. We have directed our Proveditore General in Terra Ferma to go immediately to Bergamo, keeping our troops well forward, in order to fulfil our part.
You will use all these particulars in conversation in order to expose the real meaning of sending this legate for a truce, if the report gets about.
A despatch of the 3rd has just arrived from Turin relating that the constable has already started for Asti whither the duke has sent forward his horses, a quantity of arms and munitions, and troops. Feria, very anxious at this move, has sent the bulk of his forces in that direction and towards Alessandria.
To England add:
We enclose a copy for your information of what the Ambassador Prioli writes about the Ambassador Wake going to the Swiss.
Ayes, 84.Noes, 4.Neutral, 6.
[Italian.]
March 7.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
842. ANDREA ROSSO, Venetian Secretary in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The king has postponed his visit to Theobalds and there is no certainty when he will arrive there, although they expect the Duke of Buckingham in this city to day or to morrow. They lay the blame for this delay upon the news come from France and upon the ruinous expeditions made by the English ambassadors about the marriage. The French ambassador has received a copy of the dispensation from the nuncio at Paris, containing the conditions reported; these are expected to lead to equivocation and difficulty. As regards making the marriage indissoluble, it is feared that they will need the consent of parliament, which would be difficult to obtain. Upon the children being brought up in the Roman Catholic faith to the age of thirteen, there is a difference between the dispensation and the articles, which say merely that they shall be under Madame's control; and this will be impossible to get over. Upon the condition to grant every facility for the Catholic religion to Madame's household and not to attempt any change, this is contrary to the agreement which stipulated only for Madame herself, and is considered disadvantageous by zealous Protestants unless the Catholics bind themselves similarly. Moreover the promise for the maintenance of the compact for religion requires the oath of the Most Christian, who is to obtain another from this quarter, and it is feared they will need the co-operation of parliament, an insuperable difficulty; but it is understood that the French will only require the oath from the king, the prince and the Council as was done with Spain, but the English imagine that they have avoided this obligation. The agreement also remains doubtful about Madame's household, the English considering they gave enough in what was reported, and the French esteeming it too little; but this could be arranged soon if the rest were settled. Thus the difficulties are apparently very great and of such a character that to overcome them must needs delay this execution.
Sir [Thomas] Cheri has returned, who was sent to France with the jewels for Madame, bringing her thanks to the prince who has given him a most beautiful device of diamonds.
News from Mansfeld states that he is quartered at Ghitrudembergh. The States, although they manifestly did not want him, made an agreement with him, promising to advance money out of the funds of the league, and supply him with provisions, munitions and guns while he remains in their service, making some gift to his force if he succeeds in relieving Breda. Mansfelt writes to the Duke of Buckingham that now is the time to help the good cause which he has taken up, and asks for two months' pay; to facilitate this he urges him to send letters of credit to the States. They think the king will agree because he will have time to make payment, but if Mansfelt is not in accord with the States he will not obtain money.
He also tells the duke that his position has two advantages, it may make the enemy shift, and the expected arrival of Brunswick with the cavalry will refresh the infantry in the country. He asks for 3,000 foot of Reerse, undertaking to pay the entire cost and transport out of his pay, and for this asks for the remaining 500,000l. sterling.
The Duke of Brunswick writes from Calais that a gale has prevented him from starting, and four ships intended for the escort have been lost. He asks for other men of war to guard against the Dunkirkers who are lying in wait for him. Accordingly the French ambassador has written to Buckingham, who has directed Brunswick to use all the ships of the coast to support him.
It is confirmed that France desires the relief of Breda and a declaration that Mansfelt shall stop for the purpose; the Palatine having agreed to this they are expecting the reply and decision from the Court, which will probably conform to what was arranged with France.
Mansfelt gives out that he will start for the Rhine directly, but seeing the wishes of France it is thought that he does not wish to disclose his plans further.
