Venice
May 1626, 22-30

Sponsor

Institute of Historical Research

Publication

Author

Allen B. Hinds (editor)

Year published

1913

Pages

421-434

Annotate

Comment on this article
Double click anywhere on the text to add an annotation in-line

Citation Show another format:

'Venice: May 1626, 22-30', Calendar of State Papers Relating to English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 19: 1625-1626 (1913), pp. 421-434. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=89063 Date accessed: 30 October 2014.


Highlight

(Min 3 characters)

Contents

May 1626

May 22.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
588. To the Ambassador in England.
We observe that one of the foreign ministers who should be the last to work against the common service is fomenting the disunion of the parliament, the mistrust between that crown and France, and importing irresolution into the vigorous proposals of the king. We believe that you will arrive in time to counteract this by bringing to his Majesty's notice how the recent meeting at Brussels of the most sagacious Spanish ministers tends either to movements of arms or the manipulation of treaties, either of which will be equally harmful. As regards the peace of Italy we hear from the Ambassador Pesaro that his Majesty has spoken with the French in a fitting manner, that they must inform the princes of the league. The reply of the Most Christian ambassador that Prince Vittorio and our ambassador, Contarini, in France had receded from their early rigour and complaints, is so far from the truth that they have on the contrary made even stronger remonstrances. But these are the artifices of one who is trying to conceal his own operations, which are not conceived for the general advantage or for that of France.
With regard to the dealings of the Savoyard minister, we are assured that they will have your prudent attention as well as all the other events of that kingdom now pending while the parliament is sitting. Thus if any consideration is given to the news of the rout of Mansfelt's forces and the meeting at Brussels and to what these two things may tend, it will be most useful to investigate it carefully.
In Savoy Wake has proposed to the duke and to our ambassador Morosini a union of the republic and Savoy with his master and his allies if the Most Christian confirms the treaty of Fargis, and that by disarming in Italy they may send some of the troops to the Margrave of Baden. We may believe that this minister enlarged upon the subject extensively according to his wont. Morosini made a well conceived reply without either committing himself or altogether putting aside the question, assuring him of the union of hearts and interests and aims between the republic and that crown. We have inserted this for your guidance.
Ayes, 115.Noes, 5.Neutral, 5.
[Italian.]
May 22.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni,
Costantinopoli.
Venetian
Archives.
589. That the Five Savii alla Mercantia summon before them Simon Armeno, assessor (sensaro), and inform him in reply to the letters written to him and to the former Dragoman Nores by Aga Sansovar, merchant of the king of Persia, reporting the bringing from England to this city of the silk which arrived there directed to his king, that in response to his request to facilitate the carriage of the silk they grant him leave to do so, out of consideration for the said king, upon payment of 1 per cent. cottimo and 2 per cent. bailaggio, and that sole payment shall suffice, although by the laws it ought to pay double duty if it touches the state of other princes and does not come straight here. The said Sansovar shall also be courteously treated and receive every satisfaction.
That the ambassador at the Hague and the secretary in England be informed of the present deliberation, so that they may perform the offices which they consider necessary.
Ayes, 132.Noes, 0.Neutral, 32.
[Italian.]
May 23.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Firenze.
Venetian
Archives.
590. AGOSTIN VIANUOL, Venetian Secretary at Florence, to the DOGE and SENATE.
This week seven large ships arrived at Leghorn from England laden with merchandise of various kinds, in particular with a large quantity of pepper and cloves, and many cloths. I understand that 200 of the last are to come here, to be sent on to Constantinople.
Florence, the 23rd May, 1626.
[Italian.]
May 24.
Collegio,
Secreta.
Esposizioni,
Roma.
Venetian
Archives.
591. The ambassador of the Duke of Savoy came into the Collegio and spoke as follows:
In conformity with the proposals made to Prince Vittorio by the English ambassadors in Paris, Mr. Wake had a long interview with the duke and asked him, supposing Fargis's treaty was accepted and the king approved, whether the republic and Savoy would sign it, and if not whether they would listen to proposals for a league with his king, and if the forces of Italy were removed whether the republic and the duke would give part of theirs to the Margrave of Baden.
