Venice
February 1626,1-14

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Institute of Historical Research

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Allen B. Hinds (editor)

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1913

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303-322

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'Venice: February 1626,1-14', Calendar of State Papers Relating to English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 19: 1625-1626 (1913), pp. 303-322. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=89055 Date accessed: 22 August 2014.


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February 1626

Feb. 1.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
445. SIMON CONTARINI and MARC ANTONIO MOROSINI, Venetian Ambassadors in France, to the DOGE and SENATE.
We called upon the English ambassadors this week. I, Contarini, spoke of the great affection of the republic for their king and urged that he should use his power to secure the public tranquillity, telling him I had instructions to try and appease any differences between the two kings and incline them to perfect mutual confidence in order to seize the present opportunity of curbing the ambitions of Spain. I urged them to prevent civil war here by counselling the Rochellese to submit, as we had found the ministers here disposed to satisfy them in all reasonable matters.
Carleton replied, expressing affection for the republic. The disputes with this crown were already over, so far as their king was concerned, and he had not directed them to say anything about it here; it all arose from the excessive zeal of the French ambassador in England. Their instructions turned on three points: first to invite the Most Christian to take the direction of the league in Germany and the defence of that country, as arranged between their king, Denmark and the States; second to ask his Majesty for the ships they had lent him against Soubise, who lives in poverty in England; third to try and prevent the Most Christian from moving against those of the Religion in la Rochelle. They had received no answer to the first. To the second they say they cannot give the ships up yet, as they may need them. The ambassadors said this would be ill received in England, as parliament is to meet soon there and some of the members will say, then the King of France wishes to keep your Majesty's ships to make war on those of our religion and that may seriously prejudice his Majesty's service, and they would have to proceed with much circumspection. On the third point about peace with the Rochellese they said it was true that a strong feeling existed here against them and therefore their ministers had told them to induce the Huguenots and their deputies to lower some of their high claims. They promised to do this and that the King of England would not give them any help against the Most Christian. At this we repeated our former representations.
About the detention of certain English ships and goods, which they have already begun to restore, the ambassadors stated that their king had said nothing to them about them, but everything would be adjusted and the ordinary ambassador would settle anything that was left over.
The ambassadors will treat with the deputies of la Rochelle, who are expected at any moment, and try to make a good impression upon them for peace. The ambassadors said they must be back in London in four weeks for the coronation and the opening of parliament, the Earl of Holland, as Captain of the Guard, having to attend the king at each of these functions.
Paris, the 1st February, 1625 [M.V.].
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Feb. 1.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Savoia.
Venetian
Archives.
446. MODERANTE SCARAMELLI, Venetian Ambassador in Savoy, to the DOGE and SENATE.
They have been attending diligently to business of late, giving audience to the English and French ambassadors and the nuncio They say that some leading man will be sent to Paris to bring back some favourable resolutions.
They do not seem pleased with the English ambassador since the result of the efforts of the English fleet, so different from their intentions as represented, with the hope that it might help against Genoa, and then when it did not appear, that the king would pay the Bernese for his Highness. In their shortness of money they speak frequently of the 20 ducats a day they give the ambassdor for his expenses.
Turin, the 1st February, 1626.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Feb. 2.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Milano.
Venetian
Archives.
447. VALERIO ANTELMI, Venetian Secretary at Milan, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Bollognini has been to Florence and obtained a loan from the Grand Duke. He is going on to Urbino and the other dukes of Italy to inform them of the English attack upon Spain and of the necessity for provision and revenge, upon which they are resolved. The king orders the governor to send two terzi of Lombards to Spain. He has answered that he cannot possibly obey as it would leave him defenceless.
Milan, the 2nd February, 1625 [M.V.].
[Italian.]
Feb. 3.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
448. SIMON CONTARINI and MARC ANTONIO MOROSINI, Venetian Ambassadors in France, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The English ambassadors have been to return the visit of me Contarini. Carleton, speaking for the Earl of Holland, also said that as I had told them what we reported, he wished to show equal confidence, and as they had laid three points before the Most Christian, his Majesty and the ministers asked three things of them. First that England shall fulfill the marriage treaty touching the Catholics; secondly that the ships with which Soubise had taken refuge in English ports be handed over; thirdly that the goods and money be restored which were taken on certain ships flying the French flag but not French. They told me their answers, to the first that the articles in favour of the Catholics had not been annulled but merely postponed, though they would certainly be carried out, for the benefit of the king and the realm of England. To the second, that they did not see how Soubise's ships could be sent back to France, as he had taken refuge under the honour and faith of the crown and to fail him would not become their king; it was quite another matter to ask for the twenty ships lent to the Most Christian. To the third they asserted that their king had declared that the goods taken on the ships falsely flying the French flag should be restored to the Most Christian, or to the republic if they belonged to Venetian subjects. As regards the pacification with the Huguenots, upon which they have treated a great deal with the ministers of the king and those of la Rochelle, the former have hung back from the first, and they expect no good, although to-day someone came to tell them that things were taking a favourable turn and they might hope. The ambassadors added that they nearly got the Rochellese to place themselves in his Majesty's hands without asking for any conditions. If matters changed they would send and let me know. On the following day we sent to ask them to write to urge the Duke of Rohan to use his influence with the Protestants to get them to submit to the king, and when they promised to do so if matters continued to go satisfactorily I told them that it gave me as much satisfaction as the confidence they had shown previously with me.
Later on Carleton again called upon me and said that although the ministers here lean towards severity, yet they have left some rays of hope. There had been a new meeting with the Rochellese, when they had urged submission upon them, the chief difficulty being about the fort. The Cardinal was sending the bishop of Mantes to declare the final intentions of his Majesty, and they hoped the matters would be arranged forthwith.
Paris, the 3rd February, 1625.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Feb. 4.
Collegio,
Secreta.
Esposizioni,
Principi.