The king's ambassador in Denmark sends good news; that the mission of M. del Hae, sent there by the Most Christian, has produced a good effect; Denmark offers everything if England will interest itself and begin, and promises to act in person, arming meanwhile; the negotiations with the Spaniards are not such as was thought; they hope the marriage negotiations with Saxony may divert the duke from siding with Austria; Denmark offers to maintain 6,000 men if the king here will contribute for 8,000 in men or money, as the princes and towns will provide the rest, besides the offers of the King of Sweden, which exceed those of Denmark, upon which they are awaiting his Majesty's decision. To facilitate a conclusion they propose to refer the matter to the Hague where all the agents could meet unsuspected, and there is no Spanish minister who might send word to Germany. M. del Hae also congratulated Denmark upon the accord with Sweden upon a question of reprisals, such as often lead to war. He urged him to take up the public cause and something is expected from that sovereign.
The king asked for something definite from the Most Christian, as he did not wish to commit himself while France remained free, but if France would come forward he was ready to act. Something was said about a marriage with a daughter of the Duke of Savoy, but this proposal was conducted more openly by the English ambassador, without effect as the negotiations with Saxony were too far advanced.
Besides the six ships granted by England to the Most Christian, the king here has promised that one of his ships shall raise the French flag to cover itself in the declaration, a favour highly valued in consideration of the one who grants it, and for him who receives. However, the orders for these ships are not pressed on the part of France. It seems that the States, before joining their ships to the fleet preparing here, want to know what the king intends to do with it.
The rumour of Gondomar's coming grows ever stronger, and they now say that he will come with orders to procure a settlement of the affairs of Christendom and not to upset the negotiations with France.
On the 1st inst. Pietro Dolci arrived here with the ducal missives of the 13th January and the new cipher. He at once left for Holland and is travelling quickly.
The ambassador is still sick and suffered more last night than before. God grant him health.
London, the 7th March, 1625.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
March 7.
Inquisitori
di Stato.
Busta 156.
Venetian
Archives.
843. The Inquisitors of State to the Ambassador in England, PESARO.
The Council of Ten, whom we informed of what you wrote about Thomas Filippis and the cipher, have referred your letters and the papers to the Sages for their information, so that they may decide what is expedient. Accordingly we have no answer to send you but we wish you all felicity.
Daniel DiedoInquisitors.
Zuan Francesco Correr
Zuan Battista Contarini
[Italian.]
March 9.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Svizzeri.
Venetian
Archives.
844. GIROLAMO CAVAZZA, Venetian Secretary with the Swiss, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Encloses extract from a letter of the English ambassador at Venice sent by the Baron von Spietz, relating the efforts to spread dissension among the allies.
Zurich, the 9th March, 1625.
[Italian.]
Enclosed
in the
preceding
despatch.
845. Extract from letter dated at Venice, the 18th January, 1625.
Devices to spread dissension among the allies. At Rome they have spoken to the Venetian ambassadors about French fickleness and reminded them of 1529, when the French abandoned them and they had to give up all they had taken in Apulia; the pope can win M. de Bethune whenever he likes by giving him the red hat and some good livings for his relations; the Marquis of Coeuvres has shown what he can do and will not attempt any more; the King of France does not like the war, which he entered against his will and he will soon grow cold; in the last war the French sold Vercelli for 100,000 crowns; and therefore the republic would do better to withdraw from this league and join the pope and the princes of Italy for the preservation of the peace and liberty of this province.
They speak in the same way of the Duke of Savoy, saying he does nothing, has no troops, only pays Mansfeld with words; he would do anything the Spaniards wanted to obtain the Princess of Mantua.
They speak of the republic in the same way in France and at Turin; that they are too cold, do not want to spend their money, do not like war, and want to draw back; they had told the pope that they would join him if they got a good treaty and could have the Valtelline pass open.
One can clearly perceive that these are merely devices to break up the league. Others work in the contrary sense. The French ambassador here has clearly informed the Signory of the intention of his master, and I have tried to disabuse them of what is said against the Duke of Savoy, who badly needs an ambassador here. I have also sent a gentleman to the Marquis of Coeuvres, on the pretext of congratulating him, and have sent him my views, having previously informed the doge through the French ambassador. They praised my design and accompanied my man with their letters.