The duke did not give an immediate reply, but at a second meeting at which the Ambassador Morosini was present the duke said matters were still in the balance about peace; Venice and he had no idea of agreeing to the treaty, and they could only decide anything which matters were in suspense, and it was more necessary than ever the forces of Italy should stand together. The duke does not wish to withdraw from the alliance, but he cannot hold out without help. Venice can supply this urgent need.
The doge expressed thanks for the confidential communication; the republic was always ready to help the duke, but their excessive expenditure prevented them from doing all they would desire.
The ambassador represented the duke's urgent needs. The Spaniards had succeeded in stopping the French, and hope to reduce the duke to inaction. He cannot wait any longer, and begs for the reply he hopes, otherwise he will be compelled to take steps to prevent the utter ruin of his dominions.
The doge replied that he could add nothing to what he had said, but the Collegio might give a fuller reply. The ambassador then took leave and departed.
[Italian.]
May 25.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
592. MARC ANTONIO CORRER and ANZOLO CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassadors Extraordinary designate to England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
We reached this city from Bergamo in ten days. We never remember so much snow as has fallen this year. We were forced to come by the St. Gothard. We have come through, but shall long remember our perils and hardships. For five hours of the journey we crossed the territory of Como. Many troops were quartered there, Spaniards and Swiss, and those of the pope higher up, which they proclaim as being more numerous than they really are. At Lugano, Bellinzona and other places of the Swiss we have heard your Serenity very well spoken of, but their sympathies are really Spanish, and this is carefully cultivated. At Altdorf all the magistrates called on us. The chief, Colonel Berlingher, in the pay of the Spaniards, with a regiment of infantry, is a man of distinction and perhaps unique standing among his countrymen. Other commanders visited us privately as well as publicly. Eleven of them came to a banquet with us. At Lucerne we also secured visits and presents. Before getting there we met Cavazza, who came from Zurich to help us. We cannot praise his qualities too highly. M. Miron, the French ambassador, also met us and gave us a banquet at his house. The Nuncio Scappi only sent to us very late. No office of any kind was exchanged with the Spanish ambassador, indeed we hear that he has not even visited the French ambassador.
Here at Basel we presented our letters. The burgomaster made a courteous reply. We find they are not a little afraid of the Austrian forces. They would like to see Germany quiet. The peace of Italy is announced here as concluded.
We shall continue our journey without interruption, and hope it will be easier. We have found the Ambassador Zorzi here. M. Pietro di Brederode, agent of the States, called on us and told us of the condition of the forces in Germany and Denmark, those of Mansfelt and Tilly and other particulars, the same as the Ambassador Zorzi sent.
Basel, the 28th May, 1626.
[Italian.]
May 25.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
593. MARC ANTONIO CORRER and ANZOLO CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassadors Extraordinary designate to England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The Nuncio Scappi called on us. He said the Valtelline business could not be settled unless the pope had satisfaction. The French had deceived him. Bassompierre had admitted the injury. The Cardinal nephew had been ill treated in France. We maintained that the deposit must not be perpetual; there was something to be said for the French, and in any case the pope ought not to delay quenching so great a conflagration. The Valtelline must return to its original state or it will always be a stone of offence for Italy. The Grisons would behave themselves and would not forfeit the protection promised them.
The nuncio, unable to contradict this, finally said that he must obey his orders from Rome. We consider him deeply interested in all matters dependent on Spain. The French ambassador seemed to know little of the current negotiations for peace. He spoke against the peace made in Spain, possibly in order to gratify us. We do not build much on these speeches.
Basel, the 25th May, 1626.
[Italian.]
May 29.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
594. To the Ambassador at the Hague.
The ambassador of the States has been to us again this week for the monthly payments. You will see our reply. You will speak to the same effect to any one who raises the subject, showing that we neither promise nor refuse, in the hope of other contributions to obtain our intent without exasperating the States. With regard to the rumour of which the ambassadors told you, you will refute it, and as the ambassador appears to have misunderstood our previous office and to have reported accordingly, you will remind them of what was said without attempting any justification or making any complaint. We have no letters from you this week, although those of individual merchants have arrived. The interception of the letters of Italy of which you advise us, may have caused this. Safety and speed in the dispatches is most desirable in these days.