Venetian
Archives.
449. The ambassador of the States came into the Collegio and said:
The last time I saw your Serenity I told you of the mishap to the letters which should have reached me with orders to communicate the league with England. These were taken, but what took place was communicated to me by a private individual who also told me of the overtures of some of the Dutch deputies to urge the Ambassador Contarini to write and inform your Excellencies, and to learn your intentions about entering the same league. I have now recently received a despatch of the 25th October last, by way of France, though I know not through whom, in the absence of any information. I imagine that the Ambassador Aerssens, lord of Semerdich, who was sent to France at that time, took it with him and it reached me that way. This despatch sends me the articles of the alliance which was negotiated in England, arranged on the 17th September, confirmed at the Hague on the 22nd October, with orders from my masters to impart them to your Serenity, as had been done to his Most Christian Majesty, so that you might declare whether you would enter this alliance, as one of the articles expressly leaves room for any princes, republics and others who wish to enter the league to do so. I impart this so that your Serenity may decide whether you will join the league as expressed in the articles or whether you will adapt it in part to yourselves; you must choose freely. I beg you, however, to give the subject your attention and inform me of what you intend to do so that I may inform my masters. I know that your Ambassador Contarini will have informed you long since of all that has taken place at the Hague. My commissions are old, but I could not execute them before, as the orders had not reached me. Here he unfolded his letters from the States and said: With these letters the articles of alliance reached me, and though I know you have had them long since I present them to you. This will discharge me, with the excuse of my misfortune in their not reaching me sooner. I shall await your Serenity's pleasure and beg you to give the matter due consideration as profitable to the public service and the general welfare; and he left the articles, written in French.
The doge replied: We thank your Excellency for the communication of the league between the States and England, and although our ambassador had advised us of it before, yet we are glad to have it from you by order of your masters, whom we so highly esteem, and to whom we wish all prosperity. With regard to our entering this league, we shall deliberate upon the matter and give you the reply that we think proper. Meanwhile we thank the States for their manifestation of confidence.
[Italian.]
Feb. 5.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni,
Roma.
Venetian
Archives.
450. To the Ambassador in England.
We commend your efforts to compose the ill feeling between the English and French crowns. You will continue your offices in concert with the Savoyard ambassador and others. We remark, with regard to the satisfaction expressed by the French ambassador at the visit of the legate and Rambouillet to Spain at the same time, that they may be going on the same business, although we hear that the French ministers in Spain have orders not to treat with the nuncio. If you have any clue on the subject we shall be glad to know it. We hear nothing of Gabor except that he is revolving fresh plans since his marriage. The Pasha of Buda, so far from assisting that prince, has a secret understanding with the imperialists. You will inform the ministers of this and suggest a remonstrance to the Porte. We inform you for information that our Bailo has to proceed with caution. Although Montalbano has left, the Imperial ministers keep the way open for negotiations for a truce. This needs consideration, as the Spaniards have done the like upon previous occasions and always expected to profit. Despite all expectations the fleet has returned unexpectedly without effecting anything. We are curious to know when and whither it will sail again, and it is probable that the States and the Palatine will urge it upon the king there by every means.
For your just relief we grant you your leave; as we cannot leave that embassy vacant we are hastening on the departure of Zorzi for that of the States so that Contarini may go to take your place as soon as possible. Meanwhile if the king goes to Scotland and wishes to be followed by the ambassadors, and the others go, you must not shirk the inconvenience, and we will provide for your expenses as we have done with others and as is just.
Ayes, 127.Noes, 2.Neutral, 5.
[Italian.]
Feb. 5.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
451. That the ambassador of the States be summoned to the Collegio and the following be read to him:
We welcomed your Excellency's invitation in the name of their High Mightinesses to enter the league between them and the King of Great Britain as a sign of confidence and esteem, feelings which we freely reciprocate. Our objects are identical and we move towards the same end. Our republic is at present exposed to perils and expenditure and is joined in very effective operations with the Most Christian and the Duke of Savoy, with the same objects as the States have and which will help them as much as a new league. Your Excellency will thank their High Mightinesses for their offer, assuring them of our sincere affection, as we have never stopped the monthly payments, although we are surrounded by the Spaniards and have such heavy expenses by land and sea.
Ayes, 96.Noes, 28.Neutral. 17.
[Italian.]
Feb. 6.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
452. ZUANE PESARO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
I have continued my offices about Aleppo. The Secretary Conway told me that he had already written to the ambassador at the Porte to desist; the matter will be discussed in the Council again; they will approach the merchants either to satisfy the republic with their consent, or that his Majesty may take steps to put an end to these disputes. Some seem inclined to have the matter dealt with in a friendly way between the king's ambassador and your Serenity's Bailo, but I objected because the ambassador is personally interested. Conway remarked that from complaints against the consul we are going on to blame the ambassador. I assured him that we highly esteemed the minister, who is in high favour at that Court, and I liked to think that his inclination to appeal to the Turkish ministers was merely a show to advance his interests; otherwise he would be as much to blame as the consul; it does not become even leading ministers to involve their masters in the interests of other princes without their permission. I think this made as much impression as the suggestion that your Serenity would take away the permission to lade English ships.
During this discussion the Secretary took up a long document, which he said was an account of the affairs of the Turkish Court since the return of the emperor's ambassador. He read me a part about the negotiations of the Spaniards with the Turks, the same as your Serenity advised me of many weeks ago. I tried to sound their intentions about these negotiations. Conway said they were on their guard and with the Dutch they kept a fleet off the Spanish coast, giving them no breathing space. I commended this and remarked that if his Majesty's fleet had sailed earlier and not withdrawn they would undoubtedly have captured rich booty. He said the best course to follow was to command the sea, burn and carry off ships and thus reduce the Spaniards to want. This would also help the republic, but we must make up our minds to a union and to contribute to the public cause. I pointed out the expense and the services already rendered by Venice to the public cause, forcing Spain to sink many thousands in Italy and providing a diversion for Germany.