[French.]
March 10.
Cons. di X.
Parti Comuni.
Venetian
Archives.
846. In the Council of Ten.
That Lorenzo Contarini son of Ottavian have leave to treat with the Ambassador of England three or four times about the debts due to his wife by certain Englishmen, and that his wife have leave to visit the ambassadress twice for the same purpose.
Ayes, 15.Noes, 0.Neutral, 0.
[Italian.]
Enclosure.847. Petition of Lorenzo Contarini, whose wife was daughter of Vicenzo Gritti and whose first husband was Sir Henry Parvis, a noble Englishman, through whom she has many debts due to her in those parts, to have permission to confer with the English ambassador about the recovery of these debts, and that his wife may for the same purpose visit the ambassadress, who has previously been at Venice, and with whom, by order of her first husband, she was very intimate and friendly.
[Italian.]
March 11.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Ceffalonia.
Venetian
Archives.
848. ANZOLO GIUSTINIAN, Venetian Proveditore of Cephalonia, to the DOGE and SENATE.
I think it right to inform your Serenity about the ships which lade wheat at Dragomeste and Candele. Two large English ships called the Hector and the Abraham are now on those coasts, hired by the Genoese for 1,000 crowns a month. Fortunately food is plentiful here at present, the highest price being 12 lire the staro, but I do not know what it will rise to if these ships remain, as since their appearance no boats have brought corn to these shores. This makes us all uneasy and only encourages the userers and monopolists. Moreover these ships which might quickly take away the raisins are now serving another purpose, but being engaged in this business, their removal is delayed, and those who have raisins are becoming anxious. This enables the English constantly to beat down the price of this commodity, which is the support of this island. I think that representations should be made on the subject to the English ministers in Venice to stop the service as I think they have not their king's consent. When I remonstrated with the English merchants here on the subject they stood by one another, which shows me that it is because of their relations with the Genoese over the ryals and because they are enabled at one and the same time to make money by hiring their ships and reduce the price of raisins and other goods which they buy in this island and Candia.
I am expecting the Proveditore of the Fleet so that he may be able to raise this state of siege existing here; but he has not yet appeared and may have been summoned elsewhere. Your Serenity might direct your admirals to prevent foreigners from this traffic, sending them to Corfu and making them unload there, because merely driving them off does not suffice, as they return so soon as the galleys have gone.
Cephalonia, the 1st March, 1625, old style.
[Italian.]
March 11.
Collegio,
Secreta.
Esposizioni,
Principi.
Venetian
Archives.
849. The English Ambassador came into the Cabinet and said:
Your Serenity will perchance excuse me for coming to audience frequently. I have some news to communicate, and I wish to consult you. My last letters from the Hague state that Prince Maurice proposes to take the field with a more powerful force than ever before, using the citizens to set free his regular troops, and through such he will do his utmost to save Breda. They tell of the safe arrival of the Count of Mansfeld after losing only one ship which probably fell into the hands of the Dunkirkers. The States sent out a fleet to meet him and have made every provision for his army. From England the secretary writes that twenty ships sent from some free towns of Germany with munitions of war for the Spaniards, chanced to enter our waters, where the king took the munitions for the price arranged with the Spaniards, for the use of Mansfeld. His Majesty has given permission to his subjects to recoup themselves for damage done to them at sea by the Dutch, Dunkirkers and Spaniards. The Dutch are included for the sake of appearances.
My king has furthered an alliance between the Kings of Denmark and Sweden with Brandenburg, Pomerania and other princes of North Germany. I understand that the King of Spain has stopped the Brazil fleet, to send it to help his friends in the Mediterranean. I speak of the Castile fleet, the Portuguese having already sailed for Brazil. If it goes, those friends will remain unassisted and the Dutch will have a clear field in the Indies, as the Portuguese cannot face them alone. Whatever happens the Spanish coasts will be left exposed. They are in the same plight by land, and their apparently great forces disappear at the first puncture.