That a copy of the office passed with the ambassador of the States about the contributions of the republic be sent to the following:
The ambassadors in England, France and Savoy and the secretary at Zurich, for information.
Ayes, 146.Noes, 0.Neutral, 5.
[Italian.]
May 29.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni
Roma.
Venetian
Archives.
595. That the ambassador of Savoy be summoned to the Collegio and the following be read to him:
The reply of the duke to the last proposals of the English ambassador could not have been better conceived with the idea of keeping up their vigour there and not committing ourselves. We have instructed our ambassadors extraordinary to that monarch with the same idea, but expressed more warmth as the trouble and confusion with the parliament there call for the mature consideration of all those who wish it to result well for the common service.
Ayes, 146.Noes, 0.Neutral 5.
[Italian.]
May 29.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
596. ZUANE PESARO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
My sickness is less but not gone, but I hope to take advantage of the grace given me soon. As my chief duty I have seen their Majesties. His Majesty by word and still more by his heart, apparent even with his difficulty in expressing himself, affirmed his affection for your Serenity and his pleasure in my presence, he said he was highly pleased with me, and all the republic's ambassadors at this Court had worthily maintained the good relations. I made a suitable reply, speaking highly of the Ambassador Luigi Contarini. I reminded his Majesty of the special honour in sending two ambassadors as a sign of great respect. I presented Andrea Rosso as your Serenity's minister, who of himself procured a most favourable reception.
After this compliment I went on to speak to his Majesty of the state of affairs, in which I kept myself to the commands of your Serenity, about the firmness in maintaining the liberty of Italy and of affording vigour and encouragement to the most determined and generous resolutions of this quarter.
The king remarked to me that he understood that the peace was not established in Spain, and he hoped to do some good.
I did not forget to appeal to his desire for glory and to point out that the balance of the public weal and of his own greatness consists in the strength of his resolutions and in counterpoising the machinations of others. But as the king did not enter into further particulars, I thought it best to withdraw, having been favoured with overflowing kindness and graciousness.
I passed the same compliments with the queen. She expressed her deep regard for your Serenity and spoke in the most flattering terms of myself. She received Andrea Rosso and promised me he might always count on her assistance.
I also paid my respects to the other foreign ministers. I visited the Duke of Buckingham, who from my office is very sure of the affection of your Serenity. He responded to my offices with great respect. The pallor of his face betrays his deep uneasiness at the embarrassments in which he finds himself. He spoke of his affairs with temperate vigour, though he showed that his mind was tossed by a thousand agitations and about keeping the king to insist upon his authority in order to counteract the activities of the parliamentarians.
He asked me about the state of the peace of Italy and about the arms of that province. I found the moment opportune to avail myself of the ideas about the constancy of your Serenity and the vigour of the Duke of Savoy. He commended retaining and increasing the forces, and asked upon what terms your Serenity will make arrangements with the Duke of Savoy, as it appears his Highness has given it to be understood that he proposes to ask the opinion of the most serene republic. He remarked to me that the duke was a brave and generous prince; his Majesty was interested with him and in all occasions he might promise himself the king's assistance, indeed his own royal person in every occasion of need.
He spoke to me of the doubtfulness of France, and that though their ambassador Abbeville had departed, others like him had remained behind; suggesting to me by these words the importunity of the nation.
I remarked that with friends they ought to put up frankly with things; an understanding with that crown for the public cause was even more and more necessary, and they ought always to keep their hands to it so as to bring the French to thorough resolutions, at least to such as by some means of offence would keep them opposed to Spain, or as they could not make sure of that nation your Serenity ventured to hope that as when they seemed in hand they were in danger of slipping away, so when they were far off we might be near having them again.