I went on to speak about Germany in order to gather information, but he seemed to know little. He told me, however, that the Palatine was strongly urging that Anstruther should go to the electoral diet. This is unlikely, as he cannot possibly do any good, especially as the king is at open war with the emperor. I also tried to find out why they have decided to send an agent to Poland; they considered the moment opportune to open negotiations with that king at a time when they are thinking of employing Gabor, Brandenburg and Sweden. He told me that the agent is an old servant of the crown, who went with Anstruther to Denmark (fn. 1) . He had a promise from the late king long since. His Majesty employed him more on personal than public grounds. The Palatine's party think this an intrigue of Denmark, who remains hostile to Sweden.
He also spoke to me of the Duke of Savoy and his glorious actions; we ought to divide the state of Milan, and, if France refused, to join with others. I asked what they intended to do about the ships. He said they were constantly debating how to satisfy the duke, but he wanted so many ships, and bronze guns, which did not suit the present state of affairs; however, they would give him something.
We then went on to French affairs. I recommended peace and the submission of the Huguenots. He said they ought to render the king his due, but to abase the Huguenots for their destruction is not rendering France a service, or her friends, as the Spaniards will take advantage and make a universal Catholic monarchy and after disposing of the Huguenots the French will turn against the Protestants of Germany. Appearances of peace in that realm are deceitful. The king has agreed to an expenditure of two millions to erect two moles in the port of la Rochelle, to sink ships in the middle and with the land forces to reduce the place. They want peace in three weeks or la Rochelle will be lost. He added smiling: We shall have to send 10,000 men there and obtain peace that way. I repeated my former considerations, but persuasion has no effect here upon their intention to have peace or to succour la Rochelle. He told me that the ambassadors were not recalled, but they had discretion to seize an opportunity for leaving, they were instructed to ask for a decision and they were not to submit to delay but leave.
Such is the substance of a long interview. I found then that my offices about the ship Faith had made a good impression, as fresh orders are issued and I hope to obtain justice. The secretary confirmed the just intentions of the king and admitted that the duke was ill informed about the reprisals. Like the other ministers he seemed glad at my activity for our interests and those of others.
Among other matters the Secretary mentioned the interests of the merchants of this city in the impost laid by the officials of your Serenity upon indigo, as you will see by the enclosed memorial. I told him that I had no information; I know your Serenity's benevolence to the English, and I must await your Serenity's commands.
London, the 6th February, 1625 [M.V.].
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Enclosed in
the preceding
despatch.
453. Memorial of Secretary Conway about indigo translated from the French.
Sir Maurice Abbot, Henry Garnay, Anthony Abdi and the Company of London Merchants have appealed to his Majesty's Council about the double impost laid by officials of Venice against all reason upon indigo which they bring to Venice by the Cape of Good Hope, making them pay 16 per cent. beyond the ordinary rate of 11 per cent. for what is brought from the West, which is also paid on what comes from the Levant. The officials first levy the 11 per cent. as due upon goods coming from the West, and then exact 5 per cent. for the Cottimo, as if the goods were brought from the Levant. The merchants ask that this may be put right.
[Italian.]
Feb. 5.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
454. ZUANE PESARO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The mission which the French ambassador was to have done was performed by the queen, who sent one of her gentlemen with letters in her own hand to her mother, begging her to interpose with her son for moderation towards la Rochelle, and expressing her anguish at being involved in the quarrels between her brother and her husband. They greatly desired this office here, and for that reason the duke spoke to the ambassador, so that he might not oppose, as without his consent the queen would not have written. Thus the offices took place by common consent.
Instructions have reached the ambassador about the offices performed by the English ambassadors in France, which may be summed up in three proposals:—(1) proposal for an offensive and defensive alliance, (2) request for peace for la Rochelle, (3) request for the return of the English ships. In reply his Majesty said he desired a league in effect but not by contract; he was disposed to grant peace to his subjects if they would ask for it in a proper manner, but he could not allow a foreign prince to make himself a judge between him and his subjects; they had deputed commissioners about the ships. The ambassadors said they only wished to act as friends and not by express instructions; their king did not wish to act as a judge, but as a friend in the matter of the Huguenots. The king seemed to consider this reasonable. The ambassador expressed himself more moderately to me than in the past, and seemed really to believe in peace. He said the English should attend to the substance and not to the show of things; we might hope much from the peace, though he did not believe the dangers were so great. Peace would not be made in the presence of the English ambassadors but after their departure, and he will leave here with the certitude of peace or war. The English had been much alarmed at the refusal of their interposition, believing any adjustment hopeless, but if they would put the matter in the right way they would gain much. I cannot say if these are inducements to profit by delay and encourage the hopes of those who aspire to carry out their plans to succour that fortress; one must judge not by words but by the actions they are preparing in France, as here they have languid hopes of good. They have promised help and protection to the Rochellese and their deputies. Peninton has orders to keep himself in readiness. I am assured that Soubise is making his preparations and will leave this kingdom with honour.
The outcome is uncertain, but people do not anticipate an open rupture, only a declaration from the king here that he will oppose the malign advice of those who divert the Most Christian from the public weal, but always for the sake of peace and the better service of his royal brother.
Some think the duke keeps matters on the verge of a rupture to make himself author of the adjustment and win greater merit in France; but this is unlikely as his feelings, and still more his interests, lead him in the opposite direction; his object in announcing that he will personally attend to the arrangements is uncertain, except it is always to put himself right with parliament, by a show of obtaining peace for the Huguenots or of deserving greatly by devoting himself to their interests.
But the more he labours for his own safety the more is he threatened by the universal hatred and by the talk of everybody (voce di ciascuno). So he is preparing to go back to Holland upon some pretext of affairs, but really, by his absence, to render parliament more easy and more favourable to the king's service and divert it more from doing him harm.