I forgot to mention that my king has ready a flourishing fleet of fifty ships, victualled for ten months. Our ambassador in France asks me to inform your Serenity that it was thought best to send Count Mansfeld through the Low Countries, owing to M. de. Soubise, but the object remained the same, and they ask for your contribution.
I pass from a public to a private matter. The Countess of Arundel arranged with the painter, Titian Titianelo, and paid him to go to England to paint some pictures for her. Not content with deceiving her and taking her money he has gone on to slander her saying he did not go because he feared she would take him to Spain, whither she was going from Genoa. The earl and countess are much incensed and ask your Serenity for justice. I ask you to put him in prison. He is unworthy of the anger of persons of such rank. I will be the first to ask pardon for him.
The doge returned thanks for the news. The ambassador would always be welcome. They regretted the bad behaviour of the painter, Titiano. They would endeavour to make him conscious of his error and satisfy the countess and her husband. Accordingly when the ambassador left the Cabinet, the Avogador Vendramino was charged to arrest the painter.
[Italian.]
March 12.
Collegio,
Secreta.
Esposizioni,
Roma.
Venetian
Archives.
850. The English Ambassador, besides the office of this day previously read, spoke as follows:
I must tell your Serenity that owing to news which I had from Germany of the negotiations of a certain Dominican friar with the princes there, who was to go and treat with the Duke of Savoy in the habit and character of a soldier, I sent orders to my secretary at that Court to inform his Highness and the constable also. The latter said he had heard nothing about it, and the duke sent me word that he heard something about this friar accompanying the Spanish ambassador, but as the business of the ambassador did not turn out well he perhaps thought it best not to discover himself. I hear that this ambassador, in the only secret audience he had, begged his Highness for the reason for the moving of these forces and asked for a categorical answer. The duke gave it very shortly, saying that his Catholic Majesty knew the reason better than anyone else. When the ambassador retorted, Then to make a good peace you want a little war, his Highness replied Your Excellency has guessed it.
At my last audience I dwelt on the importance of the passage of the German troops to the Milanese, offered my services and wrote to the duke and constable. I have since received their answers. They make more of the matter than I expected and urge me to go to the Swiss immediately. I now ask for the advice and commands of your Serenity, as things are not as they were when I wrote, the Spaniards having changed their first resolutions with the landing of Mansfeld, by sending Spinelli's regiment, which had passed the Rhine, to that quarter. I am perfectly ready to act; I do not want my zeal to be called in question for not going, or yet my mission to prove fruitless and discreditable. I might perhaps write to my king upon the occasion of congratulating the Grisons on their progress in recovering their liberty, and similarly to the Swiss, owing to their interests in Rhaetia, encouraging them to persevere and resist all opposition, and I might then prevent any passage the Spaniards might be contemplating. I will follow your Serenity's prudent advice. I leave the constable's letter to Berne, which is assuredly full of zeal. For the rest the movements of the duke and the proceedings of the constable must be known to your Serenity. They have made worthy preparations; 1,000 carts of munitions have left Turin, to the general astonishment as that prince is known to be more apt at consuming than accumulating such things.
The doge answered, We are quite sure of your Excellency's willingness and zeal, and this increases our love and esteem for you. These Signors will deliberate upon your going to the Swiss. We may say in general that his Majesty's good offices and those of his ministers are always acceptable to the republic. With this the ambassador took leave and departed.
[Italian.]
Collegio,
Secreta.
Esposizioni,
Roma.
Filza.
Venetian
Archives.
851. Having learned that they propose to make a levy of landsknechts in Germany and among the Swiss, not only to prevent what I wish to do here, with God's help and the king's forces, but to ruin all that has been so honourably accomplished in the Grisons by the Marquis of Coeuvres, and knowing that they proposed to send those troops through Helvetia, I thought it my duty to forewarn them and give them an opportunity of showing their good-will to his Majesty. Your Excellencies know that I am about to fulfil the king's commands by the diversion arranged, and our troops are advancing for the purpose. It is time to humble the pride of those whose ambition makes nothing seem impossible, who deceived by the hope of our pretended ruin, never cease attempting that of our friends and allies. We shall act soon. Meanwhile their Excellencies must work also so that the levy of these landsknechts may prove useless and to oppose their passage, uniting with the Evangelical cantons and with those Catholics ones which are not corrupt. I have said this much, though I know it is not necessary and you are perfectly willing, since you know the interests of their Excellencies therein, because I will not fail in anything recommended to my charge. I refer the rest to the Count of Susa in the assurance that the English ambassador will also perform the same office in the name of his king.