This idea seemed to please him and make an impression. As regards the disturbances and fears of commotion in that kingdom, he thought it might be advisable to throw them into some disturbance in order to make it necessary for them to have recourse to their friends, and then the king here, the most serene republic and the duke of Savoy would interpose to arrange a good accommodation and sound conditions for the public and common cause.
I told him that the Spaniards could desire nothing better, and nothing would profit them more than the division of that realm. It might be, said he, that the peace of those might help of itself without giving actual assistance to Christendom.
The occupations of the duke preventing him from speaking at greater length, I ended with great confidence.
London, the 29th May, 1626.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
May 29.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
597. ZUANE PESARO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The Bishop of Mande, on behalf of the Most Christian, has informed the king that he wishes to keep 15,000 men on the frontiers of Germany to strengthen the princes there and to support Mansfelt, and has granted 6,000 soldiers to the States for six years, exhorting his Majesty to contribute to the support of affairs in Germany. The king replied that he was so deeply interested in those affairs that he would not fail. The bishop told me this adding that the peace in Spain met with some difficulties, as they see that the Spaniards want to profit by the disturbances in that kingdom. However, he spoke of these matters with great circumspection, and one blames the other for the differences between the two kings, and so one has words but no deeds. The French complain of not receiving satisfaction in private matters, but it is not clear what their attitude may be towards the duke, to whom they seem unfriendly, but they do not always assist for his decline (autenticano la sua diminutione), and the English seem to change their inclination towards France according as their own affairs go well or ill.
The ships have been received and they are to restore Soubise's ship the St. John. The news of this is awaited. The French who brought the ships have gone back again, in accordance with his Majesty's orders. However, this restitution does not diminish the duke's guilt with the parliament, indeed the suspicion of some secret understanding always increases.
Letters having been found directed to the leading Catholics in the queen's name, exhorting them to contribute to the king's needs, so that he might be able to break the parliament, and thereby establish the security of the Catholics, this incident of no small consequence moved the queen to go to his Majesty and complain of the audacity of those who make use of her name and even forge her handwriting, asking for the protection of the Catholics, not as a dependent party, but under his Majesty's favour, and demanding enquiry and punishment. To this is added the rumour of a secret intrigue of the duke, who having heard the beginning of her accusations and expressed his resentment, when in bed at a preposteraus hour (nel letto in hora incongruo) rose and went to the king, the queen being present, and handed two letters to their Majesties, showing a similar one for himself to the effect that if his Majesty desired the Catholics would willingly contribute the self same sums that parliament delays to contribute.
The matter is considered important because of finding their Majesties together and alone, and because by these means the duke insinuates the dissolution of parliament. But if it is true the transaction is kept very secret; if it were proved the Catholics might easily be condemned by parliament to such a payment and even worse conditions.
To these things are added the ceaseless efforts of the French for the Catholic faith and their offers to the duke of support if he consents to their plans. I know for certain that he does not consent but neither does he utterly refuse; but they say that he does not behave in such a way as to receive help from his neighbours. They are going warily, and have consulted a person of the duke's household as to how they shall deal with the French, and obtain some connivance for the Catholics without prejudice. This thing causes it to be said that the counsels of Rome are getting the upper hand, and thus they lay the blame for all the present disorders and the reluctance in granting the contributions desired by the king upon the Puritans, and in consequence try to render them odious and to tacitly favour the others.
Of late in one of the principal streets of this city they completed the decoration with rich gilding of an ancient and noble mausoleum, adorned with statues of saints and a very large cross at the summit. Although done for the purpose of public entry of their Majesties, this action was intended by experience to touch the minds of the people, but by night this barbarous people covered everything with filth (l'ha tutta imbruttata). (fn. 1)