For the meeting of this parliament the duke's dependants are bestirring themselves by enquiry and other means to secure a strong party, but it is not thought that it will be strong enough. The king in the letters of summons orders that the sheriffs engaged on his service shall be excluded as representatives, but the Commons claim that they are not bound by these orders, contrary to their privileges, and wish to elect Cuch in particular as most hostile to the duke and the boldest to uphold the cause. From these preludes one may conjecture that the parliament will encounter many difficulties and rough places, as is the case with the queen's coronation, which they have been obliged to postpone or rather to give up, as religious differences stand in the way.
The Most Christian had arranged that the ambassador should hold a meeting of the priests and religious of this realm to have a consultation, but these persecuting times for Catholics and priests in particular have not allowed him to adopt this course. However, the Sorbonne has declared that the queen cannot be crowned without offending religion, because the ceremony takes place in a Protestant church and is performed by Protestant prelates, although the words and ceremonies are ancient except the prayer prepared by the Archbishop of Canterbury. They entered upon many negotiations to secure some compromise, at least that the ceremony should take place outside the church as did the marriage in France, at the request of the English, and that a Catholic bishop or the Archbishop of Canterbury, not as an ecclesiastic but as a lay peer of the realm, should perform the coronation. But this could not be and, as the English would not allow the smallest departure from the practices of their church, the queen will not be crowned. This concerns France more because her prerogatives will be less, and already men say she will be queen consort of the king, but not the crowned queen of England or of Great Britain. Before the time of the public entry, to which apparently they have referred the fulfilment, they may find some way out or get a dispensation from Rome. However, the Most Christian writes that he desires his sister to have this crown without prejudice to her conscience, and that a heavenly crown is better.
Amid these differences those with the Scots continue, although much tempered. For the revocation the king will make a declaration protesting that he does not mean to affect the privileges of that realm and will take advice as to what is necessary when parliament meets. The chief difficulty consists in the withdrawing of appointments, as the Lords of the Council do not want to give them up, and the king wishes to make a fresh choice. The duke aspires to have the places for his dependants, and he is sending thither a kinsman (fn. 2) practically to supervise, because as hitherto he has been unable to obtain a share in the affairs of that kingdom, he has now put himself in the Council of the Scots, seated before the king, contrary to the custom and privilege of that nation. They have dissimulated their feelings, but it has not been well received.
They will not consent to support the ships, but they have declared that if his Majesty will set forth his requirements they will supply them so far as they are able by subsidies but by no other form of obligation. Colonel Cecil has orders to come, and besides the soldiers, is reported to have a certain number of ships, for the greater security of Ireland.
They speak of an enquiry into his conduct, and some boldly defend him for having done nothing, saying he was prevented by a member of the council which accompanied him, (fn. 3) a dependant of a grandee at Court, with secret instructions to see that nothing was done, indicating Buckingham, though this may simply be malice. Cecil is accused chiefly of having failed to carry off and burn the Spanish ships, when he could have done so.
Four ships have come from Portugal laden with merchandise for merchants here, after having been detained and dismissed, as the Catholic wishes to maintain the undertaking in the peace to permit every safety six months after the outbreak of war. This incident lays the mart here under great obligations, and the king's ministers say that the masters of the ships saved themselves by their own action.
But trade suffers severely. They take everything that passes. The merchants do not know what to do.
The royal imposts have already been made without result, with serious loss to the king. Seemingly necessity and prudence will induce them to consider some expedient which is more usual and more just (le Gabelle regie sono gia fatte senza affettuale con perdita di grosso del Re, e pare che il bisogno e la prudenza inviti a qualch' ripiego piu ordinario e piu giusto).
Some English ships have been arrested at Havre de Grace, which has served to obtain the release of two ships for that port which were captured. This will show them that the best way to obtain redress is force, not remonstrance.
They have decided to provide another monthly instalment for Denmark, the king there having offered to wait for the rest of the sums which he may claim until after parliament has decided, so I have been told.
London, the 6th February, 1625 [M.V.].
Postscript.—I hear that a courier has been despatched to France to the king's ambassadors with orders for their prompt despatch, and the course they are to pursue, so that their departure may not be long delayed.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Feb. 7.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni,
Roma.
Venetian
Archives.
455. To the Ambassador at Rome and the like to the other Courts.
Intercommunication between our ministers is an ancient custom which we have always encouraged, and we enjoin it upon you now that it is most urgent. Everything centres round the affairs of the Valtelline. The declaration of the pope, the dealings of Tuscany with ecclesiastics and Spaniards, the sending of the Cardinal Legate and Rambouillet to Spain at the same time; the possibility of Feria having a share in the articles brought forward in the Valtelline; his orders in several directions for new levies; the turn of Huguenot affairs, a comparison between the offices of the senior prince at the French Court with those of Crichi; the results of a fresh move of the English fleet; the progress of the alliance of that king and the States with Denmark; Gabor's intentions, the state of affairs in Germany; the result of Bassompierre's negotiations with the Swiss; Coure's negotiations between the people of the Valtelline and the Grisons, are all things which are intimately related, and any one of them may help or injure our interests. You will communicate mutually not only superficial news, but the essence of things, and that we may be sure this is done you will notify the fact from time to time. This will save a great deal of time for the major operations of the Senate and will obviate a multiplicity of despatches, while the information will arrive earlier. You will leave this despatch for your successors. We shall add further instructions about ciphers, that being one of the most important matters in question.
Ayes, 136.Noes, 3.Neutral, 5.
[Italian.]
Feb. 9.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Signori Stati.
Venetian
Archives.