[Italian.]
March 13.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni,
Roma.
Venetian
Archives.
852. That the English ambassador be summoned to the Collegio and the following be read to him:
The advices you give us assures us of your confidence. We rejoice that his Majesty by increasing his forces and joining with his allies is opening the way for the re-establishment of his royal blood. We are especially glad to hear of Mansfeld's successful landing in Zeeland, as in conjunction with the Most Christian and with such a commander this move is calculated to relieve the king's children and to afford opportune succour to the States. Nevertheless these movements have not stopped the levies of the Spaniards in Germany for the Milanese or slackened them, as those of Papnaim, Sulz, Sfitimbergh and others go swiftly on, hastened on by Feria, and some have passed to the Milanese. This has compelled us to incur the expense of additional armament. We must urge this in reply to your Excellency's recommendation of our contributing to Mansfelt. We must add, however, that when the allies for the Valtelline decided to support the count's first forces, we sent our contributions first. Matters have since changed utterly, and we are harder pressed than before. With constant reinforcements the Spaniards are offering a strong resistance to Coure and we are engaged in the open. Thus no contribution can be asked from the republic, which has always readily fulfilled its obligations.
We highly approve what you say about stopping the passage of the German troops to the Milanese, and have written to France and Turin on the subject. We know that we can rely upon your Excellency, and you will always do what will advance the public welfare.
We have letters from Turin up to the 5th. The duke has left for Asti. Prince Thomas is somewhat better. A good sum of money has reached the constable from France; Savoy provides the rest. The French troops have already begun to pass by San Damiano of the Monferrato. We tell you this in return for your confidential communication.
Ayes, 119.Noes, 3.Neutral, 5.
[Italian.]
March 14.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
853. ZUANE PESARO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Amid my afflictions of mind and body the news of the election of my successor affords me great relief. I hope your Serenity will release me from this noxious climate, dangerous not only to my health, but to my life, though I only value my days for the service of my country.
The king and prince reached Theobalds and the duke this city. This separation, which lasted several days was noticed and caused some comment, although the duke comes and goes. Their actions or rather discussions turn upon two points, the marriage with France and the coming of Gondomar. Your Excellencies have full information about the difficulties over the marriage, which are received here with bitterness, and a thousand suggestions of offence and a rupture. Upon this the duke would not negotiate and report to the king, as usual, but allowed the ambassador to go to the Court and treat by himself. They say his Majesty constantly repeats that he will not alter the things agreed upon in the smallest degree. The ambassador seems to have encountered a severe storm, but calmed the sea; however, there seems no certainty, but he rather puts a good face on the matter to make it look as if he had a good hand. They have sent expresses to Paris, but unless the ambassador stays and allows the smallest particulars to appear with the signatures for making the settlement I cannot discover what will come by the first despatches.
In this state of affairs the coming of Gondomar creates uneasiness in every direction; the Duke of Buckingham more than anyone else ought to take double precautions for his own salvation, as his fall or discredit would result from any renewal of confidence or relations with the Spaniards. The evidence of Gondomar's coming is his having sent a gentleman of his, but of English nationality (fn. 4) with the news of his departure and that he has carte blanche, with a letter from his master directed to Buckingham to the following effect, that he is coming for the peace of Christendom, for the restitution of the Palatinate, to kiss the hands of his Majesty, his Highness and his Excellency as a native Englishman; to confirm the sincerity of his operations and for other differences he jestingly says that he is preparing to settle them by combat in the gallery of the Thames (sopra la Galeria del Tamigi) such are the very words of the letter.