Such events show the unrest here, and that a drowning man will catch at straws. Meanwhile events without grow worse. We hear of Mansfelt's defeat, (fn. 2) disastrous in itself, but also likely to spoil the arrangement with Gabor and to cause discouragement. They feel the blow here, and the king said he would at once help Mansfelt but his resolutions are useless without the help of parliament. The levies of Scots for the Count are ready, and the gentleman in charge, in order not to lose the expenses incurred, would agree to supply the rest if they gave him transport, but owing to lack of money or other reasons the government cannot arrange his despatch.
The King of Denmark's colonels (fn. 3) have arrived to make small levies, for his Majesty's own guards, they say. They seem to feel that this cannot be refused in the absence of keeping the promises made. The Germans here have not been despatched, as they want to have some idea of what the outcome may be. Meanwhile Mecklenburg's gentleman (fn. 4) has left with a present of some silver vessel, Anstruther having orders to assist at the christening and provide the usual presents; but no provision has been made for effecting this, and the orders will arrive so late that the date for the christening will have passed, and the Germans here are offended.
The Palatine petitions without effect. He recently tried to arrange some compromise about the ratification of the league with Denmark. The king here ratified it as an offensive and defensive league. Denmark as a defensive league reserving some articles to treat about with his Majesty, and the States ratified as for a mutual league. The King of Denmark excepted the King of Spain and the States, the emperor, while reserving the right to treat with the king here upon the secret articles. This seems to be because Denmark will not agree that the payment shall cease when the king here places a force in the field. He is also said to be bound to the payment of the levies made on his account in this kingdom and some other particulars about Mansfelt. Those of the Palatine assert that that king has ratified everything, but that he looks for the restitution of the states and dignity of the Palatine.
The Count of S. Mauritio left with the present reported, and with six magnificent hackneys presented by the duke and the Earl of Carlisle. Before leaving he asked his Majesty to assist his Highness in making war. He seems to have asked for ships partly at the duke's cost and partly as help from the king. He proposes to continue the war to sack Corsica and to obtain guns upon payment. These particulars agree with the old requests, and the last replies resembled the first reported many months ago, expressing esteem for the duke and readiness to do all in his Majesty's power, representing the requirements of the war, trade and defence, pointing out that the Valtelline peace leaves the whole burden on them here, and promising if the Most Christian concurs, to contribute ships and other things that this kingdom supplies.
The duke wanted assistance to make war in any case. They kept up appearances here in order to sustain their plans by creating jealousy.
As it is exceedingly hard to provide for necessities, to give time for the present needs to the Count of S. Mauritio they have renewed negotiations for marrying one of the infantas to the chosen heir of Denmark. Buckingham has been led to this step with the idea of going to Piedmont amid his dangers.
They also keep up the idea for an understanding upon the third proposal against France. The French ministers here want to divert the danger of this by means of the prisoners they have made. It is whispered to me, however, that the levies and troops which are announced as being for Germany are merely in order to assure the king's affairs in his own realm.
The entry of Soubise's ships into la Rochelle is confirmed, but he continues to live in this kingdom. The deputies of la Rochelle think of withdrawing hence to deprive the Most Christian of a pretext for not carrying out the peace. Amid all the stagnation of naval preparations it seems that some ships with letters of marque are beginning to go out, despite the difficulties.
In speaking of naval affairs the Secretary Conovel told me that he was advised that the Spaniards had a plan to keep three fleets in the Mediterranean, to secure their interests in that sea. I told him I thought they would not abandon their design to attack these realms.
London, the 29th May, 1626.
[Italian, the part in italics deciphered.]
May 29.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
598. ZUANE PESARO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The Earl of Bristol has recovered the credit he lost by the warmth of his first speech in parliament, by a second one, considered greatly to his advantage. He was introduced to hear the charges against him, but he first asked pardon for the warmth with which he had spoken, in which he exceeded the bounds, being led on by his clear conscience and by seeing himself as accused before his enemy as judge. He gave his reasons for desiring to be judged to leave his honour unspotted against the plot he says the duke has woven against him. He says he admits no fault except in having spoken too freely to his Majesty when as prince he arrived in Spain. In this he admitted he had gone too far for a subject addressing his sovereign, but his zeal had carried him away at seeing the prince at that Court to his prejudice and danger. For the rest he asks for justice and the clearing of his honour.