456. ALVISE CONTAEINI, Venetian Ambassador in the Netherlands, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The Admiral Nassau has brought letters from the Ambassador Joachim reporting a very urgent offer made to him by the King of England to get the States to facilitate the pawning of the jewels which are at Amsterdam, pointing out that without this money, which will amount to about two million florins, they cannot pay the succours promised to the King of Denmark, or even meet the requirements of the English realms, with other considerations, which the States have duly weighed and decided to send deputies again to Amsterdam in order to facilitate the business.
The Hague, the 9th February, 1626.
[Italian.]
Feb. 9.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Zante.
Venetian
Archives.
457. ALVISE TIEPOLO, Venetian Proveditore at Zante, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Pending the arrival of your Serenity's commands, I have forbidden the export of oil upon English ships, especially seeing the small quantity the island has produced this year; as there were five English ships here to lade currants and then go on to Cephalonia to complete their cargo, I issued the enclosed order. The exporters came to me and presented the enclosed paper, saying they could not obey the order. To appease them I issued another order, also enclosed, intended to prevent the captains of the ships from taking away oil.
Zante, the 30th January, 1626, old style.
[Italian.]
Enclosed in
the preceding
despatch.
458. Your order of the 13th inst. intimated to us John Plompton and John Opsin, English merchants living in this town, contains matters very prejudicial to our interests to which we cannot possibly conform. We are told that we must not permit the captains and others of the ships directed to us to lade the smallest quantity of oil, as if we had absolute control over them, whereas we are simply agents for our principals, and have no influence over the captains, who are free agents. It is unreasonable to punish us if they smuggle oil against our will and without our consent, and such a course would ruin us poor merchants, as any captain who had a grudge against us could involve us in these severe penalties. We are quite ready to obey the order that we shall not lade the slightest quantity of oil on our own account, as that is in our power, whereas the other is not.
As regards not permitting ships to leave this port by night unless after due search, we offer to inform you of their expedition so that you may give orders for search, but if any captain or sailor resists this, possibly under the influence of wine, we ought not to be punished, because we have no control.
[Italian.]
Enclosure.459. Order directed by Alvise Tiepolo, Proveditore of Zante, to John Plompton, merchant, one of the despatchers of English ships frequenting this port, that he shall see that no oil whatever be laded on such ships upon pain of 2,000 reals; and he shall not permit any English ship to leave this port, with or without cargo, by night except after it has been searched, upon the same penalty.
The 13th January, 1626.
[Italian.]
Enclosure.460. The like to John Opsem, English merchant, another despatcher of English ships.
[Italian.]
Enclosure.461. Order of the proveditore to the captains of English ships who come to the port for currants, that before they begin to lade or to leave the port to go elsewhere, they must consign a surety of 2,000 ducats each to our deputy, at discretion, for oil and before they leave they must allow our officials to search their ships and if oil is found in them, they shall be subject to punishment and shall not leave the port without licence, and in any case the surety shall be forfeit.
Captain Salos of the ship Lidia; Captain Vodi of the ship Gratia; Captain Anzolo of the ship Anzola.
Dated the 23rd January, 1626.
[Italian.]
Enclosure.462. Pledges given by Captain Nuffri Salos of the Lidia, Matthew Vodi of the Gratia and Gilbert captain of the Anzola, for the fulfilment of the above order and backed by John Plompton, merchant.
[Italian.]
Feb. 13.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
463. To the Ambassador in England.
Our ambassador in Spain informed us of the resentment of the Catholic at the attempted surprise of Cadiz by the English fleet, and that he intended reprisals and was preparing a fleet. We send you a copy of the communication made to us this morning by the Catholic ambassador. You will impart this to his Majesty, saying that we thought it right to inform him as it shows the tendency of Spanish aims, and it is therefore the more necessary that the two crowns should stand together, putting aside private interests, and he should use his influence to see that the affairs of France take the right turn, urging the Huguenots to afford proper obedience to their sovereign. You will support this with the arguments you have used before, laying the same before the Duke of Buckingham and showing special confidence in him. You will thereby try to impress his Majesty and Buckingham with the good will which impels us to this office, as we feel sure that the more apt and the more prompt his Majesty is to arm, the more advantage will prudence bring to the ends which will serve the public weal and the common interests.
That this paragraph sent to the Hague about the communication of Cardinal Magalotti be added.
Ayes, 143.Noes, 0.Neutral, 4.
[Italian.]
Feb. 13.
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Archives.
464. To the Ambassador Contarini at the Hague.
We enclose a copy of what we are sending to the other Courts about the office of the Spanish ambassador this morning, to use as you think best and especially so that you may speak about it, as from yourself, to the Princess Palatine, since the office touched chiefly upon the interests of her husband and the attack made by the English fleet under his flag. You will try and get her to urge her brother to stand together with the Most Christian, and use his influence to assuage the disorders of France, exhorting the Huguenots to submit to their sovereign.
Ayes, 143.Noes, 0.Neutral, 4.
[Italian.]
Feb. 13.
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Archives.
465. ZUANE PESARO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
This week I have been unable to obtain a reply from the Secretary of State about Aleppo, as all the ministers have been fully occupied over the coronation; possibly the secretary avoided me on purpose because they have not yet made up their mind. But the Merchants of the Levant Company, stirred by the letters of the English ambassador at the Porte, have demonstrated to the Council how they will lose if English ships are laded without dues to the consul, which provide their expenses, and they will have to abandon the Levant trade. They blame the owner of the ship, though I believe Venetian merchants have a share in it, for hoisting the flag of St. Mark, calling it a criminal act, and they claim the duty from him for his fault. They are the more bitter against him as he is a Fleming, Peter Ricault by name, (fn. 4) as the English want everything for themselves. He said the liberty of trading was common to all; he knew nothing of the agreements made at Venice; if the captain had acted against his Majesty's wishes, let him be punished; let the king make a general order to guide all. The merchants profess to despise the interests of Venetian trade and say that it is more important for us to have the use of their ships. They feel sure that English ships will be forbidden to change their flag. Nothing has been decided beyond ordering the merchants to fetch the ship back. He said he had contracted for various voyages, but afterwards he would see that his Majesty was obeyed.