The duke said he marvelled at this coming, and that Gondomar was very daring to undertake the journey; he relied too much upon English credulity after having deceived so many times and he would no more be believed. The duke said this aloud, although some say that he conferred thrice with this creature who asked him for a ship to bring Gondomar over. The duke refused for these reasons, it was known they were negotiating a marriage with France and there were other negotiations with other princes; he had not been sent for and the mission of a vassal of the king of Spain would only excite uneasiness. For his own part he would not counsel this course to his Majesty and would refuse a passport. He referred him to the king who may not show himself so severe.
This visit has aroused more comment about the discovery of an agreement between Rome and Spain, with the arrangement that the conditions for the dispensation shall be higher, so they say, than those obtained by the Spaniards. It is feared that France may draw back from her firm proposals for this marriage, and that Gondomar would not have moved without some understanding of this kind. But they also suspect some secret consent on the part of the king here. Taking everything together it is not easy to see what is the worst, and there are open rumours of a change of favour. It is supposed, however, that this mission has no object except to sow dissension and suspicion between this party and the others interested and to put a flea in the duke's ear (et di gettar il pulice nell' orecchia del Duca).
His Majesty's ambassador is also leaving for Spain; his gentleman has left for Denmark and the first instructions are ready, but nothing is settled about the supply of money for Mansfeld, or his other interests and they have not yet decided what answer they will give to the last proposals of Denmark and Sweden. Neither has his Majesty answered the Palatine, who asks, if the Cossaks descend to serve the prince, he will intervene with the King of Poland against this grant. The agent of the Palatine here asserts that the French continue their interests in the affairs of Germany and offer considerable monthly supplies of money, but matters are not yet completely arranged. It will appear from elsewhere whether this is merely a device to obtain infantry more easily from these parts.
They have decided to postpone the parliament; the order is prepared but kept back for his Majesty to decide the period of delay. The Marquis of Hamilton is dead, (fn. 5) of the blood royal of Scotland, Lord High Steward and a nobleman of high rank, and in three months this Court has buried the three leading noblemen of Scotland.
Your Serenity's commands of the 13th ult. shall be obeyed.
London, the 14th March, 1625.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
March 14.
Collegio,
Secreta.
Esposizioni,
Roma.
Venetian
Archives.
854. The English Ambassador was summoned to the Collegio and the Senate's deliberation of yesterday was read to him, he spoke as follows:
I will closely follow your Serenity's commands. As regards the Count of Mansfeld, I know not what to say. The arrangement to levy the force was made in France, my king promising to bear half the cost, the Most Christian and his allies undertaking the other half. Trusting to this we confided our men and arms to the count; we spent our money to equip the army and it is not right that the whole burden should fall on us. We should not have taken this up but for the interests and requests of other princes, and I was the first to bring the first paper of the negotiations to the count. In moving by land we were using our left arm against the stronger one of the Spaniards, as the sea cuts us off while the Spaniards pass through a long stretch of their dominions to Flanders and have supplies of munitions, arms and men. If we considered ourselves only we should have used our strength at sea at less cost and with more safety.
I will not enter upon the particular objects of the allied princes, but in general I may say that the diversions were considered necessary, but the troubles of France caused delay and circumstances sent the count to the States, where he might prove more useful than at his original destination. When a barber is ordered by a physician to let blood from the veins of a sick man, and does not find it in one arm, he turns to the other. If the end is obtained we need not trouble about the means. But I repeat we must be compensated from some quarter. Our ambassadors in France charged me with the office I passed with your Serenity about the agreements made at that Court; I will tell them your reply to guide them.
About the Swiss the advices differ from the office read to me, and the Germans are beginning to pass to the Milanese. Since my last audience I have also heard that the Protestant cantons in disgust at the action of the other little ones against the great charter of their convention, for openly declaring for the Spanish side, have formed a body of 10,000 foot to secure their country, selecting other subjects for greater needs; so they were already disposed to prevent the passage, and your Serenity's offices will come opportunely to encourage them as well as those of the duke and constable. I have written to his Majesty, not for commissions, which I have, but for the best way of using them. Savoy and Lesdiguières are moving. There is some difficulty, though not considerable, I think, about Montferrat and the territory of Genoa, but the duke promises to pay for everything promptly and that the Savoyards shall not enter or use violence.