The king's proctor set forth the charges, and the earl thereupon asked if there was anything to add, and who accused him. They replied that these were all and the king accused him, the articles being drawn up by his order. The earl pointed out the hurt to the House of such a precedent, not under a perfect and gracious sovereign like his Majesty, but under a haughty prince determined to have his own way. He said he had asked if there were more charges, so that he might answer all.
He seemed to despise the charges, saying he supposed he was accused of the ill conduct of the fleet, of having obtained money privately from the taking of Ormuz, of having been paid by the Dutch to get the king to renounce the cautionary towns which this crown held in the Netherlands and of having imparted the secret dealings of the crown to foreign princes. In this way he contrived to bring charges against the duke, as people say that the duke received 20,000l. secretly from those of the Indies, because as the Spaniards remonstrated on these captures, the late king did not want to meddle with it openly, and that he received as much from the Dutch, at the beginning of his favour, to dispose the king to hand over the cautionary towns, while endeavouring that the money given back should be ill employed, and that he communicated to the Dutch, after the return from Spain, the most secret dealings of the late king with the Catholic, to wit to conquer and divide the Low Countries between them.
But with the disclosure of the extent of these pernicious designs, the duke affirms that he did everything by order of the late king; that the Ormuz money was devoted to the last fleet, as King James did not want to profit openly in order not to offend the Spaniards.
As the parliamentarians complain that the duke, in the accounts of the expenses of the fleet, mixed his own money with the king's, he says the late king wished it so, as he did not wish to break the peace with the Spaniards, but that the war be made in the duke's name.
The people here do not believe what the duke says, but tricks and deceit are laid bare, and they will be disclosed further as Bristol will publish all the transactions, and all his instructions, and he made an excellent speech in his defence, which greatly pleased parliament. For the better conduct of his cause he has asked for time and a lawyer to defend him and collect all the papers of his instructions, which he professes to have obeyed punctually.
His cause was brought before the King's Bench, that is the order of lawyers. Two declared there were no grounds upon which to institute a trial for treason, the others agreed to the wishes of the palace. But parliament has taken the whole case to itself, passing over the usual forms, which is greatly to Bristol's advantage, although the king wanted and the duke used every means to take away the advocate granted to him and to have him tried by the King's Bench. Parliament, however, refused to gratify the king and duke, and said they would continue as they had begun. Bristol presses to be heard, as the business is becoming lengthy, and the duke hopes and tries to profit by time and to secure his own plans and safety, partly by blandishments and partly by fear.
They also say that the king is trying to reconcile these two lords in order to prevent the publication of important transactions and contrary to the true reason, and by this accommodation to bring about a union between himself and his people.
The duke becomes ever harder and more obstinate. They attempted such a reconciliation before, but Bristol always rejected it, and it now seems that he opposes it with even more decision.
Nevertheless the duke is attacked by Bristol's accusations and the grievances of the Lower House, which have all been brought before the Upper House by the eight deputies, who spoke with the utmost liberty, without respect for the duke, as if he were the lowest subject in the realm. Two in particular spoke more warmly than the rest about the late king's death, suggesting the duke was to blame, and they could not say more from fear of offending the king himself, but compared the duke to Sejanus, calling him the canker of the treasures of England and the canker worm of the ruin of these realms. (fn. 5)