They make so many changes in everything daily that one cannot feel sure what will happen. However, I will urge my case.
As for the ship Faith (fn. 5) they are once more inclined to unlade the ship at the caprice of the ministers interested, dependants on the duke without my knowing the full cargo; trouble, litigation and loss will certainly follow. I have remonstrated strongly and they have stayed execution; I should not object to execution if I was sure of the preservation of the goods.
This same changeableness also prejudices the interests and goods of the French and Dutch. Contrary to the promise made by the English ambassadors extraordinary in France, they are now selling the goods. The owners appealed to the French ambassador; after detaining them some days to await the issue of the negotiations in France, he gave them letters to the Most Christian for obtaining compensation and justice. Although the goods are sold publicly the duke will not admit it. The necessity and anxiety to collect money apparently blind this nobleman and indeed all the usual arrangements of England itself are turned upside down in this connection. The ships from Spain of which I wrote are Hamburgers, though secretly laden with goods of the Dunkirkers, but mostly directed to British subjects, the Spaniards deceiving them.
They say a Hamburg ship laden in Spain with goods of Dunkirk has been arrested at Plymouth. Whether this is true or a pretext it is impossible to say in the present confusion, but the cargo is worth 50,000l. sterling. So much with regard to the reprisals.
London, the 13th February, 1625 [M.V.].
[Italian.]
Feb. 13.
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466. ZUANE PESARO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Three expresses have recently arrived from the king's ambassadors in France, with an account of the negotiations at that Court and the terms of peace for the Rochellese. The French ambassador here has heard nothing, so it is expected that no stable peace has been arranged, but they wish by delays to ensure the fall of that town. They have heard of the Conference for this treaty permitted by the Most Christian, but considered the terms very hard for the Rochellese, involving the loss of that place.
A council was forthwith held in the king's presence and they decided to send post haste urging moderation. They conferred with the deputies of la Rochelle, who were of the same opinion, considering the terms unbearable and not to be accepted by those of the religion. The king's ambassadors are not commended for what they have done, but accused of exceeding their instructions, as they were told to ask for peace and the ships, but not to go such lengths. Those who support the party of la Rochelle say that they have done them more harm by the treaty than by granting the ships, and it prejudices the king seriously in making him guarantor, as when the place falls, as it certainly will, his Majesty will be committed to a difficult war for its recovery.
Thus matters are involved not a little and I gather from the ambassador that this is the result they wanted and deliberately planned, as the Most Christian never ceases to act, the scarcity of provisions in la Rochelle increases, owing to the ambassadors interfering in this treaty the obligation of the King of Great Britain to facilitate peace is greatly increased, and the Huguenots who were encouraged by the protection and declaration from this quarter are correspondingly cast down, unless the deputies here continue to hearten them. The English ambassadors send to justify their action over the conditions article by article.
The French ambassador asserts that they may even now deal with the affairs of Germany, as the idea was to amuse them here by negotiations for the public welfare and thereby win la Rochelle. I have discovered a very subtle plan of the ambassador for the fall of la Rochelle and to save Buckingham with the parliament, namely to permit this relief of la Rochelle and thereby increase his credit with the people, to make a show of concession and then let the place fall of itself, as he reckons it will do even after relief, though somewhat later. The duke gave ear, but did not seem disposed to agree, though what he will not transact with this ambassador owing to past quarrels he may easily do in France, if peace does not render such proceedings superfluous.
The succour for the town is ready. Soubise has gone to Plymouth, where he has 24 ships; Peninton has as many or rather more. The troops number 1,500 foot; they have not increased the number because la Rochelle needs food more than men.
The king's ships will only have double the number of sailors, who also serve to fight. They will take 80,000 francs of wheat, some butter and powder, all supplied by the king. Apparently they intend to victual the place with this provision, which is not much, and remain in the port for its protection and to treat with advantage, though it may also serve for Soubise to recover the islands lost.
They apparently believe that the Rochellese will offer terms to the king of their own accord, though this does not agree with the declaration that they would rather hand themselves over to anyone than submit utterly to the Most Christian. The king however has declared that he does not desire an inch of his brother's land. The Rochellese obtained a promise for 4,000 men, but this was withdrawn owing to the expense and because they did not need it.
It is considered impossible to obtain the ships hired to France by force, as the Most Christian could easily keep them in some safe port. Neither will it be easy to sink ships to ruin that port owing to the strong current and the nature of the land.
I will assist peace and general advantage, which seems more hopeful with the news from Denmark that the king there has declared his steady adhesion to the plans for the public cause and the recovery of the Palatinate, and approves the league made at the Hague, and will continue the war if help from this quarter does not fail him. He says he will levy 46,000 foot and 10,000 horse, of which I have seen the note.
I have also heard of the complete negotiations of Camerarius with that king, to the satisfaction of the Palatine, through whose offices Denmark at once decided to send expresses to Brandenburg and Saxony to induce them to take up the same plans; he has also sent the Most Christian to recommend the common cause to him, and has sent a gentleman with Camerarius to Hamburg and Lubeck to inform them of the league and ask them to join.
Camerarius reports having found Hamburg very well disposed, but Lubeck more distrustful of Denmark than usual, because of the damage done by Mansfelt. Camerarius is then to leave for Sweden with letters of the King of Denmark considered very useful for the negotiations in hand.
The Palatine has reported these particulars to the king, urging him not to fail in his promises to Denmark, pointing out the danger if he withdraws, when the whole circle and the towns might easily make peace; the States cannot help as their religious difficulties are increasing, and the Spaniards have proposed a truce to increase the disorder. However, they hope these intrigues will collapse of themselves. These considerations are in order to induce them here to keep up their payments to Denmark punctually. They seem content with that king here and anxious to satisfy him, but the duke committed himself deeply at the Hague, promising to pay all the sums due in March, and they reckon that king will be creditor for seven months, amounting to 210,000l. sterling, a sum which they cannot supply here even with the help of parliament.