The doge replied your Excellency has heard the Senate's answer and you will appreciate the reasons for its decisions. We are prompt at fulfilling our obligations. We paid Mansfeld's first instalments promptly, but afterwards the objects of the league not being fulfilled that he should be in Germany, we could not overlook this. Moreover we have so many expenses and so many things to see to on every hand. The ambassador repeated that some way must be found and asked that the office might be read over to him privately. This was done, and he took leave and departed.
[Italian.]
March 14.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
855. MARC ANTONIO MOROSINI, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The English ambassadors here thought covertly to thwart the intentions of the Queen Mother to appoint the daughter of the Duchess of Fruges, her friend, as lady in waiting on Madame Henriette, proposing to introduce Mademoiselle de St. Luc in her place, the niece of Bassompierre. But the Queen Mother supported the former by her authority and told the ambassadors that if the post of lady in waiting was not usual in England, as the ambassadors seemed to contend, in order to oppose the queen's wishes and favour St. Luc, her daughter would introduce it and bring it into fashion for other princesses at that Court in the future. This shows the regard which the said viscountess now enjoys with the queen.
Paris, the 14th March, 1625.
[Italian.]
March 15.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Germania.
Venetian
Archives.
856. MARC' ANTONIO PADAVIN, Venetian Secretary in Germany, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Encloses copy of 42 articles of a new league, which shows the perfidy of the Jesuits who have invented them.
Vienna, the 15th March, 1625.
[Italian; copy.]
Enclosure.857. Articles of a league made at Paris for thirty years for the recovery of the Palatinate and the Valtelline, and for the liberty of Italy on the 16th August, 1624, in the presence of the Most Christian king and all the ambassadors of princes allied against the King of Spain and the House of Austria and their adherents and supporters.
2. None of the parties shall make peace separately.
3. The King of England shall maintain 100 galeots in the Indies and 60 armed bertons against Spain.
4. He shall pay 300,000 crowns yearly to the Palatine until the recovery of his states.
5. He shall maintain 12,000 foot and 2,000 horse for the Palatine during the war.
6. He shall pay Mansfelt 20,000 crowns yearly as the Palatine's general and provide him with 6,000 foot and 1,000 horse for the recovery of the Palatinate, whom the Palatine shall pay.
8. On the completion of the Palatinate affair the King of England will be released from his obligations to pay this force and Mansfelt and they shall go against the empire and the Spanish dominions as France and the Venetians require.
9, 10, 11, 12. Obligations of France for undertakings in the Valtelline, Flanders, Milan and Naples.
13, 14, 15. Obligations of the Venetians concerning the Valtelline, Grisons and Milan.
17. The Venetians shall stir up the Turks and pirates against the Spaniards and Austrians.
18, 19, 20. Obligations of the Dutch.
22–32. Obligations of Denmark, Gabor, the Grisons and Swiss, and the Duke of Savoy.
33, 34, 35. Arrangements for Tuscany, the pope and Modena to enter the league.
36–39. Arrangements concerning the pope.
40. The allies shall be mutually bound to each other and good understanding shall exist between their ministers.
41. The Kings of France and England, the Venetians and the pope may propose any princes they please for the league, provided they are not of the House of Austria or its supporters.
42. Subjects of the allies may go and serve under any member of the confederacy.
[Italian; copy.]

Footnotes

1 Vait Ferenz.
2 See Cal. S. P. Dom., 1623–5, pages 480, 505.
3 Bartholomew Haggatt, Cal. S.P. Dom., 1623–5, page 505.
4 "Questo gentilhuomo del Conte di Gondemar e Inglese in Spagna et si chiama Tailor." Salvietti, on the 14th March. Brit. Mus. Add. MSS. 27962c.
5 He died on Tuesday, March 12th. Birch: Court and Times of James I, ii, page 503.