This free speaking induced the king to consult privately with a few as to whether he should dissolve parliament or imprison those who had spoken with so much licence. The king decided on the latter course, and on the following morning ordered that two of the members who had spoken so freely should be put in the Tower. At the same time he took the unusual course of going to the Upper House in person to explain his decision briefly, showing that the matter concerned his honour so deeply and that of the lords themselves, in hearing the insolent speeches against a member of their own House. He had been too patient in allowing certain speeches made in the Lower House to go on, which touched his person, and he had allowed himself to be transported to this by the offices of the Duke of Buckingham, so that it might not cause him any prejudice, but that in the charges against the duke he might be justified in all points. He said in conclusion he hoped they would take as much care of his honour as he will always be ready to have for their persons.
This action has given credit to the duke's artifice, but the Lower House was exceedingly stirred at the imprisonment of its members, and although the members were engaged upon important transactions, they ceased immediately and separated. On re-assembling they decided not to deal with any matter before they received satisfaction upon the maintenance entire of their privileges and the restitution of the prisoners. They further declared that they had not ordered the commissioners to speak against the king; the commissioners cannot have spoken ill; no one had heard with what they are charged, declaring that the one who gave the king false information is a traitor and perturber of the public peace. They got every member of their body, man by man, to protest and swear that they are not culpable, and that they will make a joint remonstrance to the king against the evil information, ask for the release of the prisoners, and show that the duke is the reason for the delay and of breaking the manner of granting the subsidies. Even those more partial to the duke were included in this, from fear of receiving some exemplary punishment.
In the Upper House the duke tried to get a declaration that the members had spoken treasonably, but he only obtained three votes, after much intriguing. Seeing that all were against him, the king decided to release one of the prisoners promptly, who had offended the duke less, sending a message to the Lower House that he wished to prove to them how he wished to preserve their privileges. He retained the sword for other causes, extra judicio, and urged them to grant prompt supplies. But the parliamentarians were not satisfied, desiring an explanation of the words extra judicio, and requiring the release of the other member in any case, protesting that they would not suffer it and would not consent to the slightest compromise.
Amid these disputes between the king and his people ill-feeling grows stronger. The lower parliamentarians claim that the duke must go to prison, so that he cannot be with the king, in order to put a stop to the difference made between him and Bristol. This point was debated in the Lower House with much division, and is also discussed in the Upper with much excitement, without any definite decision, but so far in the duke's favour. However, they are taking the grievances in hand, according to the usual practice, and everyone is in suspense awaiting the result of their decisions.
I am told that they talk of dissolving parliament with the idea of inducing the duke to resign his offices, and then to summon another parliament in which the king might show that he had supported the things done for his own honour, and that he himself wished to dismiss and punish the duke.
But I think these are the proposals of those who want a dissolution, as the counsels of the king, up to the present, appear different; because it is perfectly clear that this evil will be cured by a good conclusion, or will become incurable by a rupture, and the king, besides his own service and the most urgent need, is bound by considerations of his own honour, because a rupture would go to show (autenticarebbe) that he himself wished to prevent an enquiry into the causes of the late king's death.
The duke, however, does nothing but keep up the divisions and delays, and that the king, by breaking the parliamentary authority, although apparently with present loss, may render himself more absolute and sovereign for the future; a very difficult undertaking and most prejudicial to the requirements of the times.
The House has not forgotten about the release of the Earl of Arundel. They made two requests of his Majesty, the first for a definite answer. To this the king said that if they asked him modestly he would answer reasonably. The second time they asked for a gracious reply. The king said he would make a decision that should not prejudice their privileges, thus gaining time, but they are resolved to make a third request and think of availing themselves of their own authority to recall him without the king's consent. I leave these dissensions behind, as I leave this Court in two days.
London, the 29th May, 1626.