They cannot raise money upon the jewels at Amsterdam, though they are contriving every means to obtain some. I know that they have asked the Most Christian, to the astonishment of those acquainted with the present quarrels, to pay 400,000 crowns remaining of the queen's dowry. They told the English ambassador that when the queen enjoys the fulfilment of what was promised, no time will be lost in paying the money. These provisions of money are also important in the duke's interests, as by showing the king the ways of keeping things up he wishes to have greater authority to continue and to break parliament.
That body will be opened in four days. It is impossible to say what will happen until after the event. Meanwhile the constituencies (le Communità) have elected the sheriffs who were not wanted, despite his Majesty's commands upon the contention that parliament is more powerful than (con ragione che il Parlamento possi piu del Re). The parliament men give out that if the king refers the recognition of the requirements and the provision of the expenses to parliament, seeing that he wishes them to devote their attention to the war, they will provide for all the expenses without subsidies, which weigh too heavily upon the country; and they propose to keep the parliament constantly assembled or a deputation of it, to attend to expenditure and the control of public affairs. They also let it be understood that if the king will respect all their privileges, which means removing various charges imposed contrary to the laws, and will not claim more than parliament will agree to of its own accord, the duke shall go free and unquestioned, as this people values its privileges highly (si lasciano parimente intendere che volendo il re l'intiera osservanza delli Privilegi che sarebbe di levar diverse gravezze poste contro le leggi, e non pretendere altro di ciò che assenterà da se stesso il Parlamento, il Duca sarebbe salvo ne ricercato, stimando grandemente questi popoli li loro Privilegi).
I fancy that the king has received advice of a diametrically opposite tenor, to insist upon his prerogative, and if parliament does not supply him with suitable and adequate assistance, to provide for his needs thereby with every kind of impost. In order to fortify the king's authority they speak of bringing the troops from the fleet to the Tower and its neighbourhood. This would be a very violent innovation, very ill adapted to the humour of the country, and it will probably all end in talk and nothing more (ma pare che in contrario direttamente sia consigliato il Re di sostener la sua prerogativa, con la quale, quando il Parlamento non dia li convenienti e sufficienti soccorsi, provedera alli suoi bisogni con ogni sorte di gravezza. E per fortificare l'auttorità del Re, si parla di far passar le soldatesche dell' Armata nella Torre di questa Città et all 'intorno di essa. La novità sarebbe del tutto violente e poco adequata all' humore del Paese, e si può credere che terminerà, nel solo discorso senza effetto).
They are hastening provisions for the fleets, but no orders are yet issued to help their execution. In Ireland they have granted liberty of conscience, so that the people there may serve the king in peace. They propose to keep stronger garrisons there. Scottish affairs are troubled as the king is proceeding to change the offices, which does not suit their touchy character.
They have issued rigorous proclamations forbidding the sale and eating of meat in Lent and on Fridays and Saturdays (fn. 6) ; this is not so much a matter of religion as of policy, to increase the number of fishermen and consequently the population on the coast, develop the fish trade and augment the number of sailors, of whom there is not great abundance. They hope in this way to furnish their ships and by economising meat to make it easier to provision the fleets.
A gentleman has arrived from the Abbot Scaglia from Paris with news that the Prince of Piedmont is approaching that Court with letters to the Duke, the Earl of Carlisle and the Secretary Conway. He urges a decision about the ships and a reply for his Highness from the king and brings letters of credit and affairs which the ambassador presented before. He does not ask for a definite number of ships, though he suggests twenty more or less as it suits them here. They say they will despatch him promptly, but matters drag on here more and more and the pinch is felt excessively in every department (et le strettezze sono in tutte le cose eccessivissime).
Your Serenity's commands of the 16th January have reached me, with some duplicates.
London, the 13th February, 1625 [M.V.].
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Feb. 13.
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467. ZUANE PESARO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Yesterday the king was anointed and crowned. I will pass over the details of the very lengthy ceremony with its numerous incidents, and merely record the most essential. The peers of the realm were summoned to take part in this solemnity. The king appointed a commission of the lords of his Council to arrange the offices for his coronation. Many of these are hereditary, many are dispensed by the delegates, but in such way that everyone knows he will be satisfied if he asks; they are valid for the day only and the leading nobles are employed.
They have created 58 knights of the Bath, so called because they use certain baths, with many other ceremonies. The order is peculiar to this kingdom and creations are only made at great royal functions. The title is highly valued, as the knights have precedence before all others, so even persons of distinction gladly accept the honour. They create earls and barons, all persons of quality and merit.
The ceremonies with the king were performed in two places. The first in the great hall of Westminster, for the disposal of the appointments mentioned, under his Majesty's auspices, when the archbishop of Canterbury proclaimed that Charles was the rightful heir to the throne, which was followed by a general shout of Long live the King. He was then anointed on his chest and back, his shoulders, the joints of his arms and his head. He then put on some robes according to the ancient custom, receiving the sceptre, sword and spurs. His Majesty took various oaths, in particular to observe Magna Carta, which contains the fundamental laws of this republic (di questa republica), the privileges of the people and the royal prerogative. The Lord Keeper then announced a general pardon to all criminals, except rebels and traitors. The nobles all did homage, the king kissing the bishops and they and all the nobles kissed his Majesty in their turn. The ceremony ended by the king taking the pretended sacrament, with other circumstances, his Majesty being attended throughout by the nobles, bishops, judges, officials, aldermen and the mayor in their robes of state.
The Champion of the Realm, whose office is hereditary, appeared in armour and defied to mortal combat whoever should dare to say that King Charles was not their lawful sovereign. Even greater celebrations have been made on other occasions, but the requirements of other circumstances have cut down everything.