Postscript.—I have just been told that the Bishop of Mande has received word of the peace arranged in Italy and has communicated it to his Majesty, going on to say that if the king wished for the support of the Catholic princes he must give up persecuting his Catholic subjects. The king expressed his inclination to do this when the state of affairs allowed. I also hear particulars of great consequence, perhaps due to the suspicions of the more imaginative, that the duke has some idea of going to Holland in order to put a stop to the parliamentary enquiry against him, giving the king a pretext to excuse him on the ground of absence, but to unite in some negotiations with the States towards the Spaniards. The idea arises from the king's extreme needs, the desire to escape danger and to remain without heed or subjection to parliament. They add that the king no longer complains of the small amount of the subsidies, but will gladly receive what is offered, although inadequate to the requirements, leaving the suspicion that he intends to use them, as he did the others, without further employment (senza maggior impiego), and it is considered that the States have some pretext of negotiation on foot, and they can treat and conclude nothing unless they participate and agree here. I have thought fit to report these particulars for verification and to show the passions of those who juggle with (sottigliano) affairs in these times at this Court.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Enclosed in
the preceding
despatch.
599. Articles of the treasons and other crimes committed by John, Earl of Bristol, against the late King James and his present Majesty, the earl being accused by the Attorney General on his Majesty's behalf in the Court of Parliament, in the presence of the king and the lords. (fn. 6)
[Italian; 12 pages.]
Enclosed in
the preceding
despatch.
600. Articles against the duke, examined in parliament on the 24th April, 1626.
[Italian; 3 pages.]
Enclosed in
the preceding
despatch.
601. Articles of the Earl of Bristol against the Duke of Buckingham, laid before parliament on the 1st of May, 1626.
[Italian; 5 pages.]
May 29.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
602. ZUANE PESARO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
I have now passed twenty-two months in this embassy, with a heavy tax on my fortunes. My family affairs, the loss of my brother and my own dangerous illness did not interfere with my constant service. Now I can avail myself of my leave to return, I must trust to the liberality of your Excellencies and especially that you will allow me to keep the usual present, seeing that as in two months I should have completed the usual term. I hope that consideration will be given to the special expenses for the late king's funeral, and the present king's marriage and coronation, together with a long wandering about for a whole year without the usual increase of 200 ducats a month. I have served uninterruptedly as ambassador for eight years; however, my only desire is to spend myself in the service of your Excellencies.
London, the 29th May, 1626.
[Italian.]
May 30.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
603. MARC ANTONIO CORRER and ANZOLO CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassadors Extraordinary designate to England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
We travelled from Basel through Alsace and the Palatinate, seeing Strasburg, Spire and Worms. We received honour and great courtesy everywhere, especially in the territories of the Archduke Leopold. The forces now in Germany cause all the towns to be carefully guarded; the tolls are many and frequent. The country shows the effects of the late invasion, especially Spire. The free towns are excellently ordered. The armies are forty leagues from here. Denmark is about Brunswick, Hesse and Fuldem. Halberstadt is near Fuldem, Mansfelt in the Margraviate of Brandenburg. Three imperial armies face these, Tilly with 10,000 foot and 3,000 horse, Meroda with the Flanders' troops. The Landgrave of Hesse is at Kissel. The country people are all in arms and this has made Tilly draw back. It is impossible to say what the outcome will be. The country is fearfully wasted, the princes heavily burdened, and money very scarce everywhere.
Worms, the 30th May, 1626.
[Italian.]

Footnotes

1 One, Gabriel Browne, in an intercepted letter of May 20th, o.s., writes: "The citizens having regilded their cross, certain zealous persons were stirred up by the sermons of a Calvinistical sot in Aldermanbury to deface our Saviour's picture." Cal. S.P. Dom., 1625–6, page 337.
2 He was repulsed with great loss by Wallenstein at the bridge over the Elbe at Dessau, on the 25th April.
3 Francis Hamond and Alexander Seton. There is a letter of the King of Denmark to Charles, dated the 8th April, asking that they may levy 1,000 horse for his use. State Papers, Foreign, Germany.
4 He signs himself De Passow in a letter to Conway of the 23rd April. State Papers, Foreign, Germany (States). Charles I acted as godfather to the second son of Adolphus Frederick, Duke of Mecklenburg Schwerin, born on the 8th March, and named Charles.
5 The eight speakers were Sir Dudley Digges, Glanville, Herbert, Selden, Wandsford, Pym, Sherland and Sir John Eliot. They spoke on Tuesday and Wednesday, the 19th and 20th May, new style. On Thursday the king sent Digges and Eliot to the Tower. Birch: Court and Times of Charles I, vol. i, page 101.
6 Cal. S.P. Dom., 1625–6, page 324.