The ambassadors were invited to the coronation ceremony, and I appreciated the favour, but I had to take care that the dignity of the republic was not compromised as well as see that my zeal for our faith should not be questioned. The ceremonies being in two places, boxes for the ambassadors were prepared in both. The hall was quite right, but there might be objections to the church. I decided to follow the example of the French ambassador. He said he could not attend in church on religious grounds. He asked that the boxes should be divided, to support his claim that he is not on the same level as the ambassador of your Serenity, saying this was done at the coronation of the late Prince Henry as Prince of Wales. I opposed this, adducing the example of other Courts, and said the precedent quoted did not count as it was done to prevent the Spanish ambassador meeting the Dutch. Ultimately I addressed myself to the Lord Chamberlain, who promised to speak to his Majesty. Later on he told me that the king felt himself bound to guard the honour of the republic; he did not intend to have any separation between the ambassadors, but as the French ambassador wished to be privately with the queen he could not prevent it.
I saw through that device and said that the queen ought not to prejudice me. His Majesty ought to arrange a place for all equally, and he should find me an honourable place. The Chamberlain promised to speak to his Majesty and bring me his answer. The Secretary brought me word that the king intended me to be everywhere where the French ambassador was, either publicly or privately. This satisfied me, but the French ambassador, hearing of this, raised scruples about the queen, who is not being crowned on religious grounds. He wrote to France for instructions, and said he would attend neither in the hall nor the church if they did not come. When I found that he had obtained a separate place in the hall, under cover of the queen, I decided not to attend the ceremony.
The queen was at the window of a private house to see the king pass (fn. 7) ; the ambassador stood in a very retired spot as a servant among the ladies. I saw it from a remote place, content with having maintained the dignity of the State. When the king makes his state entry into the city a fresh and more dangerous difficulty will arise, as there is no question of religion, while the ambassador claims that we ought to go one after the other. I will obey instructions. I shall need further liveries and have to make further expenses to attend, and if the ambassadors of the Most Christian are back in France there will be no difficulty beyond the financial one.
This night there have been rejoicings and bonfires and I have done my part.
London, the 13th February, 1625 [M.V.].
[Italian.]
Feb. 14.
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468. To the Ambassador in Spain.
The Catholic ambassador has been to inform us of the invasion of his master's realms by the King of Great Britain. In order that we might know all about it he got his secretary to read us a long treatise, describing the marriage negotiated with that king, the honours shown him in Spain, with various official documents etc. and also about the Palatinate, ending with the attack made upon the Bay of Cadiz by the English fleet under the Palatine's flag. We enclose a copy of this exposition. We thanked him for the communication without entering into particulars. We understand that they have made a similar communication to all the powers. Bolognini, who went to Florence to get a loan of 100,000 ducats for Feria, is going on to Urbino and afterwards to the other princes of Italy to make the same relation. We send you this for information.
Ayes, 134.Noes, 1.Neutral, 3.
[Italian.]
Feb. 14.
Collegio,
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469. The Ambassador of his Catholic Majesty came into the Collegio and spoke as follows:
My master directs me to inform your Serenity of an attack made upon his dominions by the King of Great Britain. Owing to the friendly relations existing between him and the most serene republic he has thought fit to make a relation of the whole business touching the marriage and the Palatine, drawn from original documents; and he has sent it to all the princes.
After the doge had expressed his thanks for the confidence, the ambassador got his secretary to read a very extensive paper beginning with the marriage negotiated with England, going on to the Palatinate, with all the notes and offices exchanged between their Majesties upon these affairs, and ending with the recent attack of the English fleet under the Palatine's flag upon the bay of Cadiz. The secretary did not leave the paper and the ambassador subsequently apologised for its length; after his Serenity had again expressed his thanks the ambassador took leave and departed.
[Italian.]

Footnotes

1 His name was Francis Gourdon His letters of credence are dated the 16th January, old style. State Papers, Foreign, Poland.
2 Robert Maxwell, Earl of Nithsdale, who was married to Elizabeth, daughter of Sir Francis Beaumont, Buckingham's maternal uncle. The Scots Peerage, ed. Paul, vol. vi., page 486.
3 Captain Sir Thomas Love. See Birch: Court and Times of Charles I, vol. i, page 77. It should be noted that Cecil especially commended Love, who was captain of his ship. Dalton: Life of Sir Edward Cecil, vol. ii, page 244.
4 "I am informed one Ricaut, a Dutchman inhabiting London, is the correspondent of the family of the Spinolas in Genoa, and of whose course I advised Lord Conway and Lord Baltimore, now a year past, by my letters of the 4th and 20th September, 1624. The substance whereof was that the Genoese, by their factor in England, were interested in divers of the best merchants' ships of the Thames, being most part owners of the St. George of 500 tons, of the Benjamin and John and the Peter and Andrew, the ships now mentioned, and of many others, being all of great force. The accusation may be false, but in my opinion worthy of examination."—Roe to the Privy Council on the 2nd Nov., 1625 o.s. Cal. S.P. Dom., Add. 1625–49, page 61.
5 The Faith of London, Robert Watson master. Pesaro was acting for the merchants Benzio and Chisali, who laded goods on the ship at Venice for Lisbon, part of which, at least, consisted of 260 bags of rice. Cal. S.P. Dom., 1625–6, pages 277, 287. Cal. S.P. Dom., Add., 1625–49, page 132. Wake's despatch of the 4th Jan., 1625 o.s. State Papers, Foreign, Savoy.
6 Proclamation, dated the 14th Jan., for the restraint of killing, dressing and eating of flesh in Lent or on fish days. Cal. S.P. Dom., 1625–6, page 220,
7 The house of Sir Abraham Williams, who was agent for the Queen of Bohemia. It was "a chamber at the palace gate." Cal. S.P. Dom., 1625–6, page 246. Birch: Court and Times of Charles I. vol. i, page 